You want your Golden Retriever to be a friendly and protective dog of your home and family. In essence, you’re looking for a guard dog. Are Golden Retrievers good guard dogs? Let’s find the answer.
Golden Retrievers can make a good guard dog. They are gentle and friendly dogs, but they can also be loyal and obedient by their nature. With minimal training, they can protect your family and you. However, Golden Retrievers can make better watchdogs. Golden Retrievers are more likely to bark to alert you to an intruder rather than attack them.
You’ll find out more about Golden Retrievers as guard dogs and the reasons for their popularity. Also, how to train your Golden Retriever to protect its turf.
Watchdogs vs. Guard Dogs: What’s the Difference?
Do you still have questions about the differences between guard dogs and watchdogs? Many people confuse the two terms at first. There are some experts who use them interchangeably. There is a difference between guard dogs and watchdogs, so knowing the difference can help you decide if a Golden Retriever is right in your home.
Watchdogs are able to take on the role, of “watching”! They will watch over your family members, including your pets, and your property. They will often position themselves so they can see everything from afar, in order to make sure nothing slips by them.
They will notify you if they feel that there is a danger to their home. They will often growl, bark, and stand up to alert you that something is wrong. The watchdogs are there to alert you to a problem and not to solve it.
Guard dogs, on the other hand, are trained to guard and protect. This dog will not only keep an eye on the territory like a watchdog but also make sure there are no unusual smells or other strange behaviors. Anything that looks strange to him, he’ll follow it to the source and decide whether it is a threat or not.
If he senses something is in danger, he will get up and make a loud bark, snarl, or do other defensive actions like the ones above. He’ll not just make a lot more noise but also take action.
Guard dogs are attack dogs who will threat and defend themselves by biting, lunging, and other actions that could inflict injury on the threat. Guard dogs will not wait for humans to protect their turf. They will take control and do the same thing as before, watching to ensure that the threat leaves.
What are the characteristics of capable guard dogs?
It can be difficult to determine if a Golden Retriever is a guard or watchdog dog. These are the top traits that a Golden Retriever should possess to be a good guard and family dog.
He should be large and intimidating looking
There is a reason there aren’t chihuahua guard dog breeds. Although they can be very vicious and can bite like a madman, it is possible to manage them by placing them in a pillowcase. They are not a good idea for guarding.
Guard dogs should be large enough to make it difficult to control them and intimidating enough to intimidate any less certain threats.
He should be fearless and agile
Unafraid is also a good trait for good guard dogs. Your guard dog should not run to you with every siren sound made. They must be strong even when confronted with aggressive dogs or weapons.
Guard dogs can also be agile. This means that they can move fast and on demand. It also makes it harder for someone to control and capture them if they enter your home with the intent of quieting the dog.
He will need to be loyal and protective
Dogs who are loyal and protective of their homes make perfect Guard dogs. This loyalty and protective instinct will keep him focused, even when he is bribed or scared by loud noises or powerful intruders.
He should be alert and watchful
Dogs who are focused on their job will be more productive. Your dog won’t do as well on the job if he is constantly distracted by Mom and Dad making dinner. Guard dogs should be able to ignore distractions and be aware of everything going on. Guard dog work is hard!
What is the Ideal Guard Dog?
Guard dogs are used to keep strangers away and alert their owner when unwelcome characters are approaching or any other type of danger is imminent. These dogs must possess certain characteristics to be able to perform this job.
This is a quick list of characteristics that make guard dogs great:
Guard dogs should be large enough that strangers feel afraid.
They must be able to move quickly and easily when in danger.
Guard dogs must be brave and fearless, as well as be able to defend themselves when necessary.
They must be loyal and remain by their owner’s side in an encounter.
Guard dogs must be alert, extremely intelligent, and watchful so that they can judge, assess and evaluate real danger.
They should exhibit instinctive protective behaviors, such as jumping between their owner and any impending danger or barking or growling when they sense danger.
Guard dogs must be loyal and obey their owners’ commands to either attack when danger is imminent or stay away when danger is not apparent.
