Exercise & training

For a healthy and happy Golden 

Training basics

It is best to begin training golden retriever puppies right from the start. The first part of golden retriever puppy training should consist of daily routines. Golden Retrievers thrive on routine as it a comfort to them.

Golden puppies require proper socialization and at least basic obedience training in order to reach their full potential. Golden Retriever puppy training is most effective when using positive, reward based dog training methods with plenty of encouragement and praise. You’ll find that your Goldie is eager to please when training and won’t benefit from any harsh punishment or intimidation. All they require from you is some clear guidance, consistency and repetition.

 

House training

Basic Golden Retriever housetraining rules require you to never use crate or cage as an area for punishment. This will defeat the purpose of providing a safe and comfortable place for them. They need to know from first introduction to the crate or cage it’s their space to rest, sleep or get away from uncomfortable situations.

Introduction should be done gradually, limited to required time only. Once your puppy becomes accustomed to this concept, he will go into his crate all on his own to rest or retreat. If you opt for a cage instead of a crate consider covering the top with a blanket or towels to provide a reassuring “den” type location for him.

Golden Retriever crate training requires you to take him outside immediately upon letting him out of his crate.  Teach him that when you open the door with leash in hand, it’s time to go outside.

It is not recommended to open the door until you are ready to bring him outside, as it will give him time to roam the house and therefore giving him many different locations to eliminate instead of outside. By following this method your Golden Retriever puppy will learn to wait for you to go outside. 

 

Overcoming nipping and biting fetish

Golden Retrievers have a natural instinct to chew or bite when they are still a puppy. It’s their way of playing and investigating new things around them.

Get a few chew toys for your retriever when he is still teething. A positive reinforcement such as food treats and praises works best as incentives to encourage him to bite on the right objects (toys).

Do not teach your Golden Retriever games that have them chasing your feet or hands as this can cause confusion. Discourage and discipline by simply saying a firm “NO” when they bite on the wrong items and replace the object with the correct toy or training equipment. If necessary, try using bitter spray and apply them to objects such as your shoe to deter your dog from chewing on things he shouldn’t be chewing or biting on.

Crate train your Golden Retriever if your dog has a habit to chew up items in the house while you are out. Be aware that you will need to change the chew toys as he gets older since your Golden Retriever may swallow and get choked playing with a smaller toy.

 

Obedience

Obedience training is training the dog to obey certain commands such as sit, stay, come and teaching him to heel. Training sessions should be frequent but short to prevent your dog from becoming bored; ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient.

Training your dog right before meals will help them associate their meal with a reward for the training and also make them more interested in the food treat you use in your training session.

Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as "stay," "sit," "come" or "heel." Do not get impatient. You will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement. Do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command.

Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this and will start to associate training with your unhappiness. You cannot hide your frustration from a dog. You cannot pretend. Dogs can feel human emotion, so stay relaxed, firm and confident.

Some of the specific commands are "sit," "stay," "come," "down" and "heel." When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. Always remember to praise your Golden when he responds correctly. This will encourage your dog to perform correctly the next time. You may either use food, or affection such as a belly rub, a pat or verbal praise as the reward or both.

 

Socialization

It is important to socialize your Golden Retriever, especially in Singapore, as we live in a high density environment and interaction with our neighbors on a daily basis is inevitable. Good socialization paves the way for healthy relationships both with your family, and friends. A dog that isn't properly socialized can be nippy or even aggressive with people they haven't met.

Golden Retrievers are one of the easier dogs to socialize because they naturally have a friendly nature, and love attention. Also most Golden's love children, but there are a rare few who do not, and prefer the company of adults.

The best time to begin socializing a Golden is between the ages of eight weeks and eight months. It is very important during this time to have your Golden meet other people including children.

One thing that it is very important to keep in mind is that if a Golden puppy is physically hurt or frightened during the period where he should normally be socialized, he can end up with bad mental scars. In these cases the Golden may never fully recover and may be aggressive towards people if it becomes scared. This is one reason it is a good idea to get your Golden after the age of eight weeks and then to provide a loving safe environment, as well as good socialization to prevent these kind of emotional scars and thus prevent behavior that may be less than acceptable.

The best tips for socializing your Golden are to make sure that he interacts a lot with people from an early age, as well as other dogs in the same breed. Being around other older Goldens will help your Golden learn what acceptable behavior is, and picks up with socialization where the Golden's mother left off.

Properly socializing your Golden Retriever is one of the most important tasks you will ever take on. A well socialized Golden is friendly, and loving towards people and other dogs and will bring joy to your life. While genetics do play a part in how a Golden's temperament is going to be, even a dog who comes from Goldens with less than acceptable temperaments may still be able to be socialized properly if the socialization is begun at the right time in the dog's life.

 

Canine Good Citizen

The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program is designed to recognize dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. This rapidly growing nationally recognized program stresses responsible dog ownership for owners and basic training and good manners for dogs.

All dogs who pass the 10 step CGC test may receive a certificate from the Accredited Trainer or The Singapore Kennel Club (SKC)

You can attend a basic training or CGC class with Accredited Trainers in Singapore, or sign up for SKC’s CGC program to teach your dog the CGC behaviors, or if you have the skills and knowledge, you can teach your dog the CGC skills.

When your dog is ready, you’ll sign up for a CGC test administered by an SKC Approved CGC Evaluator.

Tests are held at training classes, or some evaluators will make an appointment to test your dog.

Exercise your Golden

Golden Retrievers are an active, energetic sporting breed. Daily walks or free exercise are important to their physical and mental health, as well as socialization with other people and animals.

It is especially important not to force exercise Golden Retriever puppies during their first two years. Bone growth plates are still growing and might be injured during hard exercise. Swims, daily walks on soft surfaces, and casual short hikes on flat ground are great exercise for puppies. Avoid jogging, biking, trotting behind a moving car or steep climbs and descents with Golden Retrievers under the age of two.

Your Golden Retriever will need to be exercised because this breed tends to have a good deal of energy. An active owner or family is a good match for this dog.

Some backyard space to roam is good too.If you do not exercise your Golden retriever, you will have antsy, bored dog that chews everything in sight. The good thing is this dog is very flexible, so you can pick from a wide range of activities to keep him busy.

Walks

Frequent, brisk walks are a good start.

Fetch

Goldens love chasing, you should absolutely include this in your workout plan.

Hiking

A great activity - if you and your dog are in shape, pick more challenging walks.

Agility

A fun, mental challenge for this active and intelligent dog

Swimming

Goldens were bred to be in the water and they love it. It is excellent exercise for them, even when young. Introduce them to water and let them explore on their own. If they are unsure about the water, you might get in and swim out a bit to encourage them, but let them take their own time.

Younger puppies might be more standoffish to water than they would be in another month or two; that’s normal. Never toss a dog into water that doesn’t want to go in.

You might also try tossing in a toy for him to get, but be prepared to go out and retrieve it yourself if he doesn’t.

If you are swimming your Golden in a swimming pool, be sure that your dog knows how to get out of the swimming pool; it’s not a good idea to leave him unattended with access to the pool.