While not as common as in some other breeds of dog, Golden Retriever aggression is still a problem faced by many new dog owners. There are some issues in the breeding process that can lead to an overly aggressive dog, but more common is the issue that inexperienced dog owners just don’t know how to properly care for their pet.
It’s important that you, as a golden retriever owner, understand dog aggression causes, and are able to identify the signs at the earliest stage so that you can remedy the problem before it gets too severe.
The main signs of Golden Retriever aggression include:
- Baring Teeth
Jumping: In aggressive behavior, jumping is typically a sign of your dog trying to exert dominance in a situation. This may be with other animals, with other family members, or with you. It’s important to curb this behavior early because once your dog feels dominant in the house more aggressive behavior will begin to appear.
Barking/Growling: Possibly the most common form, or at least the most commonly associated form of aggression is that of barking and growling. Far less common in the retriever than in other species of dog, this issue is one of the best signs your dog has a behavior problem.
Baring Teeth: A sure sign your dog isn’t happy about something is when they bare their teeth to you. Often accompanied by a growl or bark, your pet is telling you they aren’t happy about the situation.
Biting: When it gets to the point that your dog is actually lunging for and biting it’s typically time for a trip to your vet. When an adult dog bites, they exert a lot of pressure in their jaws which can lead to serious injury for the victim.
In all four cases listed above, it’s important to recognize the signs early and take appropriate action to stop them.
The first, and possibly most important, step you can take is to reassert your authority as owner of the pet retriever. As long as your dog believes itself to be the alpha dog, the aggressive behavior is likely to persist, and that’s a sign of trouble.
The second step, after you reassert dominance over your dog, is to alleviate the causes of the aggression in the first place. Most likely the dog was becoming frustrated at the lack of attention (or possibly at receiving the wrong kind of attention) or exercise, and so the remedy to this particular problem would be to increase the amount of attention and exercise the dog receives daily.
Be cautious not to spoil your pet with too much attention as this can be a cause of separation anxiety. Lots of healthy exercise and appropriate levels of attention are the best ways to help alleviate your Golden Retriever aggression issues.