This article will discuss whether or not the Golden Retriever has any of these qualities that make it a good guard dog.
It is important to remember that Golden Retrievers were not designed for guarding. Golden Retrievers were bred for hunting and retrieving. They will need to be guard dogs and must be trained to improve their qualities.
Golden Retrievers have Guard Dog Qualities
It is not difficult to see how Golden Retriever dog owners intend to use their Golden Retrievers as guard dogs and companion dogs.
What qualities are the Golden Retrievers that such owners should invest in? These six Golden traits make them potential good guard dogs.
The Golden is a medium-sized dog.
Golden Retrievers, contrary to popular belief are not large dogs. You should expect disappointment if you try to find the Golden Retriever among the top large dog breeds.
Although they aren’t tiny either. These dogs will be just as disappointing if you try to find them on the list of the smallest dog breeds, which includes the Chihuahuas and Affenpinschers.
The Golden Retriever is 6 to 8.5 inches shorter than the Great Dane, the largest dog on the list, who can reach 32 inches tall for the male and 30 inches tall for the female. Don’t let this deter you.
A medium-size Golden Retriever fits the requirements of a guard dog. The Golden Retriever is about the same size as a Rottweiler. Rotties make the best guardians.
Loyal Golden Retrievers
Every dog expects loyalty from the Golden Retriever owner. However, the Golden Retriever is unique in that it can create strong and warm bonds with its owner. These dogs are all about loyalty.
You won’t have to worry about your Golden being betrayed once you have established a bond with them. A guard dog with a great loyalty trait is a Golden.
Rover says that the Golden Retriever is one of the most loyal dogs, based on its history and temperament. Loyal dogs provide security and protection to their owners. They will always be there for you.
Golden Retrievers have an instinctive protective nature.
Although Golden Retrievers don’t bark excessively, they will bark if they feel threatened. To warn their owners of imminent danger, they will growl around them.
Pay attention to the signs, as growling can convey more than danger . This could be a signal to your attention or a sign of pain. If your Golden is growling to warn you of danger, it will be persistent.
Golden Retrievers can also jump impulsively between their owners and the source of danger. You may have heard the touching stories of the Golden Retriever that have saved their master’s life by jumping in front of danger and creating a barrier between them and it.
Watch the Golden named Angel take on a cougar to protect his 11-year-old owner. These brave retrievers are not the only ones who protect their owners. They’re everywhere!
Golden Retrievers are extremely loyal
The Golden Retriever is a people-pleaser and they are ideal for training to be all kinds of service dogs, even as guard dogs.
Did you know that Golden Retrievers were among the first breed of dogs to earn the American Kennel Club Obedience Champion Title because of their obedience? This is not an accident.
Moreland’s Golden Tonka was the first of these three. It was a female Golden who won this title on July 23, 1977. She scored more than the required 100 points. Tonka set the bar high for others to follow.
Golden Retrievers have consistently been the best breeds in obedience and agility rings throughout canine history. No other breed has won more obedience championships.
In fact, the AKC’s obedience champion won 6 times out of 10 by Goldens from 2010, to 2019. Golden Retrievers that didn’t win the first place were likely 2nd.
Golden Retrievers can be high-energy dogs.
Golden Retrievers were originally bred by Scottish elites to retrieve their game. They are energetic, high-energy dogs who will protect you from any attacker.
Premiere guard dogs require high energy to be effective in their job. How can you expect your dog to catch intruders if he is constantly laying on the couch?
To be mentally and physically stimulated, Golden Retrievers need at most an hour each day. The Golden Retriever may be able to track a thief as part of their daily exercise routine.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs
Intelligent dogs are simple to train. It’s clear that Golden Retrievers can be smart. They can understand new commands in less than five repetitions. Additionally, 95% of Goldens will obey commands they have already heard the first time they are given.
The dog intelligence bracket ranks the Golden Retriever 4th, behind the Border Collie and the Poodle. This is a great group to be in!
