Hello lab owners. I am desperatley searching for someone that would be willing to help me out with my insane chocolate lab delima. I have never owned a dog. My sons wanted one really bad so after searching and researching I came back with a Lab being the best dog to get. I live on a big farm, and everything said they were the best family dogs. So I drove 2 hours away and bought Reese (the kids named her)from a lab breeder when she was 6 weeks old a year ago. I bought a crate and had her crate trained until she outgrew it. then I put her in a large pen in the back yard. Now a year later I am at my wits end. She is a complete nightmare! I have tried everything to teach her that my children are not large chew toys. The only two things that have been successful Is I did train her to sit for a treat, and she knows to stop her constant night barking if I say "hush" However, I cannot even get the dog to let me pet her, or brush her. She simply will not stop biting. The kids, when they enter the pen the first thing she does is knock them down and and bite their shoes off. If they try to run she wraps her paws around their legs and bites their ankles knocking them over. I have never seen a dog like her before in my life. When she was a little puppy, she was very good at playing fetch, she always brought whatever you threw back. Now she refuses, she wants you to chase her down, and she refuses to let go. She will walk on a leash but constantlly jumps on me and bites while I walk her. It is like it's just a huge game, play time that never ends. I don't know how to get her to stop biting, I can't even pet her! She is not doing it in anger though, shes very happy go lucky. If I sit down, or anyone for that matter, she will knock you over and snap at your face. Is there any hope for reese? I am concerned becase she is a year old now. During her older puppy stage it was the middle of winter so I didnt' work with her much. Letting her inside the house was just not going to happen because will eat anything and pee on the floor the moment she comes in. It is like a tornado if she gets in the house. The one and only time she minds me is in the bathtub. She still being as large as she is will sit in the tub and let me wash her without snapping. However she will then run outside and roll around in the dirt. If anyone can help me with this I would be in gratitude, I am so concerned that there is no hope for her and the kids love her to pieces even though she chews them to bits.
First off I will let you know you will get a lot of comments on the doing being an "outside dog". That being said don't get mad.
First off I would start with a spray bottle and spray Reese in the face when she wants to bite. (My Dakota is 6 months and the first few times she tried to bite she got a face full of water and we NEVER had another problem with her bitting).
you said you live on a big farm. Take Reese out and let her RUN like no tomorrow. A tired lab is a happy lab! DON'T CHASE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sit down and let her come to you. HAVE you spray bottle, if she tries to bite give her a face full of water. ONCE she is tired and worn out LEASH her and take her inside(Make sure she went potty outside first)(still to this day if Dakota is being a little monster I will leash her to me so I can correct her). LET her be with you in the house ON her leash. Correct her bad habits, it can be done. Get her a bigger crate for the house. I NEVER in my life thought I would crate my dogs, and then Maggie ate a HUGE hole on my bed and then the carpet. I ONLY use my crates when I can't watch my girls or when I leave the house. Maggie LOVES her crate and would do ANYTHING to get into her crate.
Labs are people dogs! They WANT to please you and do ANYTHING to make you happy as long as they know what you expect of them. Take a training class! I Dakota finished her second training class 3 weeks ago and is one of my better dogs. My trainer explained to me that its not the DOG who is bad its the HUMAN who isn't giving the comand/correction right.
And remember A TIRED LAB IS A GOOD LAB!!!
Good luck, and remember we are ALL here to help you if/when you need it!
After she was crate trained, did you ever let in the house? I personally don't believe any dog should be kept in a pen outside all the time. If the dog was never trained in the house with the rest of the family, she will not know not to jump and nip. It sounds to me like you never really took the time to train the dog to be a family dog. It seems more like you may have given up too early with the in the house thing and now she doesn't know any differently. Any dog left outside without attention and love is not going to give the same back to you. If you are serious about keeping the dog I would have a trainer come to the house or bring her for some kind of training. If you do not ever plan on letting the dog inside to become a part of the family, maybe you should find her a good home. Labs are not known to be the crazy type dog you are describing. The training probably had alot to do with it. She was not properly raised to be a house dog because I don't think she was given enough chance. I am not trying to be mean or hurtful and I am sorry if it sounds that way but no dog should be kept outside all the time!
Letting a dog in and out of the house I don't have a problem with, but there are people that have house dogs and people that have outside dogs. It's just an opinion on inside and outside. I have never been mean to the dog, I work with her alot. But like I previously stated it is the first dog I ever owned. Her pen, is not a little tiny area it is a very large area. She has a very large farm to run across at will when I can get her to mind me. But thinking it is mean to not let an dogl live in a house that is just an opinion. Alot of people don't want animals in their house doesn't mean they are mistreating an animal. I am asking for tips, advise on how to get the dog to obey me. It is obvious that I am trying and am being sincere in my efforts. If I didn't care about the dog, she would have been gone the first time she bit my son.
Thankyou very much Labmommy. I will try the spray bottle. I do let her romp across the farm, We take her to the creek alot and let her just jump in. She isn't good at comming to me though, that takes quite a while. So I let her chase me on the four wheeler.
You need a trainer. I couldn't have gotten Dakota or Maggie to the point of where she is now with out my trainers help.
No one is telling you that you are a bad owner.
I would do some calling around and maybe find a trainer that will come to your home. It is a little more money to pay doing it that way but it sounds to me like right now you need to work one HOME issues with you, your kids, and the dog TOGETHER.
Not everyone can train a dog with out help. I couldn't.
And try the spray bottle for now. It will shock her and tell her "NO BITE" When she jumps on you spray her in the face and tell her "OFF". It works I promise!
Thankyou very much Labmommy.* I will try the spray bottle.* I do let her romp across the farm, We take her to the creek alot and let her just jump in. She isn't good at comming to me though, that takes quite a while. So I let her chase me on the four wheeler.
Once you can get her calm enough put her on a leash and get her a treat that she LIKES. have her get in front of you as if you were going to make her SIT. Walk backwards and tell her to COME.
I have a fear of letting dogs chase me, or anyone else on anything that has more than feet lol. I would assume if you are careful that on a four wheeler it would be okay to get her tired. BUT when you are on your feet DONT LET HER CHASE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!
A lot of people will tell you to get her tired, not worn out, but tired before you start ANY type of training session. that way she isn't as excited. Don't feed her before a training session. Even though labs LOVE FOOD they will be more intrested in the food and listening if they have an empty tummy.
Id really check into a trainer. We took 2 classes from the same trainer and after the first class she really pleaded with everyone to take a second class. Your dog will grasp the comand better than you at first. The trainer is for the human NOT the dog. It is US who need to be trained who to give and correct a comand.
Sound like you have your hands full. From what you say, you are going to have to undo a whole year of bad habits.
6 weeks old is about two weeks too soon to have been taken away from the litter. Those last two weeks are important socialization weeks. Plus from your description she has been more or less a solitary dog, kept away from everyone unless they want to be around her. Labs are people dogs and she seems awfully excited to be around her people. She lacks the social skills right now. Others have given you some good advice. Pick out one or two things to work on and keep it slow. It will take a while to undo what you have done.
If you enjoy reading, Check out Cesar's Way, How to Speak Doggish, The Other End of the Leash and If Bones Would Rain from the Sky. You have to be the pack leader for her. Even though she is big, she is still a puppy and will stay a puppy for a couple of more years. You need to work on things pretty much one problem at a time.