Golden Retriever Needy Behavior: Is This A Bad Thing?

Golden retrievers are loving yet they may become needy sometimes. If you have a Golden retriever, you may have seen it following you, whimpering for attention, or even becoming destructive when left alone. So why are Golden retrievers becoming needy?

This blog will discuss the breed’s working history, temperament, and how upbringing and training might alter neediness. To keep you and your golden retriever happy and healthy, we’ll also provide recommendations on controlling and addressing their requirements. So keep reading to learn more!

Is Being Needy A Bad Thing?

golden retriever needy behavior
Photo by Bill Stephan on Unsplash

Being a “needy” Golden retriever is not necessarily a bad thing, as Golden retrievers are known to be affectionate and social dogs who thrive on human interaction and attention. However, it is important to ensure that the dog’s neediness does not become excessive or unhealthy for the dog or its owners.

If a Golden retriever is constantly demanding attention and becomes overly clingy or anxious when left alone, it may indicate separation anxiety or other behavioral issues that should be addressed with proper training and socialization.

In addition, if the dog’s neediness is causing stress or inconvenience for its owners, it may be necessary to establish boundaries and provide appropriate outlets for the dog’s energy and attention-seeking behavior, such as regular exercise and interactive toys.

Understanding The Neediness Of Golden Retrievers

reasons for needy behavior

🟩 Causes

>>Lack of attention

Golden retrievers are friendly and loyal dogs. They thrive on friendship and are happiest when with family. These gregarious dogs love attention from their owners.

Golden retrievers may get lonely, bored, and worried if they don’t get enough attention. The dog may get too connected to their owner and demand continual care and reassurance. This might include following owners about the home, pawing or prodding for attention, or vocalizing.

To keep a needy Golden retriever happy and safe, give them attention and connection. This might involve playing with them more, bringing them for walks or runs, and giving them lots of chances to mingle with other dogs and humans. Golden retrievers may flourish and remain loving and devoted companions with proper care.

>>Separation anxiety

Golden retrievers often exhibit separation anxiety. When a dog is left alone or separated from its owners, it develops separation anxiety. Separation anxiety may be quite distressing for both the dog and the owner.

Whining, howling, barking, gnawing, digging, home soiling, and excessive panting are indications. In extreme circumstances, a dog may escape or damage furniture.

To avoid growing separation anxiety in Golden retrievers, treat it immediately. If you think your Golden retriever has separation anxiety, see a dog trainer or behaviorist. These experts can diagnose and cure your dog’s nervousness.


Insecure Golden retrievers may be needy. These dogs may need continuous attention from their owners to feel comfortable.  Golden retrievers who also follow owners frequently become needy. These dogs may follow their owners from room to room and can’t settle without them. They may also nuzzle or sit on their owner’s lap for love.

Insecure Golden retrievers may cower or hide. These dogs may feel overwhelmed or terrified in unexpected circumstances and need their owner’s consolation. When their owner departs, they may develop separation anxiety.

>>Health issues

Golden retrievers are famous because of their friendliness. Some health issues might make these dogs needier and want extra attention from their owners.

Hypothyroidism is one such disorder. Hypothyroidism in Golden retrievers causes lethargy, weight gain, hair loss, and behavioral abnormalities, making dogs more worried, depressed, and irritable.

Cognitive dysfunction syndrome may also make Golden retrievers needier. CDS affects elderly dogs, especially Golden retrievers. Memory loss, confusion, and disorientation may occur and they may be more worried, restless, and dependent on their humans. CDS dogs may also modify their sleep, food, and behavior, such as increased vocalization or reduced play or social engagement.


Golden retrievers may become increasingly reliant on their owners as they age due to physical deterioration. So, these dogs may need additional care to manage their regular routines. This physical constraint might make them more dependent on their owners for things like getting up from a bed or sofa.

Golden retrievers may also lose eyesight or hearing as they age, which may affect their ability to interact with the environment. In such instances, owners may need to help them navigate and feel protected. Aging dogs may become more clingy and dependent due to worry or confusion.

Golden retriever owners should be aware of these changes and ready to adapt their care. As they grow increasingly dependent, these dogs require more care, affection, and patience to be comfortable and happy. An elderly Golden retriever needs regular vet visits, a good diet, and exercise.

🟩 Solution

>>Increase exercise and mental stimulation

Golden retrievers are high-energy dogs that demand physical and mental stimulation. To be healthy and happy, these dogs need plenty of exercise and playtime.

Take your Golden retriever for a daily walk or run, play fetch in a fenced-in yard or park, or do other physical activities to burn off their energy. Training, puzzles, and interactive playing stimulate the mind.

Regular exercise and mental stimulation keep your Golden retriever healthy and avoid boredom-related behavioral issues. To keep your dogs happy, healthy, and well-behaved, give them exercise and mental stimulation.


Golden retrievers love people and other dogs. They are pleasant, gregarious, and social. They’re called “people dogs” because they love being around people.

