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1) Is it normal for your pup to pick ONE person in the household as their "master"? Cooper listens to my husband and seems to be better behaved with him and more respectful even though I'm the one who does most of the training. I guess it's that whole good guy vs bad guy. :( Although I do know that I'm more impatient.

2) I think we are changing our minds from neutering at 8 months (next month) to neutering at 12 months. However, Cooper is humping, seems to have more energy, jumping/biting, etc. Is this is a good move to wait? He still looks pretty puppy-ish so we wanted him to get a bit more stocky.

3) We invited our friends over who have 2 kids (2 1/2 & 1) and it did not go well. We wanted them to come over for the practice and Cooper would not settle down. We were bribing him with good treats but it only worked for a second. He was jumping on the adults and was lunging at the kids (we had him by the leash though AND they were squaling and running). I don't think he would bite but he definitely would've knocked them over for sure. We plan on starting a human family within the next year and now I'm worried that something bad will happen. How do we start preparing? I thought about buying a "doll baby" that makes noise and starting to practice. :confused: He ended up in his kennel and still would not settle down, was barking loud, so we finally put him in our bathroom........still nothing.

And finally last question! :) Sorry I'm a new golden mom. :doh:

How do you figure out your Golden's age when they are a puppy? Is it to count the weeks from their birth or go by the date they were born and every month on that day they are another month older? Cooper was born Apr 12, so I figured out he was 28 weeks old on 10/27 (7 months) but if you go by months he wouldn't be 7 months until Nov. 12th. :confused:

Sorry its so long. I haven't posted in a while, I guess it was building up! haha.
 

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1) Is it normal for your pup to pick ONE person in the household as their "master"? Cooper listens to my husband and seems to be better behaved with him and more respectful even though I'm the one who does most of the training. I guess it's that whole good guy vs bad guy. :( Although I do know that I'm more impatient.
It's not necessarily good guy vs bad guy. I think dogs learn to behave how we expect them to behave. If your husband is consistent in how he expects the dog to behave, the dog will learn to behave that way. If you are impatient or inconsistent, the dog will be confused and won't know how to act.

2) I think we are changing our minds from neutering at 8 months (next month) to neutering at 12 months. However, Cooper is humping, seems to have more energy, jumping/biting, etc. Is this is a good move to wait? He still looks pretty puppy-ish so we wanted him to get a bit more stocky.
He has a lot of energy and is going through a jumping/biting stage because of his age, not because he is intact. Even if he had been neutered young, you'd probably still be dealing with an energetic puppy and you'd still have to train him not to jump or bite. Just stop the humping by saying "Off!" and pushing him off whatever (or whoever) he is humping. Be consistent and don't allow him to hump. And keep working on the training not to jump or bite/mouth.


3) We invited our friends over who have 2 kids (2 1/2 & 1) and it did not go well. We wanted them to come over for the practice and Cooper would not settle down. We were bribing him with good treats but it only worked for a second. He was jumping on the adults and was lunging at the kids (we had him by the leash though AND they were squaling and running). I don't think he would bite but he definitely would've knocked them over for sure. We plan on starting a human family within the next year and now I'm worried that something bad will happen. How do we start preparing? I thought about buying a "doll baby" that makes noise and starting to practice. :confused: He ended up in his kennel and still would not settle down, was barking loud, so we finally put him in our bathroom........still nothing.
Rookie is 2-1/2. And he still would be overexcited if he was around small children who were squealing and running around!! He thinks that's play. If you want him to get used to being around children, you need to start with one calm child. And you should make sure that you exercise the dog until he's exhausted before letting him interact with the child. I'd also start with older children rather than toddlers. Spend a little time with the kids before you introduce them to the dog. I taught my nieces and nephews to fold their arms across their chest and turn their back if they wanted the dog to leave them alone. They learned very quickly, and so did the dog. I'm not sure the doll would make much of a difference in training the puppy. And keep in mind if you're planning to get pregnant in the next year or so, your puppy will be a dog by the time you bring home a baby. Another year or so will make a big difference in your dog's behavior and maturity. Keep working on the training and you'll have a well behaved dog by the time you have a baby around.

