We are the new parents of a one year old Yellow Lab girl who was a rescue. She had a very rough start in life, is missing the "hand" portion of her right front leg, and was found after having had puppies--no one knows what happened to them. We suspect a puppy mill casualty.
Our problem is: she is a wonderful, smart, sweet girl. But. She loves the puppy, who arrived one week after we brought our Lab girl home, but a few times a day, she gets REALLY manic, zooming around (the missing hand is not a problem!) and bowling the puppy over, also pouncing really hard on her and biting her around the neck as if she's a toy she's about to shake violently. Eeeek.
They are actually very attached to each other, but I worry about these crazy episodes. I can separate them for now by putting puppy into an exercise pen, and when I do, things immediately calm down, but puppy is growing so fast that won't be an option for long. Any advice would be welcomed for this lifelong cat person!
You are experiencing lab zoomies! If you are worried about the pup getting seriously hurt I would crate or leash the lab. My grandparents got a Pit bull/pug(or EB) mix and Bentley was kind of ruff with her. She would give it right back. But if I thought Bentley was getting too ruff I would call him to me and leash him for a few minutes and give Roxy(grandparents puppy) a small break and have Bentley calm down.
Thanks for rescuing :-)
P.S. We LOVE pictures here!
~It doesn't matter how smart the dog is,it matters how smart the owner is.
wow, a one year old lab (essentially a big puppy) and a 10 week old puppy arriving in the household in a manner of a week - that's a really big commitment!
Get them each in their own obedience class. the puppy in puppy classes, the 1 year old in basic class. Each should also have separate training sessions away from one another.
Make sure the lab gets more exercise, time and space to run free (without puppy - she will need MORE exercise than the puppy at this point).
Beyond that you will have to manage them during play time, stopping it before it gets too crazy. It'S pretty normal for a 1 year old, still crazy puppy to be too much for a 10 week old puppy. The grabbing and shaking is fairly normal as well, especially if she has not learned a soft mouth over the first year of her life.
So how to control two big dogs? training training training training. and more training. it's going to take A LOT of your time as each dog will require tons of training at this stage. Train separately then train together. That along with rules, boundaries and plenty of age appropriate physical exercise (their needs are different right now).
Oh and get crates, one for each dog. Give them time outs (breaks) in there.
Try to step in before they get too riled up. it's easier than when they are in the zone. Trust me, I have to wrangle in my fosters at the park all the time! once they are focused on the play it can be hard to get their attention so you need to get to them before that point.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Here are the girls a couple of weeks ago--Sunny is the Lab, Scarlett is the baby, who is considerably bigger than this pic already! Thanks so much for the advice...I'd heard about the "zoomies"! We're taking them both to professional training starting this week, so I know that'll be helpful. A lot of this crazy energy is, as mentioned, a couple of babies being babies! They already love to be together; they just can't figure out the size/strength issue. I'm trying to get between them when I see that glint in Sunny's eye that she's about to bonkers; baby Scarlett thinks it's fun until she gets too hard of a chomp, but still wants to go running back. I do love the pen to keep them separate! Wonderful invention. I've just started using the leash for the pre-breakfast zoomies, just so she doesn't get too hot before eating. Guess I need to do that in the afternoons too! (This afternoon the bonkers got started because she was barking at some sketchy people visiting next door, as if she was trying to protect the hearth and home--I don't want her to have that stress, so I tried to calmly let her know it was OK, but I must agree the people deserved a good barking-at.
Awwww.....Sunny's little foot! Poor girl! I can only imagine how she lost it! I am so glad you rescued her. She's just a baby herself and already had puppies. The Zoomies do get better. Sometimes puppy play looks rougher than it is. Just keep a watch over them and separate when it gets too rough.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
I echo what Tanya suggested.. both mental (training) and physical exercise will help tremendously, but be careful with two young dogs - they can very easily learn each other's bad behaviors!
I know...we also wonder what kind of horrors Sunny experienced in her first year of life. She's super-sweet, but is very distrustful of men. She's already getting better at not being scared of meeting new people; she used to run off and hide, but now she just goes about 20 feet away until she sees that they're OK and then comes back.
Very encouraging to know the zoomies will calm down a little, thanks! (Sigh...as I type this, she just bolted across the deck chasing one of my poor cats, lol). This morning I had her on the leash so she couldn't go too crazy with Scarlett, but she clearly needed to get it out of her system! I just keep her quiet for an hour or so after eating, then she can have at it while Scarlett is in the pen. Funny thing is though, she has free access all day to an acre+ of fenced backyard, with a rotating selection of toys, where she can run and play to her heart's content, but she typically hangs out on the deck near Scarlett's pen until one of us goes out there with her. She does love the little girl apparently!
All of your dogs are precious! I'm going to try to attach a better pic of Sunny. That biting the back leg thing sure looks familiar! I'm anxious to start our "official" training to head off those potential bad behaviours. So far, other than Scarlett being lazy and peeing on the doormat instead of going out to the yard, it's just the over-exuberant playing and recently, barking while I'm getting their breakfast together (excuse me??). I made them wait it out this morning until they hushed and sat down (even though quivering while trying to sit still). Mornings sure start off with a bang these days!
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
God you are brave... I can´t imagine a mix of 1/yo Lab energy with a Setter puppy energy... dumb and dumber... LOL
Misha was around a y/o when I got Homer and the first couple months were difficult because she was rough with the puppy, but Homer developed a tough skin and learned to say enough is enough. I only intervened when it got way too rough, otherwise, just let them figure it out.
In a couple months the Setter will be larger and stronger.
Wow I really wish you luck trying to control the crazy puppies (the 1/yo is still a puppy)...
Dumb and dumber is right....with my husband and me in the roles! It just turned out this way...wasn't really what we had planned, but I'm looking at it like being parents of twins: hell on wheels at first, but then when they're older they really enjoy each other. (Mostly. We do look forward to our setter girl getting on up there size-wise so things will be evenly matched. She's growing incredibly fast already. When she's out of the pen, she tries to get Sunny to come out in the yard and play with her, but for a dog named Sunny, she really prefers to loll around in the shade. I go out with them several times a day (I don't know how people do it if they're at work all day--hats off to them), so we're all getting lots of playtime!
Do all your Labs love to swim? I love to watch her take a lap around the pool when we've been out in the sun and she's hot. It's really cool how their instincts just kick in even though they've never been trained to do anything in particular. She retrieved the thermometer last time she swam: had to get that away from her quickly and tell her what a good girl she was.
I appreciate the wonderful advice and your experiences. Very reassuring.