Hi, First I'd like to introduce myself and family. My name is Chancie, I have 2 kids, Kiley almost 3, and Johnathon almost 5 months. My husband is in the Navy, and will be home soon from a school in Texas. I got Brady on Valentines day. He's a 1 year old yellow lab. I got him from a breeder who kept him in a large clean pin, but outside.
OK, the problems I'm having:
Brady will not go outside on his own. If I try to put him out to go potty, I either have to go outside with him, or "trick" him into thinking I'm going outside. If I do this he will only sit on the steps and wait to be let back inside. If I go out with him, he will only stand beside me. I've gotten him some toys, and he loves to play. But when we go outside and I throw a ball for him, he will chase is for only a moment, then realizes I'm not standing beside him, and he runs back to me. I've had to clean up several accidents, and I don't know how to make him realize that it's OK to play in the yard.
His previous owner leash trained him very well, and he's perfectly comfortable on a leash, HOWEVER, my mother and I took the kids to a Mardi Gras parade on saturday, and I have a steak in the middle of the yard with a chain on it. The chain is 30 feet long, so he had alot of room to run while we were gone. I put him on it, and he started pulling on the chain, and it was obvious he wasn't thrilled, but I left him there, because I didn't want to leave him unsupervised inside just yet. We left for a few hours, and when we got back he had actually loosened his collar and got out. He was gone for almost a day, but THANKFULLY came home yesterday!!!! Well we were so happy he came home, and gave him lots of love and treats, but then it came time for bed. He kept getting into things-mostly the trash-, and so I decided to put him in our half-bath and let that be his room, since it's rarely used anyway, and there is plenty of room for him to move around comfortably. I also put a few of his favorite stuffed toys in with him, and some blankets to lay on so that he would be comfortable. I put him in, and in a few mins I hear him going crazy in there. I gave him a min, went back let him out to reassure him that we weren't leaving, pet him for a min, and put him back in. He was quiet for about 5 mins, then he starts acting up again, and I hear a huge crack. I ran to the bathroom, and Brady had torn the facing off the door!!!! I ended up letting him out of the room.
Does anyone have any suggestions?? He's a really sweet dog, and my daughter LOVES him, I want this to work, and I know much of the problem is probably that he's spent most of his life outside in a pen. PLEASE HELP!! Any suggestions would be wonderful!!!
Thanks in Advance!
I posted a reply in the training section.
He probably has separation anxiety as a result of being left alone in a pen outside for much of his life.
I really don't believe in tying dogs out. It's dangerous and I also believe it is really bad for them mentally.
If you don't already have a crate you need to get one, and you need to begin crate training with your dog.
First he's only been there a week so it's going to take some time for him to get used to being in his new environment. Some labs are very clingy by nature and I didn't read if your yard was fenced? If not I wouldn't just let him out any time just yet off leash. If it is start out going out with him for now as he gets more used to your place and yard he will loosen up and be more willing to go on his own some. Same with the toys some dogs are very toy oriented and some are not if he hasn't been brought up with them he may never play with them then again he might they are all very different.
As far as when your away or cannot watch him. GET A CRATE!!! Beleive me it will save you a lot of money and frustration, and possibly save his life. Most dogs if introduced properly to their crate will learn to love it and may even spend time when you are home napping it in. It will keep him from eating anything that could be harmful and give you peice of mind he's not tearing things up. Never chain him up outside he could hurt himself or someone could take him. Although it sounds far fetched it happens every day they steal them and sell them. Labs are a big target because they are so popular.
Be patient with him with time I'm sure he'll be a great pet.
You should read the book "Marley and Me". Some of the things you are saying sound like they are right out of that book.
Good luck with the new family-member!
Please crate him.
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
Don't leave him outside upsupervised ever. Buy a large crate and put him in there inside when he can't be supervised. He'll be much happier in it, believe me. It's like a den for them.
He's probably afraid to go outside for fear you won't let him back in. Poor thing.
Good luck with him!
Keep us posted.
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
Everyone beat me to it: Crate Training = Happy Labs and Happy Labby People. They're really not very expensive, but it will save you a fortune in chewed stuff. It'll give him a safe haven for when you leave the house, need a break from him, or he wants quiet time too.
Good Luck with him, you'll get great advice here!
Oh, and tie-outs are just trouble waiting to happen. Other animals/dogs/people can come in and hassle your boy, he can get loose, get tangled, etc. Better to construct a solid outdoor pen, but you have to understand that Labs are very social.
I agree with the pp's Get a crate, it won't be easy in the beginning but eventually he'll get used to it. He sounds like he has a LOT of seperation anxiety, doesn't sound like he had the best of living conditions for his first crucial year of life. How sad. Any how he may need some professional training too at least so he can go outside and go to the bathroom himself. He's probably just scared he's gonna get stuck out there all day.
Good Luck with him. I'm sure it is hard especially with 2 children already, but having a lab is like having a child.
Ok...well as this section gets more traffic, I'll post what I put here. Although, everyone has covered it now!
One word: crate. I would purchase one and put it up ASAP.
As Brady has been penned up for most of his short life it is possible that he has some sort of separation anxiety. The refusal to go potty without you and going crazy while left alone are classic signs.Never, ever tie a dog up unattended. You witnessed first hand what can happen. This is where the crate comes in. No doubt he will protest about the crate at first but as long as you make it a very positive place to be he should come around.and I have a steak in the middle of the yard with a chain on it. The chain is 30 feet long, so he had alot of room to run while we were gone (Before placing the stake, I made sure that he would not have any obsticles that he could get hurt, or hung on, and had shade if needed). I put him on it, and he started pulling on the chain, and it was obvious he wasn't thrilled, but I left him there, because I didn't want to leave him unsupervised inside just yet. We left for a few hours, and when we got back he had actually loosened his collar and got out
I suggest you contact a qualified trainer or behaviorist to properly diagnose the problem. I think a hands on, 1-2-1 session with a professional would really help.
Here are some links on SA that are worth a read: