If you’ve got a new little Golden Retriever, you may wonder if the zoomies will ever end. Well, you’ve come to the right place to find the answer!
We’ve got the low down on when Golden Retrievers calm down, different life stages, and what you can do to help your bundle of fluff live the best life possible.
Now, take a deep breath, and let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- 1 Golden Retriever Life Stages & Energy Levels
- 2 Are Golden Retrievers Naturally High Energy?
- 3 Do Genetics Play A Role?
- 4 The Low Down On Spaying/Neutering
- 5 Ways to Calm Down Your Golden Retriever
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Our Final Thoughts
Golden Retriever Life Stages & Energy Levels
As you’ve probably guessed, your dog’s energy levels will vary throughout its life – you surely don’t expect your dog to calm down when it’s still a puppy!
Here’s a guide on how you can expect things to change as your Goldie ages.
Golden Retriever puppies
Congratulations on your brand new Golden fluff ball; you’re in for a lifetime of cuddles. Along with that comes a lot of running around.
Young puppies under 12 weeks will run around the house as if their lives depend on it. But can you blame them? Everything is new and exciting.
On the other hand, as much running as they do, they sleep just as much. Don’t be surprised to catch your young Golden Retriever puppy passed out mid-play session. Their brains say Go! But their little bodies can’t keep up.
You must remember that before reaching their forever home, they likely spent their days playing with their littermates. Going from having friends all over the place 24/7 to being alone is a big adjustment.
That’s where you come in.
You’ll have to be available for a lot of playtime and love for the first 12 weeks. This is a vital part of bonding with your Goldie.
After 12 weeks, a Golden Retriever puppy needs different types of stimulation to keep them calm. They usually aren’t entertained with small things and require active physical and mental stimulation. Additionally, those naps become fewer and fewer as they reach the six-month mark.
Don’t get us wrong, your puppy will still nap a lot throughout the day during the puppy phase, but it won’t be as frequent. Generally, Golden Retriever puppies sleep for up to 18 hours a day. They wake for short zoomie spurts and then go back to sleep.
After all, growing into the gorgeous Golden canine friend you need takes a lot of energy.
Sleep is an important part of the puppy phase because an overly tired puppy will act out. It’s the same as a toddler; when they reach a certain point without sleep, all hell is about to break loose. You will see an immediate change in your puppy; they will run, bite, destroy, and chew everything in sight.
To avoid this, monitoring sleep is vital to ensure your Golden Retriever puppy gets what they need.
Adolescent Golden Retrievers
If you thought your Golden Retriever puppy would grow out of being a hyper legend, you’d be wrong. They require a lot of activity from six months to three years to tire them out. Think about it, a human baby sleeps for hours on end, but a toddler needs a good run around to get into nap mode.
It’s the same for puppies, particularly Golden Retrievers because they are a larger breed. This means their adolescent phase is a lot longer than smaller dog breeds. They are in adolescence for about two and a half years.
Adolescent Golden Retrievers require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. This is when their bodies grow the most, and they begin learning about the world around them. You’ll need to do everything you can to give them the right outlets so they don’t misbehave.
Training during this phase is absolutely essential. The good news? Golden Retrievers are some of the easiest to train. They thrive on pleasing their owners and will do everything they can to make you happy. That’s one of the reasons they’re such a popular breed.
If you think waiting to train is a good idea, think again. A dog without training and appropriate energy release can be a nightmare; we mean that quite literally. You can say goodbye to your shoes, garden, and that fabulous couch you just spent five years saving up for.
So, with that in mind, puppy classes and training should be at the top of your list of things to do with your puppy during this phase.
But it’s not all bad; giving your puppy what they need will ensure a calm, loving, and well-behaved pooch. But it does take work.
We’ll get into the exercises and other things you’ll need to keep your pup in check shortly.
Adult Golden Retrievers
Your Golden Retriever should stop growing physically and be socially mature at around three years of age. But what does that mean?
By this point, your pup should be highly trained. They know what’s right and wrong, so the fear of coming home to a totally destroyed couch should be gone.
Golden Retrievers are naturally energetic, so you’ll need to give them the right amount of physical and mental stimulation. If your dog is behaving unusually, it might be bored and not getting what it needs to remain calm, happy, and fulfilled.
