Lets Figure This Out Understanding Normal Puppy Behavior
Its normal for golden retriever puppies to engage in rough play, biting, barking, and chewing things you dont want them to chew.
These activities dont make your golden retriever puppy aggressive. It does mean the puppy needs behavioral training. Golden retrievers are highly intelligent dogs and are fairly easy to train.
If you think youre dealing with a truly aggressive dog, keep reading. Weve outlined a few behaviors that could be misinterpreted as aggression.
How Do Puppies Learn Abi
The only way for puppies to learn ABI is to bite, and bite often.
The best teachers are other dogs.
Heres a very simplified version of how it works out in the real world:
If a puppy is playing with her littermate and play bites her too hard, the other puppy is going to stop playing with her and walk away.
The puppy is disappointed that playtime is over and they think that maybe they shouldnt bite so hard.
Next time they bite a little less hard and playtime continues.
This is how they learn ABI.
Obviously, it takes a lot of repetition of this scenario to happen for a puppy to learn not to bite so hard, but this is essentially how it works out.
But what happens when theyre taken away from their littermates at two months old?
Thats where you come in!
Yes, you will need to help teach your puppy ABI.
You can do this two ways:
More on teaching your puppy ABI in a second, but heres the final thing to know about ABI: its time-sensitive.
If a puppy hasnt learned it by the time theyre 4.5-6 months old, theyll likely never learn it, which could make them a dangerous adult dog.
Alright now that we know why puppies bite, and how important it is, lets dive into how to appropriately stop it while also teaching ABI.
Fear Biting Golden Retriever Dog
Golden Retriever Dogs may bite people for a number of different reasons, they sometimes bite because they are stressed, feel threatened or because they fear you. Many people fear biting dog because it’s very scary, nobody would want to be bitten by a dog.
So how can you stop a dog being aggressive so you no longer have to fear biting dogs. Even if you treat your dog gently you can still encounter this problem if you don’t treat him correctly. Incorrect treatment of dogs can cause him to become aggressive.
Lots of things can cause your dog to become fearful of you, how you pet your dog for example, and how you greet your dog. The problem is that people become frightened that the dog will bite them, and this can make the problem even worse.
When a dog rolls over on his back he is giving into you, you should not reward him for such a gesture as this could potentially cause aggression.
So how should you greet your Golden Retriever dog so your don’t have to fear biting dogs?
Dogs are very good at reading body language, your posture will affect the behavior of your dog a great deal.
Depending on how you greet your dog it can cause submission and fear. If you look at him straight in the eye, or lean over him then this can make him feel threatened.
To great your dog properly you should bend down so you are at his level, don’t immediately stare at him, and reach up to him. This will mean that he doesn’t feel threatened.
Where shouldn’t you pet?
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Is It Normal For A Puppy To Be Very Aggressive
It is normal for a puppy to test you with aggressive behaviors. But it is your responsibility to knock down the aggression and make sure that your puppy knows his/her place in the family. And to be clear, that place should be at the bottom of the pack, under all your family members.
I understand that your dog is a part of your family but allowing your dog to be in a position above any or all your family members is just asking for trouble. If you dont believe this, take some time to learn about dog psychology. Treating your dog as a human and attributing your dog with human thoughts and reasoning is not fair to your dog or to your family. Love your dog, but make sure your dog is the lowest member of your pack and you will have a much easier time with obedience and basic good behavior.
Is My Puppy Biting Aggressive
You cannot determine whether or not a puppy is biting aggressively by how hard he bites or by the volume of the noise he makes.
Play biting puppies bite hard and growl fiercely.
Some puppies do occasionally draw blood.
But these are not normally savage or crushing bites and the puppy is clearly enjoying himself.
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The Third Method: Disengage
The third method for training your puppy to stop nipping and play biting is to disengage or move away completely. If your puppy is going after your hands or arms, put them behind your back. Sometimes, this is enough of a correction.
In the case that this is not enough: stand up, turn around so that your back is to them, and cross your arms over your chest. Do not engage them in any way. Dont look at them, dont turn around, and dont react to any noise they make.
Keep this up until your puppy no longer seems interested in you. You may have better results if you go and do something else for a moment before re-engaging in play.
This teaches your puppy that their playmate will go away if they nip or play bite. If they do action A and their playmate leaves, then they will discontinue action A. You cant play with someone if they arent there and dogs are social animals. They prefer to play with others.
Retriever Puppies Bite For Their Health
The action of biting strengthens a puppys teeth and gums.
Biting is actually a really important part of your retriever pups growth.
When you watch a litter of retriever puppies, how do they play?
It is almost always biting tails or ears or feet. This important part of a puppys growth is accomplished through their natural interactions with siblings.
When you bring your puppy home, you become their litter and they will try to play with you the same way they played with their brothers and sisters. I think this is the most common reason why puppies bite.
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Get The Puppy Some Toys
Dont expect to eliminate biting entirely until your puppy grows up because the golden retriever puppy biting phase lasts until six to seven months old. Puppy teeth are itching when they grow, so be understanding.
Instead of punishing your puppy for biting, provide it with a legal biting target. Substitute your fingers for dog toys. Get many toys and ensure they are always available around the house and in the garden.
The best dog toys for teething are chewy because hard toys can only worsen a puppys dental pain. When choosing a toy, try to indent it with your finger or flex it with your hand.
An anti-stress ball is a good example of the required texture. However, ensure that your puppy cant tear the toy apart and choke on it. You may also consider chew treats for dogs, such as dried rawhide cheeks and beef sticks.
Bones are too hard for puppies and pose a choking hazard, while a rope toy is an excellent choice. Consider also frozen chew toys that cool a puppys teeth, thus easing the pain. Alternatively, you may freeze a carrot.
When To Begin Training
Training begins before you even bring your new puppy home. Some breeders start training pups before they find a family. Often this training includes things like mild crate training, mild potty training, and corrective behaviors. Of course, not all breeders do this. Not only that, but many people do not find their goldens via breeders, but rather shelters or rescues.
Regardless, its important to note that dogs should not be separated from their mothers or littermates before the ages of 7-8 weeks old. Studies have found this to be damaging to puppys psyche and emotional well-being, which can lead to behavioral issues down the road. Therefore, you can expect to begin training as soon as you pick up your 8-week-old golden retriever!
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How To Housebreak A Golden Retriever
Housebreaking should start straight away when your puppy arrives home.
When you arrive home with your Golden puppy go straight to the yard. After a long car journey they are very likely to want to go-potty.
The key to successful housebreaking is to minimize accidents indoors as much as possible.
Taking your Golden Retriever puppy out to the yard every hour is important during the first few weeks.
Getting into a positive routine from the start will help your puppy learn faster. For the first month use the schedule below:
|Golden Retriever Training Schedule
|Toilet, play, chewing, toilet, bed!
Every time you train go-potty remember your Golden Retriever will present clownish and playful behaviors.
When you take him outside he will likely want to play. Ignore him and watch from a distance when he first goes outside. Wait for him to go-potty. As soon as hes finished toileting immediately play with him or give him a treat. Make sure he knows he did a great thing!
If there is an accident, and there will be because puppies have small bladders, dont shout at him. He wont understand what he did wrong.
Instead ignore your puppy and clean the area with biological washing powder mixed with water.
As he gets older your Golden will realize that toileting in the house is boring, whereas toileting in the yard is super fun and worth him learning to hold on for!
Positive And Negative Reinforcement
Discipline is how dog owners communicate that some behavior is acceptable to their pet and others not. A dog must understand what actions his master likes and those he does not to succeed.
If training has been done correctly and the dog misbehaves, a dont do that message should be given, or as we usually say, we should discipline our Golden Retriever.
As already indicated, the most effective way of disciplining your Golden Retriever is through positive and negative reinforcement. Heres what that means.
Positive reinforcement, also known as reward-based training, means using a reward for desired behaviors. As the reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the action, positive reinforcement is the best technique for defining your dogs behavior.
For example, when you command your Golden Retriever to lay down, he wont initially understand what you mean, and thats normal. Youll need to use additional gestures to make him understand the meaning of lay down.
Once that is understood, rewarding him communicates that lying down should be done every time he hears the command. Your puppy will quickly learn nice things happen when he does the right thing.
In positive reinforcement, rewards include:
Negative reinforcement means taking something away or removing the reward to increase the frequency of the behavior. It often confuses, but it does not mean bad or to punish.
Why Your Golden Retriever Bites Your Feet
Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
It wants attention
The cause could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it when you have not been giving it much attention, it would normally get something like a walk or you tend to give it attention when it does it.
In this case, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it does it, to reward it when it is being well behaved and to redirect its focus when it is about to bite your feet.
It is teething
The reason might also be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it is still a puppy and if it has started chewing on other things as well.
In this case, it would be important to start training it to behave the way that you want it to behave now. It would also help to give it lots of toys to chew on.
It wasnt trained not to as a puppy
If you did not train your Golden Retriever as a puppy, it might have never learned that it is not ok to bite. If your Golden Retriever doesnt receive any training then it wont know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you want it to behave.
In this case, it would be important to start giving it training now by following the tips below.
