Training a Golden Retriever can be a challenge. These excitable dogs possess a lot of energy and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them. Once you’ve learned this, however, there are ways to calm them down and get them to be more receptive to what you are trying to teach them. In this article we will discuss how to train a retriever with tips and tricks to help you to get focused results. Are you ready? Let’s get started, then!
When to start retriever training
Retriever puppy training may be started as early as 7-8 weeks of age. That said, there are 3 things that you will want to focus on at this time:
- Socialization skills – You will want to get your puppy used to other people and dogs AS SOON as possible. If your dog is isolated for long periods of time and very young it can become codependent on you and this is NOT a good thing. By introducing your pup to others and taking them for playtimes in parks and other places where they can play with other dogs you will help your little one to learn to socialize. This means a tamer and happier dog so don’t neglect their socialization skills!
- Potty training – This is another must. You want to focus hard on potty training your pup as soon as possible. Retrievers are big dogs and your puppy won’t be little forever, best to get your dog adjusted to their walking schedule and peeing outside (instead of inside the house!) as soon as possible. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered and will divulge our secrets later in this article.
- Biting – Young retriever pups have a particularly strong bite and you will want to train them out of this quickly. There is a quick and easy method for this that we will teach you.
Retriever training tips : Socialization
This part of your ‘retriever training program” is the easiest and the most fun. To do this, simply plan outings for your dog where they can be around people and other dogs. Dog parks are quite popular and a quick Google can likely find one in your area. Barring this, even a regular park will do, just be sure to bring some treats and some baggies so that you can teach your pup some tricks and be prepared in case your dog leaves any messes. Try to do this at least once a week, more if you can, and your dog will be a social animal in no time!
Retriever training tips: How to potty train a retriever dog
The best way to do this is regular walks. A walk first thing in the morning. A walk after you and your dog eat breakfast. Basically, every 3 hours at first is a good idea. You should also consider waking up at 1 or 2 am if your pup is very young so that they can have another walk. This will help to prevent them from pooping or peeing in the house. Don’t worry, you will only need to do this for 2-3 weeks. When very young your dog has a very small bladder and it is harder for them to wait. While it is an inconvenience to get up late your furniture and your peace of mind will be all the better for it. Trust us on this.
Retriever training tips: Biting
Your furry friend packs one heck of a bite, even at a young age. This is something that you will want to deter early. Puppies that are weaned very early can be biters, as they haven’t had enough time with the other puppies and mom to learn just how hard they
” When your pup bites too hard, let out a yelp!”
can acceptably bite. The way that you combat this is easy. When your pup bites too hard, let out a yelp and say ‘ouch!’ and stop playing with them for 2-3 minutes. The yelp lets them know that they are biting too hard and over time they will learn that biting heard equals no more playtime. Once they have this lesson down then you’re retriever will definitely be more ‘golden’.
Retriever health issues
Every retriever owner should be aware of the health considerations for their pup. Retrievers as a breed are prone to the following:
- Skin conditions
- Hip Dysplasia
- Loose knees
- Chest conditions
Regular vet visits are recommended
Due to the number of health concerns it is recommended that you and your furry friend keep the vet visits regular. Twice a year is fine when your dog is younger but when they start getting up in years then every 3 months is a much better schedule. This is so that you can catch any issues as early as possible. While there is no guarantee your dog will get sick it is just good to be on the safe side to help ensure a long and quality life for your furry friend. So keep those checkups regular!
Some final words
A Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds for a reason. Energetic, loving, and very intelligent, your pup should respond well to training and develop to be a valued member of your family. Just make sure that when they are young to give proper focus to their socialization, potty training, and biting, and try to squeeze in as many other new commands as you can in the meantime. Your pup can easily learn to sit, stay, and fetch in record time and if you are willing to invest your own time then there are few limits to what your dog can learn. Be sure to keep a lot of treats handy and with positive reinforcement the sky is the limit. Lastly, keep an eye out for any health concerns particular to Golden Retrievers by taking a proactive stance of regular scheduled visits to your veterinarian. Your well-behaved best friend will surely thank you for it!