Skip to main content

Our top tips for crate training a Golden Retriever

Bringing home a new puppy can be one of the most joyful times in your life … until they destroy everything in sight the moment they’re left alone. From teething and growing pains to plain ol’ curiosity, there is a myriad of ways your newest addition can get into trouble. Whether you’re dealing with a particularly rambunctious pup or you’d simply like to get them started with good habits, crate training a Golden Retriever puppy can be a great option.

Goldens are known for their sweet demeanor and incredible gentleness, so they seem like perfect candidates for crate training. They’re also especially social pups, though, so will they tolerate being confined to a crate? The only way to find out is to try crate training for yourself, but we hope we can give you some idea of what to expect.

A Golden Retriever puppy sticks his head and paws out of a wooden crate
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Are Golden Retrievers easy to crate train?

If you’re familiar with the image of the golden retriever as a well-tempered, friendly family dog — that’s for a good reason! Many dogs of this breed are as gentle and people-focused as you would think, but the American Kennel Club reminds prospective owners that Goldens aren’t simply born that way; it takes practice, patience, and love to raise a well-behaved adult retriever.

When you’re comparing goldens to other breeds, though, they are incredibly smart, people-motivated, and eager to please. This makes their motivation for training — including crate training — naturally high!

Is crate training good for Golden Retrievers?

No matter what breed of dog you have at home, crate training can have many benefits. Not only does it give you the ability to leave your pet alone without causing you anxiety, but it also allows your golden to have a safe space when they need some quiet time. Since crates can feel a lot like dens (the place wild canines and your pup’s ancestors call home) they can be comforting to your dog, too.

Rarely, crate training your puppy can exacerbate existing problems. Separation anxiety, in particular, may be triggered by crate time, so it’s important to address this issue before adding in a new habit, according to the Humane Society of the US. Crate training may not be a good idea for some dogs with medical issues, especially those that require frequent movement or bathroom trips.

A Golden Retriever puppy sits on the floor of a kid's room
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Golden retriever crate training tips

If you do decide to try crate training your golden retriever puppy, keep a few things in mind.

Start young

It can help to start crate training when your golden is a puppy. The sooner going in their crate becomes a normal occurrence, the sooner your pup will learn to tolerate and even enjoy it. Don’t wait to give it a try!

Make it comfy

Another way to entice your young retriever to enjoy — or at least tolerate — using their new crate is by making it as comfortable as possible. If your dog has a favorite blanket, toy, or bed, this is the perfect place to keep it. Some owners even have a special toy or treat that their dog can only have while in their crate, which helps build positive associations and keeps your golden as happy as possible. If you keep this up, they’ll see their crate and think, “No big deal!”

The crate is not punishment

In order to help your puppy create a positive relationship with their crate, suggests Wag!, make sure never to use it as a form of punishment. In fact, encouraging your golden with a treat or some praise as they enter may inspire them to come back to their new spot.

Remember, the crate should be a safe place for your pup, never a place where they feel nervous or unsafe. It may help to remind family members and guests to let your dog relax unbothered when they go to their crate since they’re likely looking for some peace and quiet.

Start short

When introducing your golden retriever puppy to their new crate, make sure to start with short, frequent introductions. This will help avoid unnecessary anxiety from feeling lonely, as well as any accidents inside the crate.

As a rule of thumb, Wag! recommends that puppies stay in their crate no longer than one hour for every month of age. For example, a three-month-old golden pup shouldn’t be left alone for more than three hours.

Tire them out

When you’re ready to leave your puppy home alone in their crate for a little while, try taking them out for a jog (or at least get in some extra playtime) before you do. A tired dog is more likely to rest instead of worry, which will make the experience more peaceful for everyone.

As you practice crate time with your pup, you’ll get to know the tips and tricks that work best for you both. Perhaps a certain routine is most effective, or maybe your dog just needs some serious love and praise to motivate them. Try not to get frustrated if crate training your golden retriever puppy doesn’t go as planned right away — they’re just a puppy after all. There’s time!

