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Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs

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Golden Retrievers Are Loyal

Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? (Or Too Friendly)

All dogs are loyal if you give them enough love, but the Golden Retriever is one of the most loyal dog breeds that exists. Goldens just cant stand seeing their owner in pain and will do anything to keep them safe and protected if they feel they are in danger. Theyre not just a good guard dog, but also a good friend.

How To Train Them

Because golden retrievers already possess many of the qualities you want from a guard dog, all the issues mentioned above can be resolved with proper training.

Thanks to their obedience and loyalty, golden retrievers are easy to train.

Needless to say, you should be encouraging desirable qualities they possess and those traits you want.

Puppies are obviously easier to mold than older dogs. You could see results after a month of training with puppies.

With older retrievers, it could take up to 6 months or longer to see consistent results.

There are essentially 3 training methods. First two, I would consider major, the last one you may try if your golden is still a small puppy.

How To Train Your Golden Retriever In General And For Guarding

Thankfully all the issues above can be quickly and easily resolved by training your dog. The earlier you begin training your Retriever the better. Begin by encouraging the qualities that will help your Golden be a good guard dog. You can encourage your dog through verbal praise and treats.

Along with encouraging good behavior, there are two major training methods you can use that will teach your Golden Retriever to be an excellent guard dog: the boundary method and the verbal cue method. Use both training methods to have a well-rounded guard dog.

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Examples Where Golden Retrievers Have Been Used As Guard Dogs

Yes. Golden Retrievers have been recently trained to guard and protect in all types of jobs. Check out this article on Bud, the first working Golden Retriever for the Navy. Bud protects the Navy base perimeter and searches cars. He does this while still keep the Golden Retrievers trademark friendly attitude.

Golden Retrievers have also recently been enlisted to work with police forces in the United States as support animals, but in India, these dogs have recently been added to their K-9 units. Golden Retrievers have been enlisted because of their hunting skills, intelligence, and good reputation.

Proper Training At A Young Age

Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? (+Training Tips)

The first way to help curb aggressive behavior is to not allow it to start in the first place! Proper training and socialization throughout his puppyhood are going to be really important to help him learn what is acceptable and what isnt.

As soon as he is immunized , youll want to start taking him for walks, get him used to new people, and more. Make sure he learns how to act around other animals and that he learns how to react to new sounds, signs, smells, and more. The more he is exposed to, the braver he will be.

Similarly, if he is trained on how to act around food, other animals, territory, guests, children and even other aggressive animals, this will also help him curb bad aggression even in situations that are new to him. He will look to you to help him learn what to do .

As with any training, youll want to keep it consistent throughout every instance so that your pooch doesnt get confused as to why the rules prepare to change for no clear reason.

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Why Do Labradors Get Aggressive

Fear Aggression in Labradors At the root of aggressive behaviour in this context, and probably the most common motivation, is fear: fear of a dog or person approaching fear of what the consequences might be for their own safety or of losing something they are holding fear that this is going to hurt.

Golden Retrievers Can Show Aggression

Even though aggression is the less prominent attribute of Golden Retrievers, they do become very aggressive sometimes. Thus, they start biting, barking, grunting, and attacking.

Usually, these breeds become aggressive due to health issues or hunger. But besides this, Golden Retrievers can also show aggression to keep the threat away. Hence, they can be good guard dogs.

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Golden Retrievers Are Loyal Dogs

While every dog is expected to be loyal to its owner, the Golden Retriever qualifies uniquely because of its capacity to create a strong and warm bond with its owner. In other words, these dogs are all about loyalty.

Once this bond is established with your Golden, you will not need to worry about betrayal. Goldens will stick with you through thick and thin, which is an excellent trait for a guard dog to have.

And according to Rover, the Golden Retriever is listed among the most loyal dogs based on history and the dogs temperament. Loyal dogs naturally provide protection and security to their owners. Theyll always have your back.

Characteristics Of A Good Watch Dog


A good watchdog does not just bark mindlessly. Most of us have heard those and they drive the neighborhood insane. Thats not what you want.

And in any case, thats not a good watchdog but this is not the place to go into reasons why dogs bark for hours on end.

Remember the story about shouting Wolf! Wolf!?

