How do I stop my Golden Retriever from jumping/dominating my kids?

My Golden Retriever, Chloe, is 8 months old and seems to be trying to dominate our kids. We have five kids ranging from 10 years to a baby. She doesn't bite them or hurt them on purpose, but she tries to knock my children down and then "mouths" them to where my daughter is just yelling and screaming at her. I've coached the kids to turn their backs and not pay any attention to Chloe, but she knocks them over anyway.
I don't particularly like pushing her down or "kneeing" Chloe, like some people have told me to do. I do tell her "NO" quite sternly or put her in the kennel.
We go to the dog park regularly and Chloe, is very submissive to other dogs. As soon as she walks in she rolls on her back.
Chloe will jump on people and then "mouth" their hands or legs. She settles down around adult people after a couple of minutes.
I'm not sure if it is a behavioral trait or what.
Being stern with her only makes it worse.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Asked by Chloe on Jan 17th 2009 in Dogs & Kids
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Zackintosh CJ

Jumping and mouthing is NOT a sign of dominance.
Its just a sign that that behavior has been rewarded, even saying "No!" or touching her at all is a reinforcement.

If she's persistent, and turning your back doesn't work, then get a bunch of treats that she loves like chicken and when she jumps or mouths tell her to sit and give her the treat.
If you or your kids don't have treats handy, just turn your back and leave the room where she can't follow you.
Come back in a few minutes and continue what you were doing, if she jumps or mouths again, do the same thing. She should eventually figure out that jumping and biting makes the good stuff go away, and quit.
But, however, you have to reward the behavior you DO want or she will revert to the bad behavior because it occasionally gets rewarded.

A good book to read is The Power Of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller.
You can buy it on Amazon or at a pet store.
Its good info about jumping and stuff like that and how to stop it.
Good luck!

Zackintosh CJ answered on 1/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


If your golden keeps doing the behavior when you scold her sternly and it only seems to make it worse, you need to use no words. Dogs react much more to body language than they do to the english language. You should isolate your dog in a place other than her kennel. Her kennel is not a place that she is uncomfortable with and she can most likely still see everyone. Put her in a bathroom and leave her there for 5 solid minutes. Once she jumps, take her by the collar and put her in the bathroom, but you can't say a word and don't do it in a huff. You have to do it the second she exhibits the behavior or she won't know why she's being punished. Dogs hate isolation and in the wild when a wolf is misbehaving, the alpha will isolate it. I've done it a few times to my very stubborn dog and it's the most magical, easiest way to make a bad habit disappear. Important though that you don't speak to the dog when you do it and 5 minutes is all you need. You may have to do it a few times. Try it.

Member 768404 answered on 1/17/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer