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When I tell my 15 week old Golden Retriever puppy to stop doing something firmly (mostly biting me) He becomes extremely angry with me, snarls -barks - and then snaps at any body part of mine. I immediately let him know from day one that this is very unacceptable behavior. I got him when he was a little over 8 weeks old from a reputable breeder. I did a lot of research prior to getting him; I've read around 25 books on puppies/Goldens - Ive seen almost every episode of The Dog Whisperer (as well as have read all of Cesars books) . My puppy is also in obedience class where he excels in following other commands (sit, down, leave it, come) ... I understand that he is teething of course (and he has PLENTY of the best chew toys Kongs, etc...to play and chew on) but I do not understand where this aggression comes from when bad behavior is being corrected. He bites me to the point of where I am bleeding all the time. I also want to make note that he is exercised multiple times a day - and rests well too. When I correct his behavior I tell him "WRONG" Sternly - and often have to grab the back of his neck to pull him off of me. I will also push down on his tongue sometimes if it gets really bad . Now, because he has become so angry with me ; I have to pick him up and put him in his playpen. I cannot ignore or turn around or he bites the back of my legs very hard. I just feel so sad , because I am trying to do everything right, give him lots of love, attention , and raise him to be a good dog. Has anyone experienced this? What am I doing wrong? I cant seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel , and its really starting to make me so so discouraged.
 

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Sounds like pretty normal Golden puppy behavior. Many many people join the forum with a post like yours actually!

If you do a little research I think you'll find that that particular show you mention is highly controversial. I say throw out those books and turn off the TV! Lol.

If you truly think your puppy is being aggressive contact a behaviorist and your breeder.

Puppyhood is tough but it will end (around 3 years of age, haha). The nipping slows down around 14 months. Manage the situation and engage in structured activities like clicker training and games like find the treat.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Chauncey's Daddy
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You have to think about this from the puppy's point of view: he is acting within his nature and learns from his littermates that biting is unacceptable when they yelp. I had a similar problem with my 10-week-old wanting to bite people (not very painful, but eventually he'll be much larger), so I began yelping like a puppy in pain whenever he did it. The first time I yelped, he actually licked my hand where he bit me and and didn't nip at me again for a couple days. After two or three more incidents over the past week, he completely stopped (biting people--chewing inanimate objects is another story...). An excellent book I recommend is "How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication" by psychologist Stanley Coren (Simon & Schuster, 2000). I originally purchased the book for linguistics studies, but I've found that it's given me some excellent pointers on dealing with my puppy.
 

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I don't recommend man-handling your puppy. You will teach him that your relationship is adversarial.:no: Goldens are loving, sensitive dogs; exciteable and playful, friendly and curious. The methods C. Milan uses are NOT suitable for Golden Retreiver puppies. Please don't attempt to apply to your puppy what he does to the problems dogs on tv. Those programs are carefully scripted and edited. They are not showing the whole picture.

Puppies tend to get over-excited and bite and snarl even more. They are actually playing, as they would with littermates. It's humans who don't want to play this way.

It will pass, it's something we've all gone through: bruises, blood, torn pants. They truly earn the name 'land shark'. But, they do out grow it and end up being the wonderful Golden you always wanted. And it diminishes as they grow. In a few months, most of this will have passed.

Time outs in the crate help them regain their calmness, lots of exercise (more than he's getting now) and for some the yelping does help. Penny was always more excited by that so it didn't work for us. Bitter Apple spray can help, although she loved the taste. We went outside and played A LOT!!!!

Pictures? We love puppy pictures!
 

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Yelping and ignoring didn't work for me ... he saw the yelp as me saying "yea!!!!!" and ignoring or being a tree just meant I wasn't necessarily a moving target ...

What I discovered was that this dog will do anything for a small treat ... I was told by a very experienced GR owner that I needed to find out if my dog is food motivated or praise motivated ... She had both kinds ...

