Learn how to stop a Golden Retriever from nipping or biting. Discover ten techniques that you can use to address the problem.
Golden Retrievers are adorable and intelligent dogs. Their gentle and friendly demeanor make them great family pets. However, even Golden Retrievers can develop unwanted behaviors like biting.
All dogs have a predatory instinct, including your Golden Retriever. Your dog may chase other animals, small children, and nip at people or home furniture. To help you address this problem, this article will discuss ways how to stop your Golden Retriever from nipping or biting.
REASONS WHY GOLDEN RETRIEVERS BITE
Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs. They are very sensitive and can grow anxious if not provided with a supportive home environment. Like with other dogs, biting is fairly common in Golden Retriever puppies.
You should find ways how to stop your Golden Retriever from biting or nipping especially if you have small children in the house. Visitors and strange are also not immune to this bad behavior. The following are some of the reasons why Golden Retrievers bite.
- Golden Retrievers are one of the most playful dog breeds. The reason for the biting is not to hurt people. The dog may resort to nipping just to get attention and initiate playing.
- Another reason why Golden Retrievers bite is fear. When it feels its back is against the wall, a Golden may resort to fear-biting. This behavior occurs when a dog is confronted with a stressful situation. They may lash out with a bite to protect themselves from a stranger or another dog.
- A dog that is maltreated and physically abused can become fearful. If your pet was adopted from a dog shelter, its fearful behavior (and biting) might be due to a traumatic experience from its previous owner.
By nature, dogs are pack animals. They need a pack leader – a powerful figure that they can rely on for leadership and protection. As the pet owner, it is your responsibility to reassure your dog that there is nothing to fear. If your dog shows signs of anxiousness or fear, do not cuddle or pet them. Otherwise, it will just reinforce the fear and make it worse.
HOW TO STOP YOUR GOLDEN RETRIEVER FROM NIPPING OR BITING
- Say “NO,” “STOP,” or “OUCH” – Yell this words in a high-pitched voice to startle your Golden Retriever if it tries to bite you. In time, your pet will realize that biting is bad and he must stop doing that. It is crucial that you assert yourself and take control. You must present yourself to your dog as the pack leader.
In the dog world, it is normal for puppies to play and explore things with their mouth. They love to play and wrestle with their siblings, and sometimes, it can lead to biting. The aggrieved sibling will let out a loud yelp, stop playing, and will move away. The biting puppy will realize that being too aggressive is a bad thing. A pet owner can do the same thing – yelp if bitten by the Golden Retriever.
- Regular exercise – Golden Retrievers are energetic and playful dogs. If they don’t get enough physical and mental stimulation, they will get bored. And boredom means chewing on your furniture and nipping at people.
Some simple exercises that you can do with your Golden include walking, jogging, swimming, or playing fetch. Aside from having fun, exercise can improve the cardiovascular and physical fitness of your dog.
- Avoid playing aggressive games – These type of games encourage the dog to bite. Some examples are “chase and tackle” and “tug-of-war.” These games can bring out the predatory instincts in your Golden Retriever and can exacerbate the problem.
If you want to play games with your dog, you can play “hide and seek” instead. First, give a “sit” command. Then, hide in a hard to find place to make it more fun. When all is set, call the name of your dog. Hide and seek is a lot of fun and will sharpen the senses of your Golden Retriever.
Another game that your Golden Retriever will find enjoyable is “find the treat.” Get your dog’s favorite treats. Hide them in spots where it needs to use its sense of smell to reach it. After that, give the go signal. You’ll see how good your dog is in finding things.
- Try redirecting the bad behavior with a chew toy – If the dog nips you, give it a toy or an object to bite on instead. If your Golden turns its attention to the toy instead of nipping at you, praise your dog enthusiastically.
- You can use a deterrent to discourage nipping – This can be bought at your local pet store. Spray the deterrent on the areas the dog frequently nips at. The unpleasant taste will deter your pet from chewing on things. Apply the deterrent for at least two weeks. If your dog stops nipping, reward it with treats.
- Turn your back – Another technique that you can do when your Golden Retriever bites you is to turn your back for 20 seconds. If the dog continues to bite, leave the room or move him to the crate. After twenty seconds, encourage your dog to play again. If nipping resumes, turn your back and leave the room again. The dog will eventually learn that if he bites, playing will stop.
- Move forward – One useful tip – do not pull back when your dogs bite you. Instead, move forward towards them when they start to nip. Make a “fierce” eye connection; this act will intimidate them and will show them who’s boss. Alternatively, you can roll them over and pin them down for a minute or two. Your Golden Retriever will realize that he has done something bad and will likely not repeat it again.
- Take away the food – If your Golden gets too excited and bites you during feeding time, take away the food suddenly to startle them. It will give them the impression that to get food, they must obey you and behave.
- Pause – If your Golden Retriever bites you, stop moving and go limp. When he stops biting, praise him with toys, treats, and petting. Resume playing; if he nips, pause. Mouthing won’t be enjoyable for your pet pooch if it makes playing stop.
- Take your Golden Retriever to a dog park – Lack of physical and mental stimulation leads to boredom. It may be the reason why your pet is biting – to relieve boredom. Taking your dog to the dog park will allow him to play and socialize with other dogs. It is an excellent opportunity to let out his curiosity and playful behavior.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent, adorable, and playful dogs. However, they can develop unwanted behaviors like biting or nipping. Training them at a young age will ensure that they don’t bring this bad trait into adulthood. You just need the following: knowledge, proper technique, and a little patience. If all else fails, you can consult a veterinarian or a dog behaviorist.