Toby is 10 months old and pushing 70 lbs.* He is very mellow, eager to please, and has all those good traits we love about labs -- he is the model dog (imho).* We have just encountered a small problem and want to know how to correct it now, before it gets out of hand.* When Toby is in the yard butt-tucking like he's insane, he will often run by one of us at full speed and play-bite.* I often holler "No Bite!" as he is running at me, and he will grab a ball or something to hold in his mouth and he doesn't bite me.* My husband didn't know to do this, and yesterday Toby got him in the stomach area.* My husband hollered "NO BITE!* NO BITE" and Toby clearly thought it was funny and kept running.* My dh made Toby sit, and then walked over and held his face and repeated "NO Bite!"*
Any suggestions would be appreciated!* Thanks!
I hear a lot of folks on here talk about butt tucking but my dog doesn't do it - she runs around like a mad woman when I first let her out, and loves to run at me full speed and jumps on me hard enough to knock me back after she's chased all the squirrels and rabbits and birds out of the yard - so I can kind of relate to your post. I have taken to letting her out when I get home and giving her a 3-5 minute break outside by herself to do her thing before I go out there with her, so she gets that psycho thing out of her system. She's still a bit bonkers but has chilled just enough that I don't get the mach 9 with her hair on fire attack that I was getting before. If your yard is fully fenced, I would try this for a while. Don't know if it'll help but it couldn't hurt.
I can relate to getting knocked over with full body contact! Toby's butt-tucking insanity doesn't have any relation to whether he's been out or not. It can come and go for no reason, and I love watching him run at full speed around and around the yard. However, the kids have taken to yelling "Get to high ground" at which point they scale the play structure to avoid collision or nipping. Obviously this is not okay.
I used ot take Biscuit to the dog park a lot when he was younger (6 mos-16 mos) and I was always concerned about being run over by exuberant dogs. I was once, and cracked my elbow on some ice!!
I have since learned to be very vigilant with Biscuit about saying very loudly "BE CAREFUL" when he and his golden retriever buddy, who comes over almost every day, are in full speed races across the lawn and look like they're coming towards me. It usually callls his attention. I even used to carry a whistle with me to get his attention, but I don't really need to do that anymore.
Anyways, the lesson that I learned from my bumps and bruises was to teach your dog that they have to respect your space and sometimes it takes time, especially with goofy young labs, but I really think it's doable. Just be very loud and very consistent (meaning have your whole family do this) with your command to stay away from you/ not jump on you/etc. use the same command every time. Mine is "BE CAREFUL", but it can be anything like "WATCH OUT", etc. This will teach them body awareness and respect.
On the other hand, I know some dogs who are so obsessed with things like frisbees, balls, etc. that if you get in the way of their retrieving one, you're asking for it! So, in that instance, it's usually a stay out of their way" kind of strategy.
<br />Kristin & Biscuit
I've only had Billie for 2 months (today actually- amazing how time flies!) and I got the personal space issue worked out pretty well, pretty quickly, between letting her out on her own and then when I'm out there, if she starts to do the full body collision thing, I am not above kneeing her in the chest. Once or twice of getting knocked on her butt pretty much broke her of her bad habit. The nipping thing has only happened once and it was when we were playing soccer, and I attempted to "steal" the ball when she was "guarding" it, and she objected and nailed me pretty good. She got the "NO BITE" treatment, but I can see how that would be really difficult during a drive by...
I have taken to using a can of air as a deterrent for serious offenses in the house, since Billie doesn't like the sound. She knows I'm not kidding when that thing comes out. Might work with Toby, if you have it in your hand, finger on the trigger, with it at your side so when he comes by too closely you can do the "WATCH OUT" thing and chirp the air can and see if he respects your space more. If he's like Billie, he'll associate the sound with the command and know that it means business.
Kenda, my 6 1/2 month old, 42 pound brat does the same thing. Out of the blue she gets this crazy thing and runs around like a mad dog. We sit there and wonder what the h*ll she must be thinking. She will actually run outside like crazy then stop in the back of the yard and stare me down. When I call her she comes full force and jumps on me and knocks me back (I am sitting down of course). We are still working on her recall (she is very indenpendent and off in her own world most of the time) so we don't really want to associate a negetive with her coming to us. Any suggestions?
The running makes him too frantic for NO BITE to work at all -- He's probably not even hearing you.
As Toby runs at you full-tilt, and it's clear he's going to smack you, put your knee up. If he blasts into you anyway, let your knee catch him in the chest. Say OFF! in a stern and firm voice to let him know that this is not a game and that you mean it.
Dweck, I think you are right -- he is absolutely manic when he is doing his running thing. I think the knee is right, as is hollering OFF. However sometimes he seems to be actually laughing as we are hollering the NO BITE or OFF. I have to add (because I'm his mother) that there is no anger toward us when he is doing this, it is all play to him.
he needs to know you're serious. Will he DOWN during these frenzies? Can you nab his collar and force the issue?
DOWN and SETTLE, Mr. Man!!!!!!!!!!
He will absolutely sit, and I'm pretty sure he will down. I will try that next time. It is so funny -- if he has a ball in his mouth, it is never an issue.
Thanks so much for your replies!