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Hey! My male golden is 23 weeks old and has become very aggressive with me for the last few weeks. I am struggling with him lunging at me and basically attacking me/biting me.
We were on a walk at the park tonight and he all of a sudden lunged and grabbed onto my arm, shorts, anything he could get his teeth on. He was growling and by the time I was able to contain him I was bleeding. When he does this, all I can do is grab his collar and try to keep him from latching on to me. Yesterday I took his Kong to refill and when I was walking away he came up to me and bit my rear and grabbed on to my shorts and started growling. He was not playing with the Kong when I took it. I experienced the same aggression yesterday after I took him out for the potty. He was on his retractable leash and lunged, growled, bit etc. I couldn't get him to stop and fortunately the neighbors dog came out and I was able to get Maverick off his leash and he went to play. I am very frustrated and frankly a little scared of this puppy. My previous golden was the sweetest thing ever and unfortunately had be put down in January at the age of six due to bone cancer. We just started dog training, but I feel like things are not getting better...just worse. I do not want to get rid of him because I think he has the potential to be a wonderful dog. I am just really struggling with how to handle this. He has most of his adult teeth now and is about 50 lbs. Advise would be great

Thanks so much.
 

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I think some professional guidance and training may be needed. In the meantime only reward positive behavior and never even acknowledge unwanted behaviors.
 

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Hey! My male golden is 23 weeks old and has become very aggressive with me for the last few weeks. ,,,,, We just started dog training.. but I feel like things are not getting better...
There is absolutely no reason to even consider getting rid of this dog. It is unfair to the puppy not to put in the foundation work he should have had all along and then be frustrated that he's turning out to be an ill-mannered ruffian.

Your puppy is hitting the age where he's turning into a teenager and he needs increased aerobic exercise and games and training to work his body and his brain. You missed out on a solid 3 months of training, start training now and you expect an immediate turnaround in his attitude, behavior and self control. That is extremely unfair to the dog and totally unrealistic. This is going to be a major project for the next year.

I'm guessing he is crated 8 hours overnight while you sleep? How long does he have to be crated during the day while you work and do chores? 8-10 hours or less? That's a long time for a puppy to sleep. The remaining hours of the day need to be filled with more time spent on activity and learning.

If you are able, start a notebook or calendar and record all the time he gets off leash playing with other dogs, hiking or swimming or retrieving and running to burn off energy. He needs a solid 30 minutes a day. Preferably 60 if you can swing it. Start recording his bratty outbursts as well. Record your training sessions. Be honest about recording how much time he spends crated while you are busy. After 2 weeks, start looking back to see if you observe patterns in his behavior in relation to the days you have time to give him proper work, training and play vs. the days when you are too busy to do it the way you know you should. (we all have those days) I guarantee you will see a pattern.
He also needs on leash obedience, work on it twice a day and practice for a good 10 minutes each time. I try to build in a minute or two at each meal to work on something and it helps me not to forget. You can practice the same things over and over if you want but it's a great way to not forget.

If you can afford it, I'd call your local/regional Golden Club or AKC obedience training club and get a referral to someone good who could give you a few private lessons with your pup. Continue with group classes but this needs immediate attention and a few private lessons could really give you some confidence in giving this dog the structure he needs.

Without seeing the actual incidents you are describing, I think the puppy is feeling either frustrated or just has energy he can't/won't control. I do not think they are aggression at all in the traditional sense. He is not behaving appropriately but he needs to be taught the correct outlets. Have him drag a cut off leash in the house, take a cheap one and cut if off to about 2 or 3 feet. Use that leash to control him when he won't listen or starts to act wild. Use a 'no-nonsense' voice (not loud, but gruff, deep, stern) and tell him 'eh-eh' and make him knock it off when he's being naughty. Timing is everything. The minute he stops, give him a command he knows easily like 'sit' and reward his good behavior with food. Immediate treat for obeying. Keep a baggie full of treats in your pockets at all times and keep a container handy on the counter for immediate rewards for good behavior.

