Dog bites are something that everyone always seems to be searching for, especially when looking for a new dog. I applaud that, because it’s always good to do your homework. Recently, a question came up in the forum about Golden Retrievers. Apparently the poster had heard a story from a friend of a friend of a friend about being bitten fairly severely by a Golden Retriever. So I decided to see what my old pal Google had to say about Golden Retrievers and dog bites.
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Dog Bites are Rare in the Golden Retriever – Really Rare
I can’t say I’m surprised that Google had nothing to tell me about Golden Retrievers and reported bites. I’ve been around dogs my entire life, and I worked at a vet for 7 years – where the Golden Retriever was quite popular – and I have only seen one “bite” in all of that time. I put bite in quotations because it was more of a nip from a super scared dog.
Since the data shows next to nothing – which is a good thing – I want to take a look at Golden Retrievers, their personalities, and what goes into a dog bite.
The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a consummate family dog. This breed is highly intelligent, eager to please, love their family, and are absolutely filled with energy. This is a breed that needs lots of exercise and lots of love. It’s not a breed for a family that isn’t active. You’ll need a fenced backyard, unless you want to spend at least half an hour on walks three to four times a day.
This is a generally friendly breed not prone to aggression with people or other animals. In fact, most Golden Retrievers have never met a person they didn’t love or another dog that they haven’t wanted to be best buddies with. In some cases, this can be a double-edged sword because not all people love dogs, and not all dogs love other dogs.
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Dog Bites as They Relate to the Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers aren’t know for dog bites. In fact, they’re known to be highly friendly. So how could a Golden Retriever ever bite someone? Well, let’s take a look at what can go into a dog bite.
An Aggressive Dog Bite vs. A Playful Dog Bite
There’s a distinct difference between these types of dog bites. An aggressive or fear based bite is meant to stop the person or animal on the business end of the bite. A dog has two responses to perceived aggression or danger – fight or flight. If the dog can’t take flight, many times it will choose the fight option. Never make fast movements towards a dog you don’t know. And never put a frightened dog in a position of feeling cornered.
A playful bite is an entirely different thing. And believe me, with Golden Retrievers, they happen. Golden Retrievers get excited, super excited, and when dogs play they use their mouths. That means, you’ll most likely be nipped by your Golden or a friend’s Golden. If it happens to be a bit too hard, it’s only because the dog is so happy. I’ve actually gotten a busted lip by a Golden Retriever that was just SO HAPPY to see me.
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Dog Bites and Golden Retrievers – It’s All About Treatment
Although Golden Retrievers aren’t know for dog bites, it can happen. I want to leave you with this final though. Real dog bites occur for three reasons – fear, aggression, and improper training. If you have a Golden Retriever, it’s imperative that you not rest on the breed’s laurels. To be absolutely certain that dog bites never enter your universe, exercise your Golden well, give him lots of love, train him, and socialize him early and well. If you do that, dog bites probably won’t ever be on the radar for your Golden Retriever.