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Thank you so VERY much for this! It could not have come at a better time. I lost my 9 year old golden last summer and now have an almost 4 month old. He is quite challenging at times and I've been wondering what I am doing wrong or why it's such a struggle sometimes. You helped me realize that: 1) it's been a long time since I've had a puppy and 2) this is all part of the growing up phase. I miss my sweet adult boy so much and it's not fair to judge mature adult behavior to baby puppy behavior. You've given me much needed perspective and renewed resolve for the days ahead. Thank you!!
 

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Thank you so VERY much for this! It could not have come at a better time. I lost my 9 year old golden last summer and now have an almost 4 month old. He is quite challenging at times and I've been wondering what I am doing wrong or why it's such a struggle sometimes. You helped me realize that: 1) it's been a long time since I've had a puppy and 2) this is all part of the growing up phase. I miss my sweet adult boy so much and it's not fair to judge mature adult behavior to baby puppy behavior. You've given me much needed perspective and renewed resolve for the days ahead. Thank you!!
You're very welcome! And, welcome to the forum! :)
 
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Discussion Starter #24
Thank you so VERY much for this! It could not have come at a better time. I lost my 9 year old golden last summer and now have an almost 4 month old. He is quite challenging at times and I've been wondering what I am doing wrong or why it's such a struggle sometimes. You helped me realize that: 1) it's been a long time since I've had a puppy and 2) this is all part of the growing up phase. I miss my sweet adult boy so much and it's not fair to judge mature adult behavior to baby puppy behavior. You've given me much needed perspective and renewed resolve for the days ahead. Thank you!!
You're welcome - I'm glad that it could help!
 

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Great post - never had kids, and it's been 15 years since I had a pup.
He's just turned 3 months, so the timing is perfect. thanks, and kudos to whoever suggested making it a sticky.
 

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A puppy is certainly not a problem, but he IS a project. He looks to us for guidance, for comfort, for safety, for his entire existence. It is up to us to do our best to help him to be a dog that is welcome almost anywhere. I don't agree that a well behaved dog is an empty shell. I actually take offense, to be honest. I have never had a Golden who wasn't a big goofball, for lack of a better term. But there are basic things that every adult dog should know and it is our job to teach them. Mine have always been well behaved goofballs! But I am reading here that we are not supposed to train our puppies for obedience? Their whole existence is to please us. It does not make them empty in any way.
 

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A puppy is certainly not a problem, but he IS a project. He looks to us for guidance, for comfort, for safety, for his entire existence. It is up to us to do our best to help him to be a dog that is welcome almost anywhere. I don't agree that a well behaved dog is an empty shell. I actually take offense, to be honest. I have never had a Golden who wasn't a big goofball, for lack of a better term. But there are basic things that every adult dog should know and it is our job to teach them. Mine have always been well behaved goofballs! But I am reading here that we are not supposed to train our puppies for obedience? Their whole existence is to please us. It does not make them empty in any way.
Well, you took that line completely out of context. She is not saying a well-behaved dog is an empty shell, but that intimidation, fear and punishment may create a dog that does nothing but sit there, afraid of the potential ramifications of making a mistake. Many people feel that a submissive or scared dog is an obedient dog.
 

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Well, you took that line completely out of context. She is not saying a well-behaved dog is an empty shell, but that intimidation, fear and punishment may create a dog that does nothing but sit there, afraid of the potential ramifications of making a mistake. Many people feel that a submissive or scared dog is an obedient dog.
I don't ever punish a puppy. I never give him a time out in his crate because I want him to see it as his own special place, not a jail. I don't scold him if he pees in the house (actually he stopped having accidents 2 weeks after we brought him home, anyway). So I get all of that. But I also don't agree with completely puppy proofing my house and just letting him roam around, jumping on any furniture he pleases, counter surfing, etc. Those things need to be worked on right from the start.

I think every breed is different and there is no book or person that can tell you what is best. Goldens are naturally good dogs in my opinion. The only problem they have is that they are a little TOO social when it comes to people and it's hard to restrain them. That is the one thing I want to work on with my newest puppy, but I'm not sure it's possible.

All in all, with everything I'm reading and with what I'm being taught in the latest round of puppy school, I'm realizing that after all the puppies I have raised I really don't need anyone's advice. It's nice to commiserate with others but I realize now that I've done this enough times to just go with my instincts. I am already seeing our 12 week old turning into a pleasant family dog, and we really haven't done much except love him and say "down" and "off" every once in a while. He still has those moments where he flies through the room and then attacks me with those teeth, but they are getting fewer and further in between. I keep him cordoned off in the kitchen and den, but I am slowly opening up more doors and giving him a tiny bit more freedom every day. I even have the bathroom door open now and he seems to have gotten over the toilet paper fetish!
 

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I don't ever punish a puppy. I never give him a time out in his crate because I want him to see it as his own special place, not a jail. I don't scold him if he pees in the house (actually he stopped having accidents 2 weeks after we brought him home, anyway). So I get all of that. But I also don't agree with completely puppy proofing my house and just letting him roam around, jumping on any furniture he pleases, counter surfing, etc. Those things need to be worked on right from the start.

I think every breed is different and there is no book or person that can tell you what is best. Goldens are naturally good dogs in my opinion. The only problem they have is that they are a little TOO social when it comes to people and it's hard to restrain them. That is the one thing I want to work on with my newest puppy, but I'm not sure it's possible.

All in all, with everything I'm reading and with what I'm being taught in the latest round of puppy school, I'm realizing that after all the puppies I have raised I really don't need anyone's advice. It's nice to commiserate with others but I realize now that I've done this enough times to just go with my instincts. I am already seeing our 12 week old turning into a pleasant family dog, and we really haven't done much except love him and say "down" and "off" every once in a while. He still has those moments where he flies through the room and then attacks me with those teeth, but they are getting fewer and further in between. I keep him cordoned off in the kitchen and den, but I am slowly opening up more doors and giving him a tiny bit more freedom every day. I even have the bathroom door open now and he seems to have gotten over the toilet paper fetish!
It is possible to help them learn good puppy manners when greeting people. We have worked with our, now 5 month old, using treats and praise and have taught him to sit, when meeting new people. He now does it without being told, he must sit before people acknowledge him and pet him. He still has wild puppy moments, but when greeting people, isn't like the other pups at his puppy school. We do, however, still have to leave some doors closed as he likes to drag his blanket up on our bed and chew his blanket, of course he can't tell the difference between his and our blanket:smile2: also have to make a conscious effort to close lid on all toilets, as they are "endless" water bowls.
 

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You stated
"I think every breed is different and there is no book or person that can tell you what is best. Goldens are naturally good dogs in my opinion. The only problem they have is that they are a little TOO social when it comes to people and it's hard to restrain them. That is the one thing I want to work on with my newest puppy, but I'm not sure it's possible."

I think you are missing what people are trying to tell you. It is possible but you need to take a different approach. It's not about "restraining" it's about helping your puppy learn to make a more acceptable choice. There are many methods of training and certain approaches work better on some breeds than others. There are quite a few trainers on this site offering advice because of their years of experience with this breed. They are trying to help you see alternate training methods.

Because goldens are so soft in temperament they respond better to creative training methods. They need to use their minds... they are problem solvers. Restraining or controlled methods work great for dobermans or german shepherds but strong, alpha training on a golden can take a bold personality puppy and turn it into a very submissive dog.

Listen or not, it's your choice and your puppy but I got the feeling you came to this site to avoid having another submissive golden. All the suggestions are meant to help you achieve this goal.
 

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You stated
"I think every breed is different and there is no book or person that can tell you what is best. Goldens are naturally good dogs in my opinion. The only problem they have is that they are a little TOO social when it comes to people and it's hard to restrain them. That is the one thing I want to work on with my newest puppy, but I'm not sure it's possible."

I think you are missing what people are trying to tell you. It is possible but you need to take a different approach. It's not about "restraining" it's about helping your puppy learn to make a more acceptable choice. There are many methods of training and certain approaches work better on some breeds than others. There are quite a few trainers on this site offering advice because of their years of experience with this breed. They are trying to help you see alternate training methods.

Because goldens are so soft in temperament they respond better to creative training methods. They need to use their minds... they are problem solvers. Restraining or controlled methods work great for dobermans or german shepherds but strong, alpha training on a golden can take a bold personality puppy and turn it into a very submissive dog.

