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When Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down?

“Calm” can be an ambiguous word when used to describe a dog’s personality. Does calm mean you’re hoping for a dog who likes to lounge around or a dog who will be polite around strangers?

Golden Retrievers are great family dogs who are well-known for their friendly disposition. They aren’t likely to bark excessively when a stranger enters your home. However, your Golden won’t loaf around the house either — they were bred to be high-energy working dogs.

With the right amount of obedience training and daily exercise, a Golden Retriever can be a calm dog. But this process does not happen overnight — you’ll need to put in the work to ensure that your Golden puppy has the calm personality that you desire.

So, if you’re looking for a pup with a relaxed demeanor, here’s everything you’ll need to consider to keep your Golden Retriever calm and well-behaved throughout his life.

Golden Retriever Puppy Behavior Stages

Golden Retriever puppies develop quickly, and their behavior will change as they age. To understand when Golden Retrievers start to calm down, we need to explore what their behavior will look like through different stages.

Very young puppies will begin to explore their new world in short bursts. Because they expend a lot of energy, they also sleep frequently. At this stage, your adorable furry bundle of joy will be relatively calm because they’re sleeping more than playing.

From two to four months, a Golden Retriever’s energy levels begin to ramp up. These pups still spend a considerable amount of time snoozing, but their time awake will be crucial for brain development.

Your Golden Retriever puppy will be curious about the world around them. During this age range, your job is to teach impulse control and the expectations of the household. This is also an excellent time for a puppy to learn short commands like “sit” and “stay.”

During the two to four-month puppy phase, Golden Retrievers need high levels of socialization. The more your pup interacts with other dogs, household pets, and humans, the better they will react to strangers in the future. 

Golden Retriever puppies who are not adequately socialized after four months can become distrustful of others. This could increase undesired behaviors like barking and aggression. If you want a calm dog, you’ll need to dedicate time toward socializing your pup before four months of age.

english cream golden retriever puppy running through grass

From four to six months, your puppy craves adventure. To keep them engaged, you’ll want to take them on frequent walks and give them lots of attention.

One of the greatest perks of being a dog owner is that one-on-one attention is in itself positive reinforcement for your pet. Your Golden puppy will feel rewarded simply by spending time with you.

Leaving your Golden Retriever unattended could leave them feeling nervous instead of calm, which can lead to some destructive behaviors — this breed loves to chew on anything and everything when they don’t know what else to do.

To avoid this problem, keep your belongings out of sight and buy a variety of chew toys for your Golden. When you find your dog chewing on his things (and not yours), give him lots of praise.

At around six months old, it’s appropriate to teach man’s best friend how to enjoy his own company. Golden Retriever owners simply cannot be around their dogs 24/7, and you don’t want your pet to bark excessively whenever you leave home.

If you have begun crate training and your dog remains quiet in his space for more than 30 minutes, you can start leaving for short periods of time. Our guide on the right size of crate for your dog can help you select the best types of dog crates for your pup.

English Cream Golden Retrievers from Snowy Pines will enter your home with prior crate training experience, but you’ll still want to provide positive reinforcement when your puppy accepts his crate in your home environment. Let him know you’re pleased with his behavior when he goes into his crate on command.

During this time period, Golden Retrievers can be taught more complex commands like “no biting” and “roll over.” While these commands will take time for a dog to grasp, continue rewarding his appropriate responses and reinforcing his good behavior.

By following these recommendations, your Golden Retriever will exhibit positive behaviors and listen to commands at one year of age. If you have socialized your dog well, your Golden will desire your approval and adapt well to strangers.

english cream golden retriever puppy laying and smiling on grass

While almost no puppy can be described as 100% “calm” during his first year of life, you’re building a good foundation for your Golden by helping him learn socially acceptable behaviors.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the puppy behavior stages, don’t worry. Purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder ensures your Golden Retriever enters your home with a great temperament and prior behavioral training.

At Snowy Pines, every Labrador and Golden Retriever puppy goes through Snowy Pines’ Wagology 101 class. Each puppy is trained in simple commands, positive behaviors, and basic crate training.

Snowy Pines also offers additional courses such as the Wagology Honors Program or Doctoral Program for a higher level of lifestyle and behavioral training.

Further Training for Your Golden Retriever

Regardless of your dog’s training experience before they enter your home, you’ll need to work with your Golden Retriever to foster a calm personality. They will need additional behavioral training and positive reinforcement long after their puppy phase.

The good news: Golden Retrievers are highly rated for their intelligence, making them excellent service dogs and ideal family dogs.

Goldens are quick learners and easier to train than other dog breeds. This breed also has a high desire to please their humans, so if you reward their good behaviors, they’ll learn what is expected of them and respond favorably.

Don’t underestimate the power of praising positive behaviors! Use phrases like “good boy/girl” or provide treats when your Golden behaves well.

As humans, it can be easy to forget to praise good behaviors and focus too much on punishing a dog’s bad behavior. However, if you pay too much attention to misbehavior, your dog may begin acting out to get recognition.

This is not ideal for families who want a calm, happy dog. That’s why it’s essential to give positive reinforcement (like attention or a treat) when your Golden Retriever behaves appropriately.

Golden Retriever owners can also use their dog’s crate as a safe, calming space. Overall, a crate should be a positive environment for your Golden Retriever where they go to relax, sleep, and enjoy their favorite toys.

Labrador smiling in cage

A crate should never be used as a means of punishment for dogs. That can create negative emotions for your pup, and the space will become a source of stress. If this happens, your Golden will likely exhibit high energy behaviors once they are “free from prison.”

Making the crate a relaxing place is the best strategy for encouraging a calm, easy-going temperament. When you are home, leave the crate door open for your dog to roam freely in and out. Eventually, a Golden Retriever will learn this is their room of the house and will enter the crate willingly.

Golden Retrievers Are Naturally High Energy Dogs

It’s important to realize that Golden Retrievers were bred to be working dogs—so having high energy is embedded within their DNA.

Goldens have an active temperament and are family-oriented, which means they love to stay busy and prefer to spend time with their family. They can also be independent, especially if you teach them to spend time alone when they are old enough.

A hyper Golden Retriever can be calm, but they need frequent exercise to release their pent-up energy.

Golden Retrievers need around 40-120 minutes of exercise every day. This number will vary based on how energetic your dog is. If you find your Golden Retriever is demonstrating overly-excited behaviors, consider increasing your dog’s daily exercise to help him relax.

Goldens are easily entertained, so as a dog owner, you’ll have many potential options for physical and mental stimulation. From long walks and games of fetch to hiding a treat in their toy, you can vary up your dog’s activities to help them expend energy, learn, and enjoy life.

Dog running next to a lake

To keep your Golden entertained, you should buy a wide range of toys for your dog.

Chew toys satisfy a Golden’s desire to munch without destroying your favorite running shoes or TV controllers. Puzzle toys will keep dogs active while they try to obtain the treats inside. You can even get a puzzle food bowl to mentally stimulate your Golden Retriever during mealtime.

Most dogs go crazy over tennis balls, and Golden Retrievers are no different. Your Golden will love burning excess energy by chasing after tennis balls during a game of fetch. Adding a frisbee into the mix will allow your Golden to run and jump to catch the frisbee in midair. Both games are excellent sources of exercise for your dog.

You can train your Golden Retriever to complete an agility course given their high energy and intelligence. These courses have various obstacles for your dog to learn how to weave, jump over, and run through. You can even enroll your Golden in agility training classes to learn from the experts in a safe way.

Lastly, one of the best forms of physical exercise for Golden Retrievers will be going out for a daily walk. You’ll discover that Golden Retrievers calm down following a nice long walk.

If you find it challenging to walk your dog consistently, consider taking your Golden to a dog park or employing a dog walker. Dog parks allow friendly dogs to run off-leash, which provides an excellent opportunity for exercise and socialization with other dogs. 


If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to own a calm Golden Retriever, the answer is yes! All in all, Golden Retrievers can be peaceful pets with proper training, socialization, and exercise.

However, there is no precise answer to the question, “When do Golden Retrievers calm down?” Like other energetic dogs, Golden Retrievers’ liveliness will ebb and flow daily. But the more time you spend with your pup, the more energy your Golden will expend and the calmer he will act.

Give yourself a head start on socialization and training by exploring Snowy Pines’ English Cream Golden Retrievers. English Cream Goldens are naturally calmer and easier to please when they receive early training and expert care.

If you’re looking for a new canine friend who’s intelligent, loving, and well-trained, an English Cream Golden Retriever puppy from Snowy Pines might be the perfect fit for your family. Reach out today to learn about our available puppies.

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About the Author


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.


Calm Tempered, AKC Purebred, and Certified Genetics.