My one-year-old Lab has recently taken to barking for quite a while every morning, as well as frequently throughout the day. He seems to be wanting attention, usually barking at the door, or at the truck in which he rides to go for a run at a friend's farm. He's not in any way starved for attention, though. His days usually include most or all of the following: a several-mile off-leash run on the farm, brushing, times of playing with other dogs, one-on-one petting and playing with any of several family members, an obedience training session, and off-leash runs in the woods with me an another of the dogs. He lives in our underground-fenced backyard and has well over half an acre of space available to him at all times.
Now, he has never liked to be left alone at all. When he was a puppy we had to slowly transition him to outdoors by keeping our older dog around to "babysit" him. The old dog has since died, though, and it was another transition to teach him that life goes on without Sadie.
The only thing I can think of is that the last few days we have been confining our usually free-range chickens, and I wonder if he had turned to them for company when people and other dogs aren't available and is feeling alone again with them being penned.
I would like ideas for training him in a couple specific aspects; I want to teach him not to bark for attention (barking at the house door or toward the truck), and to teach him to stop barking (for more than a three-second length of time) when I tell him to be quiet.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! The barking is rather distracting to my family, and no doubt to the neighbors as well, but I want to understand why he's doing what he's doing and deal with it well rather than just throwing out consequences for things I don't like.
silly me but how come you got a lab to be an outdoor dog?
most labs want to be WITH the family, not outdoors, roaming around.if thou bring him in he won't bark, nor disturb your family and neighbors.
labs are people dogs.
My dad got originally got him to train as a tracking dog for the local sheriff's office. He has gone through quite a bit of training and is certified, but has also become a family dog in the process. He does come in the house frequently, but there are times when it's not convenient to trip over a 105 lb dog with every step : ) so we need to freedom to leave him outside at times too.
labs are social animals and need to be part of the pack. he shouldn't be left outside for very long periods and his barking is just more proof of that. go outside with him or bring him indoors.
I have had three big dogs in a small space so I don't see the issue. I had a one bedroom apartment and had three 80+ pound dogs. no tripping.
i can't edit my post. Labs were bred to be hunting partners and work with their hunter master. THey are social creatures. They don't generally do well at all when left alone outside for long periods of time. The barking is a sign of that. Other signs are destructions and escaping the yard. The thing is, you can't train something you don't set up a dog to succeed at. So you are not there to correct. Someone may mention bark collars but those just mask the problem they don't solve the issue - him being bored and lonely.
I don't buy lack of space. I had a one bedroom apt and had three 80+ pound dogs for long periods of time (fosters). I wasn't tripping over them because they were trained. So after they got their exercise and training - they were calm in the house and chilled. until I called them up or we had a training session. If your dog isn't behaved in the house (and that is part of why he is outside) that is because of lack of training on the family's part not the dog's fault.
Again, as stated in the original post, he gets a lot of attention, and quite a bit of time inside as well. Probably the biggest reason that he isn't in the house even more (though he is quite a bit) is that it is my parents' house and my mom doesn't want him to have the run of the whole house all the time because he sheds an impressive amount (which I realize is normal for Labs). Really, though, he gets a lot of people time and is a very happy and well-adjusted dog, with the recent (this week) exception of beginning a new barking habit.
how much time does he spend outside one daily?
you may see much worse behaviour as time goes on and he matures.
if he intact? do you have a good solid fence?
from what you have said, the dog is somewhat trained, probably more so than many others. all that being said, it doesn't matter how much the dog weighs, if he is trained, "go place" is one that is used frequently in my home, for example. if we have company, and have snacks out on the cocktail table, certainly tempting and reachable for 3 labs (now, recently down to 2) they get that simple command, and each go to their place in the den, away from the food. i can't say i would leave the room and leave them, tempted by goodies, but while someone is in the room, they don't move. and that was 2 85 lb labs and a 65 lb lab. and not a huge room.
and yes, labs do shed. part of the deal. we often brush them outside, because i do believe the birds can use their fur for their nets. it's kind of a joke, since i am a bit of a cleaning freak, that we have 3 vacuums, on on every level, just in case i decide to whip thru the house to get the fur up.
sorry to say but your dog is barking because he is bored or lonely and wants to be with his pack, your family.
and i agree with everything dryfo has said, that i haven't touched on. soon he will dig under a fence and take off, if you are securely fenced in. the barking will not get better as he gets older either.
happy, well adjusted dogs don't spend their time barking to come in.
You can put up baby gates so that he doesn't have the run of the house but is still inside.
I don't know many labs that would tolerate being left alone outside for very long without protesting.
There is NOTHING wrong with your lab spending time outdoors; especially if the following is how you are interacting with him …
"His days usually include most or all of the following: a several-mile off-leash run on the farm, brushing, times of playing with other dogs, one-on-one petting and playing with any of several family members, an obedience training session, and off-leash runs in the woods with me an another of the dogs."
He sounds like a pretty darn lucky Lab to me!
Our Angus will be 1 on the 26th of this month and he has periods of barking as well…and he spends almost his entire day in the house with me and the other two dogs and sets his own schedule for going out and coming in. Usually with him it means he is hungry - we should have made his registered name "It's all about the belly". When he is inside, if i know that he is not hungry or thirsty or needing to go outside and it is not convenient for me; I ignore him..meaning I turn my back on him until he stops the barking. When he is outside …well, there may be a vast array of reasons for his barking…he may want inside, there may be a visitor (human or otherwise) or he may simply need my attention. Sometimes, there doesn't appear to be any reason at all and then, well, I turn my back on him until he stops the behavior.
The point is that he is young and he is learning and sometimes they just bark.
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004