He needs to learn things like 'down/stay' and teach him to wait while you fix his meal. He doesn't get up till you release him. On days he's had proper exercise, afterward put him on a leash while you watch one t.v. show and make him lay at your feet for a few minutes while you watch. Give him a chew bone to entertain him. Gradually build from 5 minutes to 10 to the whole 30 minutes. He needs to learn to settle and start developing some self control. He is a totally different personality than your first Golden and needs some structure and boundaries that your other dog didn't. He may have more energy and needs more work, but he will be worth it in the long run if you spend the next year or so treating him like the important, full time project that he deserves to be.

Wishing you luck and patience as you work through this. Both you and your dog deserve giving this your best effort.
 

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My puppy did this on walks every time I would take her in the mornings when she was the same age. She ripped plenty of pants and jacket sleeves. Turns out, she was so SO full of energy and the walk was extremely frustrating to her when all she wanted to do was play and run. I started throwing the ball in the yard for her for a couple minutes before the walk and that made all the difference. She really just needed to get some of her high energy out before she was able to be polite on the leash. Now as she's older and has learned more patience, she is able to listen to me and calm down without playing fetch beforehand.
 

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I will also add that it was EXTREMELY frustrating for me and others who walked her for a while. It lasted for a few months while we worked on getting energy out before walks and bringing treats on walks to reward good behavior, but it was my least favorite part of having a puppy by far and walks were something I did not enjoy. It did pass, and with work, your puppy's behavior will change also.
 

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Impulse control training games as well as increased exercise may help. Just google:). There's lots of ideas out there. We started doing this when our boy was a pup and it really helped.
 

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Your puppy is hitting the age where he's turning into a teenager and he needs increased aerobic exercise and games and training to work his body and his brain. You missed out on a solid 3 months of training, start training now and you expect an immediate turnaround in his attitude, behavior and self control. That is extremely unfair to the dog and totally unrealistic. This is going to be a major project for the next year.

If you can afford it, I'd call your local/regional Golden Club or AKC obedience training club and get a referral to someone good who could give you a few private lessons with your pup. Continue with group classes but this needs immediate attention and a few private lessons could really give you some confidence in giving this dog the structure he needs.

Without seeing the actual incidents you are describing, I think the puppy is feeling either frustrated or just has energy he can't/won't control. I do not think they are aggression at all in the traditional sense. He is not behaving appropriately but he needs to be taught the correct outlets. Have him drag a cut off leash in the house, take a cheap one and cut if off to about 2 or 3 feet. Use that leash to control him when he won't listen or starts to act wild. Use a 'no-nonsense' voice (not loud, but gruff, deep, stern) and tell him 'eh-eh' and make him knock it off when he's being naughty. Timing is everything. The minute he stops, give him a command he knows easily like 'sit' and reward his good behavior with food. Immediate treat for obeying. Keep a baggie full of treats in your pockets at all times and keep a container handy on the counter for immediate rewards for good behavior.
I agree with Kristy and GoldenGirlMinnie, your guy just needs some work. Rukie also did something like you describe a few times and although it does feel like aggression I think it is just excessive energy and excitement without the self-control or training needed to know how to act. Also keep in mind even though you love a puppy right away, it takes time for the deep bond to develop like you had with your last Golden. Try not to compare since your latest memories are of a mature dog being compared to an untrained, immature, maybe more excitable puppy. An almost 6 month old begins to look like grown-up but is still a baby. This is a hard time because they are big and strong but immature. Focus on that potential great dog, be determined to work hard on his training, and be more strong-willed than he is and you will get there.
 

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There is absolutely no reason to even consider getting rid of this dog. It is unfair to the puppy not to put in the foundation work he should have had all along and then be frustrated that he's turning out to be an ill-mannered ruffian.

Your puppy is hitting the age where he's turning into a teenager and he needs increased aerobic exercise and games and training to work his body and his brain. You missed out on a solid 3 months of training, start training now and you expect an immediate turnaround in his attitude, behavior and self control. That is extremely unfair to the dog and totally unrealistic. This is going to be a major project for the next year.

I'm guessing he is crated 8 hours overnight while you sleep? How long does he have to be crated during the day while you work and do chores? 8-10 hours or less? That's a long time for a puppy to sleep. The remaining hours of the day need to be filled with more time spent on activity and learning.

