How to train a golden retriever: Puppy & Adult Obedience

The key to a good dog is having a well-trained dog. And that means taking the right steps to put things in place from as early on as possible.

Thankfully, if you have not yet done so, then you’re about to find out whether you and your dog have gotten off on the wrong paw. But don’t worry at all, as I’m going to share some essential steps with you on how to train a golden retriever. 


Retrievers are eager learners, so it is important for you to make every interaction a new chance of training. That means whether you are home or out in public, there is always something to be taught.

Interacting with your dog in the right way will ensure that he starts off with good manners which will later prove to be helpful when training him as an adult. 

Why do you need to train your dog? 

There are a few common reasons why you would need to train your dog. I have listed out a few for you to take a look at below: 

  • Life skills: Training your dog gives the two of you a common language and teaches your dog how to navigate our world.
  • Freedom: Training is your dog’s passport to the world. The well-trained dog can go to more places, meet more people and have more adventures because he follows the rules.
  • Behavior: Some dogs come from badly behaved backgrounds or badly kept homes. In such situations, training would be essential to make sure that your dog can be kept under control at all times. 
  • Peace of mind: When your dog has mastered training, you don’t have to worry that he’s going to run out the door and not come home or drag you down the street until your shoulder is sore.
  • Bonding: Working through basic training exercises as a team helps to cement your relationship with your new best friend.
  • Mental exercise: Dogs need to work their bodies and their brains. Even though many basic training lessons don’t require much physical exertion, the mental aspect of figuring out the exercise can tire even the most active puppies.

If your needs fall into any of the above brackets then you need to start training your dog. Keep reading to find out what steps you can take next to get started with training your golden retriever. 


What kind of temperament do Golden retrievers have? 

The general behavior of a golden retriever can come across extremely excitable as they are hypersensitive to sensory input and stimulation as a whole. This can go one of two ways for owners as you may find that you feel your golden retriever still behaves like a puppy well into their adult age. 

Is this a problem? Not at all, as its to be expected that a golden retriever will be full of life and energy throughout their lifetime as an adult. Its why I always recommend that you get golden if you are the outdoor type of person or someone who wants to become more of an outdoor person. Goldens love to play is excited and run around outside all the time (it’s just what they do). 

The first time you may bump into this kind of so-called “issue” with a golden retriever is when you attempt to start training them on the leash as a puppy. You may find that your golden will take a while longer than other breeds to learn to stay on a leash. Why? Because they just love to be free and run around with no leash. However there a few ways that you can prevent this from happening.

When is the best time to start?

Whenever you want to get something done the best time to start is now. Well, the same goes for training your golden retriever so that means that you should start training from as early as 5 weeks old if possible.

That’s not to say that all hell will break loose if you don’t do it at this point, hell no! It just means that the earlier you start then the better and easier it will be for you later down the road. 

It is important that even if you wait for a little first, you still do training your dog. Because of the golden being one of the most popular dogs in the states, you will find a whole lot of breeders that are more focused on quantity over quality. 

What does that mean for you? Well, it simply means that you could wind up buying a badly behaved or poorly taken care of the dog. And because breeders on a mass scale are just thinking with an in and out mentality, it could later sting you in the butt if you don’t choose to do your homework properly. 

With the right training, you should have no worries at all when bringing home a new pup. And with the training program, I am going to share with you, later on, there should be no roadblocks ahead of you. As long as you take the proper measures beforehand, you shouldn’t have any problems training your Golden Retriever.


Routines and Schedules

Golden retrievers love routine more than your annoying boss does at work.  This goes back to their working-class heritage. A great way to begin training would be to make sure you have a meal routine in place. Whilst this may be the case for most people, there is still a huge number that likes to feed when your dog is hungry. 

Wrong thing to do my friend. You need to be putting your dog on a strict timed meal routine so that they can get used to following the routine which will later prep them up for more training. 

It’s best to get a training structure in place right of the bat. That means having a set location for meals as well as set times to create structure and routine to your dog’s lifestyle. 

Potty training

Potty training has to be one of the best forms of obedience training for your golden retriever at the earliest point in their lives. It’s best to get this type of training in from as early as possible but be sure to be aware that they cannot hold their bladder too long whilst this young. 

If your doggy needs to go then be sure just to be on standby to place a potty or whatever you wish to use near them for quick relief. However, if possible then it’s best to take them to a set location that they go every time so that they can build up a structure around potty time too. 

Always read your dog with a nice treat for good behavior That way he can make a positive connection with the task he has just completed. Which will then lead him onto performing just as well if not better the next time that he takes part?

Make sure to also speak to your dog throughout giving him instructions or rewarding him for his efforts as this will help them to get familiar with your voice and understand your different tones of voice too. 

Meet and greets  

Taking your dog out for as early as possible is a great way for them to start mixing outside with the open world. Whether it’s meeting another dog down the street or letting a stranger give them a nice hug and kiss, it’s all good practice.

This will expose your dog to outside smells, sounds and other beings which will give them a great understanding as to what to expect later on in life. 

There’s nothing like being locked up and gazing out of the window dressing what things could be like. Golden retrievers are naturally social dogs and love to be right in the mix. Don’t try to spoil this, but instead encourage this behavior as it will prove to be more helpful than you can imagine in the future. 

Preventing your dog from biting

Biting is a problem, for most dog breeds, but with golden retrievers, you can expect an excessive amount of nibbling. Yup! Whilst this is not too bad if it is not nipped in the bud from an early stage then it can later become quite a problem for you and your dog. Take a look at this video showing an aggressive Labrador with the dog whisperer below: 

You see, its no joke when you haven’t put the right building blocks in place from early. And the later you leave it then the more difficult it becomes to fix. So its best to take the right steps from as early as possible to getting started with obedience training. 

I managed to find a video that will give a quick few tips that you can take away to teaching your puppy not to mouth or nibble so much if you find this to be a problem. Remember that you will not be able to change this overnight but with work, it can be easily ironed out over time.

With all that being said, you can start with obedience training to make sure that you are no the right track and armed with the right knowledge from the start. I have taken a few online training programs in my time but I have found 1 to stand out from the rest that I highly recommend you take a look at. 

Dog obedience training

After trying out several online programs for dog obedience training, I have only found 1 to stand out from the rest. The program is called brain training for dogs and was created by a trainer that’s been in the game for almost 10 years. Her name is Adrienne Farricelli and the program was put together to help owners just like me and you have a professional trainer at our fingertips. 

The course is packed with info on how to start training your dog from a puppy to helping them with mentally stimulating activities, games and much more. I have also written a complete review of the program that you can see by clicking the link just below. 

Positive Reinforcement 

This technique works well with golden retrievers. Firstly, because they are not the type that needs to be a leader, and secondly because they don’t yearn the need to be in charge of any type of way. Instead, they’re a loving and sensitive canine prone to respond poorly to scolding. 

Always remember that this breed is extremely open to learning and taking on new skills, so as long as you make it fun and enjoyable you will have no problem in training you’re golden. 

The younger the better

Whilst your dog is still young you have the opportunity to train them to be however you want them to be. Of course, some people exploit this with dogs, but I’m talking about you making sure that you give them the best possible start, in every way possible. 

A golden retriever is a highly trainable breed, and it’s important that you utilize their puppy years to ensure you are left with a well-behaved adult. Training classes are a great way to do it if you have the time.

But if you are like me and work for the most part of your time then you may need something a little more convenient to utilize at home. A great way to do this would be to use an online dog obedience training program that will allow you to train your dog in your own time and place whenever you wish.

A majority of programs also give you complete access to the professional trainer too, so that way if you get stuck you can get help almost immediately. 

Online dog training

Far too often I get emails from so many parents in the community that made a knee jerk reaction and ended up making the wrong choice. What am I talking about? I’m talking about being selective about what actions you take. Whilst there is no harm in attempting to train your dog. 

You can easily wind up forking out a load of money that to be honest is just, not quite worth it. That why I recommend the training program for you, as I have taken many throughout my years and you can end up spending a whole load of cash for no reason at all. 

Make sure to do your research properly if you decide to do some nitpicking for yourself. As it will later prove to be a good option for you later down the road. 


Using professional Trainers

There comes a time when no matter what you have tried nothing seems to work. That’s when you need to seek out something or someone above your level of expertise. An expert is always a great idea if you have the money and need to use them. 

Training should be a pleasurable experience for you and your dog, but if you find yourself frequently become annoyed, stressed or anxious. Then you may need to seek out some professional help. 

Immediate action should be taken if you have children at home or noticing extreme behavior with your dog’s aggression. I recommend that you try out training your dog first before doing so, but if things get too out of hand then a professional should be contacted to step in. 

For more information on training and a full guide to how, where and why to train check out:


Training your dog is an essential part of them having a healthy happy life later on in time. The earlier you get started with any type of training, the better. And from doing so, you will quickly notice that your dog starts to enjoy taking part in new learning activities.

Related Post: Raising a golden retriever puppy

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!

About Dig Doggy

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