Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 83 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm going through a disheartening experience with my golden retriever puppy. He is from a reputable breeder and we got him at 8 weeks. I'm quite upset as I chose a golden retriever because of their gentle nature and am unsure if the following is normal or not:
He wrinkles his nose and shows his teeth and snaps at me. He tries to hump my leg but I push him off. If I scold him when he's biting at me, he carries on .. Getting feistier. I tried the muzzle wrap, he just carries on biting at my hands. I can't pet him, as he tries to bite my hands always... He wrinkles his muzzle...the only thing I can do is leave him outside for a while and when I go outside he greets me warmly and then it all resumes again. Has anyone had this? And what did you do to fix it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Sounds like very normal behaviour to me! My pup is 19 weeks and he has always been, and still is, like that. So are his siblings. I find that sometimes its because he needs more exercise, so I take him for a play on the beach and that does the trick. I also make sure he has lots of interesting toys or chew treats to divert his chewing habits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Steph, does yours wrinkle his nose too before he bites/ snaps at you? When he's biting you, how do you make him stop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Yes, very normal playing. Not aggression. He needs lots and lots of exercise everyday, several times a day. A tired puppy is a happy puppy.

Are you crate training him? The crate is invaluable for times when you can't watch him AND for time outs when he's overly excited. And puppies excite very easily...their whole life is play, eat, sleep. And when puppies play, they bite and hump and wrestle...all the things your pup is doing with you. You have to teach him to play in other ways: by walking a lot, playing ball, gentle tug games. And you need to get him to puppy class. Working on obedience practice tires them physically and mentally.
 

·
Tucker's Human ~ Melissa
Joined
·
817 Posts
Sounds like your puppy is just being a puppy. I agree with Penny's Mom - wear him out and definitely go to a puppy class. Good luck with your baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

Believe me when I say most of us have been there and done that. Golden puppies are very smart and full of energy. They have a nick name here of being LandSharks. Some puppies are layed back and calm but most aren't. They have to be trained with a lot of gentle guidence and patience. Puppies experience their world through their nose and mouth. Many goldens start out very mouthy and until they are taught bite inhibition can really hurt when using that mouth. They need a nice amount of exercise and tons of mental stimulation (training house manners) and in many cases when they are that excited (biting/wrinkling their noses)they are actually over tired from to much stimulation.
It might be a good idea to keep a journal for a few days to see when and what seems to trigger most of your puppies wild antics. You will then be able to adjust what you are doing to lesson this.

Preventing the puppy from getting so excited may help. Managing how long the pup gets to play then rest times could change this up a little.
Baby gates/x-pens and crates can help you manage the puppy. They can be used for time outs without actually punishing the pup. When the pup is out of control you can give your pup a kong filled with goodies in the crate or x-pen where they can chill out and you can take a break.

The forum has tons of information on different things to help get you through the trying periods. With your love and training these puppies do turn out to be the best family dogs ever. But it takes lots of work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
This is Penny, playing. This snarly face is usually followed by her snapping her jaws shut. We call it the 'croc chop'. It's all in fun; she wouldn't dream of biting us on purpose.

haha that is exactly what Harvey does! I won't lie, the first time he did it I was so shocked I pushed him and ran away. I don't stop him from showing his teeth, but instead I either divert his bite to a toy or praise him for GENTLY mouthing, because at the end of the day he is only playing. I'll usually put my hand over his muzzle and tell him to put his teeth away. If he "bites" me (really, just uses his teeth, it never hurts or breaks the skin) then I'll pull my hand away, tap his nose and tell him no biting. When he stops, I've taught him to lick my hand on command by saying "give kisses" and when he does that he gets a toy or a treat to play with. That way, whenever he wants attention or something, he knows to either give paw or kiss without being asked.

There has only been one instance of him being truly aggressive, and that was with a chew treat. He lowered his head and growled, and we knew he meant business!

Otherwise the showing of teeth and mouthing isn't aggression, it's just pent up energy, excitement, playing. I won't stop him from playing but I'm going to praise him when he plays without hurting anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Stephie, that is just like Penny. She loves our hand over her muzzle. She will actually push her nose under our hand until our hand is covering her muzzle from eyes to nose.

We had a real threat like that once too. Over a steak bone. I put on my heavy leather rose gloves and 'went in'; called her bluff so to speak. I think she could give credible threat even now over a very high value treat. We don't give her anything that we would want to take away from her so the situation never arises. A little common sense goes a long way. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice- I have said no to him firmly, and try to walk away but he just wrinkles his nose and bites my ankles/legs. When I leave him outside, he looks upset for a few seconds, but then sits with his chew toy. Is this punishment enough- he doesn't seemed bothered. Also, when I sit on a chair, he paws his way up to my eye level, wrinkles his nose and the snapping at hands or whatever body part he can get. I say no! But he just intensifies. Is this normal ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
Wrong thread! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
Yes, that's normal. I used to point my finger at Penny and give her a firm, no nonsense 'NO BITE' after which she would leap up and lunge at my finger, biting all the way.

