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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a 3 and a half month old goldendoodle puppy. He is very new to my home so is not completely settled or comfortable, but I have learned a couple of things about him that I feel need immediate correction. He is a really good boy overall and is super friendly. He loves everyone and wants to go up to every person he sees and give them kisses. He is also very lazy and calm most of the time, especially for a puppy. The main issue is that he HATES being picked up if he is laying down. Although I understand it’s important to listen to your dog and what he wants, he is a puppy and I have children so I would like to get him more comfortable being handled. When you pick him up when he is laying down he will growl and show his teeth and bite hard, drawing blood sometimes. It’s very strange because he is not aggressive any other time. He is even perfectly fine being picked up if he is standing up. If he is standing up and you go to pick him up and he doesn’t want picked up (usually if he knows you’re going to put him in the car), he will lay down so you don’t get him, then if you try to pick him up again he does the same thing. I really don’t know why he is like this as he is fine being held, but only sometimes. I feel like he just has no tolerance for doing things he doesn’t want to do. The other thing is he bits constantly, and hard. He doesn’t bite when he greets strangers which is good, but if you’re tiring with him and petting him, he wants to bite your hands constantly. I know this is normal puppy behavior however he bites really hard and more than any puppy Ive had, and I’ve had two other goldendoodles and a lab since they were puppies. Please help me determine the best ways to correct these behaviors!

· Registered
413 Posts
Youre not listening. Do you liked to be hugged ? Yes but only when you are happy about it and when its comfortable. If someone suddenly ran up to you while you were busy and hugged you, your first reation would be to pull away, if they continued you would resist harder thats excatly what your pup is doing.

He is telling you he doesnt like it.
What is the issue with the car? Is he car sick? Maybe you need to get him more happy about the getting in the car while its just standing still make a game, get in, get a treat, get out repeat unti, hes happy with it..
The fact you have two other doodles makes no difference to this one he is his own unique self and he is telling you no in the only way he knows how.

Dont compare him to the others treat him as a compleatly new dog listen to him find the method that suits him, the ouch in a loud voice that many advocate didnt wortk with my pup so walking away and ignoring him stopped his biting of my hands.
As regards the children instead of training the dog to put up with their unwanted attention train the kids to respect the dog and only pet when the dog comes to them..

· Super Moderator
3,964 Posts
It's always prudent to make sure you've ruled out physical pain or illness when you have a dog that's responding poorly to handling, so if you haven't, talk to your vet about this behavior and have them perform an exam to make sure he's not in actual pain or discomfort when you pick him up.

But many, many dogs find being picked up uncomfortable, even by people they've lived with for years and have a strong bond with. You and your kids are still largely strangers and unpredictable to him because he doesn't know you well, and being picked up makes him scared because it means he's totally lost control over being able to move away from you - or move anywhere at all under his own power - if he wants to. Lying down and resting is often a time when dogs don't want to be disturbed, and in a puppy may be a sign he's already overtired and cranky. The old maxim "let sleeping dogs lie" exists for a reason.

Instead I suggest:

- Keep him in a collar or harness and a short lead while you're home and nearby. A traffic lead could work, or a short leash with the handle cut off so that it can't snag on furniture while he's running around. If you need to move him, move him by the lead (obviously avoid yanking or dragging, just gentle pressure if he needs encouragement). This both keeps your hands away from his teeth and lets him keep his feet on the ground. Do NOT leave this on when you're away or can't supervise to eliminate the risk of anything he's wearing getting caught or tangled in something and hurting him.

- Puppies need lots and lots of sleep. Otherwise they get cranky, bity, throw tantrums and lose all self-control, exactly like an overtired human toddler. Avoid picking him up or disturbing him at all when he's lying down, sleeping, or otherwise resting. You want him to learn how to settle and chill in your home! And more, better sleep leads to better behavior.

- If you need to lift him to get on and off furniture, either change that entirely and teach him a cue to jump on and off on his own, install stairs or a box of some sort so he can climb up and down safely on his own, or make sure you turn the lift into a trick, where you teach your dog that being picked up is positive and you always give him a clear "I'm picking you up now" signal before you do, instead of surprising him by scooping him up unexpectedly (which is easy to do with a cute puppy!) Here's a helpful video about this kind of training:

- Enforce 'leave the puppy alone when he's lying down' and 'respect the puppy's space' rules with your kids. If they're too young to understand these rules or to follow them consistently, you need to be eyes-on supervising their interactions and stepping in to prevent inappropriate handling at all times. Even if they're older, I'd still suggest doing this for a while so you can reinforce these rules and help your kids build good habits around this dog. It's totally normal and acceptable for dogs to have boundaries in regards to their own body and how they're handled, and it's up to us to make sure that's respected. Have a kid-free zone the puppy can go into when you see him getting too tired, cranky, or nippy that the kids are absolutely not allowed to go into or remove him from (a pen, a crate, a puppy-proofed room, etc). This will set your kids up for being excellent with reading and interacting with animals and your puppy up for being happier and more confident in your house!

- Pandora had great advice too for normal puppy biting - if you search for 'bite inhibition training" or similar on the forum, you can find a ton that's been written about it.

Good luck!
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