Our 8 year old lab has developed a very extreme food obsession and we are running out of patience for dealing with him. He takes food off the counters, out of the sink, off plates right in front of our eyes, and right out of my 1.5 year old son's hands. We have been working with a trainer and we have been trying to eliminate his opportunities to misbehave, but it is simply too difficult to keep track of both him and my son at all times, so as hard as we try to manage the dog I think we are failing.
Recently he has begun a new behavior, sniffing and staring at our guests very intensely and sometimes trying to hump them... which is unacceptable and dangerous for a 100 pound dog to be doing. We never had any problems with humping until just a few months ago, but now we almost can't have anyone come over to our house. Some other food-related behaviors, he barks obsessively when it is time for his meal, and sometimes he starts barking hours before as if he is "demanding" to be fed. He returns to his bowl after eating and licks it. He drools excessively at the sight or smell of food and continually makes return trips from the family room back to the kitchen in search of food. He consumes large amounts of water in short periods of time. Tonight I measured that he drank just under a gallon (approximately 14-15 cups) in a 1 hour period. From what I understand, that is basically an entire day's intake of water in 1 hour, which may or may not be "normal" considering that he doesn't drink a drop while we are gone during the day and never has.
On top of all those behaviors, he can't be left alone with of my son's wooden toys or he will quickly chew and destroy them, another relatively new behavior.
When we started working with the trainer, she suggested that we do a full panel of blood tests including thyroid, which we did and the results came back normal for everything. I still question whether there might be some underlying medical condition, but I can't keep throwing money at vet bills and home trainer visits without getting any results. We are really at the end of our rope and don't know what else to do. Our home life with the dog is not enjoyable and our only nearby family member who helped us with him on occasion is now afraid to come over because of his behavior.
I have always been someone who believes that when a person gets a dog it is their responsibility to care for that dog and not to give up when it isn't convenient, but we have to be able to have some form of normal home life and the current situation isn't fair to anyone, ourselves or the dog.
I know there probably isn't going to be any sort of magic bullet, but does anyone have any advice for me? Are there other medical conditions that could be involved but were undetected by the panel of tests? Do we have any other options to resolve these issues?
I am probably not allowed to do this BUT if you go to this forum: Labrador Retriever Dogs Chat Forum Board - Dogs, Puppies, Photos, Training, Pictures, Rescue Forums and post your question, you will get lots of good advice. Probably only 1 or 2 people will respond on this forum.