Is my dog's behavior normal for a 5 month old male retriever mix?

I have a golden retriever mix. What he is mixed with, we have no idea. It looks like he is either mixed with Lab, Pitbull or potentially both. When we got him, he was the sweetest thing I've ever met. He loves all dogs and people. But as of late, he's been really unruly. He lashes out and doesn't listen to us. He is still friendly to anyone else though, it's just my family. He IS my first dog, so I really don't know if this is normal for adolescent dogs or not. I'm just worried. We have him in positive reinforcement training, and he does really well, but sometimes it's like he is ignoring my commands just to spite me.

Asked by Charlie on Jan 11th 2013 in Aggression
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Ah, not good. He might be trying to become the 'alpha' over you and your family. The "I can do anything I want due to my rank" Kind of thing. You have to just show him who is boss. Showing him who's boss DOES NOT mean to harm the dog in anyway. Show him in his OWN language that you are Alpha and the other family members is definitely of 'higher rank.' Here... Take some tips off of this webpage. It will bring you great help -->

As we all know, wolves are ancestors to all dogs; that meaning, they still carry the traits(Language.) :) Give it a try and see how it works out. But remember; NEVER harm your pooch during training. And while you are training, DO NOT get frustrated. An animal can sense your mood easily just by the looks and smell of you and wont corroborate properly.

Member 1149282 answered on 1/11/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


We humans ARE NOT dogs and dogs know that better than we do! The alpha theory is extremely outdated and proven to be bunk science.
Dogs listen to and respect owners who provide clear, concise requests and follow thru those requests by rewarding the proper behavior. This does not have to be food or treats, praise and a good pat are just as important to the dog.
Do not nag the dog and ask him to do something over and over and over. One command is sufficient and more will just turn him off, just like it does children when they are nagged. Continue with your classes and ask questions of the instructor if you are having problems, that is what you are paying for!
Dogs may be smart, but they are incapable of reacting out of spite. Most likely he has been allowed to not follow thru on your requests and he is waiting you out to see if you really mean it this time. Never ask him to do something you do not follow thru. If you ask him to sit and he doesn't, help him to sit and then praise!

Member 641257 answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Holy Crap!! Do NOT use ANY of the tips from that page. The only 2 that make sense are 16 & 24. That you start & end all games, and to lever leave kids & dogs unsupervised together.
Teddy.. that whole CM rigamorole is hogwash. It is outdated & has been refuted by peer reviewed scientific studies.
Charlie: It is entirely possible he is starting adolescence. Do not give up. This stage will pass. But you could be in for a rocky ride for the next year or so.
Keep up with your daily training, socializing. It is normal for him to test his boundaries & limits now. It is your job to set them & maintain them through consistency.
Try to take note of his body language when he is with you/family. Try to see if he has certain triggers. Look at your own behavior. Is there any patterns that emerge?
He may also be teething & in a bit of pain. A frozen wash cloth can be quite soothing.
Toto addressed the issue of spite.
Running out of room. Repeat: DO NOT use that website. Post in main forums B&T.

Member 904338 answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Charlie, it is not spite, nor is the dog establishing "alpha" tendencies.

To me, it sounds like either advancement into adolescence or he is not receiving consistent training from you. Dogs usually hit two stages of the teen years, where they test how much they can get away with. Usually it is around 8 months and 18 months, but it can vary. It's not dominance; it's just trying to think for themselves and not always making good choices. That's where the owner steps in.

The fact that he lashes at his own family makes me think you all may not be consistent with what you expect from him. Example: One day he is not allowed on the couch ever, and the next day, you give up the battle to keep him off. Keep calm, don't get frustrated, and work through it. Don't repeat his name 5,000 times or he will tune you out.

Also, give one word commands. If you say sit down; you are actually giving two commands. Does he sit or does he get down? Be concise with what you expect. Hang in there!

Rusty answered on 1/12/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer