Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I am new to this forum.
So I need some help! I have a Golden Retriever, I have had a lot of other dog breeds but he is my first Golden. I love him to death but we have a serious problem. If he is left alone he will destroy everything in sight. LITERALLY EVERYTHING from paper to packages to plants. I have no idea what to do. He just turned one today, I have only had puppies (2-7 months) tear things up but it was never like this and they learned within a week or two that it was not a good behavior. Every once in a while they would tear a dog toy up but that is expected. Plus I didn't mind buying dog toys. I have been dealing with this since he was 5 months old. I have looked it up online, asked other people who have had dogs. Right now I have him on a run cable that lets him run and gives him plenty of room to move. But I don't want that to be the permanent solution. I would feel horrible if he would have to stay on a cable all day unless someone is outside with him because he hates being inside. HE LOVES TO BE OUTSIDE. I have tried taking everything he can destroy and putting it away but he still finds something. Digs up plants, destroys the small trees and bushes in the yard. I have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO! Any help will be greatly appreciated
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,733 Posts
What does his daily exercise and stimulation look like? It sounds like he's bored out of his mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
He sounds like a seriously bored, adolescent dog (ie - overgrown puppy!) What daily enrichment do you offer him? Positive reinforcement based training. Physical exercise (walks, runs, etc...) Mental enrichment. (sniffy walks, licky mats, other nosework games, puzzle toys at mealtimes, etc...) Other than being tethered in the yard, what daily 'excitement' does this dog have in his life? An under-stimulated young dog's gonna do what he's gonna do....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I just recently moved but when I still lived in a neighborhood I used to run 4 miles a day with him. He still destroyed things in the backyard though. For example I planted some saplings and the next day they were half eaten. I’m not really sure what mentally stimulates him. Or really what even would mentally stimulate him. He is trained in Basic and Advanced obedience. I am working on the rest of his classes to have him be an ESA registered dog. He does great when you give him commands and he is very well focused and willing to please you. He is really well mannered and well behaved. But the constant destroying of things has got to go. We will play fetch and tug of war in the yard but thats really it.
Do you all have any ideas on how to make him not bored? Or mentally stimulate him.

One a side note Goldens are supposed to be very people friendly. Sometimes though he shows an aggressive streak towards some strangers. With kids who are strangers he is fine loves them to death. But sometimes if he sees someone walking towards us he will bark and growl. He doesn't ever bark but if he does you know something is going on.
Is this normal for a Golden
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
A one-year-old Golden is still really immature. Our family's late Golden ate a sofa when he was an adolescent and was left loose and unattended for less than a half-hour. He grew up to be trustworthy, but it sure took a while. You might just have puppy proof the heck out of his environment, hold out for him maturing more, and in the meantime keep him safely contained when he's not supervised. Goldens and Labs are notorious for being terrible sharks until grown up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Oh wow I didn't know that! So is there anything I can do besides puppy proof his environment? Will wearing him out mentally and physically help any or no? Also what are some mentally stimulating activities for dogs? I don't know any... I've read it can help with him not being so bores. Like I said before I have never had any other dogs do this before. About what age do Goldens mature, so I can know about when this should stop? Also what toys would you recommend to keep him busy during the day? All of my other dogs loved stuffed kongs, ropes, balls, and the tire chew toys but he isnt interested with any of it. The only thing he likes to play with are sticks. He would rather play fetch with a stick than a ball. He has a strong prey drive towards birds and a few other small animals. That is probably because he is a water fowl dog. So would a toy that looks like a bird or something help? What toys would you recommend? At this point I am willing to buy a thousand toys if that keeps him busy during the day lol 😂
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Also what are some mentally stimulating activities for dogs? I don't know any... I've read it can help with him not being so bores.
We throw small dog food (a bit smaller than a CocoPuff) in the grass and she loves to sniff around and find them. We also have a box with a bunch of felt strips and we mix in some of the same kibbles. Cheap and easy.
Also, try training him some new tricks.

Just a couple of ideas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Work on training daily, using reward-based methods. Add in some fun tricks. They're low-stress, help build your bond, and get your dog thinking and problem solving. Plus they can be surprisingly useful - I use a nose target and stepping on a platform to help weigh my dogs at the vet, for example.

