Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
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How much exercise is Ziggy getting - mental and physical? Honestly? (I am truly not trying to give you a hard time, I have walked in similar shoes and want to help) He sounds like the type who one or two 20 minute walks every day will not be quite enough.
Do you have time to do 2 or three 5 to 10 minute training sessions most days?
Is he an only dog? If so, I would work very hard, use trainer or friends and neighbors to network, to find a nice young dog about the same size to arrange playdates with a couple times a week. I am not the most experienced person on this forum, but I feel very strongly that in the average household (this includes mine) it can be very difficult to get a young, growing working breed the proper amount of exercise. I can take my collie on a brisk 3 mile walk in about 35 minutes or so. I am ready to hit the couch (we have hills in my area) and we will run into my dad walking his lab on the way home. Mack is seriously like a kite flying at the end of a string he is so excited - I haven't even scratched the surface of his energy level. He is just getting warmed up. I really think they need a good 30 minutes of hard play almost every day to get their heart rates up. The easiest way to get this is rough housing with another energetic young dog. As mentioned by someone, does he have something special to chew every day? That is a great way to get out some excess energy. I save a bully stick for most evenings when I'm trying to watch t.v.
I would use baby gates (as mentioned above) and have him drag a short leash around the house (cut a cheap one off to about 2.5 feet and use it to control him when he starts an episode.
Also, try using the search feature at the top of the page and look up the terms "teaching self control" , "calming signals' "calming techniques" "calming command" and "teenage Puppy" for some ideas and to know you're not alone. Does he like to retrieve? Have you taught him to play games in the house like "find the bumper" or "find the person" where you hide something he loves and then he has to go find it? This is a terrific diversion if you will work with him on it a bit you may be surprised at how much he enjoys it.
Does your trainer have a lot of experience with labs or goldens? I think retrievers are a special case and even if you like your trainer it might be good to find a new set of eyes, different opinion to help with this issue. He clearly is a different case than your previous dogs, just like kids are different. It sounds like he is going to require different management skills and rules and it's going to be more work for a while. I'm sorry, I know it's frustrating.