Excerpts from Comprehensive Owner’s Guide: Golden Retrievers
Living with an untrained dog is a lot like owning a piano that you do not know how to play—it is a nice object to look at, but it does not do much more than that to bring you pleasure. Now try taking piano lessons, and suddenly the piano comes alive and brings forth magical sounds and rhythms that set your heart singing and your body swaying.
The same is true with your Golden Retriever. At first you enjoy seeing him around the house. He does not do much with you except eat, drink and exercise. Come to think of it, he does not bring you much joy, either. He is a big responsibility with a very small return. Often he develops unacceptable behaviors that annoy and/or infuriate you to say nothing of bad habits that may end up costing you great sums of money. Not a good thing!
Now train your Golden Retriever. Enroll in an obedience class. Teach him good manners as you learn how and why he behaves the way he does. Find out how to communicate with your dog and how to recognize and understand his communications with you. Suddenly the dog takes on a new role in your life—he is smart, interesting, well behaved and fun to be with. He demonstrates his bond of devotion to you daily. In other words, your Golden Retriever does wonders for your ego because he constantly reminds you that you are not only hisleader, you are his hero! Miraculous things have happened—you have a wonderful dog (even your family and friends have noticed the transformation!) and you feel good about yourself.
Those involved with teaching dog obedience and counseling owners about their dogs’ behavior have discovered some interesting facts about dog ownership. For example, training dogs when they are puppies results in the highest rate of success in developing wellmannered and well-adjusted adult dogs. Training an older dog, from six months to six years of age, can produce almost equal results, providing that the owner accepts the dog’s slower rate of learning capability and is willing to work patiently to help the dog succeed at developing to his fullest potential. Unfortunately, many owners of untrained adult dogs lack the patience factor, so they do not persist until their dogs are successful at learning particular behaviors.
Training a puppy, aged 8 to 16 weeks (20 weeks at the most), is like working with a dry sponge in a pool of water. The pup soaks up whatever you show him and constantly looks for more things to do and learn. At this early age, his body is not yet producing hormones, and therein lies the reason for such a high rate of success. Without hormones, he is focused on his owners and not particularly interested in investigating other places, dogs, people, etc. You are his leader: his provider of food, water, shelter and security. He latches onto you and wants to stay close. He will usually follow you from room to room, will not let you out of his sight when you are outdoors with him, and will respond in like manner to the people and animals you encounter. If you greet a friend warmly, he will be happy to greet the person as well. If, however, you are hesitant or anxious about the approach of a stranger, he will respond accordingly.
Once the puppy begins to produce hormones, his natural curiosity emerges and he begins to investigate the world around him. It is at this time when you may notice that the untrained dog begins to wander away from you and even ignore your commands to stay close. When this behavior becomes a problem, the owner has two choices: get rid of the dog or train him. It is strongly urged that you choose the latter option.
Occasionally there are no classes available within a reasonable distance from the owner’s home. Sometimes there are classes available but the tuition is too costly. Whatever the circumstances, the solution to training your Golden without obedience classes lies within the pages of this book.
This chapter is devoted to helping you train your Golden Retriever at home. If the recommended procedures are followed faithfully, you may expect positive results that will prove rewarding to both you and your dog.
Whether your new charge is a puppy or a mature adult, the methods of teaching and the techniques we use in training basic behaviors are the same. After all, no dog, whether puppy or adult, likes harsh or inhumane methods. All creatures, however, respond favorably to gentle motivational methods and sincere praise and encouragement.
Golden Retriever House Training
Golden Retriever Crate Training
Golden Retriever Discipline
Golden Retriever Training Equipment
Golden Retriever Training Basic Commands
Golden Retriever Training Basic Commands 2
Excerpts from Comprehensive Owners Guide: Golden Retrievers