I have a 14 month old pure bred yellow male neutered Labrador retriever, got him when he was 3 1/2 months old. First question is that someone saw a picture of him and said he is not pure bred. I told them we got AKC papers on him, how can he be not pure? They said sometimes breeders will have a liter that will not be pure from both parents and will try to sell them as pure. They said he looks lab/golden retriever mix or lab/shepherd mix. This has me totally confused. Now for the second question is that he doesn't like it when some one drives up to our chain link fence/gate or walk by on the road. He will bark and the back of his fur will rise up. He will jump up on the fence if that person has gotten out of their car like he wants to let them know hey get off of my property. He has NEVER bitten anybody. He will growl at some strangers but when we take him on a walk and someone comes up to him he is friendly and gives them kisses. A little background here; our house was robbed when he was 4 months old and he was locked up in his kennel. He went crazy barking when my boys were tied up on the floor they can here him go crazy trying to get out. Ever since this has happened he has become more and more protective of us with cars & strangers coming to our fence. Is this normal protective behavior or is he showing signs of aggression. He is completely gentle with us. This has bothered me and some web sites are saying put him to sleep he is too aggressive!
Firstly... on the "pure bred" side of things. A lot of people don't know what a lab REALLY looks like.. also there is quite a range from field to show lines and they can look different and confuse people. If you post a pic I'm sure the experts on here will be able to give you an idea if your dog is obviously NOT a pure lab if you really care that much. The person was right though that AKC papers doesn't guarantee anything 'cause there are unscrupulous breeders out there.
Protective/agressive... firstly WOW.. you were robbed? And your boys were TIED UP!? What an experience!!! That must have been very scary and I'm not surprised it made quite an impression on your dog. You might want to hire a professional trainer to evaluate him to see if he truly has a problem with agression. Barking at strangers on the lawn sounds kind of normal and expected given the robbery you had but I am NO expert on this... so I'd pay a professional to evaluate him.
I can't believe that someone would advise that a 14 month old dog be put to sleep especially when they haven't seen him. A trainer evaluation is a good idea. I would recommend that you read Caesar's Way and get the first season DVD set of the Dog Whisperer.
well hell, then I should have my boy put to sleep too...
From your descrption, he's not showing aggression...he's just warning you that there is someone there. My Rider barks and howls to no end when someone comes to the door or walks past. Once I let them in, he's all happy! No worries.
As for the purebred...what lindsey said.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Thanks for the advice. First it doesn't matter if he is pure or not my last two labs were mixed and they were the best dogs ever. I was just curious and his picture is on my profile. We did get the Gentle Leader and that works great on him when we go for our walks. We live on 2 1/2 acres with few neighbors near by, but do get traffic with cars. I will get that dvd and book. Since he is great when he meets people outside of our home on our walks and very protective of us inside our area does sound to me that he remembers the robbers and alerts us whenever someone comes around. I was told not to change that but I do want him to understand that not all people that come up to the gate are bad. This is a tough one for me. My son that was tied up is so tramatized that he said he doesn't want our dog to change because the robbers threaten to come back and kill him and his brother. My oldest at the time was 18 and he was hit in the face with a gun & tied up and my middle son at the time 17 was tied up but not hit. This is the problem I am facing on leaving him to be our protector because of this or train him to be not as protective. Also I am not even sure he will change after that has happened. Thank you again for your advice!
Ditto that. My Tucker does the exact same thing. He's just protecting his family and his propertyFrom your descrption, he's not showing aggression...he's just warning you that there is someone there. My Rider barks and howls to no end when someone comes to the door or walks past. Once I let them in, he's all happy! No worries.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
The papers may have been mis-filed. And he may or may not be purebred. But really, not to be flip, but do you care? I'd've looked at the person carping at his looks and said something withering like, "Well our love for him is pure, so that's all that really matters to US, Now, what about YOU!?" And walked away...
As to the stranger aversion -- TOTALLY understandable given his history. Frankly, I'd do nothing here. He hasn't snapped at anyone. He's being contained on YOUR property under YOUR watchful eye. So the neighbors get barked at when they walk past. What's the harm?? Now if there were ANY chance he could dig/push/climb his way out, I'd suggest some action, but you didn't say that was the case....
Enjoy your boy. Consider him a early doorbell -- you'll know the UPS guy is there well before he gets to the stoop!
Labs are not protective dogs but they are alerters. They will let you know when something is different. Woof...there is a car in the driveway. Woof...there is someone walking down the street. Woof...that leaf just moved. It's all very normal behavior.
Your dog is 14 months old and is right in the middle of the teenage period. During this time they go thru a 2nd fear period. It's important to introduce them to many different people, places, things to develop their confidence during this time.
Hackles raise for a number of reasons...fear (to look larger), excitement (similar to goose bumps for us), anger (to look larger, more menacing). Given that the dog is 14 months old, my bet is this is a fear reaction.
Personally I think the person that told you to put the dog to sleep should be taken out back and shot but that's just my opinion.
I agree. Labs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are show type dogs and field type dogs but the most common type is a pet bred. I would say that the bulk of Labs are pet bred which leaves massive variations in regards to looks/weight/height/etc. It also depends on what you are used to seeing. I have had owners of grossly obese, poorly bred Labs tell me that my field Labs "can't possibly be purebred" because they are "too small" or whatever. The average dog owner knows little or nothing about Lab linage or breed standards so never take anyones comments personally. Most of the time they don't know what they are talking about!Firstly... on the "pure bred" side of things. A lot of people don't know what a lab REALLY looks like.. also there is quite a range from field to show lines and they can look different and confuse people.
As for the barking, given the experience I am not surprised he is acting in that way. Personally, I like my dogs barking at people that are outside my property from a "protection" point of view. A barking dog is probably the best intruder deterrent. Unless the barking is being uncontrollable I wouldn't worry about it. Its pretty normal for dogs to bark at strangers in or around their property. Dogs that do this are rarely aggressive. EVERY dog I know barks at strangers in or around their property and are definitely NOT aggressive.
First, I'm so sorry that happened to your sons. What a nightmare that must have been for the both of them.
Zoe, who doesn't seem to have an aggressive bone in her body barks like the meanest dog in our neighborhood when a stranger car pulls up our driveway, or if a stranger approaches...hackles up and everything! You'd think she was possessed!
Once inside the fence, if I say, "he/she's okay" she does her wiggly butt routine. Could you have friends that your dog has never seen come by to test?
(your avatar pic is a little too tiny to see the details)
Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut