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I'm starting to have some serious regrets getting my puppy. She is 12 weeks old now, I have had her almost 3 weeks. Adopted from a shelter. I was told she was just the sweetest thing. She is a mix breed, a golden retriever/x. She is currently 15lbs.


Before anyone really suggest a professional trainer please keep in mind I live in a pretty rural area. My only option would be PetSmart or PetCo. There is ONE "trainer" in the area, who follows Ceaser Millan methods. I will not go here. I planned on going to PetSmart classes, but have little hope for them.


I'm not new to puppies but I have never dealt with one like this, and none of my methods are working. I don't know what to do at this point.


I realize puppies bite and nip, and that it's totally normal, but this is beyond anything I have dealt with with puppies before. She just won't stop, and everyday she is biting harder. My arms are mauled, as are my legs. She draws blood daily, and not just a small puncture, but deep enough that it's dripping down my arm/calf onto the floor. At the store yesterday, someone actually asked me what happened, because my arms were raw and welted with bites and scratches.

At this point I finally broke down and have been crying all morning, because my arms are so sore and I have tried everything I know of and things I didn't and nothing is getting through to her and I feel like I've made a horrible mistake bringing her home. That she is going to grow up into an uncontrollable monster and hurt somebody. That I am failing her somehow. I keep telling myself shes just a puppy, it's just a puppy thing, but I have raised puppies before, and it was never this bad.

I have not once negatively corrected her for anything. When she bites, I tried yelping as loud as I could and ignoring for over a week straight very consistently - this only made her bite significantly harder each time.

The past few days she has started biting down hard and also shaking her head. This draws blood almost every time.

I tried getting up and ignoring. I tried leaving and ignoring for 1-2 minutes. As soon as I come back, it starts again.

I tried putting her in a time out pin. Same as above.

I tried shoving proper chew toys in her mouth. She makes an effort to spit them out and bite my skin.

I have pretty much very texture of toy to find something she would go for. Balls, rubber, tennis, bones, stuffed toys, squeakies, crinkles, plastic bottles, ropes, you name it, I have it..

I tried spraying bitter apple on my hands and ankles, which she HATES and it keeps her off my furniture but it enrages her when it's on me and she will just start "scissor biting" me instead of bite-hold.


I tried praising when shes playing properly, giving treats with shes behaving properly.


I exercise her many times a day, I don't play tug or any "aggressive" games or teasing games (keeping the toy out of her reach), usually we play fetch or I hold the toy for her, things like that. We go on short walks. When she's not playing she is sleeping.


We start getting up around 6:30AM, she has to pee/poo at this time. I'll release her from her crate into a pinned area with some toys and lay back down, usually she'll play quietly until about 8, when it's time to go out again. We'll walk for a bit (sort of - see below) then come eat breakfast, I will attempt to play but it's usually just me near tears, sometime later we'll have a training session (she'll do good with these for about 10 minutes, before she starts going after me). Usually she'll nap. Be up by about 11, repeat with lunch, walks, play, training. I'll give her another small meal around 3. Then dinner at 5. In between those it's sleep, walk, play, train. Her last meal is at 8, and she'll play off and on through th evening if she wants to. If she's sleeping I let her sleep, if shes up I'll try to exersice or train her.


I work from home so I am here 24/7.


I do training with her several times a day and pretty much I'm focusing on "off", and she does good while training. She'll be mauling my hand and respond immediately to "off", however, she will not respond to ANY commands (off, sit, lay) when we are not in "training mode". I know she knows them, but she will not listen. She is typically VERY GOOD while training. She learns things within minutes. I use a clicker. In addition to focusing on off, I also focus on not biting me in other ways - I reach to pet her or touch her collar. I pull my hand away and sit still if she tries to bite. She will stop and allow me to pet/touch within a few times of this, I'll click and treat. We'll keep doing this and always reach a point where she doesn't even attempt to bite. But again, none of this sticks beyond these sessions.


Of note - she has a big pillow that she loves to sleep beside, however when she is playing she gets very aggressive with it. I don't know if I should let her play this way with the pillow or not. She pretty much shakes her whole body, very violently attacking this pillow, sometimes growling, trying to pin it down. More than once I've saw her humping it - and I've NEVER saw a girl dog hump before! Should I take it away from her??


