My husband and I are having trouble with our 2 year old lab. We got him almost 2 years ago and we quickly signed him up for puppy and the following advanced class which he did very well in both. He is very smart and knows commands, but chooses not to listen A LOT. We chose a lab because we have several friends who owned labs and loved them! Well, we are very stressed right now. We have an 18 month old who we have to keep away from the dog. They have been separated since forever. The reason is because about a year or so ago, Tek would run around our kitchen and living room like a maniac and if you got in his way or tried to stop him he would lunge at you and bite you. I'm not sure if this is "playing" but it sure didn't seem like it. Per the trainer, we were told to house line him so we could quickly stop this behavior and catch him before he runs at us. It works, if we can catch the leash fast enough. We also have an 8 year old nephew and every time Tek sees him, if we are not holding his leash, he JUMPS on his back- he just goes wild when he sees him. My nephew is now petrified of him and will not come over our house. Tek is crate trained. He has never liked his crate. He whines and whines to this day. I feel like I don't trust him around my son and with Tek being so big (90 lbs) I am very scared. We just moved and so we have a baby gate separating the kitchen and living room and keep them each in a different room, but I do not want to live like this. We let our son around Tek if we hold his leash closely, but Tek will not leave him alone. He paws him, mouths him etc. We just don't know what to do. We do not want to live like this- keeping them separated- forever. But I'm not sure if/when I will trust him to not plow my son over. He is not the gentle lab I thought labs were.
He does ok walking (next to us, not pulling) We use a pinch collar, which was not my first choice. We used a head harness but it was rubbing the fur off of his nose. When we walk him, if he sees another person or dog his fur sticks up and he barks like crazy. It makes it very difficult to take him on a walk as he is so big and strong. He did not used to be like this. He used to try and stop everyone for pats and attention. But now he just wants to jump on everyone.
I have taught him not to walk through doors before me, which he follows about 99% of the time. I make him sit and wait for his food, and tell him leave it, and ok him to eat (sometimes 30 seconds, sometimes a few minutes).
Also, he chases our cat. Pins him to the ground and bites him. Does this ever stop? We try and stop him every time, but sometimes its delayed.
I know some people argue the alpha dog thing. But I feel like he thinks he is "in charge" of us. He can be really sweet, and I do not want to re home him, but I'm not sure what to do at this point. I am struggling as I feel like I am torn between the dog and my son. I just want us to be a happy family together. Do we have any hope? We have had the trainer to our house multiple times, but of course he's always well behaved and never does what we say he's doing when he's here. But he looks at him differently. I feel like he respects him, and not us.
the zoomies are common playtime occurrence. however it does sound like maybe a bit more exercise is needed and a continuation of all you learned in class. they need to be reminded of their commands and daily.
Thank you for your reply. I just quit my job to be a SAHM, and we moved and so the dog park is right around the corner. So I'm anticipating more walks to the park. Does the jumping and biting us sound normal?
how much and what type of exercise does he get daily?
Honestly it sounds like you did likely well on basic manners in class and he listens to YOU in the house, but haven't trained for distractions at all. Classes area great first step to get a handle on training commands and minimal distractions in class but you need to practice with slowly increasing distractions. It also sounds like he is very under exercised.
Yes the jumping and biting sounds normal for a dog (especially a lab that loves everyone) that hasn't learned how to properly behave with others. In fact, labs love people so it's often common to have issues with training a dog to behave around new people.
Is the ONLY thing the trainer said was to leave a long line?? Did you have just one in house consult?
We take him for daily walks/runs. Like I said, I will be able to take him out more often because we are within walking distance of the dog park. And we live in FL so the weather is perfect now. And the plan is to fence in our yard.
He doesn't seem to be jumping and biting like he's so excited to see us. It's usually when we try to grab a hold of his leash to try and calm him down, and he lunges at us. He doesn't bite and rip my arm apart or anything, but he definitely bruises and scratches me. It doesn't look like play. It looks aggressive, but I can't really tell. I wish I could catch it on video but its too hard because it happens so fast. He doesn't jump on my parents either, its just my small nephew. I'm thinking he thinks he's a playmate?
The trainer also said to continue our training every day. Ex) "Sit. Come" repeat. He's come over twice. He doesn't usually do house consults because he teaches classes, but we told him we were having trouble. He doesn't misbehave when he's around. It is like he is a different dog. I feel like he respects him and not us.
Any tips on his barking? He is SO loud I'm so afraid of him disturbing our neighbors. He doesn't just bark either, he barks AT us. He will sit in front of me and bark at me.
walks don't tire out a dog. what do you mean by "runs"? I suspect he needs a good amount more exercise. at that age a lab often needs an hour minimum of off leash play. walks are great but in no way tire out a young active dog.
Sounds like he has not learned any bite inhibition as a puppy. But it does sound like excitement none the less. and yes he likely sees the nephew as a fellow puppy play mate. I would have work with the nephew and have him do some training with the dog when he's over (with you by his side to help).
the barking on leash - that's being leash reactive. You really really really need a better more educated and helpful trainer to come over this is a lot to handle on a pet board. You need to work with him with distractions (slowly increasing) and work with him to get his attention even when he is aroused (exited). My dog can pull towards other dogs so we are working hard with treats and commands. First step is i have her sit when a dog walk by (leaving TONS of room). then I slowly try to walk by. at first i may need the treat right out but my goal long term is to treat less often and I am at the stage where I can leave the treat in my pocket and just talk her past other dogs and reward after. eventually i will try to get it more natural.
honestly if the trainer wasn't more helpful then that I'd get another training that can help you.
sounds like excitement to me too. and fencing in the yard is great so they can go eliminate in bad weather without you having to go out, but it does zero to exercise the dog, unless you will be out there throwing a ball or frisbee. and please don't think getting another pup will help him exercise in the yard. it won't. they may run around like nuts for a minute or two but it's the human stuff they want.
i'd start by doing more than walks to the dog park. i don't know how much or what kind of play he gets at the dog park but there are some labs, that require more than that for exercise.
and i do agree with the above post. more training with distractions. they always need that, it seems. mine are older and so, better at it, but it just doesn't happen. some dogs will always be called to by a squirrel, or a dog, or a human, without the strict training required.