Skip to Content

Are Goldendoodles Protective?

Are Goldendoodles Protective?

If you were to consider a Goldendoodle’s parent breeds, it would be fair to assume the Goldendoodle would make a good protective guard dog. Golden Retrievers are known for being territorial, and Poodles are also known to display protective instincts. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Goldendoodles are a protective guard dog breed.

Looking at the curly-locked Goldendoodle, you wouldn’t consider them particularly defensive in the face of danger. Their appearance does not betray their nature, as Goldendoodles are not known to display any guard dog instincts.

This guide will examine the factors that can make Goldendoodles protective and why they aren’t naturally overly protective.

Are Goldendoodles Protective Of Their Owners?

goldendoodle not so typically protective, riding a on a bike

Although Goldendoodles are highly loving and caring dogs, they don’t get overly protective of their owners. Goldendoodles grow very attached to their owners, but this attachment is unlikely to develop into full-blown protectiveness against all strangers.

Like most dogs, Goldendoodles are likely to display a protective streak whenever their owners are obviously under threat. If an owner is scared, a Goldendoodle may grow fearful too, and switch to protective mode.

Goldendoodles come from very intelligent stock. The Golden Retriever breed is highly intelligent, while the Poodle is often ranked as one of the smartest dogs around. Because of this intelligence, Goldendoodles are more likely to differentiate between when protection is needed and when it isn’t.

If a stranger approaches a Goldendoodle’s family and appears friendly, the Goldendoodle will most likely wag its tail and approach to greet the person.

Do Goldendoodles Make Good Guard Dogs?

Goldendoodles don’t make good guard dogs. Although their parent breeds can display some degree of protectiveness, neither Poodles nor Golden Retrievers were bred to carry out guard dog duties.

Other dog breeds, including Dobermans, Cane Corsos, and German Shepherds, can quickly grow aggressive when threatened by an approaching stranger. These dog breeds were bred to act out under any threat and make good guard dogs today.

Guard dogs are alert and always ready to bark at approaching strangers. It is generally in their nature to bark and appear aggressive towards everyone unfamiliar, whether humans or other dogs.

Golden Retrievers and Poodles, on the other hand, were never widely used to serve as guard dogs. This lack of guard dog training has been instilled in their offspring, which is why Goldendoodles cannot be considered guard dog material.

Not only are Goldendoodles highly affable with their family and other dogs, but they’re also very welcoming to strangers. Your Goldendoodle will likely befriend an approaching stranger rather than trying to scare them off! So, don’t expect your Doodle to display typical guard dog tendencies.

Goldendoodles make good alert dogs

Although Goldendoodles don’t make good guard dogs, they can make good alert dogs. If you don’t train them not to do otherwise, a Goldendoodle will likely bark at approaching strangers. This won’t be aggressive but more just a bark to alert owners that someone is coming.

Goldendoodles aren’t attack dogs

Even if you train your Goldendoodle to be a good guard dog, it won’t form any attack dog tendencies. Attack dogs are specifically trained to attack on command instead of merely barking at targets, and Goldendoodles don’t show any tendencies toward physical violence. Therefore, they cannot be made into attack dogs.

The most a Goldendoodle will do is bark and growl.

Can A Goldendoodle Be Trained To Be Protective?

Although the basic answer to the ‘are Goldendoodles protective?’ question is no, it is possible to train Goldendoodles to be more protective than they naturally are. This protective guard dog training would need to occur during puppyhood, however. This way, they can develop a natural protective instinct during their major learning phase.

You can train a Goldendoodle to be more protective using one of the following methods:

Raise them alongside other protective dogs

goldendoodle playing with other animals

Raising your Goldendoodle alongside other naturally protective dogs is the easiest and most organic way to teach your pup how to be protective.

For example, if you raise a Goldendoodle alongside a Doberman, the Doberman will likely influence the Goldendoodle to be more protective. As we’ve mentioned, Goldendoodles are very smart; plus, dogs can learn from each other and mimic behavior.

Because of this, a Goldendoodle will likely display guard dog instincts if it socializes enough with a dog with a protective streak.

Train your Goldendoodle to be protective

Although typical guard dog instincts are not in the nature of these gentle dogs, you can establish some protective characteristics in your Goldendoodle. For example, if you show positive reinforcement every time your dog alerts you to an approaching stranger, your dog will start to bark whenever someone approaches the house.

To keep them under control, you should teach them command words such as ‘leave it’ to get them to quit barking.

Form an extra strong connection with your dog

goldendoodle are known to be fiercely loyal, laying beside its owner

The closer you grow to your Goldendoodle, the more protective the dog will get. If you give your Goldendoodle heaps of attention, it will grow more in tune with your emotions. Fully understanding your feelings is key to displaying protective behaviors.

