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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18955
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My 5 month old Golden Retriever is biting me and ripping our

Customer Question

My 5 month old Golden Retriever is biting me and ripping our clothes. I've tried all the "solutions" from yelping and leaving the room, offering chew toys, bitter apple, etc. When she gets in this mood (usually evening) I am at a loss. I've had 2 goldens, and never had this much of a problem. She was rehomed to us from the breeder at 14 weeks, after being in a home with 3 kids under 6 for 5 weeks. At my wits end!
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer, I sounds like she wasn't taught bite inhibition. At this age, they usually have already learned that biting and nipping is no longer acceptable. It sounds Like you have already tried the normal fixes for this so let me give you some other possible solutions. First and foremost, the dog needs obedience training. I'd have that started immediately and have all hoousehold members participate so she sees all the people as her boss. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htmhttp://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html I'd also get her spayed as soon as your vet recommends. That will help slow her down a bit. Get her an appropriate playmate. Preferably one that is male and similar in age so their energy level is the same. This will help get the excess energy out and reduce her wanting to play with you. The behavior she is exhibiting seems more like her trying to get you to play. Dogs bite and nip at each other to start play behavior. Stop the jumping immediately with a no jump harness until you can get her obedience trained. See one here:http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=dog+harness+no+jump& Start walking her at least twice a day for about an hour. It should be a fast paced walk without allowing her to just stroll leisurely and investigate. The idea of the walk is to exercise her and get some of that energy out. If you have a fenced yard, you might invest in a automatic ball thrower and teach her to drop the balls in. That will help with excess energy. If she starts nipping at your ankles, adopt an exaggerated walk bringing your heels up in the back so if she tries to stick her head close to your legs, your heel may catch her in the chest or chin. She is stepping into your space so she does't see it as something you did but the result of her own actions. Most dogs learn quickly to not come at you from behind. If she is mouthing your hands, go the opposite way with them. Instead of pulling them away, move your hand further in. It will set off a gag reflex and she won't find mouthing you enjoyable anymore. Don't do it meanly though I don't think you would, just slip it in further. This works well for a dog that isn't being aggressive just mouthing to get your attention. Try these suggestions and step up your obedience training and see if that doesn't help the situation pretty quickly. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . I do have to leave for several hours but will answer when I return. If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 months ago.
Hi Kathy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Cali. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

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