9 Calming Activities to Do With Your Golden Retriever

golden retriever running through a field

9 Calming Activities to do with Your Golden Retriever Puppy

If you have a well-trained Golden Retriever puppy, it can be confusing if your adult dog starts showing bad behavior. While this might be frustrating to many pet owners, there is often a cause behind the negative behavior, and it's usually stress or anxiety. Dog training sessions are one way you can help your dog have good behavior. The other way to help them is by treating their stress. This article can help you learn the best way to help your Golden Retriever puppy calm down.

Golden Retriever Puppy

If you're a pet parent with a Golden Retriever puppy, you might have noticed how this breed almost always maintains calm behavior. The Golden Retrievers' most well-known quality is their wonderful temperament. The Golden Retriever dog is a great fit for many owners, including first-time puppy owners.

Golden Retriever puppy is active, intelligent, and loyal. These dogs need a lot of physical activity to stay healthy and mental stimulation to keep them sharp. If their needs don't get met, they can experience consequences on both their physical and mental health. This active, large breed dog can grow 21 - 24 inches tall. They can weigh between 55 to 75 pounds and maintain an average lifespan of 10 - 12 years.

As part of a sporting dog breed group, according to the American Kennel Club, the Golden Retriever needs a lot of support to stay healthy. If you want to avoid stress-related issues, activity is super important. Sometimes there can be an array of causes of anxiety, and it can be hard for owners to decipher how to help their dogs. However, pet owners can help their dogs in many ways, but first, they need to identify the cause of their pet's stress. You can address many causes of stress and anxiety by using different treatment methods. Owners ready to learn and stay open-minded to multiple methods will have no trouble helping their Golden Retriever dog calm down. 

Stress and Anxiety Causes

There are plenty of things that can cause your pet to feel less than content. Many dog breeds can experience stress and anxiety. Shelter dogs experience stress more often than animals that never experienced a shelter. It is often because dogs from a shelter are more likely to have lived through abuse, neglect, homelessness, or abandonment. Animals can face extra symptoms of anxiety and stress when they're reminded of such awful conditions. Golden Retriever puppies are also at risk of having stress and anxiety because they're an extremely family-oriented dog breed. The most common type of stress and anxiety in dogs is separation anxiety, so when the Golden Retriever is left alone for too long without their owners, it might start to freak out a little.

It can be hard to avoid having your pet experience anxiety or stress. However, it's imperative not to ignore these conditions because when separation anxiety goes ignored, it can worsen and lead to less than great behavior from your dog. People often mistake anxiety symptoms for disobedience in animals, but this is rarely the case. There are many ways pet owners can help their pets overcome stress and anxiety issues, but first, they must understand the signs of stress and anxiety that their pets might experience.

golden retriever laying in a dog bed

Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety

There are plenty of signs that your Golden Retriever puppy might show you, but to best understand your dog's behavior, there are a few important factors all owners should know. The first factor is that dogs communicate through body language first and foremost. If your pet never barks but begins barking when they're stressed out, this could be one of the symptoms, but the other actions they do with their body will be a clearer indication of the intensity of their anxiety. Secondly, your pet usually shows more than one symptom of anxiety at a time. They could show multiple symptoms at once or might show multiple signs within the span of a few minutes. It's important to take notice of these cues to help you identify the intensity of your pet's situation. Lastly, the more intense your pet's symptoms, the more help they will need to overcome their anxiety.

Less intense signs of anxiety and stress are shown in smaller movements. A semi-stressed dog might put its ears back, hold its tail between its legs, or mays refuse to lie down. The dog could become slightly vocal, and they might bark, whine or growl. However, a Golden Retriever puppy is not known for growling. A very anxious dog might still do this, even if they don't follow the growl up with similar behavior. A dog may pace, jump around, or spring around your home. Some dogs can try to escape their homes, and they might try to hide behind their owners or may try to position themselves in between an exit and their owners. More intense signs of stress occur if dogs get mouthy and try to pull their owners away from leaving. Some animals vomit, urinate, or defecate when they have severe stress. The most common signs of separation anxiety are when a dog destroys its owner's home in its absence. It's also very common for stressed dogs to refuse to eat during their stress.

How to Help Calm your Pet

We briefly mentioned earlier that providing your pet with more than one calming remedy at a time can maximize the opportunities to help your Golden Retriever puppy calm down. Your dog might need supplements to calm down while also receiving extra exercise and having a safe space to go to in their house. Owners need to be persistent when helping their pets calm down. Some dogs might have more consistent stress levels, and it can be more challenging to help them relieve their symptoms. Owners might need to try multiple combinations or provide a lot more attention, training, and supplements to help their dogs remain calm most of the time. But, any owner can help their Golden Retriever puppy maintain a calm attitude as long as they're consistent and passionate about helping their puppy.

close up image of a happy golden retriever

9 Calming Activities to do with Your Golden Retriever Puppy

1. CBD

Many pet owners have used canine CBD because it's great at many things. For example, people often use CBD when their dogs are nervous about thunderstorms. It's also beneficial to give your dog CBD right before leaving your home since it can help decrease the symptoms of separation anxiety. Even though this method is successful for many animals, not all dogs will be able to benefit from CBD alone, and this method will work best for dogs with less intense symptoms of stress and anxiety. But, if you wanted to, you could provide your pet with CBD while trying multiple other methods to help calm your Golden Retriever puppy.

2. Supplements

Similar to CBD, you can give supplements to pets with mild symptoms of stress and anxiety. Supplements are great to give pets with mild separation anxiety. Also, animals nervous about going to new environments might benefit from supplements. You could potentially give your Golden Retriever puppy calming supplements and then take them to new places to help them socialize better. Owners also have the freedom to give their pets supplements while using other methods like a safe space or puzzle toys.

