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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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Grumpy Old Man
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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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She is very cute. She will settle down... I have a four month old. He’s my second golden and I am famous for saying I don’t 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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Puddles
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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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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! :smile2:
 

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We should keep in mind that some pups simply don't know 'how to ' settle down, because they have never been taught to and rewarded for it. Though in some cases it can be lack of physical and mental stimulation, others it can be too much physical and mental stimulation - which simply 'winds them' up and they are unable to calm themselves and settle.

Teaching a pup to settle (or go to a mat) on cue, is a great and useful skill for them to have.

https://www.clickertraining.com/node/3308

Once they have learned 'how to' settle on the mat, then give them something 'to do' while they are there, a bone to chew, a stuffed Kong to work on, to encourage them to remain there. Don't forget to say 'Thank you!' it is human nature to ignore the good behavior, (our dogs don't know they are getting it 'right' if we don't tell them) and pay attention (rewarding our dog) when they are doing something we don't approve of - focus on rewarding the 'good stuff'!!

Other ways to help them burn excess energy without becoming over stimulated can include the use of interactive toys, such as snuffle mats, treat dispensing balls, feeding their meals (or part of their meal) stuffed in Kongs, - you can freeze, or partially freeze them to make them last a little longer, (soak their kibble and stuff it in the kong) and the dog needs to work a little harder to get the food out. If your pup is not familiar with Kongs, make it easy to start with, don't pack it too hard, don't freeze it, once they get the hang of it, then make it more difficult.
 

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Kristy
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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....... 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....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...
Your adorable girl is 100% normal for a Golden puppy. Even though you've had other dogs, you've never raised and been responsible for a growing Golden Retriever. It's a whole different thing.

1) A walk is great exercise for your grandmother, but not for a healthy, growing sporting dog. She needs a good 30 minutes of aerobic exercise that leaves her tired and panting every day of the week. Good ways to do this are puppy play dates with another very nice young dog of a similar breed and age. Network, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. to find a NICE dog. It will make a difference. Also, Get outdoors and practice her recall on a long line, ping pong back and forth between you and your bf increasing the distance between you gradually. Places like baseball fields, church green, kids soccer fields etc. where you won't have distractions. Getting a solid recall opens up a whole world of opportunity. When the weather improves, swimming is a fantastic way to exercise a dog. Building a very solid, working retrieve would be excellent for her. DVD Sound Beginnings by Jackie Mertens can teach you how to do it. This is the best thing you could do for her, because it will be an easy way to exercise her for life.

2) I hate to disappoint you, but if you and your boyfriend both work a traditional 8-5 schedule, you have given up your couch time for the next couple of years. If she sleeps 8 hours over night and is alone 8 hours during the day (I'm guessing here) then the evenings are her time. People with puppies and toddlers do not get free time to sit and do nothing. Take her places after dinner to socialize or run errands, enroll in more classes. A smart and athletic GOlden should be in classes and exploring dog sports like tracking, agility, retrieving etc.

Start making sure she's had daily aerobic exercise and then some games and training. THen put her on a leash and make sure she starts learning a "settle" command. DO a youtube search for 'kikopup' and teach her to "go to place" and settle with a bone on a mat or dogbed. THen she goes to place while you watch a 30 minute show. If she is tackling you all in bed or on the couch, crate her so you can have some peace. This shouldn't be permitted.

Start playing games indoors, put her on a down/stay and hide a favorite toy or one of you people hide. THen release her to find the toy or the person with her nose. This works great for rainy days. IT was my first GOlden's favorite game :)

Please get into a hobby or sport of some kind with her. She looks like an absolute doll. If you don't, I promise you will look back on her in decades to come with regret. Most Goldens are very bright, but not all can do puppy class and "ace it" and be "chill". That tells us that she has focus and some working ability. That is a gift that not all GOldens have , especially so young. When you've had more dogs in the future you will realize how smart and unique she was and that she had unlimited potential to do so many things if only you'd trained for it. Don't miss out on this chance with her, she sounds special and you will only get to do puppyhood once with her. Get up and get enrolled in classes, contact local GOlden club or obedience club and try to find a mentor to take you under their wing with her. I promise you won't be sorry.
 

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Thank you everyone for the replies! They are extremely informative and appreciated!!

At present we don't currently have a large area to let her loose and chase a ball. We have sporting fields around us, but they have a strict no dog policy and are usually monitored. We have a few trails that we frequent where she has the room to unleash all the energy, but we aren't able to get to them daily.

She does love water, but we aren't totally comfortable letting her off leash to play in it. It's close to a parking lot, and I don't fully trust her recall just yet.

We are greatful that our puppy classes covered going to a mat, etc. She knows her bed, and will choose to lay on it and settle on her own, just not with us. We have a baby gate blocking her from our living room when she's being particularly rambunctious, and as soon as we block her off she'll settle on her bed quite quickly. It's when she's with us that our problem arises.

She has various toys and Kong's that we use on the daily. She actually gets fed her kibble from the big wobbler kong(not sure of the name?), she has the wishbone one that we fill with treats, and the regular kong that we stuff with food and freeze.

My bf works a 6-2 job, and I'm currently at university. She's only left alone for 4-6hrs depending on the day. We are going to enroll her in more classes at some point(probably closer to summer) once my semester comes to a close. She is incredibly smart, and we want to further her skills for sure!
At present, we aren't going to enroll in agility or something similar as we just don't have the time right now. It may be something we do in the future, but just isn't feasible right now. We try and do a lot of hikes with her, and my bf will take her after work most days while I'm still in class.

I will add, she is crate trained, and will go in on command(although her teenage brain is kicking in lately), so when we're watching a show in bed and she starts jumping, we give her the opportunity to settle with a bone, and if she doesn't, she's crated until she does (which usually she'll pass right out anyways).

Our local spca recently opened a monitored dog park, where it's a paid membership for the year. Dogs are screened before hand to make sure they're friendly and well behaved, as well as proof of all vaccinations. Do you think this would be a good idea and something we should look into? I don't agree with the regular parks as anyone could just take their dog, no matter the temperament, but thought this might be a good thing to check out?
 

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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!
It's crazy how much they do change! Your boy is adorable!
This is her at 12 weeks!
 

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