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1496 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  lad20050620
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
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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.
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.
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