People with golden retrievers often wonder, is their goldie is an independent dog or not, as sometimes goldies show unexpected behavior toward their human family.
Are Golden Retrievers Independent?
It depends on the golden retriever’s age because puppies are more likely to be independent than adults. Puppies are like toddlers who love exploring new things and don’t give much attention to their owners, while adult goldies love cuddling, playing, or being surrounded by their owners all the time, which makes them less independent than puppies.
Well, this is a pretty short answer; here are some other facts that you should know.
Is It Normal For Dogs To Be Independent?
Yes, it is normal for dogs to be independent, even if you have dependent dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador, English Mastiffs, etc. Because 87% of the people who have these breeds often said that their dog turned into an independent dog. Well, it is normal, as well as best for you, if you usually leave your dogs alone while at work.
Independent dogs usually don’t want to be cuddled up by their human family all the time.
They don’t sit right next to you unless you have their favorite treats, but once the treats are finished, they will sit somewhere else. And will not come close to you till you have something interesting for them.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t love playing and having fun with their human family; they do love playing, but only those games; that involve their humans too, like tug of war.
Of course, once the playtime is over, the dog will sit somewhere else away from you.
Although, independent dogs often spend their time chewing on things, and it can be anything such as toys, flip flops, wood furniture, or maybe your personal stuff. So make sure you hide your stuff somewhere safe, so you’ll not regret it later.
Is It Bad If The Dog Is Independent?
It depends on the owner’s need, which typically means that if you need a dog that can stay alone for long if you left them during working hours, then having an independent dog is good.
But if you spend most of your time at home, then having an independent dog is a bad choice because independent dogs wouldn’t give you the same love you want from them.
Of course, they will play with you and go out for a walk and follow your commands, but they will not do all the things that you want.
If you force them to do things, they might ignore you!
Who Are More Independent Female Or Male Golden Retrievers?
According to the experts, adult female dogs are more independent than adult males, no matter whether you have a dependent dog breed like golden retrievers or an independent dog breed like Akita.
Female dogs usually like being on their own, whether she is outdoor or indoor. They spend a little less time with their owners if there is nothing interesting to do.
However, female golden retrievers often love being surrounded by kids or with other dogs, as they see them as their oversized pups.
Female golden retrievers are not so attention seekers as males, but they love being cuddled as much as any male Golden Retrievers would.
Puppy or adult female dogs are good at socializing with others at the dog park or on the street during the walk.
On the other hand, male golden retrievers are more like a Velcro dog; they love spending time with their human and are not so good at socializing with others, whether it’s a dog or humans.
Males dogs would stick with you no matter where you are at home, at the dog park, etc., Which makes them more dependent than female golden retrievers.
At What Age Do Dogs Become More Independent?
Typically all dogs, including independent and dependent breeds, start showing their independent behavior during the age of 10 to 11 weeks. In dependent dog-like golden retrievers that behavior lasts till 6 to 8 months, in some cases more than a year.
While in independent dogs like Akita and Afghan Hound, that behavior stays for life long.
But sometimes with plenty of good training, dogs can easily overcome this behavior and become less independent and less stubborn.
This way, the bond between you and your four-legged friend will be stronger because when dogs are less independent, they love being with their owner’s side more.
Are Independent Puppies Good?
Puppies are good whether they’re independent or dependent. Usually, with puppies, people have had no choice because mostly all puppies are independent till most of their puppyhood.
But independent puppies are way better than dependent ones because, with plenty of toys, you can easily leave the independent puppies home alone for hours.
However, dependent puppies always want their owner to be with them; they can’t be left alone as they are more prone to separation anxiety than independent ones.
People with dependent puppies often complain that their pups cry at night when they put their puppy’s bed away from them (means out of the room).
While independent puppies are not so velcro with their owner, especially if the puppy is female. They can easily sleep anywhere, whether their owner is there or not.
Well, long and short is, independent puppies are good unless you need the pup who follows you everywhere from the bedroom to the kitchen to the garden.
How To Dealing With An Independent Dog
There are plenty of different ways to deal with independent dogs so that the bond between you and your dog may increase.
Hand-feeding is one of the best ways to make a great bond with your four-legged friends. Just try to hand-feed couples meals every week; it will make a huge difference for sure.
But you shouldn’t hand feed them more than 3 to 4 times in a week because more than that will make your dog more dependent on you for feeding, which isn’t good if you’re a working person.
Playing is fun, and almost all dogs love it, especially sporting breeds like a golden retriever, but if you have lazy dogs, encourage them to play.
Spend time playing with your dog as much as you can because scientists say playing with your dog strengthens your bond. Plus, this way, your dog will also get to know who the boss is.
Training is an essential part of the pet’s life, whether you have dogs, cats, or other pets, as it’s good for overall well-being.
Training provides mental stimulation, builds confidence as well as strengthens your bond.
Do It With Love
Love makes the strongest bond with pets or with humans.
So, whatever you do with your dogs, whether it’s training, playing, hand feeding, or daily outdoor walking. Just do it with love because dogs don’t need the luxury lifestyle or something else from you; they just need love.
No Scolding And Punishing
Try hard as you can to not scold or punish your dog even if it did something wrong.
Scolding or punishing makes your dog scared and stubborn, which is not great if you want to make a good bond with your dog.
How Do I Make My Dog More Independent?
The best way to make your dog more independent is to start leaving them alone for a while. But, if you never left your dog alone before, then start it slowly (means with hours like 1 to 2 hours a day). After that, you can increase the time up 5 to 6 hours a day. Within weeks you’ll see some good results.
Whenever you leave your dog alone, make sure to make all the things right such as make your home fully dog-proof, before leaving your furry mate alone.
If you didn’t dog-proof your home, it can be hazardous for your dog!
Leave enough fresh water and some amount of food; you can also use some helpful automatic food dispenser <-(like this one) which is pretty good (I’m also using two of them since 2014 for my dogs) if you have to leave your dog alone.
And most importantly, leave some high-quality chewable toys so that your dog would not get bored and stay active till you arrive at home.
Why Are Some Dogs More Independent Than Others?
Several reasons make some dogs more independent than others, such as Competitive Personalities, changes in Hormones, and Aggressiveness. Dogs with these qualities are usually more independent than others.
While a dog with less aggressive and less competitive personalities (like golden retrievers) is likely to follow its owner and other dogs.
Dogs with competitive behavior are more comfortable if left alone on their own. Usually, these dogs love spending their time alone or with their person.
Selective breeding for hundreds of years is also a reason for some dog breeds to have an independent personality than any other dogs.
What Are Good Independent Dogs?
There are so many independent dogs to choose from, but here is the list of the top 5 natural independent dogs that can be great pet dogs.
Akita: Akita is one of the best and top in the list of good natural independent dog breeds. This breed is known for its loyalty and companionship with its owners.
Alaskan Malamute: Alaskan Malamute is also a natural independent dog breed. They are protective of their human family, especially for kids, as well as very affectionate dogs.
Siberian Husky: Siberian Husky is a close relative of Alaskan Malamute, which is why they have all the same equality of Alaskan Malamute, which makes them also great independent dogs.
Beagle: Beagles are an intelligent and friendly breed with independent nature. They can easily entertain themselves in their owner’s absence, which means you can easily leave them home alone.
Jack Russell Terriers: Jack Russell Terriers are a pretty independent dog breed as well as charming, loving, and affectionate. They are very good at making a bond with all family members.
These breeds are a pretty good choice for those who are looking for a good independent dog with loving, friendly nature and intelligence.