Are Golden Retrievers Easy To Train?

Are Golden Retrievers Easy To Train?

Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent canines that are easy to train. While it takes time and lots of patience, once trained, a golden retriever makes the perfect companion for you and your family and helps manage their energy levels.

These highly energetic dogs were originally bred as hunting dogs and so working with humans comes naturally to them. Their brains and highly obedient nature also makes golden retrievers easy to train.

What Makes Golden Retrievers Easy To Train

There are several characteristics that make the golden retrievers easy to train. These include:


Golden retrievers are a highly intelligent breed. Dr Stanly Cohen, a world-renowned author, ranked the golden as the fourth smartest breed, in his book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’. They are quick learners which makes them one of the easiest breeds to train.


Another trait that makes golden retrievers easy to train is their obedient nature. This breed is eager to please its humans and is highly obedient. In the right environment, goldens pick up training easily because they love spending time with you.


Goldens are known for their fiercely loyal nature. An excellent trait for a hunting dog. These dogs will be loyal to you which make it easier for them to take commands during training.


Everybody loves treats and golden retrievers are no different. This pooch loves to eat so the promise of a tasty treat will motivate them to pick up and obey your commands faster. Limit their treats to prevent obesity and other health complications or ensure they get plenty of exercise to keep fit.

What Makes Golden Retrievers Hard To Train?

If your golden retriever is proving hard to train, there could be several causes. Common reasons include:

A Distracting Training Environment

If you are training your golden retriever in an environment with too many distractions, they might struggle to stay focused. Start their training in a quiet environment and build up to busy spaces such as parks.

Training Starts With Difficult Tasks

If you make the training too difficult at the beginning of their training, it will be harder to train your golden retriever. Start training with simpler tasks that are easy to do and work up to the more challenging commands.

Wrong Training Method

Positive reinforcement makes it easy to train golden retrievers. As you gradually work towards more challenging commands, the promise of a treat after each successfully completed task will motivate your pooch.

Insufficient Excercise

The golden retriever is a highly energetic breed that needs lots of exercise. If your pooch does not get enough exercise, the excess energy will make it difficult for them to focus during training. Ensure your pooch gets enough exercise daily.

How much exercise your golden retriever needs depends on various factors including diet, health, and age. However, experts recommend two hours of walking and running spread out across the day.

Inconsistent Training

Consistent training ensures your golden retriever remembers the commands. Irregular sessions are unlikely to yield remarkable results, but regular training over a few weeks or months will ensure your pooch remembers their training.

How Long Does It Take To Train A Golden Retriever?

A big misconception among new pet parents is that all golden retrievers are well-behaved, well-trained dogs as long as they got them from a reputable breeder. However, it takes time and some effort to get a well-mannered pooch.

The good news is, golden retrievers are easy to train and will almost always cooperate in creating the perfect environment for you to meet their social, mental, and physical needs. Once you bond and develop trust between you and the pooch, you will have a solid foundation to build their obedience skills.

Training timelines may vary depending on the age of the dog. You can train your new pup to obey ‘sit-stand’ commands in a day or two while potty training can take up to two weeks. Keep in mind that just because your pooch can sit calmly in the house, it does not mean they will do the same in a noisy park.

Here are some estimates on how long it will take to train your golden retriever:

  • Sit, Stand, Stay commands: A few days – a few weeks
  • Potty training: 2 weeks – several months
  • Crate Training: One week – several months
  • Shake: A few days
  • Leash training: Few weeks – a few years
  • Puppy biting: 2- 4 months

Golden retrievers will often pick up training faster than other breeds but remember, not all dogs are alike. If you have multiple pets, it is not uncommon for some breeds to pick up their training faster than others.

If you started training your pooch when they were a young pup, by the age of 2-3 years obedience is well-ingrained in them. At this age, your golden has finished growing physically and emotionally. Some males may need another year to complete their physical growth. You will not require more effort to solidify the training if your pooch had a strong foundation.

Are Male or Female Golden Retrievers Easier To Train?

Gender does not affect training as much as age, personality, and genetics. Golden retrievers with biddable parents are easy to train and well-behaved. Pups with poorly-behaved parents are likely to be harder to train.

Tips for Training Your Golden Retriever

To increase your chances of having a golden retriever that is easy to train, choose a good breeder and socialise your pooch at an early age. Here are some tips that will improve training sessions for your pooch.

  • Start Early: Training your pup when they are young reduces the chances of them picking up bad habits. Starting their training early also helps your golden get used to working with you and makes it easier for them to pick up on the training.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Golden retrievers are eager to please so using positive reinforcement will get your pooch to do exactly as you ask.
  • Start training with easy tasks: Start training with simpler tasks as you gradually increase the difficulty to help your pooch adapt.
  • Use short, but regular training sessions: Younger pups can get easily distracted. To help them focus, use short but regular training sessions.
  • Join a training class: Join a puppy kindergarten class to boost your golden’s socialisation skills and make training fun.
  • Safety: Golden retrievers grow into big, strong dogs even at an early age. Use safety equipment such as collars to keep you and your pooch safe during training.
  • Make it fun: Remember, golden retrievers love to play and will learn much faster in a fun environment. Incorporate toys such as squeaky balls, agility kits, and interactive treat puzzles for even better results.

Bottom Line

Yes, the golden retriever is easy to train. However, this breed can be a challenge to train when using the wrong approach. Their highly intelligent nature can also make them a little mischievous so ensure you incorporate training and obedience into your daily routine.

Training a canine companion takes time and patience and it is no different for the golden retriever. By putting in the effort and giving your retriever the attention they deserve, you will have a well-behaved companion for a lifetime.