Why Your Golden Retriever Is Disobedient


If your Golden Retriever is disobedient then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will give you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be disobedient and some things that you can do to stop it.

So, why is your Golden Retriever disobedient? The most likely causes are that it is not getting enough exercise and that it needs to be trained more. Other possible causes include boredom, fear, being slightly disobedient by nature, being in a new location, having a ruptured eardrum or because you have been rewarding the behavior.

And, what can you do to stop it? You’ll want to start by giving it lots of exercise since it can reduce a lot of unwanted behaviors. You’ll also need to spend more time training it starting with the basics such as “sit” and then building up to harder things like getting it to stay with people around. 

Before trying to get your Golden Retriever to behave in a more obedient way it actually helps a lot to take the time to consider why it might not be behaving the way that you want it to.

Possible reasons for your Golden Retriever’s disobedience

There are a number of possible causes for your Golden Retriever’s disobedience that I will mention below.

Exercise

Golden Retrievers were bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours on a daily basis. Due to this, they are a breed that are naturally energetic and one that requires a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated.

If they don’t get enough exercise then it can cause them to become more hyperactive and to be more disobedient. If your Golden Retriever isn’t currently getting much exercise on a daily basis then one of the first things that you should do is to make sure that it does.

Training

If you haven’t been giving your Golden Retriever much direct training then it will mean that it will be harder to get it to listen to you when you tell it to do something. The reason for its disobedience, in this case, isn’t because it is purposely going against your orders but because it doesn’t know what you want it to do. 

That is why it’s important for you to take the time to directly train your Golden Retriever to do the things that you want it to on a regular basis.

Boredom

Another possible cause of the disobedience could be that it is bored. If your Golden Retriever isn’t currently getting much stimulation then it can cause it to become more hyperactive and harder to control. To counter this it’s important to give it lots of attention and to give it lots of activities to keep it occupied.

Fear

Another cause of disobedience could be that your Golden Retriever is fearful of something. If you have punished it in the past for misbehaving then it will likely think that the punishment was for the last thing that it did which might not be what you actually punished it for.

For example, it could be that you punished your Golden Retriever for running away but the last thing that it did was to come back to you and that is what it might think the punishment was for.

Nature

It could simply be that it’s in your Golden Retriever’s nature to be a bit more on the disobedient side.

Despite that, even if that is the case with your Golden Retriever, there are still things that you can do to get it to be better behaved. You can follow the tips in the section below to see what you can do.

Location

If you are able to get your Golden Retriever to listen to you in one location but you can’t get it to do it in another then this is because Golden Retrievers, and other dogs, don’t usually carry over their training into new locations well.

To deal with this it will be necessary for you to go through the training process again in the new environment. You’ll likely find that it will be much quicker the second time around.

You’ve been rewarding it

It could be that you have been inadvertently rewarding the disobedience and this has caused your Golden Retriever to behave that way more.

For example, if your way of getting your Golden Retriever to stop misbehaving is to give it a treat then this could have caused it to learn that behaving that way will get it more treats.

With that being said, treats can work very well with positive reinforcement training where you reward good behavior with treats.

Ruptured eardrum

It could be that your Golden Retriever is unable to hear you due to a ruptured eardrum. If you think that this might be the case then your best option would be to take it to the vet.

Command nagging

One reason that your Golden Retriever might be being disobedient is that you are command nagging.

This is where you repeat a command multiple times after it didn’t listen the first time. Instead of repeating a command, go back a step and train your Golden Retriever to understand that command again.

It’s distracted

The disobedience could be because it is distracted. If you are able to get your Golden Retriever to listen to you in an environment where there are not many distractions. But, you can’t in an environment where there are then you will need to train it again from the beginning in that new environment.

How to stop your Golden Retriever’s disobedience

There are a number of things that you can do to get your Golden Retriever to start listening to you that I will mention below.

Give it training

The first way to get your Golden Retriever to be less disobedient is to give it lots of training.

It would be easiest to start out in an environment where there are fewer distractions so that it will focus on you more easily.

Watch the video below to see how:

If you haven’t trained your Golden Retriever before then start with the basics such as to teach your Golden Retriever to stay.  Then you can build up into teaching it to do harder things such as to get it to come to you when you call it.

Once you’re able to get your Golden Retriever to listen to you in an environment where there are not many distractions you should train it again in environments where there are more distractions around.

Exercise

Since Golden Retrievers are a breed that require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated it is important that you make sure that it gets it.

An easy way to give your Golden Retriever a lot of exercise without having to do much yourself is to teach it to play fetch. By doing so you will be able to get it to do a lot of running over a short time period which will help to effectively wear it out.

You might find that walking it isn’t enough to wear it out sufficiently so you’ll need to find ways to make it more efficient. You could do so by walking faster, walking further, walking in a hilly area or you could make it wear a doggy weight vest that weighs less than 10% of its total bodyweight. 

Another thing that you could do is to walk your Golden Retriever with other dogs since it will expend more energy by playing with the other dogs.

If you don’t have the time to walk your Golden Retriever then consider getting a dog walker to do it for you. There are apps that you can download now that let you book a local dog walker through the app.

Switch to positive reinforcement

Instead of punishing your Golden Retriever for being disobedient it would be more effective to reinforce good behaviors.

By doing this you will be able to teach it that if it behaves well then it will get the things that your Golden Retriever wants which can be a very effective motivational tool.

Get help

If you can’t get your Golden Retriever to stop being disobedient then consider getting help from a dog behaviorist. They will be able to better diagnose the problem with your Golden Retriever and will be able to show you exactly what to do.

Things to consider

Don’t expect it to be quick

Getting your Golden Retriever to go from being disobedient to well behaved is not something that you should expect to be able to do overnight.

It will be necessary for you to train your Golden Retriever over the course of months to be able to really change its habits. But, that’s not to say that you can’t make quick progress.

Be consistent

When you’re training your Golden Retriever it’s important to train it on a consistent basis otherwise you’ll risk it forgetting what it was taught. There are ways that you can train it without having to go out of your way to do it.

For example, instead of letting your Golden Retriever eat as soon as you put the food in the bowl you could train it to wait until you let it and then make it wait each time you give it food.

Related questions

Why has my Golden Retriever stopped listening to me? If your Golden Retriver has stopped listening to you then it could be that it has forgotten its training.

You should start by training your Golden Retriever to do the things that you want it to do again. Other possible causes could be that a recent event has caused it to change its behavior or that it is ill or injured and it is causing it to behave differently.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

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