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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
JJ turned one last month and he still has a real bad habit of jumping on people, pulling at their cloths, biting at their hands and going at the back of their feet when they walk away to try and ignore him when he gets in these moods. He does it to me, my girlfriend and my mother, and anybody else I'll let him get near.

We've tried basically everything we've been told by trainers and nothing has knocked the habit. We've tried and continue to tell him "no" in a deep, firm voice, we've tried to ignore him by crossing our arms and walking away, which causes him to bite us in the butt and go after the back of our feet as we walk away, we've tried to correct the behavior and get him in a sit, but he completely ignores us and is more interested in continuing the bad behavior, we've tried giving him timeouts (between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long) in his crate, and we've tried to divert his attention to toys and bones instead of hands and feet. We've been consistent with all the tactics, trying each one for one to two months before switching.

When he's not being an ass, JJ is extremely smart and knows all his commands. He's been to obedience classes and I continue to work with him regularly at home. He goes for 2-3 walks a day, so I don't believe its worked up energy. I don't believe he's doing any of this to be mean, I think he just thinks it's okay to play that way. I say that cause once it gets to the point where he needs a timeout, when you go to grab him by the collar to put him in his crate, he'll duck and try to avoid you and takes off running around the house, eventually coming back to you, jumping at you and then running away again.

Although we've seen no improvement with them, we're continuing to give him timeouts cause in all honesty it's basically the only way I can get him to stop the behavior. He doesn't object to the timeouts and pretty much trots right in (with one of us leading him by the collar) and lays right down without a peep.

Can anybody throw some suggestions my way? I told my girlfriend as well as him that if he doesn't change his act soon I'm calling the Dog Whisper
 

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Rileah's Mom
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Maybe you shouldn't walk away when you ignore. Just stand still and make yourself boring. Or maybe you can distract him when he is doing it like going through all the commands that he knows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Maybe you shouldn't walk away when you ignore. Just stand still and make yourself boring. Or maybe you can distract him when he is doing it like going through all the commands that he knows.
We've tried not walking away and just standing there stiff as can be with our arms crossed and not saying a word. The problem is, that doesn't stop him and he will continue to jump on you, pull on and rip your clothes, and bite your arms and/or feet. We can only stand there for so long and withstand so much pain and let him rip so many clothes before we have to take action and physically stop him. I wish it didn't have to be that way :(.

I run through the commands after telling him "no", but only do so once since I've been told a countless amount of times to never repeat my commands more than once since it will only teach the dog that he doesn't have to listen to me the first time. The only command I don't call out when he's doing it to other people in the house, such as my girlfriend or mother, is "come" cause I honestly don't have faith in him coming to me when he starts doing this. If I run through the commands and he doesn't listen, that's when I grab him by the collar and tell him in a loud, stern voice, "That's enough. Timeout", and lead him to his crate.

Let me also add that the behavior isn't continuous. It's sporadic. A few trainers have told me that it's probably due to boredom, but he's got hundreds of tennis balls, about 10 different bones and a half-dozen tug toys. He can't have soft toys cause he tears them apart. He play with him, walk him and do all we can to tire him out. Sometime it seems like the more tired he is, the more jumpy and nippy he gets, and the more you tell him not to do things and try and redirect his attention away from bad behavior, such as walking over and telling him to stop biting at the carpet or his bed, the more he comes after you, as if he's saying "Screw you. If I can't bite the carpet, I'm gonna bite you instead."
 

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" If I run through the commands and he doesn't listen,"

People say all the time my dog knows his commands/cues. The dog understands the command during a quiet non distractive moment and does well. But once the dog gets over excited for whatever reason the dog doesn't listen. They have not built up enough repetition of the cue and behavior in very distracting over exciting situations.

We have to build up slowly in different situations our training in more and more distractive situations building on the dogs successes. At first you/we have to set these situations up and be in control of the situations for training for success. After lots of successful training then we can use them in non training situations.

