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6 month old male golden retriever with endless energy(32 Posts)
We've had our golden for 4 months now and he's just turned 6 months. He has on and off been a sweet little angel but nearly the second he turned 6 months he has become an unruly energy demon!! He has a dog door, we have a dog walker come in during the day, we visit him at lunch, we take him out again after work, but the more we walk him, the more energy he seems to have! He has ripped up most of the kitchen lino, tears his bed apart and humps it all day, digs up the garden and barks. He must have 50+ toys at this point but he loses interest in them quickly. We can't find any chews that he can't eat in under 5 minutes (he's a big guy, not overweight, just very large and strong). Even full sized pigs ears he can now crunch through in 5 minutes.
We are really struggling to find ways to use up his energy / keep him entertained. Any ideas?
Also if you have had a male golden retriever, when did they start to calm down? He has so much energy he does zoomies round the kitchen and jumps and bites from excitement!
We don't want to get him 'done'. We will eventually if we have to but not until he is full grown at least.
So how many hours a day is he being left?
Is doggy daycare an option? How much mental stimulation is he getting? Do you play games like hide and seek? Maybe get a slow feeder so he has to work to get his food.
Have you tried kongs to keep him occupied?
How long are his walks? Do you always go the same route?
TBH, he sounds bored and needs more stimulation to tire his brain out.
How often do you do training with him?
We are at work for about 7 hours a day, but during that time we come back for an hour at lunch and the dog walker comes in to take him out during either the morning or afternoon. The problems are mostly in the evening, he is constantly trying to munch us/destroy everything in sight. Even an hour long walk on 10 metre lead at the beach around other dogs won't wear him out these days. He will still come home super hyped and trying to jump up and bite us. He had stopped the puppy biting for a few weeks before he hit six months. He now ignores commands that he knows very very well, even walking off sometimes when I tell him 'bed'.
His walks are very varied, sand beach, shingle beach, roadside, countryside (we only live 5 mins from coast).
I do training with him a bit every evening while me and my partner cook dinner.
I'm going to try stuffind and freezing some kongs to see if that entertains him.
Doggydaycare isn't an option sadly, we live in the middle of nowhere and it would end up costing half of what I earn round here and be too far to travel.
Sounds to me like he is starting to move from puppy to stroppy teenager (which can last many months) if he is ignoring known commands.
On the tiredness be careful that it's a balance between exercising but equally not too much exercise that they become over stimulated. Mine would often be over tried in the evenings and we had to do timeouts to calm him and force him to settle and sleep.
Equally doing the same things over and over just mean they get better at it so walking dogs endlessly can just make them fitter. You might need to mix it up so that he gets walks as well as mental exercise (tricks, training or working for his food).
Is there any way to minimise stroppy teenager? It was almost an overnight change. He knows alsorts of commands, could learn almost any new command in under ten minutes and was a well behaved, very content and happy little chap. Then suddenly about a week or two ago he just decided he wasn't going to do it anymore (unless there is a roast chicken incentive, nothing less). Now it's totally hit or miss if he will obey, recall is basically just gone as well, he is being so rebellious and it's making things very stressful (though I still wouldn't give him up for the world).
The mad puppy hour in the evening will get better, also as the nights get lighter you can do more evening walks which will help.
Try training on your walks rather than physical exercise, I agree he sounds bored and needs mental simulation as well as physical. Have a look at things like parkour www.dogparkour.org Which is like low impact agility but in the natural environment, he won't be allowed onto full agility until 12 months because of his joints but this gives you things that you can train him to do and keep his mind active.
Have fewer toys out at a time and rotate them, try antlers for him to chew on as they last much longer and only give them to him when you
Recall was one of the worst things we fought with during stroppy teenage phase. BiteyDogs started being a real pain at age 6months, peaked in shitness at 8-9 months but became much better around the 1 year mark. Some breeds take much longer to mature.
I think it's just the case of keep reinforcing the good behaviour and training. Oh and get in lots of and to get you through it .
Oh and the ignoring you for recall and things that he's always done before is adolescence and very annoying but very normal, just keep at it, be consistent do what you've always done and if you can't trust him off lead don't let him off but have a long line and call him back regularly, don't let him get away with ignoring you.
and I'll second what Bitey said, Billypup is just coming up to 1 year old and is getting much better. She is cross border collie/retriever.
