We just got a 10 month old Black Lab named Greston. His owner was not able to give him the attention he thought he needed and wanted him to be with a family, so we were lucky enough to get him. He is such a good boy, however is very much still a puppy. I am looking for advice on what I can do to stop him from taking all my daughters toys away from her everytime she plays with something. I know he is a puppy but everytime she touches something he takes it. We have toys for him ( a kong and a hard rubber bone) I don't know what else to get him that him won't destroy in minutes. He has a rope toy to play tug with that his previous owner sent with him, but I don't want him to think it's okay to play tug with everything so we haven't really used it. I want to help him be the best dog he can be, so really I am looking for any advice you might have on what can help me do that. Thank you in advance!
I suggest you read through the thread called OUR BEST ADVICE stickered at the top of this child board.
Giving Greston enough daily vigorous exercise (such as fetching, swimming) will go a long way toward unwinding his rubber band motor that gets rewound every day and diminish significantly the trouble he'd get into otherwise.
Perhaps someone else with Labs and young kids can give you a solution to the toy sharing problem. My guess is that it'll be easier and quicker to teach your daughter how to follow a workable solution than training Greston.
I say that because my first Lab, Bess, was such a counter surfer that in the long run we adults found it more effective to NEVER leave unguarded food on a counter or table when Bess was in the house.
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
My husband finally let Greston off the leash yesterday to play fetch and he did great! So this morning my daughter and I took him for a walk and played fetch with him. He loves it and it really does help with his enery level. I was scared to let him off the leash at first because we just got him and I didn't know how he would do, but so far so good. Hopefully we can do this a couple times a day along with walks and he will be a little less hyper in the house.
The usual Rule of Thumb for vigorous exercise for Lab puppies is 5 minutes for each month of age up to an hour at one year old. But Labs differ greatly and I found my Puff needed a couple of those periods a day, spaced about 8-12 hours apart (up to a total of an hour a day) when she was young. Swimming retrieves are excellent activities and wind down the rubber band motor faster than retrieving on land.
Some of us have used a long line (AKA check cord) for greater security with an unleashed, sometimes unreliable puppy. (This is a usually 50 foot/15 meter line attached to the collar, typically 1/4" / 6 mm diameter.) If you do use one, you might want to wear gloves to avoid bad rope burns.
Below is a copy of a post I've often made; it has some other hints in it:
I strongly suspect your Lab puppy is not getting enough exercise.
Labs are high energy dogs and they need daily vigorous exercise -- not just a leashed daily walk or alone time in the fenced backyard, but the opportunity to run, chase, play, retrieve, etc.
The lack of adequate daily vigorous exercise is often been said to be the #1 reason for rehoming or giving up ownership of a Lab.
Teaching a Lab to retrieve is an easy way to provide them with exercise without exhausting the owner.
My Puff is 7 years old and I take her for a daily offleash hour walk in a nearby nature preserve early every morning. I walk 2 miles, Puff gets 30 or more retrieves, some from slinging her training dummy, some from dropping it on the trail and sending her back to fetch it (that gives her longer runs than my slinging it). Some days she gets more exercise later.
She dozes until she hears me about to do something (go for the car, go outside, etc.) and then she's by my side.
With my previous Lab, Bess, I lived near a pond which gave us the opportunity after work to use daily swimming retrieves which are an even better exercise than the dry land fetching. Probably 30 minutes of swimming retrieves is about equal to fifty minutes of walking and retrieving on land depending on how many retrieves with either.
While daily exercise sessions are good for your Lab, they're also good for you. Many recent scientific studies have shown that dog owners are healthier than non-dog owners and the presumption is because the dog owners also get exercise from giving it to their dogs. You'll be healthier, your dog will be more comfortable to live with, when you fit this into your daily schedule.
Maybe there are a few places that don't have ponds or nature preserves for daily exercise? Not a problem. Find a fenced in school yard or ball field to use for retrieving a training dummy or chasing a Chuck-it! ball (BUT be sure you pick up any poops your dog makes). And/or find a neighbor with a fenced backyard and a sociable friendly dog (a Lab would be best) with which your Lab can have a daily playdate for an hour so both can get pooped from chasing and wrestling each other. Or find a "Bark Park" (AKA "Dog Park") in your area. When I take trips with Puff, I stop at a rest area every 2 hours and give her 10-15 minutes of retrieving. It keeps me fresh and it helps her stay calm.
Training dummies are sold at a variety of online places including this: www.gundogsupply.com I buy the 2x12" "Lucky Dog" vinyl training dummies. (DO NOT LET YOUR DOG CHEW ON THEM LIKE A CHEW TOY; USE THEM ONLY FOR RETRIEVING.)