Don't think of it as having to punish your puppy. He isn't doing anything wrong, he's just being a puppy. When you put him outside and he chews quietly, you are redirecting. That is, getting him to focus on something else. You can do this in the house with toys or by playing ball. When he gets too excited/bitey/out of control, give him a time out either outside with his toy or in his crate.

It's your job to call it quits to the game when he gets out of control. And it's your job to do it with patience, kindness and love; to teach him rather than punish him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
That's pretty cheeky, alright!!! But cute! I would have a hard time not laughing. :curtain:

I had to post this picture because I felt it was appropriate to share with you. I know what you are going through! You said yours will not stop jumping...well here is a NAUGHTY Cannon! I have never had that got up and stood on the table :bowl:!!! I had my phone in my hand and I just had to take a picture because I could not believe my eyes! Although...he has not done that since :p:. I was not a happy/proud momma! Just had to share the Naughty picture with you guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,669 Posts
This post was meant for another thread!! :) Not the this one! Oops!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much Penny's mum... I'm feeling a little better now. Thanks so much. You said something about bite inhibition. I have read large number of articles, but seeing you are all experienced owners, how did you all do this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Is this punishment enough

It takes a little time for them to get it. As you build up the bond between you two (you become the FUN) and when the little one acts up by removing yourself from him all the fun (you) goes away.
You really aren't about punishment here. You being the one of fun (you are the reward - food/play) over time he will figure out.... Hey if I do this my human doesn't play) and his little brain will start to turn. If I do this we have fun if I do this no fun.

During this process reward often for any good behavior. Lots of praise, toy time and treats for any good behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
Bite Inhibition.

When he bites. All fun stops. Since he is so little it may only be for 30 seconds then again resume play. If he is really over the top hyper just give him a time out with a bone or a kong. In the beginning if he keeps coming back to bite you will probably have to separate yourself from him with a gate/x-pen/crate/ moving to another room and ignore him but as he gets that when he bite (no play) you can just be a statue.

When he bites you can yelp and stop play. Some pups get more excited by the yelp so you might want to just say ouch and stop play. Over time he will get the no teeth on skin. After the yelp or ouch and being a statue you can offer a toy for him to chew.

You can also do this with feeding. Hold a piece of kibble in between your thumb and index finger if he grabs at it don't let him have it. If he takes it gently say yes and give the kibble. You can practice this about 10 times 3 or 4 times a day.
Here is a thread on the subject

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...105163-bite-inhibition-3-mo-old-gr-puppy.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,934 Posts
My first session with a dog trainer put things in perspective for me. She asked for a volunteer to sit in a chair in front of the class, she said "23" to the volunteer, nothing happened, so she said it again, "23", still nothing happened and she said it yet again, this time getting louder and then louder again. "23" meant nothing to the volunteer, you can't expect your puppy to know what "no" means, it's a baby, work on training sessions so that you can capture and shape the positive behaviors and redirect the negative. Good luck with your pup, if you put the time and effort in, you'll have your dream golden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33,267 Posts
For me, the intensity of the bite is directly linked to the level of excitement. The more excited she was, the harder and more often she bit. And it was hard because just opening her eyes after a nap got her really excited. I was constantly trying to figure out what excited her, how to manage it. For instance, the loud yipping sound that is supposed to make them sorry they hurt you? well that just got her more excited. Looking back on it, I should have banned all toys with squeakers, they ratcheted her up too.

I also taught her "That's Enough". When she got too rowdy, I'd say "Thats Enough" and remove myself from the play. I'd take her out to go potty (she would go on command), we'd take a little walk around the yard and house and then in her crate for a nap. Penny will still play with the same excitement and energy but now WE control when and for how long. We say "that's enough" and she immediately quits and goes to do something else.

Mostly, you take one day at a time, one situation at a time and handle it the best you can. Eventually they mature a little, you get a little better at handling them and eventually they out grow it. Everybody survives, a little bruised, scarred a little but happy and wiser.

Penny will be 10 on Jan 3. We've had 9 years of the most wonderful, playful, controlable girl in our lives. Worth every minute of work put into her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,227 Posts
Sounds familiar! My puppy is 4.5 months old, I can assure you it does get better. First I learned not to "mess with the puppy." Anything I did with my hands to try to stop the nipping only made it worse, because he thought it was all part of the game. So we learned "puppy management." We figured out the triggers - hungry, tired, bored, needed to potty. The potty one was really tough to figure out!


A couple of other things helped. We don't play with the puppy's head and we don't rub his fur against the grain. Well, we do if we want to get him all excited and playful. :) We also work on "easy" where we sit him in front of us and pet him slowly from head to tail. This calms him down pretty quickly. If not, it's off to the kitchen!


The last few days have been tough with our sons home from college. Too much excitement and we're trying to teach our sons how to handle the dog. They are eating all over the place and the puppy just learned how to jump and climb over stuff. (Food is a great motivator there.) At least the dog was exhausted today and has mostly slept.
 
1 - 20 of 83 Posts
Top