How To Train A Golden Retriever Puppy

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Golden Retriever puppy training is not easy. Here are some tips and tricks on how to make it easier.
how to train a golden retriever puppy

Training a new puppy is not easy. Before we get to the tips and tricks on how to train a Golden Retriever puppy. Let’s explore their history.

What was the purpose of Golden Retriever breeding?

Here are some fun facts about Golden Retrievers. Rumor has it that the breed was developed by the 1st Baron of Tweedmouth. He was inspired by his golden-colored retrieving dog Nous and a Tweed Water Spaniel.

This crossbreed produced a dog that could be comfortable on both land and water and was strong enough to hunt deer, partridge, and goose.

All the Golden Retrievers that we have today are thought to be descendants of the 1868 litter.

This leads us to our next question.

Are Golden Retrievers good pets for families?

Absolutely! Golden Retrievers are a beloved breed. As their name suggests, they are exceptional at retrieving.

However, they are also great at swimming and they love children and babies. Even when those children throw tantrums, they stay loving and gentle.

I want help training my Golden Retriever puppy.

Look we know why you’re here. However, we believe that it is easier to train your Golden Retriever more effectively if you know the context of why they exist in the first place.

Golden Retrievers love to train and are often used as Guide Dogs. They are food-motivated but less so than Labradors. In all honesty, they are easy to train.

A Golden Retriever puppy will do almost anything if you give them soft words and approval. Your praise is just as effective as treats.

Golden Retrievers are gentle and great for families of all ages and lifestyles.

You’ll be able to enjoy their playful side for quite a while as Golden Retrievers retain their puppy dog nature into their later years. Which we think is a bonus!

A Golden Retriever requires a lot of exercise, both mental and physical. If you don’t give a Golden Retriever puppy enough training, they can become bored and start to struggle.

This is usually the cause of increased chewing and getting into things.

Golden Retrievers love to play in the water (almost as much as they love food and you)! It might be a good idea to go swimming with your Golden Retriever every now and then.

Because they have such a strong sense of smell, retrieving or scent working games are a big treat next to a day at the lake.

A Golden puppy is a social butterfly. They are affectionate and open to all people.

Jumping up can be quite common, so ensure they do lots of sit-and-greet exercises to make them polite and nice.

A Golden Retriever pup will love retrieving and will often love to have things in their mouths, even things they shouldn’t.

However, you should also teach your new Golden Retriever puppy the joys of giving items up.

Or else you may end up chasing your Golden Retriever puppy around the yard to get your underwear back!

As puppies, they can be quite bitey – which makes sense for a retriever. It can be annoying if they bite your arm, so give them a toy to chew on instead.

A golden retriever puppy will grow up to be a wonderful dog.

You will just have to get through the growing pains of when she or he is peeing on the floor or chewing your shoes.

Your golden retriever puppy will be happier if you start training him or her at an early age.

All owners should want their dog to learn basic commands such as “sit” or “stay”, as well as house training and leash training.

There are many other behaviors you can teach your golden retriever puppy with a basic approach.

Breeders often start training golden retriever puppies before they find an owner for them.

These training sessions can include potty training, crate training, and behavioral training. However, this isn’t always possible, especially if your puppy is not from a breeder.

Golden Retriever puppy training should begin at 8 weeks old.

As research shows that golden retriever puppies shouldn’t be separated from their mothers earlier than 8 weeks of age.

Golden Retriever puppies are much smarter than you may realize. They absorb so much information, despite being young.

Training a Golden Retriever puppy takes time, so it is better to start training them when they are young.

Dog training early builds trust between the dog and you, making the entire process more efficient.

If you have yet to adopt your Golden Retriever puppy, the ideal age to bring them home is between 8 and 10 weeks old.

Research shows that Golden Retriever puppies being separated from their mothers earlier can lead to behavioral issues when they are older.

The good news is that you can begin housetraining your new puppy as soon as they get home.

Although it can take up to two years to train a Golden Retriever puppy completely, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be able to learn everything in that time.

Golden Retriever puppy training is divided into stages according to their emotional maturity and age.

These are the stages you need to follow until your Golden Retriever is two years old.

What Supplies do I need?

You will need supplies if you want to succeed in golden retriever puppy training. These items are listed below.

To train your puppy, we recommend the following equipment

  • Treats: The more opulent, the better
  • A treat pouch
  • A soft collar
  • Training lead of 2 meters
  • A harness: A harness that does not pull or tighten on your dog and allows them to walk.
  • A non-slip mat or vet bed for your pet.
  • A soft grooming brush
  • Two identical toys: Perfect for swapping
  • Optional: A crate or playpen is possible, but we find them very useful.

Crate: You will need a crate if you are going to train your puppy in crate training. This training equipment should be available at your home from the beginning. You have the option of a medium or heavy-duty dog crate.

Gates: These baby gates are not necessary, but they can be very useful. These tools can prevent something bad from happening when you are being distracted away from your Golden Retriever puppy and create a safe environment for your pet.

Dog Leashes: Some trainers like to use separate leashes indoors and outdoor. That can be decided according to your needs. However, we will recommend one for all purposes.

High-quality puppy food: Talk to your veterinarian or breeder about the best food. However, we will list what we have used with our puppies below.

Chew Toy: Golden Retriever puppies are energetic. It might be a good idea to get them chew toys. Check out our article on the best toys for Golden Retrievers in 2022. Or check out our suggestion below.

Bedding: You will need some bedding if you purchase a crate to house your dog. There are some crates that include this.

Treats: They will prove very helpful during training. These should be used sparingly.

Collar: It will help your Golden Retriever to be comfortable wearing a collar starting from day one.

Brushes: An essential grooming tool. This will keep your new Golden Retriever puppy happy with a healthy coat.

Golden Retriever puppy

This might seem like a long list. It’s really just the basics.

Additionally, you will need to practice some other things such as:

  • Time to practice: If you want a trained Golden puppy, you will need to be able to practice every day.
  • Persistence: Your puppy training journey will be less confusing if you’re consistent in your training.
  • Patience: Remember that puppies are still toddlers after all these years. They might need some time to grasp the basics of what you are teaching them.

It’s important to figure out what information you want to teach your Golden Retriever puppy.

Most Golden retriever owners want their retriever puppy to learn to potty train and to be able to leash walk with their other dogs.

Basic obedience training is essential, including sit, stay, come, and down. Other skills and behaviors are dependent on each owner’s preferences and needs.

Teaching your Golden Retriever puppy to fetch is a great way to also get them sufficient exercise at the same time.

You might also want to teach your Golden Retriever puppy how to catch a Frisbee or play tug-of-war.

While tricks like “speak” or “shake” are entertaining, they are not required for proper Golden Retriever training.

You will need to ensure that your Golden Retriever is crate-trained if you plan on taking it with you when you travel.

During basic obedience training, you may need to teach your Golden Retriever to not beg, to not jump on you, and to not show aggression towards other dogs, depending on their temperament.

How to train a Golden Retriever puppy – Basic Training Methods

When you see good behavior, reward it. Positive reinforcement is crucial.

Although there are many methods for training your Golden Retriever, the most effective ones focus on three things: Rewarding behaviors you enjoy; making sure to not reward bad behavior; and being consistent.

Rewards – This is where it gets easy and fun. Rewards don’t have to be reserved for an active training session. You should praise your Golden Retriever when she/he walks outside or when showing progress in potty training. It is also important that when your Golden Retriever greets another dog, to praise them.

Don’t reward bad behavior – Rewarding negative behavior is not a good idea. You should ask yourself why your Retriever puppy does something you don’t like. Usually, it is because they have been rewarded for that behavior or it’s a natural behavior that needs to be redirected, like chewing. It is important to remove that sense of reward when observing bad behavior. If your dog jumps up and down when they see their leash, don’t let them put it on for a while. Save leash training for another time. The reward will only make the behavior worse.

