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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have had our Golden since she was 8 weeks old. She just turned 1 year old in June. We originally purchased her from an AKC registered breeder as my wife is finishing her Masters in Psychology now. She planned to use the dog in therapy when she opens her own practice. We would like her to get good citizen certified here shortly.

We have a few behavior issues we are trying to work out.


1) She pees in her crate. She has been crate trained since she was younger. She was fixed around 6 months old. She is now just over a year old. She only holds it for 3-4 (if we are lucky) hours before she will pee and poop in her crate. We have tried putting her on a schedule for eating/drinking only in the morning and in the afternoon. We originally thought she was doing it for attention, but we followed the rule of clean it up ASAP and keep her in her crate and she still does it knowing she wont be able to get out.

We have also tried buying her a new crate. The original crate we had was our old dogs crate. We thought maybe she was doing it to get rid of his scent. That seemed to work for about a month and then she went back to going to the bathroom in her crate.

We have gone through thousands of training treats after she does her business out side in the yard and she just doesnt seem to catch on. I know she isnt dumb because she can pick up on hand signals and commands. By time she was 3 months old she had sit and lay with hand signals down.

She goes to the vet on a regular basis. Is up to date on all shots, She is fixed, and has regular puppy health check ups and is completely healthy.


2) She is extremely hyper and can really only ever be out of her crate for 30 minutes to an hour. Otherwise she gets rough with our 5 and 8 year olds. We cant really let her out of the living room to go see the rest of the house as she puts everything in her mouth. Snow globes, stuffed animals, legos, etc. She will literally eat what ever she can get her mouth on. We have tried buying her a huge assortment of toys, raw hides, stuffed bones, etc. She will use them for 5-10 minutes and distracto brain kicks in and she cant focus on anything.


3) She is terrible on a leash. We have tried a gentle leader and she seems to do ok with it on, but as soon as its off she pulls like no tomorrow. My wife isnt strong enough to control her.

4) Her crate is in the kitchen since it is linoleum floors. with her accidents in her crate I dont want her on carpet so it can get ruined. She has direct view through the side glass window by the front door. She barks at any human that rides a bike down the sidewalk, gets in a car next door, etc. How do we get her to stop? We live in a condo and cant have her freaking out any time she sees someone out side. Would still be nice if she barked when someone she didnt know came into the house.


We are at a cross road. We have invested a full year into her and have made almost 0 progress with her since we brought her home. We
to decide to either dump cash into a private trainer or cut our loses and sell her for some of our thousands of dollars we have already spent on her. I would like to keep her and I know my wife and kids would as well. This forum is my last resort.

Thanks in advance.
 

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What obedience classes have you completed with your girl & how much time is she getting out of the crate to run off the zooms & work her mind? Have you asked your vet about spay incontinence since she was spayed so early?
 

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She sounds like an incredibly bored as well as spring loaded pup with so much pent up energy that she's not allowed to get out. What kind of exercise does she get and for how long? It sounds from your description that she spends most of her life in her crate, if she's only out for 30 minutes at a time.
 

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Could she have a UTI? (for the random pee accidents)

Have you taught her impulse control? If she is wound up, she'll have too much energy to focus on training. Sometimes the hiccup in training is the timing. If the reinforcement isn't timed just right, the dog might be missing what exactly you liked about her behavior.

Oftentimes dogs will view children as playmates and end up playing rougher with them, than the adults. Perhaps if the children help train, your puppy will start viewing them in a different light? Regardless, she needs a LOT more exercise. I am talking strenuous exercise; something to get the heart pumping. Does she like fetch? Playing long-distance fetch (100 feet or more each way) should get her heart rate up and tire her out.

Beware of strenuous exercise during the hot hours, cause dogs DO overheat.

Does she have a good recall? If yes, you can try to take her on a hike off leash so she can run around you while you hike and burn off more energy. Or if you have any off-leash parks or beaches, you can take her out for some sniffing and/or fetch.

Do you reward her good behaviors? Correct the bad behaviors? If you only tell her what she CANNOT eat, but not what she CAN eat/chew on then she might be at a loss of what to do to ease her boredom OR she is just exploring because the living room is a new and exciting place she is rarely in.

In Puppy Kindergarten, we were taught how to teach "mat" and "settle" and it has been invaluable in our experience.

Check out these videos:

 

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Kate
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Reading your OP... it seems like she's alone in her crate a lot. Toys and chews are not enough for a busy dog. They crave companionship.

My thing is growing up in a big family where there were 6 of us kids and 3 of us under 10 when we got out first golden... dogs are supposed to be rough. That's why you get a big dog. They are fun and should be REAL dogs.

People with concerns about a big dog pushing little kids around... probably should not get a big dog. It's too unrealistic and borderline cruel to keep a sporting breed dog caged almost 24/7... which if you are only letting the dog out for a 1/2 hour or so before crating again, that's what it sounds like. To me, it's bordering on animal abuse... and was a very huge reason why I was so anti-crates for years. Because I'd see dogs just vegetating all their lives in these crates where they are forced to lay down all the time.

Stress can result in more potty accidents. And other thing to keep in mind is that she might not be able to hold her pee longer than 4 hours at a time... Some dogs have weaker bladders than others.

As far as reselling her for thousands to recoup what you've spent on her - is callous to me. Because these dogs are family. And if you are already thinking in terms of how much money you can get by getting rid of her, it's probably time to rehome.

I'm probably going to regret being direct and open like this, but I love these dogs and really want people to reconsider the lifestyles that they have and what they can afford these dogs. If you want your house to be pristine and want to keep the dogs outside or limit them to only 1 room that's away from the family... you probably should have gotten a more independent breed that does not need companionship as much. Probably best case scenario would be reviewing what kind of life a dog is having and see what can gradually change for the better for the dog.
 

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Reading your OP... it seems like she's alone in her crate a lot. Toys and chews are not enough for a busy dog. They crave companionship.

My thing is growing up in a big family where there were 6 of us kids and 3 of us under 10 when we got out first golden... dogs are supposed to be rough. That's why you get a big dog. They are fun and should be REAL dogs.

People with concerns about a big dog pushing little kids around... probably should not get a big dog. It's too unrealistic and borderline cruel to keep a sporting breed dog caged almost 24/7... which if you are only letting the dog out for a 1/2 hour or so before crating again, that's what it sounds like. To me, it's bordering on animal abuse... and was a very huge reason why I was so anti-crates for years. Because I'd see dogs just vegetating all their lives in these crates where they are forced to lay down all the time.

Stress can result in more potty accidents. And other thing to keep in mind is that she might not be able to hold her pee longer than 4 hours at a time... Some dogs have weaker bladders than others.

As far as reselling her for thousands to recoup what you've spent on her - is callous to me. Because these dogs are family. And if you are already thinking in terms of how much money you can get by getting rid of her, it's probably time to rehome.

I'm probably going to regret being direct and open like this, but I love these dogs and really want people to reconsider the lifestyles that they have and what they can afford these dogs. If you want your house to be pristine and want to keep the dogs outside or limit them to only 1 room that's away from the family... you probably should have gotten a more independent breed that does not need companionship as much. Probably best case scenario would be reviewing what kind of life a dog is having and see what can gradually change for the better for the dog.
This is very well said.
 

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It sounds to me like most of her issues are coming from spending too much time in the crate and not getting enough exercise. If you can work out more exercise, you will find that she's calmer in the house. When she's calmer in the house, she won't need to be crated as much and won't get into so much trouble.

The potty thing may be tied into a small bladder, urinary incontinence or a uti. I do have one of my dogs who can only go 4 hours between potty runs. His bladder is just too small to hold it any longer than that during the daytime hours. We just make sure to get him out within that time period and he's fine (he's 10 years old now).

It sounds like you like her, but are frustrated. Once you get the exercise thing worked out, I think you'll find you and she will be much happier.
 

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It's a really tough cycle when the dog needs to spend more time out yet gets into trouble when out.

Set up a camera to see what happens when she is crated - is she eliminating within 5 minutes? After an hour? Does she stand up to do that? Is it in response to seeing things outside?

Get window film ASAP. Today! : Don't Look Now! The Benefits of Window Film for the Household with Reactive Dogs - eileenanddogseileenanddogs

It's possible she will be the dog to assist your wife with her work - but it's also possible you need a very different personality (especially after practicing a year of reactivity).

Increasing exercise and appropriate training will help a lot. If you are unable to exercise her you may want to invest in hiring a skilled dog walker who can help with age appropriate exercise.
 

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You said exactly what I was thinking, and a lot more nicely.


Reading your OP... it seems like she's alone in her crate a lot. Toys and chews are not enough for a busy dog. They crave companionship.

