Like the German Shepherd, the Golden Retriever is among the breeds of dogs that work well for families with little children. Most people describe them as family dogs. This is because they are usually kind, tolerant, easygoing, and gentle, and they will gladly play and follow your children because they are not fearful or timid.
However, proper training is still required before Golden Retrievers may safely interact with children. Nevertheless, they are known worldwide to be the best family dog.
However, the breed comes with a vast variation. Golden retrievers can also be aggressive, especially around children. It depends on how you train them because they are not born that way.
This is why most parents are often concerned about whether having a golden retriever around their children is a good idea. We will discuss in detail the benefits of having a golden retriever in your house and how you should train them.
How Protective Are Golden Retrievers?
A golden receiver is not a good guard dog, they can bark to alert you when there is danger and possibly frighten intruders, but that is it. It holds a Guinness World Record for having the loudest bark.
If an intruder tries to enter your house, all the golden retriever will do is bark. But when the person eventually enters your house, the dog won’t do anything to fight them unless the intruder attacks you physically.
However, the dog has a very loud bark, and most times, the bark alone is enough to frighten or scare away intruders.
Hence, regardless of whether golden retrievers are truly protective, their presence can still add protection to your home.
What Triggers The Temper Of A Golden Retriever?
Golden retrievers are breeds of obedient, intelligent, and playful dogs. They are pretty energetic and adapt quickly to family life.
They are constantly eager to go for a stroll or play fetch. In addition, they mature slowly, another factor that makes them excellent with children. They can go as far as acting like a little puppy for a long time, even when they have fully matured.
However, as much as they can be playful and sweet, they can still be aggressive. They are not born with this aggression; it all depends on how you train or raise them. They are the result of maltreatment, neglect, and inadequate socialization.
You might be wondering about the connection between socialization and aggression.
Well, most aggressive behaviors in golden retrievers are triggered by fear caused by inadequate socialization.
For instance, when your Golden retriever hasn’t seen anyone in glasses & a hat before. Then one day, you come across a little girl wearing a hat and sunglasses who likes dogs, and she tries to pet your dog.
You allow her to pet him since you know your golden retriever loves children.
However, your dog has never encountered a girl wearing a hat & sunglasses, so he becomes frightened by this particular child and may bite her when she aggressively approaches and places her hand in front of your dog’s face.
This is why we advise you to socialize appropriately with them to avoid any future aggression. You should also take them for a stroll to familiarize themselves with the environment, different types of people, objects, sounds, and other animals.
Do Golden Retrievers Get Along Well With Babies?
As we mentioned earlier, It’s well-known that golden retrievers are kind to young children. Nonetheless, you should proceed cautiously when forming a relationship with them.
It is advisable to take a gradual step when introducing your baby to them, and you should also make an effort to keep an eye on your dog when your baby is around them.
Moreover, golden retrievers are fond of licking people around them, and their mouths may contain some pathogens or germs, just like every other dog. When exposed to the dog’s saliva, these germs/pathogens can harm your baby.
Also, note that leaving the dog (whether golden retriever or not) around the baby unsupervised is not advisable. This is because your baby might step on, trip over, or grab them, which can frighten the dog, making them bite or bark at the baby due to reflex.
But if you can supervise both of them together, your baby will undoubtedly enjoy the dog’s company.
Not to worry, this article will help you understand how to introduce your baby to the dog and teach your baby to act around them.
There are several advantages to owning a Golden Retriever as a pet in your home. Dogs make excellent playmates for kids, and getting a dog as a family is a beautiful way to teach your kids to appreciate and care for animals.
Youngsters raised with dogs will be more at ease around dogs in general and won’t be needlessly alarmed if they come across one in their neighborhood.
Their playfulness and social nature make them excellent playmates for kids. But, of course, you and your kids will have to spend more time outside if you have a dog. Golden retrievers require a lot of activity, and the entire family can participate.
Introducing Your Baby To Your Golden Retriever
If you are wondering how to introduce your newborn baby to your golden retriever, you are in the right place. You shouldn’t bring your baby directly to the dog. Instead, gradually bring in the baby’s belongings(like his socks) or your baby’s furniture, and allow the dog to look around and smell it.
Do the same thing with sounds and odors your baby will or might make when he is around. By doing this, your golden retriever will see your baby as someone he already “knows” when they first meet. This will also facilitate developing a deep, protective attachment between your newborn and Golden Retriever.
It’s also helpful to allow your dog to socialize with children when they are still a little puppy. This will enable him to get used to having children for the rest of his life.
Before bringing back a baby, you should train your Golden Retriever the following behaviors:
- Ensure your dog is aware of the areas they are and are not permitted to enter.
- Teach the golden retriever to stop playing with or jumping on your baby (or, in general, everyone around).
- You should also teach them to spend some time alone because once the baby comes home, they will likely spend much alone time. This is why it is essential that you start early to prepare them for such situations. Although it will be difficult, you can teach them to tolerate short periods of solitude.
Before allowing your Golden Retriever to come close to your baby, you must follow this procedure. Make sure to always use caution even if your dog is well-trained.
3 Things To Do To Make Your Golden Retriever Calm Around Your Baby
Most golden retrievers are inherently friendly and calm with babies. But if you still want to increase the chances of getting one that gets along superbly with your child, here are the few steps you can follow to achieve that:
1. Socialize With Them
We previously talked about this briefly at the beginning of this article. It is essential that you socialize with your golden retriever because this will help make them calm and gentle around your baby as well as other people’s children.
