My 6 month old boy Chester has developed an annoying clingy personality where he has to have your attention and be at your feet at all times.
He was delivered to us with a stubborn urinary problem that needed a lot of attention , plus the summer was hotter than usual so he stayed in a lot. Now he cant stand to be alone. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't a nippy,spastic,lunatic all the time.
I exercise him an hour every morning and my wife is a stay at home mom so he is never alone although he gets crated substantially due to his high energy level. He wont run the yard on his own at all.
We have a fenced yard but when he is put out he stares through the back door until you let him back in. Our old boy Rascal was the exact opposite and you couldn't keep him inside.
How can I cut the cord with this pup and bolster his confidence when he is alone?
If you wanted an independent dog, you got the wrong breed. They do like to be with their people. Mine usually are near me - they don't constantly demand attention - but they are nearby. I wonder what kind of training program you have with him. Any formal obedience? What daily training does he get? Physical exercise is very important - what you describe as 1 hour of morning exercise - what does that consist of? Is he tired afterwards? Tired dog = good dog.
He needs mental exercise as well. If your wife is home all day, what is she doing with him? Is he getting training in daily with her? Is she walking him? I feel bad for the guy getting crated while people are home. He is too old to be nippy - period. If you don't have him in a formal obedience program that would be my next move with him.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
All Labs are different , our oldest never mouthed us after the baby teeth dropped, but some stay mouthy chewers their whole life. I dont see where this is an obedience issue but rather more of an insecurity at times. I like to walk him an hour every morning and he usually poops out for several hours when we get back in.
Mom does her best but cant be expected to handle him underfoot all day,he must be crated for his safety as well.
He is a sweety and I guess in time his independence will gradually increase. It's amazing how their personality traits can differ so widely.
As Sharon said, Labs are not an independent breed normally. You may have had an unusually independent Lab previously but now you have a normal one. They like to be with their people and dogs do not entertain themselves outside. A formal obedience class, daily training and daily mental exercise are important to keep your puppy happy and engaged. Sharon was not suggesting training because your dog is out of control, it was to help you and your puppy work together and get the nippiness under control. He is defiinitely too old to be nipping at you, he sounds frustrated. I also feel sorry for your puppy being in the crate while people are at home.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Formal training builds a bond, builds a dogs confidence and engages them mentally. You have a dog that needs mental exercise. He's home all day with your wife or your mom? Not sure given you say both titles. Maybe there is a small child/infant she is dealing with and thus can't work with the dog during the day. Not clear to me.
But IMO, daily training would make a difference in the kind of pet you have.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Is the 1 hour morning walk with you all the exercise he gets all day? If so, that is nowhere near enough.
I can understand an 8-12 week old puppy being crated while people are home if he can't be supervised, but not a 6 month old. Perhaps wife/mom would be better equiped to handle him and he wouldn't be underfoot all day long if you both/all invested time training him?
He is not insecure, he is poorly trained and acting out in boredom and lack of understanding what you want from him. Don't blame the dog for his behaviour. A dog is only as good as his owner allows him to be.
he may well be insecure ... or he may be pushy - no one on a board is going to be able to tell (tho some may be certain they know) without seeing him
the tired dog good dog adage is a good one to keep in mind and mental work will also help with anxieties ...
I have loved and lived with 2 very clingy anxious large dogs ... both were/are much better with lots of positive attention and work - pushing them away only makes them more distressed and unhappy
What does he LOVE? marrow bones? a special toy? When you have to leave him he should have that toy - when you need some peace teaching him to lay in a bed beside you and then giving him something to entertain himself (Kong, bone whatever) may make a huge world of difference to you all
Nice you are looking for help rather than just locking him in the run and causing all kinds of stress ...
(personally i see nothing wrong with dogs of all ages being crated for a nap in the day - for some dogs it's the only way they'll settle well)
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
When I say nippy I mean he will pick up and carry any lose thing he finds and carry it through the house and he will do the excited puppy play jump/mouth thing when he gets amped up to play.....perfectly normal behavior. No biting , no aggression or misplaced energy run-off. What I queried about and no one here has yet addressed is the separation anxiety and how to deal with that issue.
Formal training is fine but unfortunately this administration redistributed all of our excess wealth to other people and now self preservation rules the day. I've dropped enough money on pooch already to this point and I think my sons college expenses takes precedence at this time so stop beating people up with the formal training crapola all the time , it's getting boring on this thread. If you dont have any relevant advice to share just keep your two cents out of it please.
Doggy has the choice of half an acre free range in the fenced yard but instead chooses to be in all the time and since I will not allow free range in the house to any animal who has not earned it he will be crated. He has calmed down measurably since his recent neutering and is slowly picking up on my displeasure with his retrieving all the shoes in the house, so I think it's just a matter of time when he will be able to have free range . I simply would like for him to be an outdoor minded active dog when he is older than on overweight door mat laying around the house all the time.
If he wanted more exercise besides the one on one time in the morning he should be able to run the yard, chase a squirrel,hunt butterflies .....what have you to suffice for any exercise needs. It's not like he's in an apartment all day, this pooch has options.
Last edited by Chester 2012; 09-30-2012 at 11:41 AM.
Second, people on this board are generally crazy about their dogs. You can learn a lot from them. Your problem is a common problem. People so far have been pretty nice with trying to help you but the issue is with YOU, not your dog.
Third, there is no other place I want my dog than right beside me. There is no other place my dog wants to be. That's how they are wired. Dogs are not decorative furniture.