Is this boredom, do you think? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Is this boredom, do you think?

I know you all are tired of me and my difficult pup, but we continue to struggle down this road (with the help of a weekly trainer)...

Apollo is 13.5 weeks old now and we have fewer and fewer problems with biting from resource guarding and he is about the sweetest thing 60% of the time.

However (and you knew there had to be a however) he has a couple of periods in the day when he just can't behave himself. He stalks the house just looking for something to steal, chew, dig, jump up on. Our kitchen table is a shambles because everything we own is on it.

Usually this happens when we are done training and playing in the morning after breakfast and after dinner at night. It is often combined with 10 requests to go outside. (he will alternate, outside to roam, inside to stalk, outside to roam...you get the picture).

There are 5 of us at home. We all take turns playing with him and we all do several sessions of training a day with him. He is awesomely smart and quick to learn. Slow to obey, however, when we are in real life mode.

He and I did "leave it" umpteen times with a treat and another treat this morning. Then, he decided to dig at a rug. I did "leave it" again with treats for this behavior, ended up moving a chair over the rug so he'd stop.

I don't want a high-maintenance puppy who thinks we need to play with him every second!!!

I have a Kong that I fill for him, he's not really interested.
He has tons of toys and will chew them for the squeak.
He has one real, one fake deer antler and Nylabones.
We are working with him teaching him to retrieve, his attention span lasts for about 5 minutes of this.
I ordered a puzzle/treat toy.
We can't really walk him much because he chews the leash, plays tug, gets really fiesty. My dh is the only one who can handle him. I ordered him a harness today which should help, the trainer says.

Some of us are hand feeding him at different times of the day.

We are somewhat doing "Nothing in life is free" with him, but not 100%, as no one can resist petting his cute head (until he bites you, wanting to play).

He sneaks past a barricade any chance he can get to steal socks from an unguarded room, but gives them up pretty easily for a treat.

We are just exhausted. This starts at 5:30am and continues until 10pm. He's in his crate for about 2 hours in the afternoon when no one is home, but the rest of the time he's right with us (line of sight supervision at all times). I think he naps a lot in the morning, as he's with my 18yo son, who wakes up, then dozes off (He has strict instructions to take the puppy somewhere for socialization today) but I know Nick exercises him in the yard. My other two kids get him out of the crate at 3:40 and he gets more outside time and play, I get home at 4:30 followed by Dh and we do dinner (He's starting to get really annoying then, wanting table food, which we don't give, he's starting to bark at us while we eat). And then the evening goes downhill from there. "Leave it" "Drop it" is just about all you hear until bed time. I bet he gets 100-200 treats a day (sometimes the treats are his kibble, but we also have regular treats and "very special" treats (meat) that we alternate.

I'm at my wits end with this strong-willed guy!!! Dh thinks he'll need a shock collar b/c he won't listen to us in the moment (he listens during training sessions, though).

Not something we'll try anytime soon, though, unless instructed that it is necessary. I know this is a dominant puppy (though the rescue didn't think he was, he weighed 2lbs more than all the other puppies when we picked him up). I know he is smart. I also don't know if we can handle this.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by cared7 View Post
...
There are 5 of us at home. We all take turns playing with him and we all do several sessions of training a day with him. He is awesomely smart and quick to learn. Slow to obey, however, when we are in real life mode.

He and I did "leave it" umpteen times with a treat and another treat this morning. Then, he decided to dig at a rug. I did "leave it" again with treats for this behavior, ended up moving a chair over the rug so he'd stop.

I don't want a high-maintenance puppy who thinks we need to play with him every second!!!
....

We are working with him teaching him to retrieve, his attention span lasts for about 5 minutes of this.
I ordered a puzzle/treat toy.
We can't really walk him much because he chews the leash, plays tug, gets really fiesty. My dh is the only one who can handle him. I ordered him a harness today which should help, the trainer says.

...
He sneaks past a barricade any chance he can get to steal socks from an unguarded room, but gives them up pretty easily for a treat.

We are just exhausted. This starts at 5:30am and continues until 10pm. ... Dh thinks he'll need a shock collar b/c he won't listen to us in the moment (he listens during training sessions, though).

Not something we'll try anytime soon, though, unless instructed that it is necessary. I know this is a dominant puppy (though the rescue didn't think he was, he weighed 2lbs more than all the other puppies when we picked him up). I know he is smart. I also don't know if we can handle this.
All Puppies are A LOT of work and Golden Retriever puppies by definition are high maintenance. They are not a breed who finish teething quickly and then go sleep under the kitchen table until someone feels like walking them or throwing the ball. THey are FULL ON GO and some are worse than others. This is why there are many GOlden breeders who feel strongly that GOlden puppies are not a great fit for a busy active family with kids. They require way too much work. You brought home a high maintenance puppy and he is going to be this way for at least the next 18 months or so.

What you are describing with this puppy is all 100% normal puppy stuff. He is bright and busy and needs more activity. You all are doing a great job but the lifestyle and schedule you are describing is perfect for a 2 year old Golden. It is not enough for a puppy who is an active large-breed puppy (I remember you said he is a mix who appears to be Golden/chow/? so I'm going with him being most like those breeds)

You're not going to like what I have to say but your management style is not strict enough. You admit that your 18 year old isn't doing much with the puppy in the mornings (I have a 19 year old and I understand the struggle) but this means that you need to recognize that your puppy most likely is being crated and sleeping for several hours in the morning. This is not the puppy's fault. This means that he is on GO during the afternoon and evening hours. It's not fair to expect him to sleep all night and then for several hours in the morning and then not be energetic all afternoon and evening.

Whoever wanted this puppy and whoever agreed to bring a puppy home is going to have to get on board with serious commitment to more exercise. You need real baby gates, the kind that latch and keep him in the kitchen where he can't be causing destruction in the house, this is only going to get worse as he gets older. He should not have freedom in the house. He should not be able to escape and get socks or get into trouble. He needs to have outdoor playtime, his 5 minute attention span is totally normal - he's a baby. Outdoor hikes, arrange a puppy playdate with someone who has another nice young dog or older puppy, this would solve a lot of problems if you could do it 3 times a week.

Keep a notebook log on the kitchen counter and make sure that everyone who spends time working with the puppy writes down what they did and how long they worked. I suspect it's not happening as often as you think it does. The trainer should be having you feed the puppy like a pez dispenser while walking on leash, this may help with the leash biting and it gets the dog accustomed to being in heel position. If this happens all the time it's a sign that the puppy has so much energy he needs more aerobic exercise that gets his heart rate up and leaves him panting and tired.

Puppies are a lot of work, this is like having a toddler in your home. They simply take up all your free time for the first year or two and there are no easy ways to deal with this. You don't get to watch t.v. and put your feet up much with a toddler and the puppy is the same way. He needs A LOT of time and attention and when you can't do this, he should be crated.


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Last edited by nolefan; 01-11-2017 at 11:53 AM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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18yo HATES to crate the puppy, so he doesn't get crate time in the morning. He dozes on one couch and puppy is next to him on the floor. I wish the weather were better so there were more options for getting out. We have 7 acres and they do hike the woods. I'm having him do an experiment today to see how an outing and more play will help our evenings.

I didn't do enough breed research, just knew that Goldens are generally very sweet dogs. I didn't know how smart they were, nor how high-energy. The sire was apparently a mix of Aussie/cocker/lab/chow, so yeah, a lot of high energy in there.

I do not know how people do this...The 5 of us are having issues keeping a 3 month old puppy busy!

Nick says they only nap from 8-9, but it's likely 10, I would bet. He's the one who most wanted the dog and most wants to make this work, so at least he'll be motivated to make changes. We'll see how my experiment goes. What do people do who get a puppy and work all day? I wish we had waited until summer!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:11 PM
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He's only just over three months old. A five-minute attention span is amazing at that age. My pup, now 13 months old, had a span of about 30 seconds at that age.

