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.