Encourage sniffing. Do treat/kibble scatters in grass, or hide treats/kibble around the house and have him search them out (make it pretty easy the first couple times so he learns it's a fun game, not a frustrating one). put kibble or treats in toilet paper tubes or empty cereal boxes and fold them closed so he can figure out how to get at them. If he's not interested in stuffed food toys as a treat, try feeding part of his meals in one. Start easy, just loose kibble or kibble that's just a little sticky with peanut butter, unsweetened yogurt, etc. You can increase the difficulty by packing food in there and/or freezing it later.

Slow down those outings. Doesn't have to be all of them. Runs are fine so long as he's fully physically grown and those growth plates are closed. But running being his only outings only gets you a dog that's fitter and fitter - therefore less tired each time - without much brain stimulation. Let him sniff and explore interesting (safe) places. Take him out to wilder areas as much as possible (forest trails are awesome if you have access, otherwise somewhere like parks with lots of plants and critter smells). Use a long line and don't worry about enforcing leash manners beyond what's necessary for safety (with my dogs, that's 'you can't lunge/pull on the leash, you have to come back and wait with me when people pass, and I get the last say in which path we take'). Dogs take in so much information by smell, and a leisurely 20 minute walk that's mostly sniffing spots that seem terribly uninteresting to us humans often does more to help a dog chill/settle than a physical workout does.

The Facebook group Canine Enrichment has a lot of ideas, frequently with cheap/free things around the house, if you want to get a feel for what other people are doing.

Oh, and there's no official registration for ESAs in the US. All you need is a note from your doctor/mental health provider saying an ESA will be helpful for you, and you'll get the housing rights under the FHA and the ability to take him on an aircraft. ESAs do not have public access rights (eg restaurants and non-dog-friendly stores), so no special training is required. Any organization/website telling you otherwise is either misinformed or trying to get money out of you for a bogus registration certificate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
Oh wow I didn't know that! So is there anything I can do besides puppy proof his environment? Will wearing him out mentally and physically help any or no? Also what are some mentally stimulating activities for dogs? I don't know any... I've read it can help with him not being so bores. Like I said before I have never had any other dogs do this before. About what age do Goldens mature, so I can know about when this should stop? Also what toys would you recommend to keep him busy during the day?
You can expect him to be fully grown mentally and physically by about 2 years old. (I know, I know, an entire year more of this sounds like a lot, but I promise it gradually gets better between 1 and 2 years old. I am going through this with my standard poodle right now.) In addition to Daysleepers and Tater's excellent advice, I'd recommend swimming - it's excellent low impact exercise, so safe for a young dog, but tires dogs out quickly. (Make sure you choose a body of water that doesn't have a dangerous current, or issues like toxic blue-green algae, of course.) Anything that forces him to engage his brain will also both help him develop more focus and tire him out - that's why things like trick training are so good for dogs, not just a cute thing to show off. Scentwork is awesome for this - there are classes, but in this time of Covid you might just google how to practice it on your own. Have you ever thought about joining a bird dog group? I don't hunt myself, but I've taken my poodle (don't laugh, standard poodles are great waterfowl dogs) out on a few training outings with the local retriever club and he loved it. Anyway...hang in there, lol. I noticed a MASSIVE improvement in my very mischievous dog after he hit 18 months.

