Training my 8 month old - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Training my 8 month old

Hello Everyone! I am new to the forums and Golden Retrievers! I've had Collies all my life and know how to teach and train them, but Goldens are completely different! Can you guys help guide me with teaching her how to not be SO naughty all the time?! I love her enthusiasm and her always smiling, but she is constantly getting in trouble and I want to stop it before it gets worse!
  • She is HIGHLY food motivated. So much so, that she will steal food from the kids and counter surfs!
    She loves fabric! She's torn holes in a couple blankets, is obsessed with the kitchen towels, steals clothes out of baskets (regardless of if they are clean or not!).
    Shoes....don't even get me going. I don't know how many of my son's shoes she has ruined. He now puts them in a drawer so she can't get to them!
    Going for walks is crazy.....the only thing that I have found that she won't pull with is the Gentle Leader, but she spends 80% of the walk trying to get it off her nose!
    Anything she can get her mouth on to chew on, she, aforementioned shoes and fabric, anything really...She even got a hold of my pin cushion somehow. I caught her right away, but she had a pin in her mouth!

According to the vet, she does now have all her adult teeth in, so she should be done teething...which is what I chalked a lot of her chewing behavior up to. I've bought her numerous things to chew on....2 Kongs, 1 Kong stick (which she destroyed in 5 minutes!), 2 Nylabones (1 she has the ends chewed down on now), bully sticks, etc. She goes for walks daily and gets to go really run at the dog park at least once a week (kind of hard to do since my son is 5 and the dog park doesn't allow kids under 9 in).

She is very I know she can be taught how to curb these behaviors. She knows sit, down, shake, and kennel (she goes in that when we are not home). She is a sweetheart and loves to cuddle. She is afraid of her own shadow though, but is getting better. My kids love her to pieces. What do I need to learn to help mold her into the great, well-behaved, family dog that I've always seen growing up? Nothing that worked with Collies, works for her!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 10:14 AM
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Welcome to the golden family! Collies are wonderful dogs but you are right, completely different than goldens. Collies are "working" dogs goldens are sporting dogs and bred to work the fields for hours and will requires a ton more exercise and training. See if this link offers some good training tips and enjoy the training.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:16 AM
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A lot of these things (pulling on leash, counter surfing, etc.) are training issues. My first suggestion would be to get her into a good obedience class given by a trainer who teaches humans how to train dogs. Goldens need formal training; there's really no way around it. They can be wonderful family pets, but they don't come that way - you have to train them to be the kind of dog you want. However, going to class is useless if you don't practise the exercises at home.

As for the stealing, chewing of shoes, etc.: Goldens are retrievers, meaning that they explore the world through their mouth. The first thing to do is to pick up all your stuff, always, so that the dog can't get to it. Organization is key. Put shoes away, don't leave clothes baskets lying around, etc. The fact that she has access to these things is making the problem worse. We have a couple of boxes of "dog stuff": nylabones, safe toys, etc. The dogs are taught that they can take things from these boxes whenever they want. Make sure everything you put in there is safe - i.e. no rope toys, no tennis balls, and so on. Kongs, nylabones, chew-proof balls and safe stuffed toys are fine. It will be a process to teach her how to use the box, but once she knows these are "her" things, she should turn her attention away from "your" things.

Best of luck.


Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 03:42 PM
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I so agree with the comments already provided. Our Brody is just shy of 7 months by days, so we're pretty close to the same age as your pup. BTW, what's her name?

Brody is our second Golden, so we have been through the puppy stage twice. I especially agree with the comments about this breed being a sporting dog that has years of retrieving bred into them.

Getting or having a GR puppy is like adding a baby to your family that at 8 months is now into the toddler stage. Since you have younger children you already know how much trouble they can get into. Just yesterday, my wife took off a pair of shoes after getting home. Fortunately, they were an old pair of sandals. Brody got hold of one and chewed it up pretty good. Our bad for not anticipating this before it happened. Even though it was our fault for letting shoes lay around, we disciplined Brody by showing him the chewed shoe and then held the shoe in front him while saying Bad dog! This is not yours...We used a firm voice, but we never hit our dog. A GR has such a desire to please that they can tell when you're not happy with their behavior.

That said, if you don't want something destroyed, pick everything up and put stuff away until your dog learns what is hers and what is not. Keep lots of safe toys around as already mentioned. We also use beef bone shanks. The bone marrow is healthy for your dog, and the bone is hard enough that rarely will your dog be able to break the bone, though this can happen. If your girl breaks the bone shank in half, immediately throw it away so she doesn't try to swallow a piece of bone.

The only other comment I have is one that I think so applies to a GR. A tired dog is a good dog! There is a huge difference in a dog that has been exercised to being tongue hanging tired vs. one that isn't getting enough of real exercise. Letting your girl get a good run once a week isn't enough. I understand you have challenges with younger kids and the area where you want to take your girl. If possible try to find a new safe location where you can take her for a good run daily.

While all dogs are a bit different, we can always tell when Brody has pent up energy. He will start running like a wild animal in the house. Or, when we first go outside with him on his lead, he will pull hard on the lead, but after he gets a little tired, he will stop pulling as hard. By the time we run him good, and then put him back on his lead, he doesn't pull at all.

Other than the comments about teaching your pup right from wrong and obedience classes, my suggestion is to put more time into exercising your girl to expel all that pent up energy. I hope this was helpful.


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

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