You have inadvertently been reinforcing the behavior
It is exploring
Dont Encourage Bad Behavior
Sometimes, new puppy owners will chuckle at their dogs bad behavior in the name of oh so cute! If your pup is ripping up the toilet paper and dragging it down the hallway, and you find it hilarious and cute, you will have difficulty commanding him not to chew your slippers!
Likewise, if you find it fun when your puppy sinks his razor-sharp teeth into your ankle and bites, Im sure you wont have a good giggle when his teeth are bigger and stronger and his jaws faster!
If you dont want your Golden Retriever biting or destroying everything he finds, you should always tell him no! Ignoring it once will only confuse your puppy and the expectation that you will forget it next time.
Instead, have a good selection of chew toys handy, and be ready to redirect your dogs unwanted behavior. Most pet stores have tons of choices regarding chewing and teething toys, or you can always find a great selection on Amazon. Ive always found the KONG range of chew toys to be the best as they keep your pooch entertained for ages, and they last forever! Choose something like the KONG Classic Toy.
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Cant I Just Teach My Puppy To Stop Biting
There are many professional trainers who recommend that you simply train your puppy not to bite.
This seems like a practical course of action, and it does work in the short term.
Teaching a puppy not to bite will give you quick results, but it may mean they never learn how much force is safe to use on people when they are forced to bite in an emergency.
So its better to teach bite inhibition skills, before teaching them not to bite at all. So if they do eventually bite, they will know to hold back the pressure safely and will not cause anywhere near as much pain or damage as they otherwise might.
If My Golden Retriever Puppy Is Biting Because He Is Teething Should I Allow This Behavior
If your Golden Retriever puppy is biting because he is teething, you should not just allow this behavior to continue. While there should never be harshness, correcting a puppy doesnt hurt. While they wont understand, and they may not even listen at this point, instilling good manners and training from the start can go a long way to stopping negative behaviors.
Ignoring this behavior or letting it be, can also passively teach the puppy that it is okay to act a certain way when you are not feeling well. While it can be understandable for a pet parent to sympathize with what their fur baby is going through, that doesnt mean it is acceptable.
A simple and matter-a-fact no biting should do the trick at this point.
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Normal Dog Behaviors Versus Abnormal Behaviors
Dogs naturally dig, bark, express fear in certain situations, mark territory, chase small animals, and jump.
They may steal food. Or want to be with us all the time.
Goldens were bred to be sociable, high-energy dogs. Theyâre bred to retrieve.
So we shouldnât be surprised when they become pushy for attention or always have to carry something in their mouths.
My rescued golden Spencer almost always had to carry something in his mouth. So I made sure there were safe toys for him to happily tote around.
Unfortunately, many dogs are given up to shelters because of behaviors that can be modified.
Many people get a young golden and arenât aware of all thatâs involved in teaching him our rules.
Goldens are high-energy hunting dogs who donât mature until theyâre three or four years old.
To have a great companion takes a lot of work, patience, and time.
Itâs up to us, as dog owners, to be aware of our dogâs drives, personality, and needs. And to meet those needs.
This article wonât cover in detail abnormal canine behaviors.
These should be dealt with by behavior specialists who can evaluate the individual dog and determine the best behavior modification plan.
And itâs always important to have your dog get a full physical from a vet when dealing with any behavior problem.
These abnormal behaviors include aggression to those around the dog, obsessive-compulsive disorders, shutting down, and severe separation anxiety.
Teaching Your Dog To Obey In Every Situation
I remember teaching Oliver to sit pretty quickly.
Im not going to lie, I was a little proud of how fast he learned, but when we took him to my parents house and I tried to show him off, he would not sit no matter how hard I tried to get him to.
Then when we returned home that night, he was sitting perfectly every time!
Dogs dont generalize well, meaning that even though Oliver knew sit means sit in my living room, he didnt know that sit means sit in my parents living room as well.
Eventually, he learned that sit means sit no matter where we are, but then we faced another problem: whenever other dogs were around he wouldnt pay attention to me and sit when I asked him to.
So heres how to get your puppy to obey you in every situation, even with distractions: practice.
Practice in different rooms in your house, in the backyard, in the driveway, on your walks, at the park.
Also, practice with different distractions around, like around other dogs or people.
And heres a note for when you practice: take baby steps.
You want your dog to obey you every time you ask them to, so slowly teach them new behaviors in new environments, and slowly add in new distractions.
For example, if you just taught your puppy how to sit in the living room, teach them to sit in the kitchen next, not at your local park.
And if your dog is great with obeying while there are no other dogs around, take him to a park, stay 100 feet away from other dogs, then try to get him to obey.
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