My lab Max is 17 months old. He was a crazy puppy like most labs and went through the normal puppy phases. My husband & I took him to basic obedience training when he was 6 months old. He was doing well for a while and now all of a sudden he has zero respect for me. He is relentless. He will bark in my face, jump at me, nip at my hands, try and bite at my clothes, anything he can possibly do to push my buttons. If I make any kind of movement he runs around like a maniac barking and jumping at me between laps around the coffee table. I know I'm supposed to be calm & assertive (according to Cesar Milan) but it's very hard for me not to lose it on him when he does this. I work 10 hours a day and then have to come home to a dog who won't let me have a moments peace until he is done coming at me and finally tires himself out from it. I thought this might be a phase but it's been a few weeks now and I can't take it anymore. I've tried being calm, I've tried walking away, I've tried turning my back on him, going in another room, I've tried it all and nothing works. The thought of getting rid of him is just too upsetting to bear. When he's not like this, he's a very sweet boy. He cuddles & sleeps in my lap, but this new thing he's got going on is just breaking me down. When my husband is home & he starts this behavior, he will get Max in line. Max listens to him, but when I'm alone with him, its like a free for all for him to attack me. I don't know what else to do, I'm really at the end of my rope with him. I've thought about one on one training but that's too expensive. I know a lot of this is pent up energy. He definitely does not get enough exercise. It's wintertime and I can't walk him, I can't run him in the yard because it's snow covered. I really don't know what to do. If anybody has any suggestions, I would really appreciate it. This dog has reduced me to tears because he won't listen or let up on me. I need to do something to try & get some kind of normal home life back. I need to be in control, not the dog. Help!!
First thing first .. You have a dog in youre house, that is in a state of going to be to reach the: "adult status" in his life. So, you're dog is trying on how far he can push you. And as Cesar Milan always says, just stick to be consequent, it is just a periode in his life where he wants to know where he stands in youre family
For the rest, the answer is already hidden in youre story. It is maybe hard to do, especialy if you work 10 hours a day, but if you come home, exercise, exercise, exercise .. And exercise .. That's the key for you to sucess
It sounds maybe hard, with all the work you do in mind, but i also work a lot, come home .. And exercise Laika, if i dont do that, i've ended up with a dog who sticks to the ceiling
So, what i should do with a dog, such as youres:
1: Just be consequent as ever you could be!
2: exercise him evry day, for at least a hour
3: if he barks at me, just complete ignore him, dont say anything, dont even look at him ...
So, the answer is already in youre question ...
First of all EXERCISE, you say you work 10hrs a day what kind of exercise is he getting? He needs a good hour running, does he likes retrieving? swimming? its a must everyday
Also I would suggest you did the nothing in life is free plan so it shows your in charge
Dog daycare or a dogwalker might take some of the pressure off of you as well as wearing him out nicely.
Mental exercise is important too.. can you fit in an obedience or agility class?
I agree with the above. Young labs need LOTS of exercise (as mentionned above, at least an hour which should include running time, unfortunately for most labs even an hour walk is just a warm-up). Doggy day and/or a dog walker will help take the pressure off you.
Second, obedience training is not just something you do once when a dog is a puppy. You need to keep up regular work with the dog, day in and day out. Plus, you have a teenager on your hands, pushing boundaries he used to obey. This is all quite normal. This means you have to lay down the line and be the boss (not dominearing, but dominant). Make him work for everything, including your attention. This may even mean having him walk around with a leash on so you can correct him.
So think about this: You get home from work, your young energetic dog has been sitting/sleeping for 10 hours. HE NEEDS EXERCISE! The very first thing I do after work it bring my boy (and foster) outside to run. They absolutely must get the "crazies" out before anything gets done in the house.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
When I read these posts, "exercise" sounded a bit daunting-- but any amount and form will help. Even if you're able to just walk him around the block for fifteen minutes. Every little bit helps.
-Lauren Schwaar<br />____________________________<br />FREE labrador training teleseminar with a professional dog trainer:<br />http://www.trainingyourlab.com/trainercall<br /><br />
I had all ready some doubts about you, but know i certenly have them even more. Because, most of the behaviour problems amongs dogs, are comming from the lack of exercise, and you couldnt be seriously if you suggest that a 15 minute walk around the block (even it is a little bit) helps ...Originally Posted by traininglabs
Thank you for all the responses. I do work 10 hours a day but my husband is home by 1pm everyday and takes care of Max. I do not and would not ever leave a dog crated for 10 hours. I know exercise is a big part of his problem. I have been trying to increase that since my last post although it seems like there is no tiring this dog out. I am going to contact the trainer who did his puppy class & see about possible one on one training and talk to Max's vet. He had suggested once getting a training collar. I think they're cruel and would never think of using one but I'm hearing that its not a shock but a vibration. It's not something I'm definitely going to do but something I'm thinking about. Does anyone have any experience with them? Do they work? I'm just looking at all possible options to find something that will work. Thanks!
I would only get a training collar if all else fails. What exactly would you be using it for? I thought they were mainly used to keep dog under control when so far away from you like in the field and only once the dog already knows the command.
I think more training classes are a good idea, how much exercise in total is he getting? Could you split it into 2? Exercise in the morning then in the evening instead of him building up energy through-out the day and running until he is burned out? Also what type of exercise as walking just isnt enough for these dogs..does he like retreiving? Would he be intrested in a chuck-it?
Sounds like you have a HIGH energy lab.
Walking is not going to make matters better.
Running, Swimming, Retrieving. An hour minimum... can you do half hour before work and then half an hour in the afternoon? I know it's cold there at the moment but if you want this to stop or even just improve spending half an hour in the morning before you go to work running Max would be a wise investment. An hour of your 24 hour day to get a well-mannered dog is really a small investment with big returns. A dog-walker is also a good idea if you don't have the time/inclination to run your lab ragged.
Plus NILF (Nothing in Life is Free) philosophy at ALL times. As abovementioned, leashing him to your while you are home for corrections etc could be useful too. I do not believe in E-Collars for discipline.
Obedience is something you should do as long as possible. My lab is 14 months old and we have been going every week since she was 4 months old. Mental Stimulation is just as important as tiring your dog out as physical.
Another thought - research if there are dog parks near you? Can you possibly take Max there during the week and on weekends? Nothing tires labs out like playing with other dogs! Plus it's wonderful socialisation for them.