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I hope that I will not be judged for what I am about to share. In December of 2019, my husband and I who are both in our 70's, lost a horse to cancer that we had raised from birth. Then our 13 year old female collie died of old age. We were left with our 12 year old English Shepherd who has inflamation in his hind quarters and needs to be walked on a leash slowly, special ramp to get in and out of house, etc. Needless to say, our hearts were really broken by the loss of two of our animal family members and then this new physical problem with the ES. For our 50th wedding anniversary, which was one day after the horse died, our grown children figured it was our GOLDEN anniversary so why not give Dad a GOLDEN retriever puppy - 10 weeks old. We were not asked first. Our ES is in pain, and he does not want any interaction with the puppy- at all. He has been the best dog we have ever had, and as long as he wants to live, he comes first.
We put up a baby gate separating the kitchen and puppy from the rest of the house. The puppy, Jeb, a male, is sweet, has learned Sit, down, waits for me to go through the door FIRST both going in and out of the house, is pretty much house broken, sleeps 6 hours at night in his open crate in the kitchen, and bites like crazy often drawing blood... I love the term LAND SHARK...it fits. I have been teaching him the word GENTLE as a command to back off with the teeth and reward him with a treat every time he does. Mainly we just have him sit and reward that to redirect with any negative behavior. We have a Midwest Lifestages 42 inch crate for him, Kong chew toys and some other USA made ones, and are feeding him Eukanuba large puppy at the recomendation of our vet. He is 4 months old this week.
Problems? I have post polio syndrome and very little energy plus pain and difficulty walking on uneven terrain which is everywhere where we live in Ohio. Nothing is flat here. My husband had cancer last year and although he survived well with surgery, it obviously took a great deal out of him and he has trouble with remembering how to be consistent with the puppy. We also have a son with disabilities living at home. He is learning slowly how to be consistent but he is unable to add to any of the puppy's care. Is it fair to this puppy to be in a home with all these challenges? We are not able to exercise him outdoors in the mud and the rain the way he needs to be. We do not have the high energy he needs, and based on what I have read about the medical issues that many goldens face, I am not sure that as we grow older, we can afford to meet a lot of medical expenses. I want the best for this dog. I have trained several dogs in the past using positive reinforcement to be good family members, but this puppy is really different.
I would appreciate any input that is not judgemental...we are old, and we need help. He freaks out when we close the crate door for a time out when he bites too much...we cannot go shopping or anything else and feel trapped in our home because we cannot leave the puppy alone. We played fetch in the kitchen, and he was doing great, but no longer interested in that. Teething might be the problem??? We love him, but at times I also find myself hating myself because I cannot be all he needs me to be in the energy department. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sincerely, Wendy (Grandma Meg)
 

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I am very sorry you find yourself in this difficult situation. Golden Retriever puppies are quite challenging for at least 7-8 months and then still a lot of work. Rukie is my third Golden Retriever raised from puppyhood and I just turned 60. I question whether I will be able to raise more than one more puppy, maybe two but I don't know. If you really wanted to keep him and could pay for some daycare, or someone to help exercise him, it would be possible for you to keep him. On the other hand, it sounds like you might just be wanting permission to give him up. If that is the case, I can assure you there are lots of people looking to provide a good home for a Golden Retriever. I would suggest going to a Golden Retriever rescue organization because they generally have great screening processes to provide a good and permanent situation for the dog. Most of them get hundreds of applications for a young healthy dog. I think the general sentiment is that the younger you rehome a puppy the easier it is for the puppy to adjust. Also some breeders require a puppy to be returned to them rather than rehomed. I'm not sure if a breeder who requires that would have gone along with selling a surprise puppy as a gift for people in their 70's. I'm sure it is a difficult decision and I can tell you are a true animal lover. Let us know if you need help with finding a trainer, daycare or rescue.
 

