Golden Retriever Biting
Golden Retrievers are not known as a breed that does a lot of biting, but there are instances when it occurs. As with any behaviour problems, dog owners should be sure there is no physical illness or injury causing the undesirable behaviour. Typically, medical issues manifest in other ways than biting, like barking, whining and digging, or toilet training issues. Biting is most often a Golden’s way of letting you know he wants attention. Golden Retriever biting is a problem that should be dealt with immediately, before it leads to more aggressive biting that could injure someone.
Causes of Golden Retriever Biting
While Goldens typically bite less than other breeds, you may still encounter problems with biting. Golden Retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs, so their focus is inherently on retrieving for and pleasing their masters. Regardless of the breed, if your dog is well-trained, he will be able to control his biting. When Golden Retriever biting becomes a problem, it is likely due to your dog feeling bored, playful, threatened or territorial.
How to Stop Golden Retriever Biting
Golden Retrievers are very intelligent dogs and are eager to please their owners. This makes training easy. Training should begin early, around the puppy’s eighth week. This is also the time socialization should begin. If a puppy is taken from his mother before eight weeks of age, he may grow aggressive and he will miss out on an opportunity within his litter to learn not to bite. An eight week old puppy can begin spending time with his new human family, as well as other puppies. Training class, bite aversion class and puppy day care are all great ways to socialize your dog and help him learn.
When your puppy does bite, avoid scolding him. This behaviour will invoke an aggressive response and the attention will result in a Golden Retriever biting problem. Instead of scolding, redirect your puppy with a toy. A distraction will prevent biting and keep your dog from habitually using biting to get attention.
Stopping Older Dogs from Biting
If your dog is older and has developed a long-standing or recent biting habit, it can be more of a challenge to fix. Chances are if your dog is biting once he is an adult, he does not view you as the alpha member of his pack. You have failed to establish your dominance, so the dog has taken this role. To establish yourself as his pack leader, you must take control of his feeding times and his walking times, teach him basic commands, avoid games like tug-of-war, withhold attention when you rejoin your dog in a room and conduct yourself in a strong, confident manner. The key to training your dog is not showing weakness, fear or anxiety.
Serious Golden Retriever biting and aggression problems may require attending a training class or finding a professional trainer experienced with biting issues. Biting is a serious behaviour issue because it can lead to injury, so the sooner you control the problem, the better life will be with your dog.