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Old 12-02-2012, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick James View Post
I didn't mention the issues at first because I was curious to see if someone would mention possible issues and that they would coincide with what we have been experiencing.

In a nutshell, they are:

Biting and niping - bite inhibition
Grass riping - Out of frustration/anxiety. Lots of observation and studying his behavior went in to making that determination.
Resource Guarding - Without a common trigger, like teasing, competition, etc.

SheetsSM - Murdock was separated from his mother at about 3-1/2 weeks because of complication related to the c-section the mother had to have when the pups were born. He stayed with his two litter mates. He was around other adult goldens but they did not interact. The behaviorist is accredited.

Selli-Belle - No they were not bottle feed from birth.

Megora - Murdock's litter was just 3 males. The breeder kept one and they have had some bite inhibition issues, but have not noticed the resource guarding or frustration/anxiety issues. The one she kept does interact with her other goldens on a daily basis. She has had trouble staying in contact with the owners of the third pup, but she is going to attempt to get in touch with them to see if they are having any of the same issues.

Now that we have discovered the possible cause, the behaviorist is working on developing a plan to resolve them.


I also wanted to note that the breeder has been very open, honest and is very very concerned. It is unfortunate what happened and that it resulted in some undesireable issues, but was not anyones fault.

My belief is that a couple issues will resolve themselves over time as Murdock matures, but a couple may need to be dealt with now so that they don't become ongoing or bigger issues later.
I am happy to hear your in communication with your breeder--I know from your posts you took great care in selecting her. I do hope the other breeders see this thread and post their thoughts.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-2012, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Megora View Post
Ok....

A thought here is that he might be a very energetic "busy" puppy.

Grass tearing - normal. Jacks is a shredder too. Not so much with grass (he grazes), but any toys he gets his mouth on when he's in one of his super-hyped-up moods inevitably gets shredded.

And our dogs graze all the time. We aren't golf-course yard people so we don't care.

Nipping-biting - normal. I'm sure you saw my comments before on what we went through with Jacks during his first year. He still is a very oral dog (he gets hyped up, he can't control his mouth). My mom would call me during the day, upset because I had brought home an aggressive puppy. One time she even had me come home from work and meet her at the vet. The vet raised an eyebrow and simply told my mom we were dealing with both a mouthy puppy and a teething puppy - who didn't have an aggressive bone in his body.

The other thing too is that when the dogs are bothered by something or want to go outside for potty, they tend to get a bit more mouthy and nippy. <- our pup right now is not nippy in the least (he was with his littermates until almost 10 weeks old), but even he will get extra fussy and mouthy when he has to go outside.

Resource guarding - that is concerning, but has various causes, including the puppies learning how to press their owners buttons to get their ways.

Make sure the trainers earn their keep to solve these problems. The fact that they worked with you for 20 hours and have not yet come up with a method to TRAIN The dog does bother me.

As far as the grass tearing, under some circumstance it may be normal, the way he is doing it is not. He never eats/grazes on it and the minute he pulls a tuft out, he spits it out and pulls another. It is also important what is going on when it occurs. What often happens is that if your outside playing, say tossing a play, in the middle of play he will just plop down and start riping grass out. If you approach him, he doesn't run or move at all, he will just continue and will not stop unless you physically pick him up and take him away from it. Distractions or even offering a high value treat does not interupt the behavior. At first, I thought it was some OSD issue. But the behaviorist said it was not because that if it was an OSD issue, we would have other problems that we don't have.

I agree that some level of niping and biting is normal in young goldens and when we first contacted the behavioralist, she expressed the same thing and thought thats all it was. However this goes beyond that and has resulted in my wife having bite marks left by him several times.

I'm not at all concerned that the behaviorist has not been faster to come up with a training method to resolve the issues. I would rather fully understand the root cause and come up with a plan that addresses the issues in a way that will allieviate them, then act too quickly and find later that we just put a band-aid on it.

