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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I’ve posted here a lot over the past 6.5 months that we’ve had our puppy. She’s 8.5 months old now and hasn’t improved much in her behavior or training. We’ve been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise, ect…when do you know enough is enough? How do you know when another family is maybe a better fit?

Part of the problem is our other golden, she bothers him incessantly. We separate them, but the older dog whines to be with me and the puppy can’t be alone without someone watching her as she still eats everything. She has started to want to chew metal and will actually swallow anything she finds. She also wakes up at 4:30 everyday no matter what time she falls asleep…. I know that this is probably adolescence but she’s been this way since she was 8 weeks old! I just don’t know how how much more we can take but the thought of giving her back to the breeder makes me so sad.
 

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Kristy
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You've made it this far, you can't quit now. Suppose you tell us what you mean when you say "We've been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise etc." I suspect you are still doing the same thing and haven't consistently (every day for two or three weeks) made real changes in your management routine or you'd seem more changes. She is still a puppy and it's going to take another year to make her the dog she can be. Do you attend training classes every single week?

My first reaction is that you most likely are not really doing as much as you think you are. What is the schedule like? Is you puppy sleeping in her crate while you have to work and do chores, what is the structure like for managing the puppy?

Why is the older dog whining to be with you? The puppy should either be on a leash and tethered to your waist or purchase a wire ex pen and pen the puppy in a corner of the main living area so the dog has freedom (which he's earned) and the puppy is still with the family but is safe. We currently have an 19 month old Pointer who I use this method with because he's not allowed to torture my older dogs and is still into mischief if bored and un monitored. We keep the stairs gated off so he can't sneak upstairs to have fun getting into things.

If she wakes up at 4:30, ignore her, use foam earplugs and a noise machine and ignore her. I would cover her crate with a sheet so she can't see you. (she sleeps in a crate at night in your room, right?)

If you are being honest with yourself, is she honestly getting an hour of games and training and an hour of aerobic exercise every day? 6 days of the week is what she needs minimum. Put her in the car and take her places she's never been before and train nice leash walking, use her dinner and her treats. Get her out of the house. Mental work is great. Take the older dog too. This kind of thing will wear her out.
 

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I agree with everything Kristy just recommended. It also sounds like at this point you might need an objective third party to weigh in… specifically a dog trainer who can come to your home, hear your dog’s history, see his behavior and see how you deal/interact with him. If you haven’t already, you might also reach out to your breeder to get her advice. If she’s a reputable breeder, she knows her dogs and her lines, and has likely raised her share of dogs and puppies. With either person, be as honest as you can about what you’re doing and what you’ve tried. Spend a few days documenting what you’re REALLY doing in terms of exercise, training, and time in a crate. Don’t claim that you’ve “tried” something if you did it once or twice and then gave up. Put aside your ego and accept that there are things you might have done more or better… the trainer will be most able to help you if they have a clear and honest picture.

Hopefully the trainer can give you some good advice and a training, management and exercise plan that at least gives you enough hope to keep working on it. You also need to be honest with yourself about what you are willing and able to do. Raising a puppy is HARD (I’m in the middle of raising my fifth puppy and I am soooo tired, and a bit apprehensive about what challenges might lie ahead). You have a minimum of a year to a year and a half before your pup makes it through adolescence and starts to become the (hopefully) calmer, well trained dog you hope for.

I will also say that if you reach a point where you feel you have to admit defeat, and especially if you feel you just can’t meet your dog’s needs, then sometimes rehoming them is the most loving thing you can do…
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You've made it this far, you can't quit now. Suppose you tell us what you mean when you say "We've been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise etc." I suspect you are still doing the same thing and haven't consistently (every day for two or three weeks) made real changes in your management routine or you'd seem more changes. She is still a puppy and it's going to take another year to make her the dog she can be. Do you attend training classes every single week?

My first reaction is that you most likely are not really doing as much as you think you are. What is the schedule like? Is you puppy sleeping in her crate while you have to work and do chores, what is the structure like for managing the puppy?

Why is the older dog whining to be with you? The puppy should either be on a leash and tethered to your waist or purchase a wire ex pen and pen the puppy in a corner of the main living area so the dog has freedom (which he's earned) and the puppy is still with the family but is safe. We currently have an 19 month old Pointer who I use this method with because he's not allowed to torture my older dogs and is still into mischief if bored and un monitored. We keep the stairs gated off so he can't sneak upstairs to have fun getting into things.

If she wakes up at 4:30, ignore her, use foam earplugs and a noise machine and ignore her. I would cover her crate with a sheet so she can't see you. (she sleeps in a crate at night in your room, right?)

If you are being honest with yourself, is she honestly getting an hour of games and training and an hour of aerobic exercise every day? 6 days of the week is what she needs minimum. Put her in the car and take her places she's never been before and train nice leash walking, use her dinner and her treats. Get her out of the house. Mental work is great. Take the older dog too. This kind of thing will wear her out.

We did attend training classes but they are over now. Nothing is starting until after the holidays. Her schedule is - wake up 4:30 am from her crate in the bedroom (we tried to cover her crate with a sheet and she pulls it through the crate and rips it) and we snuggle and the she goes potty. She eats around 5:15 am and then chews on a bully stick or bone while I take a shower and get ready for work. She plays with me and the older dog (supervised of course) until around 6:15 am. She looks out the window and explores the living room until we go out again for a walk before she goes in her crate for the day at 7:15 am. Due to our work schedules she’s crated all day and gets a potty break or goes to daycare 1-3 times a week. We get home at 4:00 pm and she goes out, plays in the yard with a ball, and then plays with the other dog. We also use this time for training sessions. She eats dinner at 5:00 pm and we walk for about 30 mins. She comes in and is gated in the kitchen as I cook dinner, she’s usually watching me or playing with her toys. While we eat she gets a Kong or lickymat. At 6:45 pm have we go into the yard for fetch, or and/or plays with the other dog or us until 9:00 pm, we also do training during this time.

She is on a leash in the house most of the time unless they are playing. We did have an ex-pen that we used but she is too big for it now. The other dog just wants to be next to me.

We take her in the car at least 3 days a week and she has gone to several stores and outside places with us. We take her and the other dog to my parents house and that doesn’t tire her either. We could excersode her more but we don’t have a fenced in yard and I don’t trust her off leash in a park or on a trail.

Thank you for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with everything Kristy just recommended. It also sounds like at this point you might need an objective third party to weigh in… specifically a dog trainer who can come to your home, hear your dog’s history, see his behavior and see how you deal/interact with him. If you haven’t already, you might also reach out to your breeder to get her advice. If she’s a reputable breeder, she knows her dogs and her lines, and has likely raised her share of dogs and puppies. With either person, be as honest as you can about what you’re doing and what you’ve tried. Spend a few days documenting what you’re REALLY doing in terms of exercise, training, and time in a crate. Don’t claim that you’ve “tried” something if you did it once or twice and then gave up. Put aside your ego and accept that there are things you might have done more or better… the trainer will be most able to help you if they have a clear and honest picture.

Hopefully the trainer can give you some good advice and a training, management and exercise plan that at least gives you enough hope to keep working on it. You also need to be honest with yourself about what you are willing and able to do. Raising a puppy is HARD (I’m in the middle of raising my fifth puppy and I am soooo tired, and a bit apprehensive about what challenges might lie ahead). You have a minimum of a year to a year and a half before your pup makes it through adolescence and starts to become the (hopefully) calmer, well trained dog you hope for.

I will also say that if you reach a point where you feel you have to admit defeat, and especially if you feel you just can’t meet your dog’s needs, then sometimes rehoming them is the most loving thing you can do…

Thank you for the reply, we have had a trainer come to our house and he said that they play well together and that she’ll grow out of bothering the other dog so much.

I speak to the breeder a lot and she recommends things we are already doing. She agrees that puppies are hard. She kept one of the litter mates and sees the same things as we do. I’ll keep a list of what we are trying and her time in the crate but that can’t change as our work schedules are not flexible.
 

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Hi, I’ve posted here a lot over the past 6.5 months that we’ve had our puppy. She’s 8.5 months old now and hasn’t improved much in her behavior or training. We’ve been trying so hard to keep up with her training, exercise, ect…when do you know enough is enough? How do you know when another family is maybe a better fit?

Part of the problem is our other golden, she bothers him incessantly. We separate them, but the older dog whines to be with me and the puppy can’t be alone without someone watching her as she still eats everything. She has started to want to chew metal and will actually swallow anything she finds. She also wakes up at 4:30 everyday no matter what time she falls asleep…. I know that this is probably adolescence but she’s been this way since she was 8 weeks old! I just don’t know how how much more we can take but the thought of giving her back to the breeder makes me so sad.
You've posted quite a lot about your pup's problems, and your problems with her. You know, being a two-dog family isn't for everyone. There's a myth that having two dogs is easier than having one because they will keep themselves entertained and you won't have to spend as much time exercising and the old dog will "train" the new one, and so on ... Well, none of that is true. Dog ownership is one of the situations in life where one plus one almost always equals more than two.

First, if you have two dogs, you need to be able to give time to both of them - the same amount of time you were giving to the first one, multiplied by two. And multiplied by even more during the puppy years (the first two years or so in the case of a golden retriever), when ongoing training is essential to develop the human-dog bond. So two dogs don't take less time than one, they take more.

Second, just because the two dogs are living in the same family doesn't necessarily mean they are going to get on well. You can tilt the scales in your favour by asking the breeder to choose a pup with a temperament that will complement your existing dog (e.g. an easy-going puppy if your existing dog is mellow and laid-back). If you don't do that, it's another matter. Sometimes you're lucky and the two dogs get on well. Other times, you're not quite so lucky and they need to be managed for their own welfare and your peace of mind. Sometimes you're not lucky at all and they can't stand one another. My guess is that you're in the middle "not quite so lucky" group. You're going to have to manage your dogs: not leaving them alone together in case your older dog loses patience with the younger one, etc. This might be a medium-term thing, or it might be a life-long thing. There's no way of telling at this point.

Third, the puppy might pick up good habits from the older dog, but only if the older dog likes puppies and has himself been well-trained. It's not an automatic thing. And fourth, there's the multiplier factor to consider. Twice the hair in the house, twice the expense, twice the training time, twice the effort when going on outings (it's easy for one person to manage one dog on leash, not so easy for one person to manage two). Things that were acceptable with just one dog (e.g. shedding) become more visible and less acceptable with two.

There is an added problem that many people encounter, and that is the fact that, if they rely on inter-dog play to exercise the younger dog, the younger dog is missing out on the one-on-one time that the older one got to enjoy with its humans, and this will definitely have an impact on its relationship with the human family and, more importantly, on its behaviour. When your younger dog is playing with the older dog, she's not learning how to behave in a human family. She's not learning to follow the rules of the human world. She's not bonding with you. One the contrary, she's bonding with the other dog and reinforcing many of the innate dog behaviours you're finding it hard to live with (mouthiness, inability to settle, dislike of being alone, etc.).

Another myth of dog ownership is that bad habits will magically go away over time without the need for training. Like all the other myths, this one is also not true. Maybe your younger dog will stop bothering your older one, or maybe she won't - at least, not for a couple of years. Maybe she'll settle down, or maybe she won't. Maybe she'll start waking up later, or maybe she won't. Respect for boundaries and the ability to settle are skills that have to be trained for some dogs - they don't automatically appear. No two dogs are alike. Just because your first dog was easy, it doesn't mean your second one will also be easy.

We have two dogs but we're not in the same situation as you. My hobby has always been dog agility, so I do a lot of training, exercise and competing with my dogs. It's the lifestyle I've chosen, and my dogs are well-trained as a result. My spouse isn't a dog person. He likes them and is happy to live with them, but only because of the enormous amount of time and effort I devote to training them. If they couldn't be trusted off-leash, or were constantly fighting, or broke things in the house, or woke him up at 4.30 every morning, he'd be a lot less enthusiastic ...! It can take a lot of effort to create a two-dog household that works. IMHO at least one of the humans needs to be willing to make that effort.

Anyway. All that to say: multiple dog ownership can be wonderful, but it can also be hard and time-consuming and overwhelming and it doesn't always go to plan. In a couple of your posts, including this one, you've raised the possibility of returning the younger dog to the breeder. Considering that possibility is nothing to be ashamed of and it doesn't mean you don't love your dog. On the contrary, if two-dog ownership isn't for you, the pup will be much better off with a family who can give her the attention she needs to function well. Sometimes reality doesn't live up to the hype, and I've always admired people who are able to acknowledge that and adjust accordingly.

I wish you the very best as you move forward, whatever you decide to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think part of your issue is her being in the crate all day. Maybe she can go to daycare every day?
That could definitely be the problem but no, the daycare she goes to is expensive and we can’t afford that. We considered a dog walker but they are also expensive and we have two dogs. We live in the Chicagoland area and prices are pretty steep. Thank you for the reply.
 

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I think part of your issue is her being in the crate all day. Maybe she can go to daycare every day?
I was actually thinking the opposite.😅 I think daycare is contributing to her pestering the older dog. At most daycares, they put the dogs in groups and just let them have a free-for-all play session. Younger dogs don’t play the same way older dogs do. Daycare is a great place to learn bad manners.

Eevee is much higher energy than Rocket and she was crated all day during puppyhood because I worked outside the home back then. She would come bounding out of the crate bursting with energy every day, but I would take that energy and work with it. Sometimes it would be an aerobic exercise session, sometimes it would be a training session. Or maybe a bit of both: We’d work on recalls (regular and drop), controlled retrieves, beginning mechanics of jumping, etc. Things that worked her brain and got her heart rate up.

Rocket was younger back then too, so they did play a lot, but she wasn’t relentless in her pestering of him either.

It also sounds like this dog could use a few good corrections, tbh. She needs to learn what is and is NOT ok in the house.
 

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That could definitely be the problem but no, the daycare she goes to is expensive and we can’t afford that. We considered a dog walker but they are also expensive and we have two dogs. We live in the Chicagoland area and prices are pretty steep. Thank you for the reply.
Have you tried looking for a daycare on rover? Mine goes two days a week when I’m in the office. Mine is only $20/day and he loves it! I may up it to three days a week as the weather gets worse and the days shorter.
 

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We could exercise her more but we don’t have a fenced in yard and I don’t trust her off leash in a park or on a trail.
A fenced in backyard has nothing to do with how much exercise you can provide a dog. I have a fenced in yard and the literal only thing I use it for is putting Eden outside without supervision LOL. All of her exercise happens outside of the house. I mean sometimes she’ll get a ball thrown, but Eden will tell you that that’s not enough exercise for her either lol.

If you don’t trust her offleash, get a long line, 15-30’ should be good. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but you’ll be able to figure out. For most adolescent dogs, a leashed walk a few times a day is not sufficient exercise- they need the opportunity to do what they want in nature. Kaizer would just run and run when he was off-leash - he’d go 5 miles to my 2. Eden never goes more than 30 feet from me and prefers to wander through the woods, smelling alll the things - she probably goes like 3 miles for my 2. The end result was the same: quiet, happy dogs. And when you’re out there, work on that recall so you can eventually trust her off leash.

Truthfully, it sounds like she needs to learn how to settle inside (which is a common issue imo) and that’s not possible without making sure her exercise needs are appropriately met. Meeting exercise needs doesn’t have to take up hours of your day if it’s the right kind of exercise. Eden is an active dog, and her exercise is an hour-long off leash walk or 20 consecutive minutes of swimming in a pool. We do some casual training almost everyday for 5 minutes/day (maybe twice a day if we have something coming up). Occasionally we throw a ball in the yard for like 15 minutes, but not religiously. I think you’ll find her early morning wake ups will start to lessen in frequency if she gets exercised appropriately too.
 

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I have access to pasture and woods where I can take my boys for off leash exercise. My youngest one is almost a year old, and he runs around continuously on these 30-45 minute off leash outings. I often wonder how people manage their young dog’s exercise needs without off leash time. I take them daily because I know my boy’s behavior is so much worse when he hasn’t had a chance to be off leash and explore. He does have a pretty reliable recall, which I have worked on since I brought him home, but I’m also out in an area away from roads, homes and cars.
If you can find any place to let your pup run, sniff and explore daily…. Even if it’s on a long line, I think it could really help. I hope things improve!
 
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