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Old 12-02-2012, 09:08 AM
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Separated too early from mom

Hopefully, those of you with many years of experience raising/breeding/training goldens can weight in.

We have had some ongoing issues with Murdock (7 months) which started almost from the day we brought him home. When he was 4 months, my wife enlisted the help of a behavioralist/trainer. The behavioralist spent about 20 hours over multiple sessions working with Murdock and at her suggestion, we kept and provided a daily diary so that she had tons of information to work with. She discussed our issues with several colleagues and they as a group feel that the issues are most likely caused because he was separated from his mother too early (was medical necessary).

If pups have been separated from their mother too early for some reason, i.e. medical, abandoned, etc., Are there some common issues that you would most likely expect to occur/encounter ?
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:26 AM
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The main problem I had with Vinnie was that he had not learned bite inhibition from his litter mates. I got him at 6 weeks. He's doing much better now at 7 1/2 months.


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Old 12-02-2012, 09:34 AM
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Bite inhibition, low tolerance for frustration and impulse control issues. Tayla was purchased by her original owner at 5 weeks.


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Old 12-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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How old was Murdock when he was separated from Mom? But he was still with his two other littermates until he was 8 weeks right? Also, was he kept away from all other adult dogs as a pup at the breeders? I'm thinking (and I'm certainly no expert) that this just may be his personality. Is the behaviorist you saw an actual accredited behaviorist?
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:39 AM
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My understanding is that in terms of bite inhibition, being with the littermates is AS if not MORE important than being with the moms, especially after the pups are weaned.

Were the pups bottle fed from birth?
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 PM
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If you don't mind sharing, what exactly are these issues?

Are the other puppy owners experiencing them?

My main thought is that i should hope that these behavioralists are actually coming up with ways to help you train your pup vs just identifying causes of the behavior.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:53 PM
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Could you be specific as to what your issues the behaviorist feels are related to leaving the mother early? My Hank was given to me at 5.5 weeks and his brother went to our daughter the same day, neither have odd or problems behaviors. They are now 3.5 yrs. old.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:21 PM
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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.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
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.
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.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:16 PM
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What training plan are you on?

The professional you are working with you will be the best to give you advice but just as a reference Cosmo has higher than average issues with frustration and impulse control. In speaking with the vet behaviourist I work with this is a genetically-influenced issue and was made worse by having a very fieldy young dog in a condo with little opportunity for off-leash play. On an interesting note, my friend who is a CPDT says she is seeing 3 times the amount of frustrated/impulse control issues in Goldens in the area compared to 5 years ago.

He rips grass like most retrievers I have met.

From my understanding, he was separated from the littler at 8 weeks and from mom for a week or so before that. None of the littermates I know of are like Cosmo, but I do not know all of them.
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