Apparently me sitting down on a chair sets him off... - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Apparently me sitting down on a chair sets him off...

I've been trying to record all of Cedar's triggers, and apparently me sitting down on a chair will set him off. What does that mean? Is it because my sitting down means I've 'stopped' playing with him? He would be lying down chewing on something while I stand next to him, and then when I go to sit down, he stops chewing on his toy and comes to me. I am more and more confused.

Cedar also has been non stop this whole evening! He's had a 50 min walk at 8am, a 1 hour walk at 2pm, and when I got home from work I took him to the shops for a little outing with dinner, basic obedience, heeling, meeting new people, settling down when I had dinner. He is as hyper as ever. We played ball games and tug with rules after that, and he practiced his 'settle down' which worked for the period I kept saying settle down and periodically raining treats on him. As soon as I stopped he was up and ready to start chewing on me. So then I tried distraction, throwing a bunch of balls in different directions, or showing him a treat. Only when I left the room did he truly settle down.

He used to ignore me once in a while and go do his thing. He might watch the window, and come back and check on me once in a while, but never really stayed at my feet or even my room. Now at 12 months he's following me everywhere and wants to chew on me all the time.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 09:30 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by triggers. Chewing on you at this age is not acceptable, is he trying to get you to engage or just plain being disrespectful?

Just my take on your post but it sounds your mindset is that you are dong everything he needs you to do but he still wants more and not sure what to do. So the dog is calling all the shots?

You mentioned working on obedience, have you attended an obedience class? It's your job to say when the day is over. Put him in his crate when you have had enough but highly recommend you contact a trainer.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 10:23 AM
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Dogs do what works for them.

I am guessing that when you sit down you are more accessable to manipulation.

Walking isn't really a lot of exercise for a golden. They could really use some heart pumping aerobic exercise also.

How long of duration have you built into before reinforcing for being settle?

I think it is time to get into that obedience class. The instructor can give you hands on help to tweak the training you have already done. If I remember correctly Cedar is close to a year. He still has that puppy brain going on. Your instructor can also give you additional or tweak the impulse control type games to help to teach him to be calmer. I think when you were talking about the obedience class I mentioned something about over arousal. When a dog becomes over threshold, a lot of cortisol floods their brains. It takes 2 to 3 days to get their brain back to normal. The more cortisol hormone flowing through their brains the less likely they can calm down.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 03:52 PM
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Think about what his day is like. (Please understand that I am not criticizing your for working. Your dog likes to live indoors with you and he also likes to eat, so you have to work However.... ) He spends 8 or so hours overnight in his crate (I'm guessing) asleep. Then he is up with you for an hour or so till you go to work? He spends another 8 or 9 hours sleeping till you get home from work. The remaining time he is getting walked which is a good distraction but it is not exercise. That's 17 hours sleeping, 2 hours walking, and then some training time and the other time he's hanging out or entertaining himself. That's about 4 hours when you need to get things done but he would like to play.

A leash walk around the block is exercise for your 80 year old grandmother, but it is not exercise for a growing, teenage golden retriever puppy. He needs hard aerobic exercise every day of the week for a good 20 or 30 minutes that gets his heart rate up and leaves him panting and tired. It is tough to get this kind of exercise for an urban dog unless you teach a formal retrieve and develop a love for that game, have a place where he can swim off leash or have puppy playdates where he can wrestle and play with another nice young dog his approx size and age. Taking him out hiking on Saturdays or to the beach on Sundays is not enough to hold him over for the week. It needs to be pretty much every single day, the effects are cumulative over a period of days.

In the house you can play games like "Hide the toy" where you put him in a down stay and then go hide a favorite toy somewhere in the house. THen you return and release him to find the toy. It works well on rainy days for entertainment If you are fair to him and get him plenty of exercise in addition to the outings on leash, you can expect him to learn a "settle" command in the house and hang out with a chew bone. Most puppies simply are too energetic to be left home alone all day and then be expected to let you relax on the couch during evening hours. They are like toddlers, if they are awake, you have to keep an eye on them and most likely you will not be able to read a book or watch t.v. This phase will pass in another year or so but this is part of the deal with a Golden Retriever.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:55 PM
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I think you have to plan what he's supposed to be doing. You know you don't want him to be chewing on you but how about offering him an alternative chew like an antler or bully stick or frozen Kong? He might be hyped up after meeting all the people (mine would be esp at that age) so he needs to let it out slowly, keeping busy with low arousal activities. Chewing seems to be a great stress reliever for dogs. Now, he'll probably be ready for more activity when he's done chewing but it gives you two a chance to hang out happily. Also, dogs are crespuscular so esp. as puppies and adolescents evening can be their crazy time. This period gets shorter as they mature.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:58 PM
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I know everyone recommends obedience and training and I totally agree. We're working on that at the moment, and doing my best on that. We do see a trainer though, who says he has developed a routine and is rehearsing those behaviors so I'm trying to break them by doing different things. For example, the first day he started bothering me heaps in the morning (and he never used to before), he started doing it every single day after that, for a few days before I realised ok he's starting new behavior and I do something about it. The default was just a time out.

