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I brought a golden retriever puppy a little over a month ago. She is almost three months. It has been very difficult so far & I would love for some advice for a few of the problems I am encountering.

1.) When she was eating once in a while I pet her or stick my hand in the bowl in order to prevent her from getting possessiveness over it, well I guess I didnt do that good of a job because now she growls and is very aggressive whenever you even go near here when she is scarfing her food down. I feed her two cups of food a day. She gets treats to when we are practicing tricks, none the less she still is rather skinny. Do you think she acts that way because maybe I'm not feeding her enough? Even though I'm feeding her the amount suggested on the bag? What can I do to counteract her behavior so it doesn't progress into something worst?

2.) She is not very affectionate. She will give a few kisses to me when she is excited but that is really it. She gives tons of kisses to strangers though, and this is going to sound ridiculous but that makes me feel like she hates me. I have a five year old labradoodle who absolutely loves to cuddle, and well my new golden puppy doesn't. She is very antsy. Maybe its because she is still young. But how can I get her to show me more affection without coddling her? & will forcing her to cuddle make her not want to even more? How else can I show her I love her?

3.) She knows how to sit and lay. She is very smart. But she is so defiant. I can see her behavior spiraling downhill. If you have any personal experiences, based off of them do obedience classes help? Are they worth the money? What are the pros and cons of them?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you even more so for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated. Much love, Kay.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I just wanted to say I'm so happy I found this website. I've been so stressed lately about raising my puppy right so she can be the perfect dog, and reading these forums really helped. They helped me realize I am not alone in this:)

Anyways, I need some advice with the following,

1.) When my puppy was/is eating once in a while I pet her or stick my hand in the bowl in order to prevent her from getting possessiveness over it. I guess It didnt do that good of a job because now she growls and is very aggressive whenever you even go near here when she is scarfing her food down. I feed her two cups of food a day but is still rather skinny. Do you think she acts that way because maybe I'm not feeding her enough? Even though I'm feeding her the amount suggested on the bag? What can I do to counteract her what appears to be aggressive behavior so it doesn't progress into something worst?

2.) She is not very affectionate. She will give a few kisses to me when she is excited but that is really it. She gives tons of kisses to strangers though, and this is going to sound ridiculous but that makes me feel like she hates me. I have a five year old labradoodle who absolutely loves to cuddle, and well my new golden puppy doesn't. She is very antsy. Maybe its because she is still young. But how can I get her to show me more affection without coddling her? & will forcing her to cuddle make her not want to even more? How else can I show her I love her?

3.) If you have any personal experiences, based off of them do obedience classes help? Are they worth the money? What are the pros and cons of them?

4.) This is not a problem, its more just a question based off of my curiosity. Cora does not have the fluffy fur golden's usually have. In my opinion it looks more like the coat of a labs. She also is a mismarked golden. Also she seems to be a little bit too small for her age.. I was wondering if you think this could be because she is secretly a mixed breed? Or is this normal? Do some golden's not get there signature fur until they are a bit older? I saw both parents on spot but with the way her coat is it has be wondering. (hopefully it worked and you can see the two pictures of her)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you even more so for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated. Much love, Kay :)

And for the lovely people that are wondering, her name is Cora and she was born May 29th.
 

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If my puppy got aggressive when eating, I immediately push her down on her side and tell her NO very sternly. Her attitude as alpha dog may be the reason she isn't 'lovey' to you. Definitely see a trainer! Socializing in obedience class and getting advice is always best. I would recommend classes to all dog owners.
She is cute, I would call her pet quality golden, she won't have much coat at this age and sure, it is possible she may be a mix but does it matter? The breed standard has white spots as serious faults but if you aren't showing in conformation, it doesn't matter.
The defiance seems to be pack leader driven - she doesn't see you as the 'leader'. Get to some puppy classes! I have had the fortune to grow up with an obedience instructor/Kennel club member and learned as a child how to train dogs, however I always go to puppy classes to learn new things, solve issues and socialize my puppy with other dogs as it is important to their well being.
Good luck and keep us informed!!
 
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Welcome to the forum, Kay! :)

There is a lot of information in the puppy section that you may want to search.

Don't be discouraged many puppies don't show lots of what we as humans think of as affection in the beginning. Our relastionship grows as we teach them what we want them to do.
Golden puppies are notorious for being very mouthy (they are called landsharks) Many goldens are confident and will attempt to teach you what they want since they don't know how to please us with what we want until we teach them.

Dogs in general have an instinct to protect their food source. Some puppies are more in tune to this than others. Sometimes by fussing with the puppy while they are eating instead of being reassuring to them we actually make them anxious which brings out that instinct more.

One big thing to do would be to hand feed your puppy most of the puppy's meal. Don't just give the pup the kibble but use that 5 minutes to train the puppy appropriate behaviors that you would like to see.
At first I would just say the puppies name and give the kibble. For this game I wouldn't even ask for a particular behavior. I just want my puppy to know that when the pups name is said good things happen.
Another game which is actually a behavior is to have the dog in front of you (best in a sit position) and when the pup looks at you say yes and give the pup a piece of kibble. During this game the kibble is in your hand behind your back. You are waiting for the dog to look into your eyes. The moment the dog looks in your eyes you say yes. Then after you say yes you bring the piece of kibble around from behind you and feed directly down the front of your body. This game builds focus on you.
You can also play the game of asking for a sit when the dog sits give the kibble.

At first you will want to have your dog on leash so they can't just wander away during the process. Puppy brains get distracted very easily.

You can also feed some of the puppy's food in the bowl but instead of touching the puppy or putting your hand near the dish as the puppy eats every so often drop something more high value into the dish such as a small piece of chicken or cheese. Over time the puppy associates you being near the dish with good things happen.

If you haven't already done so I would suggest signing up for a puppy kindergarten class. Both you and the puppy will get support from someone in person with knowledge if you need to ask and that person will know your pup by going through the class. It also will expose the puppy to other pups in their age range and be great to work on behaviors with distractions in a controled space.

We also want our puppies to like being touched. Another game is to touch the puppy's ear and give a kibble. Touch the puppies nose and give a kibble, touch the puppies paw and give a kibble. Touch the puppy's belly and give a kibble. Touch the puppy's collar and give the kibble. If the puppy is accepting these touches willingly touch the puppy for a little longer and give the kibble. Touch the puppy's nails and give the kibble. You are building trust and acceptance for the puppy to accept all touching from you. If this is still going well you can put a little more pressure to the touches and give the kibble etc.

What is your puppy's name? We would love to see Pictures. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I accidentally made two of this forum not knowing if this one went through because my computer froze up while making it, so one the other one in the main discussion I have posted pictures of her:) but thank you for the very wise advice!
 

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Kay while you were typing I added a little more to my post. Make sure you look at it again just in case you didn't see the last little bit I added. I will go look for your other post. I love to see pictures. :)
 

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She is gorgeous. They usually turn out similar to their parents. :) But it is a wait and see as their coats change up during the process of growing up.

I would not push the puppy down. It just excites them more and can escalate the situation. It teaches the puppy that her acting inappropriately can give her attention. They can also decide it is a fun game and with those puppy teeth being so sharp I don't want a puppy to think it is okay to get over excited and to bite and jump at me.

You want the puppy to think your hands are a safe refuge not something that can hurt her. You want your puppy to associate you and your hands as something good not scary.

And I think one of the best things we can do for our dogs is take them through the different levels of obedience school. It builds that relationship. And when they get into the teenage phase it gives you many tools in the tool box to get through that trying time. :)
 

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Hi, and welcome! I saw the excellent advise Sol Invictus has already given you in your other thread, so I will just add a few thoughts:
Please do not roll your puppy on her side while she is eating...eating for my dogs is a moment of peace, where no one interferes other then adding a little extra to their bowl, not fussing in it or taking it away, just adding something nice. By rolling her you will only make her afraid. A young pup is not trying to be alpha or dominant. They just haven't learned how to behave towards humans yet.

And about the coat: my Liza is 19 weeks now and looks like a lab with hair sticking out in places. All pups suddenly lose their nice fluffy puppy coat and seem to go bald. And then their adult coat comes in. But there is that weird lab stage...I would not worry about it at this point. How old is your puppy? Liza was born in April.

And yes, go to training classes! Liza and I almost finished our puppy class and go into obedience 1 straight away. It's totally fun.
 

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Hi KMerc - you cannot go by what is on the bag. What type of food do you feed her?

I would start with just hand feeding her - that not only enhances your relationship with your puppy but it will also help with the growling.
I would also feed her less than a third a cup more than indicated on the bag for each feeding - at the moment she should get 3 meals a day. I normally choose one of the three feedings on the bowl and the other two are hand fed, all three same amounts. If she leaves food in the bowl she has had enough, if not, I add a little at a time. See how she does.

I would also work with her on leave it and stay commands. Stay use it every time you feed as well. Not only will it help with her "food aggression" (quotation marks used because she is still a pup and it is not a true aggression) but it can save her life down the road.
 

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I MUST step in here and tell you NEVER, EVER GET PHYSICAL with you Golden. The approach the above poster takes is TOTALLY WRONG.

Our policy when feeding is to put the food in the bowl and walk away. There is absolutely NO NEED to fuss with your dog while it eats. We feed Penny in the laundry room (which is actually a hallway from the garage to the kitchen). Her bowls are in a corner and she has absolutely privacy while eating.

If you can imagine how you would feel if someone was always sticking their hands in your plate, you would become snappish too. Just let her alone to eat.

I'm not sure if she's purebred or not but, she is adorable and looks very sweet.

I can guarantee you if you get physical with her, she will NEVER develop into a trusting, loving, affectionate girl.
 

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Hi KMerc - you cannot go by what is on the bag. What type of food do you feed her?

I would start with just hand feeding her - that not only enhances your relationship with your puppy but it will also help with the growling.
I would also feed her less than a third a cup more than indicated on the bag for each feeding - at the moment she should get 3 meals a day. I normally choose one of the three feedings on the bowl and the other two are hand fed, all three same amounts. If she leaves food in the bowl she has had enough, if not, I add a little at a time. See how she does.

I would also work with her on leave it and stay commands. Stay use it every time you feed as well. Not only will it help with her "food aggression" (quotation marks used because she is still a pup and it is not a true aggression) but it can save her life down the road.
She is on natural choice puppy food. She gets three meals day and all together they equal two cups. But she always seems to be wanting more so I will do your add a little bit trick and see how she does! Thank you!
 

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I will second and third about feeding. What you can do, is keep a little kibble out of each feeding and feed from hand as treats for doing something good. You're not giving extra calories and re-inforcing good behavior. Training is a MUST and even more important is the right trainer and class for your dog. We first took 4 month old Tayla to our local dog club for puppy class. A step up from Petsmart and a good starting point. Most dog clubs have great trainers for your typical dog. Tayla is not your typical dog and she was horrible in puppy class. Fifteen dogs in puppy class and in the next ring were about 10 dogs from a basic class. High ceilings and the noise volume were too much for her and we ended up dropping out because her behavior was so bad and everyone had a different idea as to how to fix it. Most ideas were punishment based. We ended up finding a trainer/behaviorist with her own facility and all of her classes were six dogs and under. Next week is our last puppy class and Tayla is doing very well. We also are taking other classes from her and she has been a huge help with her behavior. Tayla is easily frustrated and has no impulse control. Both of those things require very positive reinforcement and you need to find a great trainer. Good luck with your adorable puppy. Our girl is a "field" golden and at 9 months has such a light coat I can comb it in seconds. People tell me it will grow in, but I'm fine with however she turns out.
 
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How old is your puppy? She looks young and two cups may not be enough as they go through growth.
I agree, 2 cups sounds like it might not be enough. She looks to be 14-16 weeks or so and I would suggest at least 3 cups a day. Normally I would spread that out over 3 feedings because puppies need to eat more frequently than adult dogs.
 

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I think 2 cups for her age is not enough. At 4 months we were feeding Tayla 3 cups a day in two feedings. She got 1.5 cups in the morning and 1.5 cups at night. If you feed 3 times a day then it would be at least 3 cups divided by 3.
 

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I am a firm believer that a dog deserves to eat in peace, no touching, no messing with the food bowl. Teach her to trade for items she has. When she has a toy, put a high value treat in front of her nose, when she drops the toy, give her the treat, and praise, then give her back the toy. Repeat a hundred times, and slowly work up to higher value items. This will teach her that when she has something she values, she CAN give it up, and get something better, AND get it back (most often). Always trade never just 'steal' something from her. This will help immensely in the future when she has a 'hot' item that she shouldn't have.
Try feeding her more, and do hand feed at least one meal a day, a hungry puppy will have trouble being calm, or thinking straight, as their minds and bodies are focused on getting food.
 

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Here's what I think


I just wanted to say I'm so happy I found this website. I've been so stressed lately about raising my puppy right so she can be the perfect dog, and reading these forums really helped. They helped me realize I am not alone in this:)

Anyways, I need some advice with the following,

1.) When my puppy was/is eating once in a while I pet her or stick my hand in the bowl in order to prevent her from getting possessiveness over it. I guess It didnt do that good of a job because now she growls and is very aggressive whenever you even go near here when she is scarfing her food down. I feed her two cups of food a day but is still rather skinny. Do you think she acts that way because maybe I'm not feeding her enough? Even though I'm feeding her the amount suggested on the bag? What can I do to counteract her what appears to be aggressive behavior so it doesn't progress into something worst?

Really bad idea. I don't know why people still go on thinking this is an appropriate thing to do. Can you imagine if someone did this to you all your young life with any food you were given? Do you think that a child might grow to have food guarding or hording issues? Absolutely! So stop doing that right away and start working on repairing the damage done. Your pup needs to feel confident that she doesn't have to worry about humans and her food supply. Good idea to start hand feeding her the first part of her meal and letting her see you as the person who brings yummy food, not a threat. Don't listen to anyone who tells you to continue this or further damage your dog/human relationship by bringing more negativity into meal time.

2.) She is not very affectionate. She will give a few kisses to me when she is excited but that is really it. She gives tons of kisses to strangers though, and this is going to sound ridiculous but that makes me feel like she hates me. I have a five year old labradoodle who absolutely loves to cuddle, and well my new golden puppy doesn't. She is very antsy. Maybe its because she is still young. But how can I get her to show me more affection without coddling her? & will forcing her to cuddle make her not want to even more? How else can I show her I love her?

You got a girl. While I've heard that some girls can as loving as the boys, not all are. You don't want to force any type of human/pup interaction that your pup is not comfortable with. Start small, work up. Interact with her in ways that she likes to interact and feels comfortable with. Play play play! Moms that play are fun! Also don't forget that you're messing with her little puppy mind at dinner time so she's not really sure about your intentions. Goldens IME are usually extra friendly to strangers than to their owners. They get used to us and are fickle creatures! I know though that if something happened to your pup and scared her, she would go running to you for safety and comfort. That is a parent's place.

3.) If you have any personal experiences, based off of them do obedience classes help? Are they worth the money? What are the pros and cons of them?

3. Only con is if you get into a class with a bad teacher - someone who suggests negative consequences as the way to train, or teaches you to alpha roll. The most important thing you can do is read read read the posts here - get a good handle on what positive training techniques are out there and find someone who teaches an obedience class using them.

4.) This is not a problem, its more just a question based off of my curiosity. Cora does not have the fluffy fur golden's usually have. In my opinion it looks more like the coat of a labs. She also is a mismarked golden. Also she seems to be a little bit too small for her age.. I was wondering if you think this could be because she is secretly a mixed breed? Or is this normal? Do some golden's not get there signature fur until they are a bit older? I saw both parents on spot but with the way her coat is it has be wondering. (hopefully it worked and you can see the two pictures of her)

Where did you get your golden from? It's not common for goldens to be mismarked but it does happen. My Max didn't start getting really fluffy until after 1 year old. It takes time to grow their adult coat.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thank you even more so for all the advice. It is greatly appreciated. Much love, Kay :)

And for the lovely people that are wondering, her name is Cora and she was born May 29th.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I will second and third about feeding. What you can do, is keep a little kibble out of each feeding and feed from hand as treats for doing something good. You're not giving extra calories and re-inforcing good behavior. Training is a MUST and even more important is the right trainer and class for your dog. We first took 4 month old Tayla to our local dog club for puppy class. A step up from Petsmart and a good starting point. Most dog clubs have great trainers for your typical dog. Tayla is not your typical dog and she was horrible in puppy class. Fifteen dogs in puppy class and in the next ring were about 10 dogs from a basic class. High ceilings and the noise volume were too much for her and we ended up dropping out because her behavior was so bad and everyone had a different idea as to how to fix it. Most ideas were punishment based. We ended up finding a trainer/behaviorist with her own facility and all of her classes were six dogs and under. Next week is our last puppy class and Tayla is doing very well. We also are taking other classes from her and she has been a huge help with her behavior. Tayla is easily frustrated and has no impulse control. Both of those things require very positive reinforcement and you need to find a great trainer. Good luck with your adorable puppy. Our girl is a "field" golden and at 9 months has such a light coat I can comb it in seconds. People tell me it will grow in, but I'm fine with however she turns out.
I actually do that when I feed her. I take out a handful of kibble and go over the tricks she knows how to do and reward her with the pieces I took out. Thank you for the advice, I defiantly will beget her enrolled into a obedience class!
 

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It takes a while for some golden puppies to become the cuddle bugs that we hope for. I was SO worried last summer because Wakefield didn't seem as affectionate as my previous three boys. All of that changed shortly after his first birthday - he's on the bed first thing in the morning, muzzle on my chest. He's learned the nose probe (yes, I want attention, please). He's usually at my feet in the house. His training is very much of a work in progress, but we're developing the bond that is needed for him to turn into a super dog (and me into a super dog mom). You have some tough months ahead of you but it's worth it in the long run.

As far as her coat is concerned, she looks as if she comes from field lines. Many field-bred goldens don't have the fluffy coats of dogs from conformation lines. Count your blessings - you'll have half the vacuuming! I saw a field-bred golden yesterday whose coat bears no resemblance to Wake's at all. If I didn't know better, I would have thought they were different breeds.

As far as the resource guarding goes, there's an excellent book called "Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs" by Jean Donaldson which is readily available.

Be patient!
 

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Okay, I went thru the food thing as well. Goldens are notorious for scarfing food apparently from what I have been told on here. I asked my sister, who trains dogs with an agility club, and I also got a lot of advice on here. I was asked why I felt the need to "bother" the puppy while she is eating. Well, I had no reason really, but I do have a baby niece and what if she got near the puppy while she is eating. Also, the puppy growled at the cat who was just walking past while she was eating. So, what I was told to do is this:

NEVER use negative methods to train. So, you DON'T push the puppy away, don't take the food away, don't pin them down. DO try to distract them and offer some food from your hand. OR add a little kibble to their dish as they eat so that they realize that you are GIVING them food,not taking it. Keep working at it. I can now pet Liberty and put her water dish down beside her while she is eating and so far, so good. No growling.

As for the being affectionate, I am pretty sure that is a personality trait. BUT the puppy is young and I'm sure she is just wanting to get down and play when you try to cuddle her. As she gets older, she may slow down a little and learn to enjoy affection. Keep petting her and rub her belly. They usually love that.

As for the coat,they grow into it. Liberty was born March 14th and she is just starting to get the feathering on her tail and her fur is changing on her back. It's getting longer and thicker. I read somewhere that it can take up until they are about 10 months - a year to get their full coat of fur.
 
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