New to forum - need help/suggestions
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Thread: New to forum - need help/suggestions

  1. #1
    yooper49 is offline Junior Member
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    QuestionNew to forum - need help/suggestions

    Hello,

    We have a two-year old lab and a 20 month-old German Shepherd (Doc is our first lab; Max is one of several Shepherds we've had over the years).

    Doc nipped and bit (not severely) our adult niece recently; a person he's known his whole life. While talking about this, we realized that he's nipped at two other people; both were young male children. Other than these incidents, he's been a wonderful dog. He's very smart and has been easy to train. He and Max are thicker than thieves, although Doc takes some time to warm up to other dogs. He sometimes gets a little "hinky" around strangers, but has not been overly aggressive.

    Since he's our first lab, we don't know much about the breed. Based on what little information I have provided, I'm hoping someone with more experience with labs can tell me if this is normal behavior. Obviously we don't want a biter, but he's such a good dog we want to be sure we're doing what's best for him (i.e. training).

    Does anyone have some thoughts they'd be willing to share?

    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    What were the circumstances of the bite? When did you get your Lab and how much socialization has he had?
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  4. #3
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    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum. You will find lots of help and advice here. You didn't say if you got Doc as a puppy, or if he was a little older when you got him, or how long you've had him. Has he been to obedience training? That is the first thing I would do. Has he been neutered? Neutering isn't a cure all, but in some dogs it calms them, or so I have heard. What was your niece doing when he bit her? The boys? The first thing he needs is to go to school! Obedience training. How much have you trained him regarding manners? What did you do when he bit these people?
    ~Pam



    Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo


    8.5 mo.

    Sophie 15 months, with Skye

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    deidra is offline Senior Member
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    As said above what were the doing at the time he nipped them? I was nipped before because I grabbed a dogs collar the wrong way and wasn't thinking and the dog had not be very socialized.
    ~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.

  7. #5
    yooper49 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the responses.....

    He's had what I would consider good socialization; probably better when he was younger. So I would say good - but not great.

    Our niece (she's about 30) was coming upstairs from the basement and the dogs went to see who was here. She called them both by name and held her hand out - palm up - to greet them. Doc smelled her hand, growled, and nipped her all in about 2 seconds. Did not break the skin and did not repeat the act.

    Here's another twist - although I don't know if it's related. My wife's mom (in her 70's) lives with us. When she moves around the house, Doc pays no attention to her at all. If he's outside in the kennel and she walks by to go to the back garage, he goes absolutely nuts.

    I don't think there's anything "wrong" with him, but I have to get this under control. I've trained all my dogs and have never had a problem like this before. As I mentioned in my first post, I've never had a lab before so I don't know if they're naturally timid, nervous, etc., or if this is something unique to Doc.

    Thanks.

  8. #6
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Labs are not naturally timid or nervous. Actually most well trained, socialized and healthy Labs are happy and love all. Can you tell me how often your niece is around your dogs? When was his last vet check up? I am just trying to figure this behavior out as it is definitely not "Lab like" behavior.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  9. #7
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    To answer your question, no, this is not normal behavior for this breed. Both the biting and the territorial behavior is atypical for a Lab. What you need to do in my opinion is get a certified behaviorist in to check him out in person and get their advice on how to address this behavior. Aggression is something to get professional advice for - not Internet advice. If I was in your shoes I would do this promptly before he seriously bites someone and you get sued.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  10. #8
    yooper49 is offline Junior Member
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    Our niece is at the house 2 - 3 times a month. Never for very long, but Doc does see her. He was at the vet about 6 weeks ago. We took him in just to get a scratch checked out. He was chasing a softball in the woods and must have clipped a branch; nothing serious but we wanted to be sure. The vet said other than the small cut, he was fine.......

  11. #9
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I completely agree with what Sharon has said. Something is not right with this behavior and a professional is your best bet at this point.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  12. #10
    yooper49 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your insights. We love him, but have to get this under control before he hurts someone. He's a big, strong boy (90#) and we worry he could really hurt someone if he wanted to. However, as I type this note, he's laying on the floor with his head on my foot looking up at me - as if he knows I'm "talking" about him.

    Thanks again.

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