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Hi, this is my first post. I love this forum and have found so much of the information useful. Our puppy is almost 12 weeks old, we have had her for 9 days. Unfortunatly she was not purchased from a reputable breeder. We got her at a pet store for Christmas, the pet store gave of limited breeder information. She was born in South Dakota, and we live in and purchased her in Florida. Why did she end up here? Our household consists of myself, hubby, and 4 cats. I have been wanting an golden retreiver for years, I had one growing up and she was 16 when she passed in 2004. She was the sweetest gentlest dog, and I always assumed that this was how all goldens were and the reason I convinced my husband to get a golden. Especially with the 4 cats, and we may be starting a family in the next few years.

So here is my problem, she acts like an agressive breed a lot of the time. She played with my sisters dogs about a week ago who are very well trained, but she was viscous and was growling, biting, lunging, I could barely keep a hold of her. My sister says thats just how they play but I was not comfortable since she was so much smaller than her lab. Then about 3 days after that she started acting very agressive towards my cats, it started with just barking, but then she laid chase to my youngest cat, a 6 month old kitten. She jumped it and even managed to rip some hair out. Luckily we stopped her before things got bad. I adore my cats and have had the oldest 2 for 5 years. After that I watch them like a hawk, Ive tried introducing them and she doesnt fight them when theyre both being held, but then we will be sitting watching TV and bam, shas all crazed, chasing and growling. Im am so scared she will kill one of them. Today we had just came in from out 5am walk (no sleep in 9 days) and she was still on the leash, she lunged at the kitten again, growling like mad.

Shes not really agressive with us...I dont think. But shes very "puppyish" She wont come, she only sits for treats, were starting puppy kindergarden in a week. She bites us, mostly mouthing but all the time. She does not like hugs, kisses, cuddles or anything like that. She mostly hangs by herself, and as soon as I try to pet her she starts mouthing, Ive tried the usual methods to get her to stop to no avail. But so far she has not broken the skin. On our walks shes very bad, she lays down and wont budge, tries to run off choking herself to the point of gagging, etc. And now shes started jumping at me, not like hug me jumping, but a foot off the ground jumping at me, she playes tug of war with the leash which I can not stop short of carrying her inside. She bites down on the leash and will not release her jaws, I try puting my fingers in her mouth, my sis said to push up on her teeth, but her jaws are clamped down hard. I try ignoring her and turning my back, she just run in circles around me with the leash. She is also like this with her toys, the soft ones have ripped while I try to get them out of her mouth, she plays fetch sorta, shell come back but everything is a tug of war game.

Is this all normal golden behavior? I have been searching the internet for answers and have sadly stumbled apon a large number of reports and studies about how the golden breed is starting to become a more agressive breed as a result of poor breeding practices. We got her because we wanted a playful, loyal, affectionate dog, that would be good with the cats and children one day.

I plan on discussing this with the vet today at her visit, I also plan on contacting a local breeder. The puppy store where we got her over charged, she was a wopping 1100$ which we were fine with since we really wanted a Golden for the Christmas and there were like none left anywhere. But I had no intention of spending that kind of money on an agressive dog. My husband and I have agreed that we will return her if we can not remedy this behavior. But I am hopeful and willing to put in all the time I need to if this is just "puppyhood." I love my cats too much to have one of them killed by her. I am also terrified when we go for walks because parents will let their children run up to her and pet her because shes a golden and theyre supposed to be sweet....what if she attacks someone?

I would greatly appreciate any assitance you guys can give me. Should I separate her from the cats completely, and for how long? Its their home too. How to I "bond" with her, I feel that she does not have any sort of emotional attatchment to me, and I thought all puppies wanted love and affection. Sorry for the long post, I needed to vent and and I wanted you to have all of the information.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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Alot of puppy mill breeders and byb use brokers if they cant sell there pups. You can keep her on a leash in the house while learning she cant chase the cat. You also need to realize she is still young, she isnt going to know how to walk on a leash, Find a training class and take her to lessons.Do a search on here and you will find tons of helpful tips on puppies...walking on a leash, etc. As for playing if you heard my guys you would think they were killing each other.
 