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No judgement here. I'm sorry that you are having such a rough time with this pup. It sounds like this isn't the right time for you and your family to add a golden pup. Please do not feel guilty about wanting what is best for this young dog and your family.
Maybe your children can check to see if the breeder wants or expects the puppy back before you call a Golden Retriever rescue organization. They will find a good home for your young active golden.
Good luck.
 

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Thank you for your kind input...I honestly am not sure what I want to do - We live way out in the country, on a small farm, and in a normal situation this would be the ideal place for a golden...and it has been ideal for our previous dogs. I think the biggest thing is the biting which may be caused by not enough exercise. If we can get through the next couple of months until better weather, perhaps things will change? We are scheduled for 6 weekly classes for puppies at our vet starting in two weeks. I guess it is the biting. I want to have a relationship with this dog, but every time I try to spend any time other than direct training he goes bezerk and starts biting. Maybe I am asking, wanting or expecting too much to hope for him to be cuddly at this time...he LOOK so cute, but then he does not act very cute ... I hope you folks all realize my philosophy is that if there is a problem, it is with the owners, not the dog, so I am the one that needs to understand and change. I have tried sitting on a low stool and holding a cow ear for him to chew on. Sometimes he is interested, other times he just bites. Again, thank you for your input! It means a lot.
 

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Ok, so this is a very common problem with Golden puppies. I can't figure out how to quote from another thread but here is a copied version of what an experienced member ceegee recommends

[U]ceegee[/U]

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#5 13 days ago

I never recommend "redirecting" biting to a toy because if you don't do it properly, or if your timing is off, you're inadvertently reinforcing the biting, not preventing it. I suspect you may have done this, since you say the toy "didn't work", and the dog actually goes after your hands if you try and play with a toy. If you look at this from the dog's perspective: he goes and bites a human, the human gives him a toy, he gets to bite the human again. You have, to some extent, been rewarding the biting by giving a toy. So the first thing I would suggest is to stop doing that altogether.

Biting isn't something that goes away on its own. Goldens are bred to retrieve: in other words, they explore the world through their mouths. As puppies, they are a lot "mouthier" than many other breeds and they have to be taught that mouthing isn't always appropriate in the human world. At this stage, you need to give a consequence that the dog won't like. As others have suggested, depriving the dog of your presence is a good method to use, but with one proviso: remove the dog from your presence and not vice versa. In other words, don't leave the room - take the dog and put him in his crate for a short time-out instead. If you leave, you're allowing the dog to chase you out of the room, and it will become part of the game. You need to take charge. So take the dog firmly by the collar, or clip on a leash if he resists, and put him in the crate, then leave the room. If he barks, don't let him out until he stops. If he doesn't bark, leave him in there for a couple of minutes, then go and get him. Repeat this every time he bites you.

Having him bite his own lip is another solution that may work for you.

All this is much easier to teach when the puppy is very young. I usually sit the pup in my lap and allow him to "mouth" my hand and arm. As soon as he bites too hard, I say "ouch" and put him on the floor. They quickly learn not to bite down on human flesh. However, your pup, at 7 months, is probably too big to do this, and in any case the biting is well-established.

Lastly, if you haven't been going to obedience class, I would suggest this as another possibility. Biting can also be a sign of disrespect, and training will change the nature of your relationship with your dog from one where he does what he wants to one where he does what you want.

Best of luck!

Christine
 

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The biting is the worst thing EVER! Honey's love is tennis balls, and she'll stop everything to chase one. I toss them often inside to help her work off that energy. Good luck at the puppy classes.
 

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Your honesty is refreshing and I can also hear your ambilience. Your puppy's behavior will improve with training and time but the need for active exercise will remain and from what you describe this may be taxing to your and your husband. Clearly bringing Jeb into your home was not your choice. The idea was sweet and your kids were well intentioned. But before you finalize your commitment you really need to do some hard thinking about your resources for meeting Jeb's needs in the future. From what you have said, I am sure you will make he right decision.
 

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I agree with the advice you've already been given, including that the "land shark" phase is likely to pass. So the million dollar question is... if you could wave your magic wand and eliminate the biting, would you be excited about owning this puppy and keeping him for the rest of his life? Are you optimistic that you will figure out how to give him the exercise he needs and the attention he deserves? Are you likely to have a happy life together? If so, then I'd suggest at least toughing it out until you get through your puppy class. The instructor might be able to reassure you that what you are experiencing is "normal" puppy stuff or something to be concerned about. and it always helps to be in a class with other puppy parents who are experiencing the same challenges.

That said, there is no shame in deciding that your life just doesn't accommodate a puppy right now (especially since it wasn't your choice to begin with). And that doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a dog... puppies are a lot of work and young dogs need a lot of training and exercise... perhaps a somewhat older dog with a temperament that is already known to be laid back would give you companionship but be more suited to your household. Or... maybe one of the grown children who gave you the puppy would be willing to keep it and raise it until your older dog passes or you and your husband are doing better physically?

Either way, we wish you the best. Don't hesitate to come back to the group with more questions if you need to...
 

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Thank you-for understanding...sometimes when you think you are the only one facing the challenges we are, it is tempting to give up...I am thinking that with knowledge and encouragement we just might make it. We have a small farm. We have a golf cart. Do you think that Jeb could be taught to safely walk beside the golf cart for exercise? I know people bike with their dogs. Any comments or thoughts on how we could provide the exercise he needs will really be appreciated!
I agree with the advice you've already been given, including that the "land shark" phase is likely to pass. So the million dollar question is... if you could wave your magic wand and eliminate the biting, would you be excited about owning this puppy and keeping him for the rest of his life? Are you optimistic that you will figure out how to give him the exercise he needs and the attention he deserves? Are you likely to have a happy life together? If so, then I'd suggest at least toughing it out until you get through your puppy class. The instructor might be able to reassure you that what you are experiencing is "normal" puppy stuff or something to be concerned about. and it always helps to be in a class with other puppy parents who are experiencing the same challenges.

That said, there is no shame in deciding that your life just doesn't accommodate a puppy right now (especially since it wasn't your choice to begin with). And that doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a dog... puppies are a lot of work and young dogs need a lot of training and exercise... perhaps a somewhat older dog with a temperament that is already known to be laid back would give you companionship but be more suited to your household. Or... maybe one of the grown children who gave you the puppy would be willing to keep it and raise it until your older dog passes or you and your husband are doing better physically?

Either way, we wish you the best. Don't hesitate to come back to the group with more questions if you need to...
 

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Thank you-for understanding...sometimes when you think you are the only one facing the challenges we are, it is tempting to give up...I am thinking that with knowledge and encouragement we just might make it. We have a small farm. We have a golf cart. Do you think that Jeb could be taught to safely walk beside the golf cart for exercise? I know people bike with their dogs. Any comments or thoughts on how we could provide the exercise he needs will really be appreciated!
There are a lot of Golf carts in my area, I mainly see dogs riding in them with their people.
You're right, I see a few people that ride their bikes and they have their dog on a leash and it walks along side of the bike. You can probably train Jeb as well to walk beside the golf cart.

Since you live on a farm, if you have a large fenced in yard or a field where Jeb could run, you might want to get a Chuck it and toss balls for him. Great exercise and you'll have one happy tired boy.

The biting will get much better, but it takes training as others have said, they are usually much better about biting somewhere between 3-5 months.
 

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Thank you... I need to see things clearly... would we keep Jeb if the biting were eliminated? Absolutely...I think dark winter days full of mud, ice and rain are doing a whammy on my objectivity and if you folks think that working through this until better weather and teething are over, then I am definitely willing to consider that. You ALL know way more than we do about Golden Retrievers...we have had Elkhounds, Collies and German shepherds in the past...all as puppies... and never this biting scenario. So several questions going forward...
1. How long do we use for a time out in the crate? I appreciate the comment about not leaving the room!
2. Is it really safe to leave them in the Midwest Lifestages crate for 2-3 hours MAX to go food shopping...we are home the rest of the time 24/7? (I do not drive so we both have to leave).
3. Are any toys safe to leave in the crate with them?
4. Do they need water in the crate for that amount of time?
It has been 13 years since we had a puppy... I am so out of step with all that is needed...so thank you all for your comments and help!
 

