We just lost two Golden Retrievers to age-related illness. The local dog shelter called me this week with a female Golden, who apparently is not simple to place because she has severely infected ears. The ears don't bother me, but she is a total nutball bundle of energy, entirely wild and goofy. She comes at you like a football tackle, knocks you over, drops to the ground, rolls over, leaps up, spears you with her snout in your face, grabs a toy, bounces off the wall. Now, I will be exercising her a lot, of course. I am just crossing my fingers that the problem is the hyper tone of the other dogs at the pound and the fact that she has not been getting exercise there. She is not threatening or growly. But I've just never quite seen a Golden act so hyper; she's acting like the dog shelter is wildly overstimulating. She was a stray, but lovely, so the hypothesis is that she managed to escape from somewhere that she was being used only to breed more Goldens, and not handled very much. (She's about 1 1/2.) My last dog from the shelter was totally in his shell there, so it's kind of astonishing to find this unleashed rocket instead. Anyone have any thoughts? Am I missing an important cue that she really won't adapt to family life? Last time we got Goldens, they calmly snoozed in my lap all the way home from the breeder.
I think it is wonderful you are rescuing a golden. We foster goldens through R.A.G.O.M. I have seen a few hyped up but start to settle down once they learn the routine. Exercise is the important thing (as you all ready stated)
It's nice of you to compliment me about rescuing a Golden, but they are the ones with the long waiting lists of people wanting to adopt them, around here. The person I take my hat off to is the one who rescues any of the bazillions of pit bulls and Chihuahuas that are dumped at all of our local shelters. I'm glad to hear you've seen the hyped ones calm down. Since she was a stray, she probably walked most of the day every day until corralled by Animal Control, so she probably is dying for some movement. I sure hope that is all it is!
I have to work out something with my cats -- they are totally unafraid of Golden Retrievers, and will probably walk right by her without thinking twice. Since this new girl is a question mark in so many ways, I would really hate to learn the hard way that she would harm a cat. (It's hard to believe of a Golden, but any dog can act contrary to their breed.) Will probably bring each cat up to her in a carrier, so they can smell she is not the usual dog they know and hopefully be forewarned not to stroll into her area, and then see from there how she reacts.
Yes, kudos to you for taking these dogs into your home. I had a Golden years ago but just dealt with the usual puppy hyper stuff.
I would recommend at least one basic obedience class for them, if you can manage that. Also, look up NILF training (Nothing In Life Is Free) can be a very effective training method. Of course, don't expect improvements overnight.
I've helped with Shetie and Greyhound rescue over the years (not together). LOL
Even though the Grey are *cat tested* before going into foster homes, the instinct is there to chase after some running furry thing. We had that problem with the one we adopted and I had 4 cats at that time. He was fine with them inside but would go after them if he saw them running in the yard. I would yell, 'NO KITTY!!!!!" Inside, I used security gates in the doorways so the cats had a way out, if need be. He really didn't pay much attention to them after a week or two and they lived side by side for many years but you do have to be vigilant until that period passes.
I would definitely start with the Sit/Stay command and treat when they obey.
I guess that dog is super-hyper right now because of maybe three things....one is the restricted exercise she's been getting for a fit dog her age....two is maybe the food she's been fed (may have had lots of food additives etc in it. I would guess so, as I can't imagine the Shelter being able to afford any kind of top range healthy-option dog food!)....and three is she will have had no structure, no discipline, applied as a daily routine in a one-to-one situation with someone she trusts.
And, she is probably full of joy to be there with you. Like a doggy "honeymoon" haha
Definitely start training her, and getting her to concentrate on you and what you say to her. And a food change might help any possible hyperactivity.
I have a feeling it will work. Just keep at it.
Great to rescue a Shelter dog. She sounds adorable -even though she's a barrel of energy
We recently adopted a black lab that I sometimes have up as my profile pic... He was hyper and crazy and still has a tendency to do that but he has settled down to the point of walking by my side unleashed. He has a tendency to like other dogs but we are getting over that. By liking I mean approaching every dog and trying to dominate them.. With a firm hand we are getting on top of. It.. Thanks to you for saving a lovely adult dog instead of getting a puppy... This dog will get it that you saved them and over time will love you to death... Hope it is getting better for you already... Take care
I've been reading an author new to me (although I have read and used many training books with my dogs over the years) named Patrica McConnell, and like a lot of her stuff, about body language and being clear to communicate with the dog using actions that the dog understands, not just actions the human understands. Tonight one worked quite well, which was to pat the dog a couple of times on the head (which dogs don't particularly like) while saying "Enough," and at the same time turning my face away and up. The dog immediately moved back and away and stopped nudging me, which was what I wanted.
