The Family Dog: Meet the Beloved Golden Retriever Breed

Curious about how much golden retrievers shed? Do they make good companion dogs for families with children? Do golden retrievers bark much? The golden retriever breed is one of the most popular dogs because of its loyalty, trainability, devotion to their families and energy. Learn more about the golden retriever breed.

Do Golden Retrievers Bark a Lot?

Of course, all dogs bark for some reason or another; however, golden retrievers are among the most peaceful of canines and less likely to bark than breeds like the Chihuahua. When golden retrievers bark, they typically do so because of excitement, not aggression. If you play music in your home, for example, you might find your golden retriever likes to howl along.

Golden retriever howling vs. barking: What is the difference?

Howling often follows the sounds of sirens from fire or police vehicles. Your dog may howl when he hears certain musical notes. Barking can occur for many reasons, including excitement, boredom, fear, anxiety, and alarm. Some dogs even demand bark, expecting their humans to cater to them. No matter the reason, if your dog is barking he’s trying to tell you something. Determining whether your dog has a valid reason for barking like your house is on fire, will help you select what training if any is necessary.

How to handle golden retriever barking problems?

Training any dog to stop barking requires time, patience, and consistent corrections. Are golden retrievers hard to train? They tend to be one of the easier breeds to train, as they are eager to please.

Firstly, identify your golden retriever’s barking triggers. Can you remove or cover up the sights and sounds that make him bark? For example, if your golden retriever reacts to people talking or walking by outside, you might turn up the TV or music to drown out outside noises. If you know someone will be visiting, prior to their arrival, play a good game of fetch with your golden retriever, or take him on a run while you bike a short distance. Exercise before an event that triggers your golden retriever to bark will wear him out and he’ll be less likely to go on a barking frenzy.

Next, review our train, treat, repeat training technique, which we lay out in our barking guide. We recommend the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool combined with firm voice commands. Positive reinforcement is the key with golden retrievers. Lots of immediate praise and treats will ensure success.

Above all, it’s essential that everyone in your home is using the same training techniques. In other words, if you use “quiet” as a command to stop golden retrievers from barking, make sure that’s the common everyone uses (rather than “stop” or “hush” or something else). Inconsistent training can lead to a confused pup.

Facts About Golden Retrievers 

Ranked third most popular dog breed according to the AKC, golden retrievers are intelligent, friendly and devoted to their humans, which makes them an excellent choice for hunting, search-and-rescue, and as guide dogs for the blind.

Golden retrievers are an energetic and playful breed that enjoys outdoor activities such as fetch and swimming. They make great family pets; however, because golden retrievers are so friendly and affectionate they can quickly befriend strangers, thus, making golden retrievers not the best choice for guard dogs.

  • Size: Golden retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs that range 20-24 inches in height and weigh 55-75 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: Golden retrievers live 10-12 years.
  • Coat: Golden retrievers have two coats. The inner dense coat keeps them warm and an outer water-repellent coat that can either be straight or wavy.
  • AKC group: Golden retrievers belong to the AKC sporting group.

Are Golden Retrievers Easy to Train?

Although golden retrievers are easy to train thanks to their trusting, eager-to-please, and outgoing demeanor, they need early socialization to help them distinguish between good and bad people, so they bark to warn you of threatening unknown persons instead of becoming instant BFF’s with strangers. They may not make the best guard dogs.

As with most breeds, obedience training as a puppy between seven weeks and four months of age can help prevent golden retrievers from displaying destructive or annoying behaviors like jumping up on people. A golden retriever can knock a person over, especially small children!

Do Golden Retrievers Need Grooming?

Golden retrievers’ grooming needs are not for people who want a low-maintenance dog. So, your tradeoff for the golden retriever temperament is, expect regular grooming of your golden retriever, whether you do it at home or through a professional groomer — or a combination of both, which is most likely.

How often your golden retriever should be groomed will depend on how much time it spends outside, as well as how long its hair is. Typically, you’ll brush your golden’s hair once a week or every two weeks to prevent matting. The trick is finding a balance between too much and too little grooming with the golden retriever.

Yes, golden retrievers are known for moderately, continuous shedding with heavy shedding once or twice a year. Regular brushing with a slicker brush like the BarxBuddy Self-Cleaning Dog Brush will reduce the hairs around your home. Throughout most of the year that can mean a few times every week, whereas during heavy shedding periods, brushing daily might be necessary.

You will need to keep your golden retriever’s nails trimmed. While you can opt to walk your dog regularly on a concrete or hard surface to file the nails down, with little effort you can trim your dog’s nails with the proper training and tools (aka dog nail clippers like the BarxBuddy Dog Nail Clippers). Don’t forget to frequently brush your pet’s teeth to help ensure overall good health and well-being.

What If My Breed Is a Golden Retriever Mix?

Since the golden retriever is such a popular breed, finding a mix isn’t that difficult. With their pleasant disposition, a golden retriever mixed with other breeds tends to produce well-natured, easy-to-love pets. These mixed breeds are likely to be lively, friendly, and of course, sociable. Although mixes inherit traits from both parents, you might find a golden retriever mix, such as the goldendoodle, sheds less.

Here are some popular golden retriever breed mixes

  • Basset retriever — golden retriever + basset hound
  • Box retriever — golden retriever + boxer
  • Goberians (golden Husky) — golden retriever + Siberian husky
  • Goldador — golden retriever + Labrador retriever
  • Goldendoodle — golden retriever + poodle
  • Golden Dox — golden retriever + dachshund
  • Golden Irish — golden retriever + Irish setter
  • Golden saint — golden retriever + Saint Bernard
  • Golden shepherd — golden retriever + German shepherd
  • Gollie — golden retriever + collie
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