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We have a 5 month old golden who is exceptionally smart. She learned simple commands, sit, stay come, down, spin, up, and her name pretty early on, but sometimes has ZERO impulse control.

In our backyard she does amazing with commands and is extremely attentive, but when we try and go for walks she sometimes completely looses all focus, has this blank stare, doesn't want treats (we use her kibble) and just pulls in every direction or digs her feet in the ground and doesn't want to move.

Has anyone else had any behavior problems like this? TIA
 

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Kristy
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100% normal puppy behavior. She just needs your time and patience. The best way to head this crazy behavior off is to make sure you build in training time, aerobic exercise - 30 minute minimum, and work on teaching that impulse control every single day. Get creative in taking her places to work with her. Practice obedience in the front yard, or at a garden center or Tractor Supply Store. Sign up for a group training class, plan on staying enrolled for the next year or two, best way to stay honest about practice and get her out and about. Teach her a formal retrieve, Sound Beginnings is a DVD by Jackie Mertens or use Bill Hilllman puppy training to get started. Go to Kikopup on Youtube and look at her videos to teach some Impulse Control exercises that will help. We have these sporting dogs that need a job and when we try to make them live an urban or suburban lifestyle without enough mental or physical work for their needs, it often makes them act up when energy is overflowing. Think about what a 4 year old little boy would be like if he didn't get enough time on the playground and time to run outdoors - our dogs need the activity just as much as children.
 

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Also- perhaps try highter value treats on those walks- something with the same protein as what she is fed. I use a dehydrated single ingredient meat treat- available in chicken, turkey, salmon and beef.
 
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