I have had Mardi since early January and I have learned only a part of her past as she came into rescue and eventually to me. She has moderate separation anxiety and because she was so new and also sick with terrible diarrhea, I did what I could to avoid stressing her. I now am in the habit of rolling her crate with me almost everywhere I go if she is crated. She does not yet signal when she has to piddle and has twice wet the carpet so I let her free in the house only for about 90 minutes after taking her out. Except for midnight to 8 AM I take her out every four hours.
If she is free in the house she follows me everywhere. However, when she is free and finds staying with me to be boring she will move around the house scouring the floor hoping to find crumbs. Her stools are now normal and she has no reason to think she is starving--but she does. When I sit at the computer or am eating she constantly nudges my nearest hand-she isn't begging for food, only for petting. She also brings me toys and tries to make me play with her. She does, eventually, get bored and then lies down right next to me or enters her crate on her own. If I sit in the recliner to watch TV she tries to "share" the recliner with me. I am shopping for a wider recliner! I really am committed to making her happy and secure but I don't want to go overboard and really spoil her. I just want her to get to the point that she trusts I will never leave her for long periods. She is doing well when I take her in the car, crated, while I run errands. However, she almost always sits up and watches out the window for my return. Also, when we play outside in the fenced acre she now spends time away from me, examining every blade of grass and hoping to find food.
I very much enjoy holding, playing and petting her but I do believe it is not in her best interest to foster severely clingy behavior. I would appreciate suggestions as to how to help her be a little more independent because there are times when I need both hands for my own tasks. When she is reliably house trained I would prefer she spend time in her crate only at night while I am asleep.
GO PLAY WITH HER!
Seamus and Flynn
First, it sounds like she is adapting well. As time goes on, she will realize that she is in her forever home and she will relax. You're doing a good job with her, but I would not pull the crate to wherever you are.
Try putting a string of bells on the doorknob and ring them every time you take her out to potty. Tell her to "ring the bells" and see if you can get her to touch them with her nose. When she does, praise her hugely and take her out. One she gets the idea, she will let you know when she has to go out.
As for always searching for food - that's normal for a Lab! By the way my boys act, you would think they were never fed!
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
sounds like a typical lab to me?
anyway, some things to help her keep herself busy are stuffed kongs, tug a job, kong wobbler.
get a routine, which includes play time (play with her!) and training, and breaks where you go about your business.
How old is this dog? depending on the age it sounds like a house training issue not an SA issue. If the dog really has to pee every two hours I would suspect a UTI or something (again, assuming this isn't a puppy). Train a potty command outside, reward BIG TIME when she pees outside (make sure you know she is going each time). clean all accidents with an odour neutralising products (nature's miracle, vinegar).
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Various answers: Mardi is at least 2 years old. She was described by the rescue as house trained, but as I said, she has gone twice in the house. She does ask to go out if she is in the crate. I have a string of bells on the door knob but she has yet to make any connection to ringing to go out. We play a lot--I live alone with Mardi and 2 cats and have plenty of time to play. We spend a period every day outside in the fenced acre playing ball--her favorite pass time. I take her somewhere in the car almost daily. As the weather improves and it is warmer and less muddy outside I will spend more time outside with her. Sometimes, when we are out in the car, I find a nice park and walk her there. I live very near the old Erie Canal and many towns here have nice walking trails along the old tow paths. From the moment I first put a leash on her and she almost immediately squatted, I have praised her with, "Good pee" every time she goes. I always ask her if she wants to go pee and use that phrase as I step outside the door with her. She has 2 predictable BMs a day and I always take her out at those times--around noon and midnight. I have not used any food treats since she developed severe diarrhea because I want her intake to be regular and only her current kibble. She was on Hill's ID and is now almost fully transitioned to Canadae All Life Stages Lamb and Rice. Yesterday I tried using pieces of her kibble to get her from a sit (she came to me knowing the sit command) to a down and also to give me her ball. Once she realized I was holding a few pieces of kibble she was too frantic for the food to even think about doing as I asked in order to get the food.
She is doing something really cute right now. The property behind me is a farmer's horse pasture but Mardi hasn't noticed the horses until now. She is sitting inside the house looking out a window that overlooks her fenced acre and the pasture behind that. That is at least 500 feet away. She just noticed the horses and stated barking at them. Every time they move she growls or barks. She also did this when she first noticed I had turned on a ceiling fan. She is used to that now and doesn't bark any longer. She likes the cats and always wants to play (but does bark) when she sees another dog. I wish I could know all that she has experienced in her lifetime. I have had many dogs and they were all easy to house train. I understand Mardi is still getting used to being here with me and I know very little about her past. I don't think anyone ever hurt her because she is always thrilled to see people. She is too friendly and I need to teach her not to jump on them. So far, no one has been angry because they all have found her really appealing.
She sounds like many of our velcro Labs. I think often we try harder than we need to in trying to make them happy. I am sure being with you, being loved and cared for is making her more than happy.
I think it is cute when they watch for me to come home.
Kassa was a pup when I got her and I thought she would never be house trained. Tess wasn't house trained when I got her and it took ages. Neither told me they wanted to go out so I watch for their subtle signal. Tess gets fidgety and I say " do you want to go pee". She jumps around.
Tess is my jumpy dog. I keep her lead short when people come close and try to make her sit. She is a work in progress, but getting better. To stop her jumping on us when we come in I ignore them until they settle.
Sounds like you are really enjoying heer.
She does sound like you are making progress. Labs are always scouting for food. It is not that they need food but that they like food. Good toys for a lab are the"hurley" by West Paw. It will last a long time with a real chewer and you get one free replacement if you keep the reciept. Also the med size Chuck it balls with the holes in them. These are great toys and stand a lot of abuse. Jack loves his toys but of course we have to play too. You are doing a good job and soon she will be more independent.Exercise always translates to sleep time so if you time it you can get some house work done. Good Luck and thank you for rescueing.
Judy and Jack
"If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much room."
"Jack catching a few rays."
She really does sounds like a typical Lab; always hungry, wanting to be near you. Take a fresh pee sample to the vet to test for a UTI. Be sure to clean previous pee spots. (Natures Miracle)