Need to pick your brains on a few issues with my 14 mth old
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!
|The Following User Says Thank You to Arnold For This Useful Post:|
Vinnie's Mom (11-23-2012)
Welcome to the forum. I struggle with many of the same issues and I know people will give some really good advice as they always do. I'll stay tuned to this very helpful post.
I would love to see a pictures of your dog. Is his name Arnold?
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
First let me say you are not the first to have "training differences" with your husband. It is a battle here as well and I have 6 dogs. My husband can't understand why they listen to me and not him and still will not listen when I explain how I want them trained. It is very frustrating. I do believe that he can't "untrain" them. They just listen to me better.
My x didn't like dogs in the house and he would ban my dog to the workshop. Every day, as soon as he went to work, I would let her out and she would follow me around the house. As soon as she heard the garage door open, she would run back downstairs into the workshop. He was never mean and he never abused her, she just knew. That may be how it will work with your bedroom.
As far as the training videos, I started a thread a while back for people to post their training videos and there are some good ones on there for leash walking. Here is the link
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...ng-videos.html (Training Videos)
Your boy is getting to the age that he will start calming down soon. You have weathered the worst part of puppyhood. At around the age of 2, you should start seeing a difference. He will start to mature.
The only thing that I know of that you can do for digging is to dig up your entire garden, put down chicken wire, cover it with dirt and then replant your garden. That should stop the digging. I agree that he is probably doing it out of boredom and there are a couple of other things that you can do to wear him out so that he is too tired to dig. A tired puppy is a good puppy.
The jumping, nipping and mouthing. Everyone has an opinion about this. I don't allow any rough play with my dogs by humans. No tug of war, no running and jumping. They play like that with each other but not with us. Our dogs are not allowed to jump on anyone, period. I play a game with my grandchildren when they are here. If they are running and one of the pups is chasing and jumping, I yell freeze and they will stop and start walking toward the pup, the pup will back up and sit and as soon as the pup is calm, they can pet them.
We have taught all of our dogs the "quiet" command. They bark when they see something out of the ordinary and as soon as I check it out, I will give them command and they stop barking.
As far as toys for his boredom, try stuffed kongs or some other sort of interactive toy.
One thing that I will say about his walk, is that if he is pulling you down the street, he is not being walked, you are. He will get a lot more mental exercise if he is in a controlled walk, also, once you master the controlled walk, all other aspects of his training will come easier to you.
I really like the NILIF methods of training. If you google it, you will come up with tons of stuff.
Hope some of this helps. I am sure you will get lots of great advise. Good Luck
Have your boys work on training with him instead of rough housing. Basic commands are good, get them to teach him tricks, and make it a rule that running and playing ball is only outside activity.
You and your husband need to discuss the things you do differently and decide together what you want the dog to do in those situations. It isn't fair to your dog to confuse him with it being ok sometimes and not ok at others.
All of this is training and I'm sure you can work with him and teach him what you want. It's a really good idea to enroll in training classes too, it will help you learn how to teach him what you want.
"To my mind, I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas
Right there with you!
We need a forum for one-year-old dogs. They aren't adults, but aren't quite puppies. How long is that teenager thread now? My dog, Casper, is 16 months. We are living this life, too!
1. Mouthing/biting - If your dog never touches you, you are ahead of me! Just treat your kids the same way. I would stop the kids before the play gets out of hand. The kids themselves probably aren't able to anticipate trouble. For example, you've probably watched your kids do something with other kids and said to yourself, "That's not going to go well." And sure enough, it doesn't. Similarly, the kids probably can't always figure out themselves what's going to get the dog riled up. You can also give them some approved games. The best trainer in one of my dog classes was a 10-year-old boy. My college son is the best trainer in our house. There are lots of dog games and dog trick books. I'm teaching Casper to weave between my legs. It's a physical game, which he loves, but doesn't involve mouthing, jumping, etc. We do throw soft toys indoors. They can teach the dog to catch treats. Casper gets a bunch of his dinner that way while we're warming up the water for his dinner. I am not above using a little guilt to motivate the kids, "When you play like that, you train the dog to hurt Mom. Do you want to do that?"
2. Barking. I am not much help there. If he's barking to get attention, ignore, ignore. Does barking at the foxes work? We have bunnies, and they could care less about what the dog does to them. Can you train him to do something different to the foxes?
3. Spatial awareness. Does he actually run into you or just near you? Casper acts like he can't tell where he is, but I know for a fact that he can control it to the inch. There is another thread (maybe on his list) about this, or search on body slamming. This is one of the few things on my list that merits a shot of breath spray. I did it a few times when he was about six months old, and he stopped. He can't stand the stuff. However, when he is in the backyard and all wound up, I stand against the retaining wall or on the deck. No sense making myself a target.
4. Boredom. I am messing with my dog's head this week. I decided to ignore all his requests for attention. More than half the time, he walks away and takes a nap. Wow, should have figured that one out a long time ago! I don't have an exact answer. I think it more along the lines of our dog's schedule. Exercise, playtime, training, toys, chew bone are all built in.
5. Digging. Casper has one small favorite hole. He digs when he is excited. I've also taught him to dig at the mole hills in the park. I have no idea why. It's entertaining, he loves it, and I hope that the dirt needs to be spread around anyway.
6. Heeling. Lots of methods out there. It can be done, but for some dogs, it is non-trivial and requires constant reinforcement. Casper is a prince when he's wearing his gentle leader. Until he sees a human, then all bets are off. Search on "walking", "loose lead walking", "heeling", or "pulling".