I take little 5 calorie treats and break them in half.

Does he still act like a jerk? Yep ... Still working on the dirvish dog on walks, but he's a heck of a lot better than he was a month ago.

Hang in there ... You're doing all the right things. Puppies are a frustrating lot.
 

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I forgot to add that when Penny was biting me I would stand tall with 'authority' and use my stern NO BITE voice, pointing my finger down at her. She would leap up and nip at my finger. :doh: I had to laugh at this incorrigible little ball of fluff. :)
 

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Your puppy sounds perfectly normal. I echo what Penny's Mom says - especially about Cesar Milan. He is a clever showman but his methods are not well thought of by many over here. :no:
I have been through the same thing with each of my retrievers and it really does pass. This is my first golden retriever and if anything I think she is easier than the others who were flatcoated retrievers - they really are determined little devils and play very rough. I have had to go through a pain barrier each time I have had a flatcoat puppy.:( Leave the room or remove him from your presence if he gets too excited - in his eyes that is the worse thing you can do to him. Reward him when he is quiet. You could even try putting butter on your hands so he licks you instead of biting. Always have treats with you and make him work for them. Please don't make him think your hands can hurt him by pressing his tongue into his mouth or other things. It is very difficult not to get angry when they are "off on one" but if you can stay calm and withdraw contact, he should get the message.
 

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Kimberley, Bella's Mum!
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Of all the advise given, you will need to find what works for your puppy.

When my girl was quite young, she would nip at my hands, and when I would walk away, she would nip at my ankles. I put a quick stop to this, but not by punitive measures - this method worries me, because I think it encourages the "aggression" you were trying to combat in the first place.

Nipping my ankles: I would stop dead in my tracks, not moving my body away in quick jerks (this only excites the puppy more). Stand tall and motionless and say "NO" in a firm voice. Hold that position for a few seconds more to let your pups mind think and process. Then proceed to move. If pup tries again, repeat. As quickly as possible, try to find something to replace your body part -- a trade so-to-speak. When the pup takes the trade item, say "Yes!" "Good Puppy" with excitement, but not too excited...don't want to elevate the excitement even more.

Biting other body parts: Are you on the floor with your puppy when this happens. If trading works fairly well, then great. Trade, trade, trade...for a toy. However, if the "attacks" come back on to you~ Use the same technique, but instead, stand up (since you were sitting to begin with) while you are giving the command - alpha position. Pause for effect, then move away.

Once pup is behaving properly, you can also praise and give a treat, but please don't treat as a trade. This only reinforces that biting you is good.

(Please, keep in mind, the words "attack" and "aggression" are being used lightly here. It's unlikely your puppy is truly attacking or being aggressive in the true sense of the words)
 

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You have to keep in mind ... How many PUPPIES do you see on DW???? He deals with red zone cases, many times. Also ... You can't do one tssssst or push to the shoulder and poof the bad behavior is gone like magic ... Teaching anything takes consistency and repetition ...

Puppy brains in dog bodies ... Sigh.
 

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I KNOW it's frustrating and I KNOW you are wondering if you got the aggressive, uncontrollable Golden. We have all been there.

I promise it will get better. I was at my wits end with Ozzy. He really hurt me and my daughter a few times. My husband was convinced her was aggressive and dominant. I would say at about 4 months things got better. He still can be a little jerk at times, especially with me, but it is so much better.

For us the yelping that people recommend did not really help. I learned I could really not play with Ozzy on the floor when he was fiesty. When I did I would have him on a leash and tether him to a table. When he got rough I'd say, "Ouch" and walk out of the room. A couple of times I've put him in "time outs" in the bathroom to calm down too. Ozzy was worst in the evenings so I'd always walk him and then give him something to occupy himself, like a frozen, stuffed Kong. By the time he's done with it he's pooped and goes to sleep.

Hang in there, it will get better!
 

