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Hey y’all! This is my first post and I’ve been reading all over the place. Great advice everywhere and appreciative of those who take their time to help us first-timers. Pio is my first Golden and I got him 3 days ago from an elderly lady who didn’t realize how much attention Golden’s require/deserve. Pio is 8 months and is great, doesn’t jump on furniture, doesn’t chew on anything that isn’t his, house trained (but wakes me up normally at night to go potty by bumping into my bed to get my attention), If I’m sitting down watching tv he doesn’t cause a scene but simply lays at my feet. he’s attached to me at the hip and refuses to be seperated, he just wants to be with me. But I do have big concerns in 3 areas.

1. Leash training-not going well at all. I have a leash that isn’t loose. I can give him all the exercise he wants, but he’s so fast and strong, I feel like him pulling on the leash might cause spinal issues. Any advice on leash training besides trying to have him walk aside you with treats to give him? Tried that and he’s more interested in hauling butt than a treat.

2. Is it normal for a 8 month old to have to pee twice in the night? I don’t give him water after 7 pm, and I let him out before we go to bed at 10 pm. I don’t mind waking up and taking him out, but since he doesn’t bark at me...sometimes I don’t wake up when he bumps my bed and he’s forced to use my floor. Poor fella. Just wish he didn’t have to go so often.

3. E-collar: since he’s so attached to me already, the minute I leave him in my room to go to work for an appointment, he flips. Whines and barks. Now the people who live where I live say that he only barks for 3 minutes and stops. But I don’t want ppl to be disturbed for those 3 minutes. Today I tried the shock collar when he barked and yelled the command “NO” from the other side of the door. He stopped after I had to shock him the second time. Is this safe? It seems effective but for some reason I feel like the shock collar could be a poor method of healthy training?

I appreciate any advice y’all have! Thanks!
 

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As far as walking on the leash, you might try different treats. Work on finding something that he loves so much it will get his attention outside. In addition to that, do not move forward on your walk until he is not pulling. At first, you might be standing still A LOT more than you're walking. You might not make it past your driveway, or even your front porch! If you walk while a dog is pulling, you are showing the dog that he gets what he wants (to go) with that behavior. If the leash is tight, stop, and don't move until he loosens up. It will take patience on your part, but he'll get there.

At night, you need to be crating him. it sounds like he hasn't learned that he needs to hold it overnight, but at 8 months, he should be able to just fine. Has he ever been in a crate?

The shock collar is not something I would personally use for training. I think you might be setting him up for quite a bit of anxiety when you leave by using it that way. Not only is his person leaving, but he's getting shocked at the same time. Now when you leave, it will be even scarier for him.

I would get a crate if you don't have one, and several Kongs. Fill a Kong full of yummy things like peanut butter, oatmeal, kibble, etc. and freeze it. Then, when you leave give him the Kong in the crate. This way he is getting something positive when you leave, rather than negative and painful.
 

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I agree with the comments above. It sounds like he just needs a lot of time and positive reinforcement when he does something right.

I have a 10 month old and he's been able to make it through the night since about 3 months. Taking water away at 7 seems a little early to me unless your an early to bed and extremely early riser. My rule is normally 1 hour before bed. I walk them right before I'm ready to go to sleep.

You definitely could benefit from crate training, but someone else is going to have to weigh in on how to do it at 8 months. I always start my guys off from the first day, normally 8 weeks.

The E-collar.... So I have field dogs and we do use e-collars in training. I don't personally train them, my son and husband do. I do know that there is a lot of work that goes into conditioning them to it. They don't just put it on and start correcting behavior with it. The dog normally knows what it's expected to do long before one is ever used. I also NEVER have used one in any part of my regular training. You should not have to use an E-Collar to train a Golden to do anything in the house. In all honesty with our field dogs it is used minimally. After a few training sessions just putting the collar on is enough for them to know it's time to go to work. They actually sit very excitedly when they see them come out because they know they are going to get to go to work. I don't think your guy is going to react that way with the way your using it.

Here's one example of when I know my husband recently used an E-Collar. Our dog was sent out on a retrieve for a duck in open water. Another hunter sent his dog in the same direction from across the water at the same time. (Apparently this is a big NO in hunter etiquette) The other dog started swimming after my dogs retrieve. My husband called our dog off the retrieve and he of course didn't want to leave the duck. (He's trained not to) My husband buzzed him, tone only, and our dog came back on the signal. My husband was afraid of what would happen with the two dogs going after one duck in the water so far from him. He and the other hunter later exchanged words.

It sounds to me like your guy needs a lot of time spent on basics. Take it back to what you would have done from the beginning. Start him over and be happy for all the things he already knows.
 

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Congrats on your new dog!


1. For leash training: It's a process, not a quick fix. Teach him a "focus" command ("look at me") to get his attention. Don't do this during walks, do it at home and don't use it on walks until he fully understands what it means. Once you can get his attention, it will be easier to teach him to walk on a leash. The treat method has always worked well for me, combined with sudden changes of direction if the dog pulls (do a u-turn and reward the dog when he catches up with you).


2. It's not normal. I'd have him checked by a vet for an infection. If no infection, there's no reason why he can't be clean overnight.


3. The shock collar is a terrible idea and is likely to make him more anxious and barky, not less. I suggest that you get rid of it. These things can be effective, but only if you really know what you're doing with them. In the province where I live, there are serious fines for people who use them incorrectly. You've only had the dog for three days; my feeling is that the barking will go away once he feels more secure. Take a small gift to any neighbours that might hear him, apologise and tell them you're working on it. Never go into the house while he's barking; wait until he stops. Don't make a big deal of leaving.


Good luck!
 
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Honesty in my answer, I think that you have your work cut out for you.


1. Leash training---You are not leash training at this point, you are undoing leash forging at this point. He has learned the wrong thing. Makes the work 10x as hard IMHO. I have said it before, I think the drill I like best appears in Morgan Spector's book. Get the book and read up on it.
2. Peeing 2x in the night---Need a vet check but you may have a dog that is producing excess urine due to stress/anxiety. Also, my current male seemed to have a problem up to 13 months old. I think poor muscle control was a factor.
3. Whining and barking---This requires a lot of patience and training. I did an awful lot of this type of training. I succeeded but IMO this needs constant tune up. Do a Google search, there is info out there. Basically you need to reward for quiet, start with short periods of time and gradually increase quiet, then reward.


Items 1 and 3 at this point require a good understanding of training techniques, patience, and consistency.

I would also like to ask you what kind of collar are you using when walking him and is it fitted correctly?


Don't give up. Good luck.
 
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