You can also help them socialize better by taking them for walks to get used to different kinds of objects, animals, people, and sounds. Try as much as possible to help them have a positive experience about each of them. That way, they won’t be frightened or aggressive around similar things in the future.
2. Train Them
Dogs (golden retrievers especially) are much easier to control if you get them obedient. So it is a good idea to teach them how to behave and what to do.
The wonderful traits of golden retrievers make them easy to train and enjoyable to be around. They are also bright, obedient, and excellent people pleasers. Unfortunately, some owners of golden retrievers don’t believe in training them because the dog is naturally good with children.
However, don’t underestimate the value good training can add to your dog’s life and their relationship with your baby and the people around them.
You can do this by telling them to sit when you want to do something like cleaning your baby’s vomit etc. You can also teach them to stay when you want to leave the room and don’t want them to follow you.
They also love treats. So it is a good idea to reward them whenever they do something good that way, they will know what they did is acceptable. In other words, they respond best to encouragement and plenty of enticing treats. Yet, it might be tricky to train a Golden Retriever to walk on a leash, so it’s best to start early.
3. Exercise Them
Energy is among the thing you look for in a dog. Golden retrievers are very energetic, so they can run around the house, likely to jump on your children or chew on things in the house when they have unused energy stored in them.
Not to worry, because most of these undesirable habits are all because of the too much energy they have stored. You can help them use up some of that energy by providing them with activities that are mentally & physically stimulating.
You can do this by providing them with puzzle toys, taking them for walks, by engaging them in retrieve and tug games.
How To Train Your Child To Be Respectful Around Golden Retrievers
Up until now, we’ve been asking if a golden retriever is good with babies. But the better question might be, are babies good with dogs?
Little children, in particular, are unlikely to know your dog’s need for suitable interactions or boundaries. Even the kindest Golden Retrievers will become irritated when they are prodded, taunted, or bugged.
It is advisable to teach your children how to behave around dogs like you had to teach your golden retriever proper behavior around kids. This is because children can sometimes cross the line with the dog when playing.
Don’t allow them to tap your dog repeatedly, just as you wouldn’t let your child tap another child. In the long run, it’s probably going to be disastrous.
Here are the things to teach your children to avoid when they are playing with your golden retriever:
- Ensure your baby doesn’t grab the dog by the ears, fur, tail, paws, or surface.
- Makes sure your baby doesn’t hit the golden retriever
- Teach them not to poke the golden retriever.
- Teach your kids not to step on the golden retriever or its tail.
- Teach your kids not to pursue the dog when it’s not in the mood for a chase.
- Teach them to avoid yelling or squealing at the dog.
If your baby can’t follow these basic instructions, they are too young to play with the golden retriever. It is best to wait for them to be old enough before they can come close to the dog.
It is also essential to know that some children don know how to give a gentle touch. Therefore, don’t allow your child to come close to the dog if he doesn’t know how to give a gentle touch because he might slap or hit the dog, thinking he is petting it, which may result in the dog attacking or biting them.
Some of the benefits of golden retrievers around young children are listed below.
- Golden retrievers are gentle dogs.
- They are playful: Golden Retrievers can equal a child’s activity level, and playfulness is another factor that makes them the ideal dog for children. In addition, they are a gregarious and lively breed.
- They don’t bark a lot.
- They are easy to train, and they are fast learners.
- They don’t act hostile.
- They are kind, loving, and caring: Golden retrievers enjoy being touched physically. Also, they have a high emotional IQ and offer support when they notice someone is distressed. Because of these qualities, Golden Retrievers are frequently used in therapy dog training.
However, ensure your golden retriever doesn’t kiss your child since, like any other dog breed, their lips may contain germs(pathogens) you don’t want to expose your child to. This is because babies’ immune system is not strong enough to fight most germs. Therefore, allowing them to make contact with the dog’s saliva can harm them.
How Can You Decrease The Likelihood Of Allergies?
Many worry their kids might develop allergies if they live with a pet. Recent studies, however, indicate that kids who grow up with pets typically have fewer illnesses & allergies than kids who are reared in homes without pets.
According to studies, if cats and dogs are present in the home during the first year of the child’s life, there is a lower chance that the youngster would experience allergies like asthma or eczema.
Early contact with animals offers kids’ immune systems a chance to acclimate to dander. The fact that Golden Retrievers enjoy being outside is another factor that may help lower the risk of allergy development. An active lifestyle and exposure to nature strengthen a child’s immune system.
Why Owning A Golden Retriever May Not Be the Best Choice for Your Family
As mentioned earlier, golden retrievers are lovely pets, but not every family should own one. This is because it also comes with some responsibilities.
The following are some reasons why having a golden retriever in your family might not be a brilliant idea:
Golden Retrievers Are Very Energetic
We stated earlier that golden retrievers are energetic, especially when still a puppy. So having a child cry around them might enrage them. But this means little since the toddler and puppy stages will pass quickly, but just be aware that your golden will need additional attention around your kids while they are still puppies.
They Are High-Maintenance Dogs
Golden retrievers are energetic animals that require a lot of exercise and care.
A home with children may be the ideal setting for a golden retriever. Still, if you’re constantly away at soccer practice, changing diapers, or trying to put your baby to sleep, it may be challenging to meet the need of your golden retriever.