Learning About Your Golden
These resources are grouped by topic and will be updated periodically. Browse through these materials as time permits and let us know if you have questions or need more information – email@example.com.
Having Fun with Your Dog
Doing fun things with your golden is a great way to strengthen your relationship and enjoy time together. Goldens need regular exercise but they also want to spend time with you! Take your golden for walks in the neighborhood or go on hikes; throw the ball; take classes to learn new skills or become proficient in a sport together. Also, give your golden toys that are not only safe and fun but also will challenge their brains.
- Dog sports you can do together.
- Learn about Barn Hunt.
- Taking your dog on a hike.
- Ways to challenge your dog to think.
- Keep that doggy brain working.
- Fun cognitive training for your dog.
- KONG toys provide enrichment.
- Options if your golden destroys tennis balls.
- Ideas for games you can play with your dog from Victoria Stillwell.
- Do you know which plants are toxic to your golden?
- Common backyard plants that are poisonous to your golden.
- Are mushrooms toxic to dogs?
- What is blue green algae and why is it dangerous to your golden?
- Be aware of foods that can be poisonous to your golden.
- Alternatives to rawhide chews – AGK does not recommend giving golden retrievers rawhide chews.
- If your dog will be swimming in rivers, lakes, and oceans, be aware of these dangers.
- Are dogs parks a good option for your dog?
- Be aware of the dangers of allowing your golden to be off leash.
- Check the labels of gum, candy, and toothpaste for xylitol – extremely dangerous to your golden.
- Read the ingredients on the peanut butter jar – no xylitol!
- Know where your golden’s toys are made and with what materials.
Training & Behavior
Does your golden have some issues you do not know how to handle? Generally, owners will consult a trainer or behaviorist (sometimes both) depending on the nature of the problem. Trainers generally deal with “how” issues and behaviorists generally deal with “why” issues, but sometimes they work together depending on the issue. What is the difference between a trainer and behaviorist and how do you find one?
- Information about finding a dog behaviorist and trainer.
- Another resource on dog trainers and behaviorists.
Behaviorists: The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior will help you find a behaviorist who will work with you and your dog. We also recommend that you talk with your vet or consult with AGK. Many behaviorists do online consults as well as sessions in their office or your home. Online consults are particularly helpful if you do not live close to a behaviorist.
Trainers: There is no single group that certifies dog trainers, and different trainers may have no certifications or variable certifications and use different training methods. The links below include information for locating trainers certified by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), the Association for Professional Dog Trainers, and The Academy of Dog Trainers (ADT). Many of these trainers have virtual options as well as face-to-face training. AGK recommends you work with trainers who use only positive reinforcement methods. Educate yourself before committing to a training program. Ask for references. If you plan to put your dog in a board and train program, visit the facility, watch a training session, know what methods they use and where your golden will be during the board and train, and require regular reports and photos.
Please DO NOT use trainers who incorporate shock collars or remote training collars (also called e-collars, E collars, tap collars, vibration/tone collars, or collars like “TENS” units) in their training programs. These collars deliver electrical stimulation, sound or vibration of varying intensity and duration to the neck of a dog. Some trainers also place them against other body parts. For more information, refer to this article by Victoria Stillwell. We also recommend you do not use trainers who use pack leader/dominance training techniques.
How to find trainers who use positive reinforcement:
- Consult with your vet or AGK.
- One source for finding a professional dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement is the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainer — put in your zip code to find a trainer in your area.
- The Association of Professional Dog Trainers is another excellent source for finding a trainer who uses positive reinforcement – again, put in your zip code to find a trainer in your area.
- Another good source for finding a trainer who uses positive reinforcement is the Academy for Dog Trainers.
Separation Anxiety and Thunder Phobia
- How to help a golden with separation anxiety?
- Ways to manage separation anxiety with your golden.
- Read about rescue dogs and separation anxiety.
- Is your golden afraid of storms?
- Seek help for dogs with thunder phobia.
- More ideas for managing thunder phobia in goldens.
- Great video on separation anxiety from All Dogs Go to Kevin – interview with Jackie Johnston, Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer.
- Tips from Victoria Stillwell on how to help a dog with thunder phobia.
Socialization and Fear Issues
- “Fostering or Adopting a Dog with Socialization and/or Fear Issues” – AGK, 11/5/2020– Review the things AGK has learned from working with dogs with socialization and fear issues.
- Great website with detailed information about working with fearful dogs.
- Read about Project Home Life created by Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue to rehabilitate puppy mill survivors.
- Ways to help dogs with socialization and fear issues.