At the very beginning we ask our dogs/pups can you sit or down in the kitchen with just me there.
Then can you sit or down with me and another family member.
Then we ask in another room such as the living room.
Then we move to the backyard, then front yard, then on the corner with more distractions, then the park.
For new people coming to the house we first set up training situations with people coming and going and coming and going with lots of repetition. Then when we are really sure the pup can do it when excited we will ask if we aren't sure we prevent the pup from acting inappropriately by crating/gating etc until we have had many successes in controled training.

Figure out when your dog is getting overly excited and for now prevent him from getting to that point by managing the situation.
Set up training scenerios that slowly build up and mimic those excited moments and practice them.

Dogs don't generalize so because the dog knows sit/down/stay when asked in one situation the dog may not really know/understand sit/down/stay when really over threshold of excitement. Any inconsistency will also break down or confuse the dogs ability to perform the wanted behaviors.

Sometimes we expect more from our dogs/pups when their bodies become mature we seem to think that their brains are just as mature. They still are puppy brains that need very consistent training.
One of the things we as owners do is to start becoming lax in what we accept from oour dogs/pups because they seem to be listening so well and don't work on our training in more and more challenging settings and when they end up in that situation we expect more than they can give.

Don't be discouraged just re-evaluate both the pups skills and your own. Then just rebuild with training. Make it fun for the both of you.
I just think there is a miscommunication between you two. The pup doesn't think he has to perform the commands/cues during times he is over excited. He didn't have enough success in over excited controled situations for him to be able to successfully handle these occasions during uncontroled situations.

He isn't bored he just doesn't know any better.
 

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I don't have any great advice, but I would say that I would consider not using the crate as a timeout. You want the crate to be a relaxing, nice place that your dog chooses to go to and enjoys, not a punishment. Just my opinion!
 

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Bayne went through this stage at one year old too, he became so irritating that we constantly were giving him 'timeouts' in his crate. Once in a while now he'll get this way and I'll stand and say loudly, 'timeout' and he'll walk into his crate.... it takes everything in me not to laugh. I think one year of age is a transition from puppy to adult and they just don't want to grow up. Patient repetition is all you can do until he grows from that stage. Find a toy that will distract him, for example we have a ball that will stop Bayne in his tracks, he just has to have it. We only gave him that toy when he needed distraction.... Now I say 'ball' and he's off on a hunt.
 

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Valerie is right. We shouldn't force a dog into the crate as punishment. This is another thing we should all work on. We should be able to ask our dogs/pups to go in the crate and they should comply no matter how excited they are. This is something to train for setting up lots of different crate games. We want the pup to think that the crate is a fun, safe place.
Having a pup go into the crate as a time out doesn't have to be punishment. If we set them up to like the crate we can ask them to go to the crate and give them something to chew on in there so that they can calm down. With lots of reinforcement playing fun games with the crate, giving really good rewards in there over time asking to go to the crate, the dog will just feel good in the crate.

Until you have a solid command that the dog will go in willingly when you ask,Instead of grabbing the pup and putting the pup into the crate. Make a game grab a toy or a greatly valued treat run to the crate calling your dog make it seem like the most fun game ever and throw in the treat or toy for the dog to get. Then give lots of praise and the chew toy or kong or bone.
 

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Try teaching a default down. Good things and attention comes to dogs who down-stay. Work on it with a hand signal in no conflict situations. Train it and train it until you can ask the dog down when he jumps or bites, behaviors incompatible with DOWN.
 

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Work on building self control, dogs do not have it naturally, they have to learn it. Slowly build on the time he has to wait to eat his meals, teach 'leave it', and gradually increase the time before he receives his reward, teach stay - gradually building time, distance and distractions. Teach him 'door manners' - when he wants out, wait for him to sit - let him think about it and figure out that he needs to sit, as long as he is sitting you open the door slowly, if he gets up, you close it, and wait for him to sit (don't correct or remind him) when you open the door, and he must be still sitting, wait briefly and release him to go through, gradually build up the time before you release him, teach him 'find it'. Like you said, it is not that he is lacking physical exercise, but he could be lacking mental exercise, find ways to work his brain and make him think. My dogs are far more 'relaxed' after spending an hour in a training class and using their brains, than if they had been for a long walk.
 