This may present itself in the following ways:
- Excessive barking
These are all signs that something isn’t working in your Golden Retriever’s routine. But we’ll get into what you should be doing shortly.
As your Golden Retriever gets older, it should be much calmer than during adolescence. They should enjoy a good nap and a long cuddle on the couch. Again, this is only if their exercise needs are being fulfilled.
Once your doggo heads into its senior phase (over eight), it won’t need as much activity and will be more relaxed. You’ll need to keep an eye out for excessive sleeping or not wanting to go for walks, as this might indicate a medical issue.
It’s all about finding a balance. Once you’ve gotten to know your dog, you’ll know what they’re like in their normal day-to-day lives, so picking up on an issue shouldn’t be a problem. Trust us; a well-adjusted Golden Retriever will let you know when there’s a problem.
Are Golden Retrievers Naturally High Energy?
Golden Retrievers are working dogs; that’s what they were bred for. This natural instinct remains, but today their job is to be cute! So, how do we ensure our dogs get what they need?
The Golden Retriever is a family breed. They love being around their owners and generally are happy to spend time doing whatever the family does. This means the breed is highly social and will need a lot of attention. You can train them to be alone once they’re over the six-month mark, but it’s not natural for the Golden Retriever.
They genuinely love being around you.
One of the big reasons the Golden Retriever is so popular is how great they are with kids. But are Golden Retrievers protective? You bet your socks! They are incredibly patient and protective, two characteristics you want in a family dog. So, if you’ve got little ones that love running around, the Golden Retriever is the perfect breed.
Plus, you’ll kill two birds with one stone, a tired pup and kids!
On a typical day, an adult Golden Retriever needs 60-90 minutes of exercise daily. This can be walks, playtime, or even a run around the garden. They are naturally high-energy and require a lot of stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviors. If your pooch gets enough exercise, you should have a nice and calm Golden Retriever.
Do Genetics Play A Role?
We don’t like to put a lot of weight on the genetics argument because there is no guarantee, but they do play a role in how energetic your dog is.
If you think about the traits of a hunting dog, it’s trained to be up and alert for long hours. Now compare that to a therapy dog trained to remain calm and docile.
The two dogs are totally different in what they do throughout the day. This does in some way affect their physical build and their mental stimulation needs.
Now, if you have a puppy bred from two hunting dogs, there is a high chance your pup will need a lot more physical activity to calm down than if they’re bred from two therapy dogs.
It would be in their genetic makeup from birth. However, we strongly believe that dogs are far more likely to behave a certain way because of their environments. So, if you train your dog well from a young age, they are no more likely to be hyper than other dogs.
If you want more info on other dog breeds and how they compare in the calmness department, barksinthepark.co has got you covered!
So while genetics can play a role to some degree, it’s not an exact science. Plus, your dog’s temperament is built on its experiences and environment.
A fast-paced household with a million things happening at once will have a puppy mighty excited. If that carries on for long enough, the chances of you keeping your Golden Retriever calm are pretty slim, regardless of their genetics.
The Low Down On Spaying/Neutering
There is a belief that spaying or neutering your Golden Retriever will in some way affect its chill. But we’re here to bust this myth right open.
Let’s start at the beginning. Your Golden Retriever puppy has hormones. Like all animals (us included), there is a genetic need to mate and have children. These hormones can affect how your dog behaves. Let’s be honest, teens slamming doors is nothing new, and it’s the same for your doggo.
Now, when your dog’s hormones go a bit crazy, it can lead to unwanted behaviors like jumping, mounting, aggression, and territory marking. This is all par for the course and shouldn’t be a big worry. But it can mean your dog won’t be as calm as usual, so it’s something to prepare for.
Once your Golden puppy is one year old, it’s time to take them to the vet for the inevitable. It’s not nice to see our animals get hurt, but it’s better than having hundreds of Golden Retrievers running around without a home.
After a spay or neuter, the hormones that once made your dog a little cray-cray won’t be active anymore, so you’ll notice a change in those old behaviors.
However, spaying or neutering your Golden Retriever will not affect its personality. If you have a fun-loving goofball that loves sprinting around the garden, that is who they are.
So, will spaying and neutering make Golden Retrievers calm down?