Goldhaven, how did you teach the quiet command? The barking is not terrible, just when she sees something she can't get to or something she doesn't understand. I would like to be able to stop it on command though. Thanks!
Gosh .....I guess I have some of these things to look forward to in the months ahead, as our puppy Loki is just about to turn four months old. With regard to the digging ...initially, as a younger puppy, he began digging in my flower bed. We tried pulling him out, telling him off, & even resorted to shouting at him as my prized Daphne shrub was torn at & dug around. He thought it was part of the game & kept going back. Sometimes bribing him with a chew stick would work, but he would return. So ......I decided to give him his own digging spot next to the fence, where only grass was growing. We pulled out the grass & immediately he began digging there & I told him he was a good boy. From then on, if he went back to my flower beds, I would rush out & lead him over to his digging spot. After a couple of weeks of doing this, he caught on that mum was happy when he dug there, but not happy when he dug anywhere else. Now we seldom catch him digging anywhere but in his spot, & actually he is not digging that much at all now. Re rough playing .......my trainer told me I must Always initiate All playing, & I must Always end the game before my puppy walks away, & No tug games until he is older & better trained, as tug games get them over-excited & lead to nipping & jumping. Loki will bark if he is outside while I am doing something. But not continuously, as he has our six year old papillon out there with him. When it is time to let him in, if he is barking & jumping up on the door, which is glass, I will not let him in. Through the glass, I tell him to quiet & to sit, & I won't open that door until he does. He usually responds quite quickly, because he wants to come indoors & seems to instinctively know I won't budge. Thankfully, he doesn't bark at people or other dogs ....he loves the attention people give him on our twice-daily walks, & he enjoys meeting up with dogs. He does bark when I am preparing his food ...as if he is telling me to hurry up! But he gets told off & he is getting better at that. I guess if your dog has been taught to bark at one thing, it is hard for him to understand that he should not bark at other things. Re the mouthing & nipping ....well Loki is just about to turn 16 weeks old, so teething & he loves to chew. I have taught him not to mouth me by pulling my hand or leg away the instant I see his mouth opening anywhere near my skin ...I try to stay one step ahead of him, as work on the premise that prevention is better than cure. I caught him attempting to take little nips at the legs of our little papillon yesterday, & he got firmly told off before his teeth had a chance to come into contact. He hasn't attempted to do that again ...not yet anyway. He will mouth & bite at my husband's hands & has drawn blood a couple of times, so I am trying to get my hubby to be more aware of the signs that he is about to mouth him, & to stop interacting with him before Loki has a chance to get hold. My hubby also balked at giving the same commands as I do for actions, but like you, I am the o e who does the training, & he is now beginning to follow my lead on this. Loki will dive into our bedroom every chance he gets, to retrieve slippers & clothing, which he then proudly carries out in his mouth. He looks so cute, it is hard to tell him off, but my trainer has told us repeatedly that we must not allow a puppy to do anything that we do not want him doing as an adult. Now, he will sometimes look at the bedroom, but then trot on passed it .....ditto for our three cats. He is getting much better with them. I agree with what has been said above ....get your children to teach your dog some fun tricks, as a way of interacting with him, instead of rough play which will just over-excite him & lead to undesirable behaviour. My trainer always says we must keep our dogs calm at all times .....a calm dog is a pleasure to have around. That's. a tall order, but it does seem to be starting to work for our fur baby. Loki is just learning to walk on a lead .....we use a harness rather than a neck collar. He will pull at times, but a lot of the time he will walk on a slack lead. We have not started to do heeling with him yet, but I have looked at lots of training videos on YouTube. I do clicker trainer with Loki, & he has responded very quickly to that. He will sit, down, stay, leave it, touch ...learning now to shake hands & fetch. I like the control I have with clicker training, & when Loki sees me get the clicker out, he will sit immediately in anticipation of some yummy treats coming his way. I do not think it is ever to late to train a dog to behave as you want it to behave. People get rescue dogs of several years old, & many of them have behavorial issues, & within months, they have become beautiful obedient family pets. I am sure your GR can be trained to behave just as you want it to.
About teenage dogs: I haven't seen it but have heard great things about this DVD set. And it's 50% off right now at Tawzer: Terrible Teens - Canine Adolescence 6 months to 2 1/2 Years (Trish King)
About kids, this one I have read and it's great: https://www.dreamdogproductions.com/...thkidsanddogs/
Your kids could teach trick with a clicker or do nosework with the dog:
About mouthing: licking is normal for a dog. It's how dogs say hello and appease the other. Also, dogs who are taught not to mouth at all, especially if done using negative or positive punishment, will often compensate by licking. More and more trainers recommend regularly allowing your dog to mouth you in order to learn to be gentle with their mouths. From Dr. Ian Dunbar: "Although the abrupt and total curtailment of puppy biting (if possible) offers immediate relief to most owners, it often reflects only a short-term gain, which does not always augur well for the future. If the puppy is forbidden to bite, he will not have sufficient opportunity to learn that his jaws may inflict pain and cause damage. Thus, if ever provoked to bite as an adult, the resultant bite is likely to be a hard one, causing severe damage. Certainly puppy biting must be controlled but only in a progressive, systematic manner, whereby the pup is taught to inhibit the force of his bites before puppy biting is forbidden altogether" and "For owners who have good control over their dog, there is no better way to maintain the dog's soft mouth than by regular play-fighting. However, to prevent your puppy from getting out of control and to fully realize the many benefits of play-fighting, you must play by the rules and teach your dog to play by the rules." Off course, it takes skill and consistency to get to that point and I know your pain when you say your husband is not consistent with your approach.
"I have just met you and I love you" - Dug (Up!)