Sluggish Golden Retriever

Posted by miyaboy
Jun 13, 2010
I have a 5 year old female Golden Retriever that is timid and afraid of new surroundings. She will completely stop and stay in the down position whenever I go onto a new area. I will usually squat down and give here the recall command "Come". She will remain there and sometimes she will walk slowly towards me. I will praise her after that. She will also tremble in fear but I will usually ignore that and walk on. I also noticed another thing, whenever I call her name, she does not look at me until I call her several times. How can I get her attention?

At home, she likes to lie down and will not come when called. However, with treats she will respond very quickly. Somehow she knows whether I have treats or not. She will move sluggish towards me after calling her several times knowing that I do not have treats. I am now in a situation whereby I am over reliant in treats. Do anyone have a solution to that?
Posted by kjd
Jun 14, 2010
Hi, Miyaboy.

How long have you had your dog? Has she always acted this way or is it something new? (I'm kind of wondering whether she is going deaf. She might be getting strange noises in her ears. That would frighten anybody!) If it is an ear problem, she may be responding to the treats only because she can smell them.

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jun 14, 2010
Hi miyaboy,

So what does your GR enjoy? Does she like fetch? Does she like squeaky toys? Does she like to be petted? Does she like any games? Does she like dog parks?

I think you will first need to find out what she enjoys, what would be fun for her. If you give what she likes, she will be more excited to follow you around.

Unless she has some kinds of medical problems as kjd suggested, you should be able to make her life more fun. Try to use joyful voice all the time with her along with treats. For example, "Hey (your dog's name), look what have!" and extend your hands towards her while you have treats hidden in your both hands. When she tries to open your hand to eat the treat, don't release the treat until she gives you an eye contact. As soon as she looks at you, say "Yes!" and give her one treat. Repeat this until she learns that you won't release a treat until she looks at you.

Make her learn to feel comfortable as long as you are around. In other words establish a strong bond with your dog. Don't go new places all at once but go to some familiar places rather often so that she will feel comfortable with the usual outings.

In the mean time, as a daily routine, give her 10 minutes training every day. For "Come" commands, give her 3 pieces of special treats one after another with a specially joyful praise so that she will come 100% when you ask her to come (this is inside the house without distraction).

Anyway, the key is to make her think "it's always fun and there is a good treat when she comes to you". My dogs come to me 110% since they all know that there is always something fun is happening when mama calls us!

Good luck
Posted by kjj4me
Jun 14, 2010
If your dog is overweight, and having ear problems, have her thyroid checked. Labs/goldens frequently have low thyroid problems.