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We had this same problem, totally random and annoying lol. Our trainer came out and observed and now things are much much better.

First of all don't play with him while sitting on the ground. It is most likely just over stimulation. You need to try to pin point when he is getting to the breaking point and try to stop play before that happens, pet him, calm him down and then resume playing once you are back to a place where he has self control again.

When he does mouth you, say "ouch" with your deep voice, fold your arms and turn your back to him (don't walk away). He might still jump a few times but 9 times out of 10 he will eventually offer a sit. When he does this, praise, praise, praise!! Have a few treats in your pocket for this instance.

You want to keep play time structured for now. Also if you see him getting to his "losing it" point start with some training before he can get there. Work on some basic commands to gain his focus back.

These things have worked SO well with Koda and she was quite the mouther.

If you want to play rough with him, add a cue word. My husband likes to play rough with her sometimes, I do not. So he says "Koda, wrestle" and she knows that means she gets to play with him in a different manner but she never does it to me anymore. And if she tries, I fold my arms and she quits.

I felt like it was never going to end and now it has! :) Good luck!
 

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Lola is two this month. She had a very bad habit out in the yard of jumping up on me( almost knocking me down!). She does it less now a year after owning her.... but if I am throwing the ball, sometimes she gets so excited she will run at me and jump on me still:(. I heard from one of those dog whispers on TV it is a sign that they own you or something..... and you should turn away from them each time. I am still working on that one at 2 years old. Lola does not bite.
 

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Lola is two this month. She had a very bad habit out in the yard of jumping up on me( almost knocking me down!). She does it less now a year after owning her.... but if I am throwing the ball, sometimes she gets so excited she will run at me and jump on me still:(. I heard from one of those dog whispers on TV it is a sign that they own you or something..... and you should turn away from them each time. I am still working on that one at 2 years old. Lola does not bite.
It is hard to extinguish a behavior that was once reinforced, but it can be done with patience and persistence. Not in your case, or at least not your fault, but as puppies humans, tend to reinforce jumping up behavior by paying attention to the pup when she does it, rewarding her for doing it. I would suggest, when she jumps on you - game over- - end the game, turn away and say nothing, don't look at her, and go away, go inside and ignore her for 5 minutes, doesn't matter if she follows you or not, completely ignore her, then return to playtime (repeating the process as necessary) She will learn, in time, that jumping on you ends the funtime.

I wouldn't worry about the dog 'owning you', it is simply how she has learned to play, dogs often play by jumping on each other, she just needs to learn how to play more appropriately with people.
 

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It is hard to extinguish a behavior that was once reinforced, but it can be done with patience and persistence. Not in your case, or at least not your fault, but as puppies humans, tend to reinforce jumping up behavior by paying attention to the pup when she does it, rewarding her for doing it. I would suggest, when she jumps on you - game over- - end the game, turn away and say nothing, don't look at her, and go away, go inside and ignore her for 5 minutes, doesn't matter if she follows you or not, completely ignore her, then return to playtime (repeating the process as necessary) She will learn, in time, that jumping on you ends the funtime.

I wouldn't worry about the dog 'owning you', it is simply how she has learned to play, dogs often play by jumping on each other, she just needs to learn how to play more appropriately with people.
Wow! really helpful advise!!:) Thank-you! I will do this next time she jumps on me and each time when ball throwing. Now that she is 70 plus pounds jumping on me is pretty dangerous for this almost 60 year old lady!:bowl:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All great advice, most of which we've already implemented with no success.


" If I run through the commands and he doesn't listen,"

People say all the time my dog knows his commands/cues. The dog understands the command during a quiet non distractive moment and does well. But once the dog gets over excited for whatever reason the dog doesn't listen. They have not built up enough repetition of the cue and behavior in very distracting over exciting situations.

We have to build up slowly in different situations our training in more and more distractive situations building on the dogs successes. At first you/we have to set these situations up and be in control of the situations for training for success. After lots of successful training then we can use them in non training situations.

