Are Golden Retrievers Protective Of Their Owners?

The Golden Retriever is one of the most common breeds of dogs in the United States. The breed’s friendly, tolerant temperament makes them perfect family pets, and their intellect makes them highly competent working dogs. Are golden retrievers protective? 

Golden Retrievers excel in hunting game for hunters, tracking, sniffing contraband for law enforcement, and as care and service dogs. They are also natural athletes and perform well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.

These dogs are pretty easy to train and get along in just about every home or family. They’re great with children, and they’re very protective of their people. If you want a trustworthy, caring, and smart companion, consider taking one of these pups into your pack. Are golden retrievers protective? Find out here!

About The Breed

are golden retrievers protective

It’s no wonder that the Golden Retriever is one of the top ten most famous dogs in the United States. It’s all nice with the Golden: very smart, friendly, pretty, and loyal.

He’s lively, too. The Golden is slow to mature and maintains the dumb, playful personality of a puppy until three to four years of age, which can be delightful and irritating. Some retain their puppy traits in their old age.

Originally designed for the physically challenging job of retrieving ducks and other birds for hunters, Golden needs regular exercise: walking or jogging, free time in the yard, a beach or lake run (Goldens love water), or a game of fetch. And like most intelligent dogs that have been bred to work, they need to have a job to do, such as retrieving the paper, waking up family members, or engaging in dog sports. A weary Golden is a well-behaved Golden.

As well as offering your Golden Retriever physical and mental exercise, you should also be prepared to include it in your family activities. The Golden Retriever is a family dog, and he wants to be with his “pack.” Don’t worry about having a Golden one unless you’re able to keep him at home with you, underfoot, every day.

There’s another possible downside to the breed: he’s certainly not a watchdog. He might bark when strangers come around but don’t count on that. Most definitely, he’s going to bear his tail and flash that characteristic Golden Grin.


Golden Retrievers have shed abundantly, particularly in spring and fall. Regular brushing will get some loose hair out of the suit, preventing it from lying on your clothes and all over your place. But if you live with the Golden, you’re going to have to get used to the dog’s fur.

Golden Retrievers are family dogs; they need to live indoors with their human pack, and they’re not allowed to spend hours alone in the backyard.

Golden Retrievers are active dogs who require 40-60 minutes of hard exercise every day. They excel in obedience training, agility lessons, and other canine sports that are a perfect way to give your dog physical and mental exercise.

While they are gentle and trustworthy with children, the Golden Retrievers are wild, big dogs who can unintentionally reach a small child.

Goldens love to eat, and they’ll easily become overweight if they’re overfed. Limit therapies, weigh your dog’s daily kibble, and feed it in scheduled meals instead of leaving food out all the time.

Since the Golden Retriever is so common, many people are breeding Goldens who care more about making money out of the market for puppies than about breeding happy, healthy dogs. Never buy a puppy from an unethical breeder, a puppy mill, or a pet store to get a healthy dog. Look for a reliable breeder who checks her breeding dogs to make sure they are free from genetic diseases that could be passed on to the puppies and have sound temperaments.


For several years, there was a legend that the Golden Retrievers had come from Russian sheepdogs purchased from a circus. In reality, the breed originated in Scotland in the highland estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, later known as Lord Tweedmouth.

Like many gentries of his day, Tweedmouth had bred animals of all sorts, seeking to perfect various breeds. Tweedmouth’s breeding records from 1835 to 1890 indicate what he was looking for with the Golden: a talented retriever — Tweedmouth was an avid waterfowl hunter — with a superb nose that would be more attentive to his human hunting partner than the setters and spaniels used at the time for retrieval. He also wanted the dog to be obedient and even-tempered at home.

Tweedmouth took Nous home to Scotland and, in 1868 and 1871, introduced him to Belle, Tweed Water Spaniel. Tweed Water Spaniels (now extinct) were considered willing hunters in the field and remarkably calm and obedient in the home — characteristics you’ll find in today’s Golden Retrievers.

Weand Belle’s descendants have bred with Wavy-and Flat-coated retrievers, another Tweed Water Spaniel, and a red setter. Tweedmouth mainly kept the yellow puppies to continue his breeding program and gave some to friends and relatives.

Not unexpectedly, the Tweedmouth breed first drew attention to their hunting skills. One of the most successful was Don of Gerwyn, a liver-coated descendant of one of Tweedmouth’s puppies, who won the International Gundog League Trial in 1904.

The Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Golden Retriever as a distinct breed in 1911. At the time, they were known as “Retriever — Yellow or Golden.” In 1920, the name of the breed was formally changed to Golden Retriever.

The American Kennel Club had recognized the breed in 1932. Today, the Golden Retriever is the second most common breed in the United States.


A nice, quiet temperament is the hallmark of the breed. The Golden was brought up to work with people and is happy to please its owner. Though hard-wired and well-disposed, like all dogs, the Golden must be well-raised and well-trained to make the most of his heritage.

Like any dog, Golden needs early socialization — exposure to several different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they are young. Socialization helps ensure that your Golden puppy develops into a well-rounded dog.

Are Golden Retrievers Protective Of Their Owners?

are golden retrievers protective

Before you decide to train your golden retriever for protection, get to know the breed better. We’ve mentioned all the pros and cons of training the retriever to protect your home.

Are Golden Retrievers Protective: Pros Of A Protective Dog

Here are some of the pros of having a protective dog.

Your Noble True Companion

Golden Retrievers seem to have a heart full of affection. They love getting everyone’s attention, so they want to be friends with someone else. That is why their caring nature causes them to fall hard and easily in love with their owners.

Goldens are loyal friends and strongly committed to their masters. You’d hear many stories of them being reunited with their families after they’re split by going against all odds.

You’re not going to find many dog breeds that are as loyal as the golden retriever. This quality makes them instinctive protectors. You may have heard them contradict their existence to defend the owner in times of danger.

Obedience Stories

If you don’t know how these dogs won their ‘retriever’ tag, let us tell you. In the 19th century, Scotland was used for breeding them for obedience. When the masters were out for hunting, the retrievers offered protection. These dogs were known to recover the birds that had dropped after being shot down.

Retrievers are happy to please their owners, and they appear to follow orders happily. Popular for their calm nature and obedience, they easily learn new commands compared to other races. Although they are not violent, they can be trained to obey commands, including the house’s defense.

Beauty With A Brain

Have you found that retrievers can easily win obedience training contests? You will also commonly find a retriever to be a top choice as a service dog. Yeah, that’s because it’s more than just a pretty face.

Retriever dogs are incredibly smart. They also see-eye guides for the blind. They help their people maneuver through complex physical situations involving vehicles, crowds, and corridors.

Fast to feel trouble, golden retrievers are also common as support dogs for people with epilepsy who have seizures. Their instinct allows them to realize when a seizure is going to happen. In such cases, they should get support for them.

Their knowledge is not limited to recognizing when danger is present. In reality, they’re smart enough to take action. They strive to shield their owner from being harmed by lessening the risk.

While coping with risk usually requires an artificial source. You may also teach them to detect intruders. Their high intelligence will help them take action and protect their owners from human beings that pose a threat.

Are Golden Retrievers Protective: The Cons Of A Protective Dog

You can train your golden retrievers quickly. They are highly loyal, super protective, willing to follow orders. They seem to be a good match for guard dogs on paper. But before you make up your mind, let’s look at the intricacy involved.

‘First, don’t hurt,’ the Hippocratic Oath is subconsciously adopted by the retrievers. So much so, we can almost think of golden retrievers as doctors.

Its owner’s safety from harm is a top priority, as though it were in the blood. But there’s a big difference between driving away from a human who’s about to get hit by a speeding truck and hitting another human who’s attacking you with a knife.

Your golden doodle does not want to hurt another person, even if it poses a threat to you. You should teach them to strike. But that’s going to require them to go against their natural inclination.

Are Golden Retrievers Protective: Golden Retrievers Guard Dog Characteristics

are golden retrievers protective

The Golden Retrievers shed because they’ve got a double coat.

There is no question that there are dog owners who buy Golden Retrievers to multitask them as pet companions and guard dogs.

So, what characteristics of the Golden Retriever do these owners invest in? Find out the Golden characteristics that mark them as potentially successful guard dogs.

A. The Golden One Is A Medium-sized Puppy.

Despite common belief, the Golden Retrievers are not especially huge. If you’re searching for the Golden Retriever on the list of the largest breeds of dogs, you should prepare yourself for some disappointment.