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It's best to assume that a baby puppy is well-meaning but just doesnt understand your expectations for leash walking etc yet. Take her to an excellent obedience class, and have fun learning to train her with a clicker or in a positive framework. Make sure she is getting plenty of off leash exercise where she can tear around and be a puppy. I just have to ask, if she was 1100$, why not buy her from a responsible breeder who cares deeply and socializes puppies well? However, some of what youre saying sounds like normal puppy stuff. It will take her a while to be as good as your old golden bc right now she is just a tyke. As for kitty chasing, give the specific behavior a name- No Chase. Reinforce it firmly but without a drop of anger.
 

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This isn't going to be what you want to hear, but she's displaying very normal "pet store puppy" behavior.
She was taken from her littermates too young to have learned bite inhibition and gentle play. I'd suspect you're having a hard time with potty training, too, that's pretty typical with puppies from pet stores.
It does NOT mean she's aggressive. It means she's displaying typical behavior for a puppy that hasn't learned that this type of behavior is not acceptable.
JMO, I think you can work her thru this. It will take a lot of time and patience, and of course working with a good trainer can make all the difference in the world. There are a lot of people on this forum who can give you good sound advice on how to deal with some of the issues you are having.
As far as not being very affectionate, give her some time. Everything is so new to her, she can't be bothered with love and affection right now! She missed out on about 3 critical weeks of development with her littermates (during shipment and quarantine) and she's trying to make up for it now.
As far as the mouthing (of you), the most important thing it to always have available something that she is allowed to have. Whenever she tries to put a human part in her mouth, tell her NO very sternly, immediately give her something she is allowed to have, and then praise her for taking it. It's the only way they learn what's acceptable; you can't just tell them what isn't.
And...spend lots of time here! Browse the forum, you will find lots of people who are very knowledgeable and helpful, and you will find threads (try the puppy section) where others have dealt with the same issues.
 

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Pet Store Pup

Much of what you describe is typical puppy behavior. IMHO I would leave out the word aggressive at this age. There were times with Harry that I thought he was a terrible little dog--biting, jumping, grabbing my arm, wouldn't come to me, grabbing the leash, trying to push me over, etc. He did however love hugs and affection when we had a calm moment (which were rare). I never imagined he would outgrow this. But each and every day (he is 6 months now) he is becoming that wonderful Golden we all crave. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes knowledge and a committed owner. Unfortunately you have a petstore pup that is going to have some issues. Who knows how old she was when she left her litter (maybe too young to learn bite inhibition). Who knows if she has had another owner that did everything wrong. It's too late to look back. Time to get started.
First - decide if you are in or out. You must be 100% committed to the work involved to turn this around. No one on this Forum got a perfect Golden handed to them. Ideally, you start with an excellently bred dog; they are not sold in pet stores. You can't beat good breeding; then, the rest of what you see is a direct reflection of what effort you put in.
Second - See the Vet. Rule out any health issues. She may be "mean" if she is being attacked by fleas, parasites, etc, or just doesn't feel well. A good bill of health is important before starting training.
Third - Resolve to keep your other vulnerable pets at a distance until she can be trusted around them. If the kitten cannot hold her own, don't leave them unsupervised. It isn't fair to either to let an incident happen.
Fourth - Get help. Find a trainer, reputable breeder, Vet, someone to evaluate your pup. Determine what you have on your hands. That will help your approach in growing her up Golden.
Fifth - Relax. Love her. Be kind to her. She deserves a better start in life than she was given. She needs you. And, please, do not ever buy from a petstore again... Read some of the other threads on here about puppy mills, and you won't.
Welcome to the Forum.:wave: I hope things improve with your pup. Remember to post pictures! We all love to see them.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Actually I think she just sounds like a fiesty puppy. Many puppies would bark at and play roughly with cats and other puppies. My Whippet and my Golden sound like killers playing in the yard! Especially the Whippet (a non aggressive therapy dog of top champion show lines who was bred by an outstanding top breeder). That doesn't necessarily mean they're aggressive.

