When Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down? 

By Britt Kascjak

The average Golden Retriever will start to calm down around 2 or 3 years old. But, this could differ from one dog to the next. There are some Golden Retrievers that will calm down sooner and others that will take longer to reach that stage of maturity. They are working dogs and will need regular exercise throughout their lives.

Is your Golden Retriever acting up and you’re wondering how long this behavior will last? Is your Golden Retriever still high energy even though he or she is getting older?

The Golden Retriever is well known for being one of the best family dogs.

While they are affectionate and playful, there is also a lot of energy to consider! Especially as puppies.

The good news is that your Golden Retriever puppy will eventually mature into an adult dog. In the meantime, there are things that you can do to help calm your energetic puppy down.

How Do I Get my Golden Retriever to Calm Down?

If you have a hyper Golden Retriever on your hands, you may be searching for a solution, as they are energetic dogs. There are several ways that you can help your Golden Retriever release his pent-up energy in a positive way.


As much as you may want to give your Golden Retriever all the attention in the world, it may not be a good idea.

Giving attention to your dog when he is high-energy and demanding can create a bad habit. He will make a positive association and act up when he wants you to take notice.

Instead, ignore your Golden Retriever until he calms down.

Calming Aids

If you are looking for a little help in calming your Golden Retriever down, you may be interested in calming aids.

One great option is the Front of the Pack Harmony Supplement. With organic ashwagandha extract and other natural ingredients, it will leave your Golden Retriever feeling calm and happy. 

These tasty treats will have your dog’s tail wagging, making it easy to convince him to dig in. At the same time, they contain ingredients to help your Golden Retriever settle and relax.

For more serious situations, like during medical recovery, you may need something stronger.

Contact your veterinarian to discuss the options that are available. There are some prescription sedatives that could help to keep your Golden Retriever calm.

Routine Exercise

Caring for a high-energy dog, you will need to include exercise in your daily schedule. A healthy, adult Golden Retriever should have at least 90 minutes of exercise every day.

The most common form of exercise is taking your Golden Retriever on a daily walk or run.

Other options for daily exercise include playing engaging games together like tug-of-war. You can also use a flirt pole to entertain your dog and burn some energy.

The goal is to get your Golden Retriever up and moving, burning off his energy in a positive way.

Mental Stimulation

Physical exercise isn’t the only way to burn off some steam. You can also exercise your Golden Retriever by challenging his mind.

In fact, mental stimulation is a necessary part of a healthy life for a happy dog.

To mentally stimulate your Golden Retriever’s mind, you can try offering his meal in a food puzzle toy or slow feeder dish. Another option is to hide treats around the house for a game of hide and seek.

One effective way to work your Golden Retriever’s brain is a training session.

Not only is this a mental challenge, but it’s also a great way to build a stronger bond with one another.

Timeline of Typical Golden Retriever Development

Are you curious about what you can expect as your Golden Retriever grows up?

Every Golden Retriever is different and has its own timeline. But, there are some basic guidelines you can follow.

What Age Are Golden Retrievers Most Difficult?

Most experts will warn that the adolescent phase between 8 and 18 months is the most challenging.

It’s similar to the frustrating human teenager phase.

This is the time when your Golden Retriever is going to push boundaries and test limits. You need to be prepared to stand firm and stay consistent with your expectations.

At this age, Golden Retriever puppies will also have boundless energy.

Your puppy will be exploring the world around him. This can trigger new and unwanted behaviors such as chewing, digging, and barking.

It is an important time in your Golden Retriever’s life for training and enforcing the rules and boundaries of your home.

At What Age Are Golden Retrievers Fully Grown?

You may notice that your Golden Retriever’s growth slows between 9 and 12 months of age. But, this doesn’t mean that your Golden Retriever is fully grown.

It takes longer for your puppy to reach full maturity.

Most Golden Retrievers will reach physical and mental maturity between 2 and 3 years old. But, it could take some dogs up to 4 years of age to reach this important milestone.

Will my Golden Retriever calm down with Age?

During the active puppy phase, he will maintain a high energy level. This isn’t going to change until he starts to mature and reach adulthood.

At approximately 2 to 3 years old, Golden Retrievers start to mellow out. This doesn’t mean that he won’t still have bursts of puppy energy.

For example, he may still get overly excited when you come home from work.

But, you will notice that with age, this energy burst will be shorter-lived. Following exercise or excitement, he will settle happily into a more relaxing lifestyle.

What Should I Expect from my 5-Month-Old Golden Retriever?

At 5 months old, your Golden Retriever puppy is approximately 8 human years old.

That means that he is just starting to feel out the world around him and discover himself sexually. This can lead to some unwanted behaviors.

By this age, a male puppy can now produce sperm. This means you should be careful with your puppy around any intact female golden retrievers.

Your puppy is teething. This means that he may start chewing on things that he shouldn’t.

Make sure to provide him with plenty of chew toys to keep him busy. This will ease his teething in a positive way.

You can also offer him an ice cube to both chew on something positive and ease any pain.

Are Golden Retrievers Hyper Dogs Compared to Other Breeds?

Golden Retrievers are a working breed, meaning that they were bred to perform a specific job.

They are skilled hunting and fieldwork dogs and excel in search-and-rescue roles. They are also a popular breed to be used as service dogs due to their trainability.

But, being working dogs, they can be a hyper dog breed. More so than many other dog breeds.

Golden Retrievers have a love of life and a desire to keep up with whatever comes their way.

Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down After Being Neutered/Spayed?

It is a common belief among many newer Golden Retriever owners that neutering/spaying your puppy will calm him down.

While it would be nice to have a milestone to point to. But, getting your puppy neutered/spayed isn’t going to have a dramatic impact on his energy.

In the first few days following the procedure, you may catch a glimpse of a quieter puppy. This is a short-lived break.

After he has fully recovered, he will start to feel better and rediscover his energy.

After he returns to his happy, energetic self you can expect the energy to stay until he matures into an adult. 

Are Golden Retrievers Calmer than Labs?

Labrador and golden retrievers are both high-energy working dogs. They are active and will need daily exercise.

But, Labrador retrievers are generally more hyper than Golden Retrievers.

The difference will show most in how long the energy level lasts after the source of excitement is gone.

Both breeds will greet you happily at the door after a long day of work. But a Golden Retriever will usually settle down sooner.

A Golden Retriever is more likely to cuddle in with you and enjoy a relaxed home after the excitement. 

How Do You Calm Down a Hyper Golden Retriever Puppy?

The first thing to consider when calming down your puppy is your own energy level. If you’re calm, it will help your Golden Retriever to calm down too.

If the excitement stems from your presence and your dog jumps on you, ignore him or her. Give your puppy time to settle. This is especially important when you are teaching your puppy how to act when you get home from work each day.

You can help your puppy slow down by offering him a positive way to vent his energy. Some examples include a food puzzle or a chew toy.

When your canine friend has started to settle or slow down, reward him.

Eventually, you can add a command as you reward your Golden Retriever. Use a phrase like “settle” or “calm” and reward him when he calms down.

Have you noticed that your puppy is hyper quite often? If so, it could be a sign that he needs more exercise.

Consider incorporating an extra walk into your daily routine. As the old saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog.”

Should I Start Obedience Training for my Golden Retriever?

The best time to start training your new puppy is at 8 weeks old when your puppy comes home.

Start with the basics of housebreaking your puppy or teaching him his name. You can also take this time to introduce him to his leash and collar.

Another important part of training, in the beginning, is socialization.

Take your puppy out to new places and introduce him to new situations. This includes new smells, sounds, people, or other animals.

Another great solution is to give your Golden Retriever a stuffed KONG toy. The tasty flavors will hold your Golden Retriever’s attention while the challenge will burn energy. 

But, be cautious. Steer clear of allowing your Golden Retriever to play with other dogs until he has his necessary vaccinations.

Some obedience commands that you can introduce early with your puppy include:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Shake
  • Leave It
  • Watch Me

This is also a great time to start working on teaching loose leash walking. Leash manners are a skill that will benefit you for years to come!

How Can I Correct Bad Behaviors?

When managing a bad behavior, avoid using punishment. Instead, you want to focus on positive reinforcement.

If your Golden Retriever does do something bad, like chewing your favorite shoes, use a correction approach. State a firm “No” before removing your dog from the situation.

Offer a positive alternative like a chew toy instead. This will refocus your dog’s attention on a healthy outlet.

When your Golden Retriever does something positive, make sure to reward and encourage him.

How Can I Help my Golden Retriever Get Rid of Pent-Up Energy?

If your Golden Retriever is experiencing pent-up energy, it’s a clear sign that you need to offer a healthy outlet.

The most common outlet is to incorporate more physical exercise into your routine. This could be through a daily walk or some interactive playtime.

Another great option is to offer a mental challenge like a puzzle toy. Mental “exercise” will actually wear your Golden Retriever out better than physical exercise.

If you don’t have a food puzzle toy close at hand, you can easily make one.

Take a cardboard box and fill it with other smaller boxes, dog toys, and balled-up newspaper. Sprinkle your Golden Retriever’s food in and around these obstacles.

By sniffing out his food, your Golden Retriever will challenge his mind. He’ll be exhausted at the end of mealtime!

Another great solution is to give your Golden Retriever a stuffed KONG toy. The challenge will burn your golden retriever’s energy, while the tasty flavors will hold their attention.

Final Thoughts: When Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down?

Even for experienced dog owners bringing home a puppy can be tiring, especially if you choose a high-energy breed. But, there are ways that you can help your puppy vent his energy and calm down. Exercising your Golden Retriever is one of best ways to get them to relax.

Your golden puppy will mature at approximately 2 or 3 years old.

For now, focus your attention on managing the energy levels of your Golden Retriever.

Provide him with healthy outlets for his energy and embrace the puppy stage. Before long, you will be looking back on this time with a smile!

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.