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We purchased our first golden, and have had him going on 5 weeks now. We decided on a golden after much research and thought he would be a great family dog. Now we seem to be seeing signs of dominance/aggression. He is constantly biting and putting his mouth on us, we give him a stern no bite and ignore him for a bit but it doesnt seem to be working. He also likes to bite at the kids legs and hands when they are running and playing. Tell me he will grow out of this or what we can do to deter the biting before he gets even bigger and more aggressive.
 

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This isn't aggression. This is a completely normal golden retriever puppy. GR puppies are SO mouthy and love to bite anything. It will take time, but if you continue to do the "no bite!" and ignore, then your pup should eventually learn that biting you is a bad thing. I used to spray bitter apple on my hands and arms as well, as the taste used to stop Flora in her tracks when she was mouthing me.

Good luck! :)
 

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You have a perfectly normal Golden puppy. Puppies aren't capable of being aggressive. They don't even know how to be dominant or aggressive at such a young age. It just isn't possible for a puppy. Goldens are very mouthy dogs, so what your pup is doing is nothing but normal. However, it is a good idea to get enrolled in some training classes and make sure that the pup gets plenty of exercise (on soft surfaces). When your pup starts nipping at you, just say NO firmly, but not in a loud tone. Then, give the pup a toy or a bone to chew on instead. It will get better over time. All of us have been through this when our dogs were puppies.
 

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Well, let me start by putting your mind at ease that this is NOT aggression, it's normal golden puppy mouthing. Goldens are one of the mouthiest breeds as puppies, and we affectionately call them "land sharks." There are many ways to deter this behavior. And you do want to deter it so he doesn't think he can continue to mouth when he is older. One way is to re-direct him to a toy or appropriate chew item. Another way I've discussed in past threads is the "respect hands technique" taught to be by a puppy trainer. You can search for this in the forums search section and read the details of the technique. Also, check out the "puppy" section of the forum...there is much written about this problem as well as other common puppy issues. Welcome and please post some pictures!
 

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Sounds about right with any puppy. They do everything with their mouths because they have zero cordination. One thing that really helped Sam and I was I purchased "Mother Knows Best, The Natural Way To Train Your Dog" by Carol Lea Benjamin. She has some really great things in this book, and even on the cover is her, and Golden Mom and puppy. I followed her puppy training as closely as I could, and there isn't an aggresive bone in Sams body. This was extremely important to me since I have him around my 4 year old niece as much as possible.

You might try the book. I got it for $7 shipped from Amazon.
 

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Nancy
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Ditto to everything said here...this isn't aggression or dominance, it's 'golden puppyness'. It's especially trying when there are kids in the household because their high pitch voices and running makes puppy think they are playing. Not to mention their size puts them closer to the ground.

Our little guy is 11 weeks and our 4 y.o. granddaughter lives here so I understand your concern. She knows to stop and stand like a statue when Hank is in land shark mode. If he continues the behavior after a stern "off" or an attempt to redirect him with a toy, he goes to his room to settle down. I also discourage wrestling or playing on the ground.

This too will pass.
 

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Debbie
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I had puppy class this past Wednesday with a 13 week old golden. She is now in her forever home after 3 tries - in just 5 weeks. She was a biter. The other two families just didn't want to put the time in with her to teach her not to bite. And she was the most mellow of all the dogs in the class. It took us about 2 weeks of consistent "No biting!" and redirecting with Riley. And even at 16 weeks she still needs an occasional reminder. Don't give up! You will be rewarded in the end.
 

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HELP!!! We have a 10 week old female golden - I got her for my birthday - and my mother is quickly losing patience with her biting me. She even said awhile ago that maybe we should take Sandy back - that's the second time she's said that in a couple of weeks. When I wanted to get a golden retriever, I talked with her about it and she was completely on board. I know she was just getting angry, but I never expected that getting another pet would tear us apart. I've always had a pretty good relationship with her, but I don't know how to get her to realize that she needs to have patience with this process or that she needs to stop showing favoritism toward the cat (12 yr. old - I understand that she feels that his territory has been encroached upon, but...). I don't know how to convince her how badly she's hurting me! I mean getting another animal is a commitment - not something that you can just back out on! She teaches an EBD (emotionally and behaviorally disturbed) class in an elementary school, and she's told me that she feels that she goes straight home from work to a puppy who behaves the same way as some of her students. I am committed to making this work, but I just don't know how to convince her. I'm getting ready to go to bed after this, and I'm probably not going to say anything to her. Any ideas? PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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makeupgirl,
Can you take a puppy class? If you are down on the floor with the puppy , you are fair game in her puppy eyes. Try to keep the puppy focused on something different than your hands, feet , ears, etc. Some chew toys or a ball. If the puppy bites hard, yell ouch loudly. (better warn your Mom you will be doing this) The puppy needs to learn to "soft mouth" Just like they learn when they are with their littermates. Too rough of play & the other puppies will let them know.
Keep her busy & lots of exercise. Good luck. It can take a little while but it usually does get better.
 

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Nancy
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makeup girl, we always keep lots of soft chew toys nearby to distract Hank when he's biting. Do you have a crate for him? When he's especially wild, give him a little time-out in there. Or during busy times, like when your mom is preparing dinner or trying to unwind after work. We have a 13 y.o. cat, AJ & Hank get along pretty well. Early on I just let them work things out.
 

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Thank you all for these really great suggestions! One thing I didn't touch on last night: another thing we've just recently been using, in the last couple of days, is ground red pepper. We had a bitter cherry spray, but the taste of that doesn't even faze her. The red pepper does help to keep her from eating poo out of the litter pan, and we've also started sprinkling a little on something we don't want her to bite on. It does seem to deter her, but I have some concerns about whether or not it can be harmful? One interesting moment: Last night my mother said that she thought that the ground red pepper had probably lost some of its potency, because it's been in the cabinet for a couple of years. A few minutes later, she accidentally got some of it in her mouth. Her face turned red and her eyes started watering and she told me that it was "still pretty powerful." It took a half hour for her mouth to cool off! When Sandy gets a little of it, she goes straight to her water dish. I'm being careful and only sprinkling a small amount of it, a light dusting.
 

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Definitely stop using the red pepper right away. It can irritate the dog's gastrointestintal tract quite severely if ingested as well as irritate her eyes and nose, even in small amounts. It can be quite dangerous for both cats and dogs and can cause stomach upset. I recommend going to a pet store and picking up a bottle of Bitter Apple spray. It is nontoxic and can be quite effective in preventing chewing.
 
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