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Insecure Golden Pup?

Chilipup
May 16th, 2008, 06:08 PM
Being a first time dog owner, I am constantly worrying that I am wrecking my puppy! Doing tons of research on raising a healthy well adjusted puppy, I feel almost overwhelmed. Chili my 13 week old Golden Retriever pup has been acting pretty erratic in her behavior and even with all that I have read I still am not sure how best to go about correcting her behavior.

Generally on a day to day basis she seems almost uncomfortable in her skin, it seems she doesn't know what do with herself. I feel like this leads to her behavior:
-fidgety, moaning/crying when she's restless,
-biting her paws, almost excessive itching at other times,
-borderline aggressive biting (she will suddenly latch onto my arm and bite really hard in a non-playful manner or when we are on the couch sitting together nicely and its like suddenly something comes over her and she nips at my face (nose)),
-really responsive one minute then stares at me blankly like she doesn't understand a command the next,
-When I try to do leash drills, she will either pull me or more often she will sit with that blank stare unwilling to come to/with me.

Furthermore, when we meet people/or other dogs she is extremely submissive: immediately lies down, crawls toward person/dog, sometimes will pee, and then all the sudden she will spring up and tackle the dog/or jump up on the person. This dominant behavior is present in the house: constantly wanting attention, barking when not given attention, throw the ball or give her a toy and she runs to her area to play with it (doesn't want to include us), obviously the nipping thing, gets mad and barks sometimes when you correct her behavior...etc.

Sorry so long. I just feel like she has a combination of submissive, shy behavior and then dominant. From what I have read you approach the two differently in training, so I am kind of at a loss. I feel that I am doing more right then wrong: make her sit for attention, lay down before being fed, walk out & in house before her (make her sit), correct behavior as its happening/praise when she stops, interacting games, daily training, etc.

I feel like I am trying everything. Yet, I still feel like I am missing something. That I obviously am not giving her balance in her life and therefore she is acting out because she is uncomfortable! Please help!

LavenderRott
May 16th, 2008, 08:24 PM
: make her sit for attention, lay down before being fed, walk out & in house before her (make her sit), correct behavior as its happening/praise when she stops, interacting games, daily training, etc.


Making her do these things is EXACTLY right. What is different is the method used to teach these things.

Google the stages of puppy developements. This should give you some insight.

Another thing you should do is look around and find yourself a GOOD trainer. Someone who knows that you should never have to strong arm good behaviour from a puppy and is open to different methods and collars.

Catzig
May 17th, 2008, 08:23 AM
Generally on a day to day basis she seems almost uncomfortable in her skin, it seems she doesn't know what do with herself. I feel like this leads to her behavior:
-fidgety, moaning/crying when she's restless,
-biting her paws, almost excessive itching at other times, !

Maybe she is itchy, perhaps she has a food allergy? That would make any dog squirm. We discovered at about the same age, our dog was allergic to the chicken/corn based food the breeder had recomended. We switched to lamb & rice. Check her belly down to her thighs for red spots. Look at her paws for sore spots.


-borderline aggressive biting (she will suddenly latch onto my arm and bite really hard in a non-playful manner or when we are on the couch sitting together nicely and its like suddenly something comes over her and she nips at my face (nose)),
-really responsive one minute then stares at me blankly like she doesn't understand a command the next,
-When I try to do leash drills, she will either pull me or more often she will sit with that blank stare unwilling to come to/with me...



13 weeks is very young. Try not to expect too much from her - or yourself! You need to be calm and consistent in and out of the house. Something I always remind myself is "do not set her up for failure". She is trying to discover her place in your pack and needs to be reminded you are pack leader. You can redirect her when she starts biting etc. with a squeaky toy or something.

Congratulations on your new baby, and good for you for doing your research. Enjoy little Chili and don't be hard on yourself. Most importantly, post some pictures! We love pictures!

JanM
May 17th, 2008, 12:12 PM
Amber, my youngest Golden, exhibited some of the same behaviour as yours - she was an extremely timid and fearful puppy right from the get go. I worked with a dog behaviourist and she is now much, much better but I still have to be alert when we are out off leash and we meet other dogs. Amber is now 2 1/2 yrs old.

I agree with the possible food allergy re the itching - Amber cannot handle flax, corn, pork - lots of stuff - it was a trial and error thing. She is now on Go Natural Salmon with Oatmeal and there's been no issues with her since being on it. She still licks her paws a lot but the itching and skin eruptions are gone.

To work with your puppy's dominant/submissive behaviour I recommend working with a dog behaviourist - they work more with who the dog is and what is their motivation. Obedience training is also a must.

I used to let Amber on the couch - no longer. When she comes to me for attention sometimes I ignore her - just to show her that she doesn't rule the roost. (Truth be told, she does but I won't tell her that :) )... She tried growling at me when she was about your puppy's age when I approached her while chewing a bone. I grabbed the bone and growled back at her and stared her in the eyes - I can now take anything out of her mouth without a problem but all of this takes consistent, regular work.

It sounds like you are doing an excellent job with your puppy and good for you for seeking advice too!

Good luck!