What has your Lab trained YOU to do?
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Thread: What has your Lab trained YOU to do?

  1. #1
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS

    DefaultWhat has your Lab trained YOU to do?

    IMO, often in living with our Labs over the years, although we train them to do many things, they also gradually (usually gradually) train us to react in certain ways to them.

    My Bess was quite assertive in many ways -- I remember when she thought it was time for her supper, she'd somehow grasp her stainless steel food bowl with her teeth (!!) and repeatedly throw it (BANGING IT) over the kitchen floor until food appeared in it. When her 2 quart inverted water jug was no longer dispensing water to its bowl underneath, she'd bark at it until fresh water appeared. She never had to wait long for either. I learned to respond rapidly. Since we always had Doggy Doors, she never had to train me for bathroom duty.

    Puff is much less assertive but gently persistent.

    Her current regular times to go out for Pee & Potty relief are roughly 7-8 AM, 1:30-3 PM, and 8:30-9:30 PM. If I haven't initiated going out first, Puff's first moves are to lick my hand and look at me wistfully. If that doesn't result in my correctly reading her mind, her next try is gently touching and stroking me with her muzzle. If that still hasn't produced her desired response, her touches become much firmer and definite. If that still hasn't gotten the response she wants, then she begins panting-- huffing and puffing. That always gets my attention and I immediately put on my shoes, pick up her leash, check my back pocket to make sure it has litter pick-up bags, and we head for the door.

    At night, say around 2-4 AM, if/whenever she wakes me up by nose nudgies accompanied by panting, I get up and take her out because I know it's serious.

    Around 4 - 5 PM, slightly in advance of her usual supper time (5:30, her main meal), Puff unfolds a similar series of licking and nudgie reminders (short of the huff & puffs) which stop when she sees that I'm preparing her usual additive (chicken pieces & broth) to add to her kibble and to let it soak up for awhile.

    Also, when we're riding in the car, Puff in the back seat with me driving, her muzzle strokes on my passenger side arm indicate she either wants water in her bowl (between the backs of the front seats), OR, more usually, that she wants her treat of peanuts. For the former, I check the bowl to see if it's dry and, if so, add water. For the peanuts, I shake out about 7 halves into my palm and reach back so she can take them. TWICE per trip is my limit and Puff graciously accepts that.

    Any things your Lab has trained you to respond to?

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-15-2013 at 04:40 PM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":

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  3. #2
    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


    Oh yes, Bob, they do train us!

    Whenever I eat a banana, I must, MUST save the last half inch piece for Diesel. The times that I forget, oh boy, the look I get is unreal. But... but... how could you mama?!?! looks even more pathetic when he has a chest full of drool on his fur, as his eyes go back and forth between staring at the empty banana peel in my hand and making eye contact with me.

    Weekend morning routine, I always make eggs sunny side up. I'm allowed to sop up some yolk with a piece of toast for myself, but Diesel has to have enough to make licking the plate worthwhile. One time I got greedy and he literally sniffed the plate then looked at me like wtf? that's it?! I have not been that selfish since.

    The Labrador Body Slide aka The Let's Crush My Human Snuggle. I lay there and take it because I know it must mean an awful lot to him to be so close to me he's practically a part of me. I'm allowed to wiggle only slightly just so that I can still breathe, wiggling away too much leads to The Labrador Bum Shuffle and he's suddenly like a second skin again. I can't be the only victim here! Ok, ok, I enjoy it too

    Stepping over the bath mat as I get out of the shower so I do not step on him as he sleeps all curled up like a fireplace kitty. I don't use the "move" command here, he just looks too peaceful, besides I get the "look" if I do. I've done it enough times to know how far I can stretch and how to distribute my weight so I don't slip and land on my ass.

    I have to give him the rail side when going up or down stairs. He hates stairs so I figured he'd prefer the wall since it's all closed in on that side, but he insists on going to the rail side so I'm SOL if I can't reach the hand rail for myself as he goes up or down with me and stops if I am too far ahead or behind.

    If he digs out "Gator" or "Squid" (his fave plush squeeky toys) from his toy box, I am expected to get down on all fours, and we don't tug with them, but he holds one end & I take the other and he expects me to lead him in circles. He loves to go around, and around, and around, and around... until mama either feels dizzy watching this black spinning object or until my arm feels like it's going to fall off. When I let go he gives it a violent shake then wags his tail and I swear he is smiling while holding it and gives me the "let's do it again!" look. I comply.

    There has to be more, but that's all I can think of for now. I swear he owns me more than I do him.

