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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, first time posting here!

We got our Golden Retriever pup, Freddie, just under 2 weeks ago (he's now a fraction over 10 weeks old) so I'm going to caveat this post with the fact that we know it's very early days and is still work in progress.

Training is going okay, he's more or less got sit nailed and will come when called (providing there aren't many distractions), crate training is work in progress but overall we're seeing an upward curve for the better, mainly that he'll sleep in there without a murmur during the night which is great. We're getting fewer and fewer potty accidents indoors too although the odd one is happening which we fully expect every now and again, he is still a baby.

The big issue we're having which we're in need of some advice on is settling and calming him down. It's clear when he become over-tired and excited as he gets excessively bitey, charges around like a crazy thing, won't listen to anything and just gets a bit uncontrollable. Unfortunately he's still isn't fully vaccinated so we can't take him out for walks but are trying to give him plenty of exercise in our back garden/yard. We've tried a few forced naps in his crate which have been mixed in their success, sometimes he'll settle and sleep quickly, others he'll just yelp the house down. We've also tried putting him on a lead and walking him around the garden so he can't get too excited outdoors (which tends to be the main cause of the hyperness), however, he just sees the lead as a tug toy, even if we take another toy or treats out to divert his attention and reward when he does not attempt to chew it.

Does anybody happen to have any tips on how to calm him down? or ways we can lead train him?

Again, I appreciate it's early days and know things will get better, it's just causing problems for my partner and I to work from home at the moment, so we could do with really working hard with him to iron this out.

Thanks very much in advance for any tips or suggestions!
Chris
 

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Kristy
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Congrats on your new puppy. He is like a toddler, it's going to take repetition, daily practice and patience over the next year or so to get through the puppy phase. This is a long term commitment to training in small steps. A lot of people think that 'sit' is the first important skill, but really it's "watch me" . Work on rewarding your puppy for eye contact with you and being still. Use kibble to train (measure out his meals into containers and that way you won't overfeed) and practice at meal times. Use mealtimes to work on things he knows every day and it helps you stay honest with practice. There are great tutorials on you tube - look through this trainer's puppy videos for great ideas, here is her "attention" video: Watch me - attention game you can also work on "settle" and "place" in addition to sit, down, stay and wait. Learning self control is so so so important for puppies and it won't be something he masters in a week or even a month. Be patient. Keep up the good work with outdoor exercise as best you can - can you travel to places where there aren't stray dogs and play in church yard, school yard, athletic fields etc? Get creative in finding places to take him as soon as you possibly can. Discuss with your vet the risk vs. reward on vaccines and staying home, a lot of places it's lower risk and he could go out with the second set of shots. Always bring treats and have anyone who makes eye contact pet and treat him for sitting nicely. Walk on leash with treats and everytime he takes a step nicely, give him a soft bit of cheese or meat. Practice in short sessions. If he's tugging on the long line, have a laugh and then be sure you have a toy to distract him with. Soft stuffed toys are great for him to sink his teeth into. Redirect him while he's young and then in a few weeks you can become more stern about telling him to knock it off when he bites the lead. Try to be consistent with your rules but be gentle and firm now and more serious as he grows.

Try looking at puppy agility toys like a wobble board - you can build one yourself, a children's play tunnel, get a big sturdy one and it will be a fun toy for life, teach him tricks, play hide and seek where one partner hides and the other partner helps puppy find him, play puppy ping pong where each person sits at opposite ends of the garden and calls puppyback and forth between, reward with soft yummy treats for each return and make it fun. Lots of creative things, mental work is just as important as physical exercise.

Give him a raw frozen beef shank or frozen kong toy stuffed with some plain yogurt and banana or broth and green beans to chew in his crate. He definitely needs to start learning that when you all are busy with chores or work he needs to chill and nap in the crate. Set him up for success by putting him in there tired. Keep a notebook with a written schedule and a training chart so you and your partner know what the other has been doing and can see patterns in naughty behavior or good behavior as he grows older and needs more exercise. Look for leads on puppy play dates - network with friends and neighbors to find someone with a nice, young, vaccinated dog of a similar breed to come have a puppy play date. CLosely supervised it can be a great way to help take the edge of your puppy's energy. Find a group that trains retrieving skills or take a lesson with someone who is a trainer, it's the best way to exercise him and use his retrieving instincts to your advantage.

Also, we need photos and his name, :) I know he's cute and would love to see him!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Nolefan, there's some great ideas here, we'll definitely be giving some of them a go!

We managed to have some success yesterday and this morning with enforced crate naps and it was like having a different puppy! After a few minutes of whining he eventually settled down for an hour or so to sleep. There were a couple of tantrums but it was mostly whining in protest.

Also, we need photos and his name, :) I know he's cute and would love to see him!!!
Of course! I meant to attach some photos to the first message and completely forgot! This little terror is Freddie (he is very cute but I may be a little bias).

880274
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Kristy
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So glad things are going well and you're right, Freddie is super cute :) I hope you'll update us with more photos of his adventures, most of us have to live vicariously with the puppy photos. Keep up being consistent, he sounds smart and will learn fast!
(watch that you all only let him have the rope toy supervised - if he starts pulling off the string and swallowing it, that's not good at all, can block his GI tract).
 

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Too cute for words, I don't think @nolefan has missed anything, the one I personally wasn't aware of, after decades with and around dogs, (only one puppy though, but that's no excuse) is that the occasional shake they give them selves is actually resetting their excitement level, so now we also compliment for that. :)
 

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Kristy
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I almost forgot, a great tutorial on Facebook is a public group called "Life with Rune" and it is the whole first year of life from 2020 with a terrific Golden trainer who is working on making her current puppy a certified therapy dog. She has trained to higher levels and has lots of life experience. Can't say enough good things about her. She has videos under the units tab organized by age. Take a look. She also answers questions.
 
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