Does he get off lead walks? Ddog probably runs 3-4 times as far as I walk and spends time sniffing different things which is great mental stimulation.
My dog loves to have a play in the evenings, apart from when he's been to daycare on Thursdays.
If they've been on their own during the day, he might see the evening as his time to play with you, espcially when you want to settle down to watch TV etc as, to him, your not busy then.
My dog can also demolish a pigs ear in 2 mins but I now give him beef scalp and that keeps him occupied for ages. I get mine from Zooplus but make sure you get the long lenghts that you can cut yourself.
Have you looked up canine enrichment? There is a facebook group about it too, where have lots of ideas for keeping dogs occupied.
Also, what is he fed?
Sorry, just saw the post about the recall. My dog didn't have too much of a teenage rebellion but my parents are only just coming out the other side with their pup.
I have a lab and he was unbearable for a year. Destroyed all toys. I have really seen a change from 18mo.
We used kongs- stuffed with kibble and kept in with primula cheese or peanut butter. There's a big wobbly Kong that he has to knock over for kibble, he loves that. There was also a ufo type thing with a ball in the middle that spits out kibble.
I keep the radio on during the day. And whilst he gets walked every morning and evening we also try to mentally tire him out, with training or treasure hunts.
Oh and yes to antlers and filled bones. They keep DDog occupied for a while and last longer than toys.
I'm sorry but it sounds like he's on his own for far too long. I appreciate you come home at lunch and have a dog walker but he's still alone for the vast majority of the day.
Mine would have destroyed my house if I'd left him for that long at six months of age - so for our sanity (and bank balance) he goes to daycare. He's looked after, gets two walks a day, a sofa to sleep on and, most importantly, company and someone to supervise him!
You're also walking him far, far too much. An hour on lead is a LONG time for a young dog, he should be on 30 minutes twice a day maximum at that age to protect his joints. Slow down the exercise and focus on mental stimulation instead - frozen kongs or frozen stuffed buffalo horns last mine a good hour or more depending on what I've filled them with. We also give pizzle sticks and stronger chews - things like trachea last longer than ears, for example. Games like "find it" with treats in the garden are also good for tiring them out, mine loves hunting his kibble in the grass.
They do calm down, but not until a year in my experience, older for breeds like labradors! Sorry!
Ive got a 3 year old Goldie boy ( my 4th) and I think he’s being left alone too long. We only leave Ddog alone for a max of 4 hours but that’s not 4 hours, 1 hour walk and then another 4 hours.
Ours calmed down a lot when he was neutered at 14 months but yours is too young and it doesn’t necessarily calm them down.
There is a Goldie group on FB who is full of lovely Goldie owners who are really helpful and you can join local meet ups as well
Battendog is a bit older but an hour on the beach wouldn't tire him out, either.
A shorter walk somewhere busy and brand new, with training thrown in would exhaust him. 30 mins round a busy town centre, for eg. Maybe trying to mix up the walks a bit might help?
That said - six months is about normal for the onset of teen hell. Battendog has just started to get better again at 18 months. He is a springer but a show springer so perhaps more in line with a retriever than a working springer wrt maturity timings.
He sounds like he has separation anxiety rather than a problem with energy.
Goldies often struggle with being left alone at all. I’d suggest seeking behavioural support now before it gets worse
First of all I'd recommend putting him in a crate when you're out. Ours loves his, it makes them feel secure when you're gone. We pop a kong in filled with peanut butter.
Also try not to over exercise as they can keep becoming fitter and end up doggy athletes.
Training can be mentally rewarding and also tire them out, plus will help with behaviour.
One trick the dogs trust told us was to scatter there food in the garden so it's more of a challenge for them.
If he's never been crated before you'll need to crate train him too. Not all dogs like crates either so the other option is to dog-proof the kitchen and set his stuff up in there which is what we did for our beagle.
Everything's locked away so he can't harm himself but it means he can move around a bit more than if he was crated.
Can i ask about Kongs please? I have one for our puppy, am I ok to freeze now for her and can I put peanut butter on it too?
Mrsoh39 lots of people freeze their kongs to make them last longer. As for peanut butter, I think there is an ingredient you must avoid which is in some of them. Can't remember off hand what that is, otherwise stick to 'dog safe ones', e.g. marketed specifically for dogs.
Ok thank you Bitey, I will have a look for doggy peanut butter and freeze her Kong, I think it annoys her as she barks and growls at it