At the very beginning we ask our dogs/pups can you sit or down in the kitchen with just me there.
Then can you sit or down with me and another family member.
Then we ask in another room such as the living room.
Then we move to the backyard, then front yard, then on the corner with more distractions, then the park.
For new people coming to the house we first set up training situations with people coming and going and coming and going with lots of repetition. Then when we are really sure the pup can do it when excited we will ask if we aren't sure we prevent the pup from acting inappropriately by crating/gating etc until we have had many successes in controled training.

Figure out when your dog is getting overly excited and for now prevent him from getting to that point by managing the situation.
Set up training scenerios that slowly build up and mimic those excited moments and practice them.

Dogs don't generalize so because the dog knows sit/down/stay when asked in one situation the dog may not really know/understand sit/down/stay when really over threshold of excitement. Any inconsistency will also break down or confuse the dogs ability to perform the wanted behaviors.

Sometimes we expect more from our dogs/pups when their bodies become mature we seem to think that their brains are just as mature. They still are puppy brains that need very consistent training.
One of the things we as owners do is to start becoming lax in what we accept from oour dogs/pups because they seem to be listening so well and don't work on our training in more and more challenging settings and when they end up in that situation we expect more than they can give.

Don't be discouraged just re-evaluate both the pups skills and your own. Then just rebuild with training. Make it fun for the both of you.
I just think there is a miscommunication between you two. The pup doesn't think he has to perform the commands/cues during times he is over excited. He didn't have enough success in over excited controled situations for him to be able to successfully handle these occasions during uncontroled situations.

He isn't bored he just doesn't know any better.
I understand what you're saying and have tired to do so. Naturally, I started training JJ in the house where it was quite and his attention was all on me. When I felt he had his commands down, I moved his training outside where there were more sounds, smells and sights to distract him. After he conquered that, I started taking him downtown and to the park for training sessions, where there were people walking by, kids playing and screaming and yatta yatta yatta. He did and continues to do great in every situation, obeying me every step of the way. I usually mimic the people who walk around my town with the Guiding Eyes dogs.

One of the problems I'm having is pinpointing when he's about to get overly excited cause its not like he does it every time in certain situations. For example, my mother may walk in and out of the house 20 times and he'll just lay there and watch her 19 times, but on the 20th time he decides to get up and jump on her and bite her. Seeing as how he was fine the first 19 times, one would think he would be fine when she did it again, but that's not always the case. Sometimes he decides to take action, sometimes he doesn't, so it's really hard to figure out when he's about to let loose. And if my some odd chance I'm able to cut him off before the behavior, he'll direct his bad behavior towards me since I won't let him near the other person. I try my best to ignore him, but it's hard when you have a dog trying to bite you in the crotch. My natural reflexes kick in then and I tend to push him away in order to protect my privates haha

Question: If he starts jumping on me, my girlfriend, my mother or anybody else in the house, should I just tell him to "sit" and wait until he does so, even if he jumps 10 times before sitting, and than reward him with praise and treats? One of my trainers told me that I should never treat a dog after bad behavior and that if he doesn't sit the first time he shouldn't get treated cause he's going to think he got rewarded for jumping. I've been somewhat reluctant to reward him after hearing that.

Valerie is right. We shouldn't force a dog into the crate as punishment. This is another thing we should all work on. We should be able to ask our dogs/pups to go in the crate and they should comply no matter how excited they are. This is something to train for setting up lots of different crate games. We want the pup to think that the crate is a fun, safe place.
Having a pup go into the crate as a time out doesn't have to be punishment. If we set them up to like the crate we can ask them to go to the crate and give them something to chew on in there so that they can calm down. With lots of reinforcement playing fun games with the crate, giving really good rewards in there over time asking to go to the crate, the dog will just feel good in the crate.

