Please help! Aggressive golden pup

(11 Posts)
NicInBetween Sat 23-Jul-16 13:16:37

My 15 wk old golden retriever has become harder to get/train to give up stuff easily. I and hubby have just come back from overnight stay away to find she wouldn't give up something to my sister who was puppy sitting. Cassie went for her - my sister pulled her hand out - and she's ripped her finger badly.

Now, Cassie has grabbed a bag of crisps and would not give it up. Growling, going for my hand, squirting with her with water, offering treats, ordering her to drop it -NOTHING would make her give it up. Not even the crisp packet , most of which is now in her tummy.

Advice please!

tabulahrasa Sat 23-Jul-16 13:20:03

Resource guarding is pretty common in golden retrievers...try reading Mine! By Jean Donaldson.

TheHuntingOfTheSarky Sat 23-Jul-16 13:22:59

That's very strange for a Golden. If I were you I would find a trainer who'll come out to your home. We had some anxiety issues with our now 2 year old Golden when she was little and it worked brilliantly as the trainer could see her in her home environment. It's not too expensive usually.

LilCamper Sat 23-Jul-16 13:26:13

Agree with Tabularasa, common in GRs and that book is excellent.

DiamondInTheRuff Sat 23-Jul-16 13:28:23

Stop with the water squirter. Not necessary and obviously ineffective.

Have you tried gently blowing up her nostrils? That has worked with every dog I've tried it on. Huge praise and fuss when she drops.

NicInBetween Sat 23-Jul-16 14:09:21

Thank you! I've ordered Mine! and it should come tomorrow thanks to Amazon prime. Water squirter definitely ineffective...

DiamondInTheRuff Sat 23-Jul-16 15:14:54

Have you ever tried a water squirter with a labrador? Seriously least effective deterrent EVER.

skatesection Sat 23-Jul-16 15:34:27

Play "Drop it" with stuff your pup doesn't really care about. Give low value toy, say "drop it", give AMAZING treat (Something like chopped hotdog sausage), give back the toy. Practice in different positions in different rooms of the house, using different hands. Work up to the best toys and then try with something tasty like a bone.
You might want to work in a hand signal that means "drop it" in case stress makes your voice sound different if you have to do it for real and your dog doesn't get you've given the command.

Also play "puppy zen" grandavevet.com/impulse-control-puppy-zen-or-to-get-the-treat-ignore-the-treat/ to teach your pup not to pick stuff up all the time. (Though, it's a retriever so you're not going to fully win that particular war.) It was really useful with my golden mix.

The main thing when the pup has something it shouldn't have, (easier said than done, I flipped when my dog grabbed some glasswool that my boyfriend left in the garden), is to stay all calm and playful. Getting angry or scared tells the dog that giving stuff up is a stressful situation and will make your life so much harder.

I had a similar issue: My dog used to space guard with growling and refusing to budge, so I'd let her "win" then come back two seconds later with something really distracting (a valued toy, a nice treat) to get her to move.
So, she still thinks growling is a good strategy when she's pissed off (I really don't want bites to come out of nowhere, so I'm happy to be growled at, if you see what I mean), but also that it's NBD to move when I say the word. In fact, it's a Good Thing for Dogs to move when I tell her.
She doesn't space guard anymore.

Hoppinggreen Sat 23-Jul-16 16:15:13

Our Goldie was the same, bit me quite badly when he was about 12 weeks old. We have worked on it with a behaviourist and we find that swapping for something high value works best. We are also very non confrontational about it so using a soft sing song voice to say " you don't want that, let's go and get you something better" . 9/10 times it works. We've decided that on the odd occasion it doesn't we would rather he "wins" rather than anyone gets bitten as it's upsetting for us and the dog. One thing that's encouraging is that DH tried to take a chew off him the other day and he bit him but he didn't break the skin so he's obviously holding back.

Greyhorses Sat 23-Jul-16 18:44:08

I would try some games teaching the puppy to swap the item for something of higher value. Is the puppy generally nervous or a typical puppy other than this?

I do think resource guarding is common in the breed and I have met a few very bad ones (one bad enough to have been put to sleep sadly!)

Shizzlestix Sat 23-Jul-16 20:38:43

Leave absolutely no toys in the house. Toys could only be used for training when the pup is allowed to briefly hold on then must let go-swap for higher value or food then wean off treats. For teething, use frozen carrots.

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