If your Golden Retriever puppy has been nipping or biting at you this post will show you some possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my Golden Retriever bite at me? Possible causes are that it is teething, playing, excited, looking for attention or that you have inadvertently rewarded it for doing it.
There are a number of reasons why it might be doing it but there are also some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do to get it to stop.
Why your Golden Retriever bites you
Below are some common reasons why it might be nipping or biting at you and what would make them more likely to be the cause.
It is teething
The cause could be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has started biting on other things a lot as well.
In this case, it would help to give it lots of things to chew on that you want it to chew on. But, it would also still be important to start training it to learn not to bite you using the tips below.
You have been encouraging it
It could be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it nips you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved, to stop giving it things it wants when it nips you and to wait for it to stop before giving it what it wants.
It wants attention
It is also likely that it is doing it for attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you haven’t been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it. But, it would also help to stop giving it attention when it starts nibbling by hiding your hands or leaving the room temporarily until it calms down, then you would go back to giving it attention until it starts nibbling again.
The cause could also be that it is excited and it is trying to show its excitement. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you come home.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out exactly why it has been doing it.
When it started biting you
It would help to consider when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to teething but it could also be that it realized that it gets things it wants when it does it.
How aggressively it does it
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it aggressively. If it does do it aggressively, consider getting the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist in your area so that you can see how to get it to stop safely.
How to get it to stop biting you
Below are some options you have when getting it to stop biting you.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to use positive reinforcement training to get it to learn not to nip or bite you. Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage good behaviors by rewarding them and not rewarding bad ones.
You can do this to get your Golden Retriever to stop nipping or biting you:
- Stop giving your Golden Retriever attention whenever it nips you by hiding your hands or temporarily leaving the room if necessary
- Start giving it attention again until it starts nipping and then stop giving it attention again.
- Repeat the above, rewarding with a treat it each time it doesn’t nip you when it normally would.
Alternatively, you would withdraw your hands, feet or ankles as soon as it shows signs of being about to nip. Each time it doesn’t nip when it normally would you would reward it with a treat.
You can watch the video below to see how it’s done.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently encourage bad behaviors by giving it things it wants when it displays them. Instead, of rewarding it when it nips, try to redirect its behavior when it is about to do it and to reward it when it is being well behaved.
Give it things to chew on
It would also help to give it other things to chew on so that it is less likely to want to chew on you and so that it can soothe its gums. Things you can give it would be chew toys and bones.
When training your Golden Retriever, it is important to be consistent. It is unlikely that you will be able to get it to change its behavior drastically with just one training session. However, if you are consistent with the training, you will be able to get much better results.
If you are unable to get your Golden Retriever to stop doing it or it has been doing it aggressively, consider getting help from a certified dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see how to train it to stop in a safe manner.