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Originally Posted by puddles everywhere View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by triggers. Chewing on you at this age is not acceptable, is he trying to get you to engage or just plain being disrespectful?

Just my take on your post but it sounds your mindset is that you are dong everything he needs you to do but he still wants more and not sure what to do. So the dog is calling all the shots?

You mentioned working on obedience, have you attended an obedience class? It's your job to say when the day is over. Put him in his crate when you have had enough but highly recommend you contact a trainer.
I would say he's trying to engage? Or he doesn't know what do once he's finished lying still and once he's finished the hide and seek game and once he's finished the kong.



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Originally Posted by solinvictus View Post
Dogs do what works for them.

I am guessing that when you sit down you are more accessable to manipulation.

Walking isn't really a lot of exercise for a golden. They could really use some heart pumping aerobic exercise also.

How long of duration have you built into before reinforcing for being settle?

I think it is time to get into that obedience class. The instructor can give you hands on help to tweak the training you have already done. If I remember correctly Cedar is close to a year. He still has that puppy brain going on. Your instructor can also give you additional or tweak the impulse control type games to help to teach him to be calmer. I think when you were talking about the obedience class I mentioned something about over arousal. When a dog becomes over threshold, a lot of cortisol floods their brains. It takes 2 to 3 days to get their brain back to normal. The more cortisol hormone flowing through their brains the less likely they can calm down.
I know walking an hour isn't heaps, so I try to built in training for him. We do sits, drops, 5 min timed stays. We found a set of rock steps so I would make him jump up follow the path, get off and get a treat. If he jumps off halfway then no treat. We walk around the dog park, and practice getting his attention away from dogs in the park.

He could settle for a good half hour. As soon as I say ok, he wants to jump on me, so now I let him find some treats after. This worked for some days, and then after he has the treat he wants to engage me.




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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
Think about what his day is like. (Please understand that I am not criticizing your for working. Your dog likes to live indoors with you and he also likes to eat, so you have to work However.... ) He spends 8 or so hours overnight in his crate (I'm guessing) asleep. Then he is up with you for an hour or so till you go to work? He spends another 8 or 9 hours sleeping till you get home from work. The remaining time he is getting walked which is a good distraction but it is not exercise. That's 17 hours sleeping, 2 hours walking, and then some training time and the other time he's hanging out or entertaining himself. That's about 4 hours when you need to get things done but he would like to play.

A leash walk around the block is exercise for your 80 year old grandmother, but it is not exercise for a growing, teenage golden retriever puppy. He needs hard aerobic exercise every day of the week for a good 20 or 30 minutes that gets his heart rate up and leaves him panting and tired. It is tough to get this kind of exercise for an urban dog unless you teach a formal retrieve and develop a love for that game, have a place where he can swim off leash or have puppy playdates where he can wrestle and play with another nice young dog his approx size and age. Taking him out hiking on Saturdays or to the beach on Sundays is not enough to hold him over for the week. It needs to be pretty much every single day, the effects are cumulative over a period of days.

In the house you can play games like "Hide the toy" where you put him in a down stay and then go hide a favorite toy somewhere in the house. THen you return and release him to find the toy. It works well on rainy days for entertainment If you are fair to him and get him plenty of exercise in addition to the outings on leash, you can expect him to learn a "settle" command in the house and hang out with a chew bone. Most puppies simply are too energetic to be left home alone all day and then be expected to let you relax on the couch during evening hours. They are like toddlers, if they are awake, you have to keep an eye on them and most likely you will not be able to read a book or watch t.v. This phase will pass in another year or so but this is part of the deal with a Golden Retriever.
I know you mentioned this before, so I'm trying to do more training more exercise more everything! He will spend 8 hours asleep. He has 3 hours with me before I leave, during which he did not used to bother me heaps, but now he does. When the game stops, when I'm eating, when he's finished eating etc. So now I always do a settle when I'm having breakfast. Time out works as well. I've been trying more distraction since the trainer recommended it, and it works for the moment but he may comes back.

While he is at home during the day, it is as you say, but I particularly like this area I live because my neighbours will walk by and entertain him by the window. They will put their hands through the tiny gap in the window and cuddle him. If my neighbours opposite are working in their shop front, then he will watch them as much as they are there.

We do play hide the toy, he knows squirrel, croc, teddy and rhino. But of course he will mix them up all the time so I won't say he is great at it. I could play hide and seek myself but he knows all the hiding spots now so he's really quick. He loves this game though. He will run through the house to me. One thing I noticed is whatever game he is playing, he will give up and stop at some point. He will stop chasing the ball and turn and look at me. He's not physically tired, but I don't know, maybe he's bored of the game? This is the time I go, yay I can go wash the dishes now! One interesting thing is he's learned this situation - when I'm washing dishes he settles nicely and NEVER bothers me. But he also used to settle EXCELLENTLY when I play the violin. Now he bothers me so we have to do a settle first. In the past we did a time out whenever that happened, and when he came back from time out he was fine.

