Tired of fighting with DIMITRI...

Posted by Rodrigo
Aug 4, 2010
Hi, DIMITRI is 11 week Golden retriever. He sits, gently extends his leg, waits calmly for his food, fetches and drops things...

BUT we have 4 issues: he jumps to get whatever he can from tables, he jumps at me, he bites hard!, and he won't stay still and will fight to get through doors he is not supposed to.

I am trying everything I learned here with no results so far... I am frustrated because he keeps jumping (while biting), disobeying the stay command and running through doors, and nipping really hard on us.

I think I am his pack leader... so it should not be that difficult! He's very clever only for some things... I'm really exhausted.

I would appreciate your help please.
Posted by kjd
Aug 5, 2010
Ah, Rodrigo, Rodrigo,

Dimitri is still a puppy. He is doing puppy behaviours. I wouldn't want him doing them to me either! But patience and persistence is what will win.

For charging thru the door before you: can you put a short (1 foot) lead on his collar; something you can grab as he charges by?

For nipping: Have you yelped? Have you tried giving him a 15 second time-out?

For all his naughty behaviours: How much exercise does he get? Is he supposed to get it by himself in the yard or do you take him for frequent walks? Labs are very energetic and he needs an outlet.

Unfortunately, puppies need patience and persistence to finally become that "perfect dog."

Good luck,
Posted by Rodrigo
Aug 5, 2010
Thanks for your reply!

Dimitri pees and poos in the grass He learned that quickly. He has full access to the yard but we don't want him all over the house since he bites everything

He's very clever. We play a lot unless I am swamped at work, when I only play with him about 30 minutes. Last weekend I devoted to Dimi. We slept together, I took him for a couple of walks (his first ones! ) on Sunday, etc. The thing is these days my wife is sick and I come home late when it's dark and don't want to take him out then.

I tried yelping, short isolation periods, a water pistol, etc. but he keeps biting and jumping. Getting through the garage door when leaving for work is a constant fight for example...

I guess I need patience and train him more and more... The thing is I feel and think he sees me as the pack leader but he will not obey...
Posted by kjd
Aug 5, 2010
OK, Rodrigo,

I think I see your problem. What you have is a very tired husband, a sick wife, and a very energetic puppy.

Dimitri needs a lot more exercise than he is getting. Think of your early school days: when recess came, didn't you charge out onto the playground, ready to work off spending hours at the desk? Dimitri does see you as the pack leader. He may understand your wife is unable to play with him like he wants. So you get home and it is "Daddy! Daddy! Let's go out and play! I want to play! Come on!" When you leave in the morning, it is "Daddy! Don't go! I want to play!" As a puppy, trying to get this across to a human, he jumps and nips. Not knowing his own strength, he hurts.

Unless he gets the exercise he needs, Dimitri is apt to get worse. Is there anyone in your neighborhood you can trust to play with Dimitri during the day? Or take him for walks? If you could get some children to do this for you, you'd find Dimitri greeting you at the door with "Hi, Dad. It's awfully late. Could we go to bed now?" Ok, he might not get that tired, but he would no longer be a pest. You could play a few quieter games in the house before bedtime.

If not neighborhood kids, is there dog-walking service that could come by twice a day and take him for a long walk? The walks let him experience new things while he is getting exercise.

Third choice: Get a treadmill and teach Dimitri to use it. Then have him on it a couple of times a day. This isn't as good as the other choices because it is pretty boring. But it will provide his muscles an outlet.

Once the edge is taken off his energy, your wife may be able to play some quiet games with him. I use to kick a ball to one of my dogs. She would bring it back and I'd kick it again. When doing this, I didn't have to get out of the chair and I didn't have to touch the ball -- it was all floor work. Actually, I'd kick it to the dog and she'd nose it back at me!

I don't know how sick your wife is or what she can do, but if she is confined to bed, you might teach Dimitri to bring things to her -- out of tissues? Dimitri, get the box! Phone fell on the floor? Dimitri, bring me the phone! He can even learn to turn the light on and off at command. If she is simply, miserably sick (the "leave me alone to die" kind), Having Dimitri out of the house for a few hours everyday will help them both.

