Hi all, I'm new here and have recently become the proud foster parent of an 8 year old black lab mix. He was in the pound for 11 months and was rescued after he became despondent and stopped eating (his family from puppyhood had to surrender him when they had to move out of state--a sign of these economic times, I guess). Anyway, his PO's took the time to train him very well. I do have some questions since I haven't had a dog since I was a kid:
How much exercise does an 8 year old need?
How can I make sure he stays in the yard? (I'm training him to "stay" when I go out the front door--no small task with two kids in tow). He tries to fit under the gate or dig under the fence. Is that b/c he's new and curious, or will he always do that?
When do they blow their coat? Does it go by outside temperature, or is it always the same months of the year?
He is very well-behaved, but won't let me brush him. He seems scared of the brush. How do I handle that?
I've read that older dogs need dental care. How do I do that?
Thanks a for any info you can share. I'm looking forward to your practical tips. :0)
I have a 6 year old I have had since a pup, and have recently inherited Lizzie, a 9 year old chocolate, when her owner, who was blind, suddenly passed away.
Even though I have one, I too have questions! They are all different!
Lizzie also likes to roam - and not in a good way - she has no respect for street or whatever and when she gets a sniff she is gone. Although she is very meek and timid - she can be gone in a heartbeat. My younger one had a wireless fence but the area was too small for the two of them. I am in the midst of training her on a newly installed underground fence, and have discovered that my sweet girl has NOT been leash trained. So....like a puppy, I am trying to train her. I would not rely on voice training for this - I realized we had a problem when she ran in front of a car, even though I was right there with her. I would get a fence or an e-fence. In the meantime, I would show the boundaries ON LEASH (which is what I am now doing with my girl).
Exercise. Depends on the weight. Just take it easy at first and you will figure it out. Lizzie had been very sedentary but she loves to run and has really enjoyed the local dog park and woods. A place like that where they can run safely and to their hearts content is invaluable.
Blowing coat - I think it was Labby who used to post the cartoon about the one day a year that a lab doesn't shed. Mine shed whenever the weather changes. Especailly Cooper, who has a thick coat.
Brush - sounds like he was beaten with a brush or hurt by one. Try a zoom groom - it may look a little different, will feel a little different and will be alot more effective. Brushes only rearrange the hair. Be very slow and gentle and let him sniff the utensil - both of mine love to be groomed.
All dogs need dental care to some level. I would take your baby to the vet and see what they have to say. Lizzie had to have a dental cleaning this summer. She is more prone to gingivitis than Cooper.