Thats what happens when you have a dog that just barks and barks. You stop paying attention because you know there is nothing out there that may be a threat.

A watchdog barks when there is something to be barked at. That does not include its shadow.

You need the following traits in a dog for it to be a good watchdog:

  • Excellent hearing.
  • Loud bark.
  • Protective towards owner and family.
  • Ability to distinguish between regular and irregular activity the postman comes every day and is harmless. The courier may be harmless but does not come every day, so he deserves a bark.

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Qualities Of An Ideal Guard Dog

The Golden Retriever is one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world which can make people wrongly assume that its not a good guard dog. With the right training, you can turn your Golden Retriever into an excellent guard dog.

Good guard dogs should have the following qualities:

  • They should be large and athletic so they can scare away any threats and move quickly.
  • A good guard dog is loyal and isnt distracted by treats.
  • They should be obedient and well-trained so they listen to their owner when something bad happens.
  • They should be alert and vigilant so theyre always prepared to fight against any threat.

Golden Retrievers Will Put Themselves In Harms Way

Goldens were bred as hunting dogs and are usually quite fearless, especially when the danger comes in the form of another animal. When faced with the threat of a wild animal or aggressive dog, dont be surprised if they jump in front of you, placing themselves in harms way to protect you.

They do this to create a barrier between you and the threat, and it is very instinctive. As their pack leader, its a Golden retrievers duty to protect you.

Heres an example where a person out for a hike with their Golden retriever was about to step on a rattlesnake when their dog jumped in front of their legs to prevent the owner from getting bit. Id say that Golden retriever saved the day for their owner.

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When There Is Danger

Golden Retrievers tend to be protective if there is noise, an intruder, or fire in your home.

They would bark non-stop just to alert you about the danger. In the case of noise, they would bark to create fear in case its an intruder.

If properly trained, it might physically attack the intruder to protect your home.

It is important you still take safety measures to protect your home and not just depend on your furry friend.

Sweet Todd the golden retriever protects his mom from a deadly rattlesnake

Laws Regarding Missing Pets

Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? Will They Protect ...

1. It is against the law to keep any animal that you find.2. Pets are generally considered property and it is illegal to take and keep someone elses property.3. You must call your local animal control unit and file a FOUND AN ANIMAL report for any dog or cat you find.4. To reclaim your lost dog, cat or other pet from the animal shelter you must pay a release fee.5. If your dog or cat is unregistered, you will have to register your pet before you can take it home.

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Reason #: They Have Several Common Health Problems

Golden retrievers are not exactly the healthiest breed.

Some common health problems for them include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Skin problems

Youll notice that there are several cancers listed above .

60% of golden retrievers are affected by cancer, which is more than double the average for all dogs.

Doctors and scientists are working to solve this issue , but it is a sad truth about golden retrievers.

Golden Retrievers Arent The Best Guard Dogs

While golden retrievers can be protective, they certainly dont make as good of guard dogs as some other breeds, like German shepherds.

So if youre just looking for a family pet, a golden might be a good option.

But if youre looking for some serious protection, then you might want to look elsewhere.

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What Makes A Golden Retriever A Bad Candidate

While Golden Retrievers can make good guard dogs, there are a few qualities these dogs possess that hinder them from being a natural guard dog. However, many of these qualities wont be a hindrance if you train your dog properly.


In general Golden Retrievers are relatively quiet dogs. They dont bark a lot. A guard dogs job is to alert their owner of any perceived threat. Goldens may not naturally begin barking when they see a stranger, so you must train them to bark at suspicious characters.


Being affectionate hardly seems like a bad thing, but when youre searching for a guard dog it can be. Golden Retrievers are naturally friendly and if you dont train them to distinguish between a friend and an intruder they may just go up to the intruder and lick them rather than threaten them.

A Golden Retrievers natural instinct is to trust everyone until given a reason not to. Its your job to show your Golden what an untrustworthy person looks like.


You would think that being protective would be a good quality for a guard dog to possess, but there are times where this can be a bad thing.

Golden Retrievers are very protective and when they sense threats their inclination is to stay beside you, which can expose you to more danger. Your guard dog should be a barrier between you and the intruder, not an arrow leading them to you.

