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We adopted Scout from a shelter in mid September and he was thought to be about a year old then. He had severe pneumonia, but has since recovered. We took him to obedience training for 5 weeks and does pretty well at sit, stay, leave it, wait, and fun things like rollover and be sneaky.

However, oftentimes he is just super rude. He will *not* leave my 10 year old son alone. He is continually trying to "bite" him (mouthing) him and jumps on him. He jumps on everyone. I really dislike that. Nothing seems to stop him. On the flip side, he doesn't really hassle the 5 year old too much.

He is also super destructive. He grabs anything he can find on the counter and destroys it. My husband leaves for work around 6:30 when it is still dark. He feeds him and throws the ball a few times before he leaves. The kids and I come down about 45 minutes later. Obviously, I cannot walk him until they get the bus at 8am, unless I did it in the dark before my husband left and I am not too thrilled with that idea. Anyway, when it is mild out my husband leaves the back door open so he can go out or in. Today he destroyed 4 plastic cookie keepers, 6 lightbulbs, a pen and the cord to the Christmas tree. I am not a perfect housekeeper, but the house and counters / tables are mostly clean, however if he sees anything, he grabs it and destroys it. He has *MANY* of his own chew toys, balls, stuffed pets, and squeaky things, and frankly, I am very tired of this. We don't want to be one of those families that leave the dog outside most of the time, but he can't behave, he is going to have to be out most of the time during the day. We have a large fenced back yard with plenty of sun and shade and his dog house is almost finished.

I really don't know what to do and I hugely frustrated. We haven't decorated the tree yet for obvious reasons. So far it just is (was) lights. I hope someone can give me some advice because right now he is definitely on Santa's naughty list with no hope of moving to the nice list.
 

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In the Moment
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Please keep on with the obedience classes and, most importantly, crate train your dog. When you are with him in the house, you can get a multifunction leash which you can loop over your shoulder/waist and have him tethered to you. Lots of postitive reenforcement for good deeds and TONS of exercise. It's true that a tired dog is a good dog.

As far as the Christmas tree, can you baby gate off that area.... or put the tree in a playpen ( we've done that more than once!).
 
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Have you thought about crate training him. I think this would help alot. He wouldnt be able to get into things and you wouldnt be frustrated right off the bat in the morning. Once the kiddos are on their way to school you could then take Scout out for a walk. While on this walk work on some obedience with him. Have him radomly do some sits, downs, stays. Once you start working his mind he will tired out faster. Do you have aplayground close by. If you do you cold take him there and have him go up the ladder use the teeter totter if you have one of thsoe bridges he could go across that too. That would be the start of learning something new and he would probably enjoy it. At home you could hide treats and teach him the "find it" game. I hope this helps you out.
 

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Kate
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I really think you need to talk to your husband about not feeding the dog that early or doing anything with the dog that early. He's basically waking the dog up, feeding him, and hyping him up - and then leaving.

You need to develop a schedule/habit for your dog that involves him going back to sleep after your husband leaves and not "waking up" until somebody is awake and ready to deal with him.

When you get up, you can let him outside for whatever amount of time it takes for you to get the kids ready for school and out the door. Keep an eye on him while he's out there.

I don't really like the idea of leaving dogs outside unwatched (teaches them to bark, become territorial, puts them in a dangerous position as far as eating stuff they shouldn't, being stolen, or injured by people or animals)... but in our case, we had a couple rooms that were completely dog-proofed that our young dogs could be shut in and kept contained when it was impossible to keep a good eye on them. Jacks stayed in my bedroom when nobody was around to watch him. <- It's a similar idea to the crate.

Then bring the dog in and take him out for a walk. Feed him when you get back.

After that - if you are home during the day, you need to use a set of baby gates to keep him out of rooms that are not dog-proofed. Or if you have him in those rooms with you, keep a leash on him.

Keeping him outside all the time will not make him calm in the house. You have to teach him to be calm or learn what "settle" means. Train him and have patience. He is a very young dog. You have a golden retriever - this is what they are like when they are young, happy, and healthy.

Ever single one of our goldens - including the gimpy boy - went through the same phase.

Your dog must learn to be calm and settled when you are working or not paying attention to him. He does not have to be exhausted or be eating or chewing things to learn this. It just takes a lot of patience, tolerance, and strength from you. And keep in mind that it is going to take months.

