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Golden retriever jumping up and biting on walks
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Princessmardybum · 03/09/2020 09:39

Hi, we have a 6 month old golden retriever puppy and she has calmed down so much since we first had her at 8 weeks and doesn’t play bite anywhere near as much. Over the past couple of weeks she has been jumping up on her walks and biting, and staying with her jaws clamped around clothes, arms etc. Strangely she only does it to me and not if I am out with my husband/parents etc. Literally nothing will distract her once she is in this state, including toys and food, and she ignores any command. I’m at the end of my tether- I don’t know what to do. I dread having to walk her on my own when I had dreamed of long walks, just the 2 of us. My arms and legs are bruised and painful. My husband will be working away again soon so I need to sort it but I can’t think of anything else to try. I would really appreciate any ideas if anyone has any!

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RiaRoth · 03/09/2020 09:46

I would look at what happens before she starts the behaviour.

Is it the minute you put on the lead, is it when the lead is off. Does she do it all the time or for parts of the walk.

I expect she is just bored and looking to liven things up a bit.

You could get her to carry a toy before it starts and then play with that on the walk, you could drop treats on the floor to encourage heel work and calm win win on this one BUT you will have to start before the biting and jumping up happens.

If she does bite and jump up you do not have a lot of choice but just to stand still. All interaction stops when she is behaving this way.

(With a goldie you will soon be on here saying she refuses to walk and is lying down and not moving - also a another very normal but frustrating goldie behaviour Smile)

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vanillandhoney · 03/09/2020 16:49

What are you doing differently to your husband? Are you nervous taking her out? Do you hold her lead or something differently?

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Princessmardybum · 03/09/2020 21:17

Thank you both.
Ria-I can’t pinpoint any triggers. The first time it was heading home from a walk so I thought she might not want it to be finished but other times have been at the start/middle. Different places each time and no one else around, away from cars etc. She is on the lead all the time whilst we are out as she thinks everyone is her friend and over-enthusiastically greets people! I’ve tried standing still and turning my back to ignore her but she carries on- it’s like she now has a stationary target to bite so it gets painful when she catches with her teeth. I haven’t yet given her a toy before it starts, just tried as a distraction after but will try that, thank you.
Vanilla- neither me nor my husband can see any big difference between what we do on walks. He is much taller, are his arms too much of a jump for her to reach??? Ironically I had been doing lots of training with her today, and she was doing brilliantly, so I felt really confident when I took her out. 10 seconds later outside on the drive(!) and she was hanging off my arm.

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MsAdoraBelleDearheartVonLipwig · 03/09/2020 21:40

Something about it is rewarding to her or she wouldn’t keep doing it. What exactly do you do when she does it?

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Girlintheframe · 04/09/2020 08:56

Could she be bored/needing more stimulation/frustrated?
Could you put her on a long lead so that you could let her roam a bit but reel her in if need be?
Our lab at that age was very bouncy. What always distracted him was his ball or a stick. I wonder if you let her roam and get rid of her surplus energy if that would help.

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Yokohamajojo · 04/09/2020 08:57

Could you try her on a long lead, a puppy training lead? She may then be more interested in going about explore and sniff and you can still stop her if she tries to greet people or dogs

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Hoppinggreen · 04/09/2020 09:00

Our Goldie used to do this, especially if he wanted to do something other than what you wanted him to do.
I found a sharp NO then getting him to sit and giving a treat when he moved on nicely worked.
He is now 4 and very occasionally does it so if he does I just drop his lead and stand there, he instantly stops and then I can pick up the lead and carry on ( obviously only do this if safe)
Interestingly he only really does it now with DD, it’s over excitement

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Suzi888 · 04/09/2020 09:01

Have you ever made this fun? Have you reacted? Squealed/shouted?



I had a well known behaviourist assess my Lab and she told me to fill a plastic bottle with pebbles and bop my him on the nose / shake the bottle at him when he bit. I paid £100 for that information! Grin

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RiaRoth · 04/09/2020 11:34

I had a well known behaviourist assess my Lab and she told me to fill a plastic bottle with pebbles and bop my him on the nose / shake the bottle at him when he bit. I paid £100 for that information!