And finally last question! :) Sorry I'm a new golden mom. :doh:

How do you figure out your Golden's age when they are a puppy? Is it to count the weeks from their birth or go by the date they were born and every month on that day they are another month older? Cooper was born Apr 12, so I figured out he was 28 weeks old on 10/27 (7 months) but if you go by months he wouldn't be 7 months until Nov. 12th. :confused:
Once he got past 12 weeks or so, I just rounded it up to the nearest month when I was talking about how old he was. So for his current age, I'd just say he is 6 months old and leave it at that.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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yes normal for some dogs to pick one person that they choose to listen to better then others....usually the person that Plays-trains/grooms/feeds them. (in my experience ...in that order)



You have an adolescent Golden on your hands.

Obedience classes will help build your confidence...

IMHO....Forget the baby-doll....
Before you test him around toddlers again...

He needs to learn a good solid down-stay with distractions....
..a sit-stay wtih distractions...
..how to behave on leash...
..how to behave in his crate...
..more overall impulse control work.

This may sound harsh and for some, overdramatic.....
But, save his life......Get enrolled is some weekly obedience classes....and stick with them for a year before your babies start to come...

This is the kind of behavior that gets dogs dropped off at shelters or tied to garages or left in crates for 22 hours a day - especially when new babies arrive in families.
 

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1) Is it normal for your pup to pick ONE person in the household as their "master"? Cooper listens to my husband and seems to be better behaved with him and more respectful even though I'm the one who does most of the training. I guess it's that whole good guy vs bad guy. :( Although I do know that I'm more impatient. .
Yes it is quite normal for this to happen. It sounds like Cooper obviously sees your DH as your pack leader. Keep up with your training, because he will learn to respect you as well (and at the very least, the training you are doing with Cooper has made him behave properly with your husband :))

Our dog is the opposite in our family, where he listens to me and obeys my commands much more than he does with my BF. I do his training, which means that I give out all the treats :D Try using extra special treats for your training and give your husband the boring treats to use for rewards. It may help even things out a little bit!

2) I think we are changing our minds from neutering at 8 months (next month) to neutering at 12 months. However, Cooper is humping, seems to have more energy, jumping/biting, etc. Is this is a good move to wait? He still looks pretty puppy-ish so we wanted him to get a bit more stocky.
Personally we are waiting until Molson is 18 months to be neutered. It was in our contract from the breeder and based on our own research, we also agree with this practice. There are lots of vets and dog owners who prefer to neuter early, so you will have to do your own research (there is lots on this forum by using the search feature) as well.

Just remember that neutering to solve behavioural issues isn't the answer. The process may reduce some of the behaviours but they will still be existant and you will need to step up with the training beforehand and keep it up afterwards. :)

3) We invited our friends over who have 2 kids (2 1/2 & 1) and it did not go well. We wanted them to come over for the practice and Cooper would not settle down. We were bribing him with good treats but it only worked for a second. He was jumping on the adults and was lunging at the kids (we had him by the leash though AND they were squaling and running). I don't think he would bite but he definitely would've knocked them over for sure. We plan on starting a human family within the next year and now I'm worried that something bad will happen. How do we start preparing? I thought about buying a "doll baby" that makes noise and starting to practice. :confused: He ended up in his kennel and still would not settle down, was barking loud, so we finally put him in our bathroom........still nothing.
I don't have any experience with this happening personally, so I'll leave this one to other members to advise on.

