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Hello,

I have a 5 month old golden puppy and lately it has been a battle to get him to bed. When bed time rolls around he simply goes limp and becomes dead weight forcing us to either carry\drag him or put his leash on and force him to walk down stairs. He will growl at us while we try to move him. It really is trying my nerves and it takes all I have not to completely loose my temper and blow my top at him. Any advice would greatly be appreciated. We are enrolled in puppy kindergarten.

Thanks

Steve
 

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Kate
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Treats are your friend.

If your dog gets up and willingly goes down with your to get his treat reward, then he gets a jackpot (I usually give three or four treats when my guy does something amazing). Use treats as a bribe and follow through with the BIG REWARD. Do this consistently, and your dog will be running downstairs ahead of you to get his treat.

Do not drag, pull, carry or whatever. This is only going to make your dog defensive and growly - as you are beginning to discover.

The other thing is to let your dog sleep upstairs with you. I don't understand keeping the dogs seperate from the family. Really. As I type, my guy is sprawled out under the bed and the cat is sleeping at the foot of the bed. Heaven. :)

ETA - I thought I'd add for emphasis on the "power" of treats... I use eyedrops on my Jacks every other day or so to keep his eyes clean and healthy. I also trim his toenails every once in a while. Both events are BAD and HORRIBLE, according to most dogs. But I can generally get my guy to go running to the spot where I eye drop or trim toenails when I pick up the bottle of clippers - this because he knows he's going to get an amazing jackpot afterwards. :)
 

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Hi, I'm Wendee
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Does he sleep in a crate at night? One thing I would suggest is to make bedtime fun for him and maybe get some special treats for him that he only gets at bedtime. My dog Sailor gets a couple of small treats when its time for her to go in her crate and she happily runs into her crate to get her treats. She only gets that treat for going in her crate. Find a little treat he likes and try it, even if he is stubborn he might give in.
 

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1) Feed meals in his crate/ bed location. Divide up his daily portion so that you have even more practice time. As in, feed him 2-3 tiny little breakfast meals in the crate... he gets one, then let him out and go about your morning routine, have him go in again for another one...let him out, etc, and same thing during other times of day.
2) Practice going into the crate, giving him a few bits of REALLY GOOD treat (a few tiny pieces of hamburger ) then let him out. Do this 2-3 times per day, completely separate from bedtime.
3) Make the crate location less of an alone thing.

It's great you have signed up for a class! 5 months is past the primary socialization period ( it ends between 3-4 months), a basic training class is probably more beneficial at this stage.
 

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The other thing is to let your dog sleep upstairs with you. I don't understand keeping the dogs seperate from the family. Really. As I type, my guy is sprawled out under the bed and the cat is sleeping at the foot of the bed. Heaven. :)
I don't expect that everyone will agree with me here, but I just wanted to say that not everyone wants to have a pet sleep in their bed or room with them and that's ok. I totally respect your choice to sleep that way.

I love our pup dearly but I will not allow her to sleep in the same bed as me. I feel the same way about my children - love, love love them, but they have their own space and they sleep in their rooms. All our bedrooms are at one end of the house and the hallway is gated so that Zali does not go in that area. The bathroom where I bath her is down that way too so Zali is more than happy not to go in this area. Having two kids aged 12 and 9 means that their rooms always have things around on the floor which could be hazardous to Zali so it's also for her safety. Even if I invite her past that gate, she is not interested. Our living room is our family place to hang out and Zali sleeps in that room.

To the OP, I'm going to agree totally with the treats. Also I find that if Zali is already sleeping on the floor with us, she is normally easier to coax to bed than if she is up and having a good old time with a toy. So we wait until after 11pm to put her to bed. We have however, been known to carry her into her crate but at 17kg she is starting to get a little heavy for me to do that anymore and also a little big to try to get through the gate without doing my back an injury. This is one of the reasons I have been thinking of leaving her out to sleep at night - haven't had the guts to try it yet!
 

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Jazz was miserable at bedtime and would cry every night. This went on for 10 nights. I moved her crate in my bedroom and she never made a peep again. She doesn't sleep in a crate anymore but has her own bed in my room. I have not allowed my dogs to sleep in my bed but I have no problem with other people doing that.

Goldens love their people and they can become sad and anxious when they are separated from you.
 

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If it's possible to move his crate into your bedroom at night, I think you will find that the battle will end. It sounds like he would much rather be near you than confined away from you.
 

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x2 on "Treats are your friend." My 13 week old puppy walks to his crate when I snap my fingers and say "crate" at bedtime. I give him a Pup-per-oni treat to reward him. He doesn't make more than a peep or two after I leave him.
 

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Our pup's crate isn't in our room, but the bedroom next to ours. I tell him kennel up and throw in a treat. We also played a million crate games with him as a puppy. Order the book "Crate Games" and make the crate a fun place.

Do you ever use kongs stuffed with treats? That is our evening wind-down routine. Gibbs gets one kong, usually half full to enjoy while we watch TV. We keep a routine. He is ready to kennel up when I am brushing my teeth and he leads me to his crate. We tried leaving him out at night once, and while he was 100% fine... he seemed to want to be in his crate instead.
 

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Our adult dog gets two meals per day -- Amber [14 weeks] gets four. Two of them are in her crate so there is no competition with the other dog. The bedtime meal is very small, about 1/2 cup, and it is in her crate. I carry her bowl into the room she sleeps in and she follows me or runs ahead of me to get in. BTW, her crate is in the guest room across the hall from our room so she can see us in bed. No complaints if she sees us, but if we leave the room she wants out to be with us.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the advice. I started using string cheese as a bedtime reward/treat. Its been work great! Thanks again..
 

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Joey was the same at that age! His crate is now kept in the basement because it is the darkest place in our home. It is fully furnished and heated and everything though.. so not like a cold dark cellar! Now Joey will see me get up and he just follows me down stairs to his crate. I sit him down outside it give him some night time kisses and hugs and tell him goodnight, sweet dreams, I love you and I'll see ya in the morning! Nightly routine :) I can't WAIT until we move (in 1 year!) my bedroom will be the basement of our home so Joey and I can sleep down there and Joey can sleep with me EVERY night<3333
 
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