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Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot? (100+ Owners Asked!)

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There’s no question about it, almost everyone at some point in their life has thought about owning a golden retriever.

Something that many people wonder before adding one to their family is whether or not they bark a lot.

While having a family dog can be an absolutely amazing experience, certain things can also make it a nightmare. So..

Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot:

According to 399 real golden retriever owners, 85% of people said their golden retriever doesn’t bark a lot. Many say they could count how many times their dog has barked. However, golden retrievers can still learn bad habits when young which creates excessive barking. But it’s not common.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • What real golden retriever owners had to say about their dog’s barking
  • 8 reasons why golden retrievers will bark a lot
  • 5 tips to make sure golden retrievers don’t bark excessively (Tip #2 is the most important for new owners!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in.

do golden retrievers bark a lot

What Real Golden Retriever Owners Had To Say About Barking

IHeartDogs did a survey asking 379 real golden retriever owners to share their experience with how much their pup barked.

The question was simple: Does your golden retriever bark or howl a lot?

15% of people said yes.

85% of people said no.

This didn’t surprise me considering golden retrievers were bred to be hunting partners that needed to be quiet.

It’s in their nature to be more quiet than other breeds.

Regardless, I wanted to take the survey a little further and see if I would find the same type of responses myself when surveying golden retriever owners.

I found an additional 20 golden retriever owners through reddit, blog comments, and other forums like quora to see if I would find similar responses.

Here’s a list of the usernames of golden retriever owners who weighed in:

People who said their golden retriever did bark a lot:


People who said their golden retriever didn’t bark a lot:


In my survey, 80% of people shared that their golden retriever didn’t bark a lot.

Many people said that they could count the amount of times they heard their pup bark.

20% of people shared that their golden retriever would bark quite often.

Which is pretty much inline with the results from the IHeartDogs survey.

But that doesn’t mean certain experiences and improper training while they’re young won’t create excessive barking behavior.

A few people gave detailed answers I felt were very helpful that you can find below.

Nancy said *Doesn’t Bark* “Mine doesn’t, except for the few moments when she hears me pull in the driveway! She howls like a big baby. I live in a townhouse and have asked my neighbors if she’s done that for any long lengths of time. They’ve always said no. They rarely hear her. I think it’s her way of saying she missed me. The moment I come in the door she’s greeting me with hugs and licks.”

Cheryle said *Does Bark* “I have one that barks when someone comes up then after they are in the house she goes to get them a toy. She is the only barker I have had out of about 10 Golden’s.”

CF1-F1 said *Both* “We have a 4 year old Golden who I’ve probably heard bark 10 time in her entire life. We also have a 2 year old Golden that barks at absolutely everything!”

Barbara said *Doesn’t Bark* “My Golden only barks at other animals that go down our road. She does not bark at people coming to visit. She loves everyone.”

Lynne said *Doesn’t Bark*My first goldie hardly ever barked but my current one gets excited when playing and barks for you to continue. They both “talk” a lot which is always fun.”

Pam said *Doesn’t Bark* “They bark if someone knocks at the door and sometimes at fireworks and thunderstorms depending on how loud and sudden the noise is. They do not howl. They will however bark if they want to go outside or if one is in the way of the other to get the other one to move. But they are not continuous barkers.”

Hongwrol said *Doesn’t Bark* “My golden is gonna be 4 this summer and he very rarely barks. It’s so rare in fact that it usually shocks me when he does lol.

My Take On The Survey Results:

All in all, it’s pretty well unanimous.

Over 80% of 399 different golden retriever owners shared that their dog doesn’t bark a lot.

They’re naturally not super vocal dogs.

But that doesn’t mean some won’t be more prone to barking and howling.

As well as the fact they can learn bad habits from a young age if their owner doesn’t know proper training techniques.

Now, let’s discuss the reasons why golden retrievers will bark a lot and some of the best tips to make sure your pup stays quiet.

8 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Will Bark A Lot

1) Too Much Energy

Golden retrievers are high energy dogs that need a good amount of daily exercise.

Without an outlet for their energy, they can become easily frustrated and even stressed, which can lead to excessive barking.

If you live in an apartment or have a small backyard, it’s important to make sure your golden retriever gets plenty of opportunities to run and play.

Taking them on long walks, going to the dog park, or even playing fetch in the house can help burn off some of their excess energy and keep them happy and quiet.

Related Reading: Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids? (100+ Owners Asked)

2) Unintentionally Trained

Many owners unintentionally train their golden retriever to bark a lot.

The key word being unintentionally.

No one wants their pup to bark excessively.

Unless they’re training them to speak.

But when their barking behavior is rewarded, it creates a bad habit of barking excessively to get what they want.

And many people mistakenly reward their golden retriever’s barking by giving them attention to try and calm them down/stop them from continuing to bark.

Which unfortunately only teaches them to bark more because they know at some point it will bring you to them.

It’s important to only give attention when they’re being calm. Not when they’re barking.

3) Needing Your Help

Sometimes barking isn’t bad behavior and is actually quite helpful.

For instance, some golden retrievers will bark when they need to be let out, when their bowl needs refilling, or when it’s time for their walk so they can do their business.

