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Aggression on walks

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by b13, Aug 14, 2019.


  1. b13

    b13 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    Looking for some advice here as we are totally clueless with what to do. We have an 8 month old golden retriever puppy, she’s been fantastic in every single way apart from when walking. She seems to get over excited and will have episodes where she paces and runs about frantically and will throw herself and lunge at you and bite you. It looks extremely aggressive but I can tell she’s just over excited and wants to play, bht equally she’s biting pretty hard, usually drawing blood so obviously it can’t continue. It seems to be she gets excited when she’s on grass and that causes most of the episodes so we tried taking her off grass for walks and she’ll just do it randomly now. I’ve tried ignoring her, turning away, making her sit etc etc and nothing is stopping it. She’ll just calm down momentarily and then go straight into another episode. I’m at my wits end and she’s such a great dog, I’m just fed up of being attacked everytime we go out walking. She went to puppy classes and we got her at 8 weeks old and she doesn’t mouth anymore than normal in the house, it just seems to be on walks she gets over excited and it makes her aggressive. Does anyone have any advice or know what to do to help? Thanks in advance
     
  2. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    It seems to be a common theme with goldens, my one did it at the same age and another member on here is also having a similar problem, see thread below


    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/harness-and-lead-advice-needed.518357/


    It’s more to do with frustration and she’s also at the age where she is becoming more independent and entering puberty which is often noted for behaviour problems

    As I replied on the above thread I used distraction as a method of stopping her from jumping up and lead and hand pulling, I got her looking for various things which took her mind off whatever she was frustrated about.
    See if distraction will help you to regain control.

    Do you let her off the lead to have a good run round?
     
    lullabydream and b13 like this.
  3. b13

    b13 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply!

    I’ve tried distracting her with things around us, bringing a toy, making her sit for food but she’ll just stop the biting and jumping and then as soon as we start walking she’ll kick off again. When we tried ignoring her and turning away she just jumps at us from behind and the more we ignore her the more she attacks and the biting gets more aggressive and I’m living on the edge that someone will see her and think she’s aggressive because honestly she’s not, she’s such an angel at home and she loves other dogs and other people. It seems to be open spaces, grass, after playing with other dogs etc that sets her off into an episode but then sometimes she’ll just have a random one out of nowhere.

    She doesn’t get much time off the lead purely because where we live there isn’t many places she could run off the lead and be safe. We’ve trained her to come back to us and she’s obedient but when she’s off the lead we can’t always trust her to come back to us and not run on the road, she gets too hyped up.


    We’ve tried extendable leads, normal leads, harnesses and she’s just getting worse.


    When did your golden stop it?


    Thanks again!!
     
  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    No she isn’t being aggressive, it is just frustration. She’s probably desperate to have a good run round and burn some of the suppressed energy that’s built up. Have you looked to see if there is a dog field to rent in your area which will allow her to be safely offlead and able to chase after balls etc. There is a Facebook page dedicated to this, also worth googling to see what comes up.

    Is she your first dog? Although goldens are recommended for novice dog owners they are a breed that requires a lot of brain games, not just exercise. If you are stuck with on lead walks then you need to find things for your dog to do whilst out walking which is proabably becoming quite boring for her. Goldens thrive on using their brains and brain work exhausts a dog more then running around offlead.
    As you are walking along try dropping a toy that she knows and loves, walk on further then send her back to go and find it. I have taught my dog the names of many of her toys so if you do this at home with her, then take a named toy out with you she will know what she is looking for.
    Drop a few bits of kibble behind you as you are walking and then send her back to seek them out. Teach her the names of things that you see on your regular walks, then as you approach them tell her to ‘seek’ them out.
    There are lots of little games you can play to help take her mind off her frustration.

    You could invest in a long lead which is like the long rein used in lunging horses, these can 15 to 20 metres long or even longer. This will allow her to have lots of running room but you will have the ultimate control of being able to reel her in when needed. You could then get her retrieving balls or other toys which will be more fun for her especially if she has to search for them in long grass. If you use a long lead then always, always use with a harness rather then the collar in order to protect the neck.

    It’s possible further training lessons will help you more especially if you can find a trainer who specialises in training older puppies and uses reward methods. Avoid those who talk about being Alpha or boss of your dog. Talk to your vet as they may be able to refer you to a behaviourist and you may be able to claim fees back from your insurance if you have it.

    You may also like to know of a closed and well moderated Facebook group called Golden Retrievers GB. There are some very experienced owners and trainers to help you as well as lots of new owners
     
    niamh123 and lullabydream like this.
  5. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Just to add further.
    Isla stopped almost as soon as I cottoned on to distracting her. She would have the odd spate as she went through her teenage years, but was easily dissuaded by another seek it out session.
     
    lullabydream likes this.
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