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Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot?

Known as a friendly and devoted family dog, the Golden Retriever has been one of the most popular breeds for 30 years. These energetic animals come in various golden shades and make excellent pets, working dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, and more.

The Golden Retriever is a remarkably intelligent dog and learns quickly when properly trained as a puppy. They are active animals who love to play, seeking attention from their owners to expend physical and mental energy.

Most Labrador and Golden Retrievers are not known to engage in excessive barking and any dog owner of a Golden Retriever will tell you that this is not an aggressive animal. This is a genuinely happy-go-lucky dog breed, and if it starts barking without stopping, something is clearly amiss.

If you’ve recently brought home a Golden Retriever puppy that barks, then it’s best to understand why and how you can teach it to regulate its behavior.

Golden Retrievers Are Moderate Barkers

According to the American Kennel Club, if you compare Golden Retrievers with other dog breeds, you will see that Goldens bark less than other dogs.

There are many possible reasons why a lot of Golden Retrievers don’t bark. Some speculate that the lack of excessive barking is because they were bred to help hunters, so barking would scare the prey away.

Golden Retrievers are also friendly dogs and are not known to behave aggressively. It’s likely this laid-back temperament plays a role in their barking frequency. 

They’ll bark to alert you that someone is at the door and to say hi, but they will rarely guard you, unlike other protective dog breeds, such as Rottweilers and German Shepherds.

That’s not to say that you won’t ever hear Golden Retriever dogs bark. But in general, even when they bark, they aren’t noisy or out of control.

They will let out several usual dog sounds, including howling, growling, chortling, whimpering, yelping, and fear or alarm dog barks. And that’s it—there’s usually no incessant barking.

Golden Retriever Howling In the Woods

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But while it’s a general rule that Golden Retrievers bark less frequently than other dogs, how much your pooch barks depends on the individual personality of your Golden. Sometimes, you will encounter dogs who simply like the sound of their voice and will bark for fun or attention.

It’s essential to understand why your dog is barking and if there is a need that you haven’t fulfilled. Then, you can take the appropriate training measures to reduce barking.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Bark?

A Golden Retriever bark can signify multiple things, but there are a few general feelings your dog may be trying to communicate. Let’s explore the six most common reasons your Golden Retriever might start barking.

#1: Attention and Boredom

Golden Retrievers, just like other animals, need attention from their owners. And they will start barking when they feel ignored.

If you’re around the house, but you’re not paying a lot of attention to your Golden Retriever, it might start barking. Repeated barking, which could get louder as time passes, is a sign that your Golden insists you pay attention to it, whether to play, feed, or pet it.

If your Golden hasn’t received much attention and mental or physical stimulation, it can also feel bored. Most Golden Retrievers need to play and release their energy every day, so they will let out a monotone, repeated bark when they’re bored so you get the message.

#2: Playfulness

When Golden Retrievers bark a lot, it might be because they feel playful and want to express their excitement. They might start barking when you mention dog parks or pick up a toy and start playing with your dog.

A Golden Retriever might also indicate that they want to play or visit the dog park by using body language and barking. So they might grab their favorite toy and bark or whine, telling you that they’re ready for an exciting play session.

#3: Alarm or Fear

Although Golden Retrievers are known as more of a quiet breed, they will bark out of fear or alarm. These fears can range from being scared of thunderstorms and fireworks to acting terrified around the vacuum cleaner. 

Whether the fear is legitimate or not, your Golden Retriever is bound to release some extra barking when stressed or scared.

If you’re just getting a new dog, you will soon learn what scares or aggravates it. And, as your puppy grows, you can reduce these stressors in its life. You can also train it to let go of irrational fears—for example, showing your dog that it has nothing to worry about when you run the vacuum. 

#4: Frustration

Golden Retrievers can bark a lot out of frustration too. Their frustration can result from several things: their squeaker toy is too loud, they want more water in their bowl, or they want you to play.

When they are frustrated, Goldens might repeatedly bark at the object of their frustration. They might also become a bit aggressive or destructive. For example, if they can’t get the squeaker out of the chew toy, they might bark at it and then destroy it by chewing it.

#5: Separation Anxiety

Golden Retrievers bond quickly with their family members. They love their owners and are eager to please them. So when the time comes for its owners to leave for work, the dog might start experiencing separation anxiety and express it through barking.

Addressing separation anxiety is crucial to having a healthy Golden Retriever. Your dog will not only be loud because of its anxiety, but it can also engage in destructive behavior, like chewing your belongings in the house. Training to help it overcome such anxiety from an early age is key to good behavior in the future.

#6: Aggressiveness

Golden Retrievers are amongst the most popular breeds for families with children because they aren’t generally aggressive. But throughout a dog’s life, they will all have moments when they feel protective of something, whether it’s their owner or a nice toy they like.

That’s when your Golden can start barking and growling at whoever it thinks is intruding on its territory or threatening something they like. This type of barking is also accompanied by different body postures that make your Golden seem more threatening.

Can You Train Your Golden Retriever to Bark Less?

