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Newton is absolutely fantastic and we love him to bits - he's 12 weeks old now and is toilet/crate trained and can sit, stay etc and is a lot easier than we ever dared expect (so far).

The only problems we are having are with the cat and the kids:

He will sit about 2 inches from the cat and patiently wait for her to finish her food so that he can 'clean' her bowl, which is great. The rest of the time though he chases and tries to play with her. She hisses, swipes at him etc, but he just thinks this is all great fun. We keep him still and stroke them both, tell him no if he chases her but nothing seems to be making him realise he shouldn't. We're worried that he will get badly scratched or the cat will leave home - any suggestions?

The other problem is I know really common. Biting! Especially our youngest 2 children (7 and 8). They are great with Newton on the whole, but when excited he lunges and snaps at them (he has drawn blood a couple of times) - then the kids obviously panic a bit and start flapping which of course makes him worse. We yelp, say no, divert with toys, ignore him etc. (not all at once) - everything we try seems to just get him more excited. I'm worried that the children will begin to be frightened of him as he gets bigger and that he'll pick up on this and think they're below him in the pack.

I read a lot about chewing and biting, but don't know if the lunging and snapping (which feels quite aggressive) is usual?

Sorry for rambling on - any advice will be very much appreciated.
 

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The biting and chewing are quite normal. Golden puppies use their mouths when playing since they are retrievers. How old are your children? Right now I would keep a leash on him so you can keep him from getting too rough with the kids.
Here are some past threads that talk about puppies nipping kids
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=42758&highlight=puppies+nipping+kids
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=66252&highlight=puppy+nipping
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=44393&highlight=puppy+nips+children
Also if you have a training place that offers puppy kindergarden near you it will help so much, especially if the kids can get involved.

In time hopefully the kitty and the puppy will get along. Make sure the cat has a safe place to go that the puppy cant get into so the cat can relax without worrying about the puppy. And keep the puppy out of the litter box. It is like a big treat to them. I use a baby gate to keep the dog out of the litter box.
 

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Debbie
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The advice and links that Carol gave you should help a lot. The key to controlling the biting is consitency....by everyone in the house. Your kids are old enough to participate as well. Each time he bites tell him, "No biting!" and either redirect with a toy or walk away. It took a couple of weeks of correcting Riley each and every time and she finally got it. She is 6 months old now and we still occasionally will have a biting moment during play or excitement. We revert back to the same corrections she learned as a young pup.

As far as the cat...it can be done. I have 5 cats and we all live in relative harmony. Your dog may get scratched once or twice before he gets the message. For the longest time (maybe up until a month and a half ago) we kept Riley primarily in one half of the house with baby gates up. This allowed the cats to get away should they feel the need. And as Carol said, a baby gate for the litter is a must. We couldn't keep Riley out of the litter boxes, even the Booda domes. Now we just keep the gate up.

As a side note about the cats...I have one cat that I recently started to let go out in the backyard. Sometimes I look out the window and see Riley and the cat chasing each other. First, in one direction and then back the other way. Too cute. When the cat has had enough he hisses and takes a swipe and the play is done for the day. Riley knows now not to get too close and knows when to back off.

Good luck!
 
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