Golden retrievers are dogs with prominent personalities and unwavering loyalty to their owners. The boisterous nature and friendly, smiling face of this breed can cause owners and neighbors alike to be taken aback when it turns into a snarling, barking visage.
Although Goldens are associated with happiness and warmth, they are dogs--and like any other dogs, they can bark at people or objects nearby. Bikes are one thing that often set off Golden Retrievers, and aside from the noisy nuisance it causes, a sudden dog bark can also startle cyclists and potentially cause accidents. But with consistency, proper training and patience, you can teach your golden to ignore bikes altogether.
Reactive dogs, like Golden Retrievers, often bark at bicycles out of fear and stress. They don’t understand what the object is or how it is moving or why a person is on it. A dog’s natural instinct is generally to run away from a frightening object; however, if your golden is in a fenced yard or on a leash, there is nowhere to run away.
So your dog reacts by barking at the bike. When the bike continues and disappears from your Golden’s view, he thinks that barking at the bike has driven away the source of his fear. He has learned that barking solves this problem.
You can train your Golden to react to bikes differently, or preferably not at all, by following the training methods provided below. With dedicated practice and patience, your Golden won’t bat an eye at the next bike he sees.
The three training methods below will help you reduce or eliminate the reactivity your Golden Retriever experiences when he sees a bike go past his yard, the front of his home, or while on a walk or at a park.
Have a leash and treats with you for these methods. Additionally, patience, consistency, and a calm demeanor are important, especially when you are training a dog who is fearful or stressed and barking like crazy. If at any point you find yourself angry or frustrated, stop training and pick back up after a short break. The best way to get your Golden to listen to you is if you are not as stressed out as the dog.