According to the American Kennel Club, you can use a variety of training methods and strategies to reduce barking and promote good behavior. It should all start with determining why your Golden Retriever barks a lot, identifying any other stressors in its life, and then spending time to correct this behavior through training or working through stressors.

There are different ways to train your Golden pup to reduce the different types of barking. Let’s look at a few of them.

Reducing Boredom and Attention Barking

Most of your barking problems will be solved by mental and physical stimulation. Spend more time playing with your dog and stimulating it physically or mentally.

A tired dog is less likely to have the energy to bark, so whenever you feel like your Golden Retriever is barking a lot, try playing with it. You’ll see that your pet will be less bored and less likely to bark for attention.

If you don’t have time to play with your dog frequently, then invest in some mentally stimulating dog toys that you can use to entertain your dog.

Reducing Playfulness Barking

Golden Retrievers can bark a lot when they’re feeling playful, and you can address this in various ways. First of all, you shouldn’t immediately rush toward your dog whenever it barks—doing this creates positive reinforcement.

Your Golden is smart, and it will quickly figure out that you’re paying attention and playing with it whenever it starts barking.

A better way to address playfulness barking is to create a fulfilling play schedule. If you follow a routine of playing with your Golden a few times per day, it will learn that schedule and know when it can expect to have fun.

Golden Retriever Playing w/ Tennis Ball

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This predictability can help to reduce overwhelm during play, so your pet likely won’t bark too much. If even after setting a play schedule, your Golden is still barking, you need to increase the frequency of play.

Reducing Alarm and Fear Barking

If you hear your Golden barking out of fear or alarm, you should go to them and acknowledge the object of their fear. It’s best to either identify the stressor, remove the dog, or work through it. Then, wait until the dog has stopped barking to give it a treat.

It’s not advisable to ignore a fear or alarm bark because your dog can become more aggressive and territorial. They need to know you are confident in the situation so they do not feel like they have to handle it.

An essential factor in your dog’s alarm and fear barking is socialization. It’s crucial to train your puppy to become accustomed to loud noises, cars, children playing, and any sound they will encounter at any point in their life. Once the dog understands that these sounds are not a threat, it will have no cause for alarm or fear. 

If you find it challenging to train your dog, you should look to get your Golden from a reputable breeder who has invested time into socializing and training it.

Reducing Frustration Barking

Don’t respond to unwanted/frustration barking. They are trying to get something from you by barking, so if we acknowledge their barking, it shows them they are getting what they want.

Reducing Separation Anxiety Barking

It’s difficult for owners to train their Goldens to stop separation barking. If you’re experiencing this problem, it’s best to see a professional behaviorist or trainer because they will better understand how to address this type of barking.

Reducing Aggressiveness Barking

When your Golden is becoming aggressive or territorial, you need to train it to understand that you are the one who takes care of threats. When you hear loud barking with growling and see your dog in a protective stance, immediately step in to reassure it that you will deal with it.

You can also work with a professional trainer to help if your dog barks even after you’ve tried these training tips.

Should You Punish Your Golden Retriever When It Barks?

When animals are frustrated or in need, you shouldn’t punish them. Golden Retrievers are particularly smart, and they can learn how to behave the way you want them to without punishment. 

While you should avoid rewarding them for bad behavior, punishment is not a solution. Spending time with your dog and giving it the attention and stimulation it needs is key to addressing unwanted behavior. Punishing them might make everything worse, so don’t yell at your dog or become aggressive toward them.

Questions to Ask Yourself if Your Golden Retriever Is Barking a Lot

If you’ve tried all the tips and tricks to stop barking, but your Golden Retriever is still being loud, you should consider whether you’re removing stressors and paying enough attention to your pet.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Is there anything scaring or alarming your Golden Retriever?
  • Have you played enough with your Golden Retriever?
  • Has your Golden Retriever received enough attention and pets?
  • Are you establishing a regular training schedule for your dog?
  • Does your Golden Retriever feel threatened?

If the answers are not satisfactory, then look for ways to improve your Golden’s environment and establish better training, playing, and affection schedules.

Conclusion

Golden Retrievers are loyal companions, and they are an ideal dog breed for families. They are good-natured, easy to train, and adorable, and they’ll do anything to please their human owners.

Fortunately, Golden Retrievers aren’t known to bark a lot. They’re moderate barkers, which means they will bark with less frequency than other types of dogs, and most of the time, they’ll do it for a reason. 

The best way to address a Golden Retriever’s barking is through proper training and attention. And to avoid buying a puppy that could have barking problems, you can get your Golden Retriever from an experienced breeder who has spent time training the dog and teaching them healthy behaviors.

If you want a beautiful Golden Retriever or a similar breed, a White Labrador, consider Snowy Pines White Labs.

We train our purebred puppies so they form healthy habits at a young age. We also feed them the best diet to maximize their well-being. Get one of the most popular dog breeds in the country with the passionate and loving team of breeders at Snowy Pines today.

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About the Author

tom-massey

Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.

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