SheetsSM - Yes I'm glad the breeder is engaged and wouldn't have expect anything less. Also this is why it is so important to take the time to find a reputable breeder.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:10 PM
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I just wanted to add how lucky your dog is to have you and how luck you are to have a caring breeder. Few would spend the money that I'm sure you're spending on a certified behaviourist. Most would do what I was told to do with my dog: assert your dominance and so on so forth.

I will be interested to know what course of action you will choose once it gets to that.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
He never eats/grazes on it and the minute he pulls a tuft out, he spits it out and pulls another. It is also important what is going on when it occurs. What often happens is that if your outside playing, say tossing a play, in the middle of play he will just plop down and start riping grass out. If you approach him, he doesn't run or move at all, he will just continue and will not stop unless you physically pick him up and take him away from it.
Believe it or not - this still is normal sounding to me. Our dogs do the same shredding, and it's really linked to what causes them to do that "dig dig dig zoomie roll dig dig". Sometimes I think they get caught up doing what they want to do vs what we want them to?

Quote:
I agree that some level of niping and biting is normal in young goldens and when we first contacted the behavioralist, she expressed the same thing and thought thats all it was. However this goes beyond that and has resulted in my wife having bite marks left by him several times.
With Jacks - I had bruises on my arms and legs pretty much the first 1.5 years until he settled down. What helps was training him to stop and settle before he got too carried away.

What makes him very mouthy and nippy also makes him a very awesome retriever, btw.


Quote:
I would rather fully understand the root cause and come up with a plan that addresses the issues in a way that will allieviate them, then act too quickly and find later that we just put a band-aid on it.
I'm trying not to be too critical of the people helping you, but again - regardless of the reasons why a dog is the way he is, you should be immediately giving the owners tools to work with their dogs and understand how to calm and settle them down. The nipping and biting, for example. Same thing with the resource guarding - especially since your puppy is still young enough to correct this behavior before the hormones really start complicating things. o_O
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_hubert View Post
I just wanted to add how lucky your dog is to have you and how luck you are to have a caring breeder. Few would spend the money that I'm sure you're spending on a certified behaviourist. Most would do what I was told to do with my dog: assert your dominance and so on so forth.

I will be interested to know what course of action you will choose once it gets to that.
Jackie - thanks for the compliment. The money isn't really that big of issue and I actually feel we have gotten more than our moneys worth.

And even though we are having these issues, we still love having him and would not trade him for anything.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:13 PM
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Pups that are sold too early miss out on important behavior development... At 6.5 to 8'weeks, they practice behaviors on each other and learn bite inhibition, submission, etc. if they go too early, they are often fearful and timid.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:23 PM
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I agree with Megora, the grass ripping is not unusual at all...we see it quite frequently here at our dog park. Some adolescent retrievers and retriever mixes start sod ripping together, who knows why. I would not be concerned.

Nipping is a normal Golden thing. My arms still frequently have bruises from my 8 y.o. girl in addition to my 5 month old pup. There are quite a number of techniques for getting dogs to stop chewing on their humans. I don't mind the chewing as the have been trained to chew on sleeves of certain coats.

Resource Guarding is an issue to work on. However, I have a hard time imagining how not being with the mother after 3 1/2 weeks would cause it.

Most pups are being weaned at about 4 weeks, and although it is best if the pups can spend a lot of time with their mothers, the mothers frequently don't want to spend that much time with their pups (sharp teeth). Every day spent with mom is important, but I imagine some of these issues are innate and not die to Mom leaving at 3 1/2 weeks.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:46 PM
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Our puppy grass rips, it seems to be fairly normally for some goldens. The trainer said, 1. get her on grass more often, so it is not a big deal for her. 2. be more entertaining and play so she won't have time to rip out the sod. 3. he gave her a quick shove with his foot when she was happily tossing clods of grass about (she wasn't hurt, just her feelings) and Maddie did notice.

Maddie doesn't resource guard though, she just wags her tail when we come near when she has food. Our first golden, Amber, did guard when she was about three months or so, but she stopped at around 4 months. We made it clear she couldn't. Her sister was never trained not to resource guard and though much more submissive then Amber, her owners became frightened of her by the age of one or so. They backed away every time she growled.
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