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Help please. My spouse is not liking 'my' our puppy!

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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
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Kate
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Obedience training?

For best success, bring her to obedience classes at local training clubs consistently (3 sessions per year most places) for the first 2 years of a young golden's life. At the end you will have a well socialized and well behaved golden.

Referring to training clubs with practical and purpose focused training. Not "sit means sit", K9 police dog training places, or petsmart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Obedience training?

For best success, bring her to obedience classes at local training clubs consistently (3 sessions per year most places) for the first 2 years of a young golden's life. At the end you will have a well socialized and well behaved golden.

Referring to training clubs with practical and purpose focused training. Not "sit means sit", K9 police dog training places, or petsmart.
I have tried but most day they won't start until one year. Is that normal? She knows all the basic commands until,..
 

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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
Get her into an obedience class. Google “dog obedience clubs near me” to find classes.
 

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I agree with the others on taking classes. However, it’s your job to manage your dog in your own home. If she can’t behave when people are there, she hasn’t earned the privilege to be around your guests. If she were my dog, she’d be crated or on a leash when visitors are there. It’s totally normal for a Golden to be enthusiastic when other people are there, but too much is too much.
 

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You might consider a prong collar. If you're like me and not an expert dog handler, it can be really helpful as a first stage before going back to the flat collar. It's important first to teach your dog the meaning of pressure. And you need to know how to apply pressure properly. Here is how one dog trainer does it. Best of luck!

 

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You are definitely not too old!! I got Archie when I was 63 (I’m now on the dark side of 64!). Also retired. I immediately enrolled in puppy pre-k classes, because I had no idea what I was doing, and have gone up the training ladder. It’s much more than providing adequate exercise (which is also important) because if you’re not training daily, you’re going to have a wild child on your hands. Archie also went through a phase that made him look like The Tasmanian Devil at the Door! I worked really hard at training him to greet appropriately. At your pups age, Archie was nowhere near the door when guests arrived. I had an entire protocol that friends followed because it really does take a village!! Also, I didn’t feel one bit guilty if Archie spent an evening in the kitchen if I had people over who weren’t keen on dogs. I get it, not everyone is, though they should be! Even now that Archie is quite the gentleman he is never 1st at the door to greet guests. This behavior wasn’t an easy one to train and I had to try a few different strategies, but it is definitely worth it to have a dog that everyone who visits you loves, well except the weirdos who aren’t keen on dogs! 😂😂😂

Oh, and it really helped to have my husby on board. I am the driver when it comes to training, but David is super supportive and follows through with all of it, so that Archie doesn’t get mixed messages. Though I’m sure that Archie thinks Mahm is school and Dahds recess!

Maybe your husband doesn’t know what to do and that’s why he’s hanging back??!! Hopefully when you start training classes the 2 of you can sit down and come up with a game plan so that he can support your training.
 

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Training is all that's needed. Understand that 'training' includes training you how to train your dog(s). Using a 'prong' collar as noted above can help a lot, but you have to first be trained on how to use a prong collar and completely understand how and when to apply pressure to your pup in your training program. Do not get a prong collar without first getting yourself trained on using it. Many obedience trainers include using a prong collar as part of the training they do. Many trainers do not offer this and do not support using a prong collar. Over the years I have done obedience classes with both types of trainers, and I have found that using a prong collar properly speeds up the training time and the dogs comes under control much quicker. Almost always I only use the prong collar for a year or less, as the pup figures out what I am expecting from them. Good Luck
 

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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
As others have said, training and management are the keys.

For training classes: no, it's not normal to start only at a year old. Every single training facility in our area starts when pups are 8 weeks of age. If you tell the forum your approximate location, someone will be able to recommend a facility. Training is a process that teaches humans how to train dogs. Once you've established a good training system (which involves daily practice and reinforcement), it becomes a lot easier.

For the visitors: her wild behaviour with visitors is self-rewarding - the more she does it, the worse it will get. So the first step is to stop it from happening. When visitors come, keep her away from them for now. Crate her in the garage if you have to. She won't like it but it will break the cycle of wildness.

And then you need to train her to behave as you want her to, when visitors come. For example, I've trained my dogs to go and sit on the staircase when the doorbell rings. It has stopped the pushy greetings altogether, and gives people a chance to get into the house without being overwhelmed by dogs. When you're teaching an alternative behaviour like this, you don't teach it when visitors are there: you train the behaviour when you're alone with your dogs. Start by teaching the dog to sit on the stairs, then reward and reinforce. Then introduce a command ("stairs") and reward and reinforce. Then gradually replace the command with the doorbell (this involves going back to the beginning and reinforcing the basic "sit on the stairs"). Repeat endlessly until the dog automatically runs to the staircase when she hears the doorbell. Then practice staying on the stairs while people do things around her. Only at that point should you try it out with actual visitors, keeping a leash on the dog so you can get control of her if she breaks away. It might take a while, but it's worth the effort.