They’re not tiny, however, either. You’ll be similarly disappointed if you’re looking for these dogs on the list of the smallest breeds of dogs – Affenpinscher and Chihuahua.

Compared to the biggest mentioned breed, the Great Dane, which can stand as 32 inches for the male and 30 inches for the female, the Golden Retriever falls short by 6 to 8.5 inches. But don’t let that get you down there.

Being a medium-sized dog is good enough to match the size requirements of a guard dog. In fact, the Golden Retriever is about the same size as the Rottweiler! And, Rotties, they’re some of the greatest guardians.

B. Golden Retrievers Are A Faithful Breed.

Although any dog is supposed to be loyal to its owner, the Golden Retriever is especially suited for its ability to develop a deep and warm relationship with its owner. In other words, all these dogs are trustworthy.

Until this bond is formed with your Golden One, you won’t have to worry about treason. Goldens is going to stick with you through thick and thin, which is excellent quality for a guard dog to have.

And according to Rover, the Golden Retriever is one of the most trustworthy pets of history and the dog’s temperament. Loyal dogs naturally provide their owners with protection and safety. They’re really going to have your back.

C. The Golden Retriever Is Naturally Protective.

Even though the Goldens are not excessive barkers, they can spontaneously bark when they feel a threat. They’re even going to growl around their owner to warn them of looming threat.

Be aware of the signals since growling can convey more than a threat. It may be a call for attention or an expression of pain. But when it’s a sign of risk, your Golden is going to be incredibly persistent.

Often, Goldens can hop impulsively between the owner and the source of risk. You may have read the Goldens touching stories who saved their master’s life by jumping right in front and forming a barrier between the owner and the threat.

D. The Golden Retriever Is Extremely Loyal.

Known to be human-pleasers, the Golden Retrievers are extremely obedient, making them ideal for training all sorts of service dogs, including guard dogs.

Did you know that the Golden Retrievers were the first three dogs to earn the title of American Kennel Club Obedience Champion because of their obedience? This isn’t a coincidence.

Moreland’s Golden Tonka, a female Golden who won the title on July 23, 1977, was the first to score more than the necessary 100 points. Tonka set the high standard for the rest to follow.

Golden Retrievers have consistently been recorded in canine history as the strongest breeds in agility and obedience rings. No other breed has more championships in obedience.

In reality, from 2010 to 2019, Goldens won the AKC obedience championship 6 out of 10 times! If the Golden Retriever didn’t win first, they were possibly 2nd.

E. Golden Retrievers Are High Energy Breeds.

Originally bred by Scottish aristocracy for small game retrieval, Golden Retrievers are active, high-energy dogs who won’t hesitate to defend you from attackers.

Premiere guard dogs require high energy to be successful in their work. If your dog is still lying on the sofa with you, how do you expect the dog to catch an intruder?

That being said, Golden Retrievers need at least an hour of regular exercise to be stimulated both mentally and physically. Luckily, the surveillance of a thief will make up part of Golden’s regular workout dose.

Given the exercise requirements and the reason they were bred, there is little surprise that they are classified on the AKC list of 15 most successful dog breeds. As such, our favorite games for these dogs are catching and swimming.

F. Golden Retrievers Are Smart Dogs.

Intelligent dogs are very easy to train. And there’s no question that the Golden Retrievers are smart. They’re going to grasp new commands in less than five repetitions. In addition, the Goldens first follow recognized commands – 95% or better of the time.

The Golden Retriever ranks 4th behind the Border Collie, the Poodle, and the German Shepherd in this dog intelligence bracket. This is a wonderful business to be with!

Thanks to their high adaptive intelligence, Golden Retrievers are capable of knowing for themselves from previous experience. In other words, they are outstanding at discriminating between a well-intentioned tourist and an ill-intentioned attacker.

You won’t have to worry about your Golden being violent towards an innocent tourist. As long as they have had ample socialization early on, they would have no trouble finding out about the “bad people.”

With these outstanding attributes, Goldens would seem like no-brainers to protect the dog’s place. However, you need to keep in mind a few other Golden attributes that could make you think again.

Final Words

Golden retrievers can be defensive. Their obedience, intellect, integrity, size, loud bark, and drive to the prey can help defend their human beings. However, since they are really sweet and not normally aggressive, they probably won’t breed for you if safety is an attribute that is high on your list of what to look for in a breed.


About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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