Are Golden Retrievers Dangerous? Looking Behind The Cuteness

We all know that golden retrievers are the perfect family dog, they are friendly, caring, lovable, and sweet, plus, they get along super well with cats and other dogs.

But they are still big strong dogs with a strong bite which does pose the question; could they use this force against us?

In other words;

Are golden retrievers dangerous? No, golden retrievers are not dangerous, they tend to have a positive outlook on life and a forgiving spirit that helps them navigate the world with ease, however, if they feel they or someone they love is in danger at all their adrenaline will kick in and they might attack or bite.

Goldens are not aggressive by nature, but their protective instincts can push them to do things that are not in their nature in order to protect themselves of the people they love.

To find out more about your golden’s behavior, when can they be dangerous, and what you should do to make sure no one is hurt, keep on reading.

Why Are Golden Retrievers Not Dangerous?

A Golden retriever smiling while sitting in grass to illustrate the answers to are golden retrievers dangerous and why they really are not

Golden retrievers were bred to retrieve and not hunt, that is why they mostly nip and not bite because they used to retrieve birds with their soft mouths.

Golden retrievers have a sweet and passive temperament that makes them great service dogs.

Only extreme conditions can make golden retrievers aggressive, but they are not aggressive by nature.

The reasons that can make a golden retriever aggressive:

  • Physical trauma (been victim to violence by the previous owner, people in the street, or by someone in the shelter)
  • Emotional trauma (they were abandoned too many times )
  • Someone trained them to be aggressive  (improper training or poor breeding practices )
  • You encouraged the behavior (even accidentally)
  • Disregard 
  • Witnessed events that occurred to their progenitors 

If your golden retriever is aggressive for one of these reasons you can always train them or at least take them to a professional behaviorist before they hurt themselves, someone else, or other dogs.

Can golden Retrievers be aggressive? 

Yes, golden retrievers can be aggressive, there are several things that can make golden retrievers aggressive such as being neglected or abused. 

Lack of socialization can lead to an aggressive golden retriever, however, it’s rare for golden retrievers to be aggressive or bite people out of hate, but other than that they are typically one of the most gentle breeds and they are one of the best family dogs in America.

You can learn everything you can learn about golden retriever aggression here, including how to deal with and train an aggressive golden retriever, so make sure to give it a read when possible.

Do golden retrievers attack humans? 

Yes, golden retrievers can attack humans if they feel threatened, concerned, or feel in danger.

They can also attack the children that play too aggressively with them, try to ride them, pull their ears, or be too annoying with them.

However, it’s rare for golden retrievers to attack humans, as they are so incredibly patient, but even their patience has limits. Goldens can also bite, and you can learn why and when golden retrievers bite here.

At what age do golden retrievers calm down?

Golden retrievers can start to calm down around 2 to 3 years old because when they stop being puppies and start being adult golden retrievers when golden retrievers are in their puppy stage they have a lot of pent-up energy that they have to manifest.  

How do you calm a hyper golden retriever down?

  • Behaviorist 
  • Buy a calming chew
  • Exercise 
  • Ignore them 


If you can’t get your hyper golden retriever to calm down then you can seek some help from a certified animal behaviorist, they can give you personal advice on how to deal with your specific golden retriever. 

Buy a calming chew toy

They are some chew toys that you can buy for your dog to calm them down when they chew on them.

However, you don’t want them to think that behaving this way deserves a treat, so you should try to give them the chew before they misbehave.

There are chew toys that you can put food or treats in, so if you want them to calm down you can put catnip in the chew toy (in moderation). You can check my recommended toys for goldens here, including toys that will not break easily even with your golden’s heavy chewing.


Golden retrievers are an energetic breed and they were bred to do energy-intensive tasks for hours daily, and that’s why they need exercise because being hyperactive is their way to burn up the extra energy, so if you can, give them an activity to do at least for an hour per day.

Here’s some activity you can do with your golden retriever:

  • Daily walk (you can use a dog walker if you don’t have time)
  • Train them to run with you
  • Playing with them (fetch and retrieving)
  • Hiking 
  • Jogging 
  • Swimming 
  • Agility training 
  • Soccer 

Ignore them

When your golden retriever gets all hyperactive and jump on you or around you with an extreme speed then they are more likely doing it to get your attention, and it’s very important to teach them that acting that way will not work, so when they behave that way you can try to ignore your golden retriever and instead give the attention they are seeking when they calm down completely.

What is bad about golden retrievers?

Just like any purebred dog, golden retrievers are prone to some health problems such as

  • Cancer (60% of senior dogs will have cancer)
  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Cataracts 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Elbow dysplasia 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Heart disease 
  • Skin conditions ( allergies, bacterial infections, or dandruff)

You can learn more about golden’s health problems in my post about why some golden retriever limp here.

How do I stop my golden retriever to stop biting?

When your golden retriever bites or nip you tell them “no” firmly and turn your back to her and cross your arms over your chest to let them know that biting ends fun and playtime, once they stop biting you can them attention and treats so they know that well-behaving will always be treated, stick with this method each time your golden retriever try to bite you. 

Related Questions 

Can a golden retriever bite? 

Yes, golden retrievers can bite, just like any other dog, all dogs have the ability to bite even golden retrievers, but they choose not to and they tend to nip instead especially when they are still puppies because they are teething, they can also bite out of pain, or when they are scared.

Can a golden retriever protect you? 

Yes, golden retrievers can protect you if they are well-trained or under the right circumstances, they are smart enough to protect you and they are large, but without the training, they are unlikely to attack, anyone, to protect you because of their overly friendly nature for all people.

Are golden retrievers friendly?

Yes, golden retrievers are friendly, they get along with everybody, they get along with dogs, they are reliable and eager to please. They are trained to become service dogs, search dogs, and rescue dogs. It’s rare for golden retrievers to be aggressive or show hostility toward people or other dogs.


Dog Aggression


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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