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Old 02-15-2007, 10:07 AM
billyboo billyboo is offline
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Default Golden retrievers

hi there
we have an 8 month old Golden Retriever puppy who is by other peoples standards ' really good for this age'. He is a good dog and there are so many things that he has learnt and doesn't now do. however - there are some things that he does that are just so tiresome - are theses typical of a GR, are they particularly a problem for him because he was the dominant one of the litter and do you have any ideas for training these things out of him please - or do we just need to chill a bit more!!

1)whenever out on a walk, he constantly has his nose to the ground and picks up any bit of litter that he comes across. We have tried the whole leave thing which he will do with treats and his toys at home but when out on a walk he jsut constantly has rubbish in his mouth.

2) he plays fetch well except for the leaving and dropping of the toy/ ball etc that he has been to get - we have tried treats but the thing in his mouth seems to be far too interesting to let go of even for a treat!

3)pulling on his lead to see other dogs - on his walks he isn't too bad with pulling now (unless there is litter in sight) but when he spots another dog he constantly pulls to go and see them and no amount of 'heel' will work.

4)sometimes when we are at home or on a walk and i don't let him do something he gets all stroppy with me and jumps up at me and nips my clothing or arm (it doesn't hurt too much but obviously we don't want it to continue) earlier today he wanted a huge stick to carry and when i tried to make it a bit smaller for him as he just couldn't manage the size of the one he found, he jumped up and nipped my arm. in the books it states that this is classic dominance aggression but i just wondered if it was typical of a GR or just our particular one.

Also i'd love to hear from any one with any specific naughty things that their golden does just out of interest really - it'd be nice to see if there are any similar traits.

thanks to everyone in advance - sorry for the length of the message.
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:16 PM
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Spirit2010 Spirit2010 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,765

Well, I don't think he supposed to be nipping, not common in the Goldens I have owned, neither of them nipped. But, you should get some great information on this forum. Sorry I am not much help, but, a little. Good luck!

Thank you Christine!

A Dog is like an eternal Peter Pan,
a child who never
grows old and who therefore is always available to love and be loved
~Aaron Katcher~

"There aren't any bad dogs, there are only bad owners..." Off of the Movie Underdog
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Old 02-15-2007, 12:30 PM
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bubbatd bubbatd is offline
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Goldens are mouthy , but not nippy . Yours is still young'll see a big difference in a few months . Been to obedience ??
A light for all who are crossing dark times.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:52 PM
Mutt Luv Mutt Luv is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: AK
Posts: 93

OMG, your dog is JUST like my Golden that I usted to have, that is VERY common in the breed. They are easily distracted, OVERLY friendly and mounthy is you dog fixed? At that adolesent stage it gets hard and the hormones make it worse, unless he is a show dog and good breeding quality he should be fixed.

But yes, that is typical GR behavior VERY much like mine, we dont have her any more, we sold her when she was about a year and a half, she just wasnt the dog for us.

Feel free to PM me with any Q's you have
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:11 PM
Hyper123 Hyper123 is offline
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I love goldens--they're so sweet. We have a two and a half year old, so most of the "mouthiness" is gone by now, and most of the time he's a great dog. Golden retrievers are a great breed, because, while they are playful and enthusiastic, at the same time they are cuddly and loving. If they are well bred, they are usually well-behaved and easy to train and housebreak as well.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:25 PM
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bubbatd bubbatd is offline
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Agree !!
A light for all who are crossing dark times.
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:57 AM
ks02 ks02 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Iowa
Posts: 48

He picks things up because he is a retriever! My lab does it as well. He thinks he's doing what he's supposed to, but if I remember right, they outgrow this at some point...
As for playing fetch, this comes with time too. My 6 1/2 month old lab is just starting to get it, but he sometimes refuses to drop his ball too. Once they figure out the game and how happy it makes you when they actually do what they are supposed to, they do get the hang of it.
Have you considered setting up play dates with other dogs so he has the opportunity to play with them? It sounds like he is over-excited for company. Socialization is very important at his age. Even just taking him out where there will be other dogs whose owners don't mind them playing might help there.
Good luck to you! Goldens are such sweet dogs, and I'm sure you'll be very happy with him once he outgrows some of his puppy-ness!
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:10 AM
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Rosefern Rosefern is offline
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Location: Midwest
Posts: 669

First off, is your boy neutered? Unless he's a purebred, registered, show-quality golden with near-perfect breed standard, he shouldn't be bred, and there's no other reason NOT to neuter him.

1) Try using a gentle leader headcoller. You can find them at most pet supply stores (Petco, Petsmart). Bring your dog with, and an employee can show you how to fit it, and adjust it as he grows. They aren't too expensive - usually around $20-30. The gentle leader gives YOU complete control of him, just a gentle tug when you're walking will pull him up from the rubbish. How the gentle leader works is that it loops around the back of the dog's neck and nose. A dominant dog, to show that he's the boss, will grab another dog by the scruff, or by the muzzle. Females will also do this to their puppies. The nose loop is NOT, I repeat, IS NOT a muzzle. It doesn't interfere with the dog's ability to eat, drink, growl or bite.

2) I assume that he loves playing fetch. If so, try to remove the ball from his mouth. If we won't give you back the ball/toy/whatever, just end the game, walk away, and ignore him. If he growls or nips, give him a clear, firm "NO" and walk away, ending the game. Only throw the ball again if he drops it, or allows you to take it from him.

3) See solution #1.

4) If he does any of that nipping behavior or growling at you, give him a sharp, clear, firm NO. And then walk away (if you're at home). If you're on a walk, end the walk immedietely, and take the clearest route back to your home.

NOTE: All of these methods have been successful in dealing with ADULT (1+ years) goldens, labs and other dogs. Without seeing these behaviors in person, it's difficult to say whether this is classic dominance agression, or just puppy-misbehaving. Problems #1 and #3 sound like classic puppy curiosity.

Some goldens naturally want to have something in their mouths. They're retrievers - this is what they were bred to do - retrieve game, and naturally, they have a 'soft mouth'. I knew of one that would walk with a tennis ball or a rope chew on his walks. He didn't want to play fetch or anything, just wanted the feel of it.

If these solutions don't work on their own, try taking him to obedience class (probably Obedience Level 1). Most Petsmarts offer classes, or if they don't, they should know of an obedience school in your area.

Remember: The most important thing is to BE CONSISTENT. Dogs won't understand that it's ok to jump in one situation, but not ok in another.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!


Rosefern is trying to take life one day at a time...

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Old 03-19-2007, 04:34 PM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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My golden used to nip/bite all the time at our much older black lab. He would never do it to us though. This habit disappeared completely as he got older.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:23 AM
animalcrackers animalcrackers is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 173

Have you taken him to obedience class? I think you need to work on generalization. It's not uncommon for a dog to have a great "Down/Stay" in the house, then seem like he's forgotten everything when you ask him to do it at the vet's or at the dog park.

1) Work on the "Leave it" some more, but try practicing outdoors and with objects other than his usual treats and toys.

2) Try formally teaching him the command "Give" and use high-value treats like roast beef. If he still doesn't want to surrender the ball, maybe you can always have another ball ready. Throw the second ball after he brings you back the first one (even if it's in his mouth). Hopefully, he won't try to get both in his mouth.

3) Try an Easy Walk Harness by Premier Pet and teach loose leash walking, which is different from "Heel".

4) Unless a behaviorist sees your dog, we can't assume it's dominance aggression. It sounds like insistent puppy behavior to me. Some puppies (and dogs) nip when they get excited or demand something, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're trying to climb rank. Ignore him and stop interaction immediately when he nips. I suggest practicing NILIF.
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