Why Goldens Retrievers Are Not Good Guard Dogs

Sleeping Golden Retriever is always on duty as guard dog

Irrespective of the above-mentioned qualities, there are fair reasons why Golden Retrievers are not the best guard dogs. When compared with the market options, there are better options more suitable for guard dogs than Golden Retrievers.

In brief, Golden Retrievers are over friendly, and they get along with others easily. This is one of the worst qualities for a guard dog. As The Spruce Petsreveal, Golden Retrievers are among the 10 friendliest dogs. Besides, Golden Retrievers are protective of everyone around them. Therefore, they need a proper training to identify the outsiders or strangers before becoming friendly.

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Interested In Training Your Golden Retriever The Right Way

If you havent trained your golden retriever properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!

And in most cases its still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your border collie completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.

For Marking The Boundary

Take your Golden for an outing and keep it quiet.Once you have returned home, secure your Golden Retriever with a long lead that allows it to roam the property.Train your dog to growl at strangers and animals that come near the perimeter. You will also need to teach the Golden how to communicate with you by barking. To teach your Golden not to bark at people you know, ask those who are close to him to come to your house.If your Golden barks at anyone, give them a treat. If they are aggressive, take the treat away.Take the Golden for a silent walk in evening to reinforce the message, that the Golden is not part guarding duties.Repeat the process daily for one week to ensure that the guarding lesson has been learned.

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Golden Retrievers Have A Protective Nature

Usually very quiet, Golden Retrievers bark a lot when they think their owner is in danger. They will sometimes growl to let their owners know of any threat. You have to pay attention to the sounds they make, though, because sometimes growling can mean theyre in pain.

They also have a habit of jumping between their owner and the threat. There are plenty of stories and videos online of Golden Retrievers protecting their owner by getting between them and the threat, hurting themselves in the process.

Golden Retrievers Are High

Guard dog

Originally bred by Scottish elites for smallgame retrieval, Golden Retrievers are active, high-energy dogs that wont hesitate to protect you from an attacker.

Premiere guard dogs need high energy in order to become effective at their jobs. If your dog is always lounging around on the couch with you, how do you expect the dog to catch an intruder?

That being said, Golden Retrievers require at least an hour of daily exercise to be both mentally and physically stimulated. Fortunately, tracking a thief may make up part of the Goldens daily dose of exercise.

Given the exercise needs and the purpose they were bred for, theres little surprise that theyre listed on AKCs list of 15 most active dog breeds. As such, our favorite activities for these dogs are fetch and swimming.

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Is It Common For Golden Retrievers To Have Chest Problems

Chest conditions are common among almost all dog breeds. This includes golden retrievers as well. The chest conditions can develop due to the health issues that arise in the lungs, heart and the circulatory system. In the large dog breeds such as golden retrievers, there is a higher possibility to get the chest conditions.

What Are Guard Dogs

Before figuring out if Golden Retrievers are good guard dogs, let us look at the qualities that a guard dog possesses. Guard dogs are meant to protect you and shoo away strangers. But there are more qualities required to be a perfect guard dog.

  • The larger the size of your pooch, the better. A guard dog has to be larger when compared to an average dog. This will keep strangers alert and away.
  • If someone is trying to trespass your property, then your guard dog should be able to attack. There should be no sense of fear in your pooch.
  • Fitness is of prime concern when it comes to guard dogs. The athletic build of a guard dog enables them to scare trespassers and keep them at bay.
  • Self-control is another quality of a guard dog. In case a stranger offer treat to your pooch, there should be resistance.
  • Your guard should always be attentive and intelligent to sense any danger.
  • A guard dog should be extremely obedient. They should be quick when responding to commands.

These are the necessary qualities that make a perfect guard dog. Now that we know about the qualities lets look at whether Golden Retrievers qualify these.

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Golden Retrievers Can Bring Help

It may sound like a movie cliché, but if youre injured or suffer a medical incident a Golden can bring help by alerting others nearby and even by leading them to your location.

This famously happened in China where a man passed out and an ambulance was called but couldnt find its way through the crowded neighborhood. The mans Golden retriever led the ambulance through the maze of streets and alleyways to his owner.

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