Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? (Complete Breakdown)

Golden Retriever is one of the most popular and cute dogs breed! But there’s one controversial question that, “Are Golden Retrievers good Guard Dogs”? Well, some of the sites are having mixed answers and few of them are following others! But now I’ll give you the complete honest breakdown answer to this question.

Not every barking dog is a GUARD DOG, it’s totally a myth!

golden retriever

While doing the complete research I did find some amazing YouTube Videos where a Golden Retriever is protecting babies and the family members, I’ve added those videos at the bottom so don’t forget to skip those!

The majority of the people are having Golden Retrievers and the main reason is that either they have goldens as the best companion or as a guard dog but are Golden Retrievers really protective?

Well, check out the legit breakdown answer below! 

(If you are in a hurry and short of time, check out the Table Of Contents for directly reaching the actual question below)

What are the Traits in Perfect Guard Dog?

Before going to the actual question, you must know what all factors combine to make a perfect Guard Dog. Below listed are the essential qualities that a guard dog should possess!


Your dog must be loyal to you and your family. They must never get attracted to the treats offered by strangers.


So, your dog must be alert and should be able to distinguish between the threatening times and getting into the defense mode. The dog should be obedient and should follow all your basic commands.

Fast Agility

They should move fast, with ease whenever they sense of danger. They should not be lazy!


Your dog must be courageous to face any danger that is harmful to the family and the owner, they should be fearless!

Territorial Instincts

All animals have these characteristics, your dog would not let strangers in your property or space! They should be instinctive and protective of their territory.

High Concentration Level

Few of the pet dogs get distracted easily because they have a very less concentration level! Try to train your dog for a high concentration level.


Like you need not require always an aggressive dog rather, they should be aggressive but with that sometimes they should spend time loving their parent.

These were the traits or qualities that a guard dog has, also keep in mind that Golden Retrievers were never bred to be a Guard Dog, rather they were bred for retrieving and hunting.

Now, let’s explore the qualities of Golden Retriever, just keep the above-mentioned pointers that I mentioned about Guard Dogs in mind, they are useful for reference!

What Makes a Golden Retriever A Guard Dog?

golden retriever 1

Pet parents who buy golden retrievers have one thing in mind that they use their pet for multitasking, they would like it if their golden is the best pet companion and a good guard dog.


Now let’s discuss the qualities and characteristics that make golden retrievers good guard dogs?


Most of the dogs are loyal to their owners, but goldens are a bit different they have a much deeper bond towards their owner they are loyal and your golden would never betray you! 

They would be with you in any situation, in all your ups and downs, your golden would never leave you, rather he’ll be the number 1 loyal companion in your family.

Loyal dogs are been observed to be protective towards the owner and this quality in golden retriever is the best! Their loyalty would protect you from fighting off any threats.


They are not dumb, Goldens are intelligent and a clever companion! They are quite friendly with the owner but they are able to differentiate between strangers and family members

Because of their intelligence, they are easy to train, just make sure that you give your golden proper socialization training when they are in the puppy phase.

As a smart dog breed golden retriever takes less than 5 repetitions to learn and understand the new commands given by you! Once trained, there’s a 95% chance that they’ll perform learned commands the first time they’re executed.

Training is one of the most important factors, if you have not trained your golden retriever yet then please make sure you train him, for training I would recommend that I’ve mentioned a few cool tricks below, just make sure you have a glance towards them too. (Don’t miss that training section at the end!)

Exercise & High Energy

Most of the time they are active and always in high energy, they love to be active. They are bird dogs at heart, they love to play games, fetch or swim. Daily 1 hour of exercise is necessary for them, as lack of energy can result in various health problems.

Doing exercise daily helps your pup to stay active & healthy (physically and mentally) They need to do exercise, like these exercises help your dog to stay happy. Without jogs, training, hikes, exercise, or other canine activities, goldens will quickly resort to negative and hyperactive ways.

Try these exercises, Walking Or Running, Fetch, Hiking, Hunting, Agility Training, Swimming, Using The Treadmill, Dock Diving, Following A Laser Pointer, Hiding Treats, Tug Of War, Playing Hide And Seek and Jumping


Golden Retrievers are obedient dogs, and will definitely follow all the instructions given by the owner. According to Mentalfloss “The first 3 dogs to ever achieve the AKC obedience champion title were all Golden Retrievers.”

