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I have an almost 8-month old gorgeous male golden retriever. He is quite smart, learns quickly and generally behaves when we're indoors. However, all bets are off when we're outside -- if he isn't allowed to go and greet passers-by or other dogs, or chase a leaf onto a busy road, then he gets very annoyed and jumps on me and bites my hand or arm quite hard. I can get him to "sit and wait" even in that state, but the whole process is extremely unpleasant and painful.
By that stage, he is no longer making eye contact. I live in an apartment, so we go from a quiet place to a situation with noises, smells, and distractions. I try to play and interact with him before walks, but this isn't always possible.
Any tips / advice would be much appreciated.
 

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I recommend you read this book and see if you can apply any of the exercises to your situation. :) It's hard when the pent up energy is detracting from training cause ideally you want to get some of that energy out so the dog can focus on what you are teaching it. Have you considered bringing something for him to carry in his mouth? Can't mouth your arm if they are holding something already. The book linked below talks about learning to read body language so you can better learn where your dog's threshold between "I'm doing ok" and "I'm overaroused" are so you can toe the line and reinforce their skills before they become overaroused.

Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®, The Book
 

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When he starts jumping, run the leash under your foot and take up the slack so he can't jump. This is a no-nonsense situation and he can't put teeth on you. I liked the idea from Brave of teaching him to carry something in his mouth or bringing along a special retrieving bumper to give him a job and distract him.

Part of this is age, part is training, part is probably a lack of exercise and a lack of self control. Work on all of it. He needs an hour of aerobic exercise every day to help give him an outlet for physical energy. Training is good for the mental energy. If you're not continued in obedience classes, I highly recommend it. Agility classes could be another good outlet and a way to meet other people with nice young dogs who could be potential puppy play dates. Unless you're doing a lot of games and activities with him EVERY DAY, he probably needs more interaction all the way around than he is currently getting. This age is a lot of work and will continue to be for the next couple of years. Don't give up, keep teaching him new things and implement games that teach him self control, like "go to place" "leave it" and having him "down/stay" while you fix his food and put it on the ground next to him, he doesn't get to move until you release him.
 

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When he starts jumping, run the leash under your foot and take up the slack so he can't jump. This is a no-nonsense situation and he can't put teeth on you. I liked the idea from Brave of teaching him to carry something in his mouth or bringing along a special retrieving bumper to give him a job and distract him.

Part of this is age, part is training, part is probably a lack of exercise and a lack of self control. Work on all of it. He needs an hour of aerobic exercise every day to help give him an outlet for physical energy. Training is good for the mental energy. If you're not continued in obedience classes, I highly recommend it. Agility classes could be another good outlet and a way to meet other people with nice young dogs who could be potential puppy play dates. Unless you're doing a lot of games and activities with him EVERY DAY, he probably needs more interaction all the way around than he is currently getting. This age is a lot of work and will continue to be for the next couple of years. Don't give up, keep teaching him new things and implement games that teach him self control, like "go to place" "leave it" and having him "down/stay" while you fix his food and put it on the ground next to him, he doesn't get to move until you release him.
Thanks. We have been doing more or less all of the above. Indoors, he always waits to get permission to eat or pick up treats and so on. He is does not seem interested in his toys or even high value treats (chicken / ham) when we're outside. He'll of course take them if I offer them to him, but they don't distract him enough. Also, he'll drop a toy in favour of a stick he finds any day.

We have been to obedience and nosework courses with mixed results -- but are continuing to practice at home. Also, we go to the dog park almost every day so that he can run freely and socialise. In addition to this, we are outside for 2-3 hrs each day, and feeding him takes at least 30min each time as I hide some of his kibble around the apartment.

What is a good way of showing him that "no" means "no" when it comes to biting? Had another incident this morning when I forbid him to go and greet a random person on the street.
 

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When he starts jumping, run the leash under your foot and take up the slack so he can't jump. This is a no-nonsense situation and he can't put teeth on you. I liked the idea from Brave of teaching him to carry something in his mouth or bringing along a special retrieving bumper to give him a job and distract him.

Part of this is age, part is training, part is probably a lack of exercise and a lack of self control. Work on all of it. He needs an hour of aerobic exercise every day to help give him an outlet for physical energy. Training is good for the mental energy. If you're not continued in obedience classes, I highly recommend it. Agility classes could be another good outlet and a way to meet other people with nice young dogs who could be potential puppy play dates. Unless you're doing a lot of games and activities with him EVERY DAY, he probably needs more interaction all the way around than he is currently getting. This age is a lot of work and will continue to be for the next couple of years. Don't give up, keep teaching him new things and implement games that teach him self control, like "go to place" "leave it" and having him "down/stay" while you fix his food and put it on the ground next to him, he doesn't get to move until you release him.
I recommend you read this book and see if you can apply any of the exercises to your situation. :) It's hard when the pent up energy is detracting from training cause ideally you want to get some of that energy out so the dog can focus on what you are teaching it. Have you considered bringing something for him to carry in his mouth? Can't mouth your arm if they are holding something already. The book linked below talks about learning to read body language so you can better learn where your dog's threshold between "I'm doing ok" and "I'm overaroused" are so you can toe the line and reinforce their skills before they become overaroused.

Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®, The Book
Thanks so much for the link Brave! I will try bringing a toy with me, but he definitely prefers the sticks he finds..
Indeed, I need to preempt the situation before it gets out of control.
 

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Thanks. We have been doing more or less all of the above. Indoors, he always waits to get permission to eat or pick up treats and so on. He is does not seem interested in his toys or even high value treats (chicken / ham) when we're outside. He'll of course take them if I offer them to him, but they don't distract him enough. Also, he'll drop a toy in favour of a stick he finds any day.

We have been to obedience and nosework courses with mixed results -- but are continuing to practice at home. Also, we go to the dog park almost every day so that he can run freely and socialise. In addition to this, we are outside for 2-3 hrs each day, and feeding him takes at least 30min each time as I hide some of his kibble around the apartment.

What is a good way of showing him that "no" means "no" when it comes to biting? Had another incident this morning when I forbid him to go and greet a random person on the street.
It's a combo of finding his threshold (the point where he can see what stimulates him but is not so focused on it that he is misbehaving), staying under his threshold, and repetitive and consistent rewarding for appropriate behavior. So like if my Bear went from relaxed at 20 feet away to alert and on guard (think standing vs sitting, tail up, hackles up, zeroed in, closed mouth vs open mouth, etc) at 15 feet, then we'd stay at 20 feet away. And every time he looked at me, he was rewarded. Over time we got to the point that he would keep his focus on me 90% of the time with a few glances. Then we decreased to 15 feet and re-evaluate. Now if he's relaxed at 15 feet but on guard at 10 feet, you rinse and repeat. Over time the dog is counter conditioned to ignore what he previously was stimulated by.

I personally don't let my dogs greet other dogs on the street (or on leash tbh). Because I allowed that with Bear and I think it fed his reactivity. People greetings should be done in a controlled setting where polite behavior can be reinforced and inappropriate behavior can be corrected. If my dog wants to see the person and is losing it's mind (like for instance, my Molly is 6 months old and when I come home she loses her mind and mouths my arms HARD in her excitement) we remove what they want (i.e. negative punishment). Don't be afraid to walk away from the situation. You can also step on the leash so the dog cannot jump on you and get your hands/arms. And don't repeat commands. "sit sit sit sit sit sit sit" I'm super guilty of that one. But the more I train the more I'm seeing that if I have their focus, giving the command once and waiting them out is more effective then repeating the command until we're both not even hearing it anymore.

More info on the four quadrants of operant conditioning can be found here: Dog Training Styles and Theories: Which is the Best? – K9deb.com
Operant Conditioning: Four Quadrants of Training
Operant Conditioning is much more complicated than your basic Classical Conditioning. This type of conditioning was heavily studied by B.F. Skinner, and he is considered the major creator and contributor to the method. He studied Reinforcers and Punishers, two outside stimuli that either promote or suppress a behavior. Skinner boxes were designed and tested on rats, to see how they react to specific stimuli in both positive and negative ways. While Classical Conditioning focuses on the subconscious, Operant Conditioning focuses on conscious actions that the individual can choose to take. There are four quadrants to Operant Conditioning:
1. Positive Reinforcement
This quadrant focuses on rewarding a liked behavior by giving the dog a treat, attention, or any other object or action they see as positive. Giving the dog a train when they sit down, or rewarding them for not barking at the doorbell are forms of this. This is the most effective and commonly used method for teaching a dog cues and behaviors, and is backed by hundreds of papers and research hours as a proven and effective method.
2. Negative Punishment
This quadrant focuses on removing a positive when a dog does something incorrect. Instead of reprimanding the dog, a positive is simply removed instead. While the term ‘Negative Punishment’ sounds bad, it is actually the second most effective form of operant conditioning for dogs. Example of this would include walking a dog away from someone it wants to see if it barks or jumps, or no longer allowing a dog in a room of the house where it goes to the bathroom in an unwanted manner. It focuses on redirection, rather than reprimanding or retribution.
3. Positive Punishment
This quadrant focuses on punishing the dog through physical force when a mistake is made. Swatting, shocking, alpha rolls, or physical restraint any time a dog does something incorrectly is what Positive Punishment entails, as you are adding a punishment to the dog. This has been proven not only incredibly ineffective at training dogs, it can also result in severe injury to the animal, as well as increasing the dog’s aggression to the point that bites become incredibly frequent. While this has been popularized by some big name trainers in media, due to the ‘fast results’, in fact has no scientific backing and commonly results in injury to the pet parent or dog.
4. Negative Reinforcement
This quadrant focuses on removing something painful from the dog when a proper action is performed. This includes putting a shock collar on a dog and letting it buzz until the dog walks in line, or letting a dog up from a pin once it stops growling or barking. This is the second quadrant that is proven incredibly ineffective in dog training, and almost always results in a terrified, timid dog that is too nervous to do much at all. When the dog refuses to do anything, this is often mistaken for a ‘well-trained dog’, but in reality it is just an animal that is too fearful to do anything due to the possible pain or fear that would be inflicted upon it.
 

