Are Golden Retrievers Dumb?

For hundreds of years, Golden Retrievers have been known as the friendliest dog breed. Not just with humans, but with cats, dogs, and other animals too. Along with the friendly nature, they have an appealing golden coat with beautiful brown eyes. What’s more? Are they easy to train? Do you think Golden Retrievers are dumb?

History says that the Golden Retrievers were first found in Scotland in the early 1800s. However, over the years they have shown as three different breeds with color coat differentiation. British Golden Retriever has a somewhat cream skin, American fellow is darker plus taller and lastly, Candian is the darkest and tallest amongst all

Regardless of the color coat, they have so much love to shower that everything else becomes insignificant except for one thing. Can they be trained easily?

are golden retreivers dumb

Are Golden Retrievers dumb or smart?

If there is one word that is remotely unrelated to Golden Retrievers, it’s the word ‘dumb’. You’d be surprised to know but Golden Retrievers are the Fourth most intelligent Dog breed. Who says that?

In 1994, psychologist Stanley Coren wrote a book named ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’. Dr. Coren ranked more than a hundred dog breeds based on certain points as most to least intelligent. Or just say he made a list of smartest to the dumbest dogs.

What Criteria did Dr. Coren follow?

He judged the dogs following these bullets:

  • Instinctive Intelligence

An ability to perform tasks it was born to follow like hunting or herding. (innate skill of Golden Retriever is fetching objects from water)

This intelligence is said to be part of DNA.

  • Adaptive Intelligence

How quickly the dog learns from his previous experience.

(for example, when you pick up your joggers a Golden Retriever may think of that as a time to go for walk, other dogs can interpret it differently)

  • Working and Obedience Intelligence

This is the capability to learn whatever is being taught by humans.

It was found that Golden Retrievers learned a new task on an average of five repetitions. Moreover, when it comes to doing a known task, they were able to perform on the first try 95% of the time.

In contrast, an average dog takes about 25-40 tries to learn a new task. And when it comes to performing a previously learned lesson around 50% failed.

According to Dr. Coren, he placed the Golden Retriever as the fourth most intelligent dog. Border Collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd rank above Golden Retrievers. Then who is the dumbest dog and why?

The book says Hound Dog is the least smart or dumb dog breed because it is most difficult to train. This breed is least bothered by what the owner is saying and more focused on what’s moving around.

Even to this part, certain behaviorists disagree, for example, Dr. Dodman says, ‘’it just depends on how you grade people. Some people are good at Maths, some are good at English. You can be good at some things and not so good at other things.’

Isn’t there a possibility the Afghani Hound is actually an independent dominant species? What if it’s difficult to train, it’s a hunting dog and excels in that field. Shouldn’t that matter?

Despite everything, certain people disagree and they say that Golden Retrievers are just obediently dumb dogs. They listen to their owners to please them, and you can’t call that intelligent. Do you agree?

How intelligent are Golden Retrievers compared to Humans?

Is it easy to teach a child? Don’t you have to repeat things quite a few times? The same is the case with dogs.

According to Doctor Corren, Golden Retrievers have the mental capability close to a 2-2.5 years old child. They can learn more than 150 words and at times solve even complex problems.

Impressed? Well, I truly am. My Goldie is real Gold.

Are Golden Retrievers easily trained?

A Definite yes! The golden furred fellow would do literally anything to please you or for a treat.

In the 1800s they were bred as hunting dogs that would bring back shot-down birds, so they’ve always been there for people.

Easy trainability is also the reason they are used as service and rescue dogs for many years.

If your dog is showing difficulty in training, try practicing positive reinforcement activities with it.

Remember, for training consistency is the key.

Why is my Golden Retriever so dumb?

Goldens are amongst the brainy dogs you’ll come across. But if your Goldie isn’t listening and acting dumb to commands, what might be the reason?

Let us have a look.

Doesn’t Socialize

Golden Retrievers are the friendliest dogs that get along with everyone. However, if your Goldie is acting up strangely in front of other people it might be because he hasn’t socialized in his initial life.

If you adopted a grown-up dog, there could be a past trauma or experience which stops him from being normal around new faces.

Eats Dirt

Some people say Goldens are so smart, why would they eat dirt? Are Golden Retrievers dumb for eating dirt?

The answer is PICA! Some dogs have mineral deficiencies and would leap towards dirt to fulfill their cravings.


If you have not trained your dog well, he won’t behave well.

There is also a chance you trained the dog the wrong way, by giving confusing commands or didn’t use the right rewards.

Start training again by using positive reinforcement training.

[H4]Needs more exercise

Is your dog unfocused on things? It’s because he doesn’t get daily exercise. The dogs need regular mental and physical doses of exercise to stay active and focused especially when it comes to this breed.

They need a lot of training to remain happy, energetic, and act nicely.

Do Golden Retrievers make good pets?

They make outstanding pets!

Firstly, they are an intelligent breed with a lot of energy. So you get a smart canine partner who is always active and never lazy.

Secondly, they love being surrounded by people and are friendly to everyone. Everyone includes humans, kids, rabbits, chickens, or anyone around.

Thirdly, they’re ready to give a furry hug anytime anywhere. Thus, making an affectionate family dog.

Unlike other dogs, they make a perfect summer sidekick because they love water. What about adventures? Golden Retrievers are perfect travel companions and are always ready to head out with you.

Barking? No, they don’t bark a lot.

Moreover, they are funny dogs and people say that they actually have a sense of humor. Goldies also have a lot of facial expressions and would actually respond when you tell them about the day.

However, you need to give them ample time for playing and exercise or they may show destructive behavior.


By the time you reach the end, I am sure you know that Golden Retrievers are keepers. Are Golden Retrievers dumb? No, not at all! They’re smart enough to learn things easily and turn your bad day into a good day instantly!



Leave a Comment