If you’ve ever asked, “are Golden Retrievers good guard dogs?” you’re not alone. Many potential Golden owners ask this same question for a good reason.
These dogs are excellent companions and some of the best family dogs. However, many people feel that they don’t have the temperament to make a good protection animal.
What Makes a Good Guard Dog?
Golden Retrievers are not known as guard dogs. They are known to be gentle, friendly, and affectionate with people. As a result, they do not make good guard dogs.
However, this does not mean that they cannot be trained to protect you and your home. Training is key to creating a good guard dog, as with any dog breed.
To understand what characteristics are included in a good guard dog, it is essential to know precisely what they do and how they behave when protecting their home.
A good guard dog will bark when someone approaches your property and may even lunge at them if necessary. If you want your Golden Retriever to be able to protect your home in this way, then you must train them from an early age so that they understand their role and what it means for them to protect you or your property.
A protective canine should also be alert at all times to react quickly. This means that he needs constant training to learn how to remain focused.
Examining The Golden Retriever’s Potential
If your goal is to make a guard dog out of your Golden Retriever, there’s one important step before anything else. You should list the characteristics that already make your Retriever a good guard dog.
With this list in mind, you can build on their strong traits. This gives you a better opportunity to make an efficient training plan.
Use the following list as a guideline for assessing your Golden Retriever. It’s important to remember that this isn’t a definitive list of rules regarding a Golden Retriever’s ability – it’s just a guideline to get you started.
Potential Golden Retriever Guard Dog Traits
It’s possible your Golden Retriever already has the following characteristics that favor becoming a guard dog:
- Protective Instincts. Golden Retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs, so they have an inherent desire to protect their owners and property. Their natural instinct is to chase away any potential threat, even if it means biting or barking at the intruder.
- Trainability. Golden Retrievers are eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They’re focused on their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement such as praise and treats when they perform a task correctly. This makes it easier for their owners to teach them basic obedience commands like sit, stay and come when called.
- Obedience Training. A well-trained Golden Retriever knows how to respond appropriately in certain situations, such as when visitors come over or when there’s a fire alarm in the house. He’ll also know how to behave politely around children and other pets in the family — including other dogs!
- Alert and Curious. A Golden Retriever is highly intelligent and curious about its surroundings. These traits make them excellent watchdogs, because they’ll quickly notice anything out of place or unusual in their environment. If there’s an unfamiliar person or animal nearby, your Golden will likely alert you so that you can investigate further.
- Athletic. The Golden Retriever is an athletic dog who loves to swim and run, but he can also live happily in an apartment if he gets enough exercise every day. He does need daily grooming to keep his coat clean and healthy, so consider if this will work with your lifestyle before buying one of these dogs!
Use these relatively common Golden Retriever traits when examining your dog. Just as a Golden Retriever has qualities that favor becoming a guard dog, they also have some traits that aren’t so conducive.
Reasons a Golden Retriever Would Not Make a Good Guard Dog
Use these negative dynamics in the same way as you used the positives to examine your dog’s personality:
- The first reason is because of their temperament. Golden Retrievers are known for being friendly and outgoing. They love to meet new people and other animals. They don’t have a mean bone in their bodies and often greet strangers with wagging tails and lots of kisses!
- This is not the kind of personality you want in a guard dog — especially if your home has been burglarized before or you have had issues with intruders breaking into your house at night while you sleep. You need someone to protect your family from intruders or potential threats while they sleep!
- Another reason Golden Retrievers would not be ideal for guarding duties is that they are very friendly with everyone — even strangers! This means that if someone were to try to break into your home, your Golden Retriever would probably go over and sniff them rather than try to defend your family from them!
- Finally, most Golden Retrievers aren’t very big compared to other dogs such as German Shepherds or Pit Bulls — so if someone were to come in, the Golden likely wouldn’t be very intimidating.
After examining both lists, how would you do it if you decided to move forward with guard dog training?
Can You Train Your Golden Retriever to Become a Guard Dog?
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It takes time and patience to train a Golden Retriever to be anything but friendly with everyone he meets, especially if he’s never been trained before. If you have an older Golden who has never been taught before, don’t expect him to automatically become protective overnight after bringing him home from the shelter or breeder.
If you’re wondering, “are Golden Retrievers good guard dogs?” be aware of one important point. It will take months of patient training before he becomes protective of his new family and their property.