So far, on the way home from the pound, she chewed a strap off the back of our car door (it's designed to pull the tailgate down when it's over your head) and ate it, scaled a four-foot wall (she was spayed 8 days ago, so I am wincing to think of what she did to her internal stiches) and chased two of the cats, and taken a long, pleasant walk with myself, my husband and our son. Since she's obviously a good climber, we are beginning to be concerned about the ability of our fences to hold her. They were good enough for our other Goldens, but she's obviously in a different class. There are obviously going to be times when we want to go somewhere or do something without her, and I am getting the uncomfortable feeling she won't lie around calmly in the barnyard, no matter how much she likes it here. Right now she is sitting in a crate and barking her head off. First day, what can I say.
Sorry about all the "obviouslys" in that last paragraph, my husband was talking to me while I was typing. By the way she is acting, I do think this dog had more human contact than just being a puppy-mill girl, but nothing in the way of training or discipline. She walks on a leash like a lunatic, lunging and then lying down, but does ride calmly in the car (except when she is chewing up straps. I am so glad I invested in one of those grids that keeps the dog in the back --hate to think of the holes she could have put in the upholstery of the seat.)
I am really counting on the fact that this is just the first day. We brought in a feral cat once who was so nuts the entire first week that he was literally leaping off the walls, and he is very calm now.
You and your little "goof-ball" will do just fine - give it some time. I adopted a crazy Border Collie mix who is not only very hyper but also a door dasher that would run away every chance he got. And when I put him on a leash to go for a walk, he would turn on a dime and throw me. While I was on the ground with a badly bruised tailbone, he would run off! That's gratitude for you! LOL...but that same "nut job" today (15 months since I got him) has done an about face. He will not cross the threshold of the door unless I give him permission and even when he is off-leash on a trail, he always checks back to see if I am behind him. NO MORE RUNAWAY DOG! It just takes time for them to trust again and bond with you. When you provide them strong (not harsh) leadership, they are only too willing to follow your cue. You will have some trying moments but at the end of the day, it will have all been worthwhile. And you will have done a wonderful thing for another being that really needed you. Be well.
After shifting her three times in the night, we finally hit upon a combination of a small enough space and few enough distractions that she did sleep well without making a fuss, and did not chew up her new bed (as I had half-expected). Maybe she just was finally tired enough. lol
Sounds like you have you hands full. Time and patience and training. Do you use a crate? I have always crate trained all my dogs. Most of them slept in their crates at night too. They always traveled in the car in their crates, really much safer for them (my Shelties). We have a Grey and when we started helping with rescue, I got a barrier for our SUV also as there were times we might have 1-4 dogs in the car an no way could we put that many large crates in the car. Our Grey had SA issues when we first got him, and after he did some destruction around the house, he was then crated when we were not home,however, let me add that was usually no more then 3-4 hrs max at a time. Eventually, he settled down, had some training and I haven't used the crate for him in some years now. I must say this is the first Golden I've heard of that jumped a fence. My daughter has a mix large breed who is an escape artist when she is left alone!! I will say that you might check into a no jump harness you might want to use when you aren't there. Dog can walk around find but it keeps them from being able to jump. We adopted a GSP some years ago that had been in the Shelter for the 4th time because she was a fence jumper. Really sweet dog so I gave it some serious thought before considering adopting her. Actually, one of the people at the *Shelter* told me I didn't want to adopt that dog!!! Well, we did and I had my husband put a run line in the back yard and we also constructed a large, *covered* chain link run outside. She was fine when we were home but she would go over the fence if left alone. We had her for a few years before we moved and I had to rehome her.
You might want to consider using a muzzle until she settles down when you can't keep an eye on her.
Perhaps the Vet may suggest some meds for a bit until she settles down. I would not expect much for at least two weeks.
Have you ever heard of a DAP difuser?
