There are a lot of reasons why Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in the world. This breed has a reputation for being friendly, intelligent, eager, and fiercely loyal, making them the perfect family dog! Goldens are quick learners, eager to please, and are one of the easiest breeds to train. Although training may be relatively easy compared to some other breeds of dog, it will still take time and patience on your part. So, how long does it take to train a golden retriever puppy?
It takes 18-24 months to fully train a Golden Retriever puppy, based on their stages of growth and maturity. At 7-8 weeks you can begin training your Golden to socialize, not bite, and relieve himself outside. By six-months, your Golden Retriever puppy should be learning basic commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’
This article will discuss in great detail how long it takes to train your Golden Retriever puppy and provide you with information on how to carry out the training effectively.
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What Is the Average Time Taken To Train a Golden Retriever Puppy?
It takes time to train a Golden Retriever puppy, and it helps to build momentum when you start from a young age. Early dog training helps build trust between you and the puppy and makes the whole process much more efficient.
If you’ve yet to adopt your new puppy, know that the best age to bring him/her home is after the age of 7-8 weeks old. Studies show that separating Golden Retriever puppies from their mother earlier might lead to severe behavioral problems when they’re adult dogs.
On the bright side, you can start house training your new ball of fluff as soon as he/she gets home. As mentioned above it can take on average up to 2 years to fully train a new Golden Retriever puppy, but that doesn’t mean it takes two years before they learn to do anything.
Golden Retriever training is broken down into different stages based on their age and emotional maturity level. Here are the stages of training that you should follow until your Golden puppy is two years old:
Early stages training (0 to 6 Months)
Up until they’re six months, it’s best to focus on basic behavior training. You can start training your Golden Retriever puppy in the following three key areas:
Socializing Your Golden Retriever Puppy and Leash Training
As a dog owner, it’s crucial to know how to socialize your puppy effectively, as this forms the foundation for a happy, confident, and well-adjusted dog. The first three months of your puppy’s life are ‘the socialization period.’ This period will permanently shape the dog’s personality and how he/she will interact with the environment as an adult dog.
Hence, in this period, it’s essential to ensure that your puppy has a positive reaction to everything that they may encounter as an adult dog. Let your dog interact with people of all sizes, ages, colors, costumes, other dogs, infrastructure, grooming styles, situations, etc. The more variety, the better!
Chances are, your Golden Retriever already started the socialization process before you brought him/her home – especially if the dog is from a responsible breeder. It also helps to take your Golden Retriever to puppy classes that use positive reinforcement training methods.
Of course, being social goes hand-in-hand with proper leash training. At this stage you will also want to teach your pup the basics of walking on a leash. In the first few weeks this amounts to getting used to wearing a collar or harness and having a leash attached.
As your puppy gets older you will want to work more on leash etiquette, such as not pulling on the lead, and walking politely without jumping.
Potty Training Your Golden Retriever Puppy
It’s all fun and games with your new bundle of joy until they make a hot, steamy mess on your couch. As a pet parent, we’ve all been there. Sadly, poor house training is ranked as one of the main reasons pet owners surrender their dogs at shelters.
Therefore, it’s crucial to potty train your Golden Retriever puppy as soon as possible. Fortunately, with a bit of knowledge and patience, you can save yourself from the pain of scrubbing stains from your seats and carpet.
In general, it will take approximately two months on average to fully potty train a new Golden Retriever puppy. As the puppy learns where you want him/her to go to relieve themselves, accidents in the house will become fewer, until about 2 months in, and the puppy should be completely house trained.
Here is a video to help with potty training your Golden Retriever.
Visit my article here for a step-by-step guide on how to potty train your little Golden fur baby. There are several ways to go about it, and you can choose the potty training method that works best for you.
Training Your Golden Retriever Puppy Not To Bite
It’s natural for your Golden Retriever puppy to bite and chew, and it’s not really possible to train them NOT to bite. Biting is normal when they’re young and untrained. As a new pet owner, it might be frustrating because it hurts your hands or ruins your clothing.
But puppy biting is healthy and aids in learning and development. The key here is not to get your Golden Retriever puppy to stop biting. What you want to teach them is to learn to bite appropriate things, like a chew toy.
It’s also possible to train your puppy to control the bite’s pressure, and instead of biting, they can instead deliver soft kisses with their mouths. To be able to receive love through kisses is the ultimate dream of every pet owner, right?
Recommended Reading: Training a Golden Retriever Puppy to Stop Biting (9 Ways)
Below, you’ll see a video guide on how to train your young dog not to bite.
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!
Teenage Years (6 to 18 Months)
Just like human teenagers, this can be a challenging phase in dogs. Despite the strong foundation built in the previous months, your Golden Retriever might start ignoring commands to test your patience. He/she will become cranky, aggressive, withdrawn, and sometimes even moody — the perfect terrible teens!
But don’t give up, as this is the best time to build upon the foundation established in the first six months. It also helps to find your Golden Retriever dog a friend at this stage. But just like human teenagers, don’t attempt to force him/her to like every other dog. It’s up to them to pick their preferences.
If not introduced yet, this is also an excellent chance to train your dog on simple commands like sit, stay, fetch, drop, retrieve, etc. This will help them with the need to keep something in their mouth as they finish up their teething.
At this stage, their exercise needs are also very high. Hence, in addition to their obedience training, it helps incorporate other fun activities like dock diving, barn hunt, fieldwork, agility training, etc.
Recommended Reading: 12 Things Golden Retrievers Like To Do (Fun for Goldens!)
Maturity Stage (18 to 24 Months)
By this time, the teenage rebellion is likely calming down. Your Golden Retriever should have a well-established routine by this period. But it doesn’t hurt to continue practicing and polishing all the skills to improve on obedience and performance.
But overall, your dog should be already well-behaved, well socialized, and fun to be around. You’ve taught your Golden Retriever pup everything he/she needs to know to be a successful member of your family.
This is also the time you can get into more advanced training, if you’re interested. Advanced training includes things like, off-leash training, responding to hand signals, and challenging dog tricks.
How To Train a Golden Retriever
A Golden Retriever puppy is simply a ball of energy, and it takes effort to get him/her to calm down and follow instructions. So when training your Golden, it’s crucial to have the patience of a saint and have a well-thought-out strategy.
It’s the wish of all pet owners to have a dog that is both friendly and social. But a well-behaved, social dog is not born that way. It takes the owner or a dog trainer’s effort to train it. Below, let’s discuss some basic training methods you can use that will help you successfully train your pup.
Recommended Training: Train Your Golden Retriever by Playing Fun Games! (Brain Training for Dogs)
Make a Schedule of the Skills You Want To Train Your Golden Retriever
For example, you can decide that you will potty train and socialize your puppy the first two months after he/she comes home. Draw up a detailed schedule and stick to it. Without a proper plan, it’ll be hard to be consistent and adhere to the training.
Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy One Skill at a Time
Training your dog should be fun and engaging for both you and the dog. Effective training is supposed to be short, simple, and rewarding. Train one skill per session, and limit your sessions to just 15 minutes. Your commands should be consistent and straightforward. In other words, don’t use different words for different sessions.
Reward Your Golden Retriever For Good Behavior
It’s very simple. Reward behavior that you want your dog to learn. For example, if your Golden Retriever poops outside or in the designated potty spot, praise him/her and offer a reward (a small treat will go a long way towards giving positive reinforcement to a Golden). On the other hand, don’t reward for behavior that is not satisfactory—for example, wetting the carpet. The key is to remain consistent.
This video explains more about good behavior reward training.
Be Clear on What You Want Your Golden Retriever Puppy To Know
At every stage of training, it’s important to set clear expectations about what is expected of your Golden Retriever and what he can expect from you in return. Setting understandable expectations for your young puppy will help them to be happy and confident in the home.
Dogs thrive on consistency, so it’s important to set clear boundaries for them at every stage of their development from puppyhood through adolescence and into adulthood.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Crate Train a Golden Retriever Puppy?
Golden Retriever puppy training will take time and a lot of patience, but it will pay off in the end. All you need to do is provide calm and consistent guidance to your dog. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent, and their strong desire to please you helps them to be quick learners. Start the training with an open mind and learn together with your puppy. Learn what your individual puppy likes and which techniques work best for them.
If you stick to your plan and incorporate plenty of fun activities in the training process, Golden Retriever puppy training can be delightful for both you and your dog. Before you know it, you will have a lively, fun, and well-trained four-legged friend that will add an endless amount of joy to your life.