And finally last question! :) Sorry I'm a new golden mom. :doh:

How do you figure out your Golden's age when they are a puppy? Is it to count the weeks from their birth or go by the date they were born and every month on that day they are another month older? Cooper was born Apr 12, so I figured out he was 28 weeks old on 10/27 (7 months) but if you go by months he wouldn't be 7 months until Nov. 12th. :confused:
Up until about 5 or 6 months old, I determined his age by the # of weeks (i.e. he came home at 16 weeks old). After that I went by the calendar months. (Jan 18th to Feb 18th is one month). I don't think it matters too much, use whichever method you choose.

Hope this helps, but I'm sure other members will also have lots of great advice too :)
 

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You have an adolescent Golden on your hands.

Obedience classes will help build your confidence...

IMHO....Forget the baby-doll....
Before you test him around toddlers again...

He needs to learn a good solid down-stay with distractions....
..a sit-stay wtih distractions...
..how to behave on leash...
..how to behave in his crate...
..more overall impulse control work.

This may sound harsh and for some, overdramatic.....
But, save his life......Get enrolled is some weekly obedience classes....and stick with them for a year before your babies start to come...

This is the kind of behavior that gets dogs dropped off at shelters or tied to garages or left in crates for 22 hours a day - especially when new babies arrive in families.
I don't think this is over dramatic...it is one of the top reasons dogs are turned in. Babies and puppies just don't mix. It is one of the education posters I keep up in the front of my daycare....infants/toddlers are too unpredictable.

I do belive with proper training and supervision (both the dog and the child;)) a beautiful relationship can emerge, but the only way to rule out risk is to seperate them. Jmho. (I cannot comment on a commercial training class as I have never seen one offered locally..I just use gates, rewards and consistency.)
 

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A dog will also respond better to a male voice than a female voice when it comes to reprimanding. A woman's voice tends to get high pitched when they are upset, compared to a man's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you all for the great advice! Cooper has been to a puppy class, I thought our Humane Society had a restriction on them coming back un-neutered after a certain age. I will have to check on that again and see if he can go back for "junior high". We liked the classes there, they were really thorough.

I have to say that the whole reason we got our Golden now (before kids) was so we could get him trained and he could "grow up" before babies were around. Plus having a baby and a puppy at the same time.......um, no thanks. :) Also, we have made the committment to Cooper and ourselves that we will not give him up. He is part of our family. He won't end up tied to someones garage or just booted out. Again, that's the whole reason we started now. And why I wanted advice on ways to fix some of this.

Funny thing about who does what around our house......I feed and train mostly and my hubby plays and exercises mostly. I started hand feeding bc Coop was getting a little "possessive" of his food. So now every morning he has to earn his meal, we train and he eats from my hand. We do need to work on lay down/stay more, he doesn't tend to lay down without a treat in my hand and then he keeps popping up bc he's so excited for food.

What kind of distractions can I do at home while he is in a stay? Ringing the doorbell, walking/running by him, wrappers, banging on pans? He is good on behaving in his crate. But we need the stays with distractions to be bumped up. His leash is mostly ok, except at the end of a walk he likes to put it in his mouth and run (if we don't run, he starts jumping) but otherwise he walks well on a leash. is there more leash training? And what is impulse control work?

Also when does their "soft mouth" kick in? Is that something to be trained as well?

I've also heard so many times that Goldens are just "naturally" good with kids. Is this just a myth? Cooper is definitely alpha (more research next time)the trainer said he was.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I think it is a dangerous myth that Goldens are 'naturally' good around kids....generally speaking they may be predisposed to tolerate more kid behaviors that might excited/stimulate other breeds....and many physically and psychologically healthy Goldens, are willing to tolerate more discomfort ...so they may tolerate an ear tug or tail tug better then some breeds. But a dog is a dog is a dog - and each dog has his or her own individual agenda and his own individual tolerances. Goldens in pain or Golden that were not bred with temperament in mind.....may not be tolerant of children or anyone else for that matter.

To some degree a Golden is born with a soft mouth....but a soft mouth can be ruined and a rough mouth can be taught to be more soft...