Sorry but an old fashioned uneducated behaviourist - this would not be recommended now.

It would either frighten the dog, which is not a great way to train and brings on other issues, not work at all as it does not frighten the dog or often excite the dog in a situation when they are already over aroused and over stimulated and make the situation worse.

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Hoppinggreen · 04/09/2020 11:44

Never ever bop a dog on the nose with anything

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Speckledhen617 · 04/09/2020 12:56

This isn't helpful advice at all but my pup is now 12montbs old he's gone through so many weird stages of behaviour. The amount of googling I've done for various 'problems' is ridiculous! They mostly all just passed and many stopped as quickly as they started! Hopefully this is one of those.

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Newpuppyplanning · 04/09/2020 13:11

I'd stand on the lead and refuse to move until she she stopped the shenanigans. I'd train the "leave it" command as well.

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Princessmardybum · 05/09/2020 09:24

Thank you all. When I’m on my own with her, which is when it happens, I have been tending to stick to walking around the streets, rather than in the fields as it feels a bit lonely on my own so I haven’t been able to use a long line unfortunately. Maybe I need to be a bit braver while she’s going through this phase and avoid the streets a bit to give her the stimulation of the fields like you have suggested.
I hope I haven’t been making it fun, but I completely take your point. I start with a gentle “leave” which she otherwise knows really well but it probably does escalate to more of a desperate tone. Perhaps she is taking that as joining in the game.
Speckled- I really hope this is a short lived phase!!
Really appreciate everyone’s help!!

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ouch321 · 05/09/2020 09:40

I thought you were supposed to yelp when it happens so they understand they are hurting you.

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Delatron · 05/09/2020 17:00

I she maybe bored walking round the streets and need more exercise/stimulation?

Now is a great time to practice recall (On long line) before the teenage years hit.

Take some toys, treats, a ball and go to a field and see if her behaviour changes?

If she jumps up then the standing in the lead trick is good. Or get some trays out and try and get her to sit.

My lab can go a bit crazy when he knows we’re at the end of a walk. He doesn’t bite any more but he can jump up and try and get the lead in mouth and go a bit crazy!

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Delatron · 05/09/2020 17:02

Also some dogs get even more excited when you yelp (mine did) and get more bitey so it’s down to the dog. We turned away and ignored though he would still carry on. He did grow out of it at about 8 months..

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Rach212 · 11/07/2021 14:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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PuppyMonkey · 11/07/2021 14:40

I definitely think this is a golden retriever "thing" (Labradors too from what I've read).


My boy used to "play attack" me all the time from about six months - really hard, painful bites and not letting go. He wasn't being malicious at all, it was clearly play, with his waggy tail and big grin. You know the one I mean OP. He nearly knocked me down several times and I actually started to get a bit frightened of him.

Things that helped.

  • I used to take old rags on walks with me. If I could see in his face that he was going to do one of his jump attacks, I'd wave one of the rags at him and he'd happily grab that and do that "shaking from side to side" thing. That often helped get it out of his system in the moment.

  • He used to do it at certain familiar spots on our walks. There was a particular field he always seemed to wait for. I literally stopped going walks that way for a bit and over time, he forgot the "routine."

  • Halti head collar. He was a large dog even back then, so he'd easily pull me over, which is why we got this. I got him used to the head collar and it gave me much more control over his movements generally, and I could stop him doing the jumping up thing before it got out of hand.

  • You could try the stopping dead still thing. It worked for us to a certain extent, but after he'd done it once and then we'd stopped still and he calmed down, he's just do it again the minute we started walking. Very tedious.

  • Just completely and utterly ignore him and carry on walking. I know it's difficult with a dog literally grabbing onto your arm, but just carry on walking as if you haven't even noticed (again a good lead helps) and just when you think he's never going to let go of your arm with his teeth or stop jumping up, he does!

    Sorry for your pain OP, I totally get what you're going through. I seriously wanted to give my boy back for a while. The good news is by the time he was one, he completely grew out of it.Smile
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PuppyMonkey · 11/07/2021 14:44

Grin
Golden retriever jumping up and biting on walks
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