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Struggling with new dog's behaviour

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by InTheWakeOfStardust, Apr 2, 2021.


  1. InTheWakeOfStardust

    InTheWakeOfStardust PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all! I didn't really know where to put this, whether it belonged in this forum or another - mainly because I don't know if the issue is mainly myself, or whether I am justified in wanting advice on training this dog.

    Basically, my family have just taken in a 10 month old male Golden Retriever. He's our second family dog, and the only dog in the household currently. Our first was a beautiful Golden girl we had from 8 weeks old who passed away recently at the ripe old age of 17 and a half.

    This new guy's a gorgeous boy, really friendly and happy...overly friendly. He has clearly been taught the basic commands, and is sometimes really good at following them, especially when noone else is around but you and him. He can do "sit", "stay", "leave", "come", and "away" that we are aware of. He's really clever, so we taught him to "lie down" in the space of like 15 minutes and he really caught on fast.

    But, I'm struggling to tolerate his behaviour sometimes. He's a typical teenager I think - sometimes he listens, sometimes he feign being as deaf as a post. My main issue is his overenthusiastic greetings. He'll constantly greet you by jumping up and licking/mouthing any part of you that he can reach. This can simply be walking downstairs from being upstairs (which is off limits as he chews things).

    Occasionally he'll listen to you trying to give him commands, but usually he just carries on getting overexcited and even if he does listen to a command he forgets it like half a second later (like, tell him to sit and stay or to move "away" from the bottom of the stairs for example, and he does it for like a split second then reverts back to jumping up and mouthing). Try going down to his level so he doesn't jump and he gets worse. Try ignoring him until he shows good behaviour, and his bad behaviour just gets worse again. Its hard to know what to do, because he's a big boy and easily reaches my shoulders with his paws when he jumps up. Any advice would be appreciated.

    There are other issues, but that is the main one.
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    The advice to just ignore behaviours you don't want is fine for some things - but if a behaviour is self-rewarding for the dog, you ignoring it won't be enough to stop it.

    You said he knows a sit, so you could start by using the best of rewards for a sit, pieces of roast chicken or frankfurter sausage, so that he is so keen to comply his bottom hits the floor before you finish saying it. Then, ask for a sit when he wants to jump - he can't jump and sit at the same time. If the sit is more rewarding for him, it becomes a better choice for him.

    You might also want to do some work with him on impulse control. This video might be helpful.

     
  3. InTheWakeOfStardust

    InTheWakeOfStardust PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you! I'll definitely try the treat for "sit" thing, and I'll watch the video right after this. I think the treat thing will hopefully work in this instance - he is so food oriented, like many dogs. He's already nailed the art of his backside hitting the floor before I've finished saying "sit" sometimes. Now I'll work on the treats and the jumping. The treats will keep his focus the rest of the time as well.

    I think the whole jumping up issue stems from him just wanting to be as close to us as is physically possible. He's the kind of dog who actually is pretty good being left alone for an hour or two, but once you are in the house he just wants to be curled up next to you being fussed the entire time. And yeah, I know, dogs don't usually like a massive amount of petting and cuddles - but if you stop fussing this one, he makes it his life's mission to shove his nose back into your hand to make you continue petting
     
  4. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Not quite sure where you got that dogs dont like a massive amount of petting and cuddles. The odd dog is stand offish but the majority will be petted all day.

    Try turning your back on him without saying a word. Stay absolutely still with your arms folded for as long as it takes him to give up and decide you are not of any interest.
     
  5. InTheWakeOfStardust

    InTheWakeOfStardust PetForums Newbie

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    Heaps of people say dogs don't usually like "cuddles", even on this forum? I've seen a few people say it reading posts today. I'm not talking about your average petting for this dog - I'm talking full on, buries himself in your lap, wants to be pressed up against you 24/7 cuddles.

    I keep trying turning my back and ignoring him, but it makes him even worse. He's never normally vocal outside of the odd bark at our rabbits (when they suddenly run around their hutch/run, he wants to play) and growling while playing tug of war. But he'll bark non stop while jumping up even worse if you try ignoring him. And its tough to even move when trying to ignore him while he's literally all over me, because he's as tall as I am when he's on two legs. I've tried just leaving the room and shutting him out, but then he sits there barking and winds up jumping to greet you just the same once you open up the door.

    The last 24 hours or so, I've been trying to really sneak in some good work on "sit" though, and going OTT with praising him for his successes - so hopefully he'll quickly figure out that's more exciting than jumping up if I continue trying my best to ignore him.
     
  6. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Dogs are social creatures who like attention and fuss, the reason most of us say dogs don't like cuddles is because a lot of owners tend to invade space, hug, and loom over top of dogs and not notice when the dog is giving signals of discomfort.
    A 10 month old golden is not going to be easily intimidated by physical proximity given they tend to not have any sense of space invading themselves.
    Basically your golden is going to be an attention junkie who wants nothing more to connect and be close to you - totally expected and a very real need he is going to need fulfilled. You will have to teach him what is appropriate as far as attention seeking behavior and how he is allowed to be close with you.

    However, you say your family has just adopted him? How long have you had him? He's going to need more than a few days, more than a few weeks, to adjust and feel secure in his new home. A lot of his OTT attention and connection seeking behavior is likely due to feeling disoriented and unsure about everything. I wouldn't resort to too many reprimands just yet, but rather focus on his need for connection and security.

    If you're physically able to, one of the best ways to teach an insecure and overly enthusiastic youngster that 4 on the floor is good and will result in attention is to squat down, use your forearm on one arm on his chest to keep him from flattening you, and then use your other hand for pets and attention. Keep them slow and soothing. If he gets OTT and starts pawing or jumping, stand up, cross your arms, you may even need to turn your back, the second he pauses to figure out what's going on, squat down again. He's looking for closeness and reassurance and usually getting down to their level removes the jumping. He'll still be enthusiastic, but you can reward the fact that he has 4 feet on the floor. This will eventually transfer to when you're standing. Eventually. He is a 10 month golden and even without the discombobulation of a new home he would be an oafish thug :)

    If squatting won't work, you could put him in a well fitted body harness and put a leash on him. Then stand on the leash. Leave enough slack that he can stand and move slightly without pressure, but can't jump up on you. Act like the leash has nothing to do with you. When his feet are on the ground, he gets pets and attention, when he jumps, he doesn't.
     
    LittleMow and Lurcherlad like this.
  7. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    You've had some great advice but just wanted to echo this bit. My boy is both very 'velcro' and a bit of a stresshead. When he's unsure or anxious his default is to jump all over me in a very OTT way. If I give him that body contact, he can calm himself down much better than if I ignore him 'because he's jumping'.
     
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