Golden Retrievers can learn from past experiences because of their high adaptive Intelligence. They are skilled at distinguishing between a well-intentioned visitor and an intruder.
Your Golden will never be aggressive towards innocent visitors. They will be able to recognize the “bad” people as long as they have had enough socialization.
These outstanding qualities make the Golden Retriever an easy choice for a guard dog position. You might be surprised at some other qualities that the Golden may possess.
How Golden Retrievers Can’t Be Guard Dogs
Even the most passionate Golden Retriever lover will admit that they are not the best guard dogs available. This is not a problem, but it’s something you need to know if your plan for your Golden is to make him a guard dog.
The Golden will be a great friend or companion if certain qualities are present. However, these same qualities may not be suitable for good guard dogs.
Goldens can be too friendly
If they don’t bark, what’s the point of a guard dog? Goldens are quiet dogs and may not be able to let you know that your home is being invaded by illegal intruders.
This issue can be fixed by training your Golden to their natural friendliness and letting them know that they should bark to alert you of any people or animals they might encounter.
Everyone is naturally protected by goldens
One may take the side of a thief when he is in trouble with angry people. This extreme example of an overly protective Golden would not be uncommon. This is still possible when you have a Golden Retriever.
This is particularly true if your Golden has been trained to be compassionate. These dogs may naturally do this. If needed, Golden Retrievers will help anyone.
Although teaching your Golden to be “humane” is a great thing, it can also work against you and other people when the Golden has to catch and identify an impostor.
It is a good idea to teach your Golden to always refer to you, and to take commands before they act in favor of strangers. If they learn that way, a simple “No” will be enough to keep them close by.
These traits don’t make a difference – you just need to spend some time training your Golden to be a good guard dog.
Training your Golden Retriever to be a guard dog
Golden Retrievers are good guard dogs because of their obedience. These two methods will help you reach this goal.
Method of marking the boundary
This is a method to teach your Golden Retriever to recognize the boundaries of its protection services.
You should let your Golden understand that it is not allowed to leave the house if you have a Golden.
Here are some ways you can impart this knowledge to them:
Take your Golden on a run or walk, and be silent.
Returning home, tie your Golden with a leash so it can explore the whole property.
You should teach your dog to growl or bark whenever an animal or stranger approaches the perimeter. The Golden should learn to bark and not be aggressive. People who are familiar with the Golden can come over to teach the dog to not bark at unfamiliar people.
If your Golden barks at strangers, give it a treat and if the Golden is aggressive, deny it.
To reinforce the message that this area is not under guard, take the Golden on a silent evening walk.
To ensure that the guarding lesson is remembered, repeat it daily for a week.
The ‘bark on Command’ method
This method teaches your Golden to bark until you get a response or the object of bark disappears.
These steps will teach your dog how to guard using this method.
You can make the dog hear suspicious sounds, but not let them know where they are coming from. These noises could be banging as if someone was breaking into a gate.
You can command your dog to bark until they stop. Then, repeat the process until the Golden understands that barking is acceptable every time noise is made.
Reward the Golden when they start barking when the noise can be heard, and when they stop when it is not audible.
To make the Golden learn to stop barking when you respond to their call, you can combine the stop command and your appearance.
Both methods can be adapted to fit your needs, provided you keep the end goal in mind.
The “Gold Standard” in Guard Dog Training?
They are not the best guard dog, but we would still consider them to be a good choice. When training Golden Retrievers to be guard dogs, you might need more consistency or patience. You should not give up on them if you have to perform certain duties that are against their personality and tendencies.
Golden Retrievers can make excellent guard dogs. With minimal training, they are intelligent enough to protect your family and home. Their loyal and obedient nature is what explains their success.
Their friendly nature and natural protection (for everyone) make them less effective guard dog breeds than other breeds.
Training options such as the boundary or the bark at command can make your Golden retriever a top-notch guard dog no matter how fast you train him. Without trying, you’ll never be able to see how good your dog is at guarding you and your home.