You can only have your full command control on your dog only if he is obedient, and Golden Retrievers are obedient, this makes a dog to learn new commands faster compared to other dog breeds.

This qualityObediencymakes golden retriever easy to train and become a good guard dog. 


Like it’s quite easy to train your golden to be attentive towards you and your commands. This trait makes them best for training.

They are best family companions, loving and attentive in nature by sharing a deep bond with the owner. Being attentive is really an essential trait in guard dog and golden retriever has it.

Hunting Dogs

Golden Retrievers are good hunting dogs, as they were a mix of water spaniel and retriever to be a clever breed for wildfowl hunters that could retrieve game on land and water.

Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs?

Golden Retrievers are quite an intelligent and loyal dog breed, with a few weeks of training your Golden Retriever would be a great guard dog for you and your family. According to Mentalfloss “The first 3 dogs to ever achieve the AKC Obedience Champion title were all Golden Retrievers.”

How to Train a Golden Retriever To be a Guard dog?

Use the below-listed methods and make your golden a better guard dog by following the below-listed training practices I’m sure you’ll get awesome results.

golden retriever fetch

All of them are best untill you don’t practice them practically!

Day 1 Method

Basically in this method, you have to just follow simple steps, start calling out your dog whenever someone is at the door. Just give him a signal, whisper, pointing, or something that will let him come at the door and sense the feeling whether who’s on the door.

Practice this till your pup is not perfect at it, and whenever he does it right just give him a reward! Just make sure that they’re able to handle their aggression in the right way.

Suggested – Aggressive Golden Retriever: Identify Aggression Signs & Fix it!

I hope this was a good training method!

Verbal Cue Method

This is a great method to train your golden, using the ‘Verbal Cue Method’ your Golden’s Guard Dog qualities will definitely improve. This method helps your dog to be a better guard dog than he currently is! Basically in this method, your dog needs to bark at suspicious noises.

Well, now how to do this? You have to teach your dog to bark by bringing them those things at which he or she will typically bark! 

Either bark or growl will work, but goldens should do it until they don’t see the object or main source for which they were barking has vanished or not present around them.

Follow the verbal cue method steps that I’ve mentioned below: (USING SOUNDS)

  • Your Golden should bark when he hears suspicious or strange noises from the house, like banging or breaking of glass and most probably the sounds that are from strangers in your home.
  • Command your doggy to bark and don’t let him stop until you again deliver the command ‘stop’. 
  • Now you can play those sounds and simultaneously command your Golden to bark, as he listens to those unusual sounds.
  • Your golden should bark as the noise hit’s the ears of your golden, and should not stop until the sound is gone or you have commanded him to stop!
  • Currently your golden should bark without your commands as he listens to those typical suspicious sounds.
  • As he does this by himself without any of your commands, make sure you reward him.

Now instead of sound, you can also try this method by trying out strange (strange people for your Golden and not you) people to come into your house (USING PEOPLES)

Here the training goal is the same but just replace the sounds with people!

  • Now, when your dog sees a stranger which he can’t recognize he should bark at them. 
  • If he doesn’t barks then just point out your index finder to the stranger and tell your golden retriever to bark at him.
  • As your golden starts barking just give a silent signal to the stranger (your friend) who was helping you to do this verbal cue method to disappear.
  • As he disappears, your golden should stop barking!

You can repeat and experiment with both of these methods (With Sounds, With People) till your golden is not perfect at it, his approach should be protective. This method will make him a better guard dog!

Just make sure you reward your golden whenever he does the desired things in the correct way!

Soon your Golden Retriever will develop this habit of barking as soon as he sees a stranger or hears any suspicious sounds.

Marking The Boundary Method

So, ‘Marking The Boundary Method’ this teaches your dog to remember and recognize the boundaries he needs to protect. You should show your golden retriever the area that is near and around your house so that whenever anyone comes in the boundary of your house, your Golden should get in protective mode.

For that to happen your dog should be well aware of the area that belongs to you. And if your dog is always inside the house let him also see and roam around the space of your house.

