I just today discovered this site at the request of my parents, who are not good enough with computers to use the forum themselves. While I was growing up we raised two different dogs, first a rotweiller and then a black lab. Both dogs were absolutely amazing; both failed puppy training but always listened to every member of the family, we could confidently let them off their leash in public parks, they were great with children, very gentle dogs, and they both had their own very obvious personalities. About a year ago my parents purchased a brown lab, with light tan markings like a rottweiler. The breeder lived on a farm, we got to meet both the parents and grandparents, all of which seemed very good-tempered and calm.
We have never had problems with a puppy like this. At first we just though "she's a puppy, she'll grow out of it". She was very difficult with crate training, taking months instead of weeks, same with training her to pee outside instead of inside, she still refuses to obey any commands, at all, she ignores my parents whenever she wants, even walking her twice a day for an hour each doesn't calm her down. My mother tells me she is territorial with our backyard, and the last two months or so she has begun to get very aggressive in the basement. Every night my dad watches TV downstairs and whenever she gets down there she starts barking and running around, constantly barking at him, and tonight she even jumped at him and bit his face, drawing blood. My dad has never lost patience with our dogs, but with Kia (her name, BTW), he complains that we should just take her to the pound. She's just stressing them right out, and now I'm worried that she's becoming more and more violent towards them. This is the first time I've heard about her biting, except for when she was a puppy. She'll be a year old next week.
Please, can anyone give us some advice? If you need anymore information please feel free to ask. I might not be able to apply right away, as I'm leaving the country for a few weeks in two days. Thank you, in advance.
You need to contact a specialist in animal behaviour, the sooner the better. Good luck, I hope you are able to sort her issues out.
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.
ditto the above
also, how much (and what kind) of exercise does this dog get and how much training? what about socialisation?
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Walking for an hour twice a day, is that on leash? On leash walks really don't provide the exercise a Lab that age needs. Is there any safe place for her to be off leash? Does she have a doggy friend to meet up with and play with?
What training has she had? At her age exercise alone may not be enough. The mental work of training classes won't just teach your parents how to teach her how to behave. They'll actually go a long way to tiring her out. Exercise alone can actually backfire as the dog gets fitter and fitter and can handle and needs more and more exercise but still has not been taught manners and self control.
I can easily see how an untrained, exuberant dog might bite someone in the face. However I am not going to say that's the reason and I agree your parents should get someone in to help them and observe them with the dog. Hopefully it is only a problem of being under exercised and not trained.
This statement of yours give me hope that she is a perfectly normal dog. "At first we just though "she's a puppy, she'll grow out of it"." It sounds like nothing was done to teach this dog, that she was left on her own without help to learn appropriate behaviour. A few do, most don't.
I don't know where you are but if in the U.S. I suggest searching Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources
If in Canada Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers
Anybody can call themself a Dog Behaviourist, it's not a regulated or licensed occupation. But at least membership in one of the above organizations might help you find someone who specializes and who goes to some length to undertake the training courses and maintain membership these reqquire. No guarantees, but a help. Good luck.
Thank you everyone for responding. Kia is currently being exercised a lot less than she should be, walked every other day because she isn't walking well. As I said she used to be walked twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. When she got a bit bigger we started letting her off her leash in the park behind our house, throwing the ball for her to fetch and such. It went fine for a few months and then she stopped coming when called and she ran off chasing a dog and wouldnt come back, so I think she's just on a leash now. I think they are walking her every other day, plus a hour or two visit to the dog park every weekend.
As for socialization, as mentioned above she does go to the dog park every week, as well my dad has a friend who brings over his two-year old black lab every other week or so. My aunt also has a collie, who she sees occasionally. We have never had a problem between her and other dogs. She is not dominant (I'm by far a professional dog whisperer, but I'm usually okay at reading some behavior), not showing any aggressive behavior. She plays well with other dogs. As well, she's very friendly with other people as well. We have family over on a regular basis and she has never acted violently or dominantly with anyone, except my boyfriend who she jumps up on him a lot, hyper but not crazy hyper, but has not been territorial with him, as far as I can tell.
As for training, she was in puppy classes with my parents, but as with our past dogs she had problems. She would not pay attention. At all. She just wanted to play with the other dogs. She did learn basic commands, sit, stay, come, etc. Commands that she seems to have since forgotten. I will talk to my parents. Talking with them more and more makes it obvious to me that they are not doing what's best for her in terms of walking and training.
I will pass on the suggestion to contact a behaviouralist. Hopefully I can find a good one here (I'm in Canada, BTW. Ontario) thank you all again, any more suggestions would be great!
you have a young lab that needs about an hour a day of exercise, off leash. the beahviours are not going to improve without exercise.
she does nto pay attention "as per your last dogs"...leads me to wonder if your parents may have trouble making training fun or are getting frustrated too early (which turns off the dog).
There are no shortcuts. she needs daily exercise and daily training sessions (they don't have to be long). Labs can be great familiy pets but not without exercise adn training.
I'm in Ontario - where abouts are you located (general area) maybe I can help find a trainer. But a trainer is probably going to go to the basics of adaquete exercise adn training anyway - but they may listen to the advice of a professional more!
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
She definitely needs more excercise. Walking is not excercise to a lab that age. She needs time to run and play everyday. Taking her to the dog park, playing fetch, etc. if they are having trouble with her recall she also needs some additional training, which is also a great way to tire her out (mental excercise is as important as physical excercise). They can get a long lead or rope and play fetch with her. She can run, but they still have the leash/rope if she doesn't come back. Using the long lead/rope is also a good way to teach recall. Have her sit/stay, call her, if she comes treat and praise; if she doesn't reel her in with the lead and treat/praise. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
I agree that consulting a trainer/behaviorist is a good idea, but it does sound like she is bored and way under-exercised.
Debi and Bauer
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
Indeed, they need plenty of exercise at that that age, my 14 month bitch (poppy) gets a good 2hrs off the lead every day.
My best suggestion for the biting (maybe a bit late now she is bigger) is to let her play with a well behaved dog that will give her a good telling off for biting / playing rough. We did this with ours, a friend had a very well natured lab who would snap back when she gets too aggressive and put her in her place. Now kids can climb all over her a wrestle and I know she'll never bite them.
Its all about plenty of exercise and being consistent with the rules!!