5.5 month old can't seem to settle down - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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5.5 month old can't seem to settle down

Hi all, my pup is now 5.5 months old, and she can't seem to settle down. We've done training classes which she aced (and acted so chill and relaxed), and goes on hour long walks daily. This is my boyfriend and my first golden, but have had/trained dogs before her.
She has numerous different chews, and toys around the house but will not just relax and settle down with us.

She's still also incredibly nippy, no matter what we do. She has both physical and mental stimulation, so I'm not sure what else we can do? We'd love nothing more than to just be able to sit on the couch with her while she slept or had her bone, but every time we sit down with her, she'll bite us, jump around, etc.
When this happens we try and redirect with a toy and tell her gentle. The rare times she is, we treat/praise. It usually continues and we remove her from us so she knows when she plays rough like that, she gets separated from the pack. She'll relax when separated, and lay on the floor almost like she's upset. We'll have her separated for 10 or so minutes to let her calm down before trying again, and she'll come bounding in doing the same thing. When she gets really bad, we crate her for for a bit to really calm down.

Anyone have any tips they think might work? We just want to be able to sit on the couch or in bed with her without being bruised, etc! I'm kind of at a loss here...
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 11:41 AM
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I'm guessing she needs a lot more exercise than she is getting. Goldens REQUIRE a lot of exercise on a daily basis particularly when they're teenagers (Which your is right now.)

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 11:50 AM
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She is very cute. She will settle down... I have a four month old. Heís my second golden and I am famous for saying I donít like puppies...but I love dogs. Puppies are a pain. (to me anyway) I do all the things I am supposed to do and wait for them to grow up.

It will happen. Takes time!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 12:22 PM
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Repetitive walking for an hour is tough on the baby joints, find a better way to burn off energy and your pup needs to burn off energy. I'm not talking dog park, very dangerous :-) Maybe teach a retrieve, play tug ??? but play until they are so tired they are ready to stop.

Really cute pup!! But lots also depends on what her heritage is. If this dog comes from people that breed for say agility or field work, they by nature have far more energy and could be 2 before settling down. While I've owned "conformation" breeds with loads of energy, a dog bred for conformation is far more likely to have an off switch at this age.

I have two pups here, both are conformation bred pups but the older one (9months) still hasn't found her off switch and is over the top with energy... and she has other goldens to play with! The 6 month old is happy to snuggle, lay and chew a bone with the others so like people everyone is different.

I also work really hard at teaching the pups how to settle. Every time I catch one being quiet I give a piece of kibble. When they lay down to chew a bone, I give a hug and a piece of kibble. Some of these guys need to learn how :-)
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 12:23 PM
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Wow, she looks a lot like Piper. Do you ever play with her in the house? One of Piper's favorite things is to grab a toy and play with me in our family room. I'll just sit there and play tug of war or fetch (yes, even just a few feet away, lol), which stimulates her and gets her a little bit of exercise outside of her regular walks and back yard play. She's now getting to the point where she will be done and grab a Nylabone and chew on it while we watch TV. The kids (and us to a degree I guess) like animal shows and quite often she'll perk up and watch for a bit, lol.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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It's not a repetitive walk for an hour straight, and we don't do dog parks for obvious reasons! We have a trail that we frequent, and we work on a lot of off leash work and recall. We definitely do walk, but we work on things at the same time so she can work her mind as well. We go through our commands, etc. If she's tired we stop and go home. I don't think this is too hard on her joints?

She's never been huge on tug. She did a bit when we first brought her home, but has progressed to fetch, which we play a lot in the backyard as well as in the house. We've spent endless hours tossing the ball down the hallway!

Her mom was confirmation bred, and dad was bred more for agility. We were hoping for something more in the middle, but she seems to be taking after her dad for sure!

She's 100% rewarded every time we catch her settling, but it's never been with us. Only on her own once we've removed her from our area will she settle.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 12:48 PM
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I am in the same boat with my 11 month old. He is able to roam our backyard after we get home from work. We do take him for a walk, play ball, tug of war, give him a filled kong etc and he is a jumping crazy boy. We just got him fixed so hoping in the next month or so things will calm down but he has a hard time settling down. He really wears on the family which is sad. He doesn't like it when my husband and I try to do homework with the kids or when we are busy doing something else. He will bark, jump etc to get our attention. We just can't give him 5 hours of attention in the evening. We are at our wits end. I hope the end is in site and that his "teenage" years pass soon!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 01:24 PM
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I can't get over how 'adult' she looks at 5.5 months! I forgot how much they change in just a couple months. Here is my guy at 12 weeks! Also, on your post, I love the book 'All You Need Is Love' by Jennifer Arnold of Canine Assistants. They have a different attitude about the jumping in that it insecurity. By giving her two hands on full attention, it soothes that worry and the jumping is not necessary any more. Easy for me to say, I haven't gotten to that stage yet!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 01:47 PM
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One thing Nolefan always reminds people is their dogs needs at least a good 30 minutes of running around until their tongue hangs out exercise every day. I find that it really mellows Rukie out, although he is very mellow to begin with. I know that's hard if you don't have a place for them to run free.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 02:25 PM
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I totally agree with the comments about your pup being in the teen years with lots of energy. She's still very young and so full of energy. I also agree with the response regarding running her until her tongue is hanging out. I've said this many times in previous post, but a tired dog is a good dog...

Never exercise her on a full stomach, but you may want to select a time later in the afternoon or just before your evening time of settling down to exercise your pup. A walk is good, but a walk doesn't expel all the pent up energy a Golden naturally has. I used a toy called Chunkit, which is a ball that attaches to a hand-held wand. The wand enables you to throw the ball much further than by hand alone. When using, make sure you're in a safe place where she can run, but not be in danger of cars and other people & dogs to distract her. Let the ball rip as many times as she will retrieve it. I could always tell when our past Golden, River had enough. His tongue was hanging, and he was breathing heavily, but he would have fetched the ball more if I let him. The last thing you want is to over exercise your pup, especially at such a young age, which as mentioned in other responses can be overly stressful to their developing joints and bones.

Editing to add two quick thoughts. She appears to like the water based on your pics. Fetching a ball in the water is excellent exercise and not hard on their joints and bones. Also, from my past experience with River, throwing the ball in the house or the back yard just doesn't allow your pup to really stretch her legs and run full speed for any length of time. Hope this helps...

BTW, the last pic in your original post is priceless. What a cutie!


River, RIP Ole Boy, 5/04/08 -12/15/18

Last edited by Brodys Rockies; 01-29-2019 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Tow quick thoughts...
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