Your pup DOES sound like a super active, intense girl, though- she'll need lots of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation. Hey, where in Florida are you? I'm in Florida too :)
 

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Thank you all for your prompt responses. I promise you all that I will never go to a puppy store again. It really helps just to know that there are people out there to talk to. I live in the Tampa area btw :wave: I have all the time in the world to spend with her since Im not currently working, and I am perfectly willing to do whatever it takes so long as I know shes not pre-destined to be aggressive. As long as there's hope then Ill be OK. I plan on locking the cats in a room for a few days to allow Roxanne and myself to bond without their distraction. Theyll be find with it since theyre always trying to get in there anyways, and sleep 95% if the time. And introduce them one by one. I didnt realize that she would have been in quarantine and I feel horrible now. I thought 10 weeks old meant she maybe left the litter at 9 weeks. I guess I never really sat down and thought about what shes been though in her short time here so far. I will keep you all posted, were going for our second vet visit today and as long as we can surivive the waiting room, she went crazy the first time.

Also would you reccomend PetSmarts Puppy Kindergarden or should I find another trainer?
 

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I would say it's just a puppy behavior. All of my dogs like to "chase" anything that moves. They never hurt any animal (cats, dogs, birds,mice..) They jump around it, bark, play, chase but don't hurt. And you should see how they play to each other ( I have 3 goldens)! When people who didn't used on dogs come to my place they jump on chairs. My boy likes to "talk" when playing, girl likes to bark when playing and pup makes unidentified sounds. It looks like they're fighting and they'll kill each other. I also have a cat and she beahves like one of them- she hides and then waits till dog comes and then jumps on him and they play tag in garden-first I tought- poor cat, 3 dogs are chasing her and then she stoped and chased them.... It was incredibly funny. Don't put her away from cats- that way you will produce jelaousy and make cats more interesting to her- and you will get contraproduct. Take her in one hand (or your husband let hold her) and hold cat and calm them all down- let her sniff them, lick them- if cat feels uncomfortale she will leave. But YOU must show her to be gentle with cats. You can't say that a year old baby is agressive if he pulls cats tail- how would you teach baby not to pull cats tail?
And that leash play is also normal. My pup loves that! And I mostly let him carry leash.. It is very desireable in show ring- I put part of leash in his mouth and he put his head up high and carrys it- and like that he looks much better than others in ring. And I encourage that. If I want him to give me the leash I give him piece of delicious treat and say "give" and he gives it- no force at all. Would you give something you like if you don't get something better in return? I have completley the same behaviour puppy at home ( he is bought from very, very reputable breeder) and I love his temper. You said she will do anything for treats- use that- that makes job of raising puppy much easier. You must understand that you bought living being - only YOU can make her a good or bad dog.
From this what I read- she is very playful pup and works for treats- you can make her a great dog! Just give her time to understand what you want from her. Imagine how she feels- she lives with other race, other language, other customs, other bodylanguage. How is she supposed to know what to do?
 

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Hi...I got a puppy for Christmas,too!
She was raised in a home with kids and love but she still is "mouthy"and not sure of the leash all the time.
I "wear her" around the house meaning she is leashed to me at all times,except when I'm in the shower...then she's just outside the shower door.
One thing that I think is important.....don't let your puppy "get their way" Make sure whatever you are doing is YOUR idea.Like if she doesn't want to walk on the leash or pulls...stop and go the other way even if for one step then remove the leash.....they are just like kids(I have 5 human kind) give them an inch,they'll take a yard!!!!!:)I have also taken my puppy everywhere,though not around other feces ect cause she hasn't had all shots.....but I even took her into a ski lodge over the weekend.She LOVED all the attention.Today we are going to my daughter's preschool....she'll hear all kinds of sounds...buses,car horns etc......IMO everything helps.
Good luck....YOU are so lucky to live in Tampa...here in Michigan it's 10 degrees today!!!!!!
 

