Do Golden Retrievers Get Angry? 10 Signs, 5 Causes & Solutions


There is no discussion about it; Golden Retrievers are easily amongst the gentlest and most obedient dogs out there. The breed has gained its popularity through more than just the glorious coat.

However, some people just rely on their good nature a bit too much and forget that these are still dogs that can get annoyed for many reasons.

So, Do Golden Retrievers Get Angry? Yes, Golden Retrievers do get angry. Golden Retrievers can get angry when they are in pain, mistreated, ignored, or restricted in their movements. They can also get angry out of fear or to protect their owners, families, food, or possessions.

Thankfully, it’s often easy to know why your golden is angry and if you know what to do, you can get them to calm down relatively easy – easier than with other dog breeds at least.

So, to know why would your dog be angry – whether they’re angry at you or in general – and what you should do, keep reading…

Why Do Golden Retrievers Get Angry

An image of a disgruntled golden retriever to illustrate why do golden retrievers get angry
Angry golden retriever dog shows teeth. Pets.

In order to be able to calm down your angry golden, you need to first learn what is making them angry in the first place.

Here are the 5 most common reasons golden retrievers get angry:

  1. They are neglected
  2. They are mistreated
  3. They are in pain
  4. They are Jealous
  5. You are angry

It’s important to note that anger is one of the signs of aggression, and you should definitely know how to handle this in your dog. Check out our Golden Retriever Aggression guide here for the signs of your dog’s aggression and how to effectively handle it. I mentioned 7 effective solutions that have worked really well for me in the past, so make sure to check it out!

Okay, let’s now check out the causes of your dog’s anger and how to handle it.

They are Neglected

Goldens don’t like being left alone. They can get sad, anxious, and even depressed when they are ignored or neglected. Goldens are incredibly social animals and they need to spend a lot of time with humans and other animals to stay happy and content.

You should try to make the best out of however little time you have with your dog. Make it fun and engaging, spend time playing outside or doing physical activities. Your dog needs your attention and they thrive on it.

However, there are times when you are going to be stuck at work for a lot of the time. In these cases, you should do whatever you can to make sure they don’t feel neglected. Check out these solutions here to leaving your golden retrievers alone for a complete guide and some expert tips.

They are Mistreated

Goldens are incredibly gentle and patient, which sometimes leads people to take advantage of their good nature and mistreat them – whether intentionally or not.

Your dog can feel mistreated when you shout or yell at them, when they are ignored at family gatherings, or when little kids try to pull their ears or even ride them.

You should make sure that everyone in the family knows how to treat the dog the right way to avoid accidents. You can learn more about this in my post on Why Goldens bite here. There is a step-by-step guide included on how to train your dog to stop biting, so make sure to check it out.

They are in Pain

If your dog is hurt or sick, they could be in pain without showing clear signs that they are. Small things like trying to pick them up or trying to carry them – especially if they are older dogs – can make them hurt more and make them angry at you.

Avoid carrying older dogs and avoid touching a place where your dog could be hurting or injured.

If your dog is showing signs they are angry or even aggressive, try to look for the signs they are hurting.

For example, you may find they are losing hair in clumps or around the eyes. They may also be constantly licking the spot where they’re hurt.

They are Jealous

Do Golden Retrievers get jealous? Yeah, absolutely they do. I have seen it firsthand countless times. They may be cheerful and wonderful, but they are definitely attention-seekers who don’t want you spending more time or having more fun with others dogs, or sometimes even more people.

Golden Retrievers are very prone to getting over-attached to one person, and it can get them angry when they feel that you’re favoring another dog over them.

You are angry

Dogs are incredibly emotionally-intelligent animals who can easily pick up on what you’re feeling from body language, and anger is pretty easy to pick up.

Most dogs can also mirror the feeling their humans are feeling. So, if you’re happy, your dog can pick up on that energy and become happy as well, and when you’re angry, they may get just as angry.

You don’t even have to be angry at them, you just need to be angry in general and they will pick up on that.

10 Signs Your Dog is Angry

Dogs don’t hold grudges, but they can’t come to you and tell you they are angry to your face, either. So, they have to find other ways to show you that they’re indeed mad at you.

Here are signs your dog may be angry:

  1. Constantly licking the lips
  2. Avoids looking you in the eye
  3. Ignores basic commands like “sit”
  4. The tail is tucked between the legs
  5. They are staying in another room
  6. They are staying in a place that’s hidden from your eye – such as behind the sofa
  7. They whine, howl, or groan
  8. They growl when you try to touch them or play with them
  9. They pee in your favorite shoes
  10. They yawn around you a lot

If your dog is showing one or more of these signs, chances are they are quite angry. They may be angry at you or they may be angry in general.

Your best course of action, in this case, is to avoid them for now, try to find out what is causing the problem, solve it, and then come back to calm them down.

Conclusions: They Get Angry, But…

In conclusion, yes, golden retrievers do get angry, and it’s usually easy to find out why they are angry. The same can be said for most things, but I have found that a lot of the things that make other dogs angry don’t necessarily trigger my goldens.

Why? Because many of the instincts that make other dogs get angry or aggressive, such as the predatorial or territorial instincts, are weak in goldens. Some are so weak that they are almost non-existent. You can learn more about this in the post will a golden retriever attack an intruder here. Beware though, you will not like these answers, even though they are definitely the truth.

Related Questions

Do Golden Retrievers Get Mad?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can get mad. They can get mad when they are mistreated such as when you yell at them or when they feel ignored such as when you spend too much time at work.

Thankfully, they don’t stay mad for a long time and it’s relatively easy to get them to calm down and back to their cheerful and loving nature.

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