Another related but separate issue is the leash. Again, I've been trying to work with her with clicker and treats (High value treats, not just kibble - pieces of turkey etc.) It's not even that I want her to walk properly, I just want her to stop FLIPPING OUT, literally. She throws tantrums and thrashes, growls, yanks, she sounds as if she is being physically hurt. I switched to a light chain lead which she doesn't like to bite so she has now started lunging at me in her fits and it does not even resemble playing. She drew blood last night again from my hand that she lunged into. During these fits, I stand there with a slack lead and wait. I really don't know how else to handle it. A few times I've felt she was at risk hurting herself, so I stepped into her and on the leash and picked her up, brought her straight into time-out.


I've tried feeding her with the lead on, keeping it on while she drags it around the house, walking her in the house with it on, playing with it on, and that is all just fine. It's when we're outside only.


In other ways... she is a very good puppy. She is pretty much 100% potty trained. She loves her crate and goes to nap in it on her own. She sleeps through the night. She is very good during training sessions. Very, very rarely she will climb into my lap to be pet. She is smart. But this biting is out of control and I don't know what else to do.
 

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When our pup was 12 weeks old all she did was nip and bite my wife, she would be in tears everyday , how did we get such a bad dog ! we had adopted an older amazing golden who has since passed and this was our first puppy , what a mistake!!!! well guess what , we learned that it goes away , all baby golden's love to bite and chew , its just a fact , you are doing everything correctly , eventually the yelp does work , your pup will stop nipping , at one year our's gave it up, now at 2 years those bites turned into continual kissing and loving , we can not live without her , please don't give up, it will be Okay , I promise, keep doing what your our doing and your pup will love you forever , good luck,
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Oh boy.....I feel your frustration right over the screen.
Breathe. Sit down and if you need to have a good cleansing cry go ahead.
As far as the puppy....don't do the Cesar Millan thing, you're correct in staying away.
Now....Petsmart and Petco are perfectly useful for early training. I started my Emma at home, but I then took her to every class I could find and it included Petsmart.
Question.....do you have videos of your little furry landshark when she's being bratty? It could help to see what she's doing.....her body language, and her triggers.
Many many puppies go from this phase to lovely calm exemplary Goldens.
Hang in there. It's a painful phase. If you've got video, it would help folks here.
 

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You have all my sympathies. I have pretty much been there and done that. Hang in there, your pup is only 12 weeks old. Do you have a fenced yard? I didn't, we were actually on the road. I would advise, the one thing I did that you didn't mention, is try to wear her out more often. I resorted to a 20 ft long line and did fetch. At that age, 5 fetches is all it takes, and I did that I don't know how many times a day. The 20' lead also allows for zoomies. I couldn't really walk Elsa, she was leash aggressive. Fetch was really the only thing I could enjoy doing with Elsa.
I don't know how many times I felt I had made a huge mistake. I could not really bond with Elsa, and that was heart breaking for me. I really wanted a Me dog.
The GOOD News!
Elsa is 6 1/2 months old. Her only bad biting habit left, is she still wants my slippered feet, she will bit a toy on top of my feet and it annoys me. There is some herding instinct in her too. She tries to nip at our heels, and the cat heels. But her bite inhibition is superior now because of all those months of training. I won't miss a second of her puppy months. Which is kind of sad, but I celebrate every mature moment and move she makes. And I celebrated everything she did right, every time. i made a party out of all her wins to make up for the fact, she really wasn't a pleaser dog at all in my eyes, but when we finally got to meet with a trainer, (I live very rural too), she showed me Elsa in a whole new light. Elsa does like to please in her own way. She is a total Tom Boy dog. Brave and adventurous. She'd climb trees if I suggested it to her, I am sure.
It was just after 16 weeks I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even at that time, it took about 3 20-40 min walks a day too keep her energy levels under control. Now she actually waits for her one big run every afternoon. She knows it coming and does a lot of patient lazing around, until then. I am finally start to really love my my smart mature Golden. And from the sounds of it, your dog is more Golden than mix.
As for the humping...that is a stress response in a young animal. Perhaps there are stressors in your pups life, that are having affect on her. I look back now and realize that a lot of Elsa's biting was due to the fact she couldn't think of any other way to communicate to me. She didn't whine or bark at all. Elsa doesn't like a lot of sounds, like the robins in the evening when they first showed up, new sights upset her, like a neighbour cutting down a few cedars that blocked his house. She can get anxious quite easily, but now, as we have gotten to know each other, I read her body language much better, and she can read mine. Yelping didn't phase Elsa, but she reacted to a whine/whimper sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone. It really helps to know others went through this, and I am not alone.

