Max's first growl fest - how old was yours when they had theirs? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Question Max's first growl fest - how old was yours when they had theirs?

We were watching one of the greatest shows on tv last night - So you think you can dance and Max starts growling like a crazy and jumping up to nip us. I mean, sure, he's growled a bit before when tugging a toy once in a great while but his tail is going like a madman.
Anyways, this was the first for this behavior. He'll be 10 weeks in 3 days. He is totally not an aggressive puppy, not acting off this AM - so what do you think was with this outburst of noise? Hoping Willows grumbliness isn't passing to the next generation.
So, do you remember when yours did something like this the first time? Is it all in fun and play? Testing his pipes? I had read the ones post about the aggressive puppy who had to be returned to the breeder. Can an easygoing and loving up turn agressive? I worry just a bit too because of Mondays incident (Willow drew blood "correcting" Max). Wondering what other puppy mommys have to say.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 08:04 AM
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He is just a normal puppy asking for your attention. But because of the incident with Willow I would make sure that you correct him consistently so he begins to understand the boundaries.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 09:41 AM
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It sounds like Max gets wound up really tight and is trying to find ways to express his excitement. Try getting him plenty of exercise, including mental exercise, to moderate those impulses. Spend 10 minutes a few times a day working on basic skills with treats, and join a puppy class if you can.

When you do see the undesirable behavior, teach him that it makes you stop interacting with him. If you yell at him, you may accidentally communicate him that you're excited and making noise too. If you physically discipline him, you may teach him to be fearful and aggressive. If you teach him that the undesirable nipping and growling turns you into a statue, you'll send a clearer (and kinder) message that it simply doesn't get him what he wants.

If he happens to offer a good behavior, like sitting or bringing a toy over, reward that with your attention and engagement.

There's nothing a Golden retriever hates more than an owner who becomes a statue, and they'll work really hard to learn how to reactivate you. Remember that when you first try this method, the dog will often do the problem behaviors even louder and more excitedly. That's the beginning of the extinction phase, and it means your technique is working. If you give up and offer attention (even negative attention) at this time, you'll teach him that being louder and more obnoxious is what works. Stay strong and eventually he'll offer a creative new behavior, often something that you've taught him that has gotten him a reward in the past (like a sit). Once he does, give him what he wants.

Rewarding good behaviors is much, much more effective than trying to extinguish bad behaviors through negative stimuli. Redirecting bad behavior into alternative, positive behavior is the swiftest, longest lasting way to teach a dog manners.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tippykayak View Post
It sounds like Max gets wound up really tight and is trying to find ways to express his excitement. Try getting him plenty of exercise, including mental exercise, to moderate those impulses. Spend 10 minutes a few times a day working on basic skills with treats, and join a puppy class if you can.

When you do see the undesirable behavior, teach him that it makes you stop interacting with him. If you yell at him, you may accidentally communicate him that you're excited and making noise too. If you physically discipline him, you may teach him to be fearful and aggressive. If you teach him that the undesirable nipping and growling turns you into a statue, you'll send a clearer (and kinder) message that it simply doesn't get him what he wants.

If he happens to offer a good behavior, like sitting or bringing a toy over, reward that with your attention and engagement.

There's nothing a Golden retriever hates more than an owner who becomes a statue, and they'll work really hard to learn how to reactivate you. Remember that when you first try this method, the dog will often do the problem behaviors even louder and more excitedly. That's the beginning of the extinction phase, and it means your technique is working. If you give up and offer attention (even negative attention) at this time, you'll teach him that being louder and more obnoxious is what works. Stay strong and eventually he'll offer a creative new behavior, often something that you've taught him that has gotten him a reward in the past (like a sit). Once he does, give him what he wants.

Rewarding good behaviors is much, much more effective than trying to extinguish bad behaviors through negative stimuli. Redirecting bad behavior into alternative, positive behavior is the swiftest, longest lasting way to teach a dog manners.

Ah, thank you - I have tried this statue thing - hard to do when you are in so much pain! My son is definitely sending the wrong signals - working on that. He tries the statue thing but he's getting hurt and he's only eight. I told him, that if Max chews on him, get out of Max's reach and stop interacting/talking to him. Hopefully that will help too!!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-04-2009, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by momtoMax View Post
Ah, thank you - I have tried this statue thing - hard to do when you are in so much pain! My son is definitely sending the wrong signals - working on that. He tries the statue thing but he's getting hurt and he's only eight. I told him, that if Max chews on him, get out of Max's reach and stop interacting/talking to him. Hopefully that will help too!!
It's really hard to get a kid to do it, particularly if the dog is nipping hard. It's one of the biggest challenges of having a puppy and a young kid in the house. Fortunately, if you guys can hang through through the worst now, Max should get the message.

You can ask your son to stand up, turn away, and fold his arms when the dog nips. Having something concrete to do might help him be consistent. Would that help him send the right message?
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