Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Helllo everyone!

I am a new member and I am so excited to hear from all of you! My boyfriend surprised me with my dream dog in October for my birthday :) our golden boy named Carson. This is my first dog that I have owned that isn't a family dog...so we're learning a lot on the fly.

Carson is 8 months old now, and he is a great pup. He has some biting habits when he plays, he jumps on people, etc. the usual puppy stuff that we are trying to control on our own. I've asked two people who I've known to have goldens if they took theirs to obedience classes, and they both said no. However, my mom came over not too long ago, before this COVID-19 mess, and joked that he may need some classes. She's not used to puppy behavior, so it may just be foreign to her and that's why she made that comment, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Sometimes I look at him when he's riled up and it's so hard to control his behaviors when he's excited, and I think maybe we should consider it...

What i'm also afraid of is the fact that I don't know when we would even be able to do this due to what's going on in the world right now. So all in all, I'm asking:
1. Can I have a well behaved perfect golden w/o classes??
2. Did we miss the window if we decided to do classes? Should we have started earlier? - he's 8 months, and may be closer to 10-11 by the time we're able to leave our homes again.

Thank you all in advance for your advice!!!!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
Goldens are big, bouncy dogs with a lot of energy and they need obedience training to function well. Behaviours like biting, jumping and so on don't go away on their own - if they did, your dog would no longer be doing these things. And he's just about to hit adolescence, so he will need a lot more structure than he needed when he was a puppy.

My opinion:
1. No, it's not possible to have a well behaved, perfect golden without training. Group classes are ideal because you dog has to learn to obey in spite of distractions, and he can do this in class.
2. You haven't missed the window - you can start training at any age - but it's a whole lot easier if you start early. If you start when they are pups, you can get them on the right track while they're small and before they develop bad habits (biting, jumping, etc.). If you start later, you have to start by breaking the bad habits and then replacing them with desirable behaviours. It takes more effort, but it's perfectly doable.

In the meantime you can find stuff online to help you. Learn about dog behaviour, find a site that will teach you how to train a dog using positive methods.

Best of luck.
 

·
Golden Ret Enthusiast
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
Only if you know how to train and socialize your puppy. Classes aren't for training the puppy, they are for training the owner to do the training at home till the next class, like homework then they teach you something else to work on so on and so forth.

Classes are also for socialization. Your puppy needs to learn how any around other pups. This is also good to lean how to focus on you when around other people and puppies.

So it's possible but only if you know for to do all these things yourself. With many bring on lockdown, you may need to do this from home but you should at least be enrolled in an online class if there are any. The only thing you'll be behind in is the socializing part.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,060 Posts
1. Can I have a well behaved perfect golden w/o classes??
2. Did we miss the window if we decided to do classes? Should we have started earlier? - he's 8 months, and may be closer to 10-11 by the time we're able to leave our homes again.
First, my recommendation for anyone purchasing a golden retriever puppy - please line up a good dog training club and commit to 6 sessions of classes between the time your puppy is about 12 weeks old and the point when he's about 2 years old.

Most dog training clubs have 3 sessions a year.

First year, I would do puppy classes (12 weeks to 4 months), basic obedience or boot camp (6+ months), and CGC level obedience (9+ months).

Many different clubs have different options if you want a more gradual track between puppy classes and CGC classes.

Second year, would suggest a mixture of CGC and rally classes or trick classes or nosework classes. Basically classes that continue to reinforce manners in public around other dogs and people, while also asking more of both trainers and the dogs (which is more fun). You can do these classes with the goal of putting titles on your purebred AKC registered dog..... or you can simply do them for fun.

FWIW - trick titles can be accomplished via video - which is pretty huge right now since a lot of us are going stir crazy without any reasonable goals for getting anything done this year (most shows and trials have been cancelled through fall). You video your dog doing some pretty basic tricks (only 6 if your dog has a CGC title, 10 if not) and email that to an evaluator (I think they charge $20). I've asked question along this line an it seems they ask for an uncut video which shows your dog performing named tricks twice. If they pass your dog, that all gets sent to AKC for a very easy title - especially for introverts or nervous nellies who balk at doing trials or public tests with their dogs.

Nosework - I watched my puppies' breeder do this with her corgis and I thought it actually looked stressfree, easy, and fun. It's basically dogs are trained to find items which have been scented (there's apparently different scents per level). I've seen a lot of dogs of nonobedience breeds who have a ball doing nosework. For a breed like goldens (very nosestrong) should be a lot of fun.



Now specifically answering your questions -

1. Yes, if you are experienced and know more about dog training than most. ;) Most things about dog training can be learned from books and videos. However, your own application and handling skills are usually learned hands on.

