Are Golden Retrievers Good With Babies? How to introduce them safely


Welcoming a baby into your life while having a dog is always a tricky situation. It’s also one of the most stressful situations, and it’s so stressful in fact that so many people take the unfortunate decision of giving up the dog thinking it’s the only way for the child’s safety.

If you are a golden retriever owner, this will not be as stressful for you, because if you were to choose any breed of dog to have live in the same house as your baby, there is not better choice than the golden retriever.

So, are golden retrievers good with babies? Yes, golden retrievers are good with babies because golden retrievers are peaceful, gentle, intelligent, friendly, and quiet, however, you should still supervise your golden retriever with your baby and make sure that your dog doesn’t lick your baby because their mouths can carry germs.

So, if you wanted the short version, you now have it; yes, golden retrievers are good with babies. However, that was only a part of the answer and there is still more to it, so keep reading to learn more about golden retrievers and how to introduce them to babies?

Why are Golden Retrievers Good with Babies? 

senior dog sitting on the grass with a baby to illustrate the reasons why are golden retrievers good with babies

Yes, golden retrievers are good with babies. In fact, golden retrievers are easily the best dog breed for babies.

Here are some of the reasons why golden retrievers are great with babies 

  • They are gentle
  • They are not heavy barkers
  • They are the most loving breed 
  • They are easy to train
  •  They are not aggressive 
  • They are caring

However, just like any other dog breed, golden retrievers’ mouths could have some germs and you don’t want to expose your baby to germs so make sure that your golden retriever doesn’t lick your baby.

You can also learn about these reasons that make goldens so good with babies in a lot more detail by reading my post on why are golden retrievers so good with kids here.

Are Golden Retrievers Safe for Babies? 

Yes, golden retrievers are completely safe around babies, they can deal with babies and kids better than any other dog.

The main reason why golden retrievers are safe with babies is that they are incredibly patient and even-tempered which makes them perfect when it comes to babies, they are also peaceful, intelligent, and they treat babies with caution.

This may come as a surprise for some, but large dogs such as golden retrievers, labrador retrievers, and border collies are much better with babies and kids than small dogs.

You just need to supervise their interactions, make the first introduction properly, and keep them both clean.

How to introduce your newborn baby to your dog 

Here is how to introduce your newborn to your dog and bring them home safely for the first time in a step-by-step guide.

  • Ask a family member or a friend – if you can’t do it yourself – to introduce the baby’s smell to the dog by taking a piece of cloth with the baby’s smell in it, this will help the dog get familiar with the baby before you bring the baby himself back.
  • Send your family or friends home first so your dog can show their usual excitement to see them.
  • In that way, you will give your dog a few minutes to greet everyone and they will get that energy out of their system before you bring the baby back home.
  • After all the greetings, let someone put a leash on the dog.
  •  Make sure that this person prepares some small treats for the dog.
  • Keep the treats near the door
  • When you walk through the door with your newborn baby in your arms, talk to your dog in a cheerful and soft voice.
  • In that exact time, let the same person who prepared the whole thing distract your dog with the treats so their attention is divided between the baby and the treats
  • If your dog had a calm interest in your baby, praise them and give them treats
  • Avoid scolding your dog 

Now, you can either introduce the baby to the dog right away or wait until you rest and feel ready.

Here is how to introduce your dog to your baby;

  • Choose the quietest room in the house and sit down with your baby in your arms
  • Make sure that your dog is still is on a leash
  • Let someone bring your dog into the room
  • Again, talk to your dog in a happy and calm voice (so they can connect that being around the baby is something fun and joyful not stressful) and invite them to approach 
  • If you can see that they are calm and friendly, have the person who is holding the leash walk the dog closer and make sure they keep the leash loose and short 
  • Let your dog sniff your baby while you are talking in a soft voice to them and praise them 
It’s okay to feel nervous to let your dog close to your baby even though they seem harmless and just curious but you will feel more comfortable with time so do not rush yourself into anything.
  • Allow only brief interactions, for example, let your dog sniff your baby’s feet for a few seconds and gently interrupt their curiosity, praise them, and ask them to sit or lie down next to you. 
  • Then reward them with treats again 
  • Repeat the process a few times then let someone distract them from the baby with playing or their favorite toy

How to Train Your dog to behave around the baby? 

If your dog is still a puppy (they are between 8 and 16 weeks) you need to socialize them and start an obedience program to make sure they are well-behaved before you train them to be around your baby.

A well-socialized puppy with good obedience training is going to be much better prepared and much more trustworthy around babies and small kids.

One of the things you need to train your dog is to not jump up, yes they used to jump up on you and it was kinda cute and you still don’t mind it but this can’t happen around babies or even strangers in the future.

So how to do it? Whenever your dog jumps up just walk through the door and if it doesn’t work you can try to walk out the door.

You can also ask them to sit whenever they jump up or get too excited and start preparing to jump up. They can’t jump up if they’re sitting down.

Praise them when they stop jumping and give them treats and in the training period whenever their four paws are on the floor and give them a lot of attention. Keep praising them and the moment they jump stop all of that and walk away to let them know that jumping up instantly ends all the fun.

You also need to build a positive relationship between the baby and the dog so always use a positive voice and words around both of them.

When your dog is well-behaving around the baby, make sure to give them lots of attention, praise them, and give them treats.

5 Tips for baby safety around dogs 

  1. Give your dog a hideaway because with the baby crying you won’t be the only one who is stressed out, your dog will be too and they might act out so give them their own space so they can be alone and away from the crying.
  2. Do not make them feel neglected around the baby, it’s normal that everything will revolve around the newborn baby, but you don’t want your dog to feel left out or neglected because they will be jealous of the baby or they will become overly focused on your baby.
  3. Never leave your dog and baby alone together unsupervised
  4. Make sure that they have varied feeding times 
  5. Make sure that the dog has at least 10-15 minutes of one-on-one training time with anyone every day

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Related Questions 

How to make your golden retriever more protective of your children? 

You can make your golden retriever more protective with your children by helping them build a strong bond and connect deeply as dogs will protect those they bond with and love the most and consider family.

You can do that by including your dog more in the process of training your golden retriever.

Teach your kid to use the “quiet” command and when your golden retriever obeys have the kid give them a treat and move the training to a backyard and let your kid hold the leash.

Now, have someone you know but unfamiliar to your golden retriever act in a threatening manner towards your kid and when the dog barks have your kid give them the “quiet’ command, and when they do give them the treat repeat the training until you feel that your golden retriever is ready to protect your children.

You can learn more about making goldens more protective in my post on will a golden retriever attack an intruder here.

Which dog is best for babies? 

The best dog for babies is the golden retriever but here are the best breeds for babies

  • Beagle 
  • Border Collie
  • Bulldog 
  • Newfoundland 
  • Poodle 
  • Labrador retriever 
  • Pug 
  • Boxer 
  • Mastiff 
  • Dalmatian 
  • Bichon Frise 
  • Australian shepherd 
  • Bull terrier 
  • Vizsla 
  • Irish setter 
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel 
  • Basset hound 
  • Boston terrier 
  • Airedale terrier 
  • bloodhound 
  • Bolognese 
  • Corgi 
  • Afghan hound 
  • American foxhound 
  • Chinese crested 
  • Scottish terrier 
  • Tibetan mastiff 

If you know someone who is struggling with the thought of what to do with their dog when there is a baby coming on the way please share this with them.

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Helpful Resources 

Top 10 Tips for Childproofing a Dog

Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby

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