3. Go for a Car Ride

Sometimes dogs are stressed out because they have energy and are bored. Sometimes a dog needs a solid distraction from whatever is causing them boredom in the first place. There are many ways to distract a dog, but dogs often love car rides. One of the best ways to help your pet calm down is by doing something fun like going for a car ride. Sometimes when dogs are stressed out, not even their favorite treats can calm them down, but car rides provide the unique ability to give your Golden Retriever a break. You can bring them on a car ride and easily help them be calm, but you can even regain their focus and give them calming supplements. This way, the supplements can help calm your dog after the car ride.

This method won't be successful if your pet doesn't like car rides. You can always train your dog to enjoy car rides by giving them treats in your car. Only use this method to calm your Golden Retriever if they enjoy car rides.

golden retriever sitting in the grass

4. Make them a Safe Space

A popular thing that's come about is making a safe space for your pet. Tons of pet parents give their Golden Retrievers a space solely dedicated to helping them calm down. These safe spaces are designated to be in a small room or area that's quiet and away from foot traffic. It's also better to put this in a private room like the owner's bedroom, so your dog can be alone with other people. Sometimes when dogs are stressed out, having a safe place to go to rest can be very beneficial for them. Owners will put anything that calms their dog down in their pet's safe space. They can put a comfortable dog bed, crate, and a bowl of dog food in their pet's space. Some dogs might enjoy having their favorite blanket, toy, and treat in their safe space. Owners can take the extra step to put calming zen treats, aromatherapy, or music therapy in their dog's safe space. Many options and potentials come with making a safe space for your dog, but if your pet has a mild fear of thunderstorms or separation anxiety, these spaces might help them at least reduce their stress.

5. Practice Obedience Training

Sometimes animals deal with stress because their needs aren't being met. Owners can give their dogs as many walks as they want, but their pups will still miss out on the mental activity. Things like obedience training force your dog to think and act on its choices. This activity and excitement for an animal can help them stay calm, but it may not be enough for animals with more extreme stress. In the long run, dogs who have stress solely because of a lack of mental activity will grow to be calmer more often, decreasing the intensity and frequency of their stress. This training also increases the owner's bond with their dog making it easier to comfort your dogs to calm them down.

6. Try Enrichment Activities

While obedience training offers mental activity, enrichment training can provide physical and mental activity to your dog. There are many options for practicing enrichment activities with your puppy. Owners can choose enrichment practices that best fit their activity level while keeping their dogs active. These activities come in many different styles, and practicing them can strengthen your bond with your dog. These activities also count as stimulation physically and mentally, which naturally decreases the amount of stress your pet experiences. If you do enrichment activities enough, you can try to use them to distract your pet anytime they start showing signs of anxiety. This method will only be distracting if you're positive during these activities. Your pet will probably only calm down if they're not experiencing severe stress or anxiety.

golden retriever walking through the grass

7. Give them A Puzzle Toy

If owners can't be there to help their dogs cool down, it can be quite a challenge helping their dogs. It is when objects like puzzle toys become the most useful. A puzzle toy presents a challenge to your pet, and once they overcome the challenge, a treat comes out, or multiple little treats come out. The difficulty can change based on what you buy, but you can always pick beginner ones while your pet is still learning how to use puzzle toys. Using a puzzle toy to calm your dog will only work if you regularly have them practicing with puzzle toys. This way, they know puzzle toys offer them a sweet little treat. You can give your dog a puzzle toy during a thunderstorm, when you leave your house, or if you're having a house party. These puzzle toys will be great distractions for your pet, and you can pick more difficult puzzles as your dog gets better at doing them. If you want, you can add calming supplements and treats to these puzzles, and the results will be twice as effective.

8. Walk Your Dog

Sometimes a dog isn't calm because they haven't gotten activity in a while. If your dog doesn't get its recommended amount of physical activity, they will have energy bust out of them in unhealthy ways. It can cause panic attacks, bouts of depression, or disobedience. The best way to help your pet out of a funk like this is to give them more exercise by taking them on a walk or two every day. This can increase your bond with your dog and allow them a healthy way to get out their energy. You can also give your pet some calming treats and a walk that way, you can train them while walking, and they'll be extra calm by the time you're home.

9. Counterconditioning Training

One of the last resort owners can use to calm down their Golden Retriever puppy is to treat them with counterconditioning. This training is typically very effective on dogs; owners can use it to help their pups overcome whatever repeated measure affects their pup. When owners want their dogs to receive counterconditioning training, they must have a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. Only these professionals have the credentials to identify the root of a dog's stress and anxiety. Then these professionals can work with your dog to turn a negative reaction into a calm or happy one. Your pet can grow out of irrational fears or general anxieties. The issue with counterconditioning programs is that they take a lot of time and money and aren't the perfect pick for everyone. If your pet has a severe issue with stress and is rarely calm, that's when it's time to start seriously considering counterconditioning training.

golden retriever laying on the ground


You'll need perseverance and patience when it comes to helping your Golden Retriever puppy calm down. Not all dogs can receive the same help to calm down. Some pets won't need nearly as much support as other animals, and sometimes owners have to mix things up and try new methods on their pets. Helping your Golden Retriever calm down more can be a rewarding experience, especially if you treat them in a long-lasting way.

Many breeds struggle with remaining calm in stressful situations. But Golden Retrievers have a naturally calm instinct, so if your pet is dealing with anxiety, owners should rest assured that there are plenty of ways to help their dog. 

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