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Can anyone tell me what to do about my golden, Dodger? His behavior is horrible! He has eaten the wood siding off the side of my house, he has chewed the phone line so many times the phone company guy knows Dodger's name, he digs enormous holes in the backyard, he digs holes under the fence, through the fence and constantly jumps on everyone! He is a one year old male; he isn't neutered; he bounces off the wall as if he's on some kind of crack. He is very sweet and I would never get rid of him. I play with him everyday; there are other dogs outside to play with and he has tons of toys outside: chewies, kongs, bones, squeakers, ropes, but his favorite thing to eat is wood. I don't know what to do--people don't like to come over anymore. When he digs out he goes to the neighbors yards and brings home shoes, backpacks, baseball bats, you name it. He tears up anything and everything in his path. He is out of control and will not mind at all, I can't hold his attention even for 10 seconds. Will neutering help? Help?:confused:
 

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You've had him for the whole time? The other dogs are yours or visiting dogs? You mention you play everyday with him, but how much and for how long?

The behaviour you describe sounds like a couple of things.

One is a lack of training. Has he gone to class or home trained at all?

Another sounds like boredom.

Goldens are smart dogs and left on their own they will invent ways to amuse themselves. They are also social dogs who crave human interaction. If he lives mostly outside while you and your family are indoors, he won't be happy.

Your only solution is to start Basic Obedience and train that boy not to jump on people, and how to listen to Sit, Stay and Come. Once you have those perfected you can teach him tons of other things, but he needs basic manners. If he is an outdoor dog, is there any way he can spend time inside? If he is already indoors, then forget I mentioned it.

Neutering alone won't solve your problem. If you can't control your dog and keep him contained, then he should be neutered. But I wouldn't use neutering as a cure for bad behaviour, it won't work.
 

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In my opinion he just needs more attention. I know you said there is lot of toys and some other dogs... Maybe it just isn't enough.
Plus he is only 1 year old, so expect another 2-3 years of him doing this, unless you make him tired or trained enough not to do that.
He is probably little hyperactive and too bored. :)
Joe
 

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Hi doglvn blonde girl and welcome to the forums. I hope you will stay for a long time and tell us more about Dodger.

I would have to agree with Timberwolf. I think your dog needs training as soon as possible. Training would not only give your dog direction but also would give you the tools to do the directing. It also sounds to me like you are a little panic stricken right now (I would be, too) and training may serve to calm you and Dodger and get both of you on the right track to a long and happy relationship.

Please be aware that this behavoir has been allowed to go on for an entire year so corrective measures may require some real assertiveness on your part and maybe even some harsh correction. Dodger seems to think that he's the boss and he probably likes it that way.

Please keep us up to date on any progress.

I almost forgot - you started your post by telling us that he's eating your house. There is a product in the pet stores called Bitter Apple. Dogs hate this stuff. If you would like to try it please don't over do it. Start out by putting a tiny little drop on your finger and rub it on Doger's tongue. He will shake his head and display extreem displeasure with it. Don't worry, it will not harm him and it does not last very long. Now that his senses are tuned to the taste of Bitter Apple you can lightly apply this stuff to anything that you want him to stay away from. Shoes, furniture, clothing, and even your house. Give it a try. But don't think this is a substitute for immediate obediance training.
 

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I thoroughly agree. Obedience training for you and Dodger immediately.
I would also suggest neutering him as soon as possible as well. I do believe there is a real myth that neutering is the real answer to high energy dogs; but it is certainly a good idea health wise and to contain the tetosterone.

Is he involved in agility or flyball? These are amazing owner/dog tools to redirect the energy.

You know what "they" say; I tired dog is a good dog.
 

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Flyball is relay with dog teams; they go over short hurdles to the end take the tennis ball and return to the handler "at record speed"....Teams compete...
Bordie Collies are noted to excell in this sport...
 

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Your Golden is confused on who is the boss.You need to establish your alpha position so he knows who is in charge.Then he will listen and be eager to obey.
My father taught me this trick (which I have used several times with GREAT success),You MUST be serious through out this action or your Golden will think you are playing.
Grab him,flop him over on his back and bite his throat.Not too hard,we don't want blood.Hold him down and continue your bite until he surrenders.When he has stopped moving and has given up,let go and help him up.Lavish him with praise and lots of love.
You will see an immediate change for the better.Just a stern look or vocal tone will be all the discipline you will need.He will train up very easy and will be a wonderful companion.
Shane
 

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I agree with shaneamber - i think you have some leadership issues and perhaps even separation anxiety. Although my boy was not as destructive as Dodger, an animal behavioral therapist (at great expense!) gave that diagnosis. I highly recommend a book for you, The Dog Listener by Jan Fennel. I think it will help you understand what is going on in Dodger's mind.
 

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It's called the Alpha Roll and is not a method I would use to gain the Alpha position. I've heard the pros and cons of the Alpha Roll and decided that my training method has no need for it. I've heard that it can create more problems than it solves, depending on the dog.
 

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Can you elaborate on what kind of problems it can cause? Daisy has become quite the biter and she doesn't seem to understand No or Ouch or any of that stuff. We've started with the same basic method described as the "alpha roll" (or is it Role?!?!) and although we're progressing slowly, it does seem to be working. It's the only way we've been able to calm her down.

However, if we're doing something to harm her in any way, I will stop immediately. So, I'm wondering what kind of problems it can cause.

