Are Goldendoodles Protective? (Positive vs Negative Signs)

Suppose you’re hoping to grow your family with a lovable Goldendoodle. In that case, you’re probably looking to learn all you can about the breed. One of the questions that might have crossed your mind is ‘are Goldendoodles protective’? 

Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together some information regarding Goldendoodles and their protectiveness, so you’ll be fully informed when choosing your new addition. 

Are Goldendoodles protective naturally?

Goldendoodles, like any dog, can become protective if they feel threatened or provoked. This is especially true if they have formed strong connections with their owner or family, as they may feel the need to protect you in a precarious situation.

are Goldendoodles protective
Are Goldendoodles protective? Can they be guard dogs?

That being said, Goldendoodles are certainly not naturally protective dogs. In comparison to many of their fluffy, four-legged friends, Goldendoodles are friendly, gentle dogs.

They are much more likely to greet a stranger with a wag of the tail than a nip at the ankles, but that doesn’t mean they won’t alert you of intruders.

A Goldendoodle will likely bark if you have a visitor to let you know somebody is there. Still, beyond that, they will probably be eager to make a new friend!

Unlike other breeds, the Golden Retriever and Poodle do not have a guard dog or watchdog heritage. The crossbreed result is a dog that will be a happy, loyal family dog, but probably not a protective one.

How might a Goldendoodle be protective?

While Goldendoodles are not typically protective, they may still become protective in certain circumstances. This is likely to happen if they feel scared or threatened, especially if they are worried about their safety or their family’s safety. 

a mini goldendoodle
A miniature Goldendoodle

If you happen to have a Goldendoodle that is protective, they are likely to exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Growling
  • Barking
  • Guarding (using the body to shield something like food or a person)
  • Snapping
  • Nipping
  • Baring of the teeth
  • Menacing stares

What do Goldendoodles find threatening?

To understand your Goldendoodle’s behavior, especially when it comes to being protective, it is worth understanding what they find threatening. 

mini goldendoodle sitting on a bench
A Mini Goldendoodle sitting on a fence

Here are some things that may cause your Goldendoodle to feel threatened and act protectively:

  • The unknown or new situations
  • Unexpected noises
  • New people, especially children if they aren’t accustomed to being around young people
  • Feeling cornered or trapped
  • Feeling as though their resources are being threatened (e.g., somebody is taking their food)

Knowing these triggers can help you monitor and manage your Goldendoodle’s behaviors, especially if their protective actions turn into unwanted aggression. 

What are things that a Goldendoodle might protect?

Now that we understand why a Goldendoodle might become protective and the situations and factors that can trigger such a response. Let’s take a look at the things that a Goldendoodle might want to protect.

mad Goldendoodle looks at stranger
A dog looks angry at the stranger. (Image: Instagram/@brewsterthegoldendoodle)
  • You or your family

Goldendoodles are loving dogs. Despite not being naturally protective, they may seek to protect you if they have formed a robust connection with you and your family and believe you to be in danger.

  • Protect or guard their food

Dogs can become protective when they feel as though their food is being threatened. It is known as resource guarding, and Goldendoodles may engage in this behavior.

  • Goldendoodles sometimes protect other family dogs 

Just like a Goldendoodle can form a bond with you, it can also form a bond with another dog or your other pets. If they believe them to be threatened, this may also trigger protective behaviors.

  • Your home and property

A Goldendoodle may act to protect its turf. Strangers entering your home may result in them getting protective over the area.

Does the environment impact the protectiveness of a Goldendoodle?

As with all dogs, the environment within which they live and have been raised can influence their behaviors. This stands true for their level of protectiveness and the ways that they express these feelings.

mini goldendoodle licking everything

While they may not be the most protective dogs in nature, Goldendoodles can be trained to be more protective or become more protective due to their living conditions.

For example, a dog that regularly has its food threatened or perhaps feels neglected of resources may engage in resource guarding when they access food.

Alternatively, a dog that has not been trained to remain calm and tranquil around food may also develop behavioral habits to protect their food.

