Golden Retriever Attack Statistics (Causes & Precautions)

Has your Golden Retriever been displaying some aggressive tendencies, and you are unsure whether this is normal for the Golden Retriever breed or not?

Golden Retrievers are generally categorized as a gentle and patient dog breed. However, some Golden Retrievers have been reported to have attacked people. Fortunately, this is generally not the norm for many Golden Retrievers, and there is a reason why your Golden Retriever is being aggressive. 

Stick with me as I discuss the Golden Retriever attack statistics, why your Golden Retriever is aggressive, and what you can do to fix this.

What Is Golden Retriever Attack Statistics?

The Golden Retriever attack statistics are true to the breed. As a gentle breed, it is not common for Golden Retrievers to attack people. Within 30 years, it has been noted that Golden Retrievers have only attacked people about 11 times. 

What Is Golden Retriever Biting Statistics?

The Golden Retriever biting statistic is remarkably low. Throughout a 30 year period, Golden Retriever attacks have only been reported 11 times. This indicates that if your Golden Retriever is displaying aggressive tendencies and biting people, it is an unusual occurrence that you should investigate and try to fix. 

Golden Retriever Barking

What Causes A Golden Retriever To Bite Or Attack?

Many factors contribute to your Golden Retriever’s aggression which may cause it to bite or even attack you, the owner. The biggest one of these factors is aggression; aggressiveness in Golden Retrievers can be triggered by Fear, Ignorance, Poor socialization, Irregular training, pain, and feeling insecure are some of the significant contributors to the increased aggression.


Fear is one of the biggest triggers that will make your Golden Retriever bite or attack you. This attack out of fear is known as defensive aggression; the cause of this may be due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which may be caused by abuse and the trauma that precedes it. The most important way to help your Golden friend get through it and heal is by dealing with the issue as soon as possible by taking it to the Veterinary. If this form of aggression is not dealt with early on then, it could get worse.


Golden Retrievers, as stated, are social, playful dogs and therefore require attention and love. Aggression can start when they feel ignored by you, and the aggression may be a way to get you to notice them. They require loads of exercise and love being outside doing various activities. It is thus essential for you to create a walking schedule or one where you entertain them so they can be outdoors doing what they love.

Lack Of Proper Socialization

If your Golden Retriever is poorly socialized, they will be prone to aggression when strangers come to the house. The best way to prevent aggression is to ensure they are correctly socialized; the most important socialization period should happen from 6 weeks until 14 weeks of age. It is also important to note that immunizing your Golden friend before taking them out to family events and parks to socialize is a great way to protect them from contracting viruses.

Irregular Training

Have you ever heard the saying: “practice makes perfect?” Well, when training your Golden Retriever, this saying holds a whole lot of validity. If you train your dog to be social and handle different situations adequately, you will have to be consistent and persistent. If you also follow your Golden Retriever’s training once or twice, your Golden Retriever will not learn or be able to live by those important lessons. You can refer to these 5 best Golden Retriever Training Books.

Training Golden Retriever


Pain causes your Golden Retriever to become cranky or aggressive as they try to keep you away from touching the source of the pain. Often, the source of the pain is not known by you as the owner, especially if it is an internal pain. Your Golden Retriever may bite you unexpectedly when you touch or rub them on the spot, which is injured. 

They often give you signs that you need to make yourself accustomed to seeing and understanding; when in pain, they will growl or move away when you try to touch them. You need to take your Golden friend to your nearest veterinary to get checked up if you suspect an internal injury.


Stress and anxiety are the major causes of your Golden Retriever’s insecurity. Sometimes you unintentionally create a stressful environment for your Golden friend; this usually revolves around loud noises, being confined, and frequent guests.

Many times, when your Golden Retriever is insecure, they manifest fearful and anxious traits such as growling and hiding away. In worse cases, all of these stress and anxiety triggers cause them to become aggressive. You should look for signs of insecurity such as those mentioned above and the following: panting, submissive body language, and constant yawning.

How Can You Be Safe From A Golden Retriever Attack? (Precautions To Take)

Golden Retrievers have a playful, passive nature and are rarely known to attack, but when they do, there are some precautions to take, as listed below. If you are being attacked, you should do the following:

  • Do not panic; as it is said that dogs can smell fear. That is relatively true; however, it is not fear they smell but can see you are fearful base on your body language.
  • Do not move; you should essentially try to remain as still as you can. When it lunges at your or appears to be approaching, make yourself as small as possible, avoid eye contact, and sideways as if giving them the right of way to walk.
  • Never run away;  Running away most times triggers your Golden Retriever’s predatory instincts to chase and catch, and often, you would not be able to outrun it on foot.
  • Distract; If all of the above fails, the final option would be to find something to throw to divert attention from you.

These are playful dogs by nature and do not often attack; however, the best way to avoid being attacked in the first play is by noticing the signs and factors which would trigger your Golden friend to turn against you, the main one being aggression.


Do Golden Retrievers Attack A Child?

Golden Retrievers are not known to attack children unless provoked or played rough with. They are playful and sweet-natured family pets, but you should always keep an eye during playtime even though they are not known to attack children. Golden Retrievers attacking children is rare, and the statistics are low; however, we cannot ignore that there is always a potential of something going wrong. Golden Retrievers will usually only bite when provoked or fearful, so many times it has bitten children who have abused (played rough) it in some way or another. As a result, the dog retaliated.  

Can Golden Retrievers Be Dangerous?

Golden Retrievers are playful and sweet-natured family companions who are not known to pose a threat however if their lives or the lives of those it cares about is endangered, their protective instinct will lead them to attack.

Can Golden Retrievers Kill You?

Golden Retrievers, like all animals, are physically capable of causing harm; however, they are good-natured dogs who are not mentally capable of fatal injuries. Golden Retrievers show aggression only when their life or their owners’ life is threatened. 


Golden Retriever aggression and biting are not uncommon; it affects thousands of dogs and dog owners every year. 

Remember that when your Golden Retriever displays some aggressive tendencies, it is often a result of an underlying issue. Your Golden Retriever could be scared and uncomfortable in their environment. Like many people in foul moods, your Golden Retriever will retaliate if he is stressed or feels threatened.

However, the best prevention method is a proactive approach. You will have to train your Golden Retriever so that they do not have dangerously aggressive tendencies.

Early socialization is crucial when training your dog to deal with different situations and people. If your Golden Retriever is used to being around other people, they would have developed a sense of maturity that allows them to react accordingly and not resort to aggressive measures.

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