Hi, this is my first post. I've enjoyed reading everybody else's posts
I wanted to pick your brains on a few matters with our GR.
We have had him since he was a pup, and trained him as best we can in general, he sits, lays, comes (when he wants to) and is generally well natured.
I have a few problems, and it's not helped by the fact that my husband and I often conflict in our training. This is probably because we're different people...I'm sure that's normal, though not always best for confused dog!!
For example...I'll train him not to enter our bedroom...and if he breaks the rule - my hubby (who dotes on him) doesn't have the heart to send him out - so I'll have to re train. Which is starting to worry me as I'm wondering how much time I have left to instil these things in his mind. I constantly think of the phrase "can't teach an old dog new tricks!"
I am home with him all day...so it's a little frustrating if he's not behaving well.
So here are our issues and I'm wondering if its too late to train, any practical advice on any of the below would be very much appreciated:
1) mouthing / biting
Whilst I have never allowed him to mouth, bite or even lick me for hygiene reasons...my husband allows it, he's a man!! I know they're wired differently. I'm pretty gentle by nature so don't enjoy that sort of thing. Also, the kids wind him up when I have my back turned. Hence the fact that he NEVER dares mouth or bite me, but often gets over excited with the kids and my husband. I'm terrified that he's going to hurt a child because of the way he gets excited and plays, jumping up and sometimes nipping.. The fact that we are considering another baby makes it all the more essential that we teach him to calm down. I'm not sure how possible this is?
I've spoken to my hubby and asked him to stop allowing him to mouth or bite...he says he will.
My question is - how would you encourage a 9 & 12 year old BOYS to play with a dog? Having fun - in the house (so ball throwing isn't possible inside) ... But not allowing any aggression or rough play. What sorts of things can they do to engage and enjoy the dog but not encourage rough play?
He is very noisy, my husband has trained him to bark outside if he sees a fox (they poo on our doorstep, rip things apart in our garden and in general are a nuisance...so he wants them to be frightened to enter our garden) ... I don't know if its contributed to it - but he's become a very noisy dog! Are goldens usually noisy?
Also, he barks incessantly when he wants attention, whilst wagging his tail, or if I hug my husband. How would you handle this?
3) Spatial awareness
Our golden always tries to almost "climb" on kids...he apparently has no idea how big he is! It worries me! Is this normal? And how can I prevent it? He will also run past you in the park and nearly knock you over! Totally unintentional ... But it's worrying. I don't want him to hurt anybody!
Are there any ways in which he can be stimulated if I am preoccupied and he has had a walk already? Sometimes I feel like he is bored - he constantly wants to play tug with a toy and gets into the play position.
Is this normal and will he ever calm down?
5) digging holes in the garden!!
Ok so this is apparently due to boredom...but he does it even when he's had a walk! It drives me crazy! How would you correct when you catch him in the act? I shout at him and tell him to go to bed...but it doesn't stop him the next time I have my back turned.
Has anybody had any success with this?
6) Learning to heel
He is used to taking his walks off lead in a park...which is great for him. But on the days he does walk on a lead - he pulls. We try commanding him to heel, tightening the lead when he pulls, and congratulating him when he does (this is usually near the end when he's tired!!)
I cannot walk him anymore on the pavement on a lead as he's too strong for me, his pull is very powerful. We need to teach him to heel.
Any tutorial video links or advice?
We love our dog...he's great...I just feel like I need a bit of help from knowledgable GR owners in these few areas...
Thanks in advance!