I do not have a fenced yard, but it is a very big yard. I do have a longline I bought but have not used yet, I think it's 25' . The only issue is if I'm not hovering, she is eating sticks or other things that could harm her.

Our amazon order arrived about an hour ago, and inside was our first order of bully sticks. So far, after chewing on it, I think I see an improvement in the force she is using when she bites me. Might be wishful thinking but I hope so?

I don't have any videos of her biting problems but I can try to get some. Usually she stops whatever she is doing if I have my phone up (or tries to eat the phone), so that might be difficult.
She'll probably attack her pillow again later tonight, I will try to catch a video of how she seems to 'play' with it.

I thought she was making improvements about a week ago, when I was going heavy on the yelping. Then something changed and it no longer worked at all, seemed to egg her on to bite even harder. things have been getting harder to deal with every day! Today, I yelped right in her face, which DID work for a minute, however then she again seemed to become desensitized to yelping and it wouldn't stop her again (even in her face, like the first time).

I have watched a lot of Zak's videos. It's just that.. I don't know. She doesn't listen UNLESS we're training. She knows what training sessions are, and is pretty well behaved. But if she is excited at all, nothing gets through. She won't listen to any commands. So I don't know how to bring the perfect training sessions into real-world practice? I even bring things like cheese, turkey, etc outside and shes just not interested in anything but trying to go eat sticks and becomes furious.

I feel PetSmart will be valuable at least in one area, meeting others. As it is a rural area I can't be sure how many other puppies will even be there, though. It's pretty difficult to socialize a puppy here! :(
 

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You have my sympathy.... puppyhood can be really, really tough. I can only imagine what it's like when you jump into the deep end with a puppy that is already 12 weeks old and right in the bitey, energetic phase.

I am curious if you can give some background on the puppy. Maybe post some photos or video?

1) Any information on what kind of dog might have been crossed with the Golden? It might help us understand a little better if we know if it appears to be a herding breed or a bully breed etc.

2) Was she kept with littermates at the shelter or any other dog that might have helped her learn "bite inhibition"? Do a google search of that phrase and do some reading on it. Do you have any friends with very nice young dogs that are a medium to larger breed who might help play with her, tire her out a bit and maybe help teach her some bite inhibition? It would need to be a dog that you know is tolerant of puppy antics.

3) Do you know how long the puppy was in the shelter or if it was fostered at all? Can you talk to the person at the shelter who assured you this puppy was very sweet? I just would be curious how her life before she came to you compares to how she is living at your house. Was she getting more play time with other dogs, how much off leash running around are you able to give her now?

4) I understand that you are in a rural area, but believe it or not, some of the best dog people also live in rural areas. It may be that if you share your region, outside what metro area etc. that you may be able to find a contact through people on this site or on facebook who can get you set up with someone who has experience with Goldens or some other sporting or more active breeds who might be able to give you some insight.

5) When do your training classes start? Is she food motivated? Have you started working on teacher her to "kiss" - put a dab of butter on your hand or peanut butter and when she licks, tell her to kiss. Work on hand feeding her all her meals. Lure/teach her to 'sit' and 'down' for her food. Walk your puppy on a leash and feed her like a pez dispenser, a bite of kibble every nice step she walks. Lure her into position and keep moving. Have you had a chance to look for video suggestions on youtube?

4) Not sure what your previous puppy experience is. Retriever puppies are generally a lot more work than the average puppy due to the excessive mouthiness and high energy level. It is difficult for us to know exactly what you're dealing with since we're not there in person. Posting video really might help. If you have financial means, I would also consider driving a couple hours to meet with a trainer who specializes in behavior. If there are some things going on with your puppy they are things that should be manageable since you are starting now and are willing to work hard on training.

My last suggestion: purchase some bigger stuffed animals and use those to stuff in her mouth when she is biting. There is something satisfying to puppies about sinking their teeth into something that is soft and fluffy that they just won't get with a hard bone or rubber ball etc. She is going to start teething now, if she isn't already and that can be some of the issue. Wear jeans and a sweatshirt if you have to, but try not to get too frustrated. You will get through this with work.
 

