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8 Month old Golden some issues need advice!

Home Forums Training 8 Month old Golden some issues need advice!

This topic contains 10 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Samoya 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #9736

    Samoya
    Participant

    Hi there, I have had my golden since he was 8 weeks old. He has been great, a few challenges have come up but we were able to stop any bad behaviors before they got to crazy. We had him in basic puppy training and in radical recall class. Of course they use treats for these classes and he performs magically in class but as usual once at home it takes us a lot of practice to get it right. I am actually looking for some advice for a few issues were having. He is fully potty trained no accidents, he was crate trained and is now out of the crate and his bed is in the kitchen separated by a gate so he has limited access to the house.

    My dog seems to be testing my husband constantly for dominance, he knows I’m the leader but won’t accept him as a leader as well. I’m guessing, here’s some examples why I think this please correct me if I’m wrong. If I sit at the coffee table to eat he will come over really close then I look at him and say back and he just goes away, if my husband comes and sits beside me the dog will jump up on the couch and climb his back and bite at his hands and try to get his food. I try to intervene before he gets carried away but my husband says he needs to learn I’m the boss too, which is right but for some reason he isn’t respected by the dog. He also bites at his hands when they are just laying down relaxing his belly being rubbed he will constantly try to chew on him. Not aggressive biting but more I want to chew on you all the time biting. We have tried the yelping we have tried holding the mouth and saying no sternly, we have tried turning our backs on him (which leads to him climbing on us), we have also tried getting up and walking away. Any advice here?

    So when we “train” at home the basis of all his training has been taught to give him treats. So now unless I have food in my pocket 24 hours a day he chooses which command he would like to listen to. For example I can walk up and say sit….he stares at me, almost debating it. I move closer and say it and he will do it. But if I have food in my had his butt hits the floor so fast its like a blur. I tried treating for some and not for others, and not at all but as soon as he figures out I have food he’s this gem student lol
    Am I really going to have to keep food in our entire familys pockets so he behaves lol help!

  • #63361

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    🙂 I am not laughing at you but with you!!! Sorry but you are hitting the bratty shark teeth phase (to be followed by the thick headed teenager phase).

    For the biting – chew toys, bones, etc, etc. It is a big pain to ignore but you must give no attention. Goldens love attention – positive or NOT. Direct him everytime to something he can chew on. I introduced tug toys with my girl and that worked. But there were still times when they would be too wild and they got a nap in the crate. Maci was the worst…she really did not know how to relax and need the dark crate to make her do so in a way.

    Regarding the sits – at 8 months old he is not train. Meaning he needs to learn sit and the other commands in multiple locations. Most dogs can not generalize and figure out that sit is the same at home as it is at a friends house, etc. So yes, food everywhere and everytime you are with him. If he does a sit or recall or….you want to reward it with something. This will pay off when you hit the teenager stage from 1-2 years old 🙂

    Oh and welcome – any pictures??

  • #63362

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    Oh and increase both the mental and physical exercise helps. Maci could run for 2 hours and still try us nuts…so I started more classes with her and teaching her more tricks.

    A wonderful book for goldens and their lack of control – Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt.

  • #63366

    scot girl
    Participant

    @cheslyn1 63146 wrote:

    Oh and increase both the mental and physical exercise helps. Maci could run for 2 hours and still try us nuts…so I started more classes with her and teaching her more tricks.

    A wonderful book for goldens and their lack of control – Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt.

    I agree. excercise and more excercise, a tired pup is a happy pup and if tired cannot be bothered to bug you. I remember when Zeus was younger I could take him out for hours but it made a big difference around the house. Now he is 2 yrs and 10 months he can still be a bit of a pain sometimes if he does not get his run around at the park every day. Remember keep calm because if you get worked up the dog will know and will become even more excited. Good Luck, it will get better, just another Golden Stage Oh and as for the treats I always have treats in my pocket as you never know when you will need one, I dont always need them now but I always have them just incase.

  • #63363

    Nano
    Participant

    Welcome to the forum! Would love to see pics…and what’s his name??

    First of all, congrats on the potty and crate training! And getting him to behave and perform in a class setting with all those other dogs and people deserves praise as well. 🙂

    Goldens (all retrievers) explore with their mouths so what you call ‘biting’ is more accurately termed ‘mouthing’. If he was actually biting, you’d know it! He’s inviting your husband to play and the more you and/or the two of you react to his behaviour, the more he’s going to do it b/c he thinks you’re playing along. And if you’re not….even if you give in after a couple of minutes and react…he’s won! What fun!

    When you’re training him and he doesn’t do as you ask….give him some time to figure it out. Moving closer or giving the command again and then treating just teaches him he doesn’t have to do ask you ask the first time. Of course, for recall, he MUST respond right away. That is extremely important in recall. You call ‘come’ (or whatever your recall command is) ONCE. If he doesn’t respond immediately you do not call again. Calling ‘come’ over and over only teaches him NOT to come. If he doesn’t respond, you go to him immediately, lead him to where you gave the command and THEN say ‘come’. Then treat him. (At that point you’re rewarding him for being at your side). So, that doesn’t mean you stomp over to him all angry and frustrated. Just be firm and remember you are helping him learn, guiding him, not punishing him. Treats are extremely important in recall. You want very high value treats and you don’t want to be stingy. A jackpot handful on an immediate recall is definitely in order. He has to want to be with you more than anything else when you call ‘come’. It could save his life one day. One more thing – whatever your recall command is, don’t overuse it. It should be reserved for those occasions when it is essential that he comes to you. Otherwise use ‘here, boy’ or ‘let’s go’ or something else. When he’s still learning recall, especially in high distraction situations, don’t use it unless you’re positive he’ll respond. If you’re not sure, use another command.

    I agree with the others on exercise, too. Tons of exercise, playtime with other friendly dogs AND you – you don’t want your time with him to only be training. You want him to see you as the most fun activity EVER.

    When he’s learning, yes, he’ll need lots of treats but make sure they are very small and include them in his daily food allotment so he doesn’t get fat. Goldens tend to be chow hounds. 🙂 Don’t worry if the treats seem extremely small. Dogs do not have a lot of taste buds on their tongues so they can’t really taste the treats any way. They know that it’s a treat and they know it’s a reward and they can SMELL the treat – that’s just peachy keen to a dog. Size isn’t important in treats – it’s the VALUE of the treat that counts.

    Also, be sure you are rewarding the behaviour you want and when you ASK for the behaviour. Dogs learn quickly to offer sits thinking they will be rewarded. He should be rewarded when he sits ON COMMAND. Remember, toys and playtime are also rewards. Ending a training session with a rousing game of fetch or tug or whatever he likes to play is a reward, too.

    Treats are slowly weaned off sporadically once a dog learns a command. But he has to know it absolutely cold. And then reducing the treats to every two or three or random times isn’t b/c he’s learned it already – it’s to keep it fun and interesting. If he always gets rewarded for a behaviour, he’ll keep doing it. That’s the training stage. Then eventually, when he realizes he has to keep doing it but doesn’t know which time he will be rewarded, he’ll keep trying. It’s like a slot machine. Once a person has invested money in it, they don’t want to walk away and have THAT time pay off. They want to be there when that reward comes pouring out!

  • #63367

    Samoya
    Participant

    A lot of this is wonderful advise! thanks so much everyone! The one thing I have changed to start is there’s treats available at all corners of the house so that if we go upstairs for example we ask him to sit then go up then treat him after we call him up. I’ve taken to training him to stay off the couch which is going really well so far.

    We had a bit of an issue (6 times) when walking Monday night where he started grabbing the leash and tugging as hard as he could so much that I had to grab a pole form being thrown over, so then i reeled him in and he showed me his teeth and literally BIT at me not mouthing and was growling so I grabbed him and took him to the ground >< he fought for awhile but I didn't falter until he caved. He was fine the rest of the way, I'm not sure what was up with him he has always done so well on walks. Basically everything he has to earn now, oh you want pets, lie down. oh you want to go outside, sit stay. oh you want dinner, sit stay. basically anything he has to earn. He seems very willing but has hissy fits here and there so far resisting me lol! On the interesting side at 8 months old hes almost as tall as me when jumping up!!! I added some pictures to an album not sure how to get them on my profile pic though. 🙂 thanks all.

  • #63368

    Samoya
    Participant

    I added pics to an album I will reply soon! lots of changes happening right now!! haha His name is Sherlock 🙂

  • #63364

    Nano
    Participant

    Love the name ‘Sherlock’!! Look forward to pictures.

    Connor also went through the leash grabbing stage at the same age. He’s just recently started it up again – don’t know why – but it seems to be when we’ve had longer walks. Once we hit 1-1/2 hours that’s when he starts up or when he’s revved up and we’re almost home.

    I can sympathize because at Sherlock’s age, Connor was leash grabbing so much I couldn’t walk him! I had to contact his breeder for advice. What she showed me worked and I still use it but it really depends on the dog. Connor has never growled or bit me or even shown his teeth so I felt perfectly safe doing this method. You’ll have to decide if you’re comfortable with it or not. Basically, when he grabbed at the leash, I didn’t say a word, just put one hand around his muzzle with my thumb on top and fingers in that little groove under his bottom jaw. I held his mouth closed but it isn’t a forceful thing at all. It’s a firm but gnetle hold. Then you have to hold on until he ‘gives in’. Watch the tail. When it drops completely (he’ll usually give a big sigh as well), then you can release him and continue walking. But NOT until he gives in. You might think he has but until that tail completely relaxes – he hasn’t – and you can’t release him. If he starts up, you do it again – again without saying anything – don’t even look at him b/c it’s attention he is seeking.