I'm still trying to get a car, so when I do have one, we can go to the park and he can run around. At the moment I only take him on weekends because its far and he walks there fine, but walks really slowly and pants all the way back. It takes 2 hours for this outing, but he loves it of course. Only one time we went out for 4 hours was he an angel the rest of the night. The 4 hours was not much walking, some running but not much, and mostly trying to get him to settle, and lots of people cooing over him, so I would say lots of stimulation.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:26 PM
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I thought I remembered that we had talked about this before - wasn't sure. I can't stress to you enough that Cedar sounds like a perfectly normal dog. It sounds like you're making a lot of effort. We are just trying to give you ideas on what we would be doing if this were our puppy. People (myself included) often do not have a full understanding when they bring a puppy home, especially a Golden, how demanding they are and what a full time project a puppy is. When you work full time, you just are not going to have much time to yourself with a sporting breed puppy at home. It's like having a child in many ways, you will wonder what you ever did with all your free time. Keep working with him and just understand that he is doing the best he can just like you are.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Anele View Post
I think you have to plan what he's supposed to be doing. You know you don't want him to be chewing on you but how about offering him an alternative chew like an antler or bully stick or frozen Kong? He might be hyped up after meeting all the people (mine would be esp at that age) so he needs to let it out slowly, keeping busy with low arousal activities. Chewing seems to be a great stress reliever for dogs. Now, he'll probably be ready for more activity when he's done chewing but it gives you two a chance to hang out happily. Also, dogs are crespuscular so esp. as puppies and adolescents evening can be their crazy time. This period gets shorter as they mature.
That makes a lot of sense. When we went out yesterday he had to greet everyone on the street, and yesterday we met two of my neighbours whom he knows, in addition to all the strangers he had to greet. So his excitement was really up when we got home and then I went and played ball and tug.

So today I tried after his outing we came home and had a quiet period with him chewing a celery stick, then he had some raw chicken then a quiet period again. My feeling is that eating is too exciting for him. Then we had that problem again going from sitting with him to sitting down on a chair, he wasn't tremendously crazy though. So I was able to ignore, and he settled quite quickly when I didn't give him any response, then I gave him the cuddles he wanted. We repeated twice and then he settled nicely. I can't tell if the quiet periods make it work better, or because he had a little run on an open field for about 5min during his walk. We also had a much better day overall today, even though we went out less. I guess I tend to freak out when we have a few bad days and feel like everything I do is wrong.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 08:23 AM
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A dog's needs change as they grow, some become more attention seeking, others become more independent and are quite content to entertain themselves on their own. It sounds to me like you have done a good job in working with him, but it also sounds like you are expecting him to 'turn off' when you want him to. All dogs need attention, love and affection, and guidance, they also need us to help them, by giving them something to do when we are busy or unable to focus on them.
We need to keep in mind that dogs typically have times during the day, when they are naturally more 'active', most often in the morning, and early evening. We also need to consider that for some dogs 'increased' physical exercise 'winds them up' and we can create 'marathon' dogs, dogs who just cannot calm themselves. Dogs need mental exercise as well as physical, consider slowing things down, teaching tricks or playing 'shaping' games -such as 101 Things to Do with a Box | Karen Pryor Clicker Training, which will allow him to 'think' use his brain and tire him out.
Dogs love to 'problem solve', I have a lab mix, who is high energy, there is nothing like giving him the opportunity to think, to use his brain, to tire him out, and help him calm down. Food puzzles, something as simple as stuffing a cardboard box with newspapers, mixing in a small handful of kibble, closing it up, and giving it to him to tear it apart, use his natural instincts - seeking, sniffing, finding and eating, it gives him something to do and wears him out. I play 'show me' games with my dogs, where I simply mark and reward any offered behavior that I like that I want them to repeat, if they repeat the same behavior, they will often start with offering known behaviors, those that I have taught, and I want them to do something else I simply ask them to 'try again', it is pretty amazing what they can come up with, if we give them a chance.

Consider what you want him 'to do' when you sit in your chair, (or are otherwise occupied). Consider teaching him a 'on your mat/go to bed' cue, and giving him something to do while he is there, such as Kong that has been stuffed and frozen, can keep his interest, laying down and chewing/licking are natural calming behaviors for a dog. You can start teaching this by placing the mat/bed close to your chair, most dogs want to be nearby, start with short sessions, calmly praise him, let him know he is a good boy, and gradually build up duration. Once he understands the 'go to bed' cue, move the bed to different locations, helping him generalize the cue, then work on increasing the distance you send him from, with practice and patience, and ensuring that the 'bed' is a good place for him, a place he wants to be, you can build up the behavior so that he will 'go to bed' when requested from another room.


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