Be consistent – Everyone in the household should always respond the same way with the Golden Retriever. If the rule is that nobody feeds the Golden Retriever from the table then nobody should secretly be feeding them under the table. Or if you tell your dog to sit down when she jumps, but then others greet her enthusiastically. This will send mixed signals that could confuse your dog.

Give your Golden Retriever a reward they like.

You will need a reward on hand whenever you train your Golden Retriever to do a certain behavior. You should choose something that your Golden Retriever puppy loves.

The better the reward, the easier it will be to teach your Retriever puppy. Positive reinforcement will work wonders with your Golden Retriever puppy.

Treats are often the best way to teach any Golden Retriever dog. Your dog will love the treats you give him.

You can give your Golden Retriever puppy a variety of treats to keep them interested. Toys can be treats too!

  • Chicken cooked.
  • String cheese sticks.
  • Meat rolls
  • Dog biscuits.
  • For dogs on a restricted diet, baby carrots, and frozen green beans.

Clicker training

To train a Golder Retriever with a clicker, you would use a clicker to signal to your Golden Retriever pup when they have done something right.

Because it’s a unique, consistent sound that is different from your voice, the clicker can be very effective when training your Golden Retriever.

How do you use a clicker for training your Golden Retriever?

Well, first, load your clicker. With a treat in your hand show your new puppy, then close your hands if your dog attempts to grab it.

Only give it to your dog right after clicking the clicker. Continue this process for a few more minutes. Then do it again.

Continue this process until your young puppy responds immediately to the clicker sound expecting a treat.

Keep each skill you are training to a single session. Sessions should be short, simple, and to the point.

Fun is key in training your Golden Retriever. The following are the best ways to get the most from your training sessions:

  • Keep it short. The training session should not last more than 15 minutes for adult dogs. Puppy training sessions should usually be less than that.

  • One skill should be taught at a time. If you’re teaching sit and stay, begin with sit. First reward all sitting. Next, add a command to your dog as he sits. Finally, practice sitting on command. Next, practice staying seated. Next, practice staying seated while you move away. Finally, move the training to a more distracting place like a dog park. This will help you make training more efficient.

  • Basic Commands are better than complicated sentences. Your commands should be clear and consistent. For example, “sit” should be used instead of “sit, Cooper”, or “sit down”, or even “would you like to sit?” Your dog will become confused if you use too many words.

Crate training Guide

Crate training is a good idea, and it’s worth doing from the beginning when you bring the puppy home. But, you should take it slowly, in small steps.

It is important that the puppy gets used to the crate. Sessions should last longer and longer than the previous session. Remember to reward your puppy with treats.

New pet owners can expect your puppy to wake up many times a night, and at least once they will have to use the bathroom.

For the first few weeks, be prepared for some sleepless nights and tired mornings. Very similar to having a newborn baby.

It is temporary to have them sleep beside you.

It’s important to be consistent! You’ll be able to potty train Golden Retriever puppies easy if you stick to a routine and improve their ability to keep it in.

Slowly you will find that you are getting more and more sleep each night.

Crate training isn’t only great for potty training. You can keep your dog and possessions safe while you are away from home or on the road with a crate.

Crate training your dog can be done for many reasons aside from training your Golden Retriever. Your crate should be used:

  • If your dog is at home alone.
  • To keep things safe even if you are not there.
  • You can keep your dog’s belongings safe even if you are not there.
  • long travels or a car ride.
  • Give your dog a safe place to relax.
  • To assist in house training and other behavior training.
  • Keep your puppy away from other dogs and children.

Be aware of when you should not use the crate.

Young puppies should never be punished by you using the crate. When your dog is older and no longer a puppy, don’t crate him or her while you are gone.

The crate can be used for special occasions, such as when you invite guests to your home – or if you take the Golden Retriever on vacation.

If you have finished your dog training, you should force them to go into the crate.

Choosing a crate.

You can choose the type of crate that you prefer, but wire crates are most commonly used in kennels. It is important to get the correct size crate.