    The breeder told me if you control the dog’s head, you control the dog. I found that to be 100% true and this method works. For me and Connor, anyway. There are trainers who would never hold a dog’s mouth shut. In fact, she showed me this trick at Connor’s obedience class and the instructors frowned on it. But she is THE golden breeder here and everyone knows and respects her so they kept quiet.

    The point is – it worked. I was at my wit’s end because he would do this every few feet and grab the leash and pull so hard! He was also a great walker until he started this behaviour – it’s a golden thing apparently although not all goldens do it.

    Again, I can’t advocate this method because I don’t know your dog but I can tell you that it works. Connor is almsot three now and recently he started doing it again. I just do the muzzle hold and he stops. It doesn’t take as long as when he was Sherlock’s age and it doesn’t happen very often. But I felt so much better knowing I COULD stop it. Until then, I had tried everything and nothing worked.

    GOOD LUCK! Can’t wait to see pics of Sherlock. 😉

  • #63369

    Samoya
    Participant

    I added some pics into an album, some of them are fuzzy but a few good ones of just him and one with my step son. I think If I could get close to him this may work for him but he is VERY stubborn so ill have to just try it to see. I have been strenuiously working with him in the way that EVERYTHING has to be earned. and he has to stay off the couch. It is going very well so far. he has his moments but I just stay calm and wait him out. He is responding well to having food available when I need it as well. Hey if food works ill go with it lol. thanks for your reply ill let you know how it goes haha!

    @nano 63262 wrote:

    Love the name ‘Sherlock’!! Look forward to pictures.

    Connor also went through the leash grabbing stage at the same age. He’s just recently started it up again – don’t know why – but it seems to be when we’ve had longer walks. Once we hit 1-1/2 hours that’s when he starts up or when he’s revved up and we’re almost home.

    I can sympathize because at Sherlock’s age, Connor was leash grabbing so much I couldn’t walk him! I had to contact his breeder for advice. What she showed me worked and I still use it but it really depends on the dog. Connor has never growled or bit me or even shown his teeth so I felt perfectly safe doing this method. You’ll have to decide if you’re comfortable with it or not. Basically, when he grabbed at the leash, I didn’t say a word, just put one hand around his muzzle with my thumb on top and fingers in that little groove under his bottom jaw. I held his mouth closed but it isn’t a forceful thing at all. It’s a firm but gnetle hold. Then you have to hold on until he ‘gives in’. Watch the tail. When it drops completely (he’ll usually give a big sigh as well), then you can release him and continue walking. But NOT until he gives in. You might think he has but until that tail completely relaxes – he hasn’t – and you can’t release him. If he starts up, you do it again – again without saying anything – don’t even look at him b/c it’s attention he is seeking.

    The breeder told me if you control the dog’s head, you control the dog. I found that to be 100% true and this method works. For me and Connor, anyway. There are trainers who would never hold a dog’s mouth shut. In fact, she showed me this trick at Connor’s obedience class and the instructors frowned on it. But she is THE golden breeder here and everyone knows and respects her so they kept quiet.

    The point is – it worked. I was at my wit’s end because he would do this every few feet and grab the leash and pull so hard! He was also a great walker until he started this behaviour – it’s a golden thing apparently although not all goldens do it.

    Again, I can’t advocate this method because I don’t know your dog but I can tell you that it works. Connor is almsot three now and recently he started doing it again. I just do the muzzle hold and he stops. It doesn’t take as long as when he was Sherlock’s age and it doesn’t happen very often. But I felt so much better knowing I COULD stop it. Until then, I had tried everything and nothing worked.

    GOOD LUCK! Can’t wait to see pics of Sherlock. 😉

  • #63365

    Nano
    Participant

    I also make Connor earn everything. I’ve done that since he was a puppy. Along with his socialization, bite inhibition, avoiding sep. anxiety ( he has NO sep. anxiety – that was really important to me), etc, etc, etc…..

    Bravo to you for being so conscientious with Sherlock. The foundation you lay down when they are puppies and (challenging) adolescents absolutely pays off when they are adults. Of course, there is always ‘puppy’ in a Golden. That’s part of their very considerable charm!

  • #63370

    Samoya
    Participant

    Thank you for that, this stage in his life has been challenging at best but im sticking it through, he is doing much better just having a full structure with everything. No breaks allowed. He is such a loving boy and I will always work to make his life and mine easier. A funny story though I thought I would add, we went to the store and put him in his space all his stuffed toys are now taken away as he likes ot eat them and I thought everything with stuffing was gone….not so much apparently lol! we came home and there was Fuzz EVERYWHERE!!!! on the kitchen counter the floor and a piece stuck to the cat haha! I looked around and one of the Highly durable hard toys apparently the thing is stuffed with fuzz!!! just a lot of it to make it super hard HAHA!! we had a good laugh about it and Sherlock im sure had a blast all around. lol.

    The little dude is in daycare today because I know we will be busy tonite so I am now tryingto plan the nights we are busy for when he goes to daycare so he sleeps all night haha!

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