I had to actively teach my dog to settle next to me when I am reading, working on the computer, or watching TV, as if he's unsupervised he gets up to shenanigans, but I can't interact with him 24/7, and I also don't want to put him in the crate every time I'm occupied with something. It's still a work in progress but it's so much better than it was. We started off with "sit on the dog" and now we're working maintaining the same behavior off-leash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Oh wow you guys know a lot lol! Thank you I will definitely try all of those ideas out. My grandparents have a lake house and he loves to run and jump into the water. His favorite game by far is if you throw something in the water and he can go swim and get it. He knows the command settle. He does it while I read, sit outside, anything where I am sitting he will settle on the ground/floor and not move. But when I am gone and out of sight he tears everything up! Like he was outside this afternoon and he ripped the molding off of his insulated dog house! I mean you can probably fix it but its the fact he ripped it off and chewed it up! He loves to pull things out of things and try to put it back in/on. Any ideas why he would do that? During training or a training session he is focused and occasionally not as focused but he just turned one so that is expected. He does great during training, but when no one is doing anything with him is when he destroys things. Ii's not to where you can fix them either. Whatever he had there is no fixing it.
I live on 6 acres as well so he is constantly exploring every part of the yard. But I will definitely try some walks on the trails. We are about to have a pond put in the back yard do he can so swim in that everyday. About the runs I guess I didn't realize he would just become accustomed to them like a human would. I don't run full out with him I normally walk/jog the whole way. We did 2 miles in the morning and 2 in the evening.

About the ESA training it wouldn't be for myself. It would be for hospitalized kids. So Basically I am training to behis handler and him the "service animal". At the end of his training he will be able to sense panic attacks, soothe and comfort to clam people, help autistic kids, ultimately help all kids in general. When he is finished I can call schools and ask you know "Hey I have and Emotional Support Dog trained to help kids in a variety of different thing, would you like if we would come and tour the school and spend the day with the special needs kids". Or volunteer at hospitals for ESA therapy for kids with sicknesses or diseases. That is what he would be doing. I would like to start him in scent work. But every one has told me he needs to be at least 2 before he can start official training. After scent work I would like to enroll him and myself for the handler part in SAR. So he will be a "service animal" in a way but I won't be bringing him into stores unless they allow pets. Because I haven't looked up what is considered a trained SERVICE animal.
Thank you all I will definitely go look at those website you all posted!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,686 Posts
Ah, sounds like you're aiming for him to be a therapy dog, where the dog visits hospitals, care homes, etc. to help people other than the handler. Service Dog and ESA both refer legally to dogs/animals who support their owner/handler in some way. The differences can be a little confusing, for sure.

It's very good that you have a lot of space! Even with a lot of yard, new spaces are always going to be more interesting/stimulating, so letting him take 'sniffaris' on trails and the like where you let him set the pace and really get his nose working will be awesome.

Definitely work on those lifestyle changes first. Personally, if I didn't see any improvement even after a while with increased mental stimulation, I'd honestly be working on crate or pen training to help teach him to settle on his own. A good, sturdy setup should allow you to make sure he only has access to things that he's allowed to chew/destroy. He needs to learn how to entertain himself appropriately and relax even when you're not there to direct him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
He is already crate trained I just hate leaving him in there if I am busy for an hour or so. I have thought about starting agility with him. At his age though I'm not sure what all he can do that wont affect or damage his joints. And yes he would be a therapy animal for kids and people in crisis situations. I will definitely find some place to take him on trail walks. Before at the neighborhood I lived in I took him on the trails they had behind it but I never let him stop and sniff.
I really need to go get him more toys probably but he prefers sticks to any toy that I have bought so far!!! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
449 Posts
He is already crate trained I just hate leaving him in there if I am busy for an hour or so. I have thought about starting agility with him. At his age though I'm not sure what all he can do that wont affect or damage his joints. And yes he would be a therapy animal for kids and people in crisis situations. I will definitely find some place to take him on trail walks. Before at the neighborhood I lived in I took him on the trails they had behind it but I never let him stop and sniff.
I really need to go get him more toys probably but he prefers sticks to any toy that I have bought so far!!! LOL
I would strongly suggest you start utilizing that crate or a puppy proofed pen area of some sort when you are not able to be directly supervising him. Tearing stuff up & chewing on it is wonderful puppy fun & a highly self-reinforcing behavior. You need to break that habit by not ever leaving him in a situation where he is able to self-entertain in this manner. Besides the 'annoying' factor, you are risking him ingesting something that he shouldn't and ending up with a blockage. Give him something appropriate to chew on (a stuffed Kong type toy, and a couple of other different options of textures on which to engage) when he's in there so he starts to learn what he IS allowed to chew on. If he likes sticks, maybe try one of the 'real' wood chews made specifically for dogs. But ultimately, it's YOUR responsibility to make sure he doesn't have unsupervised access to anything inappropriate, and the longer this is allowed to go on, the harder a habit it will be to break.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
That is very true I have him on the run line outside when I am busy and cant watch him because he loves to be outside. I make sure that nothing he can ingest is around. I didn't know there were real wood chews. I will have to order some of those! I have a bucket full of toys but he seems interested in a few select ones but only if you are engaging with him. If I go inside the toy he seemed to like will lay on the ground untouched unless someone picks it up.
I am going to need to find a toy he really likes. I can experiment with the would chews though. Whats odd is he has a really strong prey and food drives, but he isn't interested ina kong at all. I have heard some of you say to feed him part of his meal through it or all of it, so I will have to try that as well. Qeustion if I feed his food to him in a frozen kong does it need to be wet or dry food? He loves ice to LOL I don't even really need to buy treats (I still do though) because he would rather ice so maybe he would like a frozen kong.
He likes Flirt poles. He doesn't seem to like fetch. Which is odd because he is a retreiver. He will do it if I make him go get it but other than that he doen't seem interested. Is there a way to get him to like fetch or learn to play it. It seems that he knows what he is doing we used to play it all the time when he was a puppy. Do you guys know of any games I could play with him. The only games we really do are the flirt pole, fetch, and a cup game where I put a treat under the cup and he picks a cup. whatever treat is inside he can have. He really seems to like this game. But I don't have all day to play the cup game.
Also just to clarify I do crate him and put him on a run cable I just dont want that to be the permanent solutions. I would rather him be able to run free and not destroy stuff when hes alone. Instead of being cooped when I am busy or have to leave.
You guys are really helpful!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,388 Posts
Goldens are biddable, people-friendly dogs, and the breed was developed in the 1800s to be great companion dogs.

