It’s really no wonder why the golden retriever is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. They’re intelligent, loyal, loving companions and are widely considered great family pets. Plus, they’re completely adorable.

Are golden retrievers good with kids? Generally, yes, and this is one of the reasons goldens are such good family dogs. If you have kids and are thinking of adopting a golden retriever soon — or if you already own one of these fantastic dogs and will be welcoming a child into your life in the future — you’ll be pleased to know that it will probably be a great match.

Keep in mind that like any dog, golden retrievers need proper training and socialization in order to get along well with kids. That’s why pet parents should be aware of the golden’s temperament and training needs and follow best practices to make sure kids stay safe at all times.

Read on for more information on golden retrievers and how to make sure they get along well with your little humans.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Are golden retrievers good with kids? Boy hugging a golden retriever

Most golden retrievers are outgoing, friendly, yet gentle dogs. Golden retriever puppies, of course, can be rambunctious just like any young dog. However, golden retrievers tend to become more calm and docile the older they get.

Like other working-breed large dogs such as the labrador, golden retrievers are high-energy pets who are bred for activity. You’ll want to be sure you can provide your dog with plenty of exercise on a daily basis, including walks and play sessions. Of course, this is where you can include the kids. If your children are old enough, the golden retriever is the perfect playmate for backyard fun, neighborhood walks, and even outdoor hikes.

Are golden retrievers good with younger children, like toddlers or babies? While your golden isn’t likely to intentionally harm your child — in fact, they’ll probably become very loving and protective of them — remember that these are large dogs who may not always be aware of their own size and strength. 

As is the case with any dog, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your pet if they’re spending time around a baby or toddler. This will help avoid any collisions or accidents.

Golden Retriever Training Tips

Golden retriever with Native Pet product

Before you introduce your child and your canine best friend, you’ll want to be sure that your dog is trained and socialized properly. If you’ve had your golden retriever since puppyhood, you’ve (hopefully) introduced them to a wide variety of people and situations. This encourages them to be comfortable with people of different backgrounds, genders, and sizes.

If you’ve recently adopted a golden retriever from a rescue organization, breeder, or pet store, you might not be sure about their training background or personal temperament. It’s wise to get familiar with your new dog before letting young children meet them for the first time so that you understand their personality and quirks.

Here are the basic tips to make sure your golden retriever dog is properly trained and socialized to live with children:

Teach Basic Commands

Your dog should know the basics of obedience training, including fundamental commands like sit, stay, come, heel, and lay down. Your pup should also be crate trained and potty trained. Can golden retrievers be good with kids if they aren’t familiar with this training? It’s certainly possible, but proper training helps you better control your dog’s behavior, so we recommend it.

Provide Lots of Exercise

As mentioned above, the golden retriever is a working breed of dog that needs a lot of exercise. Help them be their happiest and maximize their lifespan by going on walks, playing with favorite toys, and romping on a regular basis. 

Keep in mind that the mental stimulation playtime provides is just as important as the physical exercise — a golden retriever who is cooped up all day is more likely to act out aggressively or inappropriately.

Practice Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a dog training technique that involves rewarding your golden retriever with a treat, chew, or verbal praise when they’ve done something good — meeting another dog gently, following a command, not jumping up when greeting a passerby — rather than scolding them for negative behavior. Because goldens are so naturally eager to please, positive reinforcement tends to work very well with them.

If you would like help with your golden retriever’s training, don’t hesitate to contact a professional dog trainer or animal behaviorist. It’s the best way to help your four-legged companion become a well-behaved, well-adjusted member of the family.

Show Young Children to Interact Properly With Dogs

Golden retriever in a field

Just as important as training your dog themselves is teaching your children how to act appropriately around your dog. Teach your child to:

Pet Nicely

Young children might like to pull on Fido’s ears or tail, which could hurt your dog and provoke an aggressive response. Make sure your child understands how to handle and pet your golden retriever properly.

Respect Your Dog’s Space

Some dogs are protective of their spaces, like their bed or dog food bowl. While it’s unlikely a golden retriever would get aggressive over these areas, make sure your child knows that even dogs need their space sometimes.

Understand Doggy Body Language 

Help your child become familiar with signs of a happy dog like a wagging tail and a relaxed body, as well as warning signs like bared teeth, wide eyes, and growling.

Final Tips for Best Interactions With Children

Are golden retrievers good with kids of all ages? Generally speaking, yes. However, small children might not understand some of the above concepts. That’s why, if you have very young children or babies in the home, it’s always wise to supervise interactions between your dog and kids.

And remember: A golden retriever puppy might also take a little time to grow into a great companion for children. They may simply be too high-energy and boisterous for certain families with very young kids.

Do you have a rambunctious type of dog you want to calm before spending time with children? Give Native Pet’s Calming Chicken Chews a try. These all-natural air-dried chews help muscles relax and can help reduce general anxiety.

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids?

Are golden retrievers good with kids? Girl hugging her dog

Are golden retrievers good with kids? Generally, yes. In fact, they’re widely considered some of the best family dogs out there. That’s probably why they always rank near the top of the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds.

Why are golden retrievers good with kids, exactly? It’s because of their eager-to-please nature and their affectionate, loving, and sociable personalities. These dogs love to romp around with the kids in the backyard just as much as they love to cuddle up on the couch after a long day.

However, every dog needs proper socialization and training to behave well around humans in general, including children. Make sure your golden retriever gets the training and socialization they need. For help, reach out to a dog trainer or your veterinarian.

Remember: Very young children and babies don’t necessarily have the capacity to understand a dog’s social boundaries, so be careful to supervise interactions. If you have slightly older children, teach them how to interact with dogs properly to make sure everyone gets along.

Want more information about golden retrievers, like hair-care tips or nutritional advice? Learn more about your dog’s behavior, health issues, and care needs by visiting the Native Pet blog.

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