Are Golden Retrievers Destructive?

I was interested in buying a golden retriever dog, but one question kept on troubling me: are golden retrievers destructive? I had to conduct personal research, and here are some of the findings I came up with, and some of the results are fascinating.

Even though golden retrievers are known to be very gentle and well-behaved dogs, they can turn to be destructive due to several reasons. Golden retrievers can develop bad behaviors in cases of injuries, illnesses and as a form of demonstrating frustration. Golden retrievers can also become destructive when in fear or as a way of showing dominance.

The destructive behaviors can be of different forms and depend on the cause of that behavior. Unfortunately, it is not easy to figure out what is causing that violent behavior in your dog, as totally different behaviors can originate from totally different reasons. Even though your golden retriever was a well-behaved pet initially, there is a chance of it becoming destructive and thus turning out to be enemy number one in the house. This can be very frustrating since you have no idea of how to stop these kinds of behaviors.

Among the signs of destructive behaviors of golden retrievers are chewing items when you are not in the room, barking, which can ruin the neighborhood if not controlled, and becoming overprotective to food; thus may be aggressive to any person or animal who seems to be a threat to their food.

As an owner, you need to ensure that you understand and meet dog needs. Golden retrievers whose needs are rarely met turn destructive; furthermore, starting to meet your Golden retriever dog needs will gradually reverse the destructive behaviors.

To reverse the destructive behaviors, you should spend more time with your pet and socialize it well; if you cannot solve the problem, you can take it to a vet or seek advice from a professional dog trainer.

Destructive behaviors in Golden Retrievers


Golden retrievers tend to chew items wherever you are not in the room, especially when you fail to provide enough chewing materials. They usually destroy couches and clothes; thus, it is crucial as an owner you provide enough chewing sponges and bones to prevent them from lurching on your items like seats and slippers.

Chewing will increase unnecessary expenses. You will also need to explain to your spouse wherever something important is destroyed. Furthermore, you will not focus on your work because wherever you are out of your house, you will be worried about something crucial being chewed.


Sometimes dogs develop unnecessary barking that will distract neighbors and even breakdown relationships. Barking behaviors always discourage and keep away friends and visitors unless they are familiar with your dog.

Food protecting

As with human beings and other animals, food is one of the most important things for a dog; thus, it is more likely for a dog to become aggressive wherever you, any other person, or animal present as a threat to its food. Even the gentlest golden retrievers tend to lash out, growl, and even bite the offenders.

Why do golden retrievers turn destructive?

After I got a positive answer to the question, “are golden retrievers destructive?” I was interested to know why some develop these destructive behaviors while others do not. I found out there is always a reason behind a Golden Retriever dog being destructive. Some of the reasons that came out include;

Abuse by the owner

My study carefully looked into aggressive behaviors and found out that one of the common reasons Golden Retrievers become aggressive is mistreatment or abuse from the owners or other people; therefore, they defend themselves by biting or barking to keep away the offenders. Golden retrievers treated with kindness rarely become aggressive.

It is not impossible to help a dog that has become an aggressive dog, but it needs a lot of patience to rebuild the trust that someone shattered. Building good behavior will require that you keep little children away as they are likely to trigger your dog unnecessarily; thus, it is a good idea to isolate and slowly build a relationship with your dog before introducing it to people over time.


Dogs get frustrated whenever you try teaching them something that is beyond their capabilities. Frustrations build-up, and the dog usually begins barking and will even snap at you. This behavior is called redirected aggression or barrier frustration. Barriers frustration is also common in dogs tied-up or those left in the crate for too long.

As a way of establishing dominance

Dogs usually show aggression to one another as a way of showing dominance over one another. Wherever dogs snap at one another, it’s not always a bad sign that your dog is out of control. Instead, it would help if you understood it because your dog feels challenged. It is good that you make your golden retriever secure. Once your dog feels like he or she does not need to prove himself, the aggression will stop.


Golden retrievers can become loud and aggressive wherever they perceive a threat to their staff, such as food, their places of rest, toys, food, and even beds. Possessiveness can be very frustrating, primarily when your dog protects all the toys in a house with little children who badly need the toys.

Golden retrievers demonstrate different attachment levels to toys, and some will have no problem if a child pets them while chewing on a bumper. However, a similar dog might freak out wherever you try rubbing him while chewing on a bone.


