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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My retriever turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, and he is amazing! I am writing this for a bit of advice really. He's been through a few phases over the last few months, one being that he would never come back and other people/dogs were a million and one times more important than me! However, we overcame that and he isn't speeding away from me when a dog is across the field, he stays with me :)

The next phase was that when we were in the woods, we would greet a dog, and then we would walk on. However, he would then turn around and run back to the dog to play again, which made me cross. But since then he has stopped that. For example today, we walked past a dog and its owner, we greeted it and then we walked on and he didn't run back to play with it.

The current phase which he has now done 3 times is pick up a smell ( like a squirrel or rabbit) and run through brambles to follow the smell. Today he got stock in the thorns and I get worried I will loose him if he runs off too far.

So does anybody know if these 'phases' are just stages that immature golden retrievers ( a year old) will do. We have managed to get over the others I mentioned, and will he just get over it and realise that other animals do, and are allowed to live in the woods, and he doesn't have to chase them? He's a lovely, playful , gentle dog and is it just his age and once he has matured he wont get these little habits like running off, chasing rabbits/squirrels and running back to dogs?


Thank you for reading this and I appreciate any replies!! :)
 

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Hi!

I am not a Golden expert, but I have had dogs before. All my young dogs have done this. It seems they're just too young to control their "impulses." It gets easier the older they get. :) I think you're doing a great job being consistent and keeping on with the training. He's just too much of a baby to always remember the rules right now. I think they say big dogs reach maturity around 2 or 3 years of age, so you have just a little bit longer to go. :)
 

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Hi
I have 3 Goldens and to be honest they all get "switched on" when walking in places such as woods with all the smells - it makes the walks so much more interesting for them. I'm not sure if he's a "hunter" you will ever really be able to stop him from following his natural instincts.

What I would do though is get him used to a whistle if not already. Then if he does a disappearing act, he will respond to a whistle & come back. The whistle is better than just you calling because there is no emotion attached unlike us wailing like a Banshee lol (something I've done before).

A game we sometimes play when walking in our local woods is to take a ball & throw into the undergrowth. The dogs then have the best time "finding" the ball. They're so engrossed they take no notice of the smells of badgers, foxes etc which may send them off.

Sounds like you're doing really well with your boy for just a year old, our youngest at just 2 will still go back to have that one last play with a dog we've just passed, I guess with a single dog, they are seeking out those playmates even more.
 

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It sounds to me as though you have an immature dog but also need to go back to the basic recall and practice it gradually use a long line and shorten it after he comes to you the first time he is called a good place to practice is a fenced in tennis court. This takes many reps but it works eventually the long line will get down to about six inches leave it attached to the collar a dog can't tell if they have sixty feet or six inches.when you first start the long line training let dog go out fifty or sixty feet call his name and say come if he does praise him an d reward if he doesn't give a good correction and drag him back eventually they learn to come on first call and look for the praise and treat.


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All of these things are training issues. You need to go back to square one and teach him to come when called.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your feedback everyone. he knows the command and comes to the whistle but hes just an immature dog and 90% of the time he will come, there is just that small time when he forgets to apply what hes learnt - hes only young and i know he will get over it. thanks guys
 

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Put him back on a long line. There should not be the opportunity to decide not to listen. Call him, if he doesn't come- reel him in on the line. If he doesn't come every time, even with distractions, he shouldn't be off leash in an uncontrolled environment.
 
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