Golden Retrievers are social dogs, but they still need to be properly socialized like other dogs. Here, we describe the steps you should take to help socialize your Golden Retriever puppy:
Determine your Golden Retriever’s threshold
Golden Retrievers have a threshold, for when things get too much for them. When they reach their threshold, they become stressed and over-reactive. A poorly socialized Goldie will have a lower threshold than a well-socialized Goldie. But how do you figure out where your pup’s threshold is? Typically, you can spot it by keeping an eye out for the following stress symptoms:
- Lowered head
- Rounded body
- Furrowed brow
- Lowered or tucked tail
- Shaking and/or panting
- Flattened ears
- Lip licking
Use positive reinforcement
Sometimes, your Goldie will do something they shouldn’t. Most people’s instinct is to punish their pup, but this actually does more harm than good. Pups usually misbehave because they want attention, so punishing them is, counterintuitively, a way to get attention. Instead, use positive reinforcement. This includes ignoring bad behavior while praising and rewarding good behavior.
Don’t rush things
At the end of the day, training is a process. Your Goldie will not be 100% socialized after just a few days of training. So, while it may be frustrating at times, try to stay calm and patient. Don’t rush things, and always remember that dog trainers are there to help you.