Known for their kindness, confidence, and friendliness, Golden Retrievers make the best family pets. Despite their high energy levels, a well-trained Golden Retriever can sit calmly for hours. However, if they’re under-stimulated and not given enough room to blow off some steam, a Golden Retriever’s high energy can be overwhelming. So, are Golden Retrievers hyper dogs?
Golden Retrievers usually are hyper dogs, especially when they are young. The high energy comes from their ancestry and history as a sporting dog breed. If your Golden is always jumpy and hyper, it means that they have a lot of pent-up energy that needs to be released via mental and physical exercise.
Since a Golden Retrievers hyperactive behavior can sometimes teeter on obnoxious, they require a bit of care and understanding to get them back to their gentle calm temperament. This article aims to shed light on some of the reasons why your little ball of fur can’t keep calm and what you can do about it.
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Why Is My Golden Retriever Puppy So Hyper?
Bringing a Golden Retriever home is a happy occasion in any household. There’s a lot of excitement to go around for the pet, the owner, and the entire family.
But what if your Golden puppy is a bit too excited? The little guy can’t slow down and take a breather. The only time he/she stays still is when they’re asleep, and sleep time is becoming shorter and shorter as the months pass!
I know it can be exhausting sometimes, and it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and even a little frustrated. But your pet dog doesn’t have a behavioral or medical issue, so don’t worry too much. The reason why your fur buddy is all over the place might be one (or all) of the following.
They Are Simply Hyper by Nature
It’s in a Golden Retrievers nature to be high energy and always be in a playful mood. They are a somewhat hyper dog breed. From their origins in Scotland, Golden Retrievers were bred to be a working, active dog meant to accompany hunters and farmers in their daily routines. Their activeness was an indication of their commitment to the work.
In addition to their original genetics, a Golden Retriever should come from a reputable breeder. A puppy from a backyard breeder may be poorly bred and harder to tame than a puppy from a well-established breeding facility.
It’s a Lack of Exercise
A Golden’s pent-up energy will be released one way or another. If your Golden Retriever is very hyper, he most likely hasn’t been stimulated through the proper channels. A healthy dog needs regular mental and physical exercise.
It could also be because of boredom. A Golden Retriever is an active breed, and when you don’t give your dog the necessary amount of exercise and attention he/she is used to, they become hyper. Energy levels build up when they’re bored, and not actively doing something to help your dog let off some steam might turn to an uncontrolled level of hyperactivity.
They Might Just Need Attention
You might not realize this, but rewarding a dog each time they’re hyper only encourages it. For example, if you’re rewarding your Golden Retriever with a treat every time he’s bouncing up and down and jumping on you, he’ll learn that this is good behavior and continue to repeat it.
Giving them attention only when they’re restless, and not at any other time can create a negative routine. They will come to associate their bad behavior with getting what they want most, your attention.
It’s important to give you Golden Retriever plenty of attention when thy are being calm and well-behaved, positively reinforcing the behavior you want them to exhibit.
Recommended Reading: How Long it Takes To Train a Golden Retriever Puppy (Explained)
Hyperactive Golden Retriever Symptoms
While still young, Golden Retrievers are excitable and exploratory and get very hyper quite easily. Still, there is a big difference between a Goldens normal high energy levels, and being out-of-control hyper. Therefore, owners can read early signs when their hyperactive dog is having one of those super-charged energy moments and deal with it accordingly.
Here are a few signs that will help you know when your dog has crossed, or is about to cross, into overly hyper mode:
- When they seem not to pay attention. I know it is not in an animals’ nature to pay attention unless trained, but Golden Retrievers have a keen natural ability to focus on a given task. When a dog is hyper, they get easily distracted and cannot pay attention for long periods, especially when training them, they cannot stay still or follow instructions.
- Lots of fidgeting and movement. Suppose you are a proud owner of a Golden Retriever puppy. In that case, you already are familiar or will be familiar with, in the case of first-time parents, the unmatched energy they possess. Excessive barking and whining are some signs of them being hyper.
