Training A Golden Retriever Is A Breeze
Ranking 4th on the list of most intelligent dogs the Golden Retriever is inferior in intelligence only to the Border Collie, the Poodle and the German Shepherd. Originally bred as gun dogs they were taken on hunting parties to gather downed water fowl. The reason they make such great gun dogs is due to their intelligence and patience and their nack for following instructions. Thanks to their affable nature and friendly disposition they also make great house pets for young families.
One other thing Golden Retrievers are renowned for is their mild character and calm inclination. They have a reputation for being extremely faithful, affectionate and tender. Although this does mean they aren’t very good gaurd dogs it does mean they are great pets and training them is a breeze. Displaying aggressive behaviour is very much out of character for golden retrievers so if yours is displaying signs you may want to seek the advice of a professional. For some advice on dealing with an aggressive dog you might want to check out this article on how to stop aggressive dog behavior.
Thanks to their loyalty and the fact that they constantly seek out your approval and respect training a Golden Retriever is a pleasure and a breeze. They are sensitive however and do not respond well to harsh training methods. Its best not to shout at your retriever or harshly reprimand him for making mistakes or failing to understand your commands. Although this is true for all dogs Retrievers can be particularly susceptible to depression and therefore confidence building is important. Recognising their sucess and praising achievement is the best way to go and will get you the best results as a trainer.
Training any dog regardless of the breed involves following a few basic principles. The number one thing to be aware of is to make sure you are clearly the master in your relationship with your dog. Use consistent tone of voice and hand signals as not to confuse you dog. Keep positive with your dog and avoid using punishment to teach your dog. Positive reinforcement works much better. Encouraging your Golden Retriever for sucess will be much more productive than berating him for failing.
If you’re just getting started with your retriever go back to basics. The primary commands of ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘lie down’ and ‘heel’. Starting with ‘sit’ these should be taught in order. For ‘sit’ use a simple hand gesture like pushing your palm downwards while you say the command. Its crucial to keep your gestures consistent as to avoid confusion. When he obeys and follows your command correctly give him some praise and a good pat showing that you are proud and that hes done a good job. Repeat the process several times to really drill it in.
After he seems to be getting the hang of you ‘sit’ command try the next two. Again keep your gestures simple. Palm forward for stay and rolling your palm over for lie down are the most commonly used. When you’ve got these two working nicely move on to heel which can be a bit more confusing for you dog.
With this command walk away from your dog and give your thigh a gentle slap while you say ‘heel.’ The idea is to get your dog walking alongside you but not in front. In the beginning you may have to grab his collar and softly pull him in close as you keep walking. Give more praise and a pat when he obeys and then repeat the exercise.
I find that giving out treats works best when you keep t to a minimum and only give them out at the end of each training session. If you use treats properly you dog should soon learn whats expected of him and try a little harder. Positive reinforcement works particiularly well with retrievers so keep it up you’ll see results in no time.
Golden Retrievers really are very intelligent. Many retrievers are entered into dog shows and competitions and do very well so after you have taught yours the basics you can move onto other much more complex commands and even a few tricks that will really impress.
If you’ve found this article helpful you might want to check out this great site that has more articles on golden retriever training and also information on how to deal with all the common dog behavior problems .