If you are able, start a notebook or calendar and record all the time he gets off leash playing with other dogs, hiking or swimming or retrieving and running to burn off energy. He needs a solid 30 minutes a day. Preferably 60 if you can swing it. Start recording his bratty outbursts as well. Record your training sessions. Be honest about recording how much time he spends crated while you are busy. After 2 weeks, start looking back to see if you observe patterns in his behavior in relation to the days you have time to give him proper work, training and play vs. the days when you are too busy to do it the way you know you should. (we all have those days) I guarantee you will see a pattern.
He also needs on leash obedience, work on it twice a day and practice for a good 10 minutes each time. I try to build in a minute or two at each meal to work on something and it helps me not to forget. You can practice the same things over and over if you want but it's a great way to not forget.

If you can afford it, I'd call your local/regional Golden Club or AKC obedience training club and get a referral to someone good who could give you a few private lessons with your pup. Continue with group classes but this needs immediate attention and a few private lessons could really give you some confidence in giving this dog the structure he needs.

Without seeing the actual incidents you are describing, I think the puppy is feeling either frustrated or just has energy he can't/won't control. I do not think they are aggression at all in the traditional sense. He is not behaving appropriately but he needs to be taught the correct outlets. Have him drag a cut off leash in the house, take a cheap one and cut if off to about 2 or 3 feet. Use that leash to control him when he won't listen or starts to act wild. Use a 'no-nonsense' voice (not loud, but gruff, deep, stern) and tell him 'eh-eh' and make him knock it off when he's being naughty. Timing is everything. The minute he stops, give him a command he knows easily like 'sit' and reward his good behavior with food. Immediate treat for obeying. Keep a baggie full of treats in your pockets at all times and keep a container handy on the counter for immediate rewards for good behavior.

He needs to learn things like 'down/stay' and teach him to wait while you fix his meal. He doesn't get up till you release him. On days he's had proper exercise, afterward put him on a leash while you watch one t.v. show and make him lay at your feet for a few minutes while you watch. Give him a chew bone to entertain him. Gradually build from 5 minutes to 10 to the whole 30 minutes. He needs to learn to settle and start developing some self control. He is a totally different personality than your first Golden and needs some structure and boundaries that your other dog didn't. He may have more energy and needs more work, but he will be worth it in the long run if you spend the next year or so treating him like the important, full time project that he deserves to be.

Wishing you luck and patience as you work through this. Both you and your dog deserve giving this your best effort.

Hi Nolefan! Thanks for the great reply. I'm a teacher, so Maverick is currently crated for an hour a day in the morning when I have some errands to do. He is crated at night from about 10:30-7:00 in the morning. We meet with a trainer one on one for an hour and a half each week. Today will be our third visit. She has us doing the unattached umbilical cord method you mentioned above. She also wants me to attach his leash to my belt for an hour a day so he realizes he is part of my pack. When I do this, he will get very stubborn and plop himself down so I can't move around. She has instructed me to wait it out which sometimes takes 15 minutes. I have been using the leash for chill time (where he is at my side and cant go far) during dinner or when watching tv. He is able to lie there for about 20 minutes. He sits and waits for his food and rings bells on the door when he needs to use the restroom. As far as exercise... I try to walk him everyday for 30 minutes and sometimes we let him swim in our pool. I have taken him to the dog park a few times, but I feel like a lot of the older dogs get aggressive with him because he is so full of energy. Sometimes when the dog park is empty, Maverick will just run laps around it until he is tired. I am hesitant to let him off the leash in our yard because I know he will just go. There are a handful of dogs in the neighborhood which he will try and find. We have an invisible fence for part of the yard, but it is currently broken ( thanks to the hubbie although he keeps saying he will fix it). My daughter videotaped the incident that occurred during our walk last night. I sent it to one of my friends and she felt like it was more of him wanting to play because after the lunge he was on his back and she said that was a submissive move. When I came down the steps this morning, he right away put his mouth on my shorts. I had him sit and wait. When my son came down, he put his mouth around his wrist. Again, I told him to sit and grabbed onto his leash until he was calmer. He's a beautiful dog and the trainer says he is smart. I think I just feel ill equipped on how to handle him.
 

