If your Golden Retriever has been biting at you a lot, you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my Golden Retriever bite me? Possible causes are that it wasn’t trained to as a puppy, it’s teething, you have inadvertently been encouraging the behavior, it wants attention or excitement.
There are a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever bites you
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might have been biting you and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wasn’t trained not to as a puppy
If your Golden Retriever is an adult, the reason why it does it could be because it was not trained not to do it as an adult. If it is not given much training then it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behaving which is why it is important to give it training.
In this case, it would help to start giving it training now by starting with basic commands and working your way up from there. It would also help to train it to stop biting you using the tips mentioned below.
It is teething
If your Golden Retriever is still a puppy then the reason that it does it is likely to be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it has started chewing on other things a lot as well.
In this case, it would help to give it lots of toys and bones to chew on and to start giving it training now so that it learns how to behave when it is older.
You have been encouraging it
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged it to bite you by giving it things it wants when it does it.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bite you, to stop rewarding it when it starts biting and to try to redirect its focus when it is about to start doing it.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it wants attention. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it does it and it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention.
Sometimes, dogs will start biting when they are excited and it could be the reason why your Golden Retriever has been biting. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it more in situations such as when you arrive home.
In this case, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it starts biting by stopping giving it attention until it stops biting.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Golden Retriever biting you.
How old it is
It would help to consider how old your Golden Retriever is since it will have an impact on the most likely cause of the biting.
If your Golden Retriever is still young then it would be very likely that it is teething and it has not yet learned that it is not ok to bite.
Whereas, if it is older then it would be more likely that it never learned that it is not ok to bite and that it needs to be trained not to.
When it started biting you
If it did not always bite you, it would also help to consider what else happened when it started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
Some things to consider would be:
- If you moved home
- If someone was aggressive towards it
- If someone moved away
How aggressively it does it
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it aggressively.
If your Golden Retriever does it aggressively then it would help to get the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist in your area who will be able to show you want to do in a secure way.
When and where it does it
It would also help to consider the timing and location that it does it in since it might have something to do with the cause.
For example, if it seems to be doing it more at a certain time then it could be due to being excited especially if it does it in situations such as when you come home.
Whereas, if it does it at random times then it could be that you have inadvertently reinforced the behavior, it is teething or that it hasn’t learned not to do it.
How to get your Golden Retriever to stop biting you
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop biting you.
Positive reinforcement training
The first option would be to give it positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage good behaviors by rewarding them while making sure not to reward bad behaviors.
To use it to get your Golden Retriever to stop biting, you would:
- Stand up, turn away, and hide your arms when it starts biting them leaving the room if necessary.
- Wait a few moments and then go back to giving it attention and then turning away again if it starts biting
- Repeat the above until it learns that biting causes it to lose your attention
- Reward it with a treat when it does particularly well
You can watch the video below to see more on how to get your Golden Retriever to stop biting with positive reinforcement training along with more tips.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
It would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention, toys or treats when it bites you so that you do not encourage it to do it more. Instead, it would help to wait for it to calm down and then to reward it then.
Give it things to chew on
In addition to the above, it would also help to give it things to chew especially if it seems to be in the teething phase. Things that you can give it would include chewy toys, bones and chews.
When training your Golden Retriever it would also help to be consistent with the training. It is not likely that you will be able to get major results with just one training session. But, by being consistent with the training, you can get much better results over the course of weeks and months.
If you cannot get your Golden Retriever to stop doing it or it has been doing it aggressively, it would also help to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see why it is doing it and how to get it to stop safely.