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There are a lot of Golf carts in my area, I mainly see dogs riding in them with their people.
You're right, I see a few people that ride their bikes and they have their dog on a leash and it walks along side of the bike. You can probably train Jeb as well to walk beside the golf cart.

Since you live on a farm, if you have a large fenced in yard or a field where Jeb could run, you might want to get a Chuck it and toss balls for him. Great exercise and you'll have one happy tired boy.

The biting will get much better, but it takes training as others have said, they are usually much better about biting somewhere between 3-5 months.
Thank you... I need to see things clearly... would we keep Jeb if the biting were eliminated? Absolutely...I think dark winter days full of mud, ice and rain are doing a whammy on my objectivity and if you folks think that working through this until better weather and teething are over, then I am definitely willing to consider that. You ALL know way more than we do about Golden Retrievers...we have had Elkhounds, Collies and German shepherds in the past...all as puppies... and never this biting scenario. So several questions going forward...
1. How long do we use for a time out in the crate? I appreciate the comment about not leaving the room!
2. Is it really safe to leave them in the Midwest Lifestages crate for 2-3 hours MAX to go food shopping...we are home the rest of the time 24/7? (I do not drive so we both have to leave).
3. Are any toys safe to leave in the crate with them?
4. Do they need water in the crate for that amount of time?
It has been 13 years since we had a puppy... I am so out of step with all that is needed...so thank you all for your comments and help!
And this does bring up one last question... yes...we use the chuck it balls but we have electric fence around the entire property...how do we introduce him to that safely? Any thoughts...we are keeping him on a 15 foot leash right now...have a 30 foot one ready to go. Also use the short 6 foot one just for potty breaks. Thank you... it is sooooo good to talk with you folks who know what you are doing!
 

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And this does bring up one last question... yes...we use the chuck it balls but we have electric fence around the entire property...how do we introduce him to that safely? Any thoughts...we are keeping him on a 15 foot leash right now...have a 30 foot one ready to go. Also use the short 6 foot one just for potty breaks. Thank you... it is sooooo good to talk with you folks who know what you are doing!
When you are out, can you turn it off while you have him out playing?
 

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Thank you... I need to see things clearly... would we keep Jeb if the biting were eliminated? Absolutely...I think dark winter days full of mud, ice and rain are doing a whammy on my objectivity and if you folks think that working through this until better weather and teething are over, then I am definitely willing to consider that. You ALL know way more than we do about Golden Retrievers...we have had Elkhounds, Collies and German shepherds in the past...all as puppies... and never this biting scenario. So several questions going forward...
1. How long do we use for a time out in the crate? I appreciate the comment about not leaving the room!
2. Is it really safe to leave them in the Midwest Lifestages crate for 2-3 hours MAX to go food shopping...we are home the rest of the time 24/7? (I do not drive so we both have to leave).
3. Are any toys safe to leave in the crate with them?
4. Do they need water in the crate for that amount of time?
It has been 13 years since we had a puppy... I am so out of step with all that is needed...so thank you all for your comments and help!
Take all of this with a grain of salt-(disclaimer), I have not had a puppy since '95. My 2nd and 3rd Goldens were both adopted at age 2.

My girl I adopted through a GR Rescue at 2, I had to crate her any time I was gone, she was destructive when not crated. I did not leave anything in her crate, no toys, no food or water.

My current boy who is 11, I never had to crate him, he's never torn up anything nor has he ever taken anything off the counter, but........ I also live in a warm humid climate and I never leave anything out. If you leave food out it gets moldy and you will have a huge bug problem. He's never gotten into the garbage either. I did have a couple of other dogs of different breeds that got into it....I could be gone or at home.


