I am thinking of rescuing a Lab from a shelter but just had a few questions.
I understand some labs at the shelter may not have potty training at all. How would I go about potty trainig an adult lab? When Hawkeye was a puppy I would have him on constant watch. When he accidentally would eliminate indoors, I would sharply say "eh eh" to stop him and carry him outside his business. With an adult dog, I cant necessarily carry him out esch time he has an accident!
Would an adult lab be quicker than a puppy? Or would it be like training a puppy all over again?
Also, around what age do they "mature" despite their size?
Thank you..any other tips or advice would be great!
Last edited by Hawkeye; 05-21-2013 at 01:08 PM.
If you go through a rescue, they will have had the dog evaluated for training, and often the dog will have lived in a foster's home. A shelter should be able to give you some information about the dog as well, for at least as long as they have had it. Even so, you have to keep a sharp eye the first few days until the dog learns where to 'go.' A quick correction (NOPE!) if caught in the act and then "Outside potty!" and take the dog out immediately and they will get the message quickly.
Adults can 'hold it' longer so should be easier to train. Get a bell or string of bells to hang either off the door knob or next to the door you will use to take the dog potty. Ring the bells every time you go out, and soon the dog will get the idea and ring the bells when s/he wants out.
God bless you for rescuing!
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
Sort of depends on the situation and the dog.
If the adult dog has grown up pottying in the house, they have reinforced going potty in the house for some period of time and that could mean a much longer training period while they re-learn the behavior. If it was maybe an outdoor dog good chance it would be similar to teaching a puppy. The benefit to an adult dog is they usually have better bladder and bowel control, but being a rescue you don't know what their impulse control is going to be. Its all going to depend on the situation.
Labs are not known like some breeds about being tough to potty train, so your odds are probably better then with some of the more potty problem prone pooches (say that 10 times fast). My last fosters were two 1 yr old chihuahuas. After 5 weeks, they were still on a very strict schedule and confined to the area I was in at all times. They were improving, but they went to their adoptive home as a work still in progress.
Like the above poster mentioned, going with a rescue group where the dog was in a foster home will help you understand what training needs they will have.
Maturing wise, I really think that depends on the dog. I have seen 1 yr old dogs that seem mature way beyond their age, and I have seen 7 yr old dogs that you would think were still puppies. Being a rescue/shelter dog, keep in mind that socialization, exercise and training may be minimal, so being at a mature age or not doesn't mean you won't still have some immature behaviors. Not always, but its a case by case basis that is for sure. Definitely look at your needs, energy/exercise level, your training skills, time available and try to find the best fit for you and the pup.
Oh, one more thing, when looking at a dog in a shelter, keep in mind that they likely have NOT had much exercise. So their behavior in the stressful shelter setting is not always indicative of their more normal behavior.
Thanks for the response guys! Unfortunately this Lab is from a pound... he hasnt had the luxury of being a foster! Would it still be the same time as training a puppy?
It could very well take as much time adn training as a puppy. as mentioned above, it totally depends on the dog. If he lived indoors with a family that trained somewhat then it could be quick to "remind" the dog of the rules. If the dog had zero training it will be like training an adult size puppy!
House training an adult can be fast often, but other times it can take time. the rules are the same. supervise when indoors, go outside often, make sure the pee outside, reward reward reward, clean accidents, crate when you cannot supervise.
when they "mature" again depends on the dog in question (especially with a mix).
And yes, the behaviour and temperment in the shelter can be very different then once he gets home and relaxes.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky