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Discussion Starter #1
The last time I broached the aggression subject with everyone you thought it was normal. I can tell when the growling is playing. But she is growling at us when she doesn't get her way. Last night while sitting next to me on the sofa(big mistake to ever bring her up) my husband opened the bedroom door. She always wants in there but since we brought her home it has become our "accumulation" place and so she is not allowed in there. I went to hold her so she wouldn't jump down and she growled at me. I tried again to touch her and she growled again. My husband came and put her in her crate. She settled down in a few minutes. Then this morning she figured out if she ran full speed from the corner of the LR she could jump on the sofa. I put her down immediately and that's when she got a major case of ZOOMIES. However, I am the target (sitting on the sofa). She is growling the whole while and hitting me. She figured out if she uses me as a spring board(using her back legs and nails) she can get on the sofa. She was not playing. She really gets very upset when she doesn't get her way. She growls very menacingly. What to do? Just say NO and crate her? Maybe we aren't the Alpha dog? Appreciate any and all advice.
 

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Kate
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This is why letting a puppy growl at you during playtime is not a good idea. Even if it's cute. Your puppy is sassing you right now and getting away with it.

I think it would be a good idea to look around your area for a good trainer to help you out. Make sure you go with somebody who is not going to ask you to do alpha pins or anything like that to your dog. You want to go with somebody who will help you train her to instantly stop any grumbling (you might have a grumbler later on) when you just give her a "look".

I don't necessarily feel your dog is aggressive if she's just growling and sassing you. It does sound like she has a dominant personality and would be the boss of the house if you don't put her in her proper place.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When I took her into a trainer she said Emma is "dominant". Also, independent. I have her in PK but they canceled last night. And really PK doesn't address any of the behavior stuff. On a positive note she is sooo motivated by food. She can sit, down, shake. But still has this "streak" that always shakes me. When I get out the bitter apple she gets so mad. I can spray my hand, and she growls and tries to bite me. I spray again, she lunges again, growling. Is the crating going to help?
 

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PK won't address these type of problems, it would be best to either get in an obedience class or find a good behavior trainer to work with you individually.
 

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Kate
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When I took her into a trainer she said Emma is "dominant". Also, independent. I have her in PK but they canceled last night. And really PK doesn't address any of the behavior stuff. On a positive note she is sooo motivated by food. She can sit, down, shake. But still has this "streak" that always shakes me. When I get out the bitter apple she gets so mad. I can spray my hand, and she growls and tries to bite me. I spray again, she lunges again, growling. Is the crating going to help?
*nods* We were told to use lemon juice with our little pirannas, but they thought it was a game. And my current golden likes the taste of lemon juice. We didn't bother. :uhoh:

The best thing I can say outside of talking to a trainer (one on one classes) is do not get into that position where you are fighting with the puppy. Because a lot of the time, they see that as "play" or they get even more worked up and do not respect your authority.

Uh. Like a teenager. :uhoh:

Say "NO" in a firm voice and try to distract her. There is a physical correction that I would use, but I think it would be better if you are shown by a trainer. If she's too excited and worked up, then walk away.

I told my mom (she's my puppysitter :p:) to not bother with lemon juice (besides, I was always afraid she'd squirt it in his eyes) and just send him downstairs to 'his room' until he had calmed down. In his case, my mom would get more upset about him chewing on our old golden who would not defend himself. When he calmed down he was allowed to come back upstairs again.

I'd say crating might help, but you don't want that to become a 'punishment' place for your dog. Your dog's crate should be her safe and secure place. If you do crate her, make sure you do it calmly. Again, you do not want her to feel that her crate is a "BAD" place.

The growling though - you do not want to allow any of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just scheduled an appointment with a trainer. Can't see her til the 23rd as we will be out of state til then. So she is going to send me some info via email to help us til then. I feel a little better. What worries me is we work with the public and wouldn't want her to display this side to someone. So far it is only at me and my husband. We love her so.
 

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Our Sadie is 15 weeks old, and a sweetheart most of the time. However, she is a pistol sometimes. She is pretty fearless for a puppy. She growled at me one time, and I dealt with it pretty aggressively. I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, got in her face, looked her dead in the eyes, shook her a little bit and said in a very gruff voice, "Don't you ever growl at me." She couldn't understand what I was saying, of course, but she knew by the tone of my voice and the way I grabbed her that growling at me wasn't a good idea. When I did this, she laid back her ears, looked a little frightened, and I haven't had the problem since. However, I had to repeat when she growled at my wife. She doesn't growl at her anymore either.

This probably wouldn't be considered positive dog training, and I'm sure that some will disagree with my approach, but I got immediate results. I will not tolerate that behavior, and I'm not going to mess around trying to put a positive spin on it. BTW, this method can be found in the book:
The Art of Raising a Puppy - by The Monks of New Skete.


