If you live in an area where there is snow in the winter, you may have an idea of what I mean. When the weather turns warm, and the snow starts to melt, all kinds of new smells come to life for your dog. Perhaps they also sense our mood changing with the new season. Whatever the reason, every dog I’ve owned has experienced “spring fever”.
“Spring” ..before the digging began…
My last golden, Logan, who never wandered far on our unfenced acre, would catch a scent and be gone for hours. My dad and I would circle the concession road, and eventually he would come running the the vehicle, covered in mud and smiling from ear to ear.
Tucker likes to dart around with the zoomies for what seems like a lifetime and then roll around in the grass. Mind you, he does the same thing in the snow, but he has a fenced yard, so doesn’t have the opportunity to go on a forbidden adventure.
Even older dogs have a tendancy to get an extra “spring” in their step (pun intended) when the buds start to form on the trees.
I have to admit, Tucker has been more of a challenge than my previous dogs (except for a male alaskan malamute) He is very dominant and I am pretty good at keeping him in check. He has never shown aggression meeting another dog, and has never growled or snapped. I can take a raw beef bone from his hands and stick my hand in his food bowl. He hasn’t had a lot of exposure to young children, and when he did he approached them with a little too much “zest”
I managed to capture Tucker making his “killer face” tonight. (bared teeth, crinkled up nose) At first I thought it was cute and was trying to teach him to smile, but as you can see, he actually sort of snapped at my finger, even though he didn’t bite hard.
On our last visit to the vet, when the vet reached for Tucker’s head, he made this face. Needless to say, the vet immediately went for the muzzle. Tucker took it well, and it was removed before the end of the exam. I told him Tucker sometimes makes this face while we are playing. The vet set he couldn’t take the risk. I told him I didn’t blame him one bit. I think it had something to do with the high strung vet tech who tried to weigh Tucker and backed him in a corner and he peed on the scale. She continued to try and force him on the scale and you could tell he was avoiding the pee and not wanting to step in it. I eagerly offered to clean up the pee and told her he wouldn’t get on the scale like that. She shoved us into the exam room and told me we were “holding up progress” This made me both irate and embarrassed, and our visit had not started off on a good note. I’m not making excuses, but the place was literally packed and I think it was a bit much, even for Tucker. I ended up crying on the way home and thinking that I was a failure in terms of having an obedient, well trained dog. (When I have a treat in my hand Tucker is actually extremely smart and obedient!)
I am curious as to your thoughts golden experts! Is this a sign of aggression? If so, any suggestions on correcting this behavior?
When we go for walks, we either take Tucker in the car to the trails to run off leash or take him to the local school yard to run and catch the ball. Sometimes the start of the walk is a little stressful, because he pulls, but after he has had his run, Tucker is the perfect gentleman on leash.
When I owned Malamutes, we always used the “Gentle Leader” which, I believe, we called “The Halti” at the time. I always felt it looked like the dog was muzzled, and I am not alone in this. It almost seems like you are accepting defeat, and in order to exercise your dog, you must do what you have to do. I don’t condemn this. I just don’t want to have to result to it. I am fairly stubborn and assertive, (mixed with lots of love) and know how to stop dead in my tracks and change direction etc. Tucker is a bit of a challenge. He is very exuberant. He wants to check out everything. There is also the prong collar I still have hanging on my hook by the front door, but with Tucker’s extreme need to explore everything (he is still a baby) I would never bring myself to use it on him. There is a time and place for prong collars, but this is not it.
So, In order to look like the perfect dog person in my neighborhood, (people must think we never walk our dog because we do it late at night or drive him to the trails) do I result to the Gentle Leader to mingle with the other folks? Do I wait about 6 more months when I know he will be able to deal a little better?
What are your thoughts on such a beautiful, gentle and friendly breed using the gentle leader?
Here is a video of a golden puppy trying to get used to his Gentle Leader. Is this torture? Or not? I think once they get used to putting it on, and know what the end result is, they will wear it with pride. I still can’t bring myself to do it!
Goldens are quite often known for making a purring or soft snoring sound when they are being rubbed or petted in their favorite spots. I’m sure other breeds do this as well, but I think it’s very common in goldens!
Golden Retriever (Photo credit: rkleine)
Becky White is a dog walker in Toronto who has a lot of experience with golden retrievers. Her blog DogsTwentyFourSeven chronicles her experiences as a dog walker. In her popular post “Golden Retrievers and Their DNA” she writes:
“I have found Golden Retrievers have a unique way of communicating when wanting something. The majority I have grown to love will draw in with their breath to make a sound in their throats to grab a human’s attention. Often it is two or three short repeated noises in a row and it seems to be when they are in a sitting position. They adore being patted and this sound I think is a technique they use to communicate “keep the patting/stroking coming. I love it!” I think very similar to a cat purring.”
Check out this cute puppy demonstrating….”you are not a cat” !!!
Does your dog purr? Have you heard of this before?
So apparently the dog is shy. Goldens are known to have excellent bite inhibition, and this probably could have been a lot worse. Hopefully it doesn’t leave a scar! (and the dog’s issues can be resolved!) The actor is traveling to Japan in the near future to film a commercial, and will conceal his injury with makeup.
According to Karen Wild, a well known dog behaviorist in the UK, “Dogs understand certain sounds as inherently calming and to ensure the story would work, it was created using scientific evidence based on research of the canine mind and their sense of hearing.” Wild contributed to the creation of the book.
It is recommended that you read in a tone as if “talking to a two-year-old child, as if the child is rather shy” .
It’s also apparently most effective when played for your golden numerous times.
Here is the audiobook in it’s entirety, narrated by Simon Callow. Hope your furry friends like it! I’ve already played it once for Tucker. Why not???!!!
You know what I mean right? When your dog is sitting next to you and places his/her paw on your lap or arm, either before or after you start to pet them? Both of my goldens did this ALL THE TIME! I don’t have a problem with this.
Since this is a blog about goldens, and even has a category called Golden Behavior, I thought I would do a little post about this particular behavior and see what others have read, learned, or experienced.
And of course, I have to throw in the Poll…Does your golden do the “Arm-Paw” ? I want to try and determine if this is a common “Golden Behavior” Please participate! It only takes a fraction of a second.
The conclusion that I have come to is this: If a dog gets petted when he puts his paw up, he considers this a reward, therefore, he will continue to do this, and in most cases, continue to be rewarded. If no one ever responds to this behavior, I assume it would eventually not exist.
A dog is man’s best friend, and this is just one of their ways of showing affection, or begging! Some sites I checked out still believe it is a dominant behavior. I suppose there is that possibility that it is dominance related in some situations, but generally, with goldens, its just them begging for affection with their adorable cuteness. If I don’t want to pet Tucker, (like THAT ever happens) I wont pet him. It is always my decision. Excuse me while I go pet Tucker…