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Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs?

Wondering if your Golden Retriever will protect you if you’re ever in danger? Find out the answer in this article!

Golden Retrievers have almost all the qualities of a good guard dog. They’re loyal, obedient, protective of their owner, and big in size. However, they can be too friendly and affectionate, even to strangers, and their protective nature can extend to people they don’t know.

As you read this article, you’ll learn about the qualities that make Golden Retrievers good guard dogs and the qualities that make them bad guard dogs. Their good qualities outnumber the bad ones, so they’re usually considered good guard dogs, but you have to train them right if you want them to keep you completely safe.

Qualities of an Ideal Guard Dog

The Golden Retriever is one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world which can make people wrongly assume that it’s not a good guard dog. With the right training, you can turn your Golden Retriever into an excellent guard dog.

Good guard dogs should have the following qualities:

  • They should be large and athletic so they can scare away any threats and move quickly.
  • A good guard dog is loyal and isn’t distracted by treats.
  • They should be obedient and well-trained so they listen to their owner when something bad happens.
  • They should be alert and vigilant so they’re always prepared to fight against any threat.

Qualities That Make Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs

Golden Retrievers have some of these qualities since they were bred for hunting and retrieving, but the ones that they don’t have can be taught to them by an experienced trainer. Below are the qualities that they already possess and don’t need to be trained for:

They’re Not Small

The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized dog. I know I said above that a good guard dog has to be large in size, and Golden Retriever is not large by any means. But it’s not small, either. Golden Retrievers are almost as big as Rottweilers and they make great guard dogs. Adult Golden Retrievers can weigh anywhere between 25 and 35 kgs (55-77 lbs).

Golden Retrievers Are Loyal

All dogs are loyal if you give them enough love, but the Golden Retriever is one of the most loyal dog breeds that exists. Goldens just can’t stand seeing their owner in pain and will do anything to keep them safe and protected if they feel they are in danger. They’re not just a good guard dog, but also a good friend.

Golden Retrievers Have a Protective Nature

Usually very quiet, Golden Retrievers bark a lot when they think their owner is in danger. They will sometimes growl to let their owners know of any threat. You have to pay attention to the sounds they make, though, because sometimes growling can mean they’re in pain.

They also have a habit of jumping between their owner and the threat. There are plenty of stories and videos online of Golden Retrievers protecting their owner by getting between them and the threat, hurting themselves in the process.

Golden Retrievers Are Obedient

Golden Retrievers are always eager to please their owners. They’re highly receptive to training which is why it’s common to see them working as different types of service dogs.

The first three dogs that won the American Kennel Club Obedience Champion title were Golden Retrievers. They have won lots of other obedience championships and came out on top 6 times in American Kennel Club’s Obedience Championship from 2010 to 2019.

Golden Retrievers Are Full of Energy

Historically, these dogs were bred to retrieve shot small game birds so they had to be active and alert. As a result, they’re now considered one of the most energetic dog breeds in the world. An ideal guard dog needs to be active so that they can always be on the lookout for any potential danger and Golden Retrievers are great at that!

On the American Kennel Club website, they’re listed as one of the 15 most active dog breeds. These dogs require at least an hour of exercise every day, otherwise, they can get lazy. If you want your Golden to be a good guard dog, then make sure they’re getting their daily exercise.

Golden Retrievers Are Highly Intelligent

High intelligence and high receptivity to training in dogs go hand-in-hand. The more intelligent a dog is, the easier it will be to train them. Golden Retrievers usually learn new tricks or commands with less than five repetitions.

When trained properly, Golden Retrievers will be able to distinguish between potential intruders and friendly visitors, which means they won’t start barking at your friends when they are visiting you (unless they’re breaking into your house, in which case you should get new friends).

Qualities That Make Golden Retrievers Bad Guard Dogs

From the qualities written above, it may seem as if the Golden Retriever is the ideal guard dog. They’re great at protecting their owners and are extremely loyal and full of energy. What more do you want from a good guard dog? Well, there are a few qualities that make them a bad candidate for a guard dog.

They’re Too Friendly

Golden Retrievers are quiet most of the time and they’re just too friendly. They love to be friends with everyone they see. Humans, cats, other dogs, turtles. If it moves, your Golden will try to be friends with it.

Their over-friendly disposition can be toned down with the help of the right training methods. You have to teach them to bark when they see someone they have never seen before. If you don’t train them right, they won’t be able to tell a friendly visitor apart from an intruder and will end up licking the intruder instead of barking at them.

They’re Protective of Everyone

I mentioned above that Golden Retrievers have a protective nature and it makes them a good guard dog. They’re actually protective of everyone, not just their owner. Being too friendly and affectionate means your Golden is going to be compassionate to anyone they think is in trouble and they’re going to try to protect them, even if they’re a threat to you.

You have to teach your Golden to take commands only from you. An intruder can easily take advantage of a Golden Retriever’s friendly nature, so you have to make sure that your Golden always stays by your side when you’re in danger.

These two qualities don’t completely disqualify Golden Retrievers from being a good guard dog, but they do make the training process a bit challenging.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Golden Retrievers have most of the qualities of a good guard dog, but they have to be trained in order to become the perfect guard dog. An ideal guard dog should be loyal, obedient, large, athletic, and active. Golden Retrievers possess almost all of these qualities. They’re not large, but their medium-sized bodies are good enough to keep people safe.

Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs and they learn tricks and commands fast. They have a protective nature and if you train them right, they’ll bark to let you know of any imminent danger.

They can be overfriendly, though, and this can make it difficult for them to stay focused when they’re trying to protect you from danger, but this is something that can be fixed by an experienced trainer. All in all, they’re great guard dogs and you should definitely get one!