With litter sizes ranging from 6-10 puppies, most dogs raised together will experiment with biting, but these biting issues usually wear thin pretty quickly as the Golden’s siblings will bite back if bitten. Being the smart breed that Golden’s are, they soon learn that getting bit hurts.
If you have bought a puppy and are raising it independently of the rest of the litter you may have to train the dog that biting is wrong. Golden Retriever biting is usually the result of other underlying problems that may be affecting your dog’s health and behavior.
She may be intimidated or scared of something in her environment, overly playful and aggressive, or attempting to assert dominance in her new environment. In each case, it’s important for you as the owner to recognize the cause of the biting behavior and to take action early to correct any issues.
Puppies are naturally filled with high levels of energy, and the is especially true for Golden Retrievers – they were bred to be active dogs – constantly fetching fowl shot during hunts in Scotland. Many owners encourage playful behavior with their new puppies, but allowing them to bite during these encounters can lead to behavior and aggression issues as the dog grows.
Almost all dogs start out in life wanting to assert their dominance, and if the owner allows them to do so at an early age it can be a hard habit to break when they get older and become more physically capable. Setting yourself as the household alpha early in the puppies life will make all other training and behavior issues so much easier to control and correct.
If your Golden is afraid of her environment for any reason, she will become very defensive and ultimately unsociable. It may be that loud cars drive by your house often, or the neighborhood kids teasing her through the fence, or even young children just being too rough without realizing it. You need to identify the source of the fear and eliminate it as soon as possible. Ensure that no physical punishment is being acted out on your dog; there needs to be consequences for bad behavior, but hitting the dog, or dragging her around by her lead when she is naughty or not listening is more likely to cause more behavior problems in later life.
Instead of punishments you need to find ways to discourage bad behavior, while at the same time encouraging and rewarding good behavior.
You can enroll your Golden Retriever in obedience and socialization classes, and use redirection techniques – when your puppy bites you, give her a chew toy instead and let her bite the toy. The goal here is that over time the association between biting and the toy will sink in and she will stop biting other objects.
With appropriate training and guidance, Golden Retriever biting issues will be gone by the time the puppy reaches about 3 months old. At this point you should have a happy, playful puppy with no fear of any more Golden Retriever biting issues.