It's great you have him in obedience classes, but I would keep him in those classes for the next year at least. It will take that long before he settles down. Meanwhile those classes provide your dog with constructive socialization around people and dogs, and they can be a "support group" for you while you go through all this.

Mouthing the kids - again, normal golden retriever behavior. They are mouthy dogs. He might be mouthing your son especially because he sees him as a playmate. Especially if your son is his main playmate. Again, this is something that will take time and patience to fix. And some dogs always are a little mouthy when they are excited. Part of fixing it might be teaching your son to avoid hyping your dog up to that point where he is relentlessly mouthing and nipping. Below that point, your dog might still be calm enough to back off when told to settle down or given a toy to mouth instead.

Tug toys (there are ropes and toys with handles that the dogs can latch onto) may help if he is relentlessly mouthing. I don't like tug games because I think it may ruin a dog's bite and teach him to clamp down instead of giving and teach him to growl at you, but it is one way to play with a really mouthy dog that doesn't leave bruises on your arms and legs.

And if it will make you feel better, my arms and legs were covered with bruises for the first couple years with Jacks. These are things that we all go through - even when we have really sweet and docile goldens. In my guy's case, when he's very excited or hyped up - all he wants to do is mouth. Some dogs bark when excited. My guy mouths. He still does, but at least he's quicker about backing off when I tell him to. :)

The other thing is that the more the dog is with you, the quicker he will learn your habits. This means a dog who is settled and quiet while you are, and a dog that's bounding and ready to go when you are carrying his leash and collar and heading for the door.
 

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Joy's & Charlie's mom
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I feel sorry for what is happening to you and your dog Scout. I mean I can understand you but at the same time I feel sorry for him also. He needs something it's obvious, but what??? It's up to you to discover.
I had a dog like that, but I had to accommodate to her. I mean, I didn't put some things on their usual place, or I tried all the time to calm her down, talking to her, without shouting, just explaining her for hours and still it didn't change her completely, just a little bit. But , believe me, enough to continue our Love Story.
I remember that we simply learned to live with each other. At that time I was on my own with my two kids and Tina (her name) was left alone during the day while we were (me at work, and kids at school) absent. Every time we had to open the door we prayed God. Yes, it wasn't that pleasant but we did it for little more than 10 years. I wish it could last more :(

Love can make miracles!!!

After some time of patience and understanding, talking to her, she had calm moments but she was too neurotic to change completely. You know, they are like people. We all have "something" to live with. Nobody is perfect. It's hard for you, but if you really love him you can figure it out, believe me. You can ask your vet to suggest you something, too.
When I first read the book "Marley and Me" I cried because I recognised my Tina. But as John Grogan says: "we have to be prepared and ready when we make a decision of adopting a dog."
I am so proud of me now that I did it till the end, and I can tell you that my Tina is the dog difficult to forget , from many points of view.
All she destroyed was only material and that is not important.
The Love that she gave us, is more important and precious that I can never enough thank God to send her to me. She teached us, me and my girls, so many lessons of life and the most important was : TO LOVE INCONDITIONALLY.


Only thing I can suggest you is: much love and patience!!! I am just not sure, as I don't know you, till which point you can continue with your patience because I feel you completely fed up of having him. I felt also like you, but believe me, after a while, I was crying when I was thinking that I could give her away just in one moment of being overwhelmed by her behaviour.

I am not judging you. Oh no, I would never do that.
I hope that you will understand my words properly, that I am sending to you, with all Love and understanding in the world.

Our furry babies are worth of many sacrifices. I am sure of it.

I wish you to find the strength and hope in better tomorrow with Scout. He will feel it, believe me. Maybe he is just feeling your nervousness about the whole situation? It's possible.


However you will be in my prayers!


Love & Light from Paris

:--heart:
 

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Maya is just over 8 months now, and I have alot of the same issues. She counter surfs and steals things all the time--and knows exactly what she shouldn't have because she runs underneath the dining room table and hides when she takes something. Maya is also very mouthy, particularly with my daughter who is 12. Much of the advise here is very good--first, no matter how clean your counters or tables are, there is always the chance they will get ahold of something--so crate training if you cannot watch her constantly is key. I work from home and tried leaving Maya out for several hours where she is gated on the first floor, but inevitable, she would start doing something destructive (frankly I think out of boredom) like chewing on rugs or things she wouldn't normally touch. When I put her in her crate in the morning with a Kong, she settles down for a nice nap. Now on the biting, over exuberant greeting problem, when Maya starts biting or jumping on people, I put her in a "time out"--basically hook her leash to the patio door handle, and tell people to stay away until she settles down. Once she is sitting, then she can be approached and petted--if she starts jumping again, then we walk away--this is what we are doing, thanks to many helpful tips I found on the forum--Good luck to you!
 

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I am sorry that things are a little rough right now. Since you adopted Scout he may have some bad habits that need some work. He is still a young dog and he may not have had the best training before you got him. Sometimes it takes time for the honeymoon to be over but I think yours and Scouts honeymoon is over.
He is what he is and you will have to find ways to train, retrain and prevent things you don't like.
I do think Kate is spot on with Scout being awakened by your husband and then having nothing to occupy himself for the next 45 minutes to an hour. Dogs are always learning unfortunately all that alone time has given Scout ample time to learn and find things he like to do to occupy his time. Things you don't want him to do.
Change this.
If you husband is letting him out to potty after that Scout needs to be confined by a crate or in a dog safe room until you have the time to give him attention.
Kate is also right that putting the dog in the yard won't teach him skills you want him to have. You actively have to train him to do the things you want.
Make a list of what you want him to do and when you want him to do it. Then start training for it.
Getting back into obedience classes would help keep you motivated each week to keep up your home training.
Scout probably thinks your one son is his playmate/toy. Have your son become involved in Scouts training. Since your son is only 10 please supervise all activities. You can teach your son to not get Scout so excited so he will listen. When Scout is jumping and nipping any correction can be considered attention so when Scout does this he needs to be put somewhere safe (not in punishment) but just so he can wind down and get his brain back. (having a crate or a gated room is great for this) Scout can have a kong or a treat as he settles down. Your son must be consistant and completely ignore and go elsewhere when Scout does this. It will take some time but Scout will finally realize that if he acts silly (the nipping and jumping) his playmate goes away and all fun stops.

Practicing (training) a take it and give can eventually lead to playing tug like games in safety as the dog learns to release the item when told to.

If in play the dog grabs clothes, hand, feet etc all play stops and the person ignores Scout and if Scout continues Scout gets put in his safe place or you leave for a few minutes. Again after a little while Scout will get that nipping is not acceptable because all fun stops.

Counter surfing needs to be prevented by not letting the dog have the opportunity to do it. He needs to not have access to the area unless he is being supervised.

Having a dog with good house manners can take a lot of time and work but it is so worth it in the end.
 

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I adopted Lola at one year- she is now 14 months. At this age they are still learning boundries- and they are being naughty teenagers! They want lots of love and attention- Lola as well. I alway say-IT IS ALL ABOUT LOLA! As they both grow up into their twos and beyond they will mellow out. Keep up with the training and giving him lots of exercise. That is about all you can do until they just grow out of this phase. Good luck to both of us! LOL!
 

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Nancy
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My first suggestion would be not to leave him loose in the house unless he's supervised. He needs to be crated or in a "safe" room when you cannot watch him. He's still young and since he came to you at 1 year with possibly no manners training it will be your job to teach him house manners. When Hank was a puppy, baby gates were my savior! We kept him gated in the kitchen when we weren't home and crated at night. We still gate him in the laundry room even now when having dinner parties or elderly guest over.
 

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I appreciate all the help and information. Scout still is not improving. I swear he chews up items just to "get back at us." We have not been able to get him crate trained, and he is so large and strong I cannot get him in it. However, when we are gone from the house and at night, he is a good dog and doesn't get into things. However, the problem is when we are home but not with him. For example, I was out doing errands for about 3 hours and he was fine. I got home and hung out with him for about an hour. I went upstairs to take a shower. He knew I was up there, but he cannot go upstairs. We have a baby gate because our 15 year old cat is king of the upstairs. So during this time he managed to get my husband's favorite sweatshirt from a very high place and tore it to shreds. A couple days later, my husband and boys were painting in the basement. I kept Scout upstairs with me so he wouldn't get in the paint. I was cleaning up the kitchen and "rescuing" his ball for him when needed. He was *not* being ignored, yet, he kept whining to go downstairs. Finally, I heard a big rip and he had taken my son's reading book off the dining room table and torn it to shreds. (Thankfully it was *our* book and not the schools.) Again, I guess it is *my* fault. I had moved the book and backpack from the "safe zone" of the laundry room so I could actually do laundry. He has been pretty good in the morning between when my husband leaves and the boys and I come downstairs (about 45 minutes) but today, he stole a box I had just received from Amazon full of tea and destroyed it. There were actually even newspapers and kleenex boxes in the areas where he usually steals things and he left them alone. The box was in a place that is normally "safe."

I really don't know what to do. Basically, unless I am a perfect housekeeper I get punished. Yesterday, I walked him for over an hour up and down hills (I was tired...he didn't appear to be), brushed him, practiced his obedience and tricks and even gave him a super large treat, but nothing helps. As soon as I sit down on the couch he tries to jump on me and stand over me and be "dominant."

I don't know what his life was like before he lived with us. I would like to know because he seems to require continual attention which I cannot give him. Who can? I rarely make him go out, and really we have had so much rain he can't go out that much. But I cannot even put him outside long enough to mop the kitchen without him going beserk. (And we have a large fenced back yard with lots of toys and places to play and he has a super deluxe dog house.)

Is he *ever* going to get past this? We've done the training and continue to do it on our own. We reinforce the same things over and over and over but it never seems to sink in. He pretty much wants his way all the time. My children love him, but my husband and I are super frustrated.
 

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Kristy
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Please understand Where I am coming from. I have live through two adolescent golden retrievers and now a collie puppy. I have experienced finding my good couch cushions on the back yard mud, destruction of 20 pairs of shoes in one summer (my kids r slow learners :)). Counter surfing, ruined base boards, you name it. I have had the awful "omg what was I thinking, what have I done" thoughts.
I know how exasperated you feel. I think you are expecting too much too soon from Scout. It is simply not fair to this puppy (he is not mature) to expect him to behave unsupervised. Period. It's a hassle, but this is the reality.

1). Find a trainer who will help you crate train this dog or purchase 48" x pen that you can secure to a corner or your main living area.
2) please put the dog on the leash and take him upstairs with you when you go.
3). I feel your pain, the exercise issue is frustrating for me too. Same exact scenario. I just hiked 60 + minutes of hills and am exhausted. He is just building endurance. You have got to arrange puppy play dates or try to include some doggy daycare in your budget for a year or so. Even once a week. You said yourself the rain is keeping him in. He is just plain not getting enough exercise. It has to be every day or he keeps building up energy. Consistent, back to back days of physical and mental exercise, a good hour or two of it and it may take splitting it into morning and evening sessions. I have three kids , I know you don't have time to breathe, but it's going to take a commitment over the next year to get through this. It is simply not an overnight fix.
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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You are not the only one the the club. I'm going through similar behaviors with Buddy my rescue/ new addition. He is 2.5 years old. I think we must be consistent and ride it out. Buddy is just going through puppyhood stuff. Buddy walks at least 5 miles a day with me and still has the energy to find trouble. My big yip of the week is I can put him on the deck outside long enough to take a quick shower. He has severe separation anxiety so a 10 minute shower is a breakthrough for him.

It s great that you and your family opened torpid hearts and home to Scout. I'm sure the energy you put in will start to comeback to you.
 

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Kristy
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I'm so sorry. I went on an on and didn't answer your real question. YES!!!
You will survive this and he will be an awesome dog. I survived and you will too. It's just going to be a bigger project than you expected. Your kids are going to get a great lesson in what real committment and what great character their mom has.
 

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More exercise might be key too. Simply walking a young golden may not be enough to get his energy out. Is he good around other dogs? Do you know of some people with dogs that you could arrange play dates with? Or is there a safe, clean dog park around you could take Scout to?

Some serious off leash running or swimming may help reduce his energy level. My dog Flora is always at her naughtiest when she hasn't been exercised (usually the morning). But after she's had a good off leash hike with me, she settles down very nicely.

You'll get past this, it will just require your due diligence and some patience!
 

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OMG, this reminded me of my bridge dog Max:
"I really don't know what to do. Basically, unless I am a perfect housekeeper I get punished. Yesterday, I walked him for over an hour up and down hills (I was tired...he didn't appear to be), brushed him, practiced his obedience and tricks and even gave him a super large treat, but nothing helps. As soon as I sit down on the couch he tries to jump on me and stand over me and be "dominant."

