Hi fellow lab lovers!, just wondering, my boy Forest seems to be spooked by everything since ive had him. (almost 2 years) I cant seem to get him comfortable. If i hold up any foreign object he freaks out, tail between his legs and all. I got him from a puppy palace in Florida which could be the reason. But i want him not to worry so much.
My last lab, and Zoe, the one I own now never had fear issues. My Golden Retriever is another issue, I bought her from a local pet store back in 1997, and she was always fearful, and I was never able to help her overcome what ever frightened her before she became part of my family. Your lab is still young, and hopefully some other members on here with more expertise then me will give some advise.
its so odd. I feel bad that he is afraid of something. you would think with age that they would forget. I can only hope that he can understand that theres nothing to be afraid of!!!!
My Golden just seemed to be programmed that way, something surely must have happened prior to my adopting her. I am hoping someone will give more input when they see your post. There are so many on here with so much expertise. Keep checking back..and post again if necessary, for we all live if different time zones.
In some cases this is a phase and in others it is temperament. With a long time temperament issue, you may not be able to make much progress.
Have you worked at socializing him? Obedience class may help him, and agility is great for a dog lacking confidence. You need to expose him to new things in very small steps and reward him like crazy.
This is one of the kinds of things you can wind up with when you get a puppy mill dog. They may be outwardly healthy, but the breeding stock is not ever temperament tested.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
at 2, the socialisation window is long closed and cannot be reopened - which means he's going to be more or less insecure for his life. HOWEVER, there are ways to manage and alleviate his nervousness around situations and objects he'll confront in his environment.
A gradual programme of counterconditioning/desensitization (where the feared object is continually paired with a pleasant reward, at a level before the dog reacts) will help him gain confidence. Let him set the pace and determine how quickly this process will occur. A good positive-reinforcement trainer will help you get started - you might also look at books like "The Cautious Canine" (Mcconnell) for more help.