This is my first post here. I helped my parents adopt a 2 and a half year old chocolate lab from the organizations Labs4Rescue.org. We are up in Massachusetts, while the dog we adopted is from Texas. We were looking for a low to mid energy lab to meet the needs of my parents who are both 60 years old. We worked with the organization and spoke with the foster mom and decided on the aforementioned dog that we've named Ollie.
He was shipped up from Texas last week in a truck, rarely getting time to come out of his crate to go out and also had to spend 48 hours in isolation (MA law). We picked him up at the rescue yesterday afternoon. The woman caught us a little off guard as soon as we walked in telling us that he was a little difficult and aggressively went after a small dog. He has been full of energy, scared to walk up and down stairs, and gave a bit of a growl at Petsmart when a smaller dog cried out.
I'm guess I'm just wondering if this is a breaking in period of some sort where he's getting comfortable in his new environment. He did go through a lot in his transport to get from TX to MA.
We raised a yellow lab from a pup to when he was put down in 2009 (Laryngeal Paralysis). He had the best temperament I've ever seen in a dog. Just a sweetheart. Wouldn't even fight back if he was being attacked. The growling and going after small dogs worries me a bit in Ollie, just hoping it's some combination of rollover discomfort from his transport and getting acclimated to his new home (different state, climate, etc).
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Pics coming soon.
I think the dog needs time to adapt and right now, i'd just try and relax and bond slowly with the pooch.as you said, he's been thru a lot in a short period of time.
I would definitely give him time to adapt. He´s been through a lot and probably has a lot of stress. Instead of taking him out to crowded and noisy places (like a petsmart) I would only take him to calm places, walks around your neighborhood and give him more time at home so he can adapt.
the poor guy has just gone thru a long trip and was in isolation - that's ALOT to go through. It's normal he's acting out of sorts. Get him home, let him rest and relax, give him a place to run and exercise and see how it goes. Let him unwind before doing things like petsmart and having lots of people over and start small. Find a training class with a good trainer as well (not at petsmart)
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Welcome to the forum.
Your boy is a big puppy with lots of energy, no place to to get rid of it, and stressed from being transported and isolated. He needs time to sort things out,and get back into a routine. Everyone in the family needs to be on the same page. Consistency is job one. If one does and one does not, the dog will be confused. Don't rush your dog into accepting you, give him space and let him come to you. Learn what makes him tick. Rescued dogs come with some baggage and no operator's manual. Keep him on a long leash outside and learn what he does.
The first day I had a new foster I had him on a 40' drag line holding one end and got ahead of him. I heard some clanking, the line went taut and I turned around to see him climbing over the neighbor's chain link fence. The dog's file did not mention his climbing ability. Be on the lookout for interesting skills and behaviors.
A couple of balls, a chew toy or two, and time to enjoy them will do him well. Don't take him out into parks and stores and around the neighborhood until you and he have bonded, or at least who ever is with him is the boss. Work with him in your back yard or in the house, make it fun. Once you have a good rapport and a solid understanding of what makes him tick, then gradually expose him to public places, other dogs, and busy people. Check his vet records to confirm he is up to date, and get him licensed. I would also get him chipped if he is not already. If he is chipped, make sure the records are updated with your information.
Good luck with your new companion.
Where in MA are you?
I am in MA also...I have 2 chocolate girls, Java & Moka (3 years old & 2 years old).
Depending on where you are we could possibly get together for a playdate and get Ollie some socialization with my girls, if you're interested.
I got my Bella from L4R and had a great experience !
Of course Bella was only 12 weeks.
I would give him time, and keep him away from stressful
situations such as Petsmart.
Finding a good trainer is a good idea too, it can help
them bond with him.
Keep us updated !
(I am in MA too )
I have to agree with everyone's comments & suggestions. Sounds like he arrived via Rescue Road Trips last weekend & while I know Greg, his crew & all the angels along the way do their very best with the pups... that trip is still stressful. Also consider that he was pulled out of the routine he was used to & is in a whole new place.
He is very confused & that is likely the impetus of his acting out. I would refrain from any trips to Petsmart, etc. for a while, stick to home or close to home, get to know him & his personality, quirks and all, get him settled into a routine. Like someone else said, consistency, so he knows what to expect.
Good luck with him!
PS: Yay for chocolates!!! My Lexi in the siggy photo is an L4R adoptee. She came to me from Lake Charles, LA in May 2005.
My pretty girl, Lexi!
Thank you all for the helpful and quick responses. He has been settling down a bit. One strange quirk he has is that he hates walking up and down stairs. Unless I leash him, he will not walk up or stairs. Once leashed, he FLIES down them almost taking us with him. It takes a ton of encouragement to get him to even attempt it without a leash, but at the same time I don't want to force him to do something he is uncomfortable doing. Although I do know he would enjoy the upstairs much more (i.e. resting on the beds). He's also a bit pushy with people food, which can probably be attributed to him being found wandering an airport in TX for who knows how long.
Does anyone have any tips, videos, etc for leash training (he's a bit of a tugger)? Or should we just take him to a professional trainer?