My thing is growing up in a big family where there were 6 of us kids and 3 of us under 10 when we got out first golden... dogs are supposed to be rough. That's why you get a big dog. They are fun and should be REAL dogs.

People with concerns about a big dog pushing little kids around... probably should not get a big dog. It's too unrealistic and borderline cruel to keep a sporting breed dog caged almost 24/7... which if you are only letting the dog out for a 1/2 hour or so before crating again, that's what it sounds like. To me, it's bordering on animal abuse... and was a very huge reason why I was so anti-crates for years. Because I'd see dogs just vegetating all their lives in these crates where they are forced to lay down all the time.

Stress can result in more potty accidents. And other thing to keep in mind is that she might not be able to hold her pee longer than 4 hours at a time... Some dogs have weaker bladders than others.

As far as reselling her for thousands to recoup what you've spent on her - is callous to me. Because these dogs are family. And if you are already thinking in terms of how much money you can get by getting rid of her, it's probably time to rehome.

I'm probably going to regret being direct and open like this, but I love these dogs and really want people to reconsider the lifestyles that they have and what they can afford these dogs. If you want your house to be pristine and want to keep the dogs outside or limit them to only 1 room that's away from the family... you probably should have gotten a more independent breed that does not need companionship as much. Probably best case scenario would be reviewing what kind of life a dog is having and see what can gradually change for the better for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How many hours a day is she spending in the crate?
She sleeps in her crate. During the day we bring her out in sessions. Counting night time and work hours when I am away she is probably in her crate 16 hours or so.

What obedience classes have you completed with your girl & how much time is she getting out of the crate to run off the zooms & work her mind? Have you asked your vet about spay incontinence since she was spayed so early?
None yet. She cant focus long enough for me to even consider spending money on obedience classes. Its to the point where she jumps on the couch 60 times in an hour and gets told down every time and she just doesnt get it.

I don't think she is getting enough exercise or mental stimulation. I assume since you want her to be a therapy you have done training classes.
See above.

Could she have a UTI? (for the random pee accidents)

Have you taught her impulse control? If she is wound up, she'll have too much energy to focus on training. Sometimes the hiccup in training is the timing. If the reinforcement isn't timed just right, the dog might be missing what exactly you liked about her behavior.

Oftentimes dogs will view children as playmates and end up playing rougher with them, than the adults. Perhaps if the children help train, your puppy will start viewing them in a different light? Regardless, she needs a LOT more exercise. I am talking strenuous exercise; something to get the heart pumping. Does she like fetch? Playing long-distance fetch (100 feet or more each way) should get her heart rate up and tire her out.

Beware of strenuous exercise during the hot hours, cause dogs DO overheat.

Does she have a good recall? If yes, you can try to take her on a hike off leash so she can run around you while you hike and burn off more energy. Or if you have any off-leash parks or beaches, you can take her out for some sniffing and/or fetch.

Do you reward her good behaviors? Correct the bad behaviors? If you only tell her what she CANNOT eat, but not what she CAN eat/chew on then she might be at a loss of what to do to ease her boredom OR she is just exploring because the living room is a new and exciting place she is rarely in.

In Puppy Kindergarten, we were taught how to teach "mat" and "settle" and it has been invaluable in our experience.

Check out these videos:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Tf-K-LvsiY
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRM0LeSBjxA
We live in a condo association. She cant be off a leash. We have a 25' run, but she isnt smart enough to remember the end of the line and often tries to run further than she can. Luckily I buy collars with break away clasps so she doesnt get hurt.

She has absolutely 0 recall or she just chooses to ignore it.

It's a really tough cycle when the dog needs to spend more time out yet gets into trouble when out.

Set up a camera to see what happens when she is crated - is she eliminating within 5 minutes? After an hour? Does she stand up to do that? Is it in response to seeing things outside?

Get window film ASAP. Today! : Don't Look Now! The Benefits of Window Film for the Household with Reactive Dogs - eileenanddogseileenanddogs

It's possible she will be the dog to assist your wife with her work - but it's also possible you need a very different personality (especially after practicing a year of reactivity).

