Should I get a behaviourist?(32 Posts)
I have posted about Dog before and received good advice. But he is so difficult and I've had a good cry today because I just can't handle him.
He is a 6-month old golden retriever - and very big already.
I can't take him for a walk because although I've reduced the pulling by buying a Dogmatic collar, he now just jumps up and tries to get the lead off me by biting and will not give up. He has also ramped up the biting so about every hour he launches into a random attack, and especially if I try to do a bit of training or even play. His adult teeth are now in and although it is not snappy biting, he is pressing down and it hurts. Standing "like a tree" is all very well but he bites down harder.
He obviously needs exercise but I've reached the point where I can't face going out. I tried letting him off the lead at the large local rec (he has excellent recall in house/garden) and he just flew off and eventually a woman caught him for me. Tried training line - he just bit at it and me.
He attends training classes but I can't concentrate because I'm so occupied trying to stop him leaping, biting and pulling. The trainer said that he was a very naughty dog and I would have to work ten times as hard as other people as he seemed very resistant to training .
I feel so depressed about it. I would add that when he's calm he is lovely and friendly.
But I'm increasingly having to crate him due to his biting and lunging, especially if anyone comes to the house.
Thanks for your advice. Will investigate Kris Glover.
I am a bit calmer today (so far - it's only 8 am!) and realise that group training is not for dog. He can't cope and neither can I. I can only imagine it's like finding oneself in the top maths set when you can just about manage to add 2 + 2. Actually it was worse because the other owners last night were particularly snooty and there was much pursing of lips when dog didn't have a clue. Also I am not particularly coordinated myself and whilst everyone was merrily weaving in and out of cones I kept going the wrong way, let alone the dog.
Blimey, that sounds like a totally shit training class! I wouldn't abandon the whole concept based on that one, although some one to one help first would definitely be best.
As an idea, the beginner group I attended covered nipping,health checks,jumping up,how to play with your dog appropriately,how to let your dog greet people and other dogs,home boundaries etc etc as well as the basic sit,stay,lead work stuff. Basically they gave us exercises to improve all the problem areas, plus individual concerns could also be addressed, and the trainers were available by phone throughout the week for any other help required
Doesn't sound like you've had anything approaching that level of help though?
I can still vividly remember my worst walk. My Goldie was 8 months at the time. I was 8 weeks pregnant. We were walking on the narrow bendy country roads. Going was ok but he started acting up on the way back. Then it started lashing rain and he lost it - kept jumping at me and biting. He was jumping on my stomach, biting, it was lashing rain and we were just on a bend, if a car had come at that point they would have hit us!
Luckily enough a car came from the other direction and distracted him enough that I was able to get him through a field gate and take the lead off and we went home through the fields.
After that things did improve and now he's lovely and really good to walk (recent photo on my profile) but that day I really did think I couldn't do it anymore. I promise it gets better.
Sorry to be so whiney. I just need somewhere to vent and dh and dcs get so cross if I complain.
Went out this morning. Helga - I feel your pain. Dog started out quite jauntily. In next road he started jumping and biting. He went through my anorak and sweatshirt and it still hurt. Then he lay down and WOULD NOT move. Nothing would budge him, not even a large quantity of cheese. I timed it and we were actually there for 20 minutes. In the end I think he got bored and grudgingly stomped home. I praised him profusely for walking nicely although I was seething at his bloody-mindedness and the fact that I caused either amusement or terror to passers by.
My golden retriever also did the jumping up and grabbing the lead/biting thing. It made walks on lead a nightmare, as he was guaranteed to do this at least once on every walk. Like you, I found that attempting to ignore just didn't work, and was seriously questioning our decision to have a dog. Amazingly, the behaviour just dropped out after his first birthday - he's 3 years old now, and has never done any of that since then. So, there may be hope that your dog will also just stop doing this as he matures.
One of the things which helped us with this was advised at puppy class. I was told to take control of the walk. Tell yourself it is your walk not the dog's walk. Then go off at a brisk pace and keep changing direction so the dog is kept guessing. Every time she looked like the mischief was going to start i would go off in a random direction.
I am lucky as i live by a golf course so i had a lot of opportunity to just walk here, there and every where. You do get some VERY strange looks but for some reason it worked.
I think the dog is so focussed on what you are doing and where you are going next they forget to act up. I am sure someone will come along and tell me this is rubbish but it really worked for us and our dog was exactly like yours.
A bit like what LittleWhiteBag said, I found circular walks helped so you are not going back the same way you came. My boy never acted up going, it was always the way back, so once I started doing circular walks it helped.
I think there's a definite element of maturity to it. Where I live there are no trainers or behavioroligists so I did all training myself. So a lot of of it he just grew out of because I'm not that good a trainer.
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