I have the most stubborn Golden Retriever. She, Zoe, Turns 1 years old tomorrow on Valentine’s day. 😉 I’ve tried clicker training, obedience school…even the dog whistle had no effect on her when I thought the whistle was very powerful to a dog’s ear. So, other than those I’ve mentioned, what is the best training device to use now? Those shock collars? Invisibal fence? WHAT!?? lol. I mean, she is the kind of dog that KNOWS what is wrong but does it anyways behind our back and then hides! LMAO. Thanks.


  1. Katrina L

    OK, it sounds as if you’ve tried way too many different things when there are simpler methods out there.
    For chasing and beating up the cat (my 10 month old does the same thing, but hasn’t hurt the cat, he just wants to play), you need to teach the OFF command. The OFF command is used to curb a dog’s chasing instinct. First, put her on a leash. Wave a ball in front of her face….then throw it. When she gets up to go after it, tug on her leash and firmly say “OFF”. If she listens and backs off, give her a treat and some praise. Repeat this until she no longer gets up to go after the ball. Even when she stops, this command needs to be reinforced and practiced regularly.
    Coming when called….make it a game. Start out right in front of her with a treat. Say “Zoe, come”. When she comes to you, give her the treat. Move away and say “Zoe, Come” again…repeat this. After a while, you can incorporate other commands. You can have her sit, and stay…then move away….then say, “Zoe, Come” and give her the treat. But remember, ONLY treat when she’s completed the task. Don’t just give in and give it to her if she’s not doing what you want. Now try enlisting the help of a friend. You each take treats….one of you goes to hide, then yells “Zoe, Come”….Zoe then has to make an effort to find the person before she can get her treat. While she’s doing that, the other person hides. When Zoe has found the first person and been rewarded, you can start saying “Zoe, Come”. Move locations, get further away, etc. It’s good practice and teaches her that coming when called is a pleasant, rewarding, and fun experience.
    Never call her to you for punishment. This only results in her being scared to come to you when you call because she thinks she’s going to be in trouble.
    As far as biting….when she bites (I’m assuming while playing), Yelp and/or say “Ouch!” and quit playing with her.
    Remember that a lot of these issues will start to lessen as she gets older. She’s in her adolescent stage right now and will remain there until about the age of 3. Most dogs really chill out once out of their “teen” years.
    Make sure you have a covered trash can. If this doesn’t help (as in, she knocks it over), you could try an automatic deterrent that will keep guard over your trash when you’re not around. These are generally sold for cats, but I assume they would work for a dog, as well. If not….well, you could always put the trash away (in a cupboard or something).
    And never discipline for something after the fact. Dogs have very short memories and if discipline is given after the fact, they don’t know what it’s for.http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Pr…

  2. Gargirlâ„¢

    It really depends what you are trying to train.
    *Garbage you should just put away.
    *Gate or crate your dog when you’re gone so they can’t get into trouble.
    *If you are trying to control barking, shock collars are, on average, only 50% effective. This is beside the fact that they can be extremely painful, and are notorious for shocking even when a dog isn’t barking.
    *Similarly electric fences are painful, however, I hear from friends these work very very well.
    *Heel should be taught in a nondistracting environment, and sometimes with the aid of a check chain (not choke chain, check chains are mostly fabric or leather and are very hard to put on incorrectly).
    *Down should be taught in a nonevasive way.
    *If it’s a matter of strict obediance I would speak with a *well-known* trainer and get enrolled into a good, private obediance class. Possibly speak to a behaviorist.
    *Also, a dog is usually disobediant like that because they are testing their place in the pack and challenging your authority (testing their boundaries). You need to make sure you and your family are extremely consistant in what you do (sit down and make sure everyone understands all the details). Like, if entering a room, everyone needs to make sure they enter first, or when going for a walk, she sits before you leave (and you leave first).
    *If your dog knows all her basic commands, maybe its a matter of being bored. A lot of retrievers get into trouble because of the lack of stimulation. Maybe look into agility? It’s a good way to release energy, its fun, its stimulating, and a lot of dogs calm down and behave when they participate in it.
    *Is she spayed?
    *If you catch your dog in the act, make sure to let her know she’s doing something wrong (even if it’s funny). If you don’t catch her, its better to assume she didn’t do it (dogs don’t associate things like we do). But it sounds like she knows what she’s doing, so I would say she’s probably bored or testing her pack status.
    *I have never NOT had clicker training work. The most common reason it does not work is because the person is clicking incorrectly (which is sooooo easy to do >.<). Clickers can do more harm than good because there is a very very very specific and finite way that a clicker is supposed to be used and any deviation or inconsistancy just confuses the dog (and dogs are unpredictable so it can be hard). When I started, I misused a clicker quite often... I still do from time to time. I hope I helped. If you can give a more descriptive explaination of what you are trying to train, I can help you come up with more solutions. Feel free to email me. Good Luck! **editted in light of more details ^^ *"Come" can actually be a difficult thing to teach, not the action, but the word. I'm not sure why... I started using "here please!" about a week ago (after 2 months of 3x a day on "come") and it's remedied itself in the last 4 days. I recommend trying another word or phrase.. if you know any languages maybe you can find "come" in that language. I like "here please" but a woman at the dog park uses "where are you?" for her come (she gave me the idea). Try training "come" as a game. Get people together to hide in different rooms and have them take turns (one at a time) calling her with her name and your new "come" phrase. When she finds them have them give her a treat and lots of attention. Hopefully it's something easy like the word! *Biting/nipping is a result of inconsistancy. People have allowed her to get away with it. I suggest replacing your hand (or whatever she is biting) with an -eatible- nylabone. Also, make her sit when being pet by strangers (practice this one with a friend). If she gets up or starts nipping, they should stop petting her. Never mess with a dogs head or face or mouth (anything that could cause biting). Chances are someone has accidently taught her a bad habit that she keeps being rewarded for. It was probably cute or bearable at one point and doesn't know that it's painful. I use clicker training for biting (you said it hasnt worked but if you want to give it another go, email me for details). *If possible, give your kitty his/her own room. I bought a nice cat tree on ebay for my kitties and found a 3 foot gate to block off their new bedroom. They are so much more happier now, and can easily escape chasing dogs. Dogs chase by nature. Some don't have urges to, but it's not something that will be easily remedied. Hopefully it's just a hyper-puppy stage. I forgot to mention that most to all training should be started in a nondistractive environment, and generally, everyday distractions should be added. It takes awhile, but it helps dogs focus. I still think that your dog may be understimulated, just because of the nature of retrievers (which is also why she chases the cat). I would seriously look into dog parks and agility training.

