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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago I was hiking with my 6 month old and she charged some people on the trail. We came around the corner and as soon as she saw them she gave a little growl and charged. Once she got within 10 feet she stopped and gave a few barks and came back to me, so no harm done but this is something that I can't really have her do. I think the people somewhat startled her as she is VERY VERY timid. I did immediately correct her, and luckily the people she charged were very friendly and ended up petting her and later on we saw them again and she pretty much ignored them.

Is this something that she will grow out of? And how should I respond when if she does it again?

Thanks,

P.S.
Merry Christmas
 

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Well, if she charged people, came back to you and then you corrected her, in her mind, you corrected her for coming back to you, not for charging at the people. Timing is everything.

For the time being, I wouldn't have her off leash when you might unexpectedly encounter strangers and be sure to get her out and about around all sorts of people to bump up her human socialization in different environments.

In the meantime, if he does see someone who makes her nervous, rather than correct her for letting you know she's worried, ask her to DO something (like sit, or a trick) to get her in a thinking brain and allow her to realize on her own that the "scary person" isn't really that scary.
 

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Puppies and young dogs go through various "fear periods" and your golden is entering that transitional stage of six months, where she's exploring boundaries, yet still wants to depend on you. You want to develop a confident golden that trusts you and is well-mannered too. Here is information on the "fear periods;" there's all sorts of links that pretty much have the same timetable--by all accounts, 6 months would be another "fear period":

http://thepetteacher.com/Puppydevelopmen.html

IMHO, I think it's a bit premature to have your 6 month old pup off leash--I think nice long walks and hikes on a leash are better instead, and I commend you for doing that, as far too many owners don't exercise their dogs. By having her on a leash, you will have better control over greetings between people, dogs, and critters.

And from what you described, you handled the situation perfectly--and the people that your golden barked at were perfect instructors too--"dog people" who didn't mind greeting an older pup and having her work through the situation. But next time, it could be people who are not dog friendly--if they spray your dog with pepper spray in a panic mode, who would be at fault? Would it be your golden? Or you? It's really you as the owner to control your young dog. That's why, IMHO, I suggest long walks on your hiking trail with the leash, rather than having her run off leash while you hike. Eventually she can be off leash, but to me, I wouldn't trust a dog until they are very well-trained, and much older.
 

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Add'l comment--just read FlyingQ's response and realized I had skipped over the part where the OP corrected his golden for coming back to him--yes, I agree, that was not handled correctly. You want good things to happen when you call your golden to you--not a correction. However, I think it was good that the people who were charged were helpful in making the unexpected situation a training one though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Add'l comment--just read FlyingQ's response and realized I had skipped over the part where the OP corrected his golden for coming back to him--yes, I agree, that was not handled correctly. You want good things to happen when you call your golden to you--not a correction.
I agree with this, and need to clear up more explanation. Becuase I do a lot of hiking I need her to have a very good recall, so I never corerct her when she is coming to me. I actually gave her teh correction, which consisted of "Annie, no." While she running away toward the people, not as she was returning.

Keeping her on leash might me the better idea now, for a while at least. This is the first time she has ever been brave enough to leave my side, she must be turning into a teenager. :uhoh:

Thanks for the info.
 
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