Increasing exercise and appropriate training will help a lot. If you are unable to exercise her you may want to invest in hiring a skilled dog walker who can help with age appropriate exercise.
So our routine is I get up at 6:30 to get ready for work. I take her out around 7:00-7:15 so she can eat, drink, and go outside after waking up. Around 11AM she goes outside again. She goes out at 3 and at 5:30PM when I get home. Typically when she goes in the crate it happens anywhere between 2PM and 4PM. It seems to happen when we are home. I have found if nobody is home we can typically leave from 10AM and come back at 3-4PM and she is completely fine. So I know she can hold it longer.

At this point I am extremely frustrated. I had dogs growing up my entire life and none of them have ever had this hard of a time learning.
 

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She needs obedience classes. It doesnt matter where she is at now. Start at a begginner level.

So she only gets to come out of the crate for short times. No wonder she has so much energy.

How do you expect her to be a therapy dog when she hasnt even had as obedience class.
 

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Millie's Dad, Chris
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When you take her out at 5:30pm are you taking her out into the world for walks/exercise?

I wouldn't wait for a dog to learn to concentrate before starting obedience. Obedience is where they start to learn.
 

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Kristy
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...... She cant focus long enough for me to even consider spending money on obedience classes. Its to the point where she jumps on the couch 60 times in an hour and gets told down every time and she just doesnt get it.....I had dogs growing up my entire life and none of them have ever had this hard of a time learning.


I am trying to find the right words to tell you in a civilized manner that you are basically keeping this dog in a cruel and borderline abusive situation. You don't understand why she's jumping on the couch 60 times at a pop? I will explain it. Golden Retrievers are hunting dogs who were made to work. By taking a sporting dog, a breed that was originally bred for the purpose of working closely with humans and caging it 2/3 of every day with insufficient exercise and insufficient human contact you give your young dog no outlet for her overflowing energy and no outlet for her need to think and interact with people. These dogs need DAILY aerobic exercise to get their heart rates up and they need daily training and attention to learn how to behave appropriately.

I am blown away that your wife thought she would have a therapy dog without doing any research at all into what it would take to achieve the goal. You all have not bothered to waste money on obedience classes but you think she is going to be a canine good citizen with no one taking time to teach her how to act and no one giving her APPROPRIATE outlets for her NATURAL need for exercise, play and human interaction. Do you expect your children to know how to behave in a restaurant or at church with no training from you on manners or decorum? How could you expect it of this puppy? To make her a therapy dog she should have been in training from her first days in your home. It appears by neglecting her education, her need for mental stimulation and her physical needs she has developed some neurotic tendencies.

I imagine you are frustrated because clearly, someone sold you a dog without making sure you understood what your responsibilities were to the animal and what it takes to properly care for a large breed sporting dog. At this point it doesn't sound like you have the patience or the will to do what it takes to turn this dog's life around. And it can be done but it will take a major effort. Have you contacted her breeder to see about returning her? It seems that may be the kindest route to take for the dog.

As for the dogs from your childhood, I doubt that your parents had the kind of expectations of your family dogs that you do and I doubt they were kept caged for the majority of their first year either. Did your parents keep your dog separated from you? I doubt it.
 

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Mercy Miracle (M&M)
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Take a deep breath. She just turned 1. She is exhibiting normal puppy behavior. Don't give up! Hang in there! Just keep working with her. I doubt seriously that you made 0% progress on her. Your wife wanting to use her at her practice is remarkable, but she needs a lot more training before she's nearly ready. Giving her up should not even be an option, especially since you've worked with her for the last 8 months. You're not the only person with a puppy on this forum who is up to their eyeballs. Puppies are a lot of work. Getting her outside more with exercise will help a lot. Things will get better, but only if you keep working with her. I have to agree that she is not getting enough exercise however. We had to hire a couple of trainers when Mercy was a puppy including when she was 11 months old, and she was considered the least active in her litter. Now she is a mellow girl at age 3, but a dog like yours could take longer to calm down. Your dog sounds a lot like my previous dog , a lab mix who was more active than Mercy. I worked with him tirelessly for most of his life and learned some hard lessons along the way. He didn't calm down until he was 6, but he eventually became a Delta Pet Partners Therapy dog at age 7. I don't want to burst your bubble about the therapy work, but it does require a lot of dedicated training and the dog has to be reliable and under control in all situations. Your dog is still an adolescent puppy. Keep working with her. You can do it! I have faith in you. Take her places where she can run and be a dog. I encourage an in home trainer over giving her up.
 

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Puppies are hard, and a lot of work. It sounds like perhaps you and your wife are at a stage in your life where a puppy maybe wasn't the best idea. I know how that goes - I was there at some earlier point in my life.

