Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My golden, Chessie, is almost two years old. Like many dogs, she is an angel in the house. She's always sweet and 100% obedient. Outdoors is a different story, as I understand can be the case with many dogs. She's always been quite "feisty" and independent.

I love to spend time outdoors with her, and we spend a good hour or more each day on long excursions, either walking on the road, or off leash walking and running on the trails in the state park nearby. Chessie's leash walking is much better than when we first started, but every now and again, maybe once per walk, Chessie will jump and bite at the leash. Usually it happens when we are leaving to go on the walk or returning from the walk. Sometimes it happens mid walk if we pass another dog or human. I interpret these instances either as excitement to go on the walk, wanting to run free and explore the other dog/ human, or being upset about returning from the walk.

I've tried different strategies to stop the behavior. The trainer recommended that when this happens, I step on the leash and turn my back to ignore the behavior until it stops. I haven't found this to be very effective, because she usually continues and becomes more aggressive instead of giving up. I have also used a spray bottle, which has been very effective, but I'd think that she wouldn't need something like that anymore, and it's not always possible for me to carry that with me. I can usually stop her if I give her something to put into her mouth like a stick or ball, but again, that's not always handy, and I feel like she should know by now that this behavior is not acceptable.

Additionally, I often let her run off leash when we are on trails in the park. Whenever I let her off leash, I make sure to carry treats so that if I need to get her back on the leash again, she will come to me, and she does 99% of the time unless she's found something more delectable to eat (like horse poop!). I'll usually jog and she'll run up and down with me in sight. On occasion, again, maybe once or twice per excursion, she'll suddenly turn and start jumping up in my face and barking or jumping up to bite on my clothing. When this happens, I usually use the spray bottle if I have it or stop and turn my back on her. This usually quiets her, then I give her praise or treats when she is behaving more calmly. I also try to get her a stick or something to chew. I interpret this as overexcitement or possibly wanting to play.

I'm wondering if anyone has ideas about what I could be doing differently to discourage this behavior or if I may be inadvertently encouraging it. I took her with me the other day on a hike with some other people and dogs, and I was hesitant because I know that she has these little fits on occasion. She did at one point start her jumping and barking at me, and having other people around to see it just felt terrible. I feel like she's old enough not to be doing this anymore, and I'm thinking she's not just going to grow out of it.
 

·
Kristy
Joined
·
10,287 Posts
Sounds like she's in high spirits and does it when she can't contain herself. It sounds like she is pretty food motivated. I would carry some extremely high value treats (serious good stuff) and the minute it starts, try to re-direct her attention to a 'sit' or 'down' to get a break in the action. Praise her for the behavior you like if you can get her distracted from the 'fit' of joy. Another thing might be to try and bring a small toy that you could stuff in a back pocket or jacket pocket that you could put in her mouth. Give her a command that she can perform and as her reward give her a tug session with the appropriate toy so it doesn't happen with the leash? ( a small rope/sherpa toy that folds easily)

Someone will probably have a better suggestion, she is two years old but she is still a puppy and what you are describing is 100% normal. My two year old collie does the exact same thing when we go on a run, except he jumps up in the air as high as my head. The good thing is that since he's not a retriever he's not trying to put his mouth on me or the leash. It is just high spirits and excess energy. Sometimes I feel like I"m flying a kite on the end of my leash. Both Chessie and my Mack will grow out of it in time and we will miss those days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,926 Posts
there is this lab close to my office and often see him and his owner walk around. The lab always has a toy duck in his mouth.

Our Rose is younger but I always found that giving her a job to do like carrying a bumper or stick works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Heh- totally normal. Lucky is 3 and every now and then he still throws a little fit, jumping around and biting at the leash. Like... last night at rally class. It's just excitement.

He has a good sit, so when he starts to spaz out, I stand tall, pull him in and tell him to sit (in heel position). Not mean, not excited- just firm and really calm.

He'll collect himself enough to sit and then be fine.

The ignore approach I've heard is good too. But a good sit is hard to beat.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top