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All good advice above. Just remember NO puppy comes pre-trained and that perfect Golden you remember. Every single one is wild on a leash until taught how to behave, bites and mouths until taught not to, will chase cats until taught not to. Well you see where I'm going.

(one tip, put a baby gate in the doorway of a safe room for the cats so they can get over but puppy can't)
 

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I plan on discussing this with the vet today at her visit, I also plan on contacting a local breeder. The puppy store where we got her over charged, she was a wopping 1100$ which we were fine with since we really wanted a Golden for the Christmas and there were like none left anywhere. But I had no intention of spending that kind of money on an agressive dog. My husband and I have agreed that we will return her if we can not remedy this behavior
First, I hope and expect that this is normal puppy behavior and with care and training she'll grow out of it.

On the other hand, I've had Tessie (9 1/2 weeks old) for the same nine days. She's been a perfect little angel. A few puppy teething nips, a couple od accidents because her people didn't read her signals, but she's got the sweetest, calmest disposition. She walks on a leash, she's had a short happy visit with a neighbor's golden. She sits. She fetches.

Why? Partly we got lucky (and got pick of the litter by waiting almost six months) but Tessie's Mom and Dad and Grandma and Uncle are all sweet, beautifully behaved Goldens. It's probably not a coincidence. (Also, she hasn't been unattended for a minute since we've had her--when she's been alone, it's in the x-pen or her crate.)

FWIW, we paid $1,200 for her. Some people would say that's a lot of money for a dog, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. It seems to me that the homework, and the upfront cost of a dog is an investment in the dog's heath and well-being and your own sanity.
You tend to pay the breeder now, or the doggie behaviorist and the vet later.

best
Allen
 

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First, I hope and expect that this is normal puppy behavior and with care and training she'll grow out of it.

On the other hand, I've had Tessie (9 1/2 weeks old) for the same nine days. She's been a perfect little angel. A few puppy nips, a few accidents because her people didn't read her signals, but she's got the sweetest, calmest disposition.
Do you have any cats? Maybe its just the fact that she has to share her home with 4 feline "friends" that makes her so rambunctious? You all have given me new hope, and weve had a really good day so far. She came across the neighbor with her senior dog today and she insisted that they wouldnt fight. Roxy tried to jump her, but she backed away when growled at which I find really promising. After a few minutes she found a stick and just laid there. And even let one of the cats get in her face without a single snort, maybe because we took an extra long morning walk. Shes passed out at my feet now.

BTW It was the scariest walk ever, we were out by the pond, she likes to watch the ducks, when I noticed an unleashed Rot about 50 yards away staring us down. I was in a huge feild about 300 yards from the house. Needless to say I was terrified. I scooped her up and starting proudly walking back to the house trying not to show fear or my tasty morsal of a puppy I was carrying, luckily the Rot went back home when we started to leave, I guess he was just guarding his house. Dont know if well be going to the duck pond again any time soon tho. In any case, I think a puppy training/socialization class will be as good for me as it is for her, I am way too paranoid and protective.

Thanks again for all the advice. As soon as I can get back to my normal computer, we had a flood (sigh, such an event filled week) I will post some pictures :)
 

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Bailey Boy's Pop
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Sounds pretty normal to me. My puppy has never seen a cat but i would expect him to chase it. He chases birds and squirrels so why not a cat. It's instinct. A previous post said you must be 100% committed and I agree 100% with that. You will get out of it what you put into it. As for the playing my dog and his doggie friends play very hard but you can see the difference and make sure it's always supervised so you can stop a fight before it begins (if thats the case).
Good luck and post some pics!
 

