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Do Golden Retrievers Bite? What You Need to Know

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By Nicole Cosgrove

golden retriever on bed

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in America. However, there are a few myths about these animals that people need to be aware of. For example, many people believe that Golden Retrievers never bite—but this is not true.

Golden Retrievers are generally considered to be one of the friendliest dog breeds, but even so, like all dogs, Goldens can bite if they are provoked. If you are worried about your Golden Retriever biting, you’re not alone. Although Golden retrievers are not particularly aggressive, these dogs may bite if they feel threatened, have not been trained, or if are being mistreated. There are a few things you need to know in order to keep your dog calm, and content, and prevent them from biting others.

While an individual dog may nip at people or other animals from time to time, Golden Retrievers are not known for their unpredictable behavior. This article will explore what potential owners need to know about this breed in order to make an informed decision on whether or not to bring one into their home.

Divider 7How Common Are Golden Retriever Bites?

Every year, nearly 5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. Most of the victims are children who are bitten by family pets. Golden Retrievers rarely appear on lists of breeds most likely to bite, according to statistics. The number of bites by golden retrievers is low and an analysis of dog attacks reported between 1984 and 2014 found that during this 30-year period, Golden Retriever attacks only occurred 11 times. This means that every couple of years, a single Golden retriever will attack someone, most likely a child within their family.

golden retriever dog hunting duck
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Do Golden Retriever Puppies Bite?

Yes, Golden Retriever puppies may bite. This behavior is often seen when they are playing with one another or with their owners. Biting can be a sign of aggression or excitement, so it’s important to be aware of your puppy’s body language and to intervene if he seems like he’s getting too rough. It is not uncommon for Golden Retrievers to explore the world with their mouths and eventually enjoy chewing anything they can get their teeth into. While it strengthens their gums and teeth, most people want to avoid this behavior.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Bite?

Golden Retrievers are not naturally aggressive dogs. As with all dog breeds, in most cases, adult Goldens bite out of fear. Anxious or scared dogs will do anything to protect themselves and the greater the fear increases the higher the likelihood of a bite occurring. In addition, anxiety determines how hard the dog will bite. Occasionally, Golden Retrievers nibble when they play, which is called mouthing. In most cases, this is a learned behavior. Dogs mouth during play either because their owners unintentionally encouraged it, or because they haven’t been taught appropriate play behavior.

In either case, the bite isn’t aggressive and is meant for fun. It’s just like how dogs bite each other when playing. When puppies are playing, they will nip and bite at each other as a way to engage. This is normal behavior for puppies and should not be cause for alarm. However, it is important to begin to train your dog out of this behavior as they mature.

golden retriever dog relax on the hay bale
Image Credit: SasaStock, Shutterstock

What to Do If You Are Bitten By a Golden Retriever

If you are bitten by a Golden Retriever, you should clean the wound with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic ointment to it. You should then see a doctor, who will likely prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. If you are bitten by a Golden Retriever, it is best to clean the wound with soap and water and seek medical attention if the wound appears to be serious.

What Are Some Signs That a Golden Retriever May Bite?

There are a few key signs that a golden retriever may bite. One sign is if the dog is growling or showing its teeth. If the dog is acting aggressively, it may be more likely to bite. Another sign that a dog may bite is if it is backing away from people or seems scared. Having been abused or being poorly socialized can make the dog more likely to bite. If the dog is playing too rough, or if it has been teased or provoked, it may also bite. Whenever a Golden Retriever displays any of these behaviors, treat them with caution and stay away from them.

close up of golden retriever dog
Image Credit: ArtisticOperations, Pixabay

What Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent A Golden Retriever From Biting?

There are a few things that can be done in order to help prevent a golden retriever from biting. One is to ensure that the dog is properly socialized as a puppy so that it knows how to interact politely with other humans and animals. Another is to make sure that the dog gets enough exercise and has plenty of toys to chew on, as boredom can lead to problem behaviors. Another is to make sure they have plenty of positive reinforcement when they do good things, like not biting. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of their body language and what might trigger them to bite.


Golden retrievers are considered to be highly trainable dogs, but they can also be prone to disobedience if not properly trained. The first step in preventing a golden retriever from biting is to train it appropriately. Dogs that are not well-trained are more likely to bite, as they may be more anxious or excitable. It is important to begin training as early as possible and to be consistent with commands.

Golden Retriever Biting a Dog Toy
Image By: Alessandro Ceracchi, Pexels

Stopping a Golden Retriever From Biting

There are a few things that can be done to help stop a Golden Retriever from biting. First, it is important to understand why the dog is biting. If the dog is biting out of fear or aggression, then it is important to take steps to correct this behavior. This may include working with a professional trainer, who can help to change the dog’s behavior and make it more comfortable in social situations. The trainer will show you steps that can be taken to stop a Golden Retriever from biting.

One is to deter the dog from biting in the first place. This can be done through obedience training and positive reinforcement when the dog does not bite. If the dog does bite, it is important to correct the behavior immediately through discipline and a firm “no”.

Divider 7Conclusion

In conclusion, Golden Retrievers bite less frequently than many other dog breeds. However, they can be protective of their family and home, so it is important to socialize them when they are young. Golden retrievers make great pets and are known for their friendly personalities, but like any breed, they can bite. As an owner is important to know how to handle a dog that may be prone to biting and to take steps to prevent an attack.

Featured Image Credit: Prystai, Shutterstock

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