Is Golden Retriever Good for Duck Hunting?


Golden retrievers are one of the dog breed types that are very eager to please which is mostly why they’re so obedient, can be very well trained, and are very responsive to things they learn in training.

Of course, hunters often use all sorts of dog breeds to help them recover game during hunts, and chances are you’ve been wondering if a golden retriever is good for duck hunting.

If you’re still wondering the same, you’re in the right place because, in this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about golden retrievers as hunting dogs (specifically for duck hunting), so keep on reading!

Is Golden Retriever Good for Duck Hunting


Not only are golden retrievers very obedient and easy to train since they love pleasing and being good boys, but they also love the water which makes it ideal for retrieving ducks.

Golden retrievers even have a multi-layered coat which helps them warm even when temperatures outside are cold so you can always take them to hunt with you without worrying about the weather and temperatures.

Of course, their top coat is resistant to water so this also makes it ideal for retrievers to help you retrieve ducks that fall into the water.

When it comes down to their sizes, golden retrievers are medium to large in size which makes their transportation decent and makes them very mobile out in the field. They’re ideal for keeping up with the upland game or even waterfowl.

While in-home golden retrievers are very gentle and loving dogs. Of course, they also need plenty of exercises which makes them even more ideal to be duck dogs.

But keep in mind that finding one that is as skilled as they usually used to be is a bit more challenging so training your own golden retriever is probably going to be your best bet.

What is the Best Dog for Duck Hunting?


While golden retrievers are a very good breed for duck hunting, actually the best dogs for duck hunting are labrador retrievers.

There are a couple of differences between golden and labrador retrievers, but these differences make labradors stand out and really deliver much better results than golden retrievers.

Labrador retrievers are one of the best for marking, retrieving ducks, and even delivering them directly to your hands, no matter the difficulty of the location.

Their physical attributes are outstanding and they’re smart, able to follow directions, and trainable to reach certain levels that make them the top duck dog a hunter can wish for.

Of course, labrador retrievers are a crossbreed that is very ideal for hunting since they can do well even for hours during hunts, and they’re very willing and smart while doing so, so they won’t ever give you hard time as long as they’re properly trained.

Good-natured and resilient are also some attributes that perfectly describe labrador retrievers and explain why they’re probably the best dog for duck hunting.

What are Golden Retrievers Best at Hunting


If golden retrievers are a decent choice for hunting ducks, is there any other small game they might be a better fit for?

While golden retrievers can be versatile, they’re the best at recovering bird game since they’re compact, athletic, and have a perfect coat for situations. Their short and denser, multi-layered coat helps them recover game while overcoming obstacles in the simplest way possible.

Their love for water also makes them ideal for recovering bird game that oftentimes can end up in the water.

They are also very able to track multiple birds that are shot down, locate them, and retrieve them without any difficulties right to your hands.

You can try using golden retrievers to retrieve other small game types, but they’re proven to be the most efficient with bird game.

Of course, golden retrievers are medium-sized dogs so you can try and use them for various other game types and see how they handle that. One good thing about golden retrievers is that they’re easily trained as long as it’s done properly so that’s a big plus.

How to Train Your Golden Retriever for Duck Hunting


Golden retrievers are trained in a couple of different stages and including obedience classes which are the first and the most important step.

From there, there are games training which helps get them used to the game with the help of decoys. Hunting environment is the next training they need to get so they’re comfortable with the environment off-leash. A great tip is to first do your best to walk a dog slowly in the field without making much noise before doing more.

The reward is another crucial step of the training where you should reward your dog every time it chases the prey but also when it successfully recovers the game. One thing you should never do is use punishment as a way to train your dog since this can only make golden retrievers aggressive and dangerous to take with you on hunts.

Positive reinforcement is a much better way as it will lead to proper training and help them adjust to things you’re teaching in time.

These are the basic tips and besides that, you should also draw their attention by showing them how excited you get by the prey. Golden retrievers are smart dogs and they’ll replicate things you do.

Your dog needs to see you get animated by the prey because that’s one of the most efficient ways to learn this type of behavior. When he starts picking up on it, you should reward him, and do it consistently until it becomes his nature.

Of course, golden retrievers will learn along the way so don’t expect results overnight.


A golden retriever is one of the best dogs for duck hunting and if you give them enough time, train them properly, are patient, and help them learn, they’ll make a great hunting buddy.

Of course, there are better dog breeds, but golden retrievers can definitely be useful in retrieving duck and bird games if properly trained.

What is your favorite thing about golden retrievers and why? Did you ever hunt with a golden retriever?