Most people's dogs are obedient and well behaved in the home and backyard, but biggest complaint some people have is they have a dog that they can't take anywhere because he goes nuts about other dogs and people.

Biggest thing a dog learns through regular classes (those 6 sessions) is how to behave when other dogs and people are near and in sight. They learn to focus on the owner and blow off everything else.

2. It's never too late to start - I STRONGLY SUGGEST that you find a good trainer to train with. Not petstore, daycare, grooming store, veterinarian hosted dog classes that primarily are focused on socialization. You need to find a dog training club or private facility where the trainer is going to help you communicate with your dog.

Communicate is motivation, praise, observation, correction, rewards, connection, etc...

Many people never learn properly how to communicate with their dogs. It gets worse when human thinking and behaviors are attributed to the dog.

Have you missed a window? Unfortunately yes. The key time to begin training a puppy is when that pup is 8 weeks old through 4 months. That's when they are dependent on their owner and more focused on their owner while also complete sponges when learning everything.

5-8 months old - is that period of time when dogs get SUPER FIXATED on other dogs, on smells, on visuals, on sounds - and it can be a lot more difficult to both train the dog and learn how to communicate with a dog who is at the end of his leash with his head spinning every single class.

Many people who do puppy classes for the first month with their pup.... and then come back to classes when they have a teenaged pup - they sometimes are completely miserable in classes because they are constantly trying to bribe, beg, etc.... their dogs to get them to listen and look at the owner.

It's sometimes so bad that people either quit halfway through a session or quit right after and they never come back to classes with the excuse "their dog doesn't enjoy it". And this is unfortunate, because if they stick to train their dogs and do another year of class sessions (with a good trainer) with their dog, they will succeed. It's just a lot tougher when the dog has never been in classes in his life, or the only classes happened when he was a puppy and they were all about playing with other puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
"First year, I would do puppy classes (12 weeks to 4 months), basic obedience or boot camp (6+ months), and CGC level obedience (9+ months)."

I would love to do this, but so far there is nothing to take because of the coronavirus. My local obedience club is shut down. Some of us are having to make do in the beginning and learn on our own. I'd love to do obedience eventually. Right now, Logan (my 18 week old Golden) is stuck with me and I'd be a novice to obedience.

So, I'm doing my best to read, watch videos, sign up for online classes, etc. It's frustrating because I'm not a professional dog trainer and I know I'm messing up. Logan is smart as heck. On a positive note, I have TONS of free time to train him. 😃

To the original poster -- don't wait any longer. Start teaching your puppy in a positive manner what he is and isn't allowed to do. The earlier the better. Teach him not to bite on you, jump on you, jump on counters, etc. The resources are out there to teach you to teach him. There are quite a few youtube channels you can watch to teach your puppy the basics. I like McCann Dog Training and Kikopups.

This was suggested here, is free, and is very helpful:

Home School the Dog

Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
886 Posts
1. Can I have a well behaved perfect golden w/o classes??
Yes but it might take awhile. there is a risk that he might carry over some undesirable naughty puppy habits into his adulthood and be set in his ways over time.
2. Did we miss the window if we decided to do classes? Should we have started earlier? - he's 8 months, and may be closer to 10-11 by the time we're able to leave our homes again.
Nope, still a good age, better late than never! I'd suggest going for group classes vs 1-1 type classes as you get to experience a whole different setting in a group!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,593 Posts
Given your other thread, it may be worth your while to consider a professional trainer when this whole world crisis is over. I am a first time dog-owner myself, and speaking from experience, I can tell you that I learned a lot more from hands-on instruction than I did from youtube videos. Plus, in-person trainers can help you problem solve if one technique doesn't work for your pup.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,060 Posts
"First year, I would do puppy classes (12 weeks to 4 months), basic obedience or boot camp (6+ months), and CGC level obedience (9+ months)."

I would love to do this, but so far there is nothing to take because of the coronavirus. My local obedience club is shut down. Some of us are having to make do in the beginning and learn on our own.
Bad luck to you and most who have puppies right now.

Even those of us who were hoping to get rolling in the obedience rings with multiple dogs this year, we are kicking walls right now. And doing what we can on our own.

My response was w/r to a question about whether obedience classes are necessary (normal circumstances), asked by somebody whose pup is 8 months old and has not been in obedience classes.

My comment was first addressing what people SHOULD DO in normal circumstances. And then answering the questions the OP asked regarding a dog who is almost a year old - in normal circumstances.

Because odds are likely come fall people are going to have puppies and be looking around for training information when they come to this post. Does not make any sense to only answer from the perspective of a very temporary situation that will blow over in 1-2 months and be forgotten in a couple years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Bad luck to you and most who have puppies right now.

Even those of us who were hoping to get rolling in the obedience rings with multiple dogs this year, we are kicking walls right now. And doing what we can on our own.

My response was w/r to a question about whether obedience classes are necessary (normal circumstances), asked by somebody whose pup is 8 months old and has not been in obedience classes.

My comment was first addressing what people SHOULD DO in normal circumstances. And then answering the questions the OP asked regarding a dog who is almost a year old - in normal circumstances.

Because odds are likely come fall people are going to have puppies and be looking around for training information when they come to this post. Does not make any sense to only answer from the perspective of a very temporary situation that will blow over in 1-2 months and be forgotten in a couple years.
I was expressing my own frustrations. And yes, I’m sure there is plenty of frustration and disappointment to go around.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,060 Posts
We are all doing what we can on our own right now.

I train my guys in my driveway, on our street in front of my house, at the empty pet stores (We still are allowed to bring our dogs to petstores), in empty school parking lots, training in front of the empty store fronts, at downtown pavilions, etc.

These are all things I would do with a 4 month old golden - the same I'm doing with my 10 month old. They could through fear stages even as teenagers. As long as you stay away from other people and keep to yourself, you should be fine taking your dogs out and getting him used to and confident in different places, different noises, sights, etc. Socializing is not just bringing your dogs to class and having them play on the training floor while you sit by and watch them. It is doing all of the above which you would be doing in addition to bringing your pup to classes.

With a 4 month old, I'd be working on stays, recalls, retrieves, heeling on leash and off leash, position changes, beginning on scent/tracking games, etc. There is a lot to teach at home - and you'd want your dog to know by the time he's 6 months old and able to get out into classes.

Training at home with a 8-12 week old puppy (as in even younger than your pup) - I would be working on teaching trade, soft mouth, "spit", "let me see what you have" (you have pup bring whatever he has so you can look at it and hand it back), I would be gently teaching leave it and "off", I would be teaching "go settle" or "place", I would teaching your pup go to kennel or we call it "go to your room" games (pup goes running to his crate and goes in to lay down. Now is the time to teach a pup to go up on a table and hold still while you brush him and blow dry him (very low and more getting used to the sound and feel away from his face), etc.

There is much to work on at home. And keep in mind we will all be back training our dogs in regular classes in 1-2 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
People have been successfully training their own dogs for years without paid trainers and classes. The situation today presents the ideal opportunity to D.I.Y. and still have a well mannered and behaved dog.
Admittingly, my 1yr old Golden was a harder "nut to crack", than any other dog that I have owned in 25+ yrs, but unlike yesteryear there is a ton of quality FREE info out there to take advantage of.
This is my favorite FREE trainer's videos. (FF works to get to the meat of the videos, beyond the obligatory adverts.)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
We are all doing what we can on our own right now.

I train my guys in my driveway, on our street in front of my house, at the empty pet stores (We still are allowed to bring our dogs to petstores), in empty school parking lots, training in front of the empty store fronts, at downtown pavilions, etc.

These are all things I would do with a 4 month old golden - the same I'm doing with my 10 month old. They could through fear stages even as teenagers. As long as you stay away from other people and keep to yourself, you should be fine taking your dogs out and getting him used to and confident in different places, different noises, sights, etc. Socializing is not just bringing your dogs to class and having them play on the training floor while you sit by and watch them. It is doing all of the above which you would be doing in addition to bringing your pup to classes.

With a 4 month old, I'd be working on stays, recalls, retrieves, heeling on leash and off leash, position changes, beginning on scent/tracking games, etc. There is a lot to teach at home - and you'd want your dog to know by the time he's 6 months old and able to get out into classes.

Training at home with a 8-12 week old puppy (as in even younger than your pup) - I would be working on teaching trade, soft mouth, "spit", "let me see what you have" (you have pup bring whatever he has so you can look at it and hand it back), I would be gently teaching leave it and "off", I would be teaching "go settle" or "place", I would teaching your pup go to kennel or we call it "go to your room" games (pup goes running to his crate and goes in to lay down. Now is the time to teach a pup to go up on a table and hold still while you brush him and blow dry him (very low and more getting used to the sound and feel away from his face), etc.

There is much to work on at home. And keep in mind we will all be back training our dogs in regular classes in 1-2 months.
Thank you. I've been working on most of these things. No scent work. I hope all is back to normal in that time frame and there is something available to fight against it for the next round.

I haven't actively taught retrieve yet. We've played with a ball, but he doesn't always bring it back -- although he comes back.

It is nice there are so many resources out there.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,060 Posts
Thank you. I've been working on most of these things. No scent work. I hope all is back to normal in that time frame and there is something available to fight against it for the next round.

I haven't actively taught retrieve yet. We've played with a ball, but he doesn't always bring it back -- although he comes back.
Teaching retrieves is not just throwing something and having a dog fetch it up. Teaching retrieve is training the dog to pick up an item, hold an item, and only release the item when told "give". People serious about training retrieves will go months before they begin throwing items and expecting the dog to bring it back.

Among else, a golden needs to learn how to search for something before bringing it back. There are many situations where the "prey drive" (what causes a dog to get really excited about chasing after a thrown tennis ball) is shut down by a dog who had to go out when directed, use his nose to hunt for a placed item (or something that was thrown without him seeing where it landed), and bring it back successfully.

Related but separate - Scent games to play with a pup to train him to fetch -

Pup is either outside or in his crate (out of sight). You take 4-5 treats and hide them in different spots around a room. You can build a track to each spot (Dragging your feet and touching the treat to the floor.

Bring pup in and turn him loose to "find it".

Each time the pup finds a treat = that's an instant reward and motivation.

You can also play hide and seek games around the house. Have somebody hold the pup or take him outside. You build a track (drag your feet) all the way to your hiding spot. Hide in different spots each time you play this game, because these are smart dogs - they remember where you hid last. You want to train a pup to use his nose and hunt for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Teaching retrieves is not just throwing something and having a dog fetch it up. Teaching retrieve is training the dog to pick up an item, hold an item, and only release the item when told "give". People serious about training retrieves will go months before they begin throwing items and expecting the dog to bring it back.

Among else, a golden needs to learn how to search for something before bringing it back. There are many situations where the "prey drive" (what causes a dog to get really excited about chasing after a thrown tennis ball) is shut down by a dog who had to go out when directed, use his nose to hunt for a placed item (or something that was thrown without him seeing where it landed), and bring it back successfully.

Related but separate - Scent games to play with a pup to train him to fetch -

Pup is either outside or in his crate (out of sight). You take 4-5 treats and hide them in different spots around a room. You can build a track to each spot (Dragging your feet and touching the treat to the floor.

Bring pup in and turn him loose to "find it".

Each time the pup finds a treat = that's an instant reward and motivation.

You can also play hide and seek games around the house. Have somebody hold the pup or take him outside. You build a track (drag your feet) all the way to your hiding spot. Hide in different spots each time you play this game, because these are smart dogs - they remember where you hid last. You want to train a pup to use his nose and hunt for you.
Thanks for the information. Hide and seek sounds like fun. I do that with my grands. lol ;)

This is the frustration I was trying to express earlier. I'll listen, read, watch videos, and do what I can. I am serious about training. Knowledgeable guidance is difficult at this time. I appreciate your input. It feels like I'm missing a lot of information during formative times. I'll start doing the scent games. I wasn't because I didn't know about scent games and thought you were talking about something for hunting dogs. I'm sure once the local obedience club gets going again, we'll be learning a lot -- especially me.

Anyway, I feel like I've hijacked a thread and my apologies for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I highly recommend the McCann Dog Training channel on YouTube! We have a golden puppy too & they have really helped us especially, since we're stuck at home right now. Hth :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
727 Posts
Yes. My puppy is 17 weeks old and we’ve yet to have a formal class because well, covid-19. But you can bet she’s working every day with me on everything I know from all of my classes I have had with my 21 month old golden. We actually just completed my 17 week old’s novice tricks title tonight! But once class is back in full force....she will be in class!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
I did not read all the responses however, I did read the first and I totally disagree. First understand that when you bring a dog for any training you are the one being taught in actuality. Than you take your new found knowledge and practice it with the dog. I know this works because I have owned six dogs in my life. However I have a golden just a little older than yours. If you practice kindness and have patience she will calm as she gets a little older. If you want to stop the nipping or jumping simply fill a can with small stones. When she jumps or nips shake the can hard and give her a verbal STOP. This should help. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Training, I agree, is for the owner as much as the pup but Iook at it like this....a house with a dog needs to be a happy house and can be only when ALL are happy. We need to be happy knowing our pups are well behaved as much as we enjoy their love they give us and happy when they do not mess up the place too much. They need to be happy being dogs and we need to be happy being humans. Knowing their needs in balance with mine (definately lean towards my needs), especially when a pup means a happy house.
And, keep at the basics. When pup listens to "SIT" command she/he cannot jump when sitting. So, I would keep a lot of time in on the basics, revisit them reguraly. I agree with the mentions of so much support out there on line....I used many techniques and with a lot of success.
I think I may have been lucky with Hudson, my now 8 mo old precious girl. She is so good, listens all the time, comes when I call her.....I do work from home so I do spend a lot of time with her....we live near water in the wonderful Outer Banks of NC so she gets into the sound and fetches for me twice a day.....there are many other dogs in our community and she plays everyday.....so, I know she is happy, then I am happy, too. I get to allow her to spend energy productively outside and I get to, as well.
Good LUCK!!!
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top