Which might seem like they’ll be barking often.

But helpful barks in these situations make sure they don’t have accidents inside and you don’t accidentally forget a meal time.

4) Anxiety Or Fear

A common cause for excessive barking is when a golden retriever has developed anxiety or is often afraid.

The most severe case of this is separation anxiety.

Which happens when they get too emotionally attached to their owner and have extreme difficulty being apart from them.

Excessive barking in this situation is because they feel overly anxious when you’re not around.

Other common causes of fear-related barking are strange/loud noises, people that remind them of a negative experience they had as a puppy, or when they’re in a new environment.

Related Reading: Are Golden Retrievers Aggressive? (100+ Owners Asked!)

5) Lack Of Socializing When Young

Golden retrievers that don’t get enough socialization when they’re young are more likely to bark excessively when they reach adulthood.

This is because they can become fearful or anxious around people and other dogs if they haven’t had the opportunity to meet and interact with them during their developmental stages.

Why socializing is so important for young dogs is because it helps them learn how to behave in unfamiliar situations.

They also learn that unfamiliar dogs or people are more often than not friends, and not potential threats.

When a golden retriever doesn’t get many new/unique experiences at a young age it’s not uncommon to see them barking at anything and everything.

6) Playing/Excitement

Golden retrievers are very playful dogs and can get easily excited, which can lead to barking.

This is especially common when they’re around other dogs or when they see something that catches their attention and sparks their curiosity.

In most cases, this type of barking is just a way for them to release some energy.

They’re simply expressing themselves and showing their excitement through barking.

It can be cute and endearing, but also quite irritating if it becomes too much.

In which you’d want to do your best to not get them super excited to avoid excessive barking.

7) Overly Jealous

If your golden retriever barks excessively around other dogs, it’s possible they’re feeling overly jealous.

This is because they may see the other dog as a threat to their relationship with you and become anxious or frustrated.

In some cases, they might even try to assert their dominance over the other dog.

This reason goes hand in hand with lack of socialization.

If they don’t get enough exposure to other dogs when they’re young, they may not learn to share your attention and become overly jealous as adults.

8) Boredom

When golden retrievers are frequently home alone, it’s possible they’re barking a lot out of boredom.

This is because when they don’t have anything else to do, they may start to become restless and act out.

Even if their family is home with them, if they don’t get enough attention or play time they may bark more than you’d like.

Simply because finding something to bark at is more fun than lying down being bored when they have excess energy.

Top 5 Tips To Ensure Your Golden Retriever Doesn’t Bark A Lot

1) Lots Of Physical & Mental Stimulation

One of the best ways to ensure your golden retriever doesn’t bark excessively is to make sure they get enough physical and mental stimulation.

This means taking them on long walks, playing fetch or frisbee with them, and giving them plenty of toys/activities to keep them occupied.

All of these things help wear them out mentally and physically, which in turn can help reduce the amount of barking they want to do.

As the saying goes, a tired doggo is a well behaved doggo.

2) Don’t Accidentally Reward It

When your golden retriever barks, don’t accidentally reward them by giving them attention, petting them, or feeding them.

This will only reinforce the behavior and make it more likely to happen in the future.

The best thing to do is completely ignore them when they’re barking and only give them attention once they’ve stopped.

When they’re quiet you’ll want to go overboard on the praise and attention they get to teach them being quiet is what gets them this type of affection.

This definitely takes a little (or a lot) of patience if they’ve already learned some bad barking behavior, but it’s worth it in the long run.

3) Teach Speak & Quiet Commands

Another way to help control your golden retriever’s barking is to teach them the “speak” and “quiet” commands.

This will give you a way to verbally tell them to stop barking when it gets out of hand.

It’s not reasonable to expect them to understand what you mean when you say “quiet” without actually teaching them what you expect them to do when you say that word.

The best time to start teaching these commands is when they’re still young, as they’ll be more receptive and have an easier time learning them.

It’s always more difficult to unlearn bad behaviors than it is to learn good behaviors from the beginning.

4) Help Desensitize Them

If your golden retriever is barking excessively because of things like excitement or fear, you can help desensitize them to what’s causing this behavior.

This means slowly exposing them to the things that scare them or excite them until they’re no longer as reactive.

For example, if they bark at other dogs when on walks, you can begin by walking them closer and closer to dogs until they’re no longer as fearful or excited.

It’s best to do this with a friend’s dog who is well behaved to help them learn the proper behavior.

You can also do the same thing with things that excite them, like car rides or getting their toy.

The more exposure they get to things that get them worked up the less reactive they’ll become.

5) Don’t Wing It

Whether it’s getting help/advice before bringing your golden home or when trying to fix a barking problem, it’s best not to wing it.

There are plenty of online dog trainers or in person trainers that can help.

And while there’s also plenty of free information online, I’ve personally found paying for help to be more effective.

Helps shortcut the learning curve and gets rid of the wondering in the back of your head whether what you’re doing is actually the right thing to do.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Do Golden Retrievers Shed? 100+ Owners Asked + Tips

Are Golden Retrievers Aggressive? (100+ Owners Asked!)

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids? (100+ Owners Asked)


Does your Golden Retriever bark or howl a lot?