How Environment Can Impact The Protectiveness Of Goldendoodles

Whether your Goldendoodle spent its early years in a challenging environment or has experienced poor living conditions at any point in its life, it may have developed a more protective nature.

For example, if a Goldendoodle experiences neglect, it may grow extra protective of its food and belongings. Alternatively, if your Goldendoodle has lived through a situation where it had limited food, it may have developed an instinct to protect its food from other dogs. This may manifest in continued protectiveness over its food during feeding time.

Noisey environments may also trigger a protective streak in your Goldendoodle. If you’ve got young kids running around constantly, your Goldendoodle may not fully develop its typical calm nature. Instead, it may always be alert and, therefore, in guard dog mode.

On the flip side, if your Goldendoodle has experienced love and care its whole life, it is unlikely to display any protectiveness over its belongings.

Are Goldendoodles Protective Over Certain Things?

Although a Goldendoodle may not exactly fit the bill of a good guard dog, it may develop protective behaviors when it comes to certain family members or items. This may be a result of their environment or how the Goldendoodle has been raised.

A Goldendoodle may get protective over the following things:

  • You and other family members – In cases where you and your family grow extremely close to your Goldendoodle, the dog may harbor protective instincts.
  • Other family dogs – If your Goldendoodle is raised alongside another dog – or other pets, for that matter – it may form a special bond with the other animal and exhibit a protective love for the other animal.
  • Food – Resource guarding can develop in all dogs, Goldendoodles included. This is when a dog feels its food is threatened, so it will growl whenever someone else approaches it.

What do Goldendoodles find threatening?

As every dog is different, there’s no real way to predict what they may be fearful of. For some, their biggest nemesis may be the vacuum cleaner, while for others, it could be meeting other dogs.

Largely, Goldendoodles, like many other breeds, will find new situations and the unknown to be a stressor. Loud noises, especially fireworks, can also be extremely difficult for Goldendoodles.

How To Control An Overprotective Goldendoodle

Although Goldendoodles aren’t protective dogs by nature, they may develop protective behaviors. Being protective of you and other family members is expected from any breed of loving dog, but sometimes it can impact your relationship with the dog.

Signs of an overprotective Goldendoodle include:

  • Violently barking toward strangers.
  • Not allowing any non-family members in the house.
  • Being alert and anxious about any noise they hear.

To control your overly protective Goldendoodle, try the following approaches:

Create some distance

Giving your Goldendoodle constant attention can sometimes encourage overprotective tendencies. Although it’s hard to create some space between you and your fun-loving dog, allowing them to spend short periods alone is healthy.

Rather than only spending time with you, ensure that your dog spends time with all household members.

It’s also good to make them earn time with you by teaching them command words. Making them ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ now and again can help create some boundaries between you and your pup. Once they obey your commands, you can reward them with positive reinforcement or dog treats. If you don’t have boundaries, you might end up dealing with an overly protective Goldendoodle.

Introduce them to other people

Socialization is vital in all dogs from an early age, as it helps them to get used to different people and situations. You can introduce your Goldendoodle to new people and other dogs whenever you get the chance. Barksinthepark has plenty of tips on socializing your dog, so don’t forget to check out our other posts.

Keep calm

Your Goldendoodle may be displaying overly protective tendencies because it thinks you are under threat. To avoid appearing panicked, try to keep sudden movements to a minimum, and don’t raise your voice if you don’t have to.


What dogs display guard dog tendencies?

There are several dog types that are considered inherently protective, including mastiffs (eg, American Bulldog, Boerboel, Rottweiler), herding dogs (eg, Belgian Shepherd, Catalan Sheepdog) and some Spitz dogs.

Are Goldendoodles easy to train?

In general, Goldendoodles are easy to train. Golden Retrievers and Poodles are both intelligent breeds that respond well to training and positive reinforcement.

Are Goldendoodles loyal?

Whether or not a dog is loyal to its owner heavily depends on how they’re treated, although some dogs appear “loyal” out of fear. Kindness, affection, and healthy boundaries will strengthen your relationship with your dog.

Can Goldendoodles become aggressive?

Just about any dog can become aggressive when provoked or feels threatened. Often, abused or neglected animals are most likely to react in defense mode due to their difficult background.

You should always take the time to understand your dog and be aware of any potential triggers. If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior, speak to your vet immediately about the potential to remedy this reaction.

Final Thoughts

So, are Goldendoodles protective?

Goldendoodles aren’t an inherently protective dog breed, although they may show signs of protective and defensive behavior; they are generally loving dogs who display affection for their owners. A Goldendoodle’s behavior rarely crosses over into aggression.

If it does, it’s normally because the Goldendoodle has been trained to do so or because they were raised in a difficult environment.