Golden Retriever pups are probably one of the most affectionate loving breeds there are and can grow up to be amazing family pets and even pet therapy dogs. However too much love and not enough training while young, can cause mouthing, biting, jumping, and these pups to be absolutely crazy.
A Big Problem
Most people who purchase, adopt, or rescue a Golden typically get them when they are this cute little ball of fur around 8-12 weeks old. But these pups grow fast into huge puppies, by the time they are six months they can weight as much as 75 pounds, yet they think they are still this little lap dog. They actually have a puppy mentality until they are about 3 years of age. So, again, training while they are very young is a must.
If allowed, Golden’s will romp through the house, jump on furniture and guests, and rip your shoes, clothes, and furniture to shreds. These problems can be avoided with obedience training, using firm assertive discipline, and with long walks and daily play sessions. A puppy that gets the right amount of exercise and play time is a more relaxed dog. A relaxed dog will equal a more peaceful home.
Puppies chew. They are teething and they need something hard to chew on. If you do not provide enough teething toys, they will chew on other things: shoes, clothes, furniture, etc. Dog owners often make a mistake of playing with their puppy with their hands instead of a toy, and are shocked when their dog bits. NEVER play with a puppy or dog with only your hands, always use toys and stop playing as soon as they mouth or bite you.
A True Story
Labs and Golden’s are among my favorite breeds, yet when left untrained they can be the worst dogs and puppies. Right now I’m training with a very spoiled 8 month old Golden, Riddick. The first day I arrived at his home he met me at the door, jumped on me, bit my hands, pants, and feet, and pulled hard on the leash. It took me fifteen minutes to get him settled, under control and obeying my commands. Typically this is not the case, but for 8 months his owners did not have a clue how to stop this behavior. It is critical that Riddick learns obedience and obeys his owners, as a new baby is expected to enter this home in just a few weeks. I got my work cut out for me! But we are making progress. He now comes, sits, downs and does short stays. We are working on walking without pulling and staying off people and furniture.
The #1 Rule
Train, train, train. Do not bring a puppy into your house and just think it will be amazing at it grows. This pup needs love, but it also needs lots of exercise, structure, and discipline. Socialization with other people and dogs/pups is key to having a happy, healthy, and safe well balanced dog. Group puppy and dog classes are awesome and give your puppy/dog something that nothing else can. Private training is great for obedience and behavioral problems too (barking, jumping, nipping, mouthing, biting, potty issues). Puppies are like children, they need guidance all through their lives and the best way to guide them is through ongoing training. When they are learning new things, they don’t have time to misbehave 🙂