Just like other animals and human beings, the Golden retriever has a fight-or-flight response to things that threaten their safety. Wherever a golden retriever is confronted with a threat, it responds with a destructive display due to the anxiety caused by the threatening situation. Your dog might lash or bark.

You only need to stop and look around to identify anything that might have threatened your dog. Some problems catch dogs off-guard; thus, they feel that the only way out is barking or even bitting.

Illnesses and injuries

Golden retrievers develop some abnormal behavior when sick or injured. If your dog turns grumpy, you should examine it to check for injuries or infections. Examine dogs with caution since touching a tender area might make your dog bite.

Wherever you see your dog flinching, you should suspect stomach issues. Thus it would be good to take the dog to a vet for a physical examination, checkup, and subsequent diagnosis of the problem. Ensure your vet gives you a plan of managing the stomach issues and how you will reverse the behavior. Generally, your dog will be cheery and gentle once the stomach issues resolve.

However, as you investigate the cause of your dog’s destructive behaviors, you should be willing to accept that Golden Retrievers have need that must be met for them to be well behaved; thus, you also need to gauge yourself, that is if you are meeting the dog’s need. You can probably begin by asking yourself what has changed recently before the emergence of this destructive behavior?

How to eliminate or stop the development of destructive behaviors in golden retrievers

After understanding that golden retrievers can be destructive at times, it is crucial to stop these destructive behaviors.

The starting point in eliminating or preventing destructive behaviors in any dog is identifying the cause or origin of the bad behavior. Always begin with injury and illness; if these are excluded, check for the things that make your dog frightened.

Spend time with your dog

Dogs are generally social and love being around people; thus, spending enough time with your dog will ensure that it has no time to develop any destructive behaviors. Take your golden retriever out for a walk as this makes it use its energy well instead of devouring things and barking unnecessarily.

Are Golden Retrievers Destructive?

Spending time with your dog makes it more friendly and easier to train, and it gives you a chance to learn its body language, and thus it becomes much easier for you to know wherever it’s hurt or disturbed. You will know when it is nervous, sick, or even scared; therefore, you will intervene before it becomes aggressive. At times, dogs resolve destructive behaviors by only spending time with their owners.

Routine physical activity

Golden retriever requires modest physical activity that will enable them to spend the extra energy otherwise to destroy items. Taking a golden retriever for a walk in the park isn’t enough; it is just like a regular walk; instead, give it an enormous exercise by probably letting it join in your routine jog.

Find an exercise that makes your dog’s heart race, and this will include some rigid splints and swimming after bumpers. The strenuous activities will help your dog get the endorphin response that they require to relax at home.

Distraction technique

You can employ a distractive technique wherever your dog is in the middle of destructive behavior. Something like a toy or game will work perfectly. Wherever you notice your golden retriever barking or chewing, you can take out a toy and show it to him, and you can wave the toy to ensure that you get the attention of your pet. This technique breaks down the behavior cycle, and playing will let it know that everything is right.

Socialization is one of the essential things that dogs need. Wherever you acquire a golden retriever, ensure that you make it through the socialization process, which helps you feel comfortable at home and in various new situations. The more comfortable a golden retriever is, the less likely he is to take on destructive behaviors.

The reason why you get a golden retriever

There is no doubt a golden retriever is among the best pets; what has attracted people to golden retrievers? There are many great things about golden retrievers, but I have distilled just some essential things about their personalities.

1. They are beautiful pets that are calm and love being around people.

2. Golden retrievers are easy to train and love exercise; thus will help you in training.

3. They are gentle and exhibit loyalty to their owners.

4. Golden retrievers get well with other pets in the house; thus, you can acquire another pet without being worried about its safety.

5. Golden retrievers are very confident if they are well socialized.

6. Golden retrievers are enthusiastic, give human comfort, make us laugh; this increases our lifespan.

7. Golden retrievers love their owners and love to please people.

In conclusion, the most effective way to handle destructive golden retriever dog behaviors is to prevent them. Socialization gives dogs a calming demeanor; thus, you must take your dog through the socialization process wherever you have a significant change in your life like a schedule or job changes, wherever you have a new baby or acquire another pet.

You can as well contact a vet or a professional trainer to help you sort the problem. I hope you won’t be troubled by “are golden retrievers destructive.” Correct management permanently eliminates destructive behaviors.

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