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Sounds like a typical high energy dog with no obedience training or maybe just "positive only training".
One thing you could start with is get a plastic wiffle bat. You can club him all you want with it when he misbehaves and it won't hurt anything except his feelings. He has to learn to respect you before you can accomplish anything in obedience training.
 

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I remember how disappointed I was with my new puppy. My last girl (brought home at one year) was so awesome turned into a really great competition obedience dog, she died days after her 5th birthday. But she wasn't the sweet mannered, docil golden I had had in the past.
The new puppy was actually the easiest puppy, other than the land shark issue she didn't chew the furniture, learned basic skills quickly and walked nice on a leash. She has some physical problems that make it hard for her to do competition obedience but is really good at pet assisted therapy.
This latest pup (now 2) doesn't have the focus or drive to be a top obedience dog but is the sweetest, softest tempered girl.. snuggles with the cats and great grand babies.
Guess my point is each pup/dog is going to be very different. But all of them need guidance on learning manners... they will continue to be a puppy if they don't learn the behaviors you want. When a group of 8 wk old puppies wrestle, bite & chew at each other it's cute. Not so cute when they do this with people. Hard to blame the dog for doing what he knows or expecting the same behavior you have experienced with another dog.
You have what you have so get some help learning what assets this one has. This one might excel in field work or agility but be a total bust if you took to a children's hospital. Maybe when it's time to get the next dog you will work with a good breeder that can match you with a calmer, more user friendly pup.
FWIW walking is a very boring activity for a high energy dog. They are usually quick to learn, get bored easy and very willing to take on a new challenge in training. My high energy dog required about 2 hrs of aerobic exercise & training a day.. every day. We didn't do it all at one time but swimming and frisbee helped drain energy.
 

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Sounds like a typical high energy dog with no obedience training or maybe just "positive only training".
One thing you could start with is get a plastic wiffle bat. You can club him all you want with it when he misbehaves and it won't hurt anything except his feelings. He has to learn to respect you before you can accomplish anything in obedience training.
Surely you're not serious............

OP- I would not recommend doing this.
I would NEVER strike a dog, especially a pup.

In some States that is considered Animal Cruelty and you could be charged.

I would also NEVER strike a child with my hand or anything else, this is considered Child Abuse and also punishable.
 

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Yikes!! Morality of that clubbing suggestion aside, I know if I waved a whiffle ball bat around near my dog and/or bopped her with it, she would think I was playing and start jumping and biting WORSE. If it didn't hurt, she would think it was play. If it did hurt, it would be abuse. Neither of which advance your training at all, and one of which would be unethical and perhaps illegal.
 

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Surely you're not serious............

OP- I would not recommend doing this.
I would NEVER strike a dog, especially a pup.

In some States that is considered Animal Cruelty and you could be charged.

I would also NEVER strike a child with my hand or anything else, this is considered Child Abuse and also punishable.
Do you know what a wiffle bat is?
 

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I agree with NOT hitting your dog and yes I know what a wifflle bat is. It just does not seem like a way to earn your dog's respect and build a nice bonded relationship. I've had 3 well behaved Goldens and never had to hit them.
 

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I agree with NOT hitting your dog and yes I know what a wifflle bat is. It just does not seem like a way to earn your dog's respect and build a nice bonded relationship. I've had 3 well behaved Goldens and never had to hit them.
I'll bet you never let your dogs get to the point of aggressively biting people either.
I don't and that's why I don't have or need a wiffle bat.
 

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Striking an animal for any reason is an expression of frustration and anger, and a very maladaptive strategy to establish control - it solves nothing and will create far more problems than it solves. Provoking fear in a dog will not result in long term compliance. BE PATIENT. Sounds like you are fully committed to getting him help. You had 23 months of a positive connection and that will return. I would suggest a visit to the vet (if you have not already done so) to rule out something physiological that might be troubling him.
 

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I guess I have to point out that wiffle bat, healing sticks, whatever are adjustable. You don’t have to go full Babe Ruth with every swing. Just a tap is all it takes and for every tap you should be petting your pup with it many times.
 
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