It is a balance of nature and nurture when it comes to Goldendoodles and their protectiveness. It’s not necessarily an ingrained instinct given the history of the crossbreed. However, certain behaviors can be taught or encouraged by the environment. 

Tips for dealing with an overly protective Goldendoodle

Loyalty is a great trait to have in a dog, and Goldendoodles quickly become a loved and loving member of the family. It can cause some real issues if they do become overly protective.

goldendoodle is lethargic

As owners, we should never tolerate aggression in a dog. This is why protective behaviors need to be addressed and appropriately managed. 

Wondering how to deal with an overly protective Goldendoodle? Here are some tips for managing their protective behaviors.

  • Learn to identify warning signs of an overly protective Groodle

An overprotective Goldendoodle will exhibit early warning signs that let you know they are becoming overly protective. This may include placing themselves between you and potential danger (strangers, other animals), barking, or even some low growls.

Learn to identify these signs so you can manage them before a situation escalates.

  • Make your dog earn your affection.

Some dogs become overprotective because they form an unhealthy attachment with their owner.

While we all love our dogs and want to show them this, giving unlimited affection can encourage overly protective behaviors.

Instead, make your dog earn your affection so that you can instill some boundaries. Have them respond to a demand like ‘sit’ or ‘drop’ before rewarding them with a pat and attention. 

  • Put some distance between you and your Goldendoodle

Spending every second with your dog can also result in a significant attachment that drives overprotective behaviors.

Put some physical distance between yourself and your Goldendoodle by sitting in separate rooms or leaving them outside sometimes, so they do not become co-dependent.

Your dog should also be encouraged to spend time and bond with other family members to develop a single relationship that may become problematic. 

well-behaved Goldendoodle getting a toy
A dog is focused on the toy upon obeying a command. (Image: Instagram/@goldendoodleyogi)
  • Get strict on obedience.

If your Goldendoodle is becoming overprotective, go back to basics. Get strict on manners and invest in training. Correct and timely training of a Goldendoodle will make the difference.

It will help improve responsiveness and ensure your dog understands the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

  • Remain calm 

A Goldendoodle is likely to become overly protective when they feel threatened or believe that you are being threatened.

If you are giving off vibes of fear or discomfort, your dog will likely pick up on this, and it will make their response worse.

Try to relax and remain calm in situations where your dog is likely to be overly protective, as this will let them know there is no need to feel threatened.

  • Make an effort to socialize

Socializing your Goldendoodle will expose them to different dogs and environments, allowing you to teach them how to behave in different situations. It will also show them that not all situations are scary or threatening.

Are Goldendoodles loyal?

Goldendoodles might not be protective compared to other breeds, but there’s no denying that they are fiercely loyal.

sitting Goldendoodle besides owner
The loyal dog stays beside guarding his owner. (Image: Instagram/@reese_the_goldendoodle)

They love people, are extremely friendly, and crave company – all things that will ensure they become a beloved member of your family!

A Goldendoodle’s social nature allows them to make friends with anyone, but they tend to form powerful bonds with their families. Like with people, spending time together helps form a stable connection that will become the foundation of a loyal relationship.

Do Goldendoodles make good guard dogs?

If you’re looking for a good guard dog, a Goldendoodle is probably not for you. Many other breeds would make much better defensive or attack dogs as they have this in their nature.

On the other hand, Goldendoodles tend to be much more placid, preferring to make friends than scare away strangers. They typically have an overly affectionate demeanor that would be unlikely to scare anyone away!

Goldendoodles do, however, make good alert dogs. They usually bark when somebody unknown arrives, so at least you are alerted of a visitor’s presence.

Just keep in mind that this is where their guard dog tendencies typically end. Your Goldendoodle will let you know somebody is there and then quickly work on making a new friend.

You should now have a much better idea of Goldendoodles and their levels of protectiveness. While they might not make the best guard dogs, they have plenty of other great qualities that certainly make up for it.