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Hi I have a six month old female golden retriever. She's a beautiful little thing but I'm having trouble with her still biting my children and getting aggressive when we try and put her lead on.

It happens when we are getting her ready for a walk and need to touch her around her neck. I have to distract her with treats but that still doesn't always stop her. She especially worst when we are free walking her in the forest and she doesn't want to go back go back on the lead. We have tried several types of treats but that doesn't work either. She's starts to snarl and bites really hard. I'm worried that she won't grow out of it and it will get worse.

She also bites my children a lot (5years and 7years). It's like she is always trying to dominate them.

Any advice would be great.
 

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This behavior sounds concerning, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. My golden never went through a mouthy phase and has never shown aggression. However, I may have a few tricks that might work. Desensitize her to the collar. Touch it to her neck and if she doesn’t react, give her tons of praise and treats. Slowly build it up every day until the point where you can put on the collar without a reaction. You might have to start out just showing her the collar. The same thing goes for the leash after you’ve been successful with the collar. Also, if she isn’t coming back to you off leash, practice your recalls in a controlled environment. Start in the house, then move outside in your yard with a leash, and so on. I would recommend keeping her on a long line out in the forest until you can 100% trust that she’ll come back and let you put her leash back on. She probably thinks that when you call her back to you, the leash is always going to go back on. Break this cycle by calling her back at random moments. If she comes, give her a reward. Then let her go back out again. If she doesn’t listen, just wait. Don’t ask twice. If you tell her to come, stop walking, and wait until she comes to you. As for the biting, have your children stand up and turn around when she bites. It may just be play biting now, but bad behavior as a puppy can turn dangerous as an adult. Whenever she bites you, abruptly stand up, turn around, and walk away. Don’t give her any attention for bad behavior. It is important to reward good behavior though. If she is calmly sitting by your children, give her a treat. Let her know what behavior you respect and what you won’t tolerate.
 

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I would really encourage you to find a good, positive method, trainer to come to your home and watch her behavior and work with you directly on the problems At 6 months old she should be biting less, so this needs intervention with good training.
 

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You need to find a dog trainer/behaviorist ASAP. I was facing somewhat of a similar situation except my pup would put her teeth on me when I put her collar on.
First started to condition her by giving her food while collar grabbing her between 3-5 months. At 6 months, she kept putting teeth randomly. it was her being bratty/disrespectful in my case, not fear or aggression. At this age putting sudden teeth on me or any human was non negotiable so I began using a pet corrector with a loud “UH UH” to engrain this command. I don’t recommend it to everyone, especially if it’s fear based aggression. Also timing is important so it’s better to have a professional who knows how to use it show you in person.

Also, what kind of lead are you using?
I wouldn’t let your dog off leash until she knows you’re the leader/shot caller of that given situation. You’ll only set the dog and yourself up to fail every time you let her off leash and attempt to coax her back. It seems to me that Off leash is more important to your dog that any treat or you.

How is her heel? How is her recall?
 

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When raising puppies with kids there are boundaries that have to be set early. I would put the puppy on a leash and tether her to my side when in the house since you know you have a problem. If the kids want to play or pet her she should either sit or lay down prior to them approaching. I would have them stroke her back, not go for her face as kids have a tendency to do. When they play with her outside you should always have control of the puppy. It's hard to train a puppy with kids present. Take the dog out in the yard by yourself and do 3 quick 15 minute leash training sessions a day. Practice heel, sit, down, and stay. Give him something to think about while he's on the leash. Take her out and play fetch with the puppy to burn off some energy and then after she's worn down a little have the kids play with her.

I have a two year old field golden and a five year old grandson. By the time Moe was 6 months old he would heel off leash for my then 3 year old grandson. It's all training of the puppy and the kids. Kids need to learn that there are rules for safely playing with puppies.

Here's a picture of Moe at around 6 months with my grandson. They were practicing heeling together. You will get through this stage but it's going to require some strict guidelines and daily training on your part.
Layne & Moe.jpg
 
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