Sounds like he has energy to burn and perhaps some separation anxiety when you are in the house and doing other things? How is he at the dog park? Do you have a large fenced in area where you can take him? Dogs love to explore new places outside of the house. Have you tried buying long beef marrow bones, stuffing them with canned dog food, freezing them and giving it to him while you do things in the house? I do this with my boy when I need a break or am busy.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. FWIW, my bridge boy brought me to tears more times than I can count, destroyed nearly everything he could get his mouth around in the eight years we had him but I'd buy him a new rug every day to chew on if I could have him back.
 
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"Basically, unless I am a perfect housekeeper I get punished."

I am so sorry you are feeling punished. I know it is hard but you need understand that he isn't punishing you but he really doesn't have the correct training to act in an appropriate manner for each occasion that you want. You have to train him to act appropriately for each occasion.

He has to be actively trained to like a crate.
He has to be actively trained to lay down quietly when you are resting on the couch. These things don't always just happen.

"As soon as I sit down on the couch he tries to jump on me and stand over me and be "dominant." "

I am not there to observe him but it really sounds like he likes you so much and wants to please you so much that he wants to actually crawl into your skin.

For couch time I would suggest getting a small rug that you can put down near the couch and teach him to go to the rug/mat. This rug/mat is only used for these occasions so the rug/mat gets put up when you are not actively asking for this behavior.
Start out by lying the rug down and if he puts a paw on it give him a piece of kibble or very small treat. Give a release word and get him to move off the mat. Wait him out when he touches the mat again say yes and give him the kibble or treat. (when giving the treat or kibble place it in the center of the mat. What you are eventually looking for is for him to offer on his own to lie down on the mat. If and when he does give him more than one treat or kibble (have a party) again place them on the center of the mat. Now move the mat. If he goes and lies on it in another place again say yes and treat.

After this has been practiced for awhile then when you put the mat down near the couch and sit when he goes and lies on the mat give him kibble for him laying down for 2 seconds, change it to 4 seconds, back it down to 2 seconds (intermittent rewards starting with small amounts of time and as time goes by changing it to 10 seconds/15 seconds then changing to 30 seconds/40 seconds moving up the time scale. This will take lots of time but eventually you will have a dog that will understand when you put his rug down it is quiet time and the rewards can come after long time frames on the rug. You are building up on this and it will teach your dog to lay quietly.
 

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A little trick to use with a dog that jumps on people excessively:

When he leaps, grab his front two paws (one in each hand) and hold him there for 5-10 seconds as if you're dancing with him. This puts a bit of pressure on the dog's hips and makes him a little uncomfortable. If you do it consistently, he'll tend to either stop jumping or minimize his jumping to quick jumps or to when he's really excited and can't help himself.

One thing that was helpful for me when raising a puppy was to keep in mind that we're two different beings, part of two different species, and we're adapting to each other's expectations and ways of doing things. Given enough time, the dog will get easier to handle-- he'll adapt to you in some ways and you'll adapt to him in others-- and things will seem a bit smoother.

One thing to keep in mind with the mouthing is that it's part of a dog's natural way of playing. If you ever watch puppies play together, they run around giving each other little nips and wrestling. What your dog is really saying with his body language is that he thinks of your son as his best buddy and wants to play, essentially. That doesn't make the behavior alright, but he's not trying to be a jerk, his intention is to initiate play in the way that comes naturally to him.

With the jumping, one thing zoologists have observer with wolf (very close relatives to dogs) cubs is that when their elders return from hunting for the dog, the wolf cubs will jump on them and lick their faces. So, it's likely jumping in dogs is their way of saying "Hooray! You're home! Hi! Hi! Hi! Welcome!". Again, doesn't mean you shouldn't try to train it out of him, just worth keeping in mind that your dog doesn't mean anything nasty or mean by it. His intentions are probably good.
 

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You have gotten alot of good advise, and believe me, due to similar issues I am having with Maya, I have had to crate her more oftne simply for her own safety. We are reinforcing our training, I am trying to get her more exercise, and today we go for an assessment to see if she can be accepted at doggy day care 2-3 days a week for half day sessions. I am convinced that Maya is just not getting enough exercise and she is bored. I have also had to tell myself over and over again that this too shall pass--with enough work and patience on my part!!!! Hang in there!
 
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