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By the way, you know what helped me understand his behavior? We had him at a friends house and she has a year old lab. The two of them played for 4 hours. They looked like they were killing one another. Their teeth were barred, they were growling, nipping at each other's ears, etc...but they were having a blast and we never once had to intervene. It made me realize that Ozzy was just trying to play with me that way and it was up to me to make him understand that it wasn't acceptable.
 

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If you do a little research I think you'll find that that particular show you mention is highly controversial. I say throw out those books and turn off the TV! Lol.
Not to argue, but controversial where? I've only seen negativity here from very FEW people. The majority of people I know love Cesar Milan's methods and have the common sense that what we see on tv cannot be applied to every instance. It even says on the show that do NOT practice these methods without a professional.
 

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I think a lot of people find caesar's methods controversial because he puts his hands on the dogs ... Where the common sense gets lost is the context ... The dogs Caesar rehabs are extreme cases and I do find it comforting that I've never seen a golden on his show, unless I missed it.
 

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One thing that seemed to help my dog Sailor is clicker training. I would sit in front of her and put my hand out and if she tried to bite it I would say leave it and click and treat. At first I would have to show her the treat to get her to let go and then I would click and give it to her. After a few days of doing this she started catching on and would start to put her mouth on my hand then remember and let go. The one thing that you don't want to ever do is react with pushing or being rough with your puppy. If he is really acting up put him in his crate or pen for a time out, but do it calmly. I believe with dogs what you put in can be what you get back so don't be aggressive with him because it will just make him think thats what he should act like. It is normal for puppies to act this way and I know how hard it can be, but with a little time to grow up and some training your puppy will get much better. Good luck.
 

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Kimberley, Bella's Mum!
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He does have a golden in his "pack" I believe, but I've never seen it featured as a case. I love watching Caesar and I think many of his methods are for the "red zone" older dogs. Some of what he says can apply to normal dog raising though - just not the rougher stuff. I've used that quick touch thing on Bella (barely even touch her, just a quick "hey, snap out of it" touch) when she isn't paying attention to me AND ignores my verbal commands. (usually when she's on a really super duper good scent trail! LOL!) It's rare though, she's a really good girl. He advocates for lots of good exercise- that I like. He advocates for being a calm assertive leader, I like that too. When dogs run-up on Bella and I in a super scary fashion, I also use the tall, shoulders back, palm/arm out, body side-ways move too. Overall, I'm a fan. :)
 

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Dogs will also pick up on the energy you are giving off. If you get anxious, nervous, excited, and/or angry your puppy could somewhat reflect that emotion back as 'Time to play harder until Mommy gets me.'

Please take no offense but from what I can tell most issues like this escalate not because of the puppy but because of subtle cues given by the human.
 

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where the tails wag
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What I do when I have a biting/nipping puppy (yes it is perfectly normal) is replace my skin with an acceptable toy.

Bite
No, you chew this as I place a chewable in the mouth (or HEY)
Good dog as they take the toy


This has worked for 5 goldens now, and probably a dozen or more rescue dogs. Non adversarial and it teaches an acceptable alternative. Never accept a pup biting you. While normal behavior it is not acceptable. While it is not acceptable, the puppy does not know that and needs to be taught not only what he cannot chew on, but what he can.

Good luck.
 

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I think a lot of people find caesar's methods controversial because he puts his hands on the dogs ... Where the common sense gets lost is the context ... The dogs Caesar rehabs are extreme cases and I do find it comforting that I've never seen a golden on his show, unless I missed it.
I actually saw an episode once with two Goldens. It was honestly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. These two Goldens were not aggressive at all...just very high energy. They needed some exercise and basic training/manners. BUT, what was funny was they were SO high energy and affectionate that Ceesar didn't know what to do. He had to take a time out from them because their energy was overwhelming him. My husband and I were cracking up that Caesar can handle pit bulls, rotties, and aggressive little dogs but was brought to his knees by two licking Goldens.
 
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