Thanks for your expertise!
Bonni
 

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Role, yes you are right.

The main reason I am against it that I practice Clicker Training which uses no forced methods at all.

As far as harming the dog using the Alpha Role, I believe one issue is that it is a very dominant posture to use for training, and depending why your dog is biting, it may be an overkill method which could cause socializing/fear issues. I know there were other issues against it but I researched that almost 3 years ago and can't recall what those issues were.

Now I'm curious again so maybe I will go back to my books and see if I can find out more.

I will say that curing the nipping problem in Golden pups requires a lot of patience, consitancy and time. It isn't solved in a week.
 

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If puppy bites, there are various responses.
Say NO and roll the dog onto its back and hold it down for a minute or two.
Another alternative is to grab the two corners of the mouth and squeeze slightly.
That way it is impossible for the puppy to bite, and they hate that.
Be firm. never let him/her bite and be patient.
They'll grow out of it over time ... give it time ... It's called puppy hell. :)
You've still got a year or two of frustrations ahead before you get that dream pet you've always wanted.
 

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I know it's a long road. I knew that going into this. I don't want to completely inhibit the behaviours because I know that they are natural and important for her development. I do, however, want to be able to control my dog. It's hard for me to let her be around kids, which is too bad.

I do realize that this problem won't be solved in a week. We're looking at months, at best. The thing is that she's not really biting. She's nipping and playing, but sometimes it gets out of control. She is actually a very sweet dog 90% of the time. I can tell that she's not trying to hurt us. She's just being a puppy. It can get frustrating though, when you say No or Ouch the 100th time and she still isn't getting it.

So, thank you for your feedback. We will cope with this, just like every other dog owner out there!

Happy trails,
Bonni
 

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What you describe Bonni sounds like every other Golden Pup out there, which I'm sure you know. I'm glad you know it is an ongoing training issue. Some people see Goldens when mature and think "What a beautiful dog" and don't realize the amount of work and problems Golden Puppies are. You are right, it could take months.

I hear and read of so many training methods and it is such a personal choice.

I too found that just yelling OUCH didn't work. That was when I started to take him into a room (a controlled environment) and start playing with him, and when he started the nipping I would do the OUCH, stand up, turn my back to him, and stop playing. Wait 20 seconds or so and then go back to playing. Keep repeating. If it gets really bad then I would leave the room. Biting equals no play.

When outside or in Living Area of the house and he nips, I would do the OUCH, and turn my back. They hate to be ignored. If it continues then in extreme cases I would give the pup a time out. Put him in his room with no toys and leave him for a few minutes.

When I do continue playing after ignoring him, I would give him toys he is supposed to chew and praise him when he is being good.
 

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I've never had children, and therefore, have never had to deal with children and "time outs," but I understand the theory behind them and think it's a great idea.

I get SUCH a kick out of hearing someone say they give their dog a time out. It only reinforces for me that dogs are so much like children....

On another subject: How do you stop an adult Golden from CONSTANTLY putting his paw up and trying to grab your hand. It's either that or he puts his foot right smack dab on my chest (I'm a woman, and that can be embarassing, and his aim is 100 percent accurate bilaterally). When he's up on the bed with us, if he comes up to lay down next to (read: on top of) me, he constantly fidgets with his paw slapping me in the face, grabbing my arm, trying to lick my hand or fingers. It's very irritating. He will not understand NO or LIE DOWN. He is very, very willful.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, I feel he's being dominant with you. Time to get him off the bed and back on the floor. No furniture or anything. Only pat when you initiate it, not when they want and always be the alpha with him. That means "everything under your terms, not his".
Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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I wouldn't use the Alpha roll over bite on every dog.Most Goldens only need to be corrected with a sharp NO and ignoring them for a short time.
I should have made myself clearer,my wife and I mainly take the dogs that nobody wants.Dogs with problems that are difficult to over come.We've had the problems range from biting,chewing,EATING furniture,afraid of beatings.Dogs with scars from people carving their initials and the nazi cross into their flesh.Scars on their privates from cigarettes,ribs and bones sticking out from neglect.
We've had to put down some,but we've never lost a Golden because it wasn't trainable.
Some Goldens have to be shown who is in charge.Notice I said to let him(mostly males) up and shower him with praise and love.You have to get their attention first before you can take the first steps to a happy companion.
This method is for dogs who need to be shown their position in the pack and that it is a good position to be in.
We do not train Goldens for anything else but to be good family members.
Everyone has a different way of handling their dogs and that is fine.You must find the way that works for you and your dogs.
We would probably use a different method if we got the dogs as pups,but we only get them after the damage has been done and we do our best to give them the life they deserve.
When we get a dog,we promise it that it will never be hit,hungry or without love for the rest of it's life.
That's a promise we never go back on.
Shane
 

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That is a great thing you do Shaneamber. You are to be congratulated.

You must have to be a strong person to not be overwhelmed by the cruelty that some people are capable of. I know just reading some of the stories of cruelty to animals makes me wish I could turn around and inflict the same treatment to the person responsible.

And you are right. Dealing with Dog Rescue is totally different that a fresh palet that is a puppies mind. While there are methods that work using redirection and positive only methods, the occasional Alpha Roll (yes it is roll, like roll over, I was mistaken yesterday) certainly won't harm the majority of dogs, and the main goal is to prepare the dog for placement into a family environment.
 
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