Activities For Golden Retrievers

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Introduction

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in the world; they consistently rank high on lists and surveys that aim to discern which dogs are the most popular, at any given time, due to their friendly natures and loving personalities. As such, many prospective dog owners might decided to add a Golden Retriever to their families without fully knowing which activities and exercises will help keep them in tip top shape. So if you're a new dog owner, or if you're just looking for a few different activities to try out with your Goldie, read on and take notice of the following activities. Most of all, have fun!

Treat Scavenger Hunting

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
20 Minutes
Items needed
Dog Treats
Controlled Environment
Activity description
Treat Scavenger Hunting might sound a bit complex, but it's actually one of the easiest activities you and your Golden Retriever can engage in; treat scavenger hunting refers to the act of hiding your dog's treats in various areas around a location that your Retriever is already very familiar with. All you really need for this activity are some dog treats and a controlled environment, like your house or a backyard. This activity will give your Golden Retriever a bit of a mental workout as well, as the act of searching for treats in a familiar environment will put their ability to effectively memorize where certain things are located to the test. Be sure not to hide the treats in areas that a dog wouldn't normally be able to reach. You also won't want to place the treats around delicate objects and pieces of furniture. Try placing their treats under spider-free bushes and behind sturdy, immovable structures like on the other side of a brick wall.
Step
1
Map out the hunt
Before you get your Golden Retriever involved in this activity, you'll want to personally check the areas you plan to hide their treats; look out for spiders and other pests and make certain that there aren't any environmental hazards your dog can accidentally trigger during the hunt. Early on, you might want to avoid placing your Golden Retriever's treats on any elevated surfaces; try to place all of your dog's treats in areas that they'd normally be able to access without any help from yourself.
Step
2
Stock up on supplies
What's a scavenger hunt without anything to scavenge? Before you and your dog engage in this activity, you'll want to stock up on a hefty supply of dog treats. This is more for the sake of having a surplus of dog treats on hand for future hunts, as you'll want to limit the amount of treats your dog can find during any given hunt; as tempted as you might be to shower your Retriever with excessive amounts of praise due to how naturally charming they are, you won't want to give them too many treats during the hunt, lest they gain more weight than they've burned off while hunting.
Step
3
Let the dogs out
After you've carefully scouted out the hunting grounds and have stocked up on supplies, it's time to set your Golden Retriever out on the prowl. Golden Retrievers have excellent senses of smell, so they'll primarily attempt to track their treats down with their noses. This is why it's imperative to not place the treats right next to each other; the challenge of the hunt will largely be trivialized as the combined scent of the treats will almost immediately let your Retriever know where to look. This activity is a fun and relatively easy one overall, but there is a bit of a learning curve to it. Don't get discouraged if the first hunt doesn't go off without a hitch, just head back to the drawing board and try again in due time.
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Dock Diving

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
30 Minutes
Items needed
Pool/ Open Body of Water
Activity description
Dock diving is a something of an intermediate level activity that you and your Golden Retriever can try out and it's got something of a niche audience to it as well; dock diving involves getting a hold of a buoyant toy that your dog is fond of, throwing it into a pool or open body of water, waiting for your Retriever to swim over and get it, and then repeating the whole process all over again. Most Golden Retrievers love the water and naturally have a knack for swimming, but it's advised that you not try this activity with a young pup, as it can be quite exhaustive. Nevertheless, if you have access to a wide enough area where your Retriever can swim around in, this can be great workout!.
Step
1
Tread In Shallow Waters
In order to pull this activity off, you and your dog will need to become adept swimmers (your dog will be doing most of the work in this activity, but you'll want to know how to swim just in case the need arises for you to hop in and give your pooch a helping hand.) If you aren't already proficient at swimming, get accustomed to the water in a shallow pool before you give dock diving a try. The same goes for your Golden Retriever; dogs of this breed are known to be quite good at swimming, but you'll want to know how adept at swimming your dog is firsthand.
Step
2
Delve deeper
After you and your Golden Retriever have become accustomed to swimming around shallow pools of water, you'll want to gradually swim in deeper bodies of water over time. Chances are your dog's ability to swim might be directly linked to the amount of anxiety they might have about getting in the water. You merely being there with them can give your Golden Retriever a massive boost in confidence that'll cause their fears to subside and allow natural born instinct to kick in.
Step
3
Practice, practice, practice
After you guys have got the hang of swimming in various depths of water, you'll be ready to give dock diving a try. Your dog might not take to it initially, so you may have to be patient with them and attempt this activity many times over before you make any real progress. Don't get discouraged and continue to encourage your Golden Retriever with every try and eventually you'll experience a break through.
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Treadmill

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Any Day
Expensive
Hard
15 minutes
Items needed
Treadmill
Dog Treadmill
Activity description
This activity may seem straightforward, but there's actually a curve to it; undoubtedly, any dog of any size or breed can hop onto to a treadmill that's going at a low speed and come out of the whole endeavor unscathed. But in order to get a really good workout in for your dog, they'll have to run on the treadmill at a higher speed than you might initially expect. There are plenty of videos on the internet of humans hopping on to high speed treadmills and getting flung halfway across the room because they weren't ready to deal with the speed the machine was running at, don't let the same happen to your dog! Start your Retriever off slowly, and gradually work up to higher speeds.
Step
1
Know your treadmill inside and out
Most treadmills have a numerous amount of settings, modes, and functions that can drastically affect the quality of a workout. Before you encourage your dog to hop on one of these speed machines, you'll want to know the difference between a treadmill's "manual" setting and its "cardio" setting. You'll also definitely want to know where the emergency stop buttons, switches, or levers are located as well as the max speed and incline of the machine.
Step
2
Slow and steady...
As mentioned before, definitely start your dog off at a slow speed and a low elevation; a treadmill that's been put in its "manual" mode and set to move at a speed of 2 or 4 miles per hour at incline of 0 or 0.5 feet should make for safe and easy workout the first few times around. After your Golden Retriever has completed enough sessions at that speed and incline, go up one number for the next few workouts and repeat the process. With time, you'll come to know what speed and incline levels will make for a good workout for your dog and which levels will make for a bad workout.
Step
3
Get involved
Through all of these steps, you should be sure to act as a source of encouragement for your dog; be sure to sit or kneel in front of the treadmill in such a way that your face is within your dog's field of vision at all times. Offer words of encouragement and always be ready to hit the emergency stop button should the need arise.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

Golden Retrievers are exceptionally smart dogs who catch on to a lot of different things fairly quickly. So if you've never tried playing hide and seek with your Yellow Retriever, give it a shot at a local park or in your back yard if you'd like.

Fetch

You can never go wrong with this simple activity; all you need is a ball or a stick and a wide enough open area play with your dog in. Your Golden Retriever will most definitely appreciate the opportunity to exercise their muscles and put their innate speed to good use.

Conclusion

Golden Retrievers are very even tempered dogs on the whole, but they also like to have their intellects challenged and to be introduced to new scenarios and environments. No matter which of these new activities you choose to try out with your dog, try to change things up from time to time to prevent complacency from setting in. Golden Retrievers are very talented dogs that can dog a lot of things most people wouldn't expect them to be capable of, so experiment and figure out which activities work for your dog and which ones don't. Hopefully, you two will find new activities to try out that you both enjoy with time.