So I said earlier I was thinking about adopting a 5 yr old male lab, this weekend. I've been communicating with owner, A LOT, learning all about him. He is a great dog but there are a few things I will need to fix ie. not running away when he is outside and snapping at hands when you give him a treat. Koko does not do these things. Will he also learn from her good behavior? Any suggestions on how to teach him these things? I know the basics of training but its been years since I've actually had to teach these things. The owner is having to return to the UK to take care of her sister whose been diagnosed with breast cancer, she wants to take both her labs but does not want to end up in a situation where they will be in quarentine for 6 months and also not sure how much time they will receive with her being devoted to her sister. This women is a great dog owner and person, she is recently divorced and has 5 kids, I feel for her. We've actually gotten quite close through email. She has answered my 100 questions reguarding the dog. She actually rescued him and his sister a year ago, a couple had them living in small crates outside on their deck She has trained a lot over the year and excercised him enough to lose 20 lbs! I was lucky with Koko, she came to me perfect! Didn't have much to fine tune. I just need tips on how to keep him in yard and not to snap treats out of your hand. Thanks guys...I know you will help with this new adoption!
As far as treats go, sometimes mine get a little anxious and want to grab. I hold the treat in my hand in a way with my fingers bent under and the back of my hand towards thier mouth. Then I keep saying "easy" and when they're calm, kind of untuck and as long as they're gentle, give it to them. When I untuck, if they seem like they're going to grab, I tuck my fingers back under and take it away. They don't get it until they're gentle. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. I think he'll get the message pretty quickly.
As for running away, I wouldn't let him off leash for a long, long time. That is, if he can learn the boundaries. Some people never leave their dogs off leash. I can let mine out by themselves, they know their boundaries, but I'd never risk another persons dog running away.
I know exactly what your talking about for treats..that is exactly how I planned on training him. As far as off lead...couldn't he learn his boundries? It's just a shame because Koko knows her boundries...I trust her 150% outside by herself or anywhere for that matter. There has got to be a way to train him to stay by me like she does. I have faith in him...
I think the not snapping at hands when treating will be easily trained.there are a few things I will need to fix ie. not running away when he is outside and snapping at hands when you give him a treat.
But not running away when outside and unleashed?
That can be harder. A few dogs like to stay close to you (after they accept you as their best friend) BUT many dogs like to explore, track down interesting smells, etc. I'd not let the dog be unleashed until after you've had him for sometime and had ample leashed walks around your neighborhood which would help him memorize the odors of where home is in case he wanders off.
For training, I like both the "Nothing In Life Is Free" method of dog feeding/dog training (which you can google and find descriptions of) as well as Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" (paperback, about $15 w/S&H from Amazon or your public library may have it).
There is also the invisible fence to keep dogs within their yards. Some people on JL probably have them and can tell you pros and cons.
If those aren't sufficient, as a last resort possibly you could find a Dogtra 200 NCP e-collar useful. This gives non-shocking buzz vibrations (Pager) in addition to "Nicks" or "Continuous" (5 sec. length). The intensity of the N & C shocks can be adjusted between "0" (can't feel) and "100" (strongest). I adjusted the shock level on mine to the point I could just barely feel it through my bare fingertips. And 99.999% of the time, I used only the "P" function, rarely needing to rely on a "N" and never a "C."
BUT before using an e-collar, you'd need some training on how to effectively use it. For instance, the dog needs to be "collar conditioned" first -- wearing the collar several hours a day during training and activities for a couple weeks before using any of the various stims.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 01-08-2010 at 11:09 AM.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Oh trust me, with a 1 yr old in tow, I can't be chasing after a lab!!! He will be leashed till I feel comfortable. I will also be teaching him to stay and come. Even though he should know them he needs to learn them with me. I don't know him yet but I already feel a connection...is that weird??
I've got nothing to add to the good advice you've been given already. But thanks for rescuing him.
As for the treats with Alfie we held a treat in our hand, offered it to him and if he snapped Id close my hand quickly pull it away and say NO NICELY and re-do they generally get it pretty quick