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We went through a bad biting stage too. He still nips now at 7 months but it's caused by my boys rough housing and he gets all excited. It really started getting better once his baby teeth fell out. Keep on telling her no bite...easy or whatever. Tanner has caught on with easy quickly. Thank goodness! Don't give up...it will get better!
 

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...I do not have a fenced yard, but it is a very big yard. I do have a longline I bought but have not used yet, I think it's 25' . The only issue is if I'm not hovering, she is eating sticks or other things that could harm her.
She needs exercise and the ability to run. Get the longline out and start using it every day. Get a squeaky toy and see if you can get her playing. Sometimes it helps. It sounds like she is very active and you will not have the luxury of just letting her wander without watching her like a hawk. She needs to know that it's business time (potty) or play time (you running around and squeaking toys, kicking a soccer ball or dragging a long tug toy etc.) If you're not interacting with her she will be eating sticks or trying to dig. Happy day. ;) Also, have you found a place you can safely take her swimming? That is a terrific way to exercise her and work on recalls, fetching etc.
She is going to need daily aerobic activity that gets her heart rate up or she is going to be a real handful.

She'll probably attack her pillow again later tonight, I will try to catch a video of how she seems to 'play' with it.
This sounds like excess energy that needs a release. Puppies will have "zoomies" where they race around like maniacs, tail tucked and going at top speed in circles around the house. They also dig or attack stuffed things to release energy. All normal, but it gives some insight into her having a high energy level.

I thought she was making improvements about a week ago, when I was going heavy on the yelping. Then something changed and it no longer worked at all, seemed to egg her on to bite even harder.
There are a lot of people who find this method just ramps them up. Sounds like it doesn't work for her. It maybe that she is going to need to wear a drag leash all the time (attach a cut off leash to her collar about a foot long and she wears it whenever she's out of her crate so you can control her. Don't play with her without a stuffed animal to stick in her mouth of treats to use to turn it into a training session.
She doesn't listen UNLESS we're training. She knows what training sessions are, and is pretty well behaved. But if she is excited at all, nothing gets through. She won't listen to any commands. So I don't know how to bring the perfect training sessions into real-world practice? I even bring things like cheese, turkey, etc outside and shes just not interested in anything but trying to go eat sticks and becomes furious.
It sounds like she is a dog you can make progress with if she is wanting to work and train with you. Be very thankful that you've found this out about her so quickly. This is HUGE. You're just going to have to work hard to keep things moving so she doesn't get bored. Keep taking as many breaks as you can for 5 minute training sessions with her. Look up videos for games to play with her and tricks to teach her. Make a wobble board, make a platform and clicker train her to put her feet on it for a treat. You're just going to have to really work a lot with her. Do you have any people living with you all? Start teaching her (on leash) to search for a person or favorite toy hidden in the house. Start out easy and work up to it. She will LOVE this game as she gets older and it's a great way to exercise a dog on a rainy day.

It sounds to me like you probably have a very energetic puppy who needs to be taught manners and it's going to take a lot of work on your part for the next year. You can do this.

We would love to hear her name and see photos of her. It helps to know others have lived through this. Have you used the search feature and looked up "landshark" and "help my puppy is making me crazy" and "puppy biting" - these are all threads we have multiple versions of and you will learn a lot of great stuff from others who have gone through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
1) Any information on what kind of dog might have been crossed with the Golden? It might help us understand a little better if we know if it appears to be a herding breed or a bully breed etc.

They suggested a lab, but they really don't know. Really, she almost looks full Golden to everyone. I actually sent out a DNA test because I wanted to know! However, that's still 2-3 weeks from completing results. Below are some photos










2) Was she kept with littermates at the shelter or any other dog that might have helped her learn "bite inhibition"? Do a google search of that phrase and do some reading on it. Do you have any friends with very nice young dogs that are a medium to larger breed who might help play with her, tire her out a bit and maybe help teach her some bite inhibition? It would need to be a dog that you know is tolerant of puppy antics.

I do not know much of her history. However I am nearly 100% sure she was taken away too early and did not learn bite inhibition, and that is likely WHY my yelping doesn't work. She was alone at the shelter.
Unfortunately, we don't know anyone with dogs. We were thinking of taking her to PetSmart on Saturdays where they have a "puppy playtime". I admit I'm worried she'll hurt them!

