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We have an 11 month old male golden retriever who is usually very sweet. He obeys commands (sit, stay, wait, shake, down, leave it) most of the time, lets us take away food/bones, waits for treats and food, sleeps through the whole night, and loves other dogs. However, whenever he gets excited (which happens easily and often) he jumps and bites. His bites do not appear to be aggressive, but they have drawn blood several times. We cannot play with him without getting bit. On walks, he jumps up and bites the leash, our clothes, and us. He does not seem to respond to a choke chain, bitter apple spray, vinegar spray, yelping, or anything else. Sometimes, like most golden puppies, he goes into his zoomies, which can lead to growing, snarling, and biting. 95% of the time he does not seem to be aggressive, but again, the bites are starting to really hurt.

What can we do? We are working with a trainer, but nothing seems to be helping.
 

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It disturbs me that your dog is drawing blood. I think you should seriously discuss this with your Vet. I am not sure that you have the right trainer. Besides hurting, it could get worse!
 

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Some goldens are more exciteable than others. Penny was one...we couldn't play with her either; she turned into a maniac with no brains!:uhoh:

We kept her exercise very calm...long walks. She did have one favorite game. We called it Purple Ball because we used a purple rubber ball the size of a beach ball. Had to get one that big so she couldn't bite it and run off with it. Her game was to steer the ball all over the back yard using her shoulder. She also liked it when we tossed it to her and she would bop it off her nose. One time she kept it in the air for 4 bops. It was a game she played by herself. We would just keep the ball in play.

It sound like your boy is highly exciteable too. Not to be confused with high energy. Penny is actually quite low to medium energy. She just goes nuts...still...sometimes...at 10 1/2.
 

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I don't think a vet can help with this kind of behavior issues. I think you need to get a good trainer to come out to your home and observe the situations that this happens in, so they can give you direct suggestions. If the trainer you have is not helping, interview some others.
 

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Murdock's daddy
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We have much the same problem with Murdock. What we have done is try as another poster said to keep play somewhat calmer. We have tried to stay away from toys (and people) that make him excited. We basically allow him to play with a bone, a ball and a plushy toy. Anytime we try to let him play with anything more fun than that, he gets excited and the biting gets out of hand.

My wife and I are a little at odds about whether or not he should be allowed to mouth our hands. She thinks he should be able to as long as he doesn't bite. I'm of the feeling that mouthing at all should not be allowed due to the biting issues we have had. It is always easier to loosen up a bit later than try to get more stricked about it over time.

In addition, we have a bit of a problem with him understanding "no", "no bite" or yelping. He does not seem to be very sensitive to being a bad dog if you know what I mean. Basically, he's a bit stubborn, so we have had to rachet up the discipline a bit and try not to make it abusive or make him afraid of us.

Certainly not something I'm enjoying, especially because I feel like I always have to be on guard so no one gets bite accidently especially because some won't care or understand that he is not being aggressive, he is just playing and doesn't know the limits.

I will say it is getting better slow, so there is hope. You just have to keep at it and dig deep for some patience.
 

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We have much the same problem with Murdock. What we have done is try as another poster said to keep play somewhat calmer. We have tried to stay away from toys (and people) that make him excited. We basically allow him to play with a bone, a ball and a plushy toy. Anytime we try to let him play with anything more fun than that, he gets excited and the biting gets out of hand.

My wife and I are a little at odds about whether or not he should be allowed to mouth our hands. She thinks he should be able to as long as he doesn't bite. I'm of the feeling that mouthing at all should not be allowed due to the biting issues we have had. It is always easier to loosen up a bit later than try to get more stricked about it over time.

In addition, we have a bit of a problem with him understanding "no", "no bite" or yelping. He does not seem to be very sensitive to being a bad dog if you know what I mean. Basically, he's a bit stubborn, so we have had to rachet up the discipline a bit and try not to make it abusive or make him afraid of us.

Certainly not something I'm enjoying, especially because I feel like I always have to be on guard so no one gets bite accidently especially because some won't care or understand that he is not being aggressive, he is just playing and doesn't know the limits.

I will say it is getting better slow, so there is hope. You just have to keep at it and dig deep for some patience.
He is not stubborn, you are being inconsistent and it is confusing for him, sometimes he gets rewarded for 'mouthing', (mom doesn't mind-- attention,praise) sometimes he gets punished (you do whatever you do to stop it, and the punishment may escalate because he is not 'listening').It is not fair to allow the dog to 'bite' sometimes and punish at other times nor is it realistic for you to expect him to figure when he can or when he can't, so in all fairness, and to end the confusion for him 'no bite' should be the rule -especially if he has a 'history'. To prevent him from biting, train a solid response to the 'down' command, proof it in as many places and situtations as you can think of, and reward him for it, - the fact is he cannot mouth, jump or bite, if he is laying down.
 

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He is not stubborn, you are being inconsistent and it is confusing for him, sometimes he gets rewarded for 'mouthing', (mom doesn't mind-- attention,praise) sometimes he gets punished (you do whatever you do to stop it, and the punishment may escalate because he is not 'listening').It is not fair to allow the dog to 'bite' sometimes and punish at other times nor is it realistic for you to expect him to figure when he can or when he can't, so in all fairness, and to end the confusion for him 'no bite' should be the rule -especially if he has a 'history'. To prevent him from biting, train a solid response to the 'down' command, proof it in as many places and situtations as you can think of, and reward him for it, - the fact is he cannot mouth, jump or bite, if he is laying down.
I also think 12 weeks is too young for a dog to "get" commands like no consistently. No plus a distraction will work much better. He's a lot like a human toddler at this age. Some concepts take a lot of repetition.
 

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I don't think a vet can help with this kind of behavior issues. I think you need to get a good trainer to come out to your home and observe the situations that this happens in, so they can give you direct suggestions. If the trainer you have is not helping, interview some others.
You make a good point but I suggested a Vet to rule out a possibility that there is a physical reason for this behavior.
 

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We have an 11 month old male golden retriever who is usually very sweet. He obeys commands (sit, stay, wait, shake, down, leave it) most of the time, lets us take away food/bones, waits for treats and food, sleeps through the whole night, and loves other dogs. However, whenever he gets excited (which happens easily and often) he jumps and bites. His bites do not appear to be aggressive, but they have drawn blood several times. We cannot play with him without getting bit. On walks, he jumps up and bites the leash, our clothes, and us. He does not seem to respond to a choke chain, bitter apple spray, vinegar spray, yelping, or anything else. Sometimes, like most golden puppies, he goes into his zoomies, which can lead to growing, snarling, and biting. 95% of the time he does not seem to be aggressive, but again, the bites are starting to really hurt.

What can we do? We are working with a trainer, but nothing seems to be helping.
Your dog sounds very normal to me, just excitable. Watch him closely to learn the signals that he's ramping up--he's giving them off, you need to catch them. When he does, you need to be ready with a distraction or way to calm him down.

I agree that you need a better trainer, unless you like this one and think he or she is helping. No dog should be allowed to put teeth on a human much less draw blood even if by accident.

Your dog might benefit from mental games. Mental exercise can be just as important as physical. If you look around on here and on internet you'll find lots of ideas.

Have a plan in place for when he reaches fever pitch and make sure everyone sticks to it. Raising your voice, yelling, getting upset wont help at all. He'll feed off your excitement. When he gets that way, have something you do like put him into a down-stay, sit, or give him a time out in the kitchen or the car or something. Your trainer should be helping you figure it out. When he gets excited and over the top he should NEVER benefit or get what he wants (don't punish him, just don't let him get what he wants). My dog gets very excited when we go to the dog park. He used to bark frantically all the way there. I started stopping the car (unless someone was behind me! LOL) cold until the barking stopped, then start up again. He figured it out really fast. Same with pulling on the leash.

Hang in there. You've got an energetic playful puppy in a large adult body but in time it will all be great!

And you are invited to join the rest of us on the parents of teenagers thread where we discuss this kind of stuff daily. :D
 

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Murdock's daddy
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He is not stubborn, you are being inconsistent and it is confusing for him, sometimes he gets rewarded for 'mouthing', (mom doesn't mind-- attention,praise) sometimes he gets punished (you do whatever you do to stop it, and the punishment may escalate because he is not 'listening').It is not fair to allow the dog to 'bite' sometimes and punish at other times nor is it realistic for you to expect him to figure when he can or when he can't, so in all fairness, and to end the confusion for him 'no bite' should be the rule -especially if he has a 'history'. To prevent him from biting, train a solid response to the 'down' command, proof it in as many places and situtations as you can think of, and reward him for it, - the fact is he cannot mouth, jump or bite, if he is laying down.
No...he is stubborn, our breeder has confirmed that. Given she has been breeding goldens for 27 years, I think she has the cred to make that assessment.

