A little background: I rescued My black lab Jack (1.5yrs old) from the shelter / foster home. (I actually don't think he spent time actually at the shelter more at the foster home. His history from a puppy was he was introduced in a family type environment It sounds like there was multiple children and as he grew older and bigger it was a bit much for them to handle him. That is when he went to the shelter for the first time. The guy I got him from worked at the shelter as a volunteer and immediately took him in his home since he wanted to find him a home. He spent some time training Jack and His mother in law fell in love with him and later found a home with her. She was a older woman who lived by herself and he was a lot of work for her. She later had to get some pretty serious back surgery and Jack was way too much for her. Jack later went back to his original shelter home where he continued to get trained and then I found Jack and everything has been good since.
Some background about myself: I am a mid twenties guy who works a full time job. I have always wanted a Lab and I am very happy I finally got him.
Now some issues I have with Jack. Jack has some issues with strangers. I really think he has the mentality that everyone is out to get him and I until they prove otherwise. For instance if we are taking a walk or hiking and someone else appears on the trail he will go berserk and no amount of correcting he will still act up by barking. This only really seems to be the case with men from what I have gathered over the 6 months we have been together. I would really like to change this because it makes strangers fear him. I have tried associating food with everyone, by giving a bunch of people treats and giving them to him at a car show and that really worked well but only for that day. If a stranger tries to pet him he will take defense and bark at them but when he associated them with food It was much much better. If there is one thing I would like to work on it would be this.
The other problems are while at home. HE tends not to listen unless food is in hand. For instance he likes to round the corner and smell / open the garbage can in my home and he will not come while called. I have tried everything the only thing that works is when food is hand but if food is in hand he won't even wander. I was thinking about using a vibrating collar to grab his attention so he will look at my while I say a command.
Any suggestions you can think of to help with these situations? I really think if he had a few events like the car show he would really turn around. I was so proud of him that day because everyone was giving him soooo much attention and he didn't get spooked or nervous at all which was awesome.
Have you considered getting into a formal obedience class? It would help with socialization, increasing your bond and developing better behavior for him.
I would NOT put an e-collar on this dog. First, you have to have a well trained dog (and a well trained handler) to use an e-collar effectively and you already know that he is reactive. An e-collar will just make him more so. Scratch that idea and look for a group obedience class.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Well I should have added that he has been in behavioral training classes. I took a 4 week course with him and the previous owner had taken him to a petco set of classes. He responds very well 90 percent of the time especially when a treat is involved. I send him to puppy day care during the week where he plays with other dogs during the day. This makes him exhausted for me which makes him just pass out on my lap during the night.
what type of things did hte behavioral training class address?
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
It was a more general obedience type class. All on leash. We did basic commands and focused on walking perfectly on leash which he does now.
I've noticed with any dogs that I have gotten who are rescues/older they have their own language. Meeting in the middle was the easiest - takes some doing to figure out the key words they knew but easier than starting from scratch. When we got our pug (4th home) he went to the bathroom in the house and after alot of frustration I just blatantly told him "you need to start behaving - i am not giving you up - you're here till the end" and, yes. after that he never went in the house again. Strange but true...