Remember that Dimitri is a happy, energetic, youngster. He does not know how to entertain himself in an appropriate manner. He is looking to you, his leader, to give him what he needs. Both of you are frustrated because you haven't been able to communicate well with one another. As the leader, you have to take responsibility for the communication gap.

Rodrigo, you have a tough job ahead of you. I hope you have neighbors that can help you. That is the best, as well as the cheapest, solution. I also hope your wife gets better.

Good luck, let us know if any of these suggestions helped,
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 6, 2010
Hey Rodrigo,

I have to agree with kjd, Dimitri is still little and learning! Think of how long it takes human children to catch on to "proper" behaviour.

The best thing with puppies is repetition, and to clearly show them where boundaries are. With jumping and biting, give a "no" command, turn your back on him, and ignore him until he settles down. At that point you can give him something appropriate for his mouth, like a toy or chewie.

If he snatches food from tables, be quick to correct him, and remove him from the area, put him in another room, or outside.

You've just got to keep at correcting unwanted behavior. Goldie's are one of the most easily trained dog breeds, so I'm sure he'll catch on quickly, he just needs patience and a little guidance
Posted by Rodrigo
Aug 7, 2010
Hi! thanks a lot for your help

We were thinking of getting another pup... so Dimitri can play and have a partner while we are out.

We love Dimitri and want him to be ok all the time.

Do you think it's a good idea? I know there will be other issues maybe until we adjust their pack behavior... We would like another Golden Retriever male.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by kjd
Aug 7, 2010

Others may disagree, but I don't think getting another high-energy dog would be a good idea. Consider two active little boys: Do you think if you left them alone they would play quietly? Or would they combine to get into far more trouble than they ever would think alone? If you are uncomfortable with Dimitri jumping on you and biting you, does having two dogs jumping on you and biting you sound easier to take?

Both dogs will need exercise. For some reason, two dogs (or twenty) don't seem to get the exercise they need by playing together. And both dogs will need interaction with you. Both dogs will need training. The more excited dog will tend to increase the excitement level of the quieter dog. If the new dog barks at every leaf that hits ground, Dimitri will start doing the same.

I know that another dog sounds like the ideal solution. And, of course, it will be another puppy Dimitri's age! I don't think there's been a single dog owner in the world who hasn't been tempted. But another dog does not make up for absent humans. I think you want Dimitri to be your companion. Getting another dog will make that harder for you. Please re-consider.

Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 8, 2010
Hi Rodrigo,

I am totally in agreement of what kjd said.

Getting another dog doesn't solve your problem. It will only double or triple your problem. You will first correct Dimitri's unfavorable behaviors.

It will take a lot of patience to correct his bad behaviors but it is a part of owning an animal. Bringing Dimitri another dog is just like buying a lot of toys to a bad behaving kid. The kid will be happy and play with the toys but it does not change his bad behaviors.

It is your decision at the end but I thought you should be aware of the worst case senario.

Work on his problems for a few months before you consider adding another dog. Also, not all dogs can get along perfectly with each other, so it is possible that you will end up having 2 misbehaving dogs that fight all the time

Take care of first thing first
Posted by Rodrigo
Aug 9, 2010
Thank you both for your reply! It really makes sense.

Dimitri has been behaving better these days. We are taking him out more for walks and he comes back exhausted! Even when we only take short walks for now.

Yesterday he played with kids and friends and was ready to go to bed at 7 pm! He was so tired that we thought we was sick... but I guess he was so excited that he did not take his usual afternoon naps. This morning he was the same old "I love biting everything" Dimitri.

Now we need to properly train him on walks, etc. The good thing is he learns fast so I don't see major issues coming.

Thanks again!
Posted by kjd
Aug 9, 2010

I'm happy to see you are able to take Dimitri out for walks more. It is good for you all.

Soon you are going to have the "best dog in the world"! (But you will have to get through his adolescence.)

Good luck to all three of you,