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1489 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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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
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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 😂
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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!!
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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
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!!!!
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@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
@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!!!!
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