Golden Retriever Obedience Training
Unruly Dog and Need Some Basic Training Sessions (minimum of 5 sessions £250)
5 Good Reasons Why You Should Use Norden Lights For Your Golden Retriever Obedience Training:
- I Come to You. Personalised One to One Training to Suit You and Your Dog
- Vast Amount of Experience, 25 Years Plus
- Excellent Training Grounds
- Positive Reward Training, No Harsh Methods
- Behaviour Issues
Obedience Training Golden Retrievers
A joy to be around, well behaved dogs are far more welcomed anywhere and by all than out of control dogs. A dog can, however, never learn to behave properly without its owner’s guidance.
Obedience training teaches your Golden Retrievers a few simple, basic commands that, if reliably followed, allow you to provide your dogs with this guidance, steering them safely through life and keeping them from ever becoming a nuisance or danger to others or themselves.
Obedience Training – The Basics
Obedience training is a general, ‘catch-all’ dog training term used to describe teaching dogs a basic set of commands they can follow to give you a certain degree of control over them.
As such, it covers a wide range of training, from the simple commands (like ‘stay’ and ‘sit’) every dog really should know through to local & national clubs’ very highly skilled obedience competitions, where both handlers and dogs are judged on performance and precision.
The one thing all areas of obedience training have in common – and the one thing you must be sure of before you may say ‘my dog is obedient – is that handlers must be able to issue their dog a command and the dog RELIABLY responds and performs the required action EVERY TIME the command is issued.
Obedience Training and Being a Responsible Owner
Obedience training forms an essential, incredibly important part of being a responsible Golden Retriever owner, because a dog out of control can not only be a nuisance, but a danger to others and itself.
A nuisance, because an excessively chewing dog may destroy expensive, precious belongings, while one that tends to wander into places it shouldn’t be in or begs for food while you are at the table is incredibly annoying.
A danger, because a jumping Golden could easily knock over a child or elderly person, while a chasing Golden could cause cyclists injury by knocking them over. a danger to itself, because it could get into all kinds of trouble – like chasing cats into busy roads and getting run over, for instance, because it doesn’t really understand the world.
Well placed commands can, if your Golden is trained well enough to reliably follow them, avoid such situations – which is one of the chief reasons why training your Golden is imperative.
Obedience training enables you to safely guide your Golden through life, stop it being a nuisance, keep others and it safe and potentially even safe its life.
Obedience Training – More than Just Control
Obedience training your dog offers benefits well above & beyond the ability to safely guide it through life.
Spending quality time with your Golden – working & succeeding as a team – strengthens your bond and will instil a level of love & respect for you as his leader in your dog and helps him to be more relaxed, because he knows you are someone he can rely on to “take care of things”.
Obedience training is also mentally stimulating for your Golden. Highly intelligent, they are a working breed that needs to feel useful and be challenged. Without this, your Golden may become bored and develop behavioural problems.
Finally, obedience training is a great deal of fun! I thoroughly enjoy it – and so do my dogs.
Proofing & Generalisation
Humans generalise well. When I was a child, for example, I was told at our dining table that I must not pick up my food with my fingers. I understood not to pick food up with my fingers anytime and wherever I happened to be.
If I didn’t generalise well, I may have thought that while I was not allowed to do this at our table, I could pick up food with my fingers in restaurants or at friends’ homes.
Dogs, on the other hand, do not generalise well and cannot easily apply commands they have been taught within specific situations or locations to other situations or places.
If you teach your Golden to ‘SIT’ in your kitchen, for instance, this is where he will follow the command. The word ‘SIT’ has, however, no meaning to him in someone else’s kitchen, because he has not heard or been trained to follow this command there yet. This is essentially how your dog’s mind works. Dogs are very specific and find generalising very difficult. This is where the process of proofing comes in.
Proofing means practising your commands with your dog within every conceivable type of situation and environment, in the presence distractions that should be plentiful and varied.
Your Golden may know how to come to you in your garden or sit in your living room, but this does not mean he can come to you in the park or sit in a busy city centre. You must therefore go through every training step within these environments to ‘proof’ his learning of these commands.
Failing to take the time to properly proof commands in multiple situations with multiple distractions is the main reason many owners find their dogs following commands at home, but never out and about in public.
The proofing process takes patience and time, but is imperative if you wish to train your Golden Retriever successfully.
How to Successfully Obedience Train Your Golden Retriever
You first need to learn to train your Golden a certain command or behaviour within the calm, quiet environment of your home, where there are little to no distractions.
Once you have trained a command successfully in your home, you must proof this command by retraining it – from the beginning – step by step in a variety of different environments, such as, for example, in:
- Your garden or backyard
- A quiet field
- The street
- The dog park
- A friend’s garden and home
- A busy part of town
- A shopping centre
It may appear strange to go practising commands in busy town or shopping centres, but the effort will pay off.
You do, however, not only train your dog within different environments but must proof commands with different distractions around you and your dog, too.
Your Golden may stay and sit at home or in a quiet park, but doing the same when there are other dogs about or dozens of screaming children are having fun nearby. You therefore have to begin adding distractions to your training sessions. You may, for instance, achieve this by training:
- Around other dogs
- Around children and other people
- Close to noisy vehicle engines
- With other animals (birds, cats, squirrels, etc.) nearby
- In all kinds of different weather conditions
Begin training without distractions, then train far away from distractions and then move ever closer to distractions so they get increasingly strong.
