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Be aware that occasionally you can encounter a Golden with issues. We hope to help you discriminate between the various types of aggression issues and help you deal with them. First we will list the various types and in the near future we will advise you on how to deal with these issues.

Types of dog aggression

Hyper Motivation

-Cause: lack of social exposure

This is a dog that left the litter too soon (example:5-6 weeks old) and didn't learn proper social etiquette when meeting and greeting other dogs.

He will often lunge and pull you towards other dogs until he causes an incident. His first fight will then cause him to become aggressive towards strange dogs.

Sometimes the simple frustration caused by the tugging of the leash will cause enough frustration to make him aggressive.

Theses dogs need more social time at doggy daycare centers. To isolate these dogs will only compound the issues.

Proximity Sensitivity

-Cause: insufficient exposure and/or traumatic dog attack.

They will show signs of fear towards strange dogs. Often they actively ignore the other dog until this dogs gets too close or in his face.

Some take an "action first" approach and will growl, lunge or even attack the other dog.

They do not tolerate boisterous puppies or breeds near them.

These dogs also need more social time and obedience training to redirect and control their fears.

Selective Aggression

Cause: Dog park attack, proximity sensitivity, bully, compulsive fighter

These dog were well sociallize at dog parks when they were young but unfortunately may have had a traumatic dog attack.

They may have cause the fight because they are bullies themselves.

You need to recognize their triggers in other words the dogs that bother them. (example: hyper, boisterous, small yappy dogs)

Bully Behaviour

Cause: temperament, letting them get away with bullying

These are dogs that enjoy rough play and find that picking on others is quite enjoyable.

They tend to choose a dog that is weaker than them which causes uneven play. They ignore the other dogs warning signs that it has had enough. This leads to fights.

They will stand over the other dog and steal his toys. Ignoring the other dog"s growls and warnings.

You need to step in and say "enough". Lead him away from the dog he is bullying. (You need to be his alpha dog.)

Complusive Fighting

Cause: very little interaction with other dog

When they meet other dogs they will coexist with and tolerate them until they enter their bubble.

Often the first fight will be a highly reinforcing event. They will cause serious injury or death.

This reinforces the need for social interaction at a very young age.

Predatory Drift

Cause: High prey drive

The Dog's prey drive is stimulated by a small dog's movement or behaviour (squealing barks) This can cause the large dog to grab and shake the small dog in the same way as if he would attack prey (or grabbing a duck.)

This can happen with small children.(Often the cause of attack on children)

Never leave small dogs with large dogs same goes with children. Never leave small children alone with a large dog.

Resource Guarding

Cause: the need to protect valuables from other dogs or people

This is the most common form of aggression.

When raising your puppy take away and give back his toys and food until he reallizes that there is no fear of loosing it for good.

Never take away food from a hungry puppy. Please feed him first then do the training. You will cause more issues if you take food away from a very hungry puppy. You will not defeat hunger.

Breaking up a dog fight

Never grab the dogs by the neck. Go to the back end and pull the back legs. If alone use a door to separate the dogs. Grab one dog by the back legs and drag them to the nearest door, close the door between them until they let go.


By nature, the Golden Retriever wants to be good. Unfortunetly life can throw a curve ball and a good dog can develop aggression issues that are not genetic and can be fixed.

These are often linked to an encounter or to how the person at the other end of the leash deals with small issues.

It is very important to teach impulse control commands such as stay, sit, wait , watch me, leave it.

Training sheets will be provided with your puppy pack. please follow these and also read the book on preparing for your puppy page.

Please take your puppy everywhere and make sure he meets loads of people and other dogs in a controlled situation. Not loose in a leash free dog park.. Keep him near you until he is old enough and has met enough dogs to read body language.

Please read the body language booklet provided so you can recognize what other dogs' bodies are saying to your puppy.