7 Things to Do Every Day to Have a Calm Golden Retriever

Vinod Pandey

Golden Retrievers are the best dogs in the world, but they can have a ton of energy. And this can make life difficult for you since they're big, athletic dogs. But the good news is that there are several easy things you can do every day to help your Golden be calmer and more enjoyable to live with. 

Do This Every Day For A Calm Golden Retriever

Table of Contents

1. Sniffing

Here's the most underrated trick in this list, Sniffing. Letting your Golden sniff more can help them feel calm and relaxed. The reason sniffing helps your Golden be calm is that a dog's primary sense is smell. It's hard for us to understand because as humans, our primary sense is sight. But dogs experience the world first through smell. 

Not only do they enjoy sniffing, but it also lowers their heart rate, which helps them feel relaxed. An easy way to let your pup use their sniffer is to set up a sniffing scavenger hunt for them in your home. You can do this by scattering or hiding their kibble or treats around the house. 

You might need to help your golden look for the food at first, but they'll become expert scavengers in no time. If you have a particularly crazy golden, instead of feeding them their meals in a bowl, you can make them work for their meals in a scavenger hunt. This way, you can feed them and use up some of their energy at the same time without giving them too many calories. 

Another simple way to get more sniffing into your golden's day is to allow them to stop and sniff on walks more. For dogs, a walk is often more about sniffing and all the interesting information they get through their nose than it is the actual walking. 

Even though it might seem annoying to you, when you let your pup stop and sniff, you're allowing them to engage in something that makes them happy and calm. Sniffing mentally exercises your pup and leaves them surprisingly tired and content. And so will this next activity.

2. Training your Golden Retriever

Training them is a great way to mentally exercise them, even if you only train them for five minutes a day. You can work on the basics, like sit, down, and come, but also on fun tricks, like shake, spin, and rollover. Even just five minutes of training can really wear out your dog in a way that physical exercise alone can't. 

This is one of the many activities on this list that you can do inside your home, no matter how old your Golden is. And here's another way to mentally wear them out. Give them puzzle toys. Puzzle toys are toys where your Golden has to use their brain and chew, roll, or shake the toy in order to get food out of it. My favorite puzzle toy is a Frozen Kong. 

You soak their kibble in water, put it in a Kong, and then freeze it. Many Goldens do well with getting a puzzle toy after some physical exercise. So when you get back from a walk or after playtime, you can give them a fun puzzle toy to work on. All that mental work to get the treats or kibble out can leave them feeling relaxed and content. And speaking of physical exercise, that's what this next tip is about. 

3. Get them an appropriate amount of exercise daily to keep them calm

This might be an obvious one, but there's a twist. Many goldens, especially puppies, will actually become wild and out of control if they get too much physical exercise. It's kind of like human toddlers. If they're overtired, they're going to be crazy. 

So you might be having a pleasant playtime with them, but if it goes on too long, your puppy starts to bite your hands and clothes and becomes uncontrollable. Or, your walk in the neighborhood was going so well, but after 10 minutes it fell apart and now your golden is running circles around you. Does that sound familiar? 

Some goldens will be more active than others, and their exercise needs will change with age, so there's no exact formula to follow for how long they should exercise for. Now, often when we think of exercising a dog, we think of walking them on a leash. And while that can be a good way to exercise your dog, if you have a highly energetic Golden, it's usually not enough. 

Well, at least doing a typical walk on a leash is not enough. We talked earlier about how great sniffing is for energetic dogs, So here's one of my favorite activities with my Golden. I put him in a harness and a 20-foot leash, and I take him to a park. This gets a little bit of physical energy out and lets him get in the way more sniffs than he would on a regular 6-foot leash. 

Also, games like Fetch and Tug of War can be fun ways to physically exercise your pup. Then you've got Hide and Seek. This is a great way to exercise your Golden and work on training at the same time. To play this game, put them in a down stay in one room hide in another room, and then call them to you so they have to come find you. 

It's also a good idea to provide opportunities where your dog can move their body freely without a leash. Your yard, a friend's yard, or a safe natural space can all be great for letting your golden retriever let loose and do whatever heck they want. 

When we first got our puppy, we lived in a small apartment and didn't have a yard of our own. A few times a week we would take him to a fenced-in baseball field, let him off the leash, and he would go crazy. You may not be able to do this every day, but even once or twice a week can make a big difference in your golden's calmness. 

Also Read: 

Use These Tips To Stop Golden Retriever Puppy Biting

7 reasons why your Golden Retriever Stinks

How to Stop Golden Retriever Puppy Biting with just 3 Tricks at early stage

4. Make sure they get enough sleep

Now, if you want your golden to be calm, here's an overlooked tip. Make sure they get enough sleep. This is especially important for puppies and teenage goldens. Just like when goldens get too much exercise, if they don't get enough sleep, they can get crazy. 

It's common to see an overly tired golden become very bitey, barky, jumpy, and just generally obnoxious. Sometimes you might be tricked into thinking your golden needs more exercise or playtime because they're so crazy, but in reality, they just need some sleep. They seem to throw temper tantrums when they're overly tired, just like a human toddler. 

A good rule of thumb to remember for puppies is that after one to two hours of active awake time, a golden retriever puppy is ready for a nap. 

5. Give them plenty of things they can bite

Now here's a tip that goes back to what goldens were originally bred for. If you want a calm golden retriever, you need to give them plenty of things they can bite, chew, and carry around in their mouths. 

Golden retrievers, especially puppies, can be very mouthy, and this can lead them to get a bit wild by nipping your hands, arms, or sleeves, and picking up or chewing things that aren't theirs. To help satisfy their mouthy instincts and promote calmness, keep lots of different toys and chews out on the floor for them to access at any time. 

Now here's a question for you. Did you know that your own energy level can make a big difference in how calm your golden retriever is? We're going to talk about how you can use your energy to help your golden be calm in a minute. But first, let's talk about a super easy thing you can do every day to encourage them to be calm. 

6. Give Them Treat

When you see your golden showing nice, calm behavior, give them a treat. What gets rewarded gets repeated. So if you reward calm behavior, your pup is likely to do more calm behavior in the future. Maybe you see your pup curled up on their dog bed or on a rug. You can quietly walk over and deliver a treat to them and then go back to what you were doing. 

Or maybe you're out on a walk and your Golden sees another person or dog. If they're curious but not barking or pulling, that's a perfect moment to reward them for being calm in the presence of others. It can help to keep some treats in your pocket, a treat pouch, or in containers around the house so you can quickly and easily reward your Golden. 

If you consistently reward them for calm behavior, you'll be surprised by how well-mannered they can be. 

7. Your own energy can help your Golden Retriever be calm

Alright, let's get back to discussing how your own energy can help your Golden be calm. Golden Retrievers typically bring a lot of energy to the table, so you want to be careful not to bring too much of your own. 

For example, if you're playing with your Golden and you start to get very animated and loud, they might get overexcited and start to bite, jump, or bark at you. Now, This isn't to say that you can't play and have fun with your pup. You definitely should. But just be aware that your own energy can hype them up too much if you're not careful. 

And sometimes, once your golden is overexcited, it can be hard to bring them back down. So try to play and interact with your golden in ways that keep them from bubbling over the top with energy. 

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