3) Do you know how long the puppy was in the shelter or if it was fostered at all? Can you talk to the person at the shelter who assured you this puppy was very sweet? I just would be curious how her life before she came to you compares to how she is living at your house. Was she getting more play time with other dogs, how much off leash running around are you able to give her now?

Here is what I know.
She was from an accidental litter, and those people gave the puppy to an older couple (I do not know at what age she was.) They had her for a little while, but suddenly wanted to foster a child, and the regulations would not allow the child in the house with animals that weren't vaccinated for rabies, and the puppy is too young for it.
So, they surrendered it. She was an only dog there. I don't think she had been outside much, mostly in her crate. I think she is getting SIGNIFICANTLY more exercise here with me.
I DO know that they slapped her on the mouth when she bit, and said she was "very respectful" after (they as in the older couple).
She was at the shelter for about a week. I saw her get posted on their FB page and ran down to meet her (I'd been looking for a puppy to rescue for over a month). She WAS very sweet there, so I don't think the worker was lying. She didn't start biting like this for a few days after being in my home. I assume she was just very shy at the shelter.


4) I understand that you are in a rural area, but believe it or not, some of the best dog people also live in rural areas. It may be that if you share your region, outside what metro area etc. that you may be able to find a contact through people on this site or on facebook who can get you set up with someone who has experience with Goldens or some other sporting or more active breeds who might be able to give you some insight.

I'm in central Arkansas!

5) When do your training classes start? Is she food motivated? Have you started working on teacher her to "kiss" - put a dab of butter on your hand or peanut butter and when she licks, tell her to kiss. Work on hand feeding her all her meals. Lure/teach her to 'sit' and 'down' for her food. Walk your puppy on a leash and feed her like a pez dispenser, a bite of kibble every nice step she walks. Lure her into position and keep moving. Have you had a chance to look for video suggestions on youtube?

The PetSmart classes start may 14th. On the 7th they are having a "meet the trainer" event we were going to attend.
I have not worked on "Kiss", I will try that one! I will also hand feed. Most meals are given in her crate, to keep it a happy place.
She already sits down for her food. When I first had her, she would circle me jumping and barking like mad when I had the bowl/bag which I ignored until she sat. Now unless she is really hungry she sits and waits for me to place the bowl and say "ok!", this only took about 2 days... I know she is capable of learning!
I've been watching before we even got her, so nearly 2 months.. I've probably watched most things. Nothing is sticking outside of training. I've also read, read, read.


I have gotten her several oversized stuff toys, including her pillow (it's actually a people pillow, that kind that goes behind your back and has arms), and they are probably her favorites. She does get really crazy with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She needs exercise and the ability to run. Get the longline out and start using it every day. Get a squeaky toy and see if you can get her playing. Sometimes it helps. It sounds like she is very active and you will not have the luxury of just letting her wander without watching her like a hawk. She needs to know that it's business time (potty) or play time (you running around and squeaking toys, kicking a soccer ball or dragging a long tug toy etc.) If you're not interacting with her she will be eating sticks or trying to dig. Happy day. ;) Also, have you found a place you can safely take her swimming? That is a terrific way to exercise her and work on recalls, fetching etc.
She is going to need daily aerobic activity that gets her heart rate up or she is going to be a real handful.

This sounds like excess energy that needs a release. Puppies will have "zoomies" where they race around like maniacs, tail tucked and going at top speed in circles around the house. They also dig or attack stuffed things to release energy. All normal, but it gives some insight into her having a high energy level.


There are a lot of people who find this method just ramps them up. Sounds like it doesn't work for her. It maybe that she is going to need to wear a drag leash all the time (attach a cut off leash to her collar about a foot long and she wears it whenever she's out of her crate so you can control her. Don't play with her without a stuffed animal to stick in her mouth of treats to use to turn it into a training session.

It sounds like she is a dog you can make progress with if she is wanting to work and train with you. Be very thankful that you've found this out about her so quickly. This is HUGE. You're just going to have to work hard to keep things moving so she doesn't get bored. Keep taking as many breaks as you can for 5 minute training sessions with her. Look up videos for games to play with her and tricks to teach her. Make a wobble board, make a platform and clicker train her to put her feet on it for a treat. You're just going to have to really work a lot with her. Do you have any people living with you all? Start teaching her (on leash) to search for a person or favorite toy hidden in the house. Start out easy and work up to it. She will LOVE this game as she gets older and it's a great way to exercise a dog on a rainy day.

