Do Golden Retrievers Bark a Lot?

By John Martin - May 12, 2021

Golden Retriever barking

Golden Retrievers are one of the most adorable and affectionate dog breeds to have at home. They are great with kids and are a positive energy to have in the home. But there are often questions about whether Golden Retrievers bark a lot. The short answer is, yes. They do bark more than most other breeds, and at times this barking can be quite disruptive. But what makes them do so, and is there a way around this behavior? The following sections will help you find out more.

Why Do They Bark So Much?

Now, it is a known thing that Golden Retrievers bark a lot. But there are a few different reasons that they may engage in this behavior. Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent animals, so they will not be barking their head off for no reason at all. There is a logic, albeit a canine logic, to why these pooches tend to be so noisy at times. Barking is a way for dogs to communicate, and some breeds use this method of communication more than others. The following are some common reasons.


One of the most common reasons for Golden Retrievers to bark is that they are looking for your attention. Golden Retrievers are extremely loyal and affectionate pooches so, understandably, they want to please their owners and keep them happy. However, this eagerness to please can sometimes take the form of seeking attention. Sometimes, if you are talking to someone else and your pooch is looking for some affection, they will let it be known with some assertive barks. Or if they want to go for a stroll, or are looking for a snack, they will bark and let you know.

Stranger Alert!

Another common reason for Golden Retrievers to bark is if they want to alert you to the presence of a stranger. Golden Retrievers are not aggressive dogs, but they can be protective of their family, and therefore wary of strangers. Their way to warn you of any potential danger they sense (even if it is just the mailman who stops by your house every day), is through barking.

Should You Encourage This?

While it is a given that Golden Retrievers are noisier than most other breeds, it is a legitimate question to ask if you should encourage this behavior.

This is an instinct for Golden Retrievers, so even if you train them from an early age you may not be able to curb the barking completely. This is their way to express themselves, so it is also cruel to prevent them from engaging in natural behavior simply because you want a quieter house.

If the barking is going to be a problem you cannot work around, you may want to consider bringing home a quieter breed than a Golden Retriever. There is no shame in admitting this, even if Golden Retrievers are everybody’s favorite breeds. However, having a Golden Retriever also does not mean you need to actively engage the barking. There are ways that you can manage the noise if you wish to, it only depends on how much the barking bothers you.

Related: Can Golden Retrievers Run Long Distances?

What Should You Do to Discourage the Barking?

If you love Golden Retrievers and have made up your mind to have them as pets, but want to discourage the frequent barking, the following are some of the ways. These are simple tricks, but they certainly require a lot of patience. Your Retriever pooch will not adopt a new behavior overnight. This needs to be communicated to them sternly, but affectionately.

Find out What Triggers the Bark

The most important thing is to first find out what makes them bark the most. Is it attention? Is it when they see somebody arrive at the door? Or is it something in your home that triggers the bark? Finding out what causes this behavior is the first step to controlling it. Who knows, perhaps it is a trigger that you can remove entirely so they will not bark as much!

Distract Them

Once you have found out what makes your Golden Retriever bark the most, you need to find ways to distract them. Give them a command and occupy them in something else so that they forget about the barking altogether.

If the reason for their barking was attention, that is resolved when you give them a command, and then further mitigated when you engage them in some other task. If they are barking because they seem to have seen something, you can always stand in front of them to block their view.

There are different tricks to distract them, you have to find one that works for your pooch. Golden Retrievers are also extremely energetic dogs so if they do not have a place to channel that energy, they can get easily bored, and the barking is a result of that. So challenge them, play with them, and keep them occupied.

Positive Reinforcement

Reward them generously. Dogs are sociable animals, and Golden Retrievers are an especially affectionate breed who are eager to please. When they see what behaviors make you happy and reward them, they will be encouraged to do that.

So if your dog follows your quiet command or gets occupied with another task you gave it to stop the barking, give them a treat to let them know that behavior was desirable.

But this can be a difficult and frustrating process. You need to wait until after the dog stops barking. If you give them the treat before, they will not learn what the treat was actually for. So communicating this to them, however, can take a few days. But Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs, and if you keep at it, you will certainly see success.

Related: Are Golden Retrievers Good Apartment Dogs?

Ignore It

This is an especially tricky and difficult thing to do, as it is hard not to cave in and simply give the pooch what it wants. You may feel bad about ignoring your beloved dog or the incessant barking may feel like too much to take at that moment.

But if it works, this is one of the best ways to let your Golden Retriever know that the barking is not appreciated. You can do this by ignoring your dog when they are in a barking fit, especially when it seems like they are barking for your attention. Make sure they can see that you are ignoring them on purpose.

Once the barking stops, you can give them a treat or give them whatever it is they seemed to be asking for with their barking, even if it is just attention. This will let them know that there are quieter ways for them to get what they want.

Maintain Your Composure

Your pet Golden Retriever may bark the most when it is excited or anxious, and the two times this happens is when you enter or leave the house.

When you walk in through the door, the best thing about that is how happy your dog is to see you. But against your instinct, you need to remain calm and not show your own excitement by petting them. Give them the impression that your entering or leaving the home is not an event. It is a regular practice that does not warrant barking.

If you encourage them to be rowdy when you walk in through the door, you will also be encouraging them to be morose when you walk out the door. As splendid as the former is, the latter is very hard to watch.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are delightful and affectionate pets, and their barking is a way for them to express their personality. This is a distinct trait of a Golden Retriever which you should try not to suppress too much. The barking may be hard to take at times, but it is also what makes your Retriever jovial and a bundle of energy. You can try to manage it, but as a Golden Retriever dog parent, it is also up to you to cherish your noisy canine!