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This isn't going to be what you want to hear, but she's displaying very normal "pet store puppy" behavior.
She was taken from her littermates too young to have learned bite inhibition and gentle play. I'd suspect you're having a hard time with potty training, too, that's pretty typical with puppies from pet stores.
It does NOT mean she's aggressive. It means she's displaying typical behavior for a puppy that hasn't learned that this type of behavior is not acceptable.
JMO, I think you can work her thru this. It will take a lot of time and patience, and of course working with a good trainer can make all the difference in the world. There are a lot of people on this forum who can give you good sound advice on how to deal with some of the issues you are having.
As far as not being very affectionate, give her some time. Everything is so new to her, she can't be bothered with love and affection right now! She missed out on about 3 critical weeks of development with her littermates (during shipment and quarantine) and she's trying to make up for it now.
As far as the mouthing (of you), the most important thing it to always have available something that she is allowed to have. Whenever she tries to put a human part in her mouth, tell her NO very sternly, immediately give her something she is allowed to have, and then praise her for taking it. It's the only way they learn what's acceptable; you can't just tell them what isn't.
And...spend lots of time here! Browse the forum, you will find lots of people who are very knowledgeable and helpful, and you will find threads (try the puppy section) where others have dealt with the same issues.
I have to agree with this post - - - it is the first thing I thought.

You are obviously very tired and concerned. Raising a puppy takes a great deal of time and energy and you need to think about this for her well-being. If you decide to go forward, then you have to start getting some sleep at night so you can bring more positive energy when working with her. I don't think you should keep her unless you are able and willing to give her the extra time and attention she needs.

I am so sorry, but I am concerned for this puppy and not knowing you at all - - - I wonder about your judgment and your ability to take this on. Yet, you are here, seeking answers. And that is so good. We all have had experiences like this where we wonder "what was I thinking?". So what will you do? If for whatever reason you cannot give this your all, then she should be re-homed before it is too late.

As a starting point, I encourage you to work with a trainer. She can observe you, your husband, your cats, and your puppy together. My wish for you is that you will gain more insight into the situation and grow in your confidence and abilities to raise her into a really fine dog.
 

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maybe because we took an extra long morning walk.
Exercise is the make-or-break aspect of training a high-energy dog and of phasing out unwanted behavior. Think about how many problems you're having are related to her excess energy. Burn off as much as you can before training sessions or any exciting situations with the cats, etc.

You can do this!
 

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Marcy
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Are you crate training? Even if you are home all the time, it is very useful in the bonding process.

It sounds like you have made the committment to make your pup the well socialized, healthy, active dog she can become! Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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And even let one of the cats get in her face without a single snort, maybe because we took an extra long morning walk. Shes passed out at my feet now.
That is a very important point, a tired puppy is a good puppy. Lots of running, chasing a ball, or working on obedience to tire her mind out will help.

Chin up, she really sounds like a normal puppy with lots of energy, and you are right, a puppy class will be good for both of you.
 

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I agree, exersice is very important. If Jonesy has a good walk every day, he settles down in the evenings & mostly sleeps on his bed. If he doesn't he's far more likely to be crazy at night.

Sue
 

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Sounds like typical puppy stuff to me. When we had my Peachy's puppies around they weren't all too cuddly, unless they were in pass out mode, they wanted to chew on your hands or chin or whatever they could reach. I'm lucky enough to still see two of them now, at a year old, and they will now cuddle and sit in your lap.Your pup doesn't sound dangerous to me :)
 

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I agree with pretty much all of the above posts. Since you did not go through the ideal channels to find a dog, you will never know what the parents temperment was like. So instead of wondering about it, put your energy into giving the puppy and yourself what you both need... some training.

At 10 weeks of age, the puppy is too young for puppy classes due to the vaccines not being complete. You might want to invite a private trainer in to give you some pointers. the dog doesn't need the training right now - you do. You need to learn how to be an alpha around your puppy. He is going to try you and attempt to win. You need to be the leader.

If you have access to the National Geographic channel - watch some Cesar Millan episodes. There is a great book by Job Michael Evans - The Evans Guide to Housebreaking Your Dog (amazon.com has it). This book is not just about potty training your dog, it is about puppyhood and very entertaining at the same time.

Read up on how to do crate training. It is a valuable lesson and will help set boundaries for the pup - remember not to use the crate as punishment.

Put the pup on a leash and attach it to your belt buckle when in the house.
 
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