It sounds to me like you probably have a very energetic puppy who needs to be taught manners and it's going to take a lot of work on your part for the next year. You can do this.

We would love to hear her name and see photos of her. It helps to know others have lived through this. Have you used the search feature and looked up "landshark" and "help my puppy is making me crazy" and "puppy biting" - these are all threads we have multiple versions of and you will learn a lot of great stuff from others who have gone through it.
Her name is Missy and I've posted some photos above!

On exercising - I was fully prepared knowing goldens/labs etc need lots of it. I pretty much play her until she is tired and wants to go to sleep. We fetch, fetch, fetch until she starts plopping down and not wanting to chase it anymore. When she is done she is done and goes to sleep almost immediately.

Yes, my fiance lives with me. I played hide-it games with my last dog, so we know how fun those are. But she kind of learned it on her own - how do I teach this to a puppy?

Outside, like I said, it's really hard to get her to do anything - I haven't tried a squeaky, will do that next time we go out. But she really doesn't want to do anything but find sticks or pinecones to eat. She won't run after me, pay attention to treats (turkey, ham, chicken, whatever! REAL pieces too... stuff she dies for inside).
 

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I found that the best thing to do is to choose one thing and do it consistently - over the course of months. My pup was basically an angel pup, very easy to redirect and spent most of his day sleeping. When he hit 5 months, he basically flipped out. He acted a lot like you describe Missy's actions. He'd constantly make me bleed and cry and I was very upset for the entire time it lasted (3 months). I thought that maybe our breeder had matched us up with the wrong puppy, maybe I didn't do enough research to raise a properly behaved puppy, maybe I didn't spend enough time with him when he was a puppy, I thought he hated me for the longest time. I tried a bunch of different things in that first month - yelping, tethering, time out, ignoring hm, walking away, redirecting, etc. If one thing didn't produce a result quick enough, I moved onto something else. I could not walk into the room without him jumping up on me and chewing on any part of my body he could get. I was also battling humping at the same time too, I'd get a two-for-one discount. He'd jump up on me and start humping me while tearing my shirt to shreds.

I think it was someone on this forum who told me to pick one thing and stick to it. I chose to walk out of the room and ignore him, which worked out for me because we have an xpen up to keep him in one room and so I could leave without him following me. It took a couple of weeks for him to get it though. Sometimes I'd walk out and ignore him for 5 minutes and as soon as I walked back into the room, he'd be on top of me again. I got annoyed with that reaaaally quickly. I found that I needed a break when I got annoyed, much like a puppy needs a break when they get overtired.

I stepped up training too, I started teaching him new things and then started generalizing and proofing them. I'd teach him to sit in the family room, then I'd take him to the kitchen, then the hallway, then back to the family room with the tv on very loudly, then the garage, and then the driveway and then the backyard, then right in front of my house, then the neighbor's house, then in certain places on walks around the neighborhood, then the Home Depot parking lot at night, then the vet's office, etc. Very small steps that he could accomplish. Currently, we're working on 'sit' randomly. Whenever he's not expecting it, I'll ask him to sit and then toss him a treat. I've found that it's important to pretend that I don't have a treat to give him, so he never knows when a treat is coming. Once he's offering him solid random sits in the family room, I'll move to the garage, then the driveway, then the backyard, etc. I'll start the entire process over, asking for sits randomly. And then rinse and repeat with different commands. He's the type of dog who, while not high energy, will work with me for as long as I want to. He's constantly ready to go, as long as I am. But he learns very fast too, so there always has to be something new to teach him. Mental exercise is nearly as tiring as physical exercise, if not more. Finding a nice balance of them both is invaluable.

Also, I suggest you check out Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. They offer a very wide selection of classes (of all kinds), and it's all online. There's a whole thread about Fenzi in the Training subcategory, and there are a lot of members on this forum who take classes with FDSA. Classes are offered every other month, and the registration for the June term is May 22nd. FDSA is strictly R+ training too. I'm currently three classes with them, and have another three in my library. I looove the classes I've taken, they've been invaluable to my training journey with Kaizer. I can't say enough good things about Fenzi.