Golden retrievers need socialization to feel safe and comfortable in varied circumstances. Introducing your Golden retriever to varied locations, people, and animals may help them adjust and behave properly. Socialization may also prevent violence, anxiety, and fearfulness.

Golden retrievers may be terrific companions and they mingle well. They are clever and versatile, making them suitable for therapy, service, and family homes.


Responsible golden retriever ownership requires training. It teaches them basic instructions, improves their behavior, and increases your relationship with your pet. Golden retrievers are smart and eager to please, making them trainable.

Golden retrievers benefit from positive reinforcement. Treats, praise, and love are given for positive conduct like sitting on command. Rewarding excellent behavior encourages your dog to repeat it.

Training your Golden retriever teaches them sociability and obedience. This may help puppies to adapt and behave in their family and community. It also reduces barking, leaping, and chewing. Avoid punishing or hurting dogs. Instead, trust and love your dog with positive reinforcement.


Golden retrievers are smart, kind, and eager to please. They need structure and regularity to feel safe and comfortable.

A strict routine might help your Golden retriever feel more comfortable and confident. Meals, hikes, fun, and training are examples. Consistency with these exercises helps your dog know what to anticipate and when.

Consistency aids in training and habit change. Repeating orders and approaches helps dogs learn and discourages undesirable behaviors.

There will be occasions when you need to depart from your regimen. Keep your Golden retriever’s daily routine as constant as possible. This will make your dog happier and make dog ownership simpler and more fun.

>>Provide comfort and security

Separation anxiety, excessive barking or whining, and clinginess might result if you are not consistent with the attention you give to your Golden retriever.  A comfy bed might help your pet feel safer and reduce undesirable habits. When they’re overwhelmed or frightened, they may retire to a nice, comforting bed.

Your Golden retriever needs a secure area and a comfy bed. They can go to a box or other safe place in the home while you’re away. Giving them their own space might make them feel less dependent on you.

Ultimately, affection and care may make your Golden retriever feel safe and comfortable. Playing with them, walking them, and giving them positive reinforcement may enhance their confidence and decrease their neediness.

>>Seek professional help

Golden retrievers with persistent neediness may have behavioral or emotional issues. It may signify sadness, separation anxiety, boredom, or insecurity. In severe cases, this behavior might harm the dog and owner. Oftentimes, a dog trainer or vet can help.

Your dog’s behavior, neediness, and training may be assessed by a professional dog trainer. They can also help you speak with, restrict, and routine your dog to lessen anxiety. A vet can also diagnose and treat your dog’s behavior.

Exercise And Activities To Manage The Neediness Of Golden Retrievers

🟦 Daily walks

Golden retrievers are energetic and require regular exercise. To control neediness and health, walk your Golden retriever regularly. These walks help your dog release energy and avoid boredom and mischief at home.

A well-exercised Golden retriever is less prone to acquire obesity or inactivity-related health issues.  Age, size, and activity level affect your Golden retriever’s exercise demands. Young Golden retrievers may need additional exercise and other larger dogs may require longer walks.

Aim for 30 minutes of walking each day, but adjust the time and intensity to your dog’s requirements. Monitor your Golden retriever’s behavior while walking. On hot days, don’t forget to carry water for you and your pet.

🟦 Interactive toys

Golden retrievers need mental and physical stimulation to be happy and healthy. Interactive toys challenge and reward your Golden retriever’s innate problem-solving abilities.

Puzzle feeders may entertain your Golden retriever while you’re away. Your dog must find out how to acquire treats or kibble out of these toys. Puzzle feeders vary in complexity, from basic to multi-step.

Treat-dispensing toys are also interactive. These toys act like puzzle feeders but provide your dog treats as they play. Treat-dispensing toys may keep your Golden retriever busy for hours as they figure out how to acquire the rewards.

🟦 Obedience training

Obedience training may mentally stimulate your Golden retriever. This training makes them think and follow orders. Hence, they will feel cognitively occupied and accomplished, reducing boredom and worry.

Obedience training also gives your Golden retriever guidelines. By having clear expectations, your dog will understand what is expected of them, preventing damaging behavior like chewing, digging, or excessive barking. Dogs feel safer and less anxious when they know what to anticipate.

Training also lets you connect with your Golden retriever. Teaching new instructions builds trust and respect. This connection will make your dog feel safe and confident around you.

Obedience training requires consistency and good reinforcement. Your dog will rapidly understand what is expected if you encourage desirable behavior. Praise and rewards for excellent conduct encourage your dog to repeat it. Your Golden retriever will rapidly learn new instructions and actions with consistency and good reinforcement.

🟦 Playtime

Golden Retrievers need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep healthy and happy. These dogs adore running, leaping, and chasing with their owners.

Fetch is the Golden retriever most favorite activity. This activity includes tossing a ball or toy for the dog to fetch and return to its owner. Running, jumping, and focusing on the job stimulate the dog mentally and physically. Golden Retrievers also love tug-of-war, which builds muscle and reinforces obedience.

Golden Retrievers love hide-and-seek. This game keeps your dog intellectually active as they utilize its senses to discover you. Hide treats or toys throughout the home or yard to stimulate the dog’s senses.

Remember to take pauses and monitor for exhaustion or overstimulation while playing with your Golden Retriever. It’s crucial to supervise these dogs’ behavior since they’re high-energy and quickly overexcited.

🟦 Swimming

Golden retrievers are known to enjoy water activities and swimming is a fun and good workout that might improve their health.

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for Golden retrievers with movement limitations. This also helps your pet grow strength and stamina.

You can still include water in your Golden retriever’s playtime without a pool or lake. On hot summer days, you may use a sprinkler or a kiddie pool to cool down your dog. These activities let your pet play and exercise while strengthening your connection.

🟦 Agility training

Golden Retrievers are smart, athletic, and trainable, making them ideal agility dogs. Agility training requires your dog to run, leap, climb, and crawl over a series of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other obstacles.

Agility training improves the Golden retriever’s health. It improves coordination, balance, fitness, endurance, and mental agility. But it may be entertaining and demanding for you and your dog.

Start agility training with a backyard agility course. Create a basic course using cones, PVC pipe jumps, and cardboard box tunnels. Add new obstacles and change their order to make the route more difficult.

Agility classes may help you advance your dog’s agility skills. These lessons are generally offered at dedicated agility facilities with expert trainers to help you and your dog train. Dogs may learn new skills and socialize in agility training!

🟦 Doggy daycare

Golden retriever owners who work long hours might benefit from doggy daycare. Enrolling your dog in daycare allows them to play with other dogs, which helps minimize loneliness and separation anxiety.

Doggy daycare also helps Golden retrievers and other high-energy breeds burn off their energy. Your Golden retriever may play with other dogs at daycare, which helps them exercise and learns.

Several daycares also provide training and exercise programs to excite your dog. Your Golden retriever may learn new tricks and orders from the daycare staff, improving their behavior.

Benefits Of Socialization In Reducing The Neediness Of Golden Retrievers

🟫 Reduces anxiety

Golden retrievers are amiable, but without adequate socialization, they may grow uneasy and uncomfortable in new circumstances. Barking, trembling, and hiding may result if your dog grows without socialization training.

Socializing your Golden retriever helps them adjust to new settings. Introduce your Golden retriever to parks, beaches, and social events. It may entail meeting other dogs, cats, and animals.

Socializing your Golden retriever reduces anxiety and improves mental wellness. Positive exposure to new circumstances and people reduces anxiety and overload. This may also help prevent Golden retrievers’ separation anxiety.

🟫 Builds confidence

Raising a happy, confident Golden Retriever requires socializing. Socialization teaches your Golden Retriever that new experiences are fun and rewarding.

Socialization teaches your Golden Retriever how to behave with other people, animals, and things. They will grow more confident and less scared, making new circumstances easier. Exposing your Golden Retriever to new experiences may boost their confidence and minimize their demand for comfort.

🟫 Improves behavior

Golden retrievers are popular family and therapy dogs due to their friendliness. These canines may develop behavioral issues if not socialized. Unsocialized Golden retrievers often have separation anxiety which will result in becoming needy. While their owners are away, they may chew or dig out of anxiety. 

Golden retrievers need socializing to be well-behaved and balanced. It helps prevent separation anxiety, anger, and destructive behavior by teaching them how to interact with people, animals, and things. Socialization may help your Golden Retriever be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.

Coping Strategies For Owners

Golden retrievers are known for their friendly and loving personalities, but they can also be quite needy and require a lot of attention from their owners. Coping with a needy Golden retriever can be challenging, but several strategies can help. First, it’s important to set clear boundaries with your dog and establish rules around behavior and attention. This can include limiting the amount of time you spend playing or cuddling and teaching your dog to be comfortable spending time alone.

Providing plenty of exercise is also crucial for a Golden retriever’s well-being. These dogs are energetic and need physical activity every day to stay healthy and happy. This can include walks, runs, or playtime in the backyard. Mental stimulation is also important for Golden retrievers, as it helps prevent boredom and keeps them occupied. You can provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys, training sessions, or even scent work.

Crate training can also be an effective way to help a needy Golden retriever feel more secure and comfortable when you’re not home. It’s important to introduce the crate gradually and use positive reinforcement to create a positive association with the crate.

If your Golden retriever’s neediness is causing significant stress or anxiety, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can help you develop a personalized training plan to address your dog’s specific needs.

Coping with a needy Golden retriever takes time and patience, but with the right strategies, you can create a healthy and happy relationship with your furry friend. By setting boundaries, providing plenty of exercises and mental stimulation, and seeking professional help if necessary, you can ensure that your Golden retriever feels loved and secure while also maintaining your sanity.

Final Words

Golden retrievers are great for families looking for a caring and loyal pet. They’re needy because they need human interaction and love.

Golden retrievers are affectionate and kind despite their high attention needs. These canines need proper care to flourish. This involves grooming, exercise, and socializing. Golden retrievers may easily become well-behaved, obedient companions that provide delight to any family with constant training and good reinforcement.

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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