We rescued a 16 month lab about 6 weeks ago. He is the sweetest most affecionate dog to my wife and I and all of our friends and children. He has met and been around our friends dogs and he is great with those dogs. Generally he has been everything we could have hoped for, very smart and has been trainable. He is very good with the sit and stay command. The problem...When we walk him on his morning walk he consistantly pulls on his leash when he can see's another dog, as if the dog is prey, if the dog is submissive no problem, If a dog we approach does not back down he attacks with full agression. I have been keeping him away from dogs I don't know to be submissive from our previous walks. Today my wife was walking him with out me and she approached a female lab and after a few sniffs he almost pulled her arm off and nipped the female lab. We love this lab and he will be a part of our family forever, we are just curious to know if this is standard? does anybody have any tips or advise?? This only seems to happen when he is on the leash.
Thanks in advance!
With my rescue dog, she had some similar issues, only not quite as nippiy. First, we bought her a prong collar...that pretty much solved the pulling. Next, whenever she would begin grwoling I would immediately snatch her nozzle, take her down to the ground (physically) placing her in a submissive position and tell her NO very firmly while continuing to hold her nozzle firmly. This not only verified my position as the alpha, but forced her into a submissive place where she would otherwise try to be aggressive...letting her know that the aggressive behavior is unacceptable.
Hope this advice helps! Every dog is different, so if this doesn't work than don't become hopeless...and thank you for rescuing your lab!
Thank You! I will try it tomorrow. I have heard pronged collars can be dangerous?
If used incorrectly, they can be, but no, in general, they are not. If you are uncomfortable using one, there are other options like anti-pull harnesses. Here's the one I have for Roxy and I am very satisfied: http://www.puplife.com/dogsupplies/easy.html Roxy can be a tank when another dog or person is close to us on walks (though not aggressive, just overly-friendly and jumpy) and this helps tremendously!I have heard pronged collars can be dangerous
I do have to say that if your dog is truly acting aggressive, it might not be safe to hold his muzzle while the scuffle is going on. It would not be surprising to have him snap back at you. It almost sounds like he has leash aggression. If you feel this is the case, I would strongly recommend hiring a trainer who specializes in aggression. It's so difficult to evaluate your lab's behavior via the internet, so having a professional see it first hand would be very beneficial.
Get in person help - this is a solveable issue, but you need someone to show you how. There is a trainer search engine here: http://www.apdt.com
A good book on this issue is "Feisty Fido" by Patricia McConnell.
Yes, what tagen said. The prong collar was a miracle for me.
Sign up for a training class. It will only take an hour or 2 a week for a month or 2, but the benefits will last forever for both you and your lab.