Several people have offered good suggestions. You say training isn't worthwhile right now because your dog is too hyper. Okay... do you think that magically one day she's going to stop being hyper? You need to aggressively begin working on addressing her energy. 16 hours in a crate is too much. She needs off leash play time, whether it's at a dog park (I hate dog parks, but in her case it's better than being in a crate), or in a fenced in yard. Hell, even a partially fenced in baseball field is great for off leash time. You made a choice to get a dog. Now it's your responsibility to adequately exercise her. Not just a walk around the block. Something that gets her heart pumping. If you live somewhere near water, swimming is also an amazing way to tire your dog out!

Physical exercise isn't everything she needs, though. Training classes would provide mental stimulation, which I fear she gets very little right now. I strongly urge you to enroll her in a class. It will help you and your wife better understand your dog, and hopefully help forge a relationship between you and your dog. You should look into agility classes as well. That would be a great way to put her energy to good use.

Treat puzzles are also a decent way to get her some mental stimulation. Amazon has tons of dog puzzles available. I just got my girl one yesterday and it's great watching her work it. But classes are so important. My almost 7-year old is taking another obedience class in September and I can't wait.

On the flip side, you may need to re-evaluate your lifestyle and your dog. Sounds like you guys might be better suited for an older dog. My dog... I can be gone 9 hours at work (I rarely do it but it happens), and when I get home she just happily greets me, goes out and pees (or sometimes doesn't pee; that girl must have an enormous bladder), and just hangs around indoors until I'm changed and ready to get her on a hike. It's not failure to admit that maybe you aren't the right home for your current dog. If her breeder isn't willing to take her back, there are many wonderful golden retriever rescues who I'm sure would take her in. It's not a poor reflection on you - quite the opposite, in my mind. You're doing what's best for your dog.

I do hope you try to make some changes in your dog's life. I feel sorry that she's stuck in a crate all day, that is terribly unfair. And I don't say that to make you feel bad. I've been in your shoes - I had a puppy once and was TOTALLY overwhelmed and had no idea what to do with her. It's a trial, for sure. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am trying to find the right words to tell you in a civilized manner that you are basically keeping this dog in a cruel and borderline abusive situation. You don't understand why she's jumping on the couch 60 times at a pop? I will explain it. Golden Retrievers are hunting dogs who were made to work. By taking a sporting dog, a breed that was originally bred for the purpose of working closely with humans and caging it 2/3 of every day with insufficient exercise and insufficient human contact you give your young dog no outlet for her overflowing energy and no outlet for her need to think and interact with people. These dogs need DAILY aerobic exercise to get their heart rates up and they need daily training and attention to learn how to behave appropriately.

I am blown away that your wife thought she would have a therapy dog without doing any research at all into what it would take to achieve the goal. You all have not bothered to waste money on obedience classes but you think she is going to be a canine good citizen with no one taking time to teach her how to act and no one giving her APPROPRIATE outlets for her NATURAL need for exercise, play and human interaction. Do you expect your children to know how to behave in a restaurant or at church with no training from you on manners or decorum? How could you expect it of this puppy? To make her a therapy dog she should have been in training from her first days in your home. It appears by neglecting her education, her need for mental stimulation and her physical needs she has developed some neurotic tendencies.

I imagine you are frustrated because clearly, someone sold you a dog without making sure you understood what your responsibilities were to the animal and what it takes to properly care for a large breed sporting dog. At this point it doesn't sound like you have the patience or the will to do what it takes to turn this dog's life around. And it can be done but it will take a major effort. Have you contacted her breeder to see about returning her? It seems that may be the kindest route to take for the dog.

As for the dogs from your childhood, I doubt that your parents had the kind of expectations of your family dogs that you do and I doubt they were kept caged for the majority of their first year either. Did your parents keep your dog separated from you? I doubt it.
I expect my dog to get it after being told 60 times. I know for a fact my own kids get it after 2 or 3. Your posts are less than helpful. Im here to learn and improve this so she doesnt end up in a shelter.
 

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Millie's Dad, Chris
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I expect my dog to get it after being told 60 times. I know for a fact my own kids get it after 2 or 3. Your posts are less than helpful. Im here to learn and improve this so she doesnt end up in a shelter.

Your pup probably does get it but doesn't see you as her leader and does not take you seriously
 
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