Black lab growls and bites when I tell her to get off furniture.
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Thread: Black lab growls and bites when I tell her to get off furniture.

  1. #1
    peachsnapple is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultBlack lab growls and bites when I tell her to get off furniture.

    She's not a puppy, she's 3 years old. 2 years ago we moved into a new house and I started setting rules for her and the furniture. She's allowed on the couch only on a designated blanket and she's not allowed on our bed period. Lately, maybe within the last 6 months, whenever I tell her to get off she gets really defensive and growls at me, even bites me. When I scold her for it, she just continues to bite and growl and it's a never ending cycle. What do I do? Also, she is the most stubborn disobedient dog. She does know what we say, she's not stupid. But we've tried all kinds of training and she just doesn't care.
    Last edited by peachsnapple; 07-28-2013 at 03:41 AM.

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Prior to moving did you allow her on the furniture and the bed? If so I imagine you have a confused dog. Regardless, this is not normal Lab behavior, (the growling/biting), and it would probably be best to have a qualified animal behaviorist observe her and figure out what is going on.
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    kaykay is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tammyhuffman View Post
    Prior to moving did you allow her on the furniture and the bed? If so I imagine you have a confused dog. Regardless, this is not normal Lab behavior, (the growling/biting), and it would probably be best to have a qualified animal behaviorist observe her and figure out what is going on.
    this^

    also if the growling and biting is new behavior then a vet visit and blood test to rule out injury or illness
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    peachsnapple is offline Junior Member
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    She was allowed on my boyfriend's furniture at his apartment. We have moved into together and the new house has a completely new bed. We didn't even have a couch the first year we were living here, and we have bought a new couch since. She was never allowed on these items ever before without restrictions. When we introduced these new rules, we did so in the new house on purpose so that she'd have a new atmosphere to learn new rules. She knows it's wrong, but I don't care even if she was allowed on the furniture, if I want her off for whatever reason, she should listen to me without biting me. She even tries to nip at my boyfriend sometimes even though he is more of the alpha human.

  7. #5
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    get a trainer now. she shouldn't be a stubborn disobedient dog and if she is it means there are gaps and issues in the training to date (for her - every dog is different). None of what you describe is apporpriate behaviour and you need someone that can evaluate and give you a solid training plan. I wouldn't recommend trying too much on your own as you can make things worse.

    agree with a vet check as well to make sure there is no pain is this is new.

    Also - while one should be able to get a dog off the couch, one has to be careful about not doing it too often and doing it too often "just because".

    What kind of training did you guys use over the years? How do you normally correct her (and how does the boyfriend correct her)?
    Last edited by Tanya; 07-28-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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    ahtoxa is offline Senior Member
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    Assuming there are no health issues.

    I am not dog behavior specialist, but I think the problem lies deeper than that, meaning it's really not about the furniture and the new rules. I have no means to know your situation, and please do not take this negatively, but I think that problems like these are rooted deeper. It may not be about training to stay off the bed, but rather training to have the dog understand who sets the rules. All dogs need direction, consistency and enforcement of rules. All dogs will challenge the rules knowingly and if they are not enforced, they may get confused as to where the leadership is, because they cannot see it due to lack of consistency. This may cause them to want to take that role of the proverbial alpha, resulting in behavior that you're seeing.

    I'm only stating this based on my experience and belief. The best dogs are dogs that are trained well and those that know where they stand with their "pack", their owner at all times. They need to have strong leadership to feel secure and relaxed. Without it, things may get off balance.

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    I adopted Ernie at 3.5 and he hadn't been trained at all and would bite if I tried to get him off the bed or sofa. Until he behaved he was not allowed on the bed or furniture. Sometimes if they are stressed with going to a new home, or new house they act up a bit and we have to be a lot firmer than we usually are. It is easy not to follow up on a command if we are busy, and it only takes a few times before they think they will get away with bad behaviour once so why not again.

    I too would go with seeing a trainer.

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    So, if I get this right, you and your boyfriend moved in together two years ago? And she has just started to jump on off limits furniture in the last six months? Or are you in the last six months not allowing her on the one place you did allow her (on the blanket)? Are you 100% consistent about not allowing her on the furniture?

    How do you scold her? How do you get her off the couch? Grab her collar? Yell at her? Threaten her? Grab her fur and toss her off? "Ask" her to get off? Wave your hands/arms "showing/pointing" her off the couch?

    While I agree with consulting with a trainer/behaviorist, I would strongly urge you get a complete health check, telling the vet what your problem is. Perhaps have her vision checked. If you are reaching for her to get her off the couch, she may not see your hands and be reacting to a sudden grab.


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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by peachsnapple View Post
    She's not a puppy, she's 3 years old. 2 years ago we moved into a new house and I started setting rules for her and the furniture. She's allowed on the couch only on a designated blanket and she's not allowed on our bed period. Lately, maybe within the last 6 months, whenever I tell her to get off she gets really defensive and growls at me, even bites me. When I scold her for it, she just continues to bite and growl and it's a never ending cycle. What do I do? Also, she is the most stubborn disobedient dog. She does know what we say, she's not stupid. But we've tried all kinds of training and she just doesn't care.
    What kinds of training have you tried? You make a reference in another post about your BF being the alpha human? Are you using dominance methods with her? Like alpha rolling and other things that famous dog trainer on TV shows people? Studies have shown those methods to increase aggression in dogs.

    Tell us a little about what training you have done and whether there was a trainer involved at any point, please.
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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by peachsnapple View Post
    She's not a puppy, she's 3 years old. 2 years ago we moved into a new house and I started setting rules for her and the furniture. She's allowed on the couch only on a designated blanket and she's not allowed on our bed period. Lately, maybe within the last 6 months, whenever I tell her to get off she gets really defensive and growls at me, even bites me. When I scold her for it, she just continues to bite and growl and it's a never ending cycle. What do I do? Also, she is the most stubborn disobedient dog. She does know what we say, she's not stupid. But we've tried all kinds of training and she just doesn't care.
    Agree with the vet check, and Sharon's post inquiring about exactly what methods of training you are using. And sorry, I'm sure it is partly frustration, but the last two sentences of your post.... if she is the most stubborn disobedient dog who just doesn't care... that's your fault. Dogs love to please, Labs in particular, but they need structure and you need to provide that for them. If you can expand on the training methods, discipline used, and how much exercise she is getting it would help us to guide you a bit better. You may end up having to involve a trainer, but right now there aren't enough details as there could be something you or your bf are doing that could be causing the problems and could be a relatively quick and inexpensive fix.

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