Hi. We've had labs for years. Our Ladygirl, a darling chocolate, just passed away last month at the age of 12 1/2. Our younger lab, Shenandoah (also chocolate), is going on 3. And just a week ago we acquired a new puppy - a red male named Gryphon who is 11 weeks old now.
Here's our problem. He's not very social. He's well...indifferent towards us, and sort of cat-like. We've never had a lab who wasn't incredibly affectionate all the time and didn't want to be as near as possible all the time. Our 3 year old lab would happily exist in the same space as us if it were physically possible.
His favorite thing to do is to lay on our kitchen floor. I can understand the allure - its tile and very cool. But left to his own devices, he would spend 90% of his time there. My brother calls it his woobie, and we've already started referring to it as his floor. He plays pretty well with our other dog, but doesn't have much interest in playing with us.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips on socializing him. My suspicion is that he hasn't received very much human attention before this. He came from a large litter (12 pups) and though raised in a home, I have a feeling that his more assertive and outgoing littermates and the adults dogs received all of the attention. I think the only real companionship he probably had from the time he was weaned til he went home with us at 10 weeks was from his littermates.
Thanks in advance.
Give him a little time. It is a huge adjustment for any puppy to leave the litter and join a family. My younger dog was not all that interested in being with us initially - he also liked to isolate himself. Now he is SUCH a suck up.
Let your guy get settled into the pace and routine of your household and I am sure that he will come around in a few weeks.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
I agree, Play interactive games with the puppy. Sit on the floor near the puppy and let him come to you. Thats what worked for me. I would also take the puppy with me places or we would go to the park. Just fun time with you. My puppy was only stand offish for about a day but i think she was one of the more outgoing in her litter. Hang in there, he'll come around.
Thanks for the advice. He is starting to come out of his shell and the kitchen more. He may never be as exuberantly affectionate as our other labs, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Be aware that until your puppy is fully immunized, places like parks, especially where many other dogs have been could potentially cause illness. I would confine my dog to safe locations and dogs you KNOW are well and immunized until all shots have been administered.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Yea, we've talked about socializing him with other dogs. We have a couple really nice looking dog parks by us, but we're not ready to take him there yet. Partly because he is so young, and we don't want him to get hurt accidentally by a larger dog, and because he doesn't have all his shots yet. He goes back to the vet in a month. He also starts puppy kindergarten in Sept. That will run into Oct. So I am thinking that I probably won't bring him to a dog park before we're done with his kindergarten class. He'll have some experience by then with other dogs, and a bit more weight on his bones.
And Hooray! Just now, Gryphon wandered out of his kitchen and came over to lay next to by me in our den. That's the first time since he's come home that he has chosen to come and lay by one of us when the kitchen is available to him.
Wow, I read your post and I relive my first few weeks with Samantha. I'm glad that Gryphon is warming up to you.
My pups are a month a part. When we brought Charlie (the older one) home, he was like velcro. All his littermates had already been taken home to their forever homes. We were moving, and our move delayed us picking him up for a week. Sam, on the other hand came from a full litter, and most of them were still with her. She did not seem very comfortable in our home. Sam would hide under anything she could crawl into. If we were in the living room, she would find a corner in the kitchen. She slept ALL the time. Thankfully she is VERY food motivated. We would basically bribe her to come close, bribe her to let us pet her, bribe her to sit with her for a few seconds.
Finally about week 2, she really loved being with Charlie. But only Charlie. Found out most breeder discourage having two puppies that close in age. They bond with each other, and less with humans. Lesson learned a little too late. So we just kept bribing, and getting her used to us. We also made it a point to separate them, and make Sam have time with us individually to bond with us. Puppy training helped alot with that.
It took Sam over 2 months to see her little tail wag when we would touch her in any way. It took about a month for the tail NOT to be tucked between her legs when we touched her. She still sleeps ALOT! My DH and my on-going joke is when Sam turns two, and is supposed to *calm down*. If she gets any calmer, we'll think she's a statue!
Sorry so long. It seems that Gryphon is already warming up. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope Gryphon doesn't take as long as Sam.
Kim, Charlie-chocolate, born 1-12-10 & Samantha-yellow, born 2-12-10