I want you to know that I am very close to Sadie. She knows how much I love her, and after she gets disciplined, I wait a few minutes and then really cuddle her up and pet her, etc. It always results in lots of licks and seemingly, some contrition. I would only use this approach for really important behavioral issues.

Also, with respect to the zoomies (running around like a little maniac), more exercise may be in order. At 15 weeks, I have been throwing bumpers for her for about 30 minutes, then taking a 45 minute, 2.5 mile walk in the evening. Last night it was in the mid-to-high 80s, and very humid, but she still had some gas in the tank when we got home. She loves this! My wife takes her in the morning. We weren't doing a lot of this until recently, because she had not completed all of her shots. It did make a big difference with respect to the zoomies. There's no zoom left. She sleeps good.
 

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Kate
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This probably wouldn't be considered positive dog training, and I'm sure that some will disagree with my approach, but I got immediate results.
That actually is similar to the correction I alluded to...

The "NO" (your lowest harshest voice) + looking the dog in the eye with an angry face + grabbing the dog by the collar and giving a sharp pop = all at the same time.

The reason why I think this should come from a trainer is you want that trainer to show you how to make that correction. It has to be precise and it has to get the point across.

A trainer would also be able to access your puppy and gauge how dominant or aggressive you need to be. Some puppies might only need that verbal correction in a loud DEEP voice to back off.

The other thing is I don't want people to get the idea that they should be grabbing and yanking their dogs around. If you have a soft golden, he will get hand shy very easily.
 

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The other thing is I don't want people to get the idea that they should be grabbing and yanking their dogs around. If you have a soft golden, he will get hand shy very easily.
I agree. However, the soft golden probably wouldn't growl in the first place ;)
Our first golden was like that.

Sadie is just as sweet, and there is an upside to her spunkiness. It takes a lot less effort to get her to try new things, which is kind of fun.
 

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Not everyone will like that correction (and that's ok), but I can tell you that some very, very experienced people do exactly that. And it's how I was taught to do it.

It's just one method. It won't be right for everyone/every dog.

Our Sadie is 15 weeks old, and a sweetheart most of the time. However, she is a pistol sometimes. She is pretty fearless for a puppy. She growled at me one time, and I dealt with it pretty aggressively. I grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, got in her face, looked her dead in the eyes, shook her a little bit and said in a very gruff voice, "Don't you ever growl at me." She couldn't understand what I was saying, of course, but she knew by the tone of my voice and the way I grabbed her that growling at me wasn't a good idea. When I did this, she laid back her ears, looked a little frightened, and I haven't had the problem since. However, I had to repeat when she growled at my wife. She doesn't growl at her anymore either.

This probably wouldn't be considered positive dog training, and I'm sure that some will disagree with my approach, but I got immediate results. I will not tolerate that behavior, and I'm not going to mess around trying to put a positive spin on it. BTW, this method can be found in the book:
The Art of Raising a Puppy - by The Monks of New Skete.


I want you to know that I am very close to Sadie. She knows how much I love her, and after she gets disciplined, I wait a few minutes and then really cuddle her up and pet her, etc. It always results in lots of licks and seemingly, some contrition. I would only use this approach for really important behavioral issues.

Also, with respect to the zoomies (running around like a little maniac), more exercise may be in order. At 15 weeks, I have been throwing bumpers for her for about 30 minutes, then taking a 45 minute, 2.5 mile walk in the evening. Last night it was in the mid-to-high 80s, and very humid, but she still had some gas in the tank when we got home. She loves this! My wife takes her in the morning. We weren't doing a lot of this until recently, because she had not completed all of her shots. It did make a big difference with respect to the zoomies. There's no zoom left. She sleeps good.
 

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I really don't have any words or advice, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. Barley is our second golden & very dominant and displayed the same behaviours as Emma. He is now 10 months old, but it's been a challenge and very stressful.

Both my husband & I have been at our wits end. We have tried everything to snap him out of his behaviour. I think we have watched every Cesar Milan episode to help us, and we did learn alot. He is wonderful 75 percent of time but he goes into these wild moments that are uncontrollable!

We walk him twice before work, a dog walker comes in twice during the day and then my husband will rollerblade him at night. Just yesterday, he spent four hours in our pool and would keep going if we didn't stop him but it was just too hot and humid.

He's a wonderful dog to everyone else & also only shows his dark side to us. He has improved with age but he still has moments that we need to correct.

Good luck with the trainer.
 

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You guys should see it with TWO of them LOL I must be out of my ****** mind :)

It is more normal than you think. It will get better. Just recognizing when you need professional help is half the battle.
 

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We do need to exercise her more. We take her to a field nearby and walk her. For some reason in our house w/us she is fearless.Outside she is scared of everything. So walks aren't much fun. She stops in her tracks and wants to run back home. Scared of noises, cars, large objects, etc. It's weird. I read last night to give her treats while walking her. I know she has to get socialized. On a positive she loves people. And she does have sweet moments, too. What do you throw to her? Tennis ball is too big for her...
 

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We use a gentle leader, which is like a halti. Makes a world of difference in correcting their behaviours. We tried treats, but it didn't work for us as Barley would be more attracted to my pocket. He then started jumping & nipping at our coats, so we stopped after he ripped our coats.

The most important thing we learned from Cesar Milan, is to never give affection while they are anxious as it only reinforces the behaviour. Also, before leaving the house he sits in a calm and submissive state before we step out first.

As for toys, we used a large rubber ball when he was a puppy. He just loves that ball, and was so adorable when he would try to carry it.

Our first golden would only rip & de stuff his toys, Barley rips and eats everything. Now, he is limited to the type of toys he can play with.
 

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What do you throw to her? Tennis ball is too big for her...
I bought a canvas, puppy-sized retrieving dummy (bumper), made by Remington. I got it at a pet store, but you should also be able to find these in a sporting goods store that caters to hunters and/or hunting dogs, etc.

I actually started her off with a 7-inch paint-roller, with a little longer nap (for semi-rough surfaces). She loved this and would retrieve it right from the get-go. You can get these from the hardware store for cheap. I used this in the house as soon as we brought her home. However, I used it only for retrieving. If she started chewing on it, I'd put it away. That made it seem special to her.

I bought the bumper because it is easier to throw outside. I throw it in the back yard most of the time, but sometimes I take her to a mowed field behind the school. When she is not confined, I have her dragging a 25-foot training leash. That way, if she starts chasing butterflies, etc., it is easier to get control of her. I don't care if she chases butterflies. She's a puppy, and I just want her to get some exercise. But I don't want her chasing them into the next county.

Sadie really behaves quite well in an open field with the long leash. It also helps in getting her to come to you. If she doesn't quite understand what you want, you can "pull" her in to you, while saying "come." What really worked for me is squatting down on my haunches, and getting her excited about coming back to me, by clapping and encouragement. She runs for me lickety-split when I'm down in this position. She knows she is going to get lavish praise and maybe a belly-rub.

Have you tried a tennis ball? It doesn't matter if they have a difficulty handling it. It wears them out even better then ;). Anyway, those puppy teeth have a pretty good grip. I would be afraid of using anything smaller because of the danger of choking. But I'm a bit of a worry-wart.
 

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You guys should see it with TWO of them LOL I must be out of my ****** mind :)

It is more normal than you think. It will get better. Just recognizing when you need professional help is half the battle.
I agree! I know your worried and other people may not agree with me but it really does sound normal!!!! I really wouldn't worry too much just yet! There were times I was so worried about my boy being dominant and aggressive, but he's not! He's just a normal golden pup with an independant and willful personality! Just keep up saying 'no' etc in a dissaproving tone. Relax and remember she is very young - like a toddler challenging its parents!
 

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It sounds pretty normal to me too. Especially the bouncing off you, the walls the furniture part. And no matter how much exercise they get, they will still get the zoomies because it's just their joy of life being expressed. Penny used to run back and forth on the leash in front of me. I didn't know what it was; I called it 'dart and dash'.

When you think the growling has crossed the line from playing, you need to stand up and speak up. Most dogs who are already excited and assertive will be annoyed if you grab at their collar. For the sofa situation, I would stand up and speak sharply and say "That's enough". Raise the volume of your voice a little (but you don't have to yell) and lower the pitch. Higher pitch adds to the excitement level. Let her know you mean business. But stay calm.

I would take away her sofa priviledges for a while, maybe forever. Keep a leash on her so you don't have to reach for her collar and MAKE HER GET DOWN. Don't crate her. Everytime she tries to get up, stand up and say "That's enough, go lay down". I don't like to just say no because it doesn't tell them what they're doing wrong or what they SHOULD do instead. I always give an instruction/command. If Penny wants to get into something she shouldn't, I'll say "Penny, this way". Just saying 'no' doesn't mean anything to them. I saw a poster once that said "My name's no-no bad dog, what's yours". They can become deaf to it just like kids. Be sure to stay calm.

In addition, work on being able to take her by the collar. Have her sit in front of you, give her a treat, and touch her collar. Stay calm, unhurried. They have an instinct to protect their necks; you need to get her used to you reaching for her collar.
 
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