Until you have a solid command that the dog will go in willingly when you ask,Instead of grabbing the pup and putting the pup into the crate. Make a game grab a toy or a greatly valued treat run to the crate calling your dog make it seem like the most fun game ever and throw in the treat or toy for the dog to get. Then give lots of praise and the chew toy or kong or bone.
Normally, JJ will go in his crate, or house as we call it, when he's told, running right in there and sitting down once he hears "JJ, in your house". We played crate games all the time when he was younger and still do so every so often. He just won't go in there on his own when he gets in these moods. It's like he has selective hearing and knows what's on the outside of the crate is better than what's on the inside. We've tired having people come over and getting him to go into the crate, but we've had no luck no matter how hard we try and how consistent we are. At this point, we've basically run out of neighbors who are willing to come over and help with the training since majority of them are tired of getting mauled and their clothes ripped. It doesn't matter if you throw a kong pull of treats in there or his favorite toy, he'll turn to glance at it and ignore it completely. I've even crawled into the crate myself a few times to try and entice him, which I might add isn't easy for somebody who's 6'8 to do lol. People are the most exciting thing to him, more so than any treat or toy. I've never heard a dog whimper so much when meeting people. He enjoys his crate and has no problem being in there. He hasn't whimpered once while in there since bringing him home (not even during timeouts) and usually puts himself in there when he's tired. Unless I put him in a closet or construct something in the house, I don't have another area for a timeout.

Work on building self control, dogs do not have it naturally, they have to learn it. Slowly build on the time he has to wait to eat his meals, teach 'leave it', and gradually increase the time before he receives his reward, teach stay - gradually building time, distance and distractions. Teach him 'door manners' - when he wants out, wait for him to sit - let him think about it and figure out that he needs to sit, as long as he is sitting you open the door slowly, if he gets up, you close it, and wait for him to sit (don't correct or remind him) when you open the door, and he must be still sitting, wait briefly and release him to go through, gradually build up the time before you release him, teach him 'find it'. Like you said, it is not that he is lacking physical exercise, but he could be lacking mental exercise, find ways to work his brain and make him think. My dogs are far more 'relaxed' after spending an hour in a training class and using their brains, than if they had been for a long walk.
Great suggestions, but I've already been doing much of what you said since the day I brought him home. I'm always making him think and working on his patience. He can hold a "sit" for a long time, whether it be in the house when we're alone or out on a walk where other people are walking by and distracting him. He never "just gets feed". When I feed him, I make him "sit". Once he sits, I put the bowl on the floor and tell him to "stay". He than must maintain eye contact with me for at least 2 minutes before I give him the "ok". To test him even more, I blurt out random words before saying "ok" to ensure he knows the meaning of "ok" and doesn't think any random word means he can just go. He knows "leave it" since it was one of the first things we had to work on with him since we have a cat that's not all that fond of him and ferrets he could eat in a matter of minutes. "Leave it" works with animals and random things he shouldn't have, but when it comes to people, leave it is like gibberish. He doesn't go out the front door until he waits and I give him the "ok". First, I make him sit before opening the door. Once he sits, I slowly open the door and tell him to "wait". I vary how long he must wait before I give him the "ok" and release him. I do this with him before entering and exiting any door, whether it be at home or out in public. I see every door/gate as an opportunity to train him and will sometimes go out of my way just to go through a random door we didn't have to go through in order to work on this. We've been working on "find it" for the past few months. We started with a muffin pan and tennis balls and hiding a treat under one of the tennis balls and making him find it. We than moved up to two muffin pans and now three, usually which I put in different parts of the house so he has to track down which muffin pan has the treat and which ball its under. He amazes me. He gets it on the first try every time, removing only one tennis ball to uncover the treat no matter how many muffin pans we use.


I'm not trying to say you guys haven't made good suggestions cause you have, so don't take what I say the wrong way. I know some people here can get their panties in a bunch when they think you're disagreeing with them. I'm just trying to explain what I've done and what I've been doing so that maybe somebody can tell me how to adjust things or how to do something differently. JJ will be starting with a personal, in-home trainer within the next two weeks so we're hoping that she'll be able to help us handle the situation by observing first hand what he's doing and what we're doing to stop it.

