They can show loyalty, intelligence and loyalty. Their size, prey drive, and obedience are all good qualities. Still, you might not choose them if you value protection. Many people wrongly assume that all dogs have the ability to guard their properties and homes. A dog that guards homes and properties well will not only bark at strangers instinctively, but it must also possess other qualities.

Are Golden Retrievers Good Guard Dogs? Are they Protective?

A Golden Retriever’s friendly personality and sweet disposition make them less effective guard dogs. But they can be great guard dogs if trained correctly. There are some instinctual traits that you’ll need to work out before they can be trusted with guard dog duties. Goldens can be guard dogs, just like Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers.

Guard Dogs Are Not Attack Dogs

It is essential that you fully understand the difference between an attack or guard dog before you determine the suitability for your golden retriever. Many pet owners confuse these terms when they really mean something different.

A guard dog is a dog that has been trained to alert its owner of danger. This could include an intruder or a stranger in your compound, along with other dangerous animals like serpents. Guard dogs should bark, growl and make other sounds to warn of danger when they spot anything it considers dangerous or strange.

Guard dogs should bark, growl and make other sounds to warn of danger when they spot anything it considers dangerous or strange.

Evidently attack dogs are more aggressive than guard dogs and respond to commands better. Attack dogs are quick to respond when they spot potential threats or intrusions.

They are used frequently by law-enforcement officers (police, security guards) because of this. It is important that you remember that attack dog will not always attack. They are trained to wait for an attack command from their handlers.

Can Golden Retrievers be Trained as Guard Dogs?


First and foremost, golden retriever are very loyal. This is why golden retrievers are one the most popular dog breeds. Their loyalty is so strong that even though they were separated from their owners, they would do everything in their power to reunite with them.

If your safety is at risk, golden retrievers will actively defend you against intruders. No matter how old or large they may be, golden retrievers are able to fight off any threats.

Yogi the golden retriever saved Paul Horton’s life by fighting for his owner. Paul was disabled from basic functions because of an accident. Yogi was always available to fulfill its owner’s needs.

The dog can be loyal at times, and it’s not uncommon for him to refuse to go with his owner. The dog knew that Paul would not be able to fetch his desired items and that he would be even more unhappy.


Retrieve is the root of the name “retriever”. These dogs were originally developed for hunting in Scotland. After their owners had shot the bird successfully, their goal was to retrieve the bird from the bushes.

Evidently they were not interested in hunting. They displayed total obedience to their handlers and were lauded for mastering commands quickly.


It is important to consider intelligence when searching for a guard dogs. Their intelligence can be very useful in many ways. Golden retrievers are easier to train than other dogs, since they learn commands quickly.

They are smart enough that they know that obeying their owners is part of their duties as guard dogs. Just shout a quick command to your dog and he will respond. It has been reported that retrievers can weave their way through major cities and crowds. Some dogs even return to their owners after becoming disconnected.

With their keen intelligence, retrievers can easily spot a situation before they know what to do. Highly socialized retrievers can’t forget faces. They are particularly good at remembering situations that gave them fear.

These dogs can be trained to act as guard dogs and guide blind persons.

What’s an Ideal Guard dog? – Attributes of a Great Guard Dog

  1. Guard dogs should have enough size to intimidate strangers.
  2. They should be strong enough to sense danger and move quickly.
  3. Guard dogs need to be brave, fearless and able defend themselves when necessary.
  4. They should be loyal to their owner and stick by him during any encounter.
  5. Guard dogs should have intelligence, be watchful, and be alert in order to recognize, judge, assess and respond to real dangers.
  6. They should be able to instinctively protect themselves by jumping between the owner or an imminent source of danger.
  7. Guard dogs need to be obeyed and should follow their owner’s instructions.

Will a Golden Retriever Protect You?

Yes, Golden Retrievers will protect owners and their homes. Here’s Sadie. She protected her family and hid an intruder from her home. Despite being repeatedly punched by her owner, the normally gentle dog continued to fight against the intruder. Sadie’s owner said that she had not seen this side of her before. Sadie, like all Goldens who are loyal and well-trained was willing to fight for her family.

The dog even took a bite of the snake. The best part about this story is that Todd was still a puppy. This kind of instinctiveness at such a young stage makes it hard to believe that dogs would not do their best for you and your family.

Do Golden Retrievers Make Good Guard Dogs?…Probably Yes!

The Golden is a Medium-sized Breed.

Golden Retrievers can be quite small, contrary what popular opinion says. The Golden Retriever may not be on your list of top dog breeds. They aren’t small either. You’ll also be disappointed if they aren’t found on the list with Chihuahuas or Affenpinschers.

The Golden Retriever’s height is only 6 to 8.5 inches lower than that of the Great Dane. You shouldn’t let this put you off.

Golden Retrievers instinctively protect their family.

Goldens will bark if they feel threatened, even though they don’t have a tendency to bark too much. They will also growl for their owner to warn them of approaching danger.

It is important to pay attention to growling, which can sometimes communicate more than danger. It could be a warning or an expression of pain. Your Golden will not stop growling if there is danger.

Goldens will jump between their master and any danger source. You may have seen the inspiring stories of Goldens rescuing their masters’ lives by leaping in front of them, creating a barrier between danger and their owner.

Golden Retrievers possess high levels of energy.