Not likely; it will only prevent unwanted behavior brought on by their mating hormones. It will also keep your dog focused on what matters, like training and simply being a relaxed doggo.
Ways to Calm Down Your Golden Retriever
As we know, an adult Golden Retriever needs at least 60-90 minutes of exercise daily. This doesn’t mean you have to take them on a long hike every day; there are loads of things you can try.
A walk in the park, a long play session in the garden, a doggy treadmill, and even training. The best thing is to mix it up a bit to keep it exciting for you and your dog.
Since Golden Retrievers are naturally more energetic, they need a lot of attention. You must prepare yourself and have a lifestyle that works for a hyper Golden Retriever.
Exercising is one of the only ways to help Golden Retrievers calm down and burn excess energy. They need physical activity to lower energy levels and eliminate any pent-up excitement.
If you want a calm dog, you can’t expect them to behave if you haven’t given them what they need first. That’s like expecting your baby to nap ten minutes after waking up.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for your doggo. There are a lot of places where walking your dog on a leash is permitted, including local parks, around town, and of course the dog park.
We recommend keeping Golden Retrievers on a leash regardless of where they are. This is particularly important if they haven’t been spayed or neutered yet. You don’t know how your pup will be around other dogs.
But what if you don’t have time for daily walks?
Don’t stress; hiring a dog walker is one of the best things you can do for your fluffy pal if you’ve got a full-time job. It allows them to get out during the day and learn to socialize with other dogs.
If you’re stuck in terrible weather for months on end, a doggy treadmill is a perfect solution. Your dog gets exercise in a safe and comfortable space.
Still, nothing beats the real thing, so try your best to get out there with your Golden fluff ball. It’s a great time to bond and enjoy their energetic personalities.
Now onto the fun part, playing with Golden Retrievers. This is the most fun for you and your puppy. There are loads of ways to enjoy your time together, including:
- Hide and seek
- Playing fetch
- Chasing each other
- Treat tossing
- Tug of war
The options are pretty endless, and you don’t need to worry about the impact on your credit card either. These games require minimal financial input.
But if your Golden Retriever loves toys, games, and treats, which we certainly think they will, then buying some spoils is worth it. That goofy grin at the sight of a new toy is just about as cute as it gets!
A monthly subscription service like Bark Box is an awesome option to keep things interesting. Your pup will get treats and toys monthly to satisfy all their play needs.
Exercising isn’t only about physical activity but mental stimulation too. Golden Retrievers are incredibly smart and need mental activities to keep those brains in tip-top shape.
There are loads of brain games on the market. Most have to do with finding treats by solving puzzles. This works well for your Golden Retriever’s natural instinct to seek and gives their memories a good go.
For example, the Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound MultiPuzzle Interactive Dog Treat Puzzle is a very popular choice. It has close to 100,000 buyers and a 4.4-star rating. It’s an ideal option for Golden Retrievers, given their inquisitive nature.
Are males or female Golden Retrievers calmer?
Females tend to be calmer; they welcome affection regardless of what they’ve got going on. On the other hand, males are slightly more hyper due to their hormones, but they do physically mature faster, so they’re easier to train at a young age.
What is the hardest Golden puppy stage?
This depends on what you think is hard. The first six months of a puppy’s life require a lot of work and attention. There is a lot of training happening during this stage. However, between six months and two years, your dog will still have higher energy levels; they’ll just be bigger.
Do Golden Retrievers have behavior problems?
Not inherently, the Golden Retriever is one of the easiest breeds to train. But, like all dogs, they require training and patience. The Golden Retreiver has a lot of energy which may increase the chances of behavioral issues if you don’t fill their needs.
Our Final Thoughts
Golden Retrievers are one of the world’s most loyal, loving, and sweet dog breeds. They will love you more than you can imagine!
However, they are an active breed that needs a decent amount of mental and physical stimulation to ensure they live a good and happy life.
So, if you’re considering making one of these pups part of your family, you need to be prepared for the work that goes into it.
Your dog does calm down the older they get but only to a certain extent. You will be hard-pressed to find a completely calm Golden Retriever that hasn’t been trained.
So, if you’re looking for a dog to sit on the couch all day, this isn’t the right dog for you. But if you want a cuddly companion loyal to the bone that enjoys a good run around, the Golden Retriever might be the perfect fit.