Follow these steps:

  • Take your golden to a morning walk and just stay quiet during the whole walk let him do what he can do.
  • Once you are at home tether your Golden with a leash (Check out my Top 5 Review Guide for Best Leash for Golden Retriever) the leash should be enough long so that your golden moves comfortable around the surroundings of your house.
  • Command your Golden to bark whenever he sees a stranger or animal coming closer to your property.
  • Make sure your Golden is familiar with all the family members and as the family members come closer your dog should not bark on them! Your dog should recognize and be familiar with all your family members
  • Your golden only need to be alert when he observes these strangers and he should not be aggressive.
  • If your golden does this practice successfully reward him! Practice this training too with your golden until he is perfect with it!

Now, go on an evening walk and see whether that your golden barks, growls, or remains silent.

Just observe!

golden retriever in grass

Your Golden should not bark at the park, as it is not your property, and it’s not his duty to be protective at the park, as he is outside the perimeters of your house! Your golden should be properly socialized before using the ‘Marking The Boundary Method’

Repeat this for weeks and observe the behaviors of your golden and correct him wherever he is wrong, if he is doing it all good reward him!

Try all the above-mentioned Methods to train your golden in the best possible way! Golden Retrievers can be the best guard dogs if trained properly and without any training, you can’t expect anything from them! Train them and you’ll definitely get the results that Golden Retrievers are good guard dogs, and without training, you’ll never know how great is your golden at guarding!

Best Examples of Golden Retrievers as a Guard Dog!

Below I’m listing some amazing YouTube videos which are worth watching, these are examples of how a Golden Retriever is a superhero when he is trained to be a Guard Dog.

Some of the video clips are so overwhelming that you’ll be amazed, also you’ll get to know how well the kids are protected and your main question ‘are golden retrievers good guard dogs’ will get justified? Well, check these videos and you’ll come to the conclusion that YES, golden retrievers are actually good guard dogs.


Can A Golden Retriever Be Used To Protect A Home?

Yes, if trained properly they can protect your home, because of their loyalty, obedience, and intelligence they can be excellent at it, in accordance with their large body they can be used to protect your home.

What Other Breeds Are Commonly Used As Guard Dogs?

german shepherd

Well, these are the dog breeds that are used as Guard Dogs: Bullmastiff, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, Great Dane and etc.

Difference between a Guard Dog and Watch Dog?

Guard Dog basically protects the owner’s property and has a watch on intruders. They can even bite if they feel that there’s a threat. They are used to create a threat and fear in the intruder or anyone who trespasses the owner’s private property! Now, let’s know about Watch Dog, also known as alarm dogs. They basically warn their owner if something is not right.

Final Thoughts on Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs

I hope that you were helped, now your question ‘Can Golden Retrievers be good guard dogs’ is pretty easy to understand after going through this breakdown.

I have talked about the traits that golden retrievers has and how you can use the 3 cool training methods to make your golden more better guard dog.

Oh! Well, how were the 3 YouTube videos that I shared? Well, I know you must have not watched all 3! But you might have at least 1, so let me know more about the videos and feedbacks in the comments.

Like I know that Golden Retriever is not the best Guard Dogs, but there’s another way to have the Best Guard and that is by having another companion dog.

Like see, I too have 2 dogs, Chester (Rottweiler) & Max (Golden Retriever), you can also try another companion dog for your golden! In fact, Chester is my guard dog, you won’t believe how protective he is, also Rottweiler is #1 Protective Dogs as listed on K9ofmine.

Have a look at this article that I published last month – Best Companion Dog For Golden Retriever

Check out the above-listed article and you would get amazed by the list of dogs that I’ve mentioned! (Few companion dogs that I’ve mentioned are Guard Dogs too)

Can a Golden Retriever and a cat can coexist? Get your answer here, Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?

I hope that you were helped and were satisfied with the answer that you just went through!

That was my opinion on this, now I would like to hear from you….

Are golden retrievers good guard dogs?

Let me know in the comments I would like to know your opinions!

 Suggested Reads –  Best Golden Retriever Training Books & 7 Best Dog Bed For Golden Retrievers


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