Listen or not, it's your choice and your puppy but I got the feeling you came to this site to avoid having another submissive golden. All the suggestions are meant to help you achieve this goal.
I'm not sure why you got that feeling but that was not why or how I came to this forum. I came about it quite by accident. I was googling the breeder I was going to use because her website was outdated and I was desperate to see some pics of puppies she had recently. This site popped up and I read all the posts in a thread about her and how awful she is. I posted to defend her because we had such a great dog from her that we had just lost. As it turned out, I found out on my own that she is in fact NUTS!!! I lost my deposit and went with someone else ... and I admitted to all on the forum that I had to eat my words.

Our last dog was submissive but I never complained here about that. I just mentioned it because he had a completely different personality than the one we have now who just turned 13 weeks. He was the Alpha dog in his litter according to the breeder (and yes I do believe there is such a thing). She said he was the largest in the litter and he knew it. This is a breeder that believes in only positive training, BTW.

In my post that you just quoted I was merely stating that I think I'm doing just fine with the training I am doing on my own. I don't need a book, or a blog, or the latest theory. It's nice to talk to others who are going through the puppy phase, but there is way too much information out there and too many theories.

I believe that you can train a puppy in a positive, loving way and still let them know that you are in charge. When people say "are you walking that dog or is he walking you" that means he's in charge. Proper leash training means showing him that you are in charge and he must walk at your pace, etc. If that is now obsolete, I think I'll just work on it anyway.

At our first puppy class a few days ago, the trainer said we should never feed him out of a dish and instead give him toys that have his food in them so he has to work at it all day to get the food out. There is a perfect example of an apparently new theory that I will choose to ignore. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I like a schedule and so does the dog. Eat breakfast, go out and poop. Eat dinner, go out and poop. Repeat every day. My dogs have always known exactly when it was 5pm.

If I was hitting my dog with a rolled up newspaper or "rubbing his nose in it" if he had an accident I could see why I would need someone to set me straight. (Those are things that were common when I was a kid.) Every time I get a new puppy I do lots of reading, etc., but what usually ends up happening is that I go with my gut and use common sense. Every dog ... every owner ... every situation is different. I will definitely admit I need help with some things I was never able to conquer ... mostly leash walking and behavior when someone comes to the door. But if anything the problem I have had with that is that I never really tried. It was easier to put him in another room when someone came to the door, and I never needed to have him on a leash in the past. Now I live in an area where this dog will be walked on a leash so this is something new I will have to work on.
 

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I don't ever punish a puppy. I never give him a time out in his crate because I want him to see it as his own special place, not a jail. I don't scold him if he pees in the house (actually he stopped having accidents 2 weeks after we brought him home, anyway). So I get all of that. But I also don't agree with completely puppy proofing my house and just letting him roam around, jumping on any furniture he pleases, counter surfing, etc. Those things need to be worked on right from the start.

I think every breed is different and there is no book or person that can tell you what is best. Goldens are naturally good dogs in my opinion. The only problem they have is that they are a little TOO social when it comes to people and it's hard to restrain them. That is the one thing I want to work on with my newest puppy, but I'm not sure it's possible.

All in all, with everything I'm reading and with what I'm being taught in the latest round of puppy school, I'm realizing that after all the puppies I have raised I really don't need anyone's advice. It's nice to commiserate with others but I realize now that I've done this enough times to just go with my instincts. I am already seeing our 12 week old turning into a pleasant family dog, and we really haven't done much except love him and say "down" and "off" every once in a while. He still has those moments where he flies through the room and then attacks me with those teeth, but they are getting fewer and further in between. I keep him cordoned off in the kitchen and den, but I am slowly opening up more doors and giving him a tiny bit more freedom every day. I even have the bathroom door open now and he seems to have gotten over the toilet paper fetish!
No one said to let the puppy do all of that in the article. Just that it's what puppies will do and it's normal, it does not mean the puppy is a problem child. If you knew Denise and her methods at all, you would know that one of the principals of her training methods is to control the environment, which means you don't let your puppy roam around unsupervised and do the things you don't want them to in the first place. So, if puppy goes nuts jumping all over the place, instead of scolding the puppy, you recognize that puppy needs an outlet and you take him outside and run around. And, if something gets broken in the process, realize it was your fault for not putting it up until the puppy is able to handle being around nice things.

