Are golden retrievers aggressive?

You may have seen the youtube video with the aggressive golden retriever that went viral for biting the dog trainer on the arm. If you haven’t seen the video, then just scroll down to see the video here in this post. 

The dog trainer in the video goes by the name of the ‘dog whisperer’ which many of you may already know. Usually, when you watch the show he is able to manage the dogs with no problem and works his doggy magic every time.


But on this occasion, he was not so lucky and ended up getting bitten in the process. The interesting part that really struck me was the fact that it was a golden retriever that bit him. Now, I actually own a golden retriever myself. And Bella has had her problems in the past but never was it to the extreme of biting people.

Anyways, I decided to then look a little further into what goldens are aggressive, why they are aggressive and what you can do to fix them if they are. If you are by any chance experiencing this type of behavior with your pup, then keep reading this post as I have some great tips to fixing this coming up.

Here is the full video: skip to 1:40 for the main part!

Dog trainer gets bitten by Labrador

Why are some goldens aggressive?

In most cases, I have found that Goldens are usually aggressive down to their parents that they were bred from and their environment. These are 2 of the most common factors that you will find in an aggressive golden retriever.

Another thing that I have seemed to find is that the Goldens that are more aggressive than others are usually unneutered or unspayed.

I have found that a majority of the time when a golden behaves aggressively it is down to an emotional response of fear or distress. Now you may be asking yourself why they are distressed if they are in a good environment. But this could be for many reasons but a few of the most common are:

  • Being outside of their comfort zone
  • Stressed by other dogs
  • Distressed because of separation
  • Stressed of Life and routine

It’s really interesting to look at the last point above as I’m sure you can reason with this one. Life can sometimes get a hold of the best of us at times. It goes no different for dogs too.

Sometimes they will become distressed because of you returning back to work or having a new baby or pet which takes up your attention…the list goes on. In these types of circumstances, it is important for you to know how to help them pull out of this situation and return back to a happy state of mind.


Curing this type of behavior

The first thing you will need to do is asses how serious this situation is. Meaning, if your dog is really aggressive and showing signs of potential real harm to another dog or human then you may need to seek professional help immediately. If on the other hand, it is not yet out of control then there will be a few avenues that you can try out first.

If you find that your dog is triggered by something that then causes this behavior, then the first thing you can try is to avoid placing them in that environment. More often than not parents will go and pay huge amounts of money to a professional only to find out that it was something they could have fixed…if they tried. Another great way is to try out an online training course for dog aggression.

This helped me a huge amount when I experienced this problem. You can implement a training plan that you can find online, which will help you to work out where the aggression most occurs. And then go through exactly how you can start to take new actions in order to prevent this type of behavior.

Treats and Snacks are a great way to praise your dog for when they do well in bad situations. This will for sure encourage a new behavior to spawn from them and hopefully stick too.

Ways to prevent aggression from developing

Right from the start, you may find yourself putting your hands or finger into your dog’s mouth from as little as a few weeks old. And to be completely honest with you there is no problem with that. But what you need to watch out for is the behavior that could be developing from those actions and keep a close eye to it.

The reason being is that you will find some dogs just do it to strengthen their jaw and teeth when young. Whilst others have a different agenda and will use tun that behavior into an aggressive temperament in the future. It’s always important to pay close attention to your dog from the earliest of days so that you can catch any problems right from the start.

Which will allow you to treat it when it is very early and easier to fix.


History leaves clues

You may have heard the old saying that history leaves tracks or clues…well It does! Most dogs parents tell a story and so do the breeders. If you notice that you are getting a super cheap deal but the pup is coming from a broken home then it may be worth giving the deal a miss.

Or if you are looking into adoption then this can be another can of worms that open up as your pooch gets older. The point I’m trying to make here is that whatever you do or wherever you buy your pup from. Then you always need to be cautious when doing so.

Make sure to do your research on the history of the breeder and the parents as there are too many cases were buying an angry dog could have been avoided. I’m sure you have seen the video of those disgusting owners fighting dogs for money and stuff. Like, imagine you purchased a dog from one of them. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight as time goes on.

Always make sure you check out the breeder first and then make a buying decision once you are fully satisfied that you got a good deal.


Is this a problem in other breeds too?

If you find that you have an aggressive golden retriever, then I am pleased to tell you that you are not alone. Not because I have the same problem too but because there are many other parents with many different breeds that do.

Aggressive angry behavior is not subject to any specific breeds. Especially golden’s as you find they are usually pretty well behaved. Instead, this is a problem that can erupt from many different causes such as:

  • Territorial
  • Protectiveness
  • Possessiveness
  • Defensiveness
  • Social awareness

And much more. So this can happen to any dog to be completely honest. Although you may find that some breeds are more prone to this than others. For example, if you take a look at some of the most aggressive dogs then you find that they are too the dogs that are used by bad breeders for illegal activities.

So whilst I am no expert on this, I would definitely say that there are more common breeds with this problem whilst any dog is still able to potentially have it too. Now I haven’t forgotten about you good behaved goldens too.

Golden retriever temperaments in general

In general, you will find that most Golden retrievers are very well behaved. I had to write this part as I sure my pup Bella wouldn’t be happy otherwise. As there are some good dogs out there.

For the majority you will find that goldens have a lot of energy and love being outdoors. They can swim well too, so a trip to the local lake could be a great day out with you and the family with your pup. Generally, when well trained they are good with babies, kids, and people and general.

Although when young you may find that you have to give them a little training to help them follow instructions and commands efficiently. I recommend the brain training for dogs course for this as its the best program I’ve found to do the job.


Are golden retrievers aggressive or not? This post will answer those all-important questions by not only telling you whether or not they are…and explain how can fix it if you find that you need to.

If you are dealing with an aggressive dog and looking for help. This post contains the resources info that you need to get started with training your dog. Finally, put the bad behavior to an end and start building good memories with your pooch.

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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