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Kristen; Buddy's Human
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It's been two weeks since my husband and I picked up Buddy, and we have absolutely fallen in love with him. He's such a sweetheart, and he's got this crazy mischievious personality that I adore. But we're having some trouble with his training, and I was hoping to get some help.

1. Crate training. Oh my goodness. During the day, he's okay; Ryan and I both work full-time, but I go home at lunch (so he is in the crate at about quarter to 7 and I get home around noon for lunch and I'm off work at 4/home by 5, 5:30) so he can potty, eat, get a little playtime. But nighttime he becomes a little demon spawn! He screams so loud I can hear him out on the street, and we live on the third floor of an apartment building. And once he's started he is totally inconsolable - his treats don't work, covering him up doesn't work, toys don't work...Ryan has just been letting him on the bed when he starts crying but I am committed to making crate training work. What should I do?

2. Energy. Buddy has so much of it! He's been playing with Hiro mostly, and that seems to help, but I can tell our poor little guys is bored out of his mind a lot of the time. I'd love to walk his energy out, but he's only had his first set of shots, and our vet won't see him until he gets over his kennel cough. He doesn't seem to be interested in search games (like finding treats or nosegames); things to chew on work well, but I don't want to be constantly giving him treats and chews to calm him down. Any game ideas until I can start walking him? Conversely, could I start walking him once he gets his second set of shots, or should I wait until the third?

3. Play-fighting. Buddy and Hiro, like I mentioned earlier, play together a lot, and by play I mean play-fight. I know this is normal for puppies, and they're never together when I can't supervise and break them up if it goes too far, but 1. how far is too far?, 2. Buddy wants to play ALL THE TIME, is this something I should worry about?, and 3. is this going to slow down/stop with age, or will they always interact like this? Hiro's a pretty chill dog, and very rarely instigates the play matches. I'm also worried that once Buddy gets a bit bigger he could hurt Hiro (Hiro is maybe 1.5 feet tall and about 35 pounds).

4. Ankle biting. I think this is also a byproduct of boredom, but Buddy has become my little shadow/living tripwire, and along with that he likes to bite ankles, toes, and pant legs. Telling him "no" and other iterations don't work, and if we move him away he just comes back. I think he thinks it's a game, but I don't know how to tell him it's not! This also applies to brooms, mops, and anything that is moving along the ground or dangling in front of him (like Hiro's tail or an arm off the side of the couch). I swear this dog is part cat.

Any help would be greatly, grealy appreciated. Thank you!!!
 

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Musician/Songwriter
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380 Posts
I think this is nothing but a huge store of energy. I think more exercise and a tired out puppy would drastically change the situation. Maybe a relative or friend could come over for some daily exercise to alleve the problem.
 

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Jill -- Maisie's "Mom"
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563 Posts
Agree with darbysdad

I agree -- more activity. It can be exercise, training, playing with toys, but it sounds to me like Buddy may need more stimulation. At that age, I found it amazing how much attention Maisie took. We were lucky since my husband is retired and I work part-time at home, but when we traveled, we had dog walkers come in mid-morning and mid-afternoon and our housesitter was able to stop by at lunch time to feed her and do a quick potty and play break. That may be more than you can arrange, but if a family member or friend can stop in, that will probably help.

Even thought Buddy is young, if you can, he can start to learn some basic commands and even some easy tricks (like shake). Training will tire him out, too.

As soon as Buddy's shot status allows, a puppy class might be fun for both of you. We really enjoyed it. One of the best parts was that it included an off-leash play session. Since the trainer was present, I got her input on what was normal for puppy play. There was a lot more play-growling, ear pulling, neck biting, etc., than I expected or would have thought was OK. Now when I take Maisie to the dog park, I feel like I have a much better sense of where to draw the line.
 

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He probably needs a little more playtime. I know that can be super hard to work in but it is probably necessary. It will definitely help when he is old enough for walks.

Also for 2 have you thought about stuffing Kongs with kibble. It seems to work well.
 

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Exercise that little guy. Does your apartment lay out allow youto set up some obstacles. It doesnat have to this big but just some fun stuff you can do with him to tire him out.
http://youtu.be/gI0o5EwkdA8

You can work on all kinds of obedience with him.

I took Jige out the week I brought him home. My breeder had given him one set of shots and then we got the second set just before he was 8wks and we were off and running. Every place I took him I knew the dog all had there shots so I wasnt worried about him getting anything.
 

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Kristen; Buddy's Human
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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for the help! I agree, we need to get more exercise for him, I'll just have to convince Ryan that the cost of a petsitter is more than worth it.

The family/friend thing would be wonderful, but we are fairly remote in Okinawa (15 hours from home :( ) and most of our friends are active duty as well.

And thank you for all the ideas on what to do - that's mostly what stumps me, because I'm used to older dogs, where if they're hyper you take them outside for a run or fetch. Like I said, I'm new to this :)
 

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Regarding the play-fighting, if it worries you watch their rear ends and body language overall it will clue you in. If two dogs are both wagging, and both are going back for more action, it's play fighting. If one has its tail between its legs, is staying on its back the whole time, etc., it is probably a bit overwhelmed. At that point I'd suggest a distraction to get them into something else. Don't intervene directly to "save" the one on the floor because they need to sort things out between themselves.

Have fun with your new baby. Sounds like yo have a live wire on your hands. :D
 
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