Good luck. Sounds like fun. LOL
I've heard of a DAP diffuser, but she isn't anxious in the classic sense, not whining or fretting or cowering or even barking that much. She's just excessively boisterous, running, leaping, flopping down, whapping the smaller dog with her tail, etc. She *is* noticeably better today (even at the vet, where she ran eagerly to the door to get in ... my other Goldens having to practically be dragged in while their feet dug little paths in the dirt as they resisted). So I'm hoping we'll have a calmer night.
The place she wound up sleeping *was* a lot like a crate. We took her from a larger sleeping area to a smaller one, then to a smaller one, which is about the size of a double crate and fully meshed all around. I wouldn't have dreamed of placing her there at the outset, but she settled down right away (again, by then it was midnight and she might just have been tired). We did credit the possibility that she was either kept in a small kennel originally or maybe even crate trained, unlikely as that seemed. (I did notice today that there was a ghost of a correct response when I told her to sit, so possibly.) Maybe her previous history was more of someone giving up on a boisterous dog and turning them out, rather than just being used as a puppy-mill mama. (She has obviously had at least one litter.)
Thanks to everyone so much, I laid awake last night worrying about her leaping fences or digging out no matter what we did. Our fenced area is big, and cyclone fencing it would be really costly, something we never had to think of because the mesh on it now kept in our old dogs just fine. But today I'm more hopeful. She really was good at the vet, clunking him with her head but not surly or worried. It gives me hope she might be a pretty calm dog once all the strangeness of her recent life has worn off.
Well, it's not working, and for an unexpected reason. She is intent on chasing our cats, looking as though she intends to kill one if she catches it. They have lived here for years, and are used to dogs, but she gets that scary, intense, unblinking stare when she sees them and shoots after them. The cats are not taking any chances with that look, it is creepy, I'll admit. What has happened as a result is that they are hiding or gone, and there are coyotes living in the next field. The dog has chased them out of our meshed fences, and I don't want to lose a beloved cat to the coyotes because they are terrorized by the dog. I do know there are ways to work with this -- crate the dog, have the cats in the room, spray the dog with lemon water when she barks, etc. etc. and "in a few weeks, the dog will understand that the cat is part of her pack." But my husband won't put up with weeks of this; he is not a fan of having a crated dog in the house in the first place. To combine issues, the dog is the greatest fence escaper I've ever seen. We watched her scale a five-foot wall like it was nothing last night. So there isn't even the option of putting her in the barnyard (where the cats don't go) and hoping she'll stay there. Last night, we put her into the fenced area where our other dogs stayed happily all the time (hoping that if we did so, the cats would come back), and by the time we reached our back door, she was standing right by us.
She's a sweet dog when with us, and obedient about everything but cats. I think she needs an owner who can either take her along to work every day, or a retiree who wants a dog to be by his side all day. She would do that cheerfully, and would reward her owner with unwavering devotion. It just isn't what we offer, thanks partly to my husband's unwillingness to have a dog in the house all the time. I'd do it (and it would help with the leave-the-cat-alone training, too) but I'd have to find a new husband if I did.
MedHelp sent me an email asking me to pick a best answer, but I can't get the link to come up in any way that would allow me to select one. (It might be my browser.) It's just as well, because you were all so helpful that I would be hard pressed to pick one over the others. Thank you all for your answers, they all helped.
I've been following the dog's progress back at the Dog Control, and there is a list of people who are wanting to adopt her, so I think she'll be OK. I wrote a long note about what she needs in terms of fences and not being around cats, what training approach seemed to work, her diet and presumed allergies, and especially being in the presence of her people all the time. I hope they take that information seriously. The Dog Control here has you sign a paper that if you can't make it work out with a dog, you will return it to them, so I think they are pretty serious about their placements.
She will be OK I'm sure. She sounds like a great dog, just not a good fit in your household. It was good you stopped things right where they were, rather than trying to muddle along, which could have ended in disaster one way or another.
What you experienced with her, and your report, could help her to get a perfect placement. I'm sure she will.
Well, you've tried and are certainly dog savy. Sometimes, it just not work out for whatever reason. I've helped with rescues over the years and we get *bounces* for a variety of reasons. Just make sure the DC knows she should not be considered cat safe and that should help some of the issues. I agree, if they can find a home where someone is home most of or all the time, that would be ideal.
Hey, kudos for trying. Glad the group will take her back.
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