Monday, January 10, 2011

Amateur Dog Whisperers Apply Within

We took our pup to the vet today for her Bordetella vaccine, as well as to have an initial consult since she'll be our new doc for our fuzzy child. All went as well as expected, I guess. My dog is a mini Golden Doodle. She just turned one New Year's day. She's also a hyper maniac.

At home all day, she's a lounger. She lies around and picks delicately at her food. I take her for a 45 minute walk each morning, and my husband takes her for a 20-30 minute walk when he gets home from work. She's still pulling on the leash, so I'm working with her on that. We've tried a Gentle Leader, and she spends half her time stopping and rubbing her face on the ground. When I walk her on a leash, I keep treats in my pocket and I walk her with the leash held short so she's close to my side. Anytime she starts to pull I make a "shh!" sound that I learned from Cesar Millan. I then pull her back to my side. When she's walked well for a bit, I give her a treat and say, "good heel!" It's been going pretty well, but it's a work in progress.

The biggest issue is when people come to our house, or when we meet up with people while walking. Well, people or other dogs in general. She gets CRAZY. She's not aggressive in the least, she'll usually fall down to her back, tummy up, eventually. But she spends most of her time jumping up on people and dogs and barking, panting and mouthing. While walking, I've been getting her to sit as I see people approaching our path. When she's sitting nicely, I reward her with a treat. Sometimes, she lets the people pass without incident. Others.....well, not so much.

When people come to our house, she jumps all over them at the door, barking and spinning in circles. I've asked people not to touch her or pat her until she's sitting, as my family does when we enter as well. There are times where that never happens as she never does calm down.

I know she probably needs to run more, a happy dog is a tired dog, right? We're also working on her recall. She probably also needs more people and dog socialization. The thing is, we're new to the city and we don't really have a lot of visitors. I guess it means taking her out to enclosed parks where she can play but not escape. Not that I know where to find those, either.

We've never been dog owners before, and we're learning right along with her. I'd like some dog whisperer to come in and train her and me too. I just want a dog that's polite and well behaved and not giving quite SO much love to everybody she comes into contact with on the street! I know it's also partly that she's a puppy and she needs time to mature.

If any of you have tips, tricks, thoughts, recommendations-bring 'em on! We need HELP. She's a great dog and we love her to bits, we just want others to love her too!

But really, who COULDN'T love THIS face?


  1. I had a golden retriever for 13 years, and just like yours, lazy couch potato when we were all home but as soon as someone new came to the door? Holy crap, you'd think she had just won the lottery! Sadly I have no tips for you but, we're picking up our new puppy (Portuguese water dog) in 4 weeks so I'm sure we'll be able to share stories about them jumping off the walls at the sound of a doorbell!


  2. I'd highly recommend obedience classes, continue them until you're happy with her behaviour. They'll help with the social situations and with her overall training. I took our golden retriever to 5 or 6 sessions over a period of a year and he was extremely well trained. It made all the difference in the world. Good luck!

  3. Kristen-That's EXACTLY the scenario here! I'm hoping with age also comes some calm. RIght? LOL A new puppy? CUTE. Bet you'll enjoy-and I'd love to commiserate-I mean share-stories! :)

    Julie-Good tip! I'm doing training daily with her, but I have no clue what I'm doing, really. (other than watching the Dog Whisperer!) Thanks