There are many other distractions and environments I could list here, but I am sure you get my drift…
Now then, what happens if you hit “a road block” when training your Golden and don’t seem to be able to teach him a command or he simply won’t follow a command within a certain situation? Attending obedience classes is a good idea.
Golden Retriever Obedience Training Sessions
Obedience training courses come in many different styles and types There are courses for older dogs and courses for puppies. There are courses for beginners and courses for intermediate and advanced skill levels. Some courses are held in clients’ homes and others move about to train and test skills in all types of environments.
An extremely good investment in terms of money and time for both inexperienced, new owners and seasoned professional for all the social – and other – benefits they offer dogs. Some of the benefits a well taught, good obedience class offers are:
- You can get expert advice on overcoming training ‘stumbling blocks’. The experienced, highly skilled professional dog trainers present can tailor training to specific behaviours/problems and, if a dog fails to respond – offer alternative training techniques/methods.
- Excellent for ‘training the trainers’, these courses allow you to learn proper training methods/techniques you can take away and use over and over again from professionals.
- Obedience classes provide dogs with excellent opportunities to regularly interact with other dogs and humans. This makes them valuable experiences for proofing training (complete with many distractions) and socialisation.
These are the main reasons why I highly recommend to everyone that they should attend at least some obedience classes.
Golden Retriever Obedience Training – 11 Basic Tips
Here are some basic guidelines and tips that should help make training your Golden easier, faster and more successful. Try to bear these tips in mind whenever you are training:
- Consistency is the key to success. Make sure EVERYONE uses the same commands EVERY TIME. If you teach your Golden ‘Rover, sit’ and someone else (or you at another time) then uses ‘Sit, Rover’, your Golden will get confused. t is imperative for you & your family to consistently use the same commands.
- Patience & Understanding. Dogs don’t speak ‘human’ and the ay they learn is different to the way we do. Your Golden i not only trying to understand what it is you want him to do, he is also trying to understand you (and humans in general) in the first place. This takes time. And once your dog understands a command, proofing again takes time – so be understanding and patient.
- Length of Training Sessions. Keep your training sessions short and make them fun. Whle your dog loves to train and work with you, anything too repetitive or long will get boring for anyone. Vary your training sessions’ structure and stop before your Golden ‘burns out’ & loses interest, as he may otherwise lose his passion for training.
- Slowly Does It. You must break tasks down into tiny steps and make them as easy as possible, starting at home without any distractions. Only when your Golden is proofed here can you move on to different places and add distractions – and again, you must do this very slowly – you are, after all, trying to set your Golden up for sucess!
- Moving Backward to Go Forward. When facing failure, be prepared to go back a step or two. If you are increasing your training’s difficulty by adding distractions, distances or durations for which your dog must obey a command and your dog begins to fail, go back a few steps. Make the task at hand easier so he can succeed and get his reward before increasing the difficulty again. Many little wns will keep him keen, while many failures will have him lose interest.
- Ending on a “Good Note”. Finish all training sessions with a few commands your dog will definitely succeed with. Allowing him to end a session on a “happy note”, earn his praise and get his reward, this will leave him with a feeling that he has done well. The last thing yu want is for him to leave sessions feeling frustrated and like he has failed, as this will cause him to lose his enthusiasm for future sessions.
- Saying Commands Once. When you say commands multiple times and he does not perform the behaviour you desirte, he is slowly learning that there is no need for him to respond. This is especially the case with off-lead distance commands. State your command once only and, if your Golden doesn’t respond, wait until he is back on the lead or yu have his full, undivided attention, then (and only then) try again.
- Food Treats. Using edible treats is highly effective during training with most breeds, but especially for Goldens with their never-ending appetites. Food treats can be very effectively used to lure your dog into a specific position and, of course, as a reward after performing desired actions.
- Phasing Out Food Treats. If your Golden gets a treat every time he does something, he will soon perform only when he wants a treat and feel really hard done by if he doesn’t get his treat (which is bad news if you happen to have no treats at hand). If, however, you only offer treats as a reward from time to time, your dog will love the gamble will be motivated to work for occasionally offered treats. Once your Golden has learnt a new behaviour, you should therefore only reward him randomly with food, as it will otherwise lose its power. This also enables you to eventually phase food rewards out completely.
- Timing is Everything. Praising & rewarding your Golden the exact instant he offers the behaviour you asked for will help him make the connection between the command and the expected behaviour. The more precisely you do this, the faster he will learn.
- Regular Practise. If you want your Golden to remember a command he has learned, you must practise it regularly. Unless you frequently refresh your dog’s training and skills, he will forget them.
To get even the basics right, obedience requires a great deal of time and effort. It is, however, part of being a sensible, responsible owner and hopefully something you considered before ever getting your Golden Retriever.
Basic obedience commands help teach your Golden the essential skills he needs to harmoniously live with a human family and allow you to keep him and those around you safe by providing your Golden with careful direction.
Exercising his mind, obedience training also gives your Golden a sense of purpose, usefulness and having performed meaningful work – all of which is extremely important for intelligent dogs like Golden Retrievers.
Obedience Training is not an option for Golden Retrievers, it is an essential.