Are Golden Retrievers Easy to Potty Train?

Pet Care


September 6, 2022

Golden retrievers are some of the most loyal animals on the planet. Not to mention the fact that they are also one of the smartest dog breeds as well, despite sometimes having a dopey, goofy demeanor.

But the question remains: are they easy to potty train? With a little bit of patience and the right training program, you can have your golden going to the bathroom outside with regularity moving forward.

How Long to Potty Train a Golden Retriever Puppy?

If you have been wondering, “Are golden retrievers easy to potty train?” there is good news. Even if you have a puppy, golden retrievers are quite easy to train. That said, you are the single biggest factor in the success or failure of the potty training campaign.

There are plenty of factors at play when it comes to determining how quickly or slowly your golden will take to the process of potty training. Mostly, it depends on their age. When they are around the 16-week mark, they have fully developed bladders, which means that they may still have accidents from time to time.

It also depends on whether you crate or leash train your puppy. If you crate train them, it may be easier since no dog likes to sleep where they go to the bathroom. If you crate train them, it can aid in the process. But if you don’t crate train, the best thing to do is limit them to a specific area.

It can depend on how much time you devote to the process, too. If you are willing to take them outside more frequently, it means fewer chances of an accident, which could delay the process and string things out.

How to Train Your Golden?

When asking, “Are golden retrievers easy to potty train?” the answer comes down to your techniques. There are a multitude of ways that you can train your golden—puppy or adult—to start doing its business outside.

The best way to get started is from the moment you bring your puppy home. Put the puppy on a leash and take it to the yard since this is where they will be doing their business. When/if they go, make sure to heap lots of praise on them and give them a treat. The goal is to instill in them that this is where they are meant to go potty.

Proper training also means having the right supplies to get things going in the right direction. If you plan on crating your dog, make sure that you show them that it is where they sleep. This alone can be helpful in potty training them because most dogs won’t pee where they sleep.

You will also need lots of treats to enforce the positive reaction. When they know that they are doing good by going where you tell them, it makes them connect that action to receiving more treats in the future.

It doesn’t hurt to have a leash, either. This way, you can lead them to specific areas in your yard so that they become familiar with where they are supposed to go. Remember to use positive reinforcement since getting angry will do the total opposite of what you are hoping to achieve.

“Not in the House” Method

Start by grabbing a large supply of dog treats. If you have some, great; if not, make sure that you go out and get some. Make sure that you keep your pup in the same room with you and watch over them non-stop. The last thing you want is to not pay attention and find them squatting in a corner.

When they start thinking about going somewhere (scratching, sniffing, squatting), use a firm tone to tell them, “no!” Make sure it is just loud enough to startle them but make sure to not use an angry voice as it could scare them into not listening.

From here, it is important that you leash them up and take them out to a spot on the lawn. When you go out the door, use a cue. Say something like, “Go potty” to give them a verbal indication of what they are doing and something that you can use as a command going forward.

When your pup goes, heap praise on them and give them a treat. Should they not go within 15 minutes or so, head back inside. Just watch and wait for the potty stance. By this point, it is about having persistence and patience. Training your pup to go outside can take a few weeks of repetition to pull off.

This is just one of the methods that can be used to train your golden retriever puppy. There are others that work as well, and it is up to you to find which one you trust most.


The simple fact is that golden retrievers are some of the most easily trained dogs out there. They are intelligent, highly obedient, and constantly looking to earn the approval of their human.

Because of these factors, they are relatively easy to train. With a little patience and the right training, it won’t be long before they are properly trained and ready to start doing their business outside going forward.