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Hello,
Me and my husband got our golden retriever at 9 weeks old. He has been very active and with lots of energy ever since we got him! He just turned 4 months and he is extremely disobedient! He jumps on us, he doesn’t listen to “no” instead he ignores us and continues to do it. Any suggestions on what to do? Is this normal behavior puppy? Will he grow out of it?
Also we take him on a 30min walk almost everyday and play fetch with him daily for a couple minutes until he’s tired! He is signed up for training classes which will start in about a month. We taught him basic commands like sit,lay down, and stay. He will not “stay” unless we have treats!
 

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Normal puppy behavior!

Although not sure why you’re waiting until he’s 5 months old to start training classes - don’t know where you’re located and what options are available in your area, but here in LA we start training with puppy preschool at 8 weeks old. Of course we have to make sure the classes only allow dogs that are up to date on shots, not sick, the place is cleaned properly before puppy class etc. Training was my saving grace with my pup, he was very very very naughty and a bundle of energy, training class saved both of us lol. It gave us something new to focus on learning every week, and filled up free time that my pup would have used to be naughty instead if we weren’t training.

My puppies naughty and disobedient behavior stopped completely around 5 months old, although by then, we’d been doing 2 months of training classes and daily training.

Another thing is maybe you could try exercising more than 30 minutes a day plus fetch. I find my pup gets more tired if I do several short 10 minute walks spread throughout the day instead of one long walk. On the walks, he gets a chance to get some fresh air, and almost always gets to meet a few passers by and other dogs, which is great socialization as well.
 

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I agree with the others, it is normal. He will only outgrow it if you teach him how you want him to act. Good advice I learned from Charlie3 is don't just tell them no-- think what it is you want them to do and train them to do it. For example if he's jumping on you tell him to sit and then pet him. If he ignores the sit command turn your back to him. The training classes should be a big help. We took classes for a year and a half and they were all beneficial and fun. It really helped in the bratty teen phase too.
 

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He's not disobeying - he just hasn't been taught how to behave. Saying NO to him has zero meaning - it would be like standing in front of you and saying a word to you in a language you don't speak and expecting you to understand it. You need to teach him what you would like him to do rather than jump - then reward that. Teach him to stay before expecting him to stay. You'll learn how to do that in class. (You'll probably be surprised at how it's taught). It would be great if you could start classes earlier if there is any opportunity for that.

Four months old is really young to be expected to be fully trained - he's still a baby. It's great that you have taught sit and down, but you have months more of training and reinforcing behaviour ahead of you. But if you are patient and teach and reinforce, he will get there. It's far more effective than punishing bad behaviour when they don't understand why they're being punished (to them, they are just acting like a puppy). They're not doing anything out of defiance or spite at four months old. They're just acting like the untrained puppies they are. :smile2:
 

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Completely normal puppy behavior. He needs more training and more exercise. Look in your area for puppy obedience classes at an established dog training school (not Petsmart). Just be aware that the classes will not train your puppy, they will train you how to more effectively train your puppy. Then you have to practice what you've learned at home with pup.

Unfortunately, the word and general concept of "no" doesn't mean much to a puppy at this stage. Instead of repeating no to a little guy who isn't going to listen anyway try redirecting him to something you want him to do. Like sit, paw and other games and give him a treat for listening. Obedience classes will teach you several other kinds of redirecting games to use. I've noticed that my girl has started to become a bit more concerned with displeasing me as she's gotten older. She's more likely to listen to no now but she's over a year old. When she was a baby, forget about it. No meant absolutely nothing to her.

Also, a tired puppy is a good puppy. Honestly, a 30 minute walk most days and a couple minutes of fetch wouldn't come close to tiring out my girl. It might work for now but once he's 6 months old, it's really likely that he'll need more like a 30-45 min walk + 20-30 min of fetch. If doggie daycare is an option for you it's wonderful for tiring them out that day and usually the next.
 

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Hello,
Me and my husband got our golden retriever at 9 weeks old. He has been very active and with lots of energy ever since we got him! He just turned 4 months and he is extremely disobedient! He jumps on us, he doesn’t listen to “no” instead he ignores us and continues to do it. Any suggestions on what to do? Is this normal behavior puppy? Will he grow out of it?
Also we take him on a 30min walk almost everyday and play fetch with him daily for a couple minutes until he’s tired! He is signed up for training classes which will start in about a month. We taught him basic commands like sit,lay down, and stay. He will not “stay” unless we have treats!
Not only normal, but probably trademark golden puppy behaviour at 4 months! Yes it will change (and soon!) just keep up the positive training, when the hormones calm down a bit it will kick in. My amazing 8 month Golden was a nightmare until 5 months.. (kind of until 6 haha)
 

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4 months old is a baby still, he is not disobeying you, he has not been taught what you WANT him to do instead. Puppies do not come to you fully trained and knowing how to behave. You have to teach him what you want him to do.
 

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Congratulations on your golden puppy! Have you had a golden before? Are you in touch with your breeder? He sounds like a completely normal 4-month-old golden puppy. Remember, you have a sporting breeding, not a lap dog - he is going to need exercise, mental stimulation, and...personally, IMO, more than a small amount of training. They are intelligent and trainable, but they can get creative when they get bored. ;) Still, if you put in the time, you'll have a companion second-to-none!

The multiple OTCh-dog trainer I take lessons with tells me of the naughty, naughty puppy who the owner could do nothing with...the trainer saw oodles of potential (TONS of drive, intelligence). Long story short, the owner gave up the puppy to the trainer and that dog is now an OTCh with perfect 200s in competition obedience. Those "naughty" puppies often have the very "stuff" that some trainers love!

Although your goals are likely more modest than a competitive obedience dog...a naughty-4-month old golden is not unusual or a "bad sign." It just means you need to figure out what "formula" of exercise and mental stimulation helps to shape him into the dog you want. Goldens are an active, athletic breed. They are up for the many adventures you will have with them!

Let us know how it is going!
 

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I'm in the same boat. This 4.5 month Golden is my 5th over the years. And I've forgotten how each one had so much energy,etc. Time will fly by fast. You'll have to work with him and slowly she or he will know what you want and vice versa.
I've never had them in training as I don't have any around for many miles. So were on our own.
My last one of 13.5 yrs was the best in my whole life of 71 yrs. spoiled me. Wife says cause the kids are gone and didn't mess with his mind. Ha. I believe it.

What helps me is thinking of the good things he does or doesn't do like chew up the furniture or growl at us while petting him as she's eating (a test) and many other positive things to help get thru the neg ones like jumping,biting etc.

Too bad they live such short lives. Not fair.
 

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Hello,
Me and my husband got our golden retriever at 9 weeks old. He has been very active and with lots of energy ever since we got him! He just turned 4 months and he is extremely disobedient! He jumps on us, he doesn’t listen to “no” instead he ignores us and continues to do it. Any suggestions on what to do? Is this normal behavior puppy? Will he grow out of it?
Also we take him on a 30min walk almost everyday and play fetch with him daily for a couple minutes until he’s tired! He is signed up for training classes which will start in about a month. We taught him basic commands like sit,lay down, and stay. He will not “stay” unless we have treats!

He won't grow out of it, but the good news is that he can be trained out of it!


"No" is the most useless command in dog training. There's a reason for this. Dogs don't generalize well. Think about every other command you give. "Sit", "lie down", "stay" and so on: they are only ever used to obtain one specific behaviour. If you tell a dog to "sit", you expect him to sit down. "No" isn't like that. People us it when they want a dog to get off the furniture, to stop jumping up, to stop stealing food, to leave the cat alone, to give back a sock they've stolen, and so on. They expect the dog to understand that it means "stop the behaviour", as if he was a human. But the dog can't generalize - he's not a human. So he just doesn't understand what you mean when you say "no" because it isn't a specific command for a specific behaviour. He's not ignoring you; he just doesn't know what you want.



The system I've used successfully for the past several decades, for all our dogs, is this: I never say "no" to my dog. Instead, I use "ah-ah" to signal a behaviour I don't like, and I immediately follow it up with a command that I've taught the dog, so the dog knows what I want him to do instead. For example, the dog jumps up at me: "ah-ah, sit". The dog gets on the couch and I don't want him there: "ah-ah, get down". The dog picks up a piece of clothing I don't want him to have: "ah-ah, drop it". And so on. When my dogs hear "ah-ah", they know I'm going to ask them to do something. Of course, this only works if you give a command that the dogs understands. There's no point telling a dog to "drop it" if you haven't trained him to drop stuff on command.


Five months is quite old to be starting basic training. Normally you'd have taken a puppy training class first. So you might have some "catching up" to do. In the meantime, before your class starts, keep training the "sit" and "down" commands. To get a good "stay", you have to go gradually: put him in a "sit" or a "down", stand next to him and have him stay for two seconds and reward, then five seconds and reward, then ten seconds and reward. Repeat lots of times at each stage. Then take one step backwards and do the whole thing over. Then two steps backwards and so on. It's important to reward the staying, so after the chosen time (e.g. five seconds), reward the pup then release him from the stay ("ok"). Then put him back in a stay and do it again. Eventually you will build up the time until you have a long stay.



Best of luck. Once you have a good training system in place, you'll find it easy to train your dog out of the bad habits you don't like.
 

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I second the use of ah-ah (think of the sound as in "aa-aa, no you don't!" - not aah, like you are relaxing). I learned that in puppy class nearly 20 years ago. It is a sound that pups respond to - much like they also respond to a very excited "puppies!!" call when you want them to follow. It is way more effective than no.
 

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Maggie tried to counter surf once. I was able to take a pic of it and the next time I dropped something next to her that would make a LOUD noise when her paws touched the counter and scared the heck out of her. She hasn't put her paws on the counter since. That was over a year ago (about 5 months of age).
 

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You've received so much good advice already. I just want to reiterate that your puppy is not being disobedient--he just has no idea what you want him to do. You didn't mention where you are located. Somebody said to find a good trainer (not PetSmart), and I 100 percent agree with that (PetSmart may have some good, but likely inexperienced, trainers. You want an amazing and experienced trainer). If you share where you are, someone may be able to direct you to a good trainer.
 

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I’m in the same boat...my golden pup is 4.5 months and full of energy. I’m finally able to take her to play care which helps! Trying to do 2 or 3x/week. She comes home tired after 8 hours there but still has energy for the crazies once she has recharged. 😬. I did puppy socialization at 3 months in a “puppy safe” place. It was good for us to burn some energy. My hands and ankles are now recovering as I think burning her energy at play care helps instead of using me as her chew toy. We are now doing a training class - she’s good W most commands but horrible walking w loose leash. She’s wicked smart and sometimes I swear she’s evaluating whether the treat I have is good enough for her to obey the command. Usually, it isn’t and she gives me the middle paw and does what she wants. Digs. Eats plants. Pretty much typical puppy behavior. Her breeder says she’s just like her dad-he calmed down at 10 months. My previous golden was similar-she re-landscaped my backyard as well😂. In the meantime, I have to remind myself she is a baby, she is as sweet as anything (play care team love her), and it’s hard work but very much worth it.
 
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