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Thanks Brave! I will definitely try to read the signs better. This morning, he was set off by a group of noisy seagulls -- we started the walk with him fixating on the birds, and it went rapidly downhill from there. It seems as though he thinks of me as the one who stops him from having fun on outings.

I am definitely guilty of repeating commands, so will try to talk less! Yes, waiting it out has worked for me, but usually only in environments where I can risk that.
When he finally sits after frenzied jumping and biting, I tend not to reward him, but maybe I should?

When he was younger, the advice was to expose him to as many different experiences as possible, so I did indeed let him greet people and dogs. Now we're at the stage that I definitely don't want him to greet anyone without checking in with me first. He is strong enough (a bit over half of what I weigh!) to make a lunge for where he wants to go, and then it's essentially too late for me to do anything. Perhaps part of the problem is that I can't seem tire him out enough indoors -- we play / train for about 30min prior to going outdoors.
Will definitely read through the operant conditioning link too -- thanks again!
 

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This morning, he was set off by a group of noisy seagulls -- we started the walk with him fixating on the birds, and it went rapidly downhill from there. It seems as though he thinks of me as the one who stops him from having fun on outings.
Have you ever seen redirected aggression in cats? Where like the cat is sitting in the window "eck eck ecking" over a bird on a phone wire. Then another cat brushes against them just walking past, and the first cat reacts by snatching the cat and beating them up? The same concept occurs in dogs. Though, AGGRESSION is a misnomer of sorts as the most common cause, ime, is excitement/arousal/frustration rather than actual aggression. Anyways, the jist of it is, the dog is not able to cope with their feelings of stimulation / arousal / excitement and in an effort to vent that energy, they lash out at the closest thing to them... often the person walking them. That book I recommended goes into this more, iirc. And you see it in puppies when they get over-excited and start humping things. It's less of a "my owner is a meany head and won't let me do what I want so I'm going to bite him/pee in his shoe/throw up on his pillow" and more of an "omg I don't know how to act with what I'm feeling, so I'm going to do things that bring me comfort (chewing/humping/etc).

I am definitely guilty of repeating commands, so will try to talk less! Yes, waiting it out has worked for me, but usually only in environments where I can risk that.
When he finally sits after frenzied jumping and biting, I tend not to reward him, but maybe I should?
For reals, walking away from something that is overstimulating your dog is OK and encouraged. Waiting it out if he's over his threshold might not do it. Much easier to walk away and reset the experience. My cue is walk away until my dog chooses to check in with me (gives me focus, etc) and then I have an appropriate behavior to reward. Technically you CAN reward them for "settling down" but ime, the feeling inside is still chaotic and I'm not getting focus so all I'm doing is rewarding my dog being laser focused on a stimulant. Much better to reset.

When he was younger, the advice was to expose him to as many different experiences as possible, so I did indeed let him greet people and dogs. Now we're at the stage that I definitely don't want him to greet anyone without checking in with me first.
I did the same with Bear. He was allowed to meet and greet everyone under the sun. But over the years I had him as I explored more about conditioning, counter conditioning, etc; and talked to trainers in higher levels that me, it became apparent that our idea of socialization is wrong. Most pet owners/first time dog owners think socialization = must experience; whereas I see it as socialization = must be exposed to (not experienced).

So in the experience mind frame, you'd make your dog have a positive meet n greet / interaction with, say, a person wearing a hat. In the exposure mind frame, that positive experience is simply being around a person in a hat and seeing it and having an experience where they didn't feel afraid or threatened and can log that experience for future reference. The dog didn't have to go sniff their hand to have that experience. I'd rather the dog be exposed to sounds, sights, and smells, and be taught the appropriate response is to sit politely. I leaned into this hard with Lana b/c as a show dog (which mind you we're still novices in that) she is around a lot of people she cannot interact with. Judges will be touching her body and she cannot interact with them. She will be around lots of dogs and she cannot interact with them. So she needs to be exposed to those situations and taught the correct response and rewarded for choosing the response (which is much easier if she was never taught an appropriate response was to run up to the stranger and tackle their legs, you know?)

He is strong enough (a bit over half of what I weigh!) to make a lunge for where he wants to go, and then it's essentially too late for me to do anything. Perhaps part of the problem is that I can't seem tire him out enough indoors -- we play / train for about 30min prior to going outdoors.
I get that. I used to have to play fetch with Bear for at least 30 minutes, have him breathing hard and ready for a nap RIGHT before I took him to training so that he was able to focus on me. Do you have access to a yard for that kind of fetch or online inside stuff?
 
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