If you have a dog rough mouth ...then any contact with human skin result in a total withdrawal interaction...you can mark the moment that his teeth touch your skin with a word or short phrase like "NO TEETH"....followed by abandonment.
If you play tug with your dog....and he 'accidentally' touches your skin....it was no accident.....drop the toy and walk away.

Training skills have three major parts distance - duration and distractions.
You have to define your long term goal - so you can break into smaller more achievable short term goals...

One goal may be: I want my dog to remain sitting if a child runs past him 4 feet away...with me sitting next to him....
That goal is very different from - I want my dog to remain sitting if I am in another room and a child does jumping jacks next to him 2 ' away while singing The Star Spangled Banner.

Generally speaking...to train you set small goals like..
Fluffy sits on the first request with no treat to lure him into position -your practice that to 80% accuracy then move on....
Fluffy sits on the first request with no treat for a lure for 20 seconds...
Fluffy sits on first request....and remains seated while I pivot in beside him...
Fluffy sits on first request....and remains seated while I pivot in beside and doesnt break position for 35 seconds
Fluffy sits on first request....and remains seated while I pivot in beside and doesnt break position for 30 seconds...while I hold his FAVORITE toy
Fluffy sits on first request....and remains seated while I pivot in beside and doesn't break position for 30 seconds...while I hold his FAVORITE toy and take a half a step forward...

If your dog doesn't have some distance and duration under control...then to ask him to handle anything but the most mild distractions is asking for him to break position.

As far as proofing around kids is concerned...
Trace is 20 months....we live across the street from one of his favorite little boys in the whole wide world.
We are at the point where I can leave him on a sit stay...his boy can be playing on the ground in the driveway with trucks and I can go in the house turn around and come back without him breaking... (we live on a quiet dead-end street)
He can be riding his bike 10 feet away and I can be 6' away from Trace (Trace on leash)
The bike riding is much more exciting so I shorten the distance (Im 6' away) and shorten the duration (the boy is riding by)
We can remain in a sit stay with the boy playing on the ground...Trace on leash 4' away...but only for about 5 minutes.... The excitement of seeing 'his boy' so close, but not being able to touch him is asking a lot of him....so we continue to work on it.
But I wouldn't have dreamed to be that close at first...we started with us on one side of the street....boy playing on the other side of the street.

To say that Trace wont break a sit stay is not simply not true...he has his limits....and his boy is a big temptation as are many other things in the big wide world.

Liberty on the other hand, would sit for 30 minutes and watch him play....she likes the little boy, but he doesn't hold the same magic for her...so for her, he is not nearly the distraction....

Lexi would sit and be anxious....at 4', but be relaxed at 10-15'

If you cant go to classes...There are some really good websites out there
Sue Ailsby's site is nice even if you don't plant to clicker train, becuase it illustrates steps and levels...and examples of setting up a training plan.
http://www.dragonflyllama.com/ DOGS/ Dog1/levels.html

Jean Donaldson's video "Perfect Paws in 5 Days" illustrates how to set training criteria and how to handle setbacks...nice video for people that like to see examples of what they are working toward.
http://www.dogwhispererdvd.com/jean_donaldson.html

There are tons of good videos on youtube....after looking at a bunch you will see trainers that are really good and easy to understand..that share similar training philosophies...

Again...Im sorry if I came across as harsh....those that know me here know Im (generally ;-) ) not.....it can be frustrating as we seem to see rashes of people with adolescent dogs and babies...and the dogs often get shafted...

Peace...
 

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YOU ROCK, MARY! Excellent advice! :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is great advice and I printed it so I can keep it near me and mark off when we complete something. I did also look up more obedience classes at the Humane Society and it didn't say anything about being neutured so we will take the Junior High class as well. Thanks for your help. Sorry I haven't responded until now.........if you saw the thread about underwear eating.........that was me! So I've been preoccupied!
 
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