Understanding Your Golden Retriever’s Barking

Pet Care


May 16, 2020

Golden retrievers are lovely dogs, and when trying to choose a family dog, most people decide to get a Golden retriever because of their gentle and loving nature. They are also known for having a lot of energy. They love to play and spend quality time with you. One thing that most people fail to mention in addition to their high energy levels is the fact that they love to bark. This is their preferred way of communicating. While other dogs may nudge with their paws to communicate, Golden retrievers will bark to get your attention. 

You may be asking yourself, “Do Golden retrievers bark a lot more than other dogs?” They are brilliant dogs, and they don’t bark unless they need to. As puppies, they bark to get your attention in situations like when you have turned your head away from them, or you are talking to someone and not giving them attention. They also bark when a stranger comes into your home to tell them they are not welcome. You may need to train them to know how to differentiate between friends, family, and strangers. With time, you will get to understand what each bark means. With this understanding, you can easily be able to help train them into the family. 

How to Recognize and Understand Your Golden Retriever’s Barks

Like every other dog, you can be able to distinguish between your Golden retriever’s barks. Since barking is your Golden retriever’s way of communicating, you need to be able to tell whether their bark means they are afraid and need to draw your attention to something or they just want to play. Barking is their way of saying hello to a friendly person, or it can be a warning that there is a threat in their environment. 

Coupled with your dog’s body language, you can be able to understand their true feelings in a particular situation. Knowing how your dog barks in different situations can help you to understand them better so that you are also able to train them well. You can be able to tell the difference in the meaning of the bark from its frequency, duration, and pitch. 

The pitch of your dog’s barking can tell you if they are frightened or excited. A high pitch bark is usually a show of excitement when they are friendly and welcoming. On the other hand, a low pitched growl and bark can be a sign of an aggressive Golden retriever and a warning to stay away. When you hear a high-pitched yelp, it may not be a cause for you to worry much while a low pitched bark or growl may jolt you to check what threat your dog may be facing. 

The pitch of the bark can also tell you if your dog is in pain or not. Dogs make a high-pitched yelp to indicate the shock of sharp pain. This is mostly an indicator of a short-lasting pain, but the yelp is primarily out of their surprise. If your dog is yelping continuously in a high-pitched voice, it may be an indicator that they are in continuous pain and therefore need your attention fast!

You can also tell the urgency of the situation from your dog’s barks. Fast repeating barks from your dog may present a sense of urgency your dog is feeling in a situation. Long pauses in your dog’s barking may tell you that they are not bothered by the situation, so you don’t need to worry. The barks with long pauses may also be an indication that your dog is lonely and could use some good company. 

You can be able to tell the danger your dog is in by the duration of barking. A low continuous growl may say to you that while there is imminent danger, your dog may be feeling confident and wants to face the situation. A series of short growls and barks generally tell you that the dog is frightened, and they might not be feeling capable of dealing with the threat at hand. 

In addition to barking, your Golden retriever may also be using other sounds to communicate. They also howl, whine, and whimper, just like other dogs. Your dog can howl as a way of showing its loneliness and need of attention from you. These are usually not so loud. The loud howl can also be a way for your dog to communicate with other dogs over long distances just as they do in the wild. Dogs whine when they want something, and this stops once they get what they wanted. A whimper, on the other hand, may signal some form of discomfort or pain. Your dog may whimper and look sad when they are in some pain, frightened, or suffering in some way.  

Are Golden Retrievers Aggressive?

Golden retrievers are generally known for their sweet and gentle temperament. They are one of the preferred breeds for guide dogs and also for adoption as family dogs because of this. They also make great hunting companions, and this can be an excellent exercise for them, thanks to their high energy levels. Like other dogs, some things would make your Golden retriever become an aggressive dog. Some of the possible reasons that would inspire Golden retriever aggression are:  

  • Traumatic experiences  

A new, traumatic experience can create a loss of trust and a lot of anxiety in your dog. They may not know how to process these experiences so they could become aggressive in an attempt to protect themselves from having to experience what they did before. They can start growling when they sense imminent danger in a particular situation that would otherwise not be scary.  

  • Neglect

Dogs that have suffered neglect are usually unable to trust people. If they are not given food, for example, they seem to guard the little food they get even when there is food in abundance. 

  • Physical abuse

Typically, when a dog is always on the receiving end of constant beatings, they tend to interpret this as how people would treat them. This means that your actions towards the dog may easily be interpreted to mean that you are about to beat them. You, therefore, need to be careful to win such a dog’s trust. 

  • Pain or illness

A dog that is injured or unwell is usually very protective of themselves. They may growl or snap at you when you try to play with them because of the pain they are feeling. While this action may not probably make your dog an aggressive Golden retriever, it would surely be a shock to be snapped at by your loving dog.  

  • Pent up energy

A build-up of energy can cause Golden retriever aggression. Since these dogs have very high energy levels, this energy needs to be expended so that they are not restless. This restlessness may start as a way of attracting attention, but it may become a bad habit if left unattended.  

Golden Retriever Obedience Training

Golden retrievers are loved for their mild manners and their obedience. They also need to be trained in obedience like other dogs so that they are well adjusted. While you may often think that having an obedient dog is for your own good, it is actually just as important for the dog. Dogs trained in obedience are usually comfortable and confident in the outside world. They are well-adjusted and able to deal with their surroundings. A confident and well-adjusted dog does not feel the need to indulge in self-protective behavior like aggression. Therefore, your Golden retrievers’ obedience training is critical in helping them feel safe in their surroundings. 

During obedience training, you and your dog will be able to reach a better understanding between each other. This is because your dog will be able to understand the expectations behind the different commands you would give. This establishes trust and strengthens the bond between the two of you. Your dog will also be safer to be around, which in turn increases their confidence. This relationship helps them quickly come to you when facing a new situation that they may not know how to deal with and keep them safe from harmful conditions in the environment. 

Final Thoughts

The best time to begin obedience training for your Golden retriever is when they are still puppies because this is a formative stage that will determine your dog’s behavior in the long run. Obedience training covers many facets. You need to set expectations on different things like feeding or bedtime routines. The key to successful training is consistency, so that good behavior is learned. You may also want to throw in some rewards for your dog to reinforce good behavior. It would help if you also remembered not to use a stern voice when training your dog since this will instill fear and anxiety in him, which may be counterproductive. 

While obedience training will be extremely helpful, keep in mind that you’ll have to dedicate a lot of love, patience, and time to your four-legged friend. This is the only way to ensure your Golden retriever will always be a pure bundle of joy and positive energy.