If I can, I'll see if I can set up a camera and record some of the behavior so you guys can see for yourself as well and maybe give me some tips based on what you see. It's just going to be a matter of having the camera recording at the right moment since you can't really determine when he's going to turn into a mental case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's a situation that just occurred

My mother walks out of her bedroom and into the kitchen. JJ, who was minding his own business walking around the living room, bolts at her and starts jumping and pulling at her dress. She told him "no" and then "sit" and he continued to act up, jumping on her more and pulling on her skirt harder, this time ripping it. Sitting in the other room, I heard what was going on and went out the kitchen and told JJ "no" in a deep, loud voice, which caused him to turn towards me and jump at me and pull my shirt. At that point I said, "Ah Ah...JJ, sit", which made him jump on me again. When his feet touched the ground, he instantly popped back up at my mom and grabbed her skirt again, pulling on it like it was a tug toy. After about 40 seconds of him acting up like this and not listening to a single word, I was left with no option but to take him by the collar and tell him "that's enough...timeout". Mind you, now that my mother has been home since about 5pm and has had several interactions with JJ today where he could care less if she was there or not. This one time though, he decided to get a little frisky and act out. How am I suppose to see this coming when it's completely random?
 

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When Maddie acted this way, we'd put the gentle leader on her. It would calm her butt right down.
 

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I don't think JJ's behavior is atypical of a young golden. I've had two, both males, that have gotten "wired" in the evening - i.e., they want to play when everyone else in the world wants to relax. Wake (20 mos.) will lounge around after dinner and then, at 8:30 or so, he turns into a wild man. Best thing I've found so far is to let him out in the yard and play fetch with him. Or, I'll go into another room and close the door.
Dogs have their own timetables; every time I think about what a brat Wake is, I realize how far he's come since last summer. He's a sweetheart most of the time and his behavior has improved significantly. When he does misbehave, he usually follows the path of least resistance by annoying someone he can take advantage of.
Good luck with JJ - things WILL get better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When Maddie acted this way, we'd put the gentle leader on her. It would calm her butt right down.
It was suggested by some friends on mine that I leave a short lead on him until he can fully be trusted not to randomly let loose, but I haven't done so since JJ would more than likely tear it apart no matter how many times I told him to "leave it". He annihilated a Easy Walk harness once before when the dog walker mistakenly left it on him. I was so thankfully the plastic buckles were still attached. I have once or twice before thrown the leash on him when he got this way, but that just turned his attention to me and had him jumping and biting me, and if I stood there and just ignored him and let him jump on me for a few minutes, he would eventually turn his attention to the leash.

The only improvement I've seen is that after a timeout he'll discontinue the behavior. In fact, sometimes he won't ever come out for a few minutes after I open the door for him and will instead just lay there. Once he does decide to come out, he usually runs up to the person and sits in front of them for tickles, as if he's saying sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
scenario number two for the night.

JJ randomly decides to start jumping on and biting my girlfriend while she watches TV. He didn't respond to "no" and "off" when she told him and continued to jump and bite her. I, on the other side of the room at the time, stood up to intervene and JJ failed to respond to my commands as well and started to jump and bite me, rather hard at that too. The both of us stood there with our arms crossed and our backs to him. Meanwhile, he's jumping at our backs, biting us in the ass and ripping our clothes (2nd shirt for me tonight). We continued to stand there nice and stiff, or as stiff as one can be when they're getting jumped on and bitten, and didn't make eye contact for a full 2 minutes and he continued to misbehave and didn't quit for not even a second. Seeing no sign of him stopping anytime soon and the both of us in enough pain at this point, I grab him by the collar and put him in his crate for a timeout.

What do I do here, stand there even longer and let him tear the clothes right off our backs and hope his attention turns to the shreds rather than the flesh? Suggestions are greatly needed.
 

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I recently started working with my 5 y old, ****, again. He is very exuberant and we have let him jump up on us. The first thing my OCTH trainer friend made me do last week was to teach him that the only time he will get affection is when he defaults to down. It took **** less than five minutes to figure that out. Then it turns into me standing in front of him in the down and then gradually increase the distance. If he makes a mistake, we say,"eew, yuck" and turn our backs on him. It did not take him long to figure out that he gets attention when he lays down...

As far as time outs, my dogs got the kitchen, not the crate. And my guys got the minty breath spray when they got too bitey as pups(mostly with my children). My dogs in general are not that bitey as pups as there are plenty elder Goldens to teach them not to bite as well as others in this house that tolerate it, so it gets out of their system.
 
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