I've raised three pups in the last 10 years. Two of them were high-energy golden retrievers from working lines, and they were worse than what you're describing. My last Golden broke furniture and ran clean through a (closed) glass door to get at a squirrel, before she was 6 months old. My current pup has (so far) broken through screen doors, jumped into a frozen swimming pool and wrecked a folding crate. Pups are a LOT of work, especially if you have a feisty, active one, as seems to be your case.

If he's doing stuff he shouldn't, you need to restrict his freedom (crate or tethering to you). He shouldn't be allowed to "stalk the house". He's clearly not mature enough to have earned his freedom yet, so he should either be with you and under control, or in his crate. At 13 weeks of age, there's no "in-between". My pup is 13 months old and still doesn't have freedom in the house.

If your pup asks to go outside, let him go once, but go with him and make sure he does his business. He should go out to pee, or to play with a human, but he shouldn't be left to roam. If he can't be trusted to come back, take him outside on leash instead of sending him on his own. If you let him roam, he'll ask to go out all the time because he's having too much fun doing his own thing.

If he barks at you while you eat, put him in his crate in another room. You don't have to tolerate pushy behaviour.

The harness may help with walks, but training is key here. When you go for walks, fill your pockets with kibble or treats, and reward him constantly for not biting the leash. If he bites the leash, immediately change direction - do an about-turn and walk the other way. He'll have to follow and won't have time to bite the leash. Reward him for following. For a while, you may be walking in circles, but it will get better, I promise.

You're in charge here, not him. Don't pander to him - give him structure. Think of him as a toddler. You wouldn't leave a toddler on his own in the garden, or free to roam up and down the stairs, and you wouldn't give in to tantrums either.

Training a pup doesn't always give immediate results, but you will start to see some results in a month or two. The first six months of a pup's life can be rough, especially if you have a feisty one, but things will come together eventually. You're doing a lot of good stuff. Just keep it up and be patient.

Good luck.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.

Last edited by ceegee; 01-11-2017 at 12:22 PM.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:14 PM
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I have a family of 5 and my kids are 19, 14 and 10. My husband works full time and likes dogs but he doesn't walk the dog unless I ask etc. It's on me which is fine because the dogs make me happy. I'm the one trains, plays and feeds. THe kids walk by and play with the dog or pet and then 3 minutes later are off to something else. THey don't have time or an interest in learning the skills to manage the dogs much. I totally understand that you're mystified that a family of 5 can't entertain this puppy but the puppy honestly is sleeping way too much with your 18 year old in charge if they're lounging on the couch together. I understand this part.

I don't know where you live but if you're blessed with 7 acres to get this puppy out and active, please go buy each family member a pair of cheap boots from Walmart and tell them to bundle up get outdoors and get dirty with this puppy, I'd make it a requirement for the 18 year old especially. Every single day. THat's what it is going to take to live happily with this puppy for the next couple years. Take the puppy outdoors hungry and feed him kibble when he wanders off and you call him back to you. Have him learn to run back and for between two familiy members for treats.

If you have space in your home, purchase a few interactive things the kids can play with the puppy with https://www.amazon.com/100-Pit-Ball-...words=ball+pit you can put those plastic balls into a big plastic baby pool or something like this and the puppy would love it.

https://www.amazon.com/POCO-DIVO-Tun...ds=kids+tunnel

Get your husband to help you make something like this with a piece of board and a tennis ball: https://www.amazon.com/FitPAWS-20-Ca...ds=dog+agility

Things that the kids can do with the puppy and give him a treat or tug on a toy will be a reward for the puppy and keep him active.

A new trainer who specializes in agility games and competes with her own dogs might be a great help to you in coming up with things to keep this puppy busy.


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Ellie

Mack the collie boy


http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=536873
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Those are awesome ideas! 18yo could build that wobble platform...and I think he could even do a teeter-totter. I wish we had room in the house for that stuff, but it will be great outside in another month or so!

I'm ordering Zak George's book on training along with the new harness and we'll try hiking him more. 18yo is on his way to go visit the pet store, so hopefully this (and an hour less crate time today) will help him to be more calm in the evening.