- Sometimes they can be messy. As with other dog breeds, when Golden Retrievers’ hyperactivity is not controlled, they can be mischievous and destructive. Your favorite shoes may be chewed on, especially when they are bored or dealing with separation anxiety. Again, they’re like young children throwing tantrums, so you really must know what to do in case of such a predicament.
- Exhibit impulsiveness. A Golden Retriever can exhibit self-control issues if the underlying triggers are not dealt with and understood. They can show impulsive behavior if they are not trained. Nudging you with their noses, play-biting, or pawing is indication enough. Over-the-top hyper activeness can become a habit if left untamed. That is why every dog owner needs to train and care for their pets by providing some dog training.
How To Calm Down A Golden Retriever
Calming down your Golden Retriever is not as difficult as you may think, although, it will require consistency on your part. Here are three methods to use to help you calm your hyper Golden Retriever down:
Give Your Golden Regular Attention
Attending to a bored Golden Retriever dog with toys, activities and games will help soothe the hyper beast within. Giving attention does not mean you need to spend your whole day catering to them, however. You can easily develop a timetable to allocate time to play and bond with them, as well as time they will need to be on their own.
For instance, you might try playing a game of fetch or taking them on a walk, before and after work. Those could be set times for play that your Golden Retriever will come to understand.
For a truly successful relationship, you must pay attention to your dog, and this can be done when feeding them, while training, going for walks, playing with them, and even talking to them.
Nevertheless, excessive positive reinforcement can also be disastrous. That’s why it’s also a good idea to ignore your Golden Retriever at times, and not give in to their antics. You can also reward them with small treats after they calm down, helping them realize calmness means treats.
Engage Your Golden With Both Physical and Mental Activities
A Golden Retriever needs at least one hour of vigorous exercise a day. Be it a fun game-like ‘Hide a Squirrel’ (Amazon) or playing fetch with a special tennis ball, a mentally and physically exercised dog is also a calm and happy dog:
Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!
Research shows that 15 minutes of mental exercise a day is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical exercise. These activities can channel your dog’s energy to something constructive while also wearing them out!
Exploring a few boredom buster options as a way for them to exercise and interact with you can put these destructive behaviors to an end. A worn-out dog will tend to be relaxed and calm, making both your lives easier and more enjoyable.
Calm Your Golden Retriever With Training
Apart from the “sit, “stand,” and “stay” command, adding word commands like “settle” or “calm” followed by a reward will do the trick. Changing your command timing from after to during and then just before he/she gets hyper can also greatly improve your interaction.
Just like human beings, Golden Retrievers need to learn self-control, and Goldens find it fun to learn new things and earn rewards. Since Golden Retrievers are friendly and intelligent, it’s easy for you to teach them new tricks to keep them mentally stimulated.
Proper obedience training will go a long way towards teaching you Golden how to have some self-control.
Recommended Reading: Are Golden Retrievers Smarter Than Other Dogs? (Explained!)
When Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down?
Generally, Golden Retrievers will begin to calm down between the ages of 2-4 years. Golden Retrievers over the age of four, however, still have abundant levels of energy, and require daily exercise. Thoroughly exercising your dog is the answer to most behavioral problems found in Golden Retrievers.
As your Golden Retriever leaves their puppy years behind and becomes an adult dog, things will naturally settle down. But if you don’t want to wait that long, exercise and training are the keys to a calmer Golden Retriever.
Golden Retrievers can be quite hyper and energetic. But with the right amount of patience and care, they can be easily trained and tamed to be calm and peaceful dogs. But remember that even with the training, it’s essential to keep this breed active to release their pent-up energy.
Take time and learn your Golden’s behavior, triggers, likes, and dislikes; with this knowledge, you’ll be able to properly take care of your dog and build a happy-dog-happy-owner relationship with your pet.