Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot? (The Soft-Spoken Golden)

New dog owners may want to know if their golden retriever will bark a lot to prepare for future training and prevent neighborhood complaints.

The good news is that goldens are not known to be big barkers, as they generally have calm and laid-back personalities.

However, that’s not to say that Golden Retrievers do not bark at all. Our English Cream Golden, Raven alert barks whenever she hears someone come to the front door but in general she’s not a big barker.

Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot

Many factors affect whether a dog will bark a lot; however, many techniques can help you manage your dog’s barking.

Read on to find out what could cause your golden to be a big barker and what you can do to keep your soft-spoken pup occupied and barkless.

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Simply put, dogs bark to communicate. They may be communicating with other dogs, reacting to a perceived threat, or talking with their humans.

A dog’s bark is the equivalent of a human’s speech, except dogs use a lot more body language and scent to communicate.

Therefore, barking and vocalization are usually minimal if a dog is relaxed and in a friendly environment.

Why Don’t Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot?

Why Don’t Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot?

Golden retrievers were bred as hunting dogs; their original breed disposition was calm and quite reserved.

They were bred and prized for not being very vocal dogs, whereas beagles and bloodhounds, for example, were bred in part for their distinctive barks.

As a hunting dog, a retriever wouldn’t be much help if they scared away the ducks and small game before their human got a chance to get a shot off, now would they? Therefore, golden retrievers don’t generally bark a lot as a breed. 

However, every dog has a unique past and personality that may influence how much they bark.

What Kinds Of Barks Are There?

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, and they all communicate something.

While barking may be annoying, it’s good practice to acknowledge the bark and investigate what may be causing it.

Let’s have a look at the most common types of barking.

Playful Barks

These playful barks are often high pitched, sharp to the ears, and accompanied by a wagging tail, playful posture, and maybe little jumps or ‘hops’ as your dog plays with another dog, you, or a toy.

Playful barks communicate happiness. Goldens are known to express their happiness with playful yips and shouts.

Imagine your golden is a three-year-old child running around and playing with friends. Little shrieks of joy often accompany this play.

Warning Barks

A warning bark is intended to alert a dog’s family to a threat. This threat may be a passing car, another dog, a squirrel in a tree, or an intruder.

As the owner, it’s up to you to train your golden when to give a warning bark.

Anxiety Barking

What Kinds Of Barks Are There?

Golden retrievers are known to have separation anxiety and are prone to having general anxiety and being quite high-strung.

This means if your golden is barking for no apparent reason, they may suffer from anxiety and fear of their surroundings.

Anxiety barks are often accompanied by whining, trembling, a tucked tail, and cowering.

The barking generally stops once the thing causing the distress is removed or the golden is reunited with their human.

It’s important to use crate training and other exercises to prevent anxiety barking in golden retrievers.

Bored Barking

Bored children make a lot of noise—bored fur-children are no different. Bored dogs will bark incessantly just for something to do.

These are often the dogs that get the neighbors calling you during working hours because your pup is home alone, being noisy.

It’s essential to provide your golden with plenty of stimulation and exercise to prevent them from becoming bored.

Greeting Barks

Goldens are known for a quick greeting bark. When you get home or have visitors over, it’s almost like your pup is shouting, “Hey there!”

A wagging tail and tippy-tappy toes often accompany greeting barks to show their excitement at having their human home.

Pain Barks

If you touch your golden and they lie down or get up, walk away, or suddenly stop running and start barking, they may be in pain.

Your golden can’t sit you down and say, “Listen, bud, I have a toothache,” so they bark to communicate their discomfort.

If you cannot identify why your golden is barking and are worried they may be in pain, take them to the vet for a checkup.

Attention Barks

These are barks you want to avoid reinforcing.

Your golden may trot around you and yip and bark to get your attention, especially if you’re doing something else, talking to people, or playing with another pet.

They want your full attention and know that enough noise will get it.

5 Factors That Affect Barking

Five factors affect your dog’s barking behavior.

Research its origins before buying or adopting a specific breed; it may help you see a little into your future with that pup.

  1. Breed: Certain dogs were bred to bark a lot and be very aware of their surroundings.
  2. Unique Personality: Some dogs are more vocal than others, regardless of breed.
  3. Past Trauma: Dogs who have been abused or attacked may perceive the whole world as a threat and bark at the slightest change in their environment.
  4. Inappropriate Environment: Goldens are a large breed, which means they need a fair amount of space to roam. If they are trapped in a tiny apartment all day without physical exercise, they will bark out of boredom and frustration.
  5. Territorial Behavior: Territorial dogs bark when anything comes into their home, be it another dog or a human. Goldens are known to be fairly territorial over their home and humans, so they may bark at strangers near or in their yard or inside their house.

How Do You Manage Barking At Home?

All dogs bark; however, you can limit the barking to only what’s necessary through proper management at home.

Remember, goldens are particularly susceptible to separation anxiety, so much of your focus will go to helping them overcome this issue.

  • Socialization from an early age: This will prevent your golden from alerting you to ‘threats’ that aren’t actually threats.
  • Daily exercise: Twice a day for at least 20 minutes each will prevent pent-up energy from turning into boredom barking.
  • Companionship: Goldens are naturally sociable and like to have another furred friend around. This will reduce the amount of anxiety barking.
  • Training from an early age: Consistent commands and training will prevent barking from becoming an issue and help you control it.
  • Mental stimulation and enrichment: Snuffling exercises, puzzles, and complex toys will tire them out and prevent bored barking.
  • Creating a safe space: Removing perceived threats and items that cause fear will reduce barking in the long run.
  • Positive reinforcement: When your golden stops barking on command or you arrive home and they don’t bark to greet you, reward them for good behavior. Conversely, ignore your golden if they are barking for attention.
  • Anti-barking devices: These are the last stop for incessant barking.

FAQs About Golden Retrievers And Barking

What dog breed barks the most?

Some breeds were created to be extra vocal.

Terriers, beagles, shelties, and bloodhounds or baying hounds were all bred for various reasons, including their vocal tendencies.

Do puppies bark more than older dogs?

Yes, puppies are still figuring out the world; everything around them is new.

This means they constantly want to tell whoever will listen that they found a new cool thing, the water bowl is scary, the toilet made a noise, or they have a weird appendage on their butt called a tail!

Older dogs generally bark less than puppies because they’ve figured out their surroundings.

However, older dogs that lose sight or hearing may start barking more or develop new barking habits as the world around them changes again to something new and scary.

Goldens are known for barking more as they become seniors and tend to lose some or all of their sight.

Wrapping Up On Whether Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot

Golden retrievers do not bark a lot, as a general rule. However, each dog is unique, and some may have more chatty personalities than others.

Identifying why your golden is barking is important because they’re trying to communicate something to you.

Let’s recap the most important factors when it comes to goldens and barking:

  • The golden retriever breed is not known for barking.
  • Goldens are known for separation anxiety, which can increase barking on a case-by-case situation.
  • Different kinds of barks tell you different things about your dog and their environment.
  • Many factors influence barking behaviors.
  • You can manage your dog’s barking behaviors at home.
Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.