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Hi guys,
I wanted to hear your opinion on how best to handle the following issue.

Our puppy is a female almost 7 months old. She is wonderfully obedient inside the home and performs some tricks too. She eats her food only after we give her the go sign. She does sit, stay, down, kiss and is in general a very affectionate puppy. But its a whole new puppy we get on the walks. She has these episodes/fits where she keeps jumping up and biting us (hands/coats/gloves/leash). We have tried ignoring her standing in one place and continuously turning away but since she continues biting this is very hard to do. I usually ignore this behaviour and keep walking keeping my hands out of reach and eventually she walks alongside and I reward her. This is what I see as management of this behaviour but it has not decreased at all in the past few months.

Some of the triggers we have been able to identify is meeting other dogs, not getting to meet other dogs, not being allowed to eat/bite something off the street. She doesnt start lunging towards other dogs, usually waits, greets them for a few seconds, gets over excited, then starts this strange behaviour usually directed at us. Because of this I think its an excitement/frustration problem rather than a fear aggression, but it could be the other. Especially since she also shows this behaviour when she gets over excited in the backyard too. She's going for puppy classes and is getting spayed next week. But any suggestions would be great!
 

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I don't see any aggression or fear in what you posted, I see a typical young golden that is excitable & not sure how to displace the energy. Definitely keep up w/ classes--know that what she knows at home doesn't automatically get generalized to other locations, lots & lots of practice in varying locations. Where are you taking classes?

Is there a reason you're having her spayed so young?
 

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I don't see agression either. Chloe will be two tomorrow. When my mom takes her in the back yard she plays for awhile. But then she gets over stimulated and starts jumping and biting my mom. My mom has learned to only play a certain amount so she doesn't get over stimulated. She doesn't do it all the time but once in awhile.
 

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This is not aggression. This is an exuberant puppy with pent up energy. Does she ever get a chance to run loose in an open area? Have you ever taken any obedience classes with her?

I would also hold off on getting her spayed. She is really young. It's actually much healthier to wait until they are fully physically mature before spaying and neutering, which for Goldens is generally between 18 and 24 months old. It also greatly reduces the risk of cancer by waiting. When you cut off their sex hormones so young, it interferes with their skeletal maturity and can increase the likelihood of hip/elbow dysplasia. The only reason why most vets recommend spaying/neutering so young is that most people cannot handle an intact dog and they want to avoid any accidental breedings; however, it really is in the dog's best interest to wait. You'll just have to keep her away from any intact males when she is having a heat cycle.
 
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Re:

Thanks for all your replies guys. Your insight really helps.

I term it as aggression, because in those phases its very hard to get through to her, she snaps, jumps and growls and tears jackets with her bites. She has not yet punctured skin but she does hurt us. Currently I take her for 1 hour walks in the morning and evening with backyard fetch time some days. We play tug at home where she growls in play, but plays very well with the rules of the tug game.

I am afraid to go to a dog park when she is so badly behaved and does not have good recall yet. Would you take such a dog to the park? Even though I feel I'm trying to do the right thing for her, and have to be patient and continue managing this behaviour its already very embarrassing when people or other dog owners stare at this large breed dog jumping on the street biting her owner. She shows all the signs of an overstimulated dog with certain triggers, I just dont want her to be practicing this behaviour so often that it becomes a lifelong habit. I'm crossing my fingers that this is an age thing.

I am aware of the differing opinions out there on the right time for spaying for the best health outcome. I've done the research and talked to my trusted vet about that. Also, I cannot imagine her not getting her daily walk just to avoid male dogs when she goes into heat to avoid breeding. So I'd also personally prefer getting her spayed before her first heat.
 

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She's not getting enough aerobic exercise (daily) & I imagine her noggin isn't being challenged either--this is a sporting breed, bred to work in a field all day. Where are you taking classes & what classes have you guys completed? I have what I call "Teagan Tattoos" from nips training my girl who can easily get overexcited, exercising the mind & body as well working on focus & impulse control got us through that stage. I'm not a fan of dog parks as I find more dogs there that shouldn't be there owned by people who are clueless on reading their dog. If that's your only option for off leash time, try to find a time when it isn't occupied. Also check out ball fields & school grounds where you could get some room for her to stretch her legs out, use a 50 ft long line if you need to.

Are you a member of your local GR club? If not, members might be a great resource for you.

As for the spay issue, my girl will turn 2 in March & will be spayed shortly thereafter--while I trust my vet, I don't believe the spay at 6 mos mentality is valid for the GR breed & thankfully I have a breeder who supports delayed spay/neuter and a vet who is respectful of my decision. When Teagan was in heat, she still went to her obedience classes (on lead) wearing panties--the kennel club I train at welcomes the distraction. I also still walked her, though not in residential areas & I don't live in an area where I have to worry about roaming, unaltered males on the prowl. Just some food for thought.
 

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20 years of Golden Retrievers, I absolutely agree that your dog is not aggressive, she is overflowing with energy, both physical and mental, she needs aerobic exercise every day and needs to be working onleash obedience and learning new things a couple times a day (5 - 10 minutes sessions). She hasn't learned that the behavior she's showing isn't acceptable.

If you aren't enrolled in formal obedience training, search online for dog training or obedience club in your area. Get a referral to someone good for some private lessons if you've never taken a class. Your local Golden Retriever Club or AKC club can give you leads. This is very important.

As Sheets mentioned, Golden Retrievers are a sporting breed, they were originally bred to run and swim as fast as they can over short range distances to retrieve a bird shot by a hunter, with brief rests in between, all day long. It is very difficult for the average suburban or urban pet home to give them proper exercise. A walk around your neighborhood is good exercise for you grandmother, a leash walk is not not sufficient exercise for a young healthy Golden Retriever approaching her prime. She needs more than she's getting currently.

By all means, if you are not in a position to ensure your dog doesn't get pregnant, spay her before her first heat. Every pet owner needs to decide what is the best thing for their circumstance. However, be aware that however much you may trust your vet, there is plenty of concrete evidence showing that it is not the best thing for her. Gonadectomy effects on the risk of immune disorders in the dog: a retrospective study | BMC Veterinary Research | Full Text
https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/golden-retriever-study-suggests-neutering-affects-dog-health
 

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Full disclosure: I don't spay/neuter unless there is a health issue. That being said, I think the most recent info recommends against early spay/neuter especially for Goldens. I advised my puppy owners that if they did early spay/neuter it would void my contract with them. AND I have seen males develop a "Neutered" coat. It looks like cotton candy. I don't like it. Not sure if this happens with females.
 
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