Kaizer will be 11 months tomorrow, and he's so so so much better than he was 6 short months ago. Now we cuddle often, we can do more things together more often, I can be in a room with him all day without getting bit. Of course, he most definitely has his moments and his issues. He's super tired right now, and just two minutes ago he chomped me on the back, and he's currently scratching at the couch. He's the type of dog who misbehaves when they're tired and gets really bratty and vocal when he's bored. But now the bites are gentler, he'll hold my hand in his mouth if he bites on my hand, he listens to me when I tell him to let go, he automatically lets go if I start moving away from him (and I'm still torn on whether I should praise him for that, or walk out because he bit me in the first place). Now he comes to me for pets and cuddles or when something scares him, he's all wiggles and excitement when he sees me. It's hard to believe at one point he just didn't care. Now we can play Tag, or some other chasing game without him getting so overexcited that he jumps up and bites me!! I'm not trying to brag or anything, I'm just trying to say that it does get better. A lot of tears and frustration on your part, but it does get better and the rewards are completely worth it. Kaizer and I still have so much growing to do together, but he's the most amazing dog already and I can't wait to see what else we accomplish together.
 
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Riley
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My 2 y/o girl was DEMON puppy. She was adopted from the shelter at 6 weeks old. She bit constantly until she was about 5-6 months old. I hated her a little, to be honest, but I knew she was going to be a wonderful dog, so I pressed on. Things that helped us:

No loud noises. No yelping obviously, but also no excited praise. Whenever I spoke to her, I spoke in a gentle monotone. Anything else riled her up.

We also did LOTS of crate time. Z NEEDED the crate to calm down.

We also worked on developing an "off switch" - I can't remember what the protocol we used was called, but it involved a down-stay or sit-stay while I did differently things. We'd do it for 5 minutes a day (anymore would rile her up).

Games that involve no touching. Fetch, tug, finding treats, etc.

If its any consolation, she is the SWEETEST, CALMEST, GENTLEST dog ever. Around 6 months old she turned a corner and POOF! She still loves to mouth, but she's so gentle about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's crazy how much "It's okay, the same thing happened to us" can make you feel better! I am feeling a lot better than I was when I wrote my post this morning. I feel a bit silly, but I was hurting so badly and just couldn't see any light.

Missy is zonked out now, we took a trip to petsmart where she got to meet a lot of people (She did great!), and I got to take a peak at the training in progress - which was nice because I didn't even know it was going on tonight. There were two pups in there and they were doing clicker training, so I think we're definitely going to fill out our application and attend ASAP.

Missy picked out a new crate-bed and a few toys. I put 3 beds down in the store and she kept going to one of them so I bought it, haha.

I let her meet adults mostly, but a few kids ran up to pet her without asking - I was ready to pull her back but she didn't nip anyone at all! Maybe I don't have a demon! That really encouraged me. She was sweet and gentle with them.

I think the bully sticks I bought have helped A LOT! She will actually bite it when I put it in her mouth, instead of spit it out to get to my skin like she does with toys. She seems a lot less bitey tonight after chewing on it for a while. Maybe that is what she needed.

Tomorrow I'll open the long line and let her spend some more "unrestricted" time outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My 2 y/o girl was DEMON puppy. She was adopted from the shelter at 6 weeks old. She bit constantly until she was about 5-6 months old. I hated her a little, to be honest, but I knew she was going to be a wonderful dog, so I pressed on. Things that helped us:

No loud noises. No yelping obviously, but also no excited praise. Whenever I spoke to her, I spoke in a gentle monotone. Anything else riled her up.

We also did LOTS of crate time. Z NEEDED the crate to calm down.

We also worked on developing an "off switch" - I can't remember what the protocol we used was called, but it involved a down-stay or sit-stay while I did differently things. We'd do it for 5 minutes a day (anymore would rile her up).

Games that involve no touching. Fetch, tug, finding treats, etc.

If its any consolation, she is the SWEETEST, CALMEST, GENTLEST dog ever. Around 6 months old she turned a corner and POOF! She still loves to mouth, but she's so gentle about it.
I think Missy needs no loud noises, too. Yelping seems to excite the heck out of her and so does excited "good girls!" etc. I've been trying to keep my voice lower/clamer when praising as well. Hard to do because I do revert to baby voice with all dogs...
 

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Kristy
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Are you the photographer?? What gorgeous puppy photos! Missy is so precious and clearly a Golden. It's so funny, you can see at certain angles that there could be another breed in there but then at another angle you think maybe she is all Golden, just not super typey? I love the 3rd one where she's looking up on the hardwood floor. Super cute.