Suggestions:
1. Walk or jog with him (off-leash?) for about 20 min., twice a day. In addition, train him (clicker train?) for 30 min. every day.
2. Goldens don't easily self-entertain, but they do sleep when alone. Can you put him in the crate for no more than 8 hours, in the house to sleep while you are at work? Place two frozen Kongs in the crate for him to chew on.
3. If you want him to be a therapy dog, I'd suggest that you find some older Goldens (or Labs) for him to play with at least once a week, more often, if possible. You'd also like him to meet more people, so he doesn't bark from fear or aggression. Goldens may also bark to greet people.
4. Sometimes, Goldens like a soft toy to carry, like a 'security blanket'. On the other hand, you don't want him to swallow things ... the result can be expensive or catastrophic.
5. For games, Goldens like to chase or be chased. Go in the field and run away from him. You probably can't tire him out, but right now, he may get hot after 15 - 30 min.
6. He may have learned how much fun it is to destroy things, but one approach is to crate a Golden for the first year or two. They don't learn to destroy things, and they mellow out around 3yo, and can hang out without being destructive.
7. I give my retriever mix two large carrots every day. Before he goes to sleep, he chews them like a stick, and swallowing them like food. If your dog doesn't eat carrots, buy a bag of baby carrots for a couple of bucks, bite a carrot in half and toss half to him. Practice this until he learns to catch them, then as you eat your half, he may learn to catch and eat his half. After you have him eating baby carrots, try larger carrots.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
@hanksimon these are wonderful ideas! I didnt realize they didnt self entertain very well until I got one... I have him on a cable that he can run. He had a lot if space right now. I am getting and electric barrier fence buried next week so that he can be outside and not get any thing hes not supposed to. But I will definitely try all of the above and let you know how it goes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
You might reconsider that "electric" fence. Know of one puppy that ran out into road and was hit and killed. Many dogs simply ignore the " pop" or batteries in collar can die. Also does nothing to stop aggressive dog (or wild coyote) from entering your yard. These things do nothing to keep a pet safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
@Aussie Love I am putting the electric fence around things he’s not supposed to be in like the garden, chicken coop, cow fences etc. I have a wireless electric fence that we used and still do use occasionally and it works great have never had any problems with it. My pup will run even if it beeps freaks him out. But thank you for warning me!!!!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top