Your Golden Retriever won’t be happy if the crate is too small. It should be large enough to provide the space that an adult dog might need.

You can save money by buying an adult dog crate and dividing it to make it suitable for them as a puppy.

Your dog should be capable of standing in the crate and turning around without hitting her head. They should also be able to lay on their sides with their paws stretched out.

A 42-inch crate is sufficient for a typical adult golden retriever. If you are purchasing a crate for your dog, make sure to get a divider for use while they’re a puppy.

Check out our guide on how to choose the right crate for your puppy!

You should make the crate secure and comfortable.

You should let your puppy enjoy the crate. Your puppy should feel safe and secure in her crate.

You should place the crate where you spend a lot of time so that your dog does not feel neglected.

The dog crate should be kept at a comfortable temperature, away from direct sunlight and away from radiators and fireplaces.

Be sure to include soft bedding. Also give your dog something to chew on, place some chew toys inside.

Use a towel or blanket to cover the dog crate. This will give your dog a more cozy, den-like environment.

Your dog should associate the crate and good things.

Before you start crate training your puppy, it is important to show them that the crate can be a magical place that produces wonderful things.

Crate training will be easier if you do it right. When introducing your puppy to their crate, leave the door open and place treats at the front and inside the crate.

You can also add new toys for them inside.

Allow your puppy to explore the crate by themselves. It is important not to draw attention to the crate. When going inside, don’t say anything.

Let them move at their own pace.

Each hour, add more treats to the crate when your puppy isn’t looking. Soon they will be checking the crate for treats on their own.

These treats should be deducted from the daily food allowance. Don’t want that puppy getting fat!

You can also start to feed your dog in the crate. To make it easier for your dog to reach the bowl, place it just inside their crate.

After two to three successful feedings, you can move the bowl to the middle and then back.

You can train your puppy to go into the crate and get treats.

Show your puppy a treat, and then toss it in their crate. Use your preferred command to get them in, such as “Crate!”

Your dog will be grateful when you give them a treat. Wait for your dog to get out of the crate. When they leave, say “Out!” Do not praise, and don’t give treats.

You want the magic crate to be associated with treats.

You can repeat the entire ritual multiple times per day until your dog enjoys going to the crate and fetching treats. This part of training should not take too long.

Closing the crate door.

Ask your dog to come into the crate with you and ask them to sit. Slowly close the door. If you can’t slowly close the door without your puppy trying to escape, they are not ready.

Once the door is shut, praise your dog and give them treats. Then, open the door and let them go.

Gradually increase the amount of time they have to sit in the cage before you allow them out.

Short training sessions where they must wait for ten seconds, then 30 seconds, 45 seconds, and finally one minute.

Move away

You will be able to move to the next step of moving away from the crate if they can stay in there for more than a minute.

Move only a few feet away from your dog before returning to them. You can move around the room, but keep your eyes on your dog.

After, you might try training sessions in which you just move around and not pay any attention to your dog.

Now leave the room

You may initially only stay out for five or so minutes at first. Gradually, increase your time away to about 30 minutes.

If your dog becomes anxious or agitated while you’re gone, let them out. You can go back to the first step or decrease the time that you leave them for until they are comfortable.

Before leaving your puppy in a crate, make sure you remove their collar and leash as they can be choking hazards.

When you’re not there, crate your dog.

Once your dog is able to stay in its crate comfortably for at least 30 minutes, you can start to put them in the crate when leaving the home.

These trips should be shorter for puppies since a puppy can’t be expected to not have an accident for periods longer than three hours.

However, you should not keep your dog in a crate for more than four hours, even if they are older. Dogs should be able to get up and stretch their legs.

Before you leave, give your dog a toy or chewy.

Change up the time that you place your dog in the crate. You might need to do it about ten minutes before you leave or sometimes five minutes.

Sometimes, do it right as you’re walking out the door. The crate shouldn’t be taken as a sign of abandonment.

Allow your dog to sleep in the crate for the night.

Once your puppy is happy in its crate, you should allow them to sleep in it overnight. But make sure they are within earshot. Young puppies tend to need to pee during the night.