Best of luck, hope you find a solution.
 

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Ragtag Rescue
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I’ve never liked the phrase “obedience training” because it sounds like the issue is solely with the dog. Bottom line in a well-led training program you BOTH learn. Like people, dogs are individuals and an experienced trainer can observe and give you both pointers. Example: I’ve seen people getting frustrated at their pup’s inability to grasp the Stay command despite it being given with patient repetition. The trainer offers a couple of alternatives. Human tries one. Dog responds appropriately. Both end the session feeling great!

With my enthusiastic hugger it was simply a matter of standing on a loop of his leash so he couldn’t jump. He’d sit instead which earned him lots of praise and treats. In a very short time the jump and hug period was over.

Sometimes it takes an impartial observer watching through objective eyes to notice triggers we miss
 

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Rocky, Golden Retriever.
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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
Get some obedience training. But also keep in mind that Lucy is at a very difficult age, and things will improve as she gets older. I am 74 and my wife is 70. Our Rocky is 5 years old. He can be a handful, but we are doing fine with him. We got our late boy, Max, when I was 62. He became a certified therapy dog and was big--some 135 pounds. But he was a lot of work and trouble to get to that point. Do not give up. Things will get better.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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There is a way to fix this problem, but it takes time and everyone who comes into your home has to participate.

Essentially, you have to deny your dog any attention at all, when people come in. You, your husband, your friends and family, and anyone who comes into the house needs to be told and to follow this protocol: No matter what the dog does, you are not to look at her or give her any attention at all. Not even to discourage her antics. There has to be a complete vacuum of attention. As I said, you can't even look at her. Can't acknowledge her in any way. She simply does not exist. And everyone who comes in the door has to know this before they even have a chance to lay eyes on Lucy.

It will take time, but if everyone does this 100% of the time, she will eventually come to understand that her behavior does not get her what she wants, and in fact it's quite disappointing.

When she stops her antics, when the people are indoors for several minutes and she has not once tried to get anyone's attention, then you can pet her on your terms. She only gets rewarded for not doing anything. If she even wags her dang tail or looks at you twice, she gets no reward (well, maybe not that bad, but you get it). I'm serious about not even looking at her or acknowledging her in any way, no matter what she does.

I know someone who posted a sign on the front door that instructed people on not looking at or acknowledging the dog, and she made sure people understood it before they came in, and she watched the people like a hawk and gave them a correction if they even looked like they might acknowledge the dog's presence. That one worked fairly quickly.

You have to be perfect at it. You have to figure that every mistake resets the clock to zero and you are starting all over again.

Good luck!
 

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Brewster
Milo, 6 weeks, Golden Retriever
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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
I think you must have my puppy's sister. Milo is 11 months and a true golden retriever, a people lover, playful, and energy that is sometimes overpowering. I got Milo when my best buddy passed away and I must say I was expecting another laid back golden. But, not so much.

I have taken him to training classes (he was expelled for exuberance). He loses all his senses when he encounters anyone, known or unknown, and is impossible to control. So, what did I do? I almost gave up but Milo is perfect for me and I just needed to chill. He is a puppy. His jumping can be irritating and can be dangerous but it can be controlled. I moved to different collars from a typical collar, to a martingale, to a prong for control. I use the prong collar on our long walks and he is a perfect gentleman.

I take him to dog parks and use a chuckit to launch tennis balls for him to chase and wear him out. It takes about an hour. I also take him to puppy daycare and he comes home exhausted.

I had a relationship, and that ended because of my commitment to Milo. He doesn't mean to hurt anyone or be a problem. But, like a child, he wants attention and he wants to play.

So, take Lucy to a friendly daycare where she can play, socialize, and wear herself out. I use a lot of online advice for Milo and some of it is very helpful.

Don't give up. Just remember Lucy is a puppy.

Just my two cents.
 

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We had the same problem after we got our golden puppy. We were both in our late 50's with no children in the house to help tire out the puppy. My husband was beside himself and was not into the puppy phase. We signed up for Puppy Classes and we BOTH went with the puppy. It was the best thing for all three of us. Today, our golden boy is turning 4 and my husband absolutely loves him (as do I)! Puppy classes are not just for the puppy -- they are for the entire family and everyone learns in these classes. This phase will pass and you will forget it. Just DO NOT give up! It will be worth it, I promise.
 