It's unfortunate that you feel you don't need advice. There is always room for improvement and understanding when it comes to raising our dogs right.
 

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No one said to let the puppy do all of that in the article. Just that it's what puppies will do and it's normal, it does not mean the puppy is a problem child. If you knew Denise and her methods at all, you would know that one of the principals of her training methods is to control the environment, which means you don't let your puppy roam around unsupervised and do the things you don't want them to in the first place. So, if puppy goes nuts jumping all over the place, instead of scolding the puppy, you recognize that puppy needs an outlet and you take him outside and run around. And, if something gets broken in the process, realize it was your fault for not putting it up until the puppy is able to handle being around nice things.

It's unfortunate that you feel you don't need advice. There is always room for improvement and understanding when it comes to raising our dogs right.
Actually in my last post I said that I did need advice on a couple of things. My point was that I don't feel the need to completely change my way of doing things every time there is a new theory.
 

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Actually in my last post I said that I did need advice on a couple of things. My point was that I don't feel the need to completely change my way of doing things every time there is a new theory.
You can do whatever you want, but so can everyone else. And, like you said, different methods work for different dogs and their people. I think the issue here is that the way you come across in your posts makes you sound like you think you know everything and what everyone else says is wrong or just another stupid theory. Some of your beliefs have been dis-proven by science (dominance theory, dogs trying to be in charge, etc.) and some of the beliefs that you are offended by are proven by science and trainers at the top of their game. Scientific knowledge is always being updated, revised and refined. There is nothing wrong with changing the way you do things because science is showing that there are better ways in general or even just better ways for you or the dog you have at the moment. If you choose not to make changes, that's fine, but it doesn't mean that everyone else is wrong for suggesting or going with those changes.
 

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You can do whatever you want, but so can everyone else. And, like you said, different methods work for different dogs and their people. I think the issue here is that the way you come across in your posts makes you sound like you think you know everything and what everyone else says is wrong or just another stupid theory. Some of your beliefs have been dis-proven by science (dominance theory, dogs trying to be in charge, etc.) and some of the beliefs that you are offended by are proven by science and trainers at the top of their game. Scientific knowledge is always being updated, revised and refined. There is nothing wrong with changing the way you do things because science is showing that there are better ways in general or even just better ways for you or the dog you have at the moment. If you choose not to make changes, that's fine, but it doesn't mean that everyone else is wrong for suggesting or going with those changes.
To be honest, the original post was very long and originally I skimmed over it. What upset me what the poster here that said an obedient dog is an empty shell. That's what I mentioned in my first post in this thread, because that really bothered me. I just read the original post all the way through and it is basically everything I am already doing. It's mostly just common sense and not anything new, at least not for me. I don't think I know more than everyone else and I'm sorry if that is what it seems like. Another thing that is making me question taking advice from "experts" is this trainer at our puppy school that said I should never feed him from a dish but instead put his food in this round thing that he plays with all day to get his food out. That advice seemed so strange to me and it made me realize that at some point you have to use your own judgement. In that situation, how would you know when a puppy is going to need to poop? It could be while he's in his crate and you are not there to let him out. With scheduled feeding times, you also have other things (like pooping) that go with that schedule.

One of the reasons I am even on here so much lately is because I'm kind of locked in my kitchen, which is where my laptop is. I have him cordoned off in one part of the house and I'm not getting much done because I can't leave him here alone. I don't like to put him in his crate unless I'm going somewhere or he is going to bed at night. So I sit at my computer and kill time, because I know this too shall pass and someday he will have run of the house and I will be able to trust him, just like all the other dogs in my past.
 

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WI12345 " just letting him roam around, jumping on any furniture he pleases, counter surfing, etc. Those things need to be worked on right from the start." Yes. :) The best time to start to train is as soon as they come home. Unfortunately, many mistake "letting a puppy be a puppy" for being permissive. Puppies need routine, structure supervision and management. As they start building good behavior choices they can have more and more freedom and less supervision and management.

I think Denise's message is don't sweat the small stuff, be proactive vs reactive so that the pup doesn't have as many opportunities to create bad habits. By being proactive there will be less occasions needed to correct the pup. It is building in the behaviors you do want the pup to do vs teaching them what you want after they have already made the wrong choice.
 
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