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
Is getting a puppy for Christmas a good idea? You can’t return them like an ugly sweater
Here's what to know before you bring a puppy home this holiday
Woman snuggling Samoyed puppy in front of the Christmas tree

Of all the viral holiday videos to make their way around the internet, there’s nothing quite as heartwarming (and adorable) as seeing a new puppy jump out of a box on Christmas morning. It’s easy to see why many families feel inspired to get this surprise present for their loved ones and show up with a new furry friend during the holidays!
Getting a puppy for Christmas can seem like a special, even life-changing gift, but the cleaning and work accompanying them aren’t as cute. Many families -- especially kids -- aren’t prepared for the effort and expense of raising a dog, which unfortunately leads to pets being dropped off at shelters not long after the holidays.
If you’re considering gifting a puppy to your family this Christmas, make sure you do the research and consider the obligations that pet parenthood entails. Here’s what to know.

Why getting a puppy for Christmas isn’t always smart
Although raising a dog can be a rewarding and joyful experience, it also requires work, patience, and responsibility. Is your family ready to take this on? Are you willing to pick up the slack if they prove that they're not?
According to the shelter staff at the Marion County Humane Society in West Virginia, shelter admissions tend to increase every year at the end of January. Unfortunately, many of these pets are Christmas gifts that families weren’t ready to care for.
“People that got a new puppy or a new kitten, and they expect their young child to take care of them,” one shelter tech told WDTV. "Of course, if the kid doesn't do it, the parent doesn't want to take care of them, either.”
A lack of research is also a huge factor in unsuccessful pet adoptions. Not all dog breeds will do well in all homes, so consulting an expert or doing some reading is vital before taking action. And remember — a cute, tiny puppy can still grow into a huge, rambunctious dog (depending on their breed), so you’ll need to be prepared.
It’s also important to consider where you’re adopting your new pup from because not all breeders are reliable. As awful as it is to acknowledge, some people sell sick and injured dogs for a quick buck. Needless to say, a dog with health concerns can be as loving of a companion as any other — after treatment, of course — but you have a right to be informed about the condition of your new friend, including information about the puppy's parents.
Shelters can help you get to know your pup a bit before bringing him home, but rescued dogs will still need some extra time to adjust to their surroundings. The honeymoon phase may not be as happy-go-lucky as you expect, especially if there has been any past trauma for your pup. If this is the case, don't be upset if your new dog isn't matching the holly jolly spirit!

Read more
Best reptile pets: These are the 5 most affectionate reptiles you can welcome into your home
These friendly reptiles will make great additions to your family
Basking Chinese water dragon

When you picture an adorable pet, you probably don't visualize an iguana. Reptiles aren't generally considered the cutest of animals, but that doesn't mean you can't find a cuddly one. Whether you're looking for a new buddy for yourself or for your lizard-obsessed kid, there's a reptilian beast out there that will work great in your home.

With proper socialization, these guys can learn to be handled daily, some even by children. If you want a new pet that enjoys human company, consider one of the most affectionate slitherers — they're the best reptile pets for handling.

Read more
Why is my dog whining? 6 common reasons and what you can do to stop it
If you wonder "why is my dog whining?" — check out the possible causes
Sad dog resting his head near a shoe

Let’s be honest: No matter how much we love our fur babies, living with a dog that's a whiner can drive you crazy. Whining can be irritating, heartbreaking, and even anxiety-inducing for owners. Whether it's distracting you from work, making you sad to leave the house, or making you worry that something is wrong with your dog, figuring out why your dog is whining and what you can do about it is important.

No matter how disruptive it is, always remember that whining is a form of communication for our dogs, say training experts at the ASPCA. The key is to properly interpret the noise and figure out how to work with her on it; to try to answer the question, "Why is my dog whining?"

Read more