Final Thoughts on Crate Training your golden retriever puppy

Crate training is a unique experience for every puppy. When you crate train your Golden Retriever, sometimes it can be done in a week.

Sometimes it may take longer. Some dogs are timider or have had bad experiences. Do not push your puppy too quickly.

Before you move on to the next step, make sure your dog is comfortable with the current step.

puppy golden retriever


Every dog owner wants a friendly, social dog. This is a great trait for your puppy to have with people and other dogs as well. Being friendly can be taught, which is a good thing.

Dog training experts believe that dogs have a social period. It usually lasts from 0 to 3 months.

It is important that the puppy has experiences with as many people, dogs, and stimuli as possible during this time.

Introduce your Golden Retriever puppy slowly to other pets and people.

It’s important to note that your pup should not be allowed to go to the dog park before they are 5 weeks old. They will then be fully vaccinated.

Dogs can be exposed to dangerous bacteria if they do not have these vaccines. Instead, you can let your puppy become familiar with different noises, such as vacuuming, and people visiting.

Although it is important for your puppy to learn and experience new things, your Goldy should be able to do things at their own pace. Do not rush.

Behavioral training

Pet owners must be responsible for their dogs. Your puppy’s safety is your top priority.

Dogs have a natural tendency to chew on everything. If you don’t want your dog chewing on your furniture, you need to manage this instinct.

This is best done by buying as many chew toys for your dog as you can.

You can also teach your puppy how to bite gently. If your dog bites you, you should shout as if you are hurt.

Your dog won’t want to hurt you. This trick teaches your dog to reduce its biting power.

Teaching the puppy their name is another important aspect. This can be achieved by repetition and lots of treats.

Leash Training

Leash training is an important part of training golden retriever puppies. As we all know, walking should be enjoyable.

The leash should be used with care, just like any other equipment. It should be introduced slowly to your puppy.

Allow your puppy to sniff it and chew on it. Whatever they need to feel comfortable. You can attach it to your dog’s collar if once they are comfortable with it.

Here are some tips on leash training:

  • Use marker words as soon and as often as possible. (slow, stop, etc.)
  • It is best to take short, 5-10 minute walks, 2-3 times per day. Later you might consider longer walks of 30 minutes.
  • Treats are not allowed. Walking should be a reward in itself.
  • Don’t pull on the leash or yank it hard. This can increase the chance of injury. Instead, gently pull your dog back and stop walking for a time. You can only continue walking your dog after they have calmed down.

Potty training

A new Golden Retriever puppy will need to potty train for about two months. The puppy will begin to learn where to go to relieve himself/herself, so accidents in the house should decrease.

By 2 months, the puppy should be finished with house training.

You should start to potty train your puppy as soon as you bring them home. As it will likely take a couple of months to complete this process as we discussed above.

In the first few weeks, it is crucial that you spend as much time with your puppy as possible. This will assist with potty training.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Don’t reward your dog with treats. Rewarding them with treats is not a good idea. You should not reward your golden retriever puppy for pooping. Although pooping is a positive thing, your golden retriever puppy may try to link pooping with a reward and poop in your home, hoping for a treat.
  • Walk your puppy a lot. It is a good idea to take your puppy out for a walk every hour or so. This will help avoid accidents.
  • Small bladders. Puppies can’t hold onto their urine for very long because they have a tiny bladder. Until the puppies are trained, golden retriever puppies need to be monitored closely for their bladder needs.
  • Don’t over punish: A firm voice and some talking can make a big difference in how fast the puppy learns.
  • Don’t flush the poop. If your dog poos in the house, you should take the poop outside. Animals are sensitive to their own smells and will associate outside with poop.


Whether you have a Golden Retriever Poodle mix, a Golden Retriever Dachshund mix, or a full-bred Golden Retriever puppy.

The above should help you get started with crate training and potty training.

Here at Golden Retriever News, we strive to be the ultimate resource for you and your Golden. Check out our blog for more in-depth topics.