I know I'm in freak out mode right now and I just need to relax and keep at it. It is very stressful when dh is really upset at the dog "running our lives." I'm just praying he's better by summer, at least a bit.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:46 PM
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"Whoever wanted this puppy and whoever agreed to bring a puppy home is going to have to get on board with serious commitment to more exercise. "

I am going to go even further on this comment. There are two adults in the house. The 18 year old is not an adult. The adults need to set a plan for what happens in the morning when the 18 year old is in charge of the pup. The plan needs to be followed. Whether the pup is put in the crate or not, it sounds like the pup has a lot of freedom instead of structured time in the am.

No matter how good your routines and training are by the time evening rolls around most pups hit the witching hour/time. By that time of day they are over stimulated and actually need a nap or quiet time before a short play time and bed. Just like toddlers most pups will not choose to have quiet time or a nap on their own. Try to figure out about what time this starts and have a forced nap time before it happens.

Some really smart active dogs need to actually learn how to relax or settle. I would ask your trainer to give you a few exercises to help teach your pup this.

I also want to say that a few days worth of lessons really doesn't mean the pup actually knows the behavior you taught well enough to do it when they are in a more distractive setting. Training vs real life. Please understand that it takes a lot of repetition in different settings for a pup to really understand the behaviors you are asking.

The frustration you feel is real but you are expecting to much to fast for this baby dog. Limiting the dogs freedoms when you cannot actively supervise will help make your life easier and will keep your pup from learning a lot of bad habits.

"He sneaks past a barricade any chance he can get to steal socks "

Unintended learning. He is learning to become an escape artist and to be sneaky getting items he values that can risk his life.

"we do dinner (He's starting to get really annoying then, wanting table food, which we don't give, he's starting to bark at us while we eat)."

At this point I would crate him in a bedroom during dinner. Eventually, after he has more impulse control, I would think of what you want him to do during your dinner time and teach that. Example: I would start teaching a go to your mat. Once the pup learns the go to your mat and will stay there for some limited amount of time I would then retrain it during dinner. Remember when training under real life distractions we start usually at the beginning or really close to the beginning using tons of rewards slowly extending the time between rewards.


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:49 PM
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Chloe is two and still steals socks lol

<a href=http://s115.photobucket.com/user/CPC1972/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_24.jpg.html target=_blank><a href=http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n290/CPC1972/Mobile%20Uploads/image_24.jpg target=_blank>http://i115.photobucket.com/albums/n...s/image_24.jpg</a></a>Rest in peace sweet Jake.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:00 PM
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I really want to say I feel sorry for you at this moment in time. To realize that this is all on you. But the bright side is you can do this. And you can have an awesome adult dog some day and along the way you will fall so deeply in love.

You do need to have a plan. You do need lots of routine and structure and as the adult and parent you do need to set rules for the entire household. They live there to and must assist you. Whether it is with the pup itself or with household responsibilities they all need to have things to do to make your house a well run happy home. Just like when the children were tiny babies sometimes things had to wait or be put aside for another day this needs to be done until you get a really good plan and routine together and get everyone on board.

From all your posts I see a strong woman that has the determination to see this through and to actually end up enjoying the journey.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 01:03 PM
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Sounds like you guys got a puppy. I think I spent the whole first month sitting on the floor with leather gloves on trying to wear her out long enough just to get dishes done. House was a wreck and there were days I had to crate and leave just for a mental break. 12-14 week we went on a road trip so there was a lot going on to keep her busy. After that it very slowly started to get better. By 7 months though I was so tired and worn out from being her personal chew toy and main playmate that we got her a friend to play with. Having 3 kids I should have known that adding more doesn't make life easier but on the plus side she dies spend a ton of time playing with him now. So here at 10 months we have some reliable down time and her spurts of chaos are pretty regular. She likes to steal anything not nailed down and her counter surfing skills are quite impressive. She is a true teen in she has attitude and selective hearing. But when she is being good she is sooooo good. It's what keeps me from ringing her little neck several times a day. Puppies suck. Really they do. But if you can get through the first year or two you will be rewarded with a fantastic dog who is a joy to be around. Hang in there.
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