I hope you will consider printing out some of the responses you've received in this thread and make a list for yourself of the things you could work at your house. Pick a few and review it (put it on the fridge) every morning and try to focus on a couple things. You are already seeing that she is smart and wants to learn, I think you are going to be fine.

The "find it" game is pretty simple, just act like you would with teaching a human toddler. Maybe put her on a leash, start out simple and make it short distances. Take her into the kitchen (use her kibble as a reward to make it fun :) ) Practice down/ stay - obviously this will be a work in progress - but meanwhile he goes and hides. You release her and say in a happy voice "ok Missy, find him" pick a phrase and try to make sure you both use it when you play the game. Then together you run around, act excited, and find him together. She gets a treat from him the first few times or he hides with a favorite toy (you could try using a fun squeaky stuffy and make that the 'hide and seek' toy that you only use for this game.) and they play with it for a minute or two till he hides again. I bet you she catches on quick :) In a few weeks you could play the game just with the toy and eventually she won't need you, she should use her nose. Goldens usually have very good noses.

Suggesting a DVD you might want to check into. "Sound Beginnings" by Jackie Mertens. If she already has a clear retrieving instinct it would be great to work on developing it. A Golden that is crazy to retrieve is a joy to live with, they will do anything for that reward and it's such a great way to exercise them.
 

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It's happening to us as well now....it has gotten better over the last week than it was. Keep on doing the things your doing....and as others stated, try to wear her out the best you can.
 

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Kristy
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If you're serious about going above and beyond with her, definitely sign up for the petsmart classes but consider doing some research and see if you can find someone to take private lessons with, just a few, see what you think. Here is where I would start, you can copy and paste the same message into multiple emails or pm's and tell them where you're located and ask if they have any contacts they could refer you to who would do private lessons with you and your puppy. A good person could really make a difference for you. People are nice and if you reach out 99% will try to help you. You never know who lives 20 minutes from you ;)

Golden Club:
Welcome to the ArkLaTex Golden Retriever Club web site

List of AKC obedience clubs located in Arkansas:
https://www.apps.akc.org/apps/events/obedience/training_clubs/index.cfm?action=search_state&state=AR

Agility Group Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/nwaagilitygroup/

Hunting Retriever Clubs are a great resource, even if you don't hunt you can train your dog for hunt tests:
https://pinoakhuntingretrieverclub.wildapricot.org/
https://www.facebook.com/hlhrc/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lrdtc/?fref=nf

https://www.facebook.com/events/123087151194253/

https://www.facebook.com/nakcharrison/?fref=nf
 

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Zoinks!!! Ruh Roh Raggy!!
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She is beautiful!!! Dakota has been awesome but we are still battling the biting thing too. He is a week behind her. The more I handle him the better he gets about his bite control. He still gets carried away sometimes and does a head shake or a death roll. I'm lucky in that my skin is pretty tough but he has drawn blood a few times. You are not alone battling this. Dakota has his bite triggers that I am aware of. When I lay down beside him or when he gets in my lap when I come home. I generally grab treats and take him to train. I keep stuffed kongs ready. He has a fenced backyard and an exercise pen inside. He doesn't have full run of the house as I am afraid he will gnaw an electric cord or something. I hide treats in the expen while he is in the yard and he bee lines to get in there when he comes inside. He behaves himself in the pen that gives me a little space from time to time.
 

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I've been going through much the same, but maybe a little less severe as my little monster is only 11 weeks now. Everyone says they'll grow out of it, so I'm hanging in there.

The few things that have helped me greatly on this issue are:

1) Bully sticks are great, another similar item he likes is a chew stick made out of pig ear. It's not greasy or slimey like regular pig ears can often be, but he'll often use it as a welcome substitute for hands and feet.

2) I have a HEAVY wool sock to wear over my hand and provide a good bit of protection. My father wears on old pair of leather gloves.

3) It really does seem like play, but usually waaay too rough, so I try to play and be a little rough with him, without creating any distress or injury - he likes the challenge.

4) Taking my dog to friend's house to play with their dog who is 3, playful, and teaches him that biting someone gets you bitten back (playful, not vicious). After a couple hours he comes home exhausted, and docile; all tuckered out and no more aggressive play for a while.

5) It seems to make him very submissive and disinterested in aggressive play when I put a regular harness on him. Guess it feels like a straight jacket to him.

That's my 2 cents
 
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