When to Forbid Something

david - Posted on 02 December 2010

Thanks to their overflowing amiability and good nature, there is little chance that you are going to need to forbid your golden retriever any kind of aggressive behavior.

Aggression is extremely rare in these dogs, and in fact they are so good natured and laid back that they make very poor watchdogs, since they are more apt to welcome an intruder with a wagging tail than a fierce bark. Like nearly all living creatures, they will fight if attacked, but aggressive behavior is very unlikely even without your making an active effort to forbid it.

One thing that you may, paradoxically, have to forbid your golden retriever is too much virtue – specifically, too much work or exercise. These dogs need a good, solid, robust daily exercise session, whether that comes in the form of playing, running with you while you jog or bicycle, participating with you in dog agility activities, going hunting with you, or whatever else can burn off their abundant energy. These dogs literally need daily exercise to stay healthy.

However, golden retrievers are workaholics who literally don’t know when to stop. There are instances on record of these dogs continuing to work until they actually collapse and die from exhaustion. Even if they do not die, many golden retrievers will continue to work until they collapse, which may put them out of action for several days or cause damage to their general health.

Therefore, it is necessary to forbid your golden retriever excessive work. Keep an eye on them, and when they start to pant, move as though they are exhausted, look baggy under the eyes, or show any other signs of exhaustion, make them stop for a while, possibly for the day, and make sure they get plenty of water to drink. Since dogs don’t sweat, they usually don’t lose electrolytes, so plain water is usually enough to rehydrate them. If your dog is panting raggedly and loudly, and their tongue has darkened, make them stop immediately and keep them relaxed for the rest of the day if possible, as well as providing fresh, cool water for them to drink.

Of course, you will need to forbid occasional other behavior as well. Chewing on furniture or footgear is forbidden – though this can usually be headed off entirely by providing chew toys for the dog’s natural urge to gnaw. Jumping up on visitors is best addressed with leash training, putting your foot on the leash to pull them gently but firmly down, with the command “down”.