Also, my wife does not praise him for MOUTHING her. She doesn't allow him to bite. Go back and read my post, you will notice I don't say anything about him being allowed to bite her or her giving him praise.

But I would agree that you need to be consist and that is why I said we are at odds on addressing the issue. I believe we need to not allow him to mouth our hands at all.

I was just going to not respond at all, but I think your being a little arrogant making a judgement when you can't even read the post and get your facts correct. Mouthing and biting are not the same thing.
 

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Excitable Behavior

During her teenage period (still going on at 13 months to some extent), Maisie could be very excitable, triggered by occurrences during walks like not getting to visit with other dogs or not getting to munch on sticks when she wanted to. Like your pup, she'd jump and bite at her leash, missing and getting my arm. I ended up with terrible bruises. Like your situation, it wasn't intentional, but it hurt -- a lot.

I'm going to echo a number of things that Outwest mentioned. I found it very helpful in those situations to have Maisie do something she was rock solid at obeying. In our case that meant a sit-stay or down-stay until she calmed down and the demon gleam went out of her eyes. It also let me stay calm. In the cases when I got upset and yelled (I have to confess to losing my patience sometimes), it only made her behavior worse -- she just got more revved up. When she was calm, we walked on, with her in heel -- otherwise, she often would start the jumping again. Another ting that helped was that while she was calming down, I rubbed her chest, not her head -- I've read and been told that's more calming to dogs.

The other things that's helped is just the passage of time and sticking with it. You may find the Parents of Teenage Puppies thread useful. Good luck and hope this is helpful to you.
 

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Maverick James;1767030]No...he is stubborn, our breeder has confirmed that. Given she has been breeding goldens for 27 years, I think she has the cred to make that assessment.
For what it's worth, plenty of breeders, and vets, for that matter, aren't all that knowledgeable when it comes to behavior. Dogs are not stubborn. Dogs do what work. Period. People are stubborn. When get a client who says he's tried so and so and the dog is too stubborn, I usually point out that the person has been doing the same thing, and it's not working, but they aren't changing their behavior ("We tell him GET DOWN every time he jumps and he still does it!"), who, really, is the stubborn one?

Also, my wife does not praise him for MOUTHING her. She doesn't allow him to bite. Go back and read my post, you will notice I don't say anything about him being allowed to bite her or her giving him praise.
To most dogs, any attention, even negative attention, is better than being ignored. So that means that when a dog jumps up and we yell "OFF" or push the dog down, that can be a reward to that dog. Many people end up rewarding behavior they greatly dislike w/o meaning to.

But I would agree that you need to be consist and that is why I said we are at odds on addressing the issue. I believe we need to not allow him to mouth our hands at all.
That's a great decision: keep it black and white for the dog. No teeth on skin, no matter if it hurts or not.

I was just going to not respond at all, but I think your being a little arrogant making a judgement when you can't even read the post and get your facts correct. Mouthing and biting are not the same thing.
Not the same depends on who you ask. It sounds like your dog is being totally over the top and is exhibiting what I'd call bratty mouthing. As a trainer, I tend to consider "biting" to be a true act of aggression vs. bratty mouthing - which is a dog who lacks impulse control and has learned he can use his teeth in a non-aggressive manner to manipulate his way in the world. Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to, though. Sucks when you're on the receiving end of the teeth!

Sounds like your dog could benefit from a lot of impulse control work (learning that being patient gets him what he wants) in a controlled environment where messing up = delays what he wants vs. earns a formal correction. Corrections such a leash pops, yelling, etc. often rev dogs up even more. I'd be doing things like sit/wait for dinner and getting up means I put your bowl away and ignore you for 2 mins then we try again. Just a simple "too bad" and I lock up your food.

Definitely watch how you play. You want to keep him sub-threshold. If he loses his mind after 5 mins of play, stop every 60 seconds and work some control exercises to get him using his brain. Teaching him a controlled tug game can work great for this. Play the game on-leash (and use a Gentle Leader head collar if you need help being able to physically manage him).

On walks, the very instant you even think he's about to start biting the leash, ask for a sit and REWARD THAT. It can't just be about what he shouldn't do (bite the leash) -- you need to make it obvious that the preferred choice is the BETTER choice because you'll pay him for it.

REMEMBER: Dogs do what work. Period.
 
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