Golden Retriever Crate Training

Golden Retriever Crate Training

Golden Retrievers are great family pets who are loyal and respond wonderfully when crate trained. Learn how to crate train this beloved family dog here.

Developed in the highlands of Scotland in the 1800s, Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be hunting dogs. They are known for their loyalty, energy and pleasant disposition. With their distinct golden color, these active dogs are intelligent and respond well to training. To give your golden retriever a safe place that the dog can retreat to during the day or night and prevent any potential pet accidents, crate train your dog. In the wild, wolves live in a den and this denning instinct continues with today's domesticated dogs. Use positive teaching methods to encourage your dog to use the crate, making it as inviting as possible.

Step 1

Purchase a sturdy crate large enough for your Golden Retriever. These medium-sized dogs need room to sit up, stand, turn around and lay down comfortably, without touching the sides of the crate. If your dog is a puppy, purchase a crate that grows with him. These crates are large enough to accommodate a fully grown Golden but have panels to make the crate smaller for growing puppies.

Step 2

Line the crate with a blanket and your dog's favorite toys to make it inviting and comfortable. Place it in an area of your home close to other people to keep your golden retriever close by; these social dogs need human interaction and companionship.

Step 3

Introduce your Golden Retriever to the crate slowly. If they are reluctant, lure them in with a treat. Do not toss the treat into the crate; that will only teach them it's okay to eat flying food and that habit is hard to break. You don't want your dog going after dropped food and sometimes it is hard to distinguish between the tossed treat and dropped food. Verbally praise your dog when they enter the crate. Repeat this procedure several times in a row each day until your dog freely approaches the crate and enters it without provocation.

Feed your dog in the crate as well, closing the dog inside the crate during every meal, then letting the dog out when they are done. Increase the amount of time your Golden Retriever spends in the crate after a meal each day.

Step 4

Teach your Golden Retriever a verbal command to go into the crate, such as "Crate" or "Bedtime." Say the command, then give the treat when your dog enters the kennel. Close the door and give your dog verbal praise and another treat.

Step 5

Exercise your Golden Retriever prior to crating the dog overnight or for a longer period of time during the day. This will tire this energetic breed of dog and make crate training easier when the dog doesn't have excess pent-up energy.

Step 6

Ignore your dog's whines to leave the crate if your Golden Retriever seems upset with the confinement, unless the dog is a puppy and needs to go to the bathroom. If you are unsure, take your dog out, leash your dog and take them to their potty spot outdoors; should the dog show no signs of needing to eliminate, return the dog immediately to the kennel. Always take your dog out to eliminate after confinement in the crate for an extended period of time and prior to crating for the night.

Tips & Warnings

  • Golden Retrievers enjoy the company of people and family members so keep their crates in areas such as a living room during the day or bedroom at night.

  • Typically, Golden Retrievers won't soil where they sleep, which is why crate training can assist you in potty training them.

  • Keeping a Golden Retriever puppy in a crate, especially during the day, prevents the dog from chewing on wires and other potential hazards.

  • Don't use your Golden Retriever's crate to punish your dog; only use the crate for positive, fun activities.

  • Crates are not meant for extended periods of confinement, only shorter periods of time, for 4 to 5 hours at most during the day and 8 hours at night. Golden Retrievers require sufficient amounts of exercise and companionship during the day, and may require a pet walker to come and walk them in the afternoon.

  • A Golden Retriever suffering from separation anxiety can become injured from attempting to get out of the crate if left in it for long periods of time.

References & Resources

American Kennel Club: AKC Meet the Breeds: Golden Retriever
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Weekend Crate Training
The Humane Society of the United States: Crate Training
Golden Retriever Club of America: Grooming, Exercise, and Training
Dog Channel: Golden Retriever Crate Training

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.

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