Golden Retrievers, originally bred in Scotland for small game retrieval, are highly active and high-energy dogs that can protect you from attackers. Premiere guard dogs require high energy to perform their duties. How can your dog catch an intruder while you are on the couch?

Golden Retrievers need to exercise at least an average of one hour per day in order to remain mentally and physically stimulated. They may find it enjoyable to follow a thief.

Golden Retrievers exhibit exceptional obedience

Goldens can be a people-pleaser and are excellent for training to become guard dogs and service dogs. Because of their obedience, Golden Retrievers were the first dogs to receive the American Kennel Club Obedience Champion Title. This is not an accident.

Golden Retrievers make loyal pets

Each dog is expected loyalty to its owners, but the Golden Retriever is a unique breed because of its ability for building strong and warm bonds with his owner. These dogs are all about loyalty. It is not necessary to worry about your Golden letting go. This is an excellent trait to have in a guard dog.

Golden Retrievers make intelligent dogs

Dogs that are intelligent and well trained can be a joy to work with. Golden Retrievers, despite their intelligence, are very easy to train. They will grasp new commands with less than five repetitions. The Goldens also obey all known commands within 95% to 95% of the times.

The Golden Retriever comes in 4th place in this dog intelligence bracket. This is behind the Border Collie/Poodle and the German Shepherd. That’s some wonderful company!

Golden Retrievers’ high adaptive intelligence means that they can learn from past experiences. The Golden Retrievers can distinguish between a well-intentioned visitor or an intruder. You don’t have to worry about your Golden becoming hostile towards innocent visitors. As long they have been socialized well, your Golden will have no problem recognizing the “bad guys” and will get along with them.

Golden Retrievers possess a strong prey drive

Since golden retrievers were originally developed as hunting dogs, their prey drive is quite strong. While it may not be helpful in protecting you from other humans, it can help protect you against critters.

What Makes them Bad Guard Dogs?

Goldens are overly friendly

A guard dog is worthless if it doesn’t bark. Goldens might not alert you to the fact that intruders have entered your home because they are very quiet dogs. Golden Retrievers will naturally love everyone. They want to be friends all dogs and cats. According to The Spruce Animals, Goldens make up the 10 most friendly dog breeds.

Goldens are protective of everyone by nature.

The extreme example is one that takes the side a thief facing an angry crowd. But, it is possible with a Golden Retriever.

This is especially true if you’ve taught your Golden to show compassion, which can come naturally to them. Golden Retrievers will readily offer their help to anyone who asks. While teaching your Golden to behave humanely is a great thing to do, this can be detrimental to you and others if the Golden needs help identifying and catching an impostor.


Golden Retrievers generally are quiet dogs. They don’t bark too much. Guard dogs alert their owners when there is a danger. The barking of a stranger to goldens is not something that they will naturally do. You need to teach them how to bark at suspicious people.

Golden Retrievers can’t bark. It is possible for them to bark occasionally, but this is very rare. A good guard dog should bark or alert an intruder when necessary. Because dogs can hear better than humans, we sometimes rely on them being able to hear the things we cannot. A Golden Retriever might not alert you as fast and effectively as a other breed.

How to Train a Golden Retriever to be a Guard Dog?

Method for Marking the Boundary

Take your Golden for an outing and keep it quiet.
Once you have returned home, secure your Golden Retriever with a long lead that allows it to roam the property.
Train your dog to growl at strangers and animals that come near the perimeter. You will also need to teach the Golden how to communicate with you by barking. To teach your Golden not to bark at people you know, ask those who are close to him to come to your house.
If your Golden barks at anyone, give them a treat. If they are aggressive, take the treat away.
Take the Golden for a silent walk in evening to reinforce the message, that the Golden is not part guarding duties.
Repeat the process daily for one week to ensure that the guarding lesson has been learned.

Bark on Command Method

It is possible for the dog to make strange noises, but they may not know what they are. These could be banging sounds (as if a burglar was breaking into a house).
Your dog should bark until you ask them to stop. You can continue making noises until your Golden learns that they must bark whenever they hear the noise.
Reward the golden every time they begin to bark when the noise is heard, and when they stop if the noise is not audible.
You can use the ‘stop!’ command in conjunction with your appearance, to teach the Golden to stop barking when its owner responds.

The Verbal Cue Method

You can train your Golden retriever to be a guardian dog by using the verbal clue method. This technique involves training your dog to bark whenever they make suspicious sounds. By bringing your dog to something they like to bark at, you can help them learn this behavior. Over time, your dog will associate barking with receiving treats. Do this five minutes a day.

As you train your Golden, you will be able to move away from situations that could cause him or her to bark. Your Golden should be trained to bark even if there isn’t anything around to bark at. If your dog does this successfully, you can reward him.

Let’s see, What is the takeaway?

The potential for golden retrievers to be guard dogs is great but you need to train them more before they can become excellent guard dogs. Your dog should be trained to pay attention to your commands from a young age. You don’t want your dog running away from you when it is in danger. Your dog should be taught to stay near you and only attack when they are commanded. This will ensure that both of your safety. Your dog might not be able to charge at an intrusion if they aren’t carrying any weapons, but they could. This could make your dog hurt. It is important that your dog listens when you are training them so that if something happens to him, it will be safe for you both.