Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We rescued a 6 month golden/chow mix male 3 weeks ago. He is really quite docile and is doing well in puppy class. We have had a hard time with crate training. He cries at night, so I have let him out and he is content to sleep on my bed.

He is starting to claim the bed other times, though. He will get off when told and is understanding that he has to be invited up and can't just jump up. Tonight my daughter came in my room and wanted to hold him. She picked him up off the bed and he jumped out of her arms and moved to the top of the bed. She then went to go get him and he moved again. The 3rd time, he growl and nipped her in the face. Now I know she should have read the signs and walked away-if not the first time, definitely the 2rd time. But the growl and nip concern me. Later tonight I went to go get him off the bed and he rolled on his back and growled at me. I immediately told him off and he got off and is on the floor. He whimpered for a little bit and tried 1 time to get back on the bed once, but has fallen to sleep on the floor.

Do I ban him from the bed? Do we go back to the crate? Is this part of claiming my bed or is there underlying aggression that I need to deal with? As I said, for the most part he is docile and will sit in your lap or be submissive to being held. This was something completely new for him tonight.

Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
 

·
Humankind. Be both.
Joined
·
7,650 Posts
He's still very new to your enviornment and keep in mind that for a lot of dogs, being held isn't really something they enjoy. As far as the growl and the nip, he was exercising good judgement there -- he tried, twice, to get away and it didn't work, so he had to escalate his method of communication.

What have you done to "train" him to exit the bed at your request? I'd start there, even though to date, you've been able to get him off fairly easily. If there's no actual training behind it, it may well have just been luck that he exited when you asked. I teach "off" with a treat. Walk up to dog, show a cookie, toss cookie to loor, point it out and use "off" as dog jumps off. Repeat often. Then delay the cookie so that you point to the floor, say "off" and present a cookie from your pocket once he's on the floor.

You say he's "submissive" to being held. That may also indicate that he's not really enjoying it, so I'd take a look at his body language, etc. while people are holding him - especially kids (not sure how old your daughter is). I really try to get my clients to teach kids to PET DOGS vs. pick them up, carry them around or do other types of "huggy restraint" since in the dog world, that's pretty foreign.

Around the house when he's supervised, you may also want him to drag his leash so that if, for some reason, you have to manually get him off the couch and it's not a situation where you can practice training the OFF, use the leash. Just casually pick it up and gently pull him off saying "Let's go" or something similar.
 

·
Momma to angel Cody
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Steph is a good trainer, so I'd listen to her, but personally, the dog would be off the bed. It's a privilege, and obviously one that your pup is claiming entitlement to, so he'd be back in his crate at my house or on a dog bed on the floor.
 

·
Humankind. Be both.
Joined
·
7,650 Posts
Steph is a good trainer, so I'd listen to her, but personally, the dog would be off the bed. It's a privilege, and obviously one that your pup is claiming entitlement to, so he'd be back in his crate at my house or on a dog bed on the floor.
That would certainly help manage the situation! I hesitate to say the dog is expressing entitlement over the bed... Hard to know if he's really saying, "Hell no! It's my bed!" or if the growl, etc. was in response to something else.. say, for example, he was previously reprimanded (prior owners) while on the bed or approached in an angry way to be made to get off the bed. He could be responding based on past experiences in a similar setting, which to me, is different from the inflated ego of, "It's MY bed, lowly humans!" JMO.

In any case, I'd likely limit the amount of bed time, but I'd definitely work on training a non-confrontational way to get him off the bed when needed.
 

·
Nancy
Joined
·
7,493 Posts
Steph is a good trainer, so I'd listen to her, but personally, the dog would be off the bed. It's a privilege, and obviously one that your pup is claiming entitlement to, so he'd be back in his crate at my house or on a dog bed on the floor.
ditto

I know there are different schools of thought about allowing sleeping on the bed/furniture. IMHO, puppy is viewing your bed as his space. If he wanted to get away he should have gone to his crate/blanket/bed. Of course your daughter should then leave him alone. Then, when you approached later that evening he growled again. Time to set him straight. The bed is yours, his place is in his crate or bed on the floor. Better now then when he's 80 lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks- now need advise about crate

Thanks for the advise. I never even thought about it as training. So we started today. I got him on the bed with an "up" and a treat and then got him down with an "off" and a treat. He did it 4-5 times with treats and then repeated twice without treats. So he is getting the concept. And I am going to address with both my daughters today about not picking him up and trying to treat him like a teddy bear.

Since I had been having difficulty getting him in the crate, I tried the same thing. Again, I never thought of it as training to get in the crate. But he will not go near it with out me picking him up and putting him in. I gave him a treat once he got in there. He ate the treat and then bolted. I have tried putting a peanut butter filled Kong in there only to find my older golden shoving himself in there to get it and getting stuck! He won't even go near it and if he hears the door of the crate move or get bumped, he runs.

As I stated before he is a rescue puppy. The story I got is he was born outside with another pup and by the time the owner of the mother knew the puppies were out there (I don't know how you don't know your dog is pregnant and has delivered puppies!) they wouldn't come to the owner, so they just left food on the back porch. Rescuers caught them with animal traps around 3/4 months old and they were in a shelter for 4-6 weeks. Perhaps the crate is just too traumatic.
 

·
Missing Selka So Much
Joined
·
17,303 Posts
Poor baby!!!! What a horrible beginning to life! I'm amazed he is good with people in a house at all! That's the golden in him!wanting to be with people.

It sounds like any crate he would view as being trapped! Is he not housebroken yet? Can he just sleep on a dog bed on the floor? Or is he not trustworthy yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Wylie is housebroken and has had only a few accidents which were more of people not reading the signs then his fault. He is able to hold it all night. Our only concern is he gets up at night and takes clothes out of hampers. He doesn't eat them, just mouths them.

I want to be able to crate him when we are not home as he still picks up stuff that is not his, but I truly believe he would not have a problem not being in the crated when we are not home. I am thinking maybe instead of a crate, I should just gate off a space when we are not home for him to go in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Djoz, that sounds like an excellent idea, like using a baby gate perhaps to gate off a section of your home or room--perhaps laundry room, kitchen or bathroom? And certainly I would have "practice sessions" where you do this for a couple of minutes at a time--then make the periods longer.

It will really be for Wylie's own protection, because you'll have a rather set of limited options when the time comes to take vacations--you'll either have to find a pet sitter that visits/stays at your home, or will take Wylie and your other golden into their home, knowing Wylie can't be crated, or find a "crate-free" pet lodge in your area. I'm not being critical--I've been there, done that, with a dog that hated his crate too, and never fully adapted. My current golden loves her crate, and what a difference. I wouldn't have it any other way, but considering Wylie's background, he probably doesn't like to be fenced in.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,435 Posts
I agree with all the advice from the good trainers& dog people here. I just want to add though, that I believe your initial worries are very valid. I have lived with 9 dogs, all of whom were allowed on the bed and zero who growled at a person at any time, never mind nipped. It is serious any time a 6 month old dog growls at or nips a human. I would definitely do lots of structured obedience with this pup in a class run by a trainer with whom you feel a good rapport. How old is your daughter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
murphwyl2.jpg

Here is a picture of Wylie and Murphy (my 14 year old golden). He is really very cute and very good. He just had a lot of trauma early on. He is fearful of people especially playing kids and men. Cars, lawn mowers, vaccuum cleaners, etc freak him out. Anything that makes loud noises he avoids. I am sure in time, those will subside. He plays well with other dogs and once he knows you, he is really sweet.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top