  4. #3
    Kathy4July is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006


    This was a fun one to respond to! My 12 year old Winnie sits by my side to wait for the dregs of my last orts of oatmeal. Bailey, my 13 year old waits patiently for the dregs of the yogurt cups.
    When I get the cutting board out for chopping veggies or fruits, they come from out of nowhere and sit on either side for a morsel which i can't resist giving. When 3pm rolls around we start getting the"look" which means " how about dinner?
    Always, a bark when they come in from a walk for a treat!! If I forget he leads me to the pantry and waits!! We are well trained by our lovable labs.

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  6. #4
    joflake is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    This is funny because hubby told me that Willy woke him up at 4:30 this morning. He thought he needed to go outside, but instead he went to his food bowl! Ha! He just wanted to eat. Breakfast is at 6:00 after I'm done exercising, I guess he was a little hungrier this morning! And he is another one that will hit his bowl with his paw and send if flying across the room until you feed him. It's stainless, it's not quiet.

  7. #5
    Crystal87 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Central NY


    Jaxx graciously allows me to think I've been training him. That is very kind of him. We all know who is in charge.

    In all seriousness...

    When Jaxx needs to go out he will go sit on the stairs leading to the upstairs. He sort of reclines on them patiently, like he's reclining on a throne. If I don't notice or come, he lets out a deep bark. If I still don't come, I get a growl and then a bark, complete with a head peeking around the wall to see if I notice.

    Jaxx - 12/5/12
    Missy - 12/29/12

  8. #6
    KathyArch is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Beaverton, MI


    I too, am quite well trained. I wake up during the night with Jack standing by my side of the bed (NEVER wake the Daddy) his chin on my pillow, staring at me. If I try to ignore this, I get the nose nudges until I get up and let him out. Thankfully he usually doesn't need to go out during the night...but when he does, he always comes to Mom. He also does Diesel's body slide and bum shuffle.....How could I possibly want to have an inch so I can breath? Unless he's lying on an arm or leg and all circilation has stopped, I just lay there and let him snuggle. Never but with a dog do you get this total unconditional love and divotion. Hubby comes close...but Jack never gets pissy if I get a parking ticket.....

  9. #7
    blackandyellow is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mexico City


    I once saw a program where they mentioned that besides humans (and roaches and rats LOL), wolves are the most successful animals in the world. They succeeded in getting another species to take care of their young and ensure their survival. Wolves became dogs because if they attacked their human servers they would end up on their own.... hence the relation from ancient times...

    My dogs have trained me to get out of bed when they say I´ve had enough sleeping, train me how to take them for walks, train me to feed them when they´re hungry, train me to give them treats... They pretty much have learned how to handle a human slave. They are also good at training us to think we are the "alphas" and rulers of the house when in reality they are. Whatever you may think, Labs are a lot smarter than you think they are (sometimes smarter than us). I´m so glad Vermont is dumb LOL... he still hasn´t figured out yet how to take control of me... Misha and Homer on the other hand....

  10. #8
    D Bros.'s Avatar
    D Bros. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Paullina, IA


    Same here. I've been trained to feed and dispense treats, give butt scratches and tummy rubs, and play with him. Diesel is definitely a velcro dog. Follows me everywhere, has to be right against...or on....me when we sleep. Just a few seconds ago, he was laying next to my computer chair with his head on my leg, whining and wanting me to pay attention to him. You gotta love 'em!
    My Lab is smarter than your honor student.

    Deacon 12/1/1999-4/2/2012 RIP, bestest boy.
    Diesel 3/29/2010 My little hard charger.

  11. #9
    NanM is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Conquest, NY--near Syracuse and Lake Ontario.


    Keep EVERYTHING out of her reach. When I leave a room I first check to see if there is anything she might try to get to. We always leave the room together because she is a Velcro do but if she leaves me alone for a minute, GO CHECK ON HER! She might be sneaking a pee on the carpet and she also might be in the room we just left where she has found a way to get to something I don't want her to have.

    Never leave ANY paper ANYWHERE where she might find it. She will chew it into a sopping wet glob and then discard it. Likewise, anything small and made of wood. Popsicle sticks are her favorite.

    ALWAYS remember to latch the kitchen trash can and NEVER use any receptacle that doesn't have a latching lid.
    DON"T DROP FOOD ON THE FLOOR FOR THE CATS. I have done this for years but Mardi is so frantic in her effort to get there first that she might hurt the cats.

    TOILETS must be kept closed at all times. Unless I am sitting there.


  12. #10
    Kori is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA


    Great thread! Yes, we are very well trained in potty breaks, breakfast and dinner routines, belly rubs, massages, brushing (if I don't initiate it), if I'm making a salad, they like the spines of romaine, strawberries, peaches, apples, plums. The funniest is when I get home and let them in, give hugs, scratches, fresh water, they let me know which treat they would like; in front of the pantry is a biscuit, in front of the cabinet by the sink is the stinky cod skins, I am well trained.

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