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My precious Lucy is 8 months, smart, curious and all the wonders of a golden we all love. However... Anytime anyone comes around she goes wild and does not calm down for a very long time. If everyone would just hug her and love her for a minute, she's be on her way. Regretfully there are people that don't like dogs, even Goldens, and that makes her even more bound and determined to MAKE them see her. I'm exhausted trying to manage her outbursts besides the fact she's a normal puppy with boundless energy. My husband, who was completely onboard with getting her (for five years of endless discussions prior) has gone absent. He just leaves it to me and I'm at a loss. I love this puppy and i want to figure out how to manage this. I'm retired, 62, and i make sure she's gotten plenty of exercise--not in a fence but pure open field play. Am i too old? Is there something I'm doing wrong?
I’ll just echo some of the other responses here. Obedience training is a must. I’d also concentrate on impulse control exercises, with gradually increasing difficulty (distance, duration, distractions, etc.). If Lucy is not comfortable with a crate, I’d get her crate trained asap, and keep her in the crate several times a day (maybe 30 minutes up to 4 hours max per session). Some people recommend tethering indoors so the dog learns to self-soothe, but when I tried this several times with my golden he just chewed through the leash :). You might also try using toys such as kongs, antlers and yak chews... Physical and mental stimulation are a must. just letting your dog run around on her own may not be enough, but games of fetch or tug will tire her our relatively quickly (some say that a tired dog is a good dog… :)). Consider teaching your dog the ‘place’ command - I have a raised bed in the parlor, and send my dog to that place when people come over - at this point (he’s 1.5 years old) he’ll usually lay in his ‘place’ until released, and he knows not to jump on people when saying hello , BUT he is a Golden after all! — lots of energy.. Goldens do come down as they mature, and with some training and persistence I’m sure it’ll work out! Good luck!
 

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You are definitely not too old!! I got Archie when I was 63 (I’m now on the dark side of 64!). Also retired. I immediately enrolled in puppy pre-k classes, because I had no idea what I was doing, and have gone up the training ladder. It’s much more than providing adequate exercise (which is also important) because if you’re not training daily, you’re going to have a wild child on your hands. Archie also went through a phase that made him look like The Tasmanian Devil at the Door! I worked really hard at training him to greet appropriately. At your pups age, Archie was nowhere near the door when guests arrived. I had an entire protocol that friends followed because it really does take a village!! Also, I didn’t feel one bit guilty if Archie spent an evening in the kitchen if I had people over who weren’t keen on dogs. I get it, not everyone is, though they should be! Even now that Archie is quite the gentleman he is never 1st at the door to greet guests. This behavior wasn’t an easy one to train and I had to try a few different strategies, but it is definitely worth it to have a dog that everyone who visits you loves, well except the weirdos who aren’t keen on dogs! 😂😂😂

Oh, and it really helped to have my husby on board. I am the driver when it comes to training, but David is super supportive and follows through with all of it, so that Archie doesn’t get mixed messages. Though I’m sure that Archie thinks Mahm is school and Dahds recess!

Maybe your husband doesn’t know what to do and that’s why he’s hanging back??!! Hopefully when you start training classes the 2 of you can sit down and come up with a game plan so that he can support your training.
I would LOVE to know what you did to train your dog at the door. I've been struggling with this one for a while. And it doesn't help that I have two dogs so I get our Golden under control (she's a good listener) and the other breaks and then the Golden follows.
 

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I would LOVE to know what you did to train your dog at the door. I've been struggling with this one for a while. And it doesn't help that I have two dogs so I get our Golden under control (she's a good listener) and the other breaks and then the Golden follows.
Knowing your dog and the training you’ve done so far would help with the answer, but I’ll assume your dog knows markers such as ‘good’ and ‘yes’ (actual markers you use may be different). I don’t remember exactly what I did with my dog, Bailey, but if I had to do it again I might (when it’s quiet and no distractions) hold the leash in my left hand, point to the place I want my dog to go with my right hand, and if necessary guide him with the leash. Once there I’d immediately mark with ‘yes’, and then give him some small treats (I would not be too stingy with treats at this point). I’d repeat several times until I no longer need to use the leash, or maybe just a little to fine tune where he ends up. Next I would introduce down - I’d point to a place (in my case it’s a raised bed), and once he’s there I would give the down command. Once my dog’s in the right place and down I’d mark with a ‘yes’ and give several treats… once proficient (with a Golden should not take long ;)) I’d say ‘place’, point to the raised bed, then give the non-verbal down command if still necessary to get him to lay down… mark with a yes, treat.. rinse and repeat, and gradually wean off treats until you can say ‘place’, point to where I want my dog to go, and he goes there and lays down… I’d then start to work on duration (gradually increasing), putting him back in place if he breaks before I release him (in our case it’s the ‘ok’ command)… while in place I’d occasionally mark with a ‘good’ marker and treat… after he’s able to stay in place for a while I’d start to introduce distractions (having someone ring the bell, jumping up and down, make noises, anything really)… rinse, repeat… Hope this helps…
 
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