It's ok to crate your boy when you're out grocery shopping or when you're gone for a few hours.
As I mentioned above, I never put anything in the crate with my girl. Some members fix a frozen Kong filled with yogurt, kibble, fruit, freeze it then give to their pups/dogs when they crate them.

I always tried to never crate my girl for more than 3 hours max. She didn't mind being in the crate, guess I was the one that felt guilty.....

Where does your pup sleep at night? Most people have a couple of crates, one in the main living area and one in their bedroom. Most members have their pups/dogs sleep in their bedrooms in a crate. The pup usually does better too when they are in the same room with you.
 

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I didn't read thru all the posts but probably you are well covered with great ideas. On your electric fence- I have one as well- every single one of them touches it one time and never again. It makes a noise they can hear so the really smart ones take a little longer to brush up against it but they do avoid it after that first time. I've never seen one of the adults touch it, since they know better.. and the insulators make it pretty obvious visually. Once I had a friend's dogs come to visit so I turned it off- that was a bad idea because they didn't get the benefit of touching and avoiding and instead, they managed to get all tangled up in it and I had to rewire it when she left.
 

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we have electric fence around the entire property...how do we introduce him to that safely?
You can explain an electric fence to a child until you're blue in the face. As soon as you walk away he is touching that wire. He'll live, be a little wiser and might even realize you were right. Dogs are not all that different.
As far as leaving your pup in a crate for a couple hours, he will be fine. He will have a fit, bark and whine then he will catch on to the routine and accept it. He will also forgive you the instant you let him out.
Concerning the biting, you don't have to put up with it. He can learn not to bite just like he learned not to crap on your floor. When he bites command "No" in a calm voice and pinch his lip against his tooth. It doesn't have to hurt him, just enough to be uncomfortable.
 

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Take all of this with a grain of salt-(disclaimer), I have not had a puppy since '95. My 2nd and 3rd Goldens were both adopted at age 2.

My girl I adopted through a GR Rescue at 2, I had to crate her any time I was gone, she was destructive when not crated. I did not leave anything in her crate, no toys, no food or water.

My current boy who is 11, I never had to crate him, he's never torn up anything nor has he ever taken anything off the counter, but........ I also live in a warm humid climate and I never leave anything out. If you leave food out it gets moldy and you will have a huge bug problem. He's never gotten into the garbage either. I did have a couple of other dogs of different breeds that got into it....I could be gone or at home.


It's ok to crate your boy when you're out grocery shopping or when you're gone for a few hours.
As I mentioned above, I never put anything in the crate with my girl. Some members fix a frozen Kong filled with yogurt, kibble, fruit, freeze it then give to their pups/dogs when they crate them.

I always tried to never crate my girl for more than 3 hours max. She didn't mind being in the crate, guess I was the one that felt guilty.....

Where does your pup sleep at night? Most people have a couple of crates, one in the main living area and one in their bedroom. Most members have their pups/dogs sleep in their bedrooms in a crate. The pup usually does better too when they are in the same room with you.
Much good info to consider... that really helps...those puppy eyes put me on a guilt trip just thinking of leaving him in the crate. I will endeavor to ignore him. I do also understand about just walking away and not making a big deal of leaving rather than making a big fuss about it. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
 

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Ahhh... good advice... thank you...it sure helps not to feel so alone in all this... thank you for writing!

You can explain an electric fence to a child until you're blue in the face. As soon as you walk away he is touching that wire. He'll live, be a little wiser and might even realize you were right. Dogs are not all that different.
As far as leaving your pup in a crate for a couple hours, he will be fine. He will have a fit, bark and whine then he will catch on to the routine and accept it. He will also forgive you the instant you let him out.
Concerning the biting, you don't have to put up with it. He can learn not to bite just like he learned not to crap on your floor. When he bites command "No" in a calm voice and pinch his lip against his tooth. It doesn't have to hurt him, just enough to be uncomfortable.
 

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Ahhh... good advice... thank you...it sure helps not to feel so alone in all this... thank you for writing!
Once he gets his electric fence education you can burn off energy and have some fun playing fetch in the yard.
 
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