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Hi Everyone,

Hoping for some advice, or reassurance at the least! We live with our 5 month old golden Bonnie (picture attached, like butter wouldnt melt) and we’ve had her since around 8 weeks old! From the beginning she’s been quite a mouthy pup, in terms of barking and biting. We’ve got the barking relatively under control but we’re not at the stage where we were expecting the mouthing to reduce slightly, ie know her boundaries and her bite. No matter what we do, tell her no, turn our back, leave the room she still bites. By ignoring her she becomes more aggressive and will lunge at us. She has drew blood on more than one occasion, not severely but cuts nonetheless and and will show her teeth, snarl all whilst her neck fur is raised. This happens when she is playing, she looses interest and will lunge at us, inside when asked to move from the sofa or when on a walk, she will suddenly stop and begin to bite, lunge and rip what she can. We are loosing the will and have went ahead and arranged a pet behaviouralist in a few days time. Does anyone else have experience of this, is this indicative of what we’re going to have in future? Any helped would be much appreciated. Many thanks!
 

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Couple of questions. How much formal training (classes or one-on-one with a trainer) have you done with her? (I realize the last few months have been difficult because of the lockdown.) And second, when you tell her "no" to stop her from biting, what consequences do you give her when she doesn't comply?

Generally I would say that passive methods (turning your back, standing still, leaving the room, etc.) of dealing with this problem are pretty useless. This is because you haven't stopped the behaviour, you've simply stopped reacting to it. As a result, she's still calling the shots. You need a response that actually gives her a negative consequence when she bites you - for example, you put her in her crate, or you make her do something else instead, something you have chosen (e.g. lie down), not something she has chosen.

Behaviour like this is often a by-product of general lack of training. The dog gets into a system where she calls the shots and rules the humans, and she bites to reinforce that. You need to turn around your relationship so that you're in charge, not her.

A few things you can do. If she bites you when you try to get her off the sofa, don't let her on the sofa - she loses her furniture privileges. Have her wear a short leash in the house (ONLY when you are physically with her - not when she's alone) and use it to control her. Give her an alternative place to lie (e.g. put a cushion down next to the couch) and teach her that this is her place. If she bites and lunges at you on walks, step on the leash so that she has to lie down, and keep her in the down position until she's calm. If she loses interest during a game, don't play that game any more - find one that will keep her interest for longer, or do a training session instead.

I am not sure you need a behaviourist. I think a good trainer, one who teaches humans how to train dogs using mostly positive methods, would be more appropriate.

Best of luck, hope you find a solution.
 
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Is the lunging and biting playful? You didn't mention growling so it seems more play than aggression. My 5 month old Charlie does the lunge/jump/nipping at me when he gets excited about me, more than any toy that I put in his mouth.

I taught him "RELAX" by keeping a tiny container of peanut butter in my pocket. I'd put some on my finger and gesture both of my arms (palms down) to the ground, kind of like an extreme lay-down signal. He lays down, and I can calm him down by gently rubbing him and talking softly to him. Just an idea or maybe try something that your dog loves and will submit to. Charlie so much loves peanut butter he literally learned this after three rounds lol.

I tried the leash for the couch thing, but it only made him growl when I go to put on a leash for anything, so I stopped that. Just something to be cautious of because it's annoying to create a new problem trying to fix one!

Bonnie is super super cute!!:love:
 
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