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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

We just got a new golden retriever puppy! She's 8 weeks old and we love her. We have her for 4 days now and I'm already addicted.

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We got her from a breeder who had 2 pregnant goldens at the same time and she said she couldn't make them go outside or do any socialization since she had 22 puppies at home (retarded excuse for a breeder, I know).

We live in Montreal, Canada and we are lucky to live in a home with a tiny backyard. Our dog will go outside for potty but she won't go out the fence, even though the doors are wide open, like if they were invisible boundaries. She's scared and as soon as I try, she starts shaking, running back to our home door while making tiny scared moans. Anyway, when I bring her outside in the backyard, I fill like she's not super happy (she go crazy as soon as we go back home).

I start going crazy making jumps and sounds to get her excited but nothing seems to help. At one point she won't also even take treats.

Do you have any tips on how to make the situation better? Even if I try walking on the streets with her in my arms, she starts moaning and shaking.

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies!
 

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Give her time to adjust to her new home. She may just be fearful because everything is new, including the people who love her, as well as not being adjusted to doing things without her siblings.

I like to imagine myself in that situation: Raised for years (as dogs mature faster than we do!) in the same place, with no interaction outside my family. Suddenly I find myself thrust into a new family, with no remnants of what I grew up with! I'd be terrified, too!
 

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Give her a chance to get used to you and your family. She is just a puppy, has not yet learned to trust you and has been taken away from everything she has known.
 

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Hi there!

(Note: since this is my first post, I am not permitted to include links. I had several helpful ones but had to take them out. You should still be able to find what I am referencing)

I agree, you breeder’s poor planning (or questionable business practices) was a sorry excuse for failing to minimally socialize her puppies. You were smart to reach out.
It is normal for your puppy to be out of sorts when you first brought her home but, I think, what you are describing goes beyond her needing time to settle in. Based on what you said, I think that if you do not make a concerted effort to socialize her right away (don't worry, it's sooo easy when they are this age!) there is a good chance she will grow up to be a fearful adult. And, since it sounds like your puppy spent all her time surrounded by littermates, her fear could develop into separation anxiety.

The good news is your puppy still has some time left to be socialized!! The urgent news is that there's no time to waste. Puppies have a Socialization Period from about 3-16 weeks of age. It is during this time that they are most open to new experiences (in the wild, almost everything they encounter is safe so there is no advantage to being overly fearful). What is amazing about this period is that it takes FAR less time and effort to train and socialize a puppy. But the clock is ticking and every experience, good or bad, counts.

Like I said, there’s still time to help her live her fullest life and puppies are very flexible! You obviously care about her or you wouldn’t have taken the time to seek help. So don’t give up : )
You have the option of returning her. Most breeders will take their dogs back but my guess is that she is better off with you. My best advice would be to hire a trainer ASAP. It is a small investment compared to the hundreds of hours it will save you from having to manage your fearful dog...for the rest of her life. You’ll want someone gentle and patient. If they teach a puppy class, sit in on a session to see how they handle the puppies, especially the fearful ones.

In the meantime, DO NOT FORCE HER TO DO ANYTHING SHE IS AFRAID OF. You should gently encourage her to voluntarily confront things she is afraid of, in very small increments and then reward her with praise, treats or playtime whenever she is even a little bit braver. If she shakes, cries, pins her ears back, tucks her tail or refuses to take treats, she’s been pushed too far and you should back off.

As far as going outside…while it is important that she learn to relieve herself outdoors, it is more important that she not have a negative experience every time she goes outside. Invite her to come outside with love and treats and reward every step forward. If she won’t go out, don’t make her, just put her back into whatever puppy safe area you have for her (with food, water, bed and bathroom) to prevent accidents in the house and so you don’t reward her for NOT going outside. You could also bring the outdoors to her and let her explore this new, scary thing in the comfort of your kitchen. Give her a plastic tray of snow, a pile of rocks, a tree branch, even a chunk of concrete (sidewalk) to climb around on. Bring as many different, new things to her in a place where she is most comfortable and let her decide how to interact with it.

Some people even have indoor grass potties which would give her a place to go to the bathroom and expose her to real grass. For my indoor puppy potty, I use these 24”x24” rabbit trays from Tractor Supply with puppy potty pads.

Playing calming music when she is stressed will help and to get her accustomed to various sounds you could play these desensitizing soundtracks (lower volume until she does not react fearfully). If you know any lower energy, well behaved children they should definitely come over, sit calmly on the floor, offer toys and feed her tasty treats. Dr. Ian Dunbar is an excellent trainer and he has some very helpful free downloads and videos at DogStarDaily(dot)com. I attached some socialization checklists to give you some other ideas..

I hope some of that helps. My heart goes out to her and I wish you all the best of luck!

Sincerely,
Diane Zahorodny
World Ready Pets
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to give you a quick update, she's now confident in the streets, she won't take 30 minutes walk but it seems like she likes it !
 

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At 8 weeks I wouldnt be having a pup out in the street, risks of parvo and distemper.. Plus 30 minutes is too long for a pup that age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At 8 weeks I wouldnt be having a pup out in the street, risks of parvo and distemper.. Plus 30 minutes is too long for a pup that age.
We live in a big city and have no choice. We don't want to potty pad train our dog and then "force" her to potty on the streets, it will confuse her.

But I agree we are being careful when she walks. She's not allowed yet to chill with other dogs.
 
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