My wife and I got our little chocolate lab, Kaylee, when she was 6 weeks old; she is now 11 weeks old. I guess I just have a few questions and it is probably just me expecting too much out of her but just wanted some other opinions/advice. I was very excited to finally get a lab so we can be an active family and really do a lot of outdoorsy activities. She is a very smart dog, she is already house broken, she can sit, lay down, and shake. We don't use any treats or a clicker at all. All we do is give her praise, however she doesn't really ever get excited when we give her praise. She just kind of sits there and looks at us. She could care less about treats and she is obsessed with her food, so we tried using those as treats but she doesn't take well to those either. Has anybody ever had that problem as well? But anyway I seem to be rambling now, so let me get to the real questions.
Question 1: What would you say the best way is to teach her to come when called? She always liked to stay close to us when she was younger but now she is getting adventurous and likes to wander a little too far so I really would like her to listen to me and not just ignore me and keep walking away from me before I can get her. We don't have a fenced in yard but we just let her out off leash and we are trying to teach her her boundaries so she knows how far she can go.
Question 2: She hates to walk! When we trying to take her for a stroll down the street she resists and whines the whole way. Its not the leash, she just doesn't like to walk for some reason. She will walk but she whines the entire time. We try and take our other dog with us for a walk so she can see how its done, but she just walks a long and when our other dog is with us she tends to whine even louder. Is this just a puppy thing? Do you think she will in time learn to like walks?
I guess I am just wanting her to do too much too early. Like I said I really want her to be an active dog, which in turn will get us out of our house and off the couch to make us more active. I guess I am just asking if this is normal puppy behavior and they just have to grow out of it?
I do think you are expecting too much too early.
As for the walking - at that age, my pup would just lie down somewhere along the walk and refuse to get up for a while. I think the guideline is only about 5-10 minutes walking per month of age, but my guy didn't even want to do that much. I brought him home at about 10 weeks and on our first early AM walk, he made it 2 houses down, layed down in the road and went back to sleep. Now, he's a great walking partner, but it definitely took quite a while to build up.
As for the recall - that will also take time and you should expect that she may "forget" it even after she's learned it at some point. Many of the pups go through a stage (for mine it was at about 6 months) where they just want to push boundaries. You'll have to practice quite a bit for reliable recall and the rewards may change over time. Either find a very high value treat (like meat) or a toy, a ball, great enthusiasm, whatever works at this time. Change as needed to keep her coming.
Good luck and have patience
I'm sure others will chime in with more advice....
I have near perfect recall with Dylan ( Unless food is involved. )
It took a minimum of 18 months to almost perfect.
It takes time to get them to obey you. Puppies or older untrained dogs.
Kassa was a pup and by the time she was a year old she was great. By 18 months everything I wanted. Her and worked hard and took time and patience. Some times I would think she has got it, and next she would be deaf. Often I had to go back to basics.
Ernie and Tessa were older and again it took about 18 months.
Ernie wouldn't take treats as he had never had them. Once he realised doing something good meant treats or praise he wouls listen more. Keep plodding away and you will have the dog you want.
Yep, rule of thumb is 5 minutes for each month they are old. She may whine because she is scared of that big scary world out there. Try walking her in the yard for awhile. Try using a harness instead of a collar. I love this one from Petsmart: Sporn Non-Pulling Mesh Control Harness - Dog - Sale - PetSmart It is easy on and off, and comfortable to the dog. It stops the pulling. As far as teaching recall....it takes a long time sometimes. Sophie is still a pain in the butt if she isn't ready to come when called. We just keep working at it.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
A good, solid recall take time. I suggest leaving a leash on her when she's outside so you can gently guide her to you when you call, as well as finding something "high value" to her to use as a reward. It can be treats, a toy or just "having a party" when she comes. Caleb dragged a leash for almost 2 years when we were outside (our yard isn't fenced, either). I started with a long one, then went to a standard 6 foot leash.
Don't forget to reward when/if she comes back to you on her own out in the yard. You want to teach her that being by you is the best place to be.
Teach recalls in the house as well. In fact, that's the best place to start because there are fewer distractions.
I'd also strongly sugegst puppy kindergarten classes.
If you use a partner and set yourselves up at opposite ends of the yard (or room) and take turns calling the puppy to you and rewarding her with a food item (little bit of hot dog, little bit of chicken or kibble) when she listens and comes to you, then you will be well along in having a dog with a good recall. It takes time and a lot of repetition to get it solid.
I would keep this fun and keep the sessions short and repeat daily (or twice a day). All training should be fun for your puppy.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.