  3. voodoo-d

    The shock collars are ok if you know how to use them correctly. It doesn’t take much, trust me. And don’t OVER use it. They also have the noise collars that emit a high frequency noise that hurts their ears, but I don’t have any personal experience with those. The invisible fences w/ shocking collars have seemed to work pretty well, from what i’ve seen.

  4. purplepa

    Call up Cesar Millan, The dog whisperer.
    or watch his show on the national geographic channel its very interesting and informative.

  5. Mikey b

    we have a really crazy dalmatian we got from the pound and I was ready to give up on him; we started “crating ” him at night and walk him lots and lots, and he’s getting better. Good luck!!

  6. deborah r

    Use corrections: A quick pop and release of the collar by pulling on the leash from a loose position. It is the equivalent of a pull on the wrist to a human. If you are teaching sit, get her on your left side with the leash on. Tell her calmly and sternly “Sit.” If she doesn’t start to sit, give her a correction. If she doesn’t sit after two or three corrections, put her into a sit position while saying “sit” so she relates the word to the action.
    I would get her a crate so she won’t be able to get into the trash while you are gone or will be unsupervised with your cat.
    As far as come, I would teach it with stay. You can do the “Sit, Stay, Come” exercises with her. Stand next to her, put her into a sit. Step in front of her with your palm right in front of her face. You should be facing her. Take one or two steps back, then tell her in a cheerful voice to come. Give her a lot of praise. Slowly increase the distance between you two. If she breaks a stay, don’t get angry at her. Just calmly walk back over to her and start the excercise over moving a little bit closer and working your way back again. By not getting angry, she will remain calm. Consistently reinforce good behavior with praise, and give her a correction for bad behavior. Do not say NO too much. Only for a serious misbehavior.
    Hope she grows out of it!! GOOD LUCK!

  7. Dani

    You need a good training book, and 15 minutes every day with a pocket full of food morsels and a hungry dog. What is the point of those clickers if you have a voice, a voice that is always right there with you.
    Do not try to teach a dog to sit by pushing his rear down. There is no need to. When your dog is good and hungry, hold a few morsels of food slightly higher than his nose. He will wag his tail, beg, etc. Eventually, when you don’t give him anything he will naturally sit down, looking at you. THEN you say sit and give him a morsel of food. 30-40repetitions of this and he will sit on command whether you have treats handy or not. If you have to do it in two or three sessions that’s okay. Every once in a while reinforce the training with a few food morsels again.

  8. orderly logic

    Sounds to me like you have a very confused dog. All you need now is to try about 10 more methods and it will be a lost cause.
    Consistency is and always has been the key to training any animal. Pick a training program, ANY TRANING PROGRAM, and stick with it.
    The irony is that there are over a dozen training methods out there, AND THEY ALL WORK!!!

  9. tom l

    I say don’t give up on a good trainer. If you didn’t get anything from your obedience “school” then you were not working with the “right” trainer. Not all trainers and their various methods are right for every dog and owner. You need to find one that works for you. Contact a local Training, Obedience or Agility Club and ask for referrals. Don’t go to a “school” but rather find a good trainer who only takes on clients via word of mouth. I have found these are some of the best ones and less expensive as they don’t have advertising costs or overhead of rental (they often work something out with a local place to have their classes).
    A really good trainer will help you understand your dogs behavior and that is a good start in training your dog.

  10. Shadow's Melon

    Sounds likle the handler is the problem. why are you switching to so many different things? All you need to do is be patient and consistent. First it was a clicker, then it was obedience training – by someone other than you? Then a whistle. Now you want to jump to something else? Stop giving so many signals and work with your dog. Put her on a leash, walk with her, praise her when she does soemthing right and then move on to the next thing. You should be training her on a leash at all times. No shock collar, no electric fence, no zapping her when you don;t know how to train your own dog. The failure is the handler, not the dog.

  11. north790

    Dogs have not got morals and values the way that humans have. When they run and hide, it’s because they have a history of being scolded or hit by you. Punishing a dog for doing “something bad behind your back” is extremely ineffective, as she’s shown you. Dogs are not stubborn, especially Goldens – these dogs live to hang out with you and play with you – that is, unless you’ve taught her that being with you is not fun. You’re the only one here who can answer that question.

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