I have purple fingers! I'm having a huge problem with my 6 month old Kaycie.* We just came in from another dreaded walk.* I'm out of ideas.* We began walking with a regular collar and moved up to the harness . The only thing the harness is good for is "helping" her into the kennel lol.* She is such a bad puller, that her front paws NEVER touch the ground. I've tried to reel her in as close to me as possible and she still manages to over power me.* I really want to get this walking thing down so she wont be so hyper at night time.*
Now the next problem...I'm debating doing away with the kennel at night.* I'd really like for her to sleep on a dog bed.* The kennel is WAY too big to load around when we travel, which is OFTEN.* The only trouble i have is that she CHEWS ON EVERYTHING.* Let her out of the kennel and she's like WHOO HOO, it's PETSMART for devil dogs. No matter how many times i've "traded" she still wants what she cant have....and she knows it.* Everything winds up hidden behind the couch, or buried under God knows what. HELP ME! I'm crying for help.* Like a whining droopy eared heart-jerker of a lab. SAVE ME before my fingers fall off, or before my dresser gets chewed to pieces.
Is there a fenced area where you can play fetch for a bit before a walk?* This is how I tire Lexie out before we go for a walk.* Otherwise, she pulls so hard she nearly takes my feet out from under me sometimes, and not to mention how it hurts my hand trying to hold her back.* Now that she is just over a year old, she doesn't need as much of a play session before walks.* Now she is (FINALLY) starting to get the hang of the rules of the walk!* I'm sure there will be many other better suggestions, but this worked for me.* Best of luck....
NO fenced back yard, we have a 10x10 patch big enough to hold the "potty breaks" lol. What was I thinking when I signed the lease on this house? And on top of not having an adequate size yard, there are no dog parks, or dog friendly areas around here. :'(
As for the pulling my 7 month old did almost the same thing, we tired everything and said i would never use a anything like a pinch traning collar b/c i didn't think it was rigth, that it would hurt them. BUT after going to the vet and everyone seeing how he pulled all over the place my vet showed use how to use the pinch collar and with one little pull after the vet put the collar on, Chance walked perfect! Have slowly been not using it, if he pulls on a normal collar the pinch collar goes back on for a while.
Now with your pup chewing on everything we never really had that problem beside a few pairs of shoes. The chewing thing could be b/c he is bored and needs to get his engery out on something. Chance is a crazy man if he doesn't get enough play time. Yeah not every has the time to but what we found if we can't take him out to run, walk swim in the lake or play with a play.......a LASAR POINER did wonders for use in that he would chase it for a good 1/2 and be pooped when his ADD kicked in. It worked awsome for use, he loves chasing it.
I trick Millie when I get new toys I place them in places where she thinks she "finds" them....She stills chews the wrong things on occassion also and thats usually when she catches me off guard...like the one day about a month or so ago when I forgot to shut the gate on a back room, a few minutes later I hear a "POP" followed by alot of barking....This is what I found:
She's only 6 months old and based on what you are saying she is not anywhere near being ready to be uncrated at night.
As for the pulling, a new collar and really working her on heal. You may need the help of a trainer but it's take time. They do need vigorous excersize that you can't provide walking them on a leash. (Unless you ran run really, really fas! ;0 )
Exercise and mental stimulation... that's what she needs.
The chewing on stuff is not to "get back at you"... it's boredom pure and simple. Lab pups need two things (besides eating and sleeping)... EXERCISE (walking does NOT count) and MENTAL stimulation.
Exercise: Has she learned how to retrieve? Retreiving can be your best friend in the exercise department... even in a small yard... anything that gets her going. Can you drive her to a park where she can run around? (do NOT run with her on a leash... that kind of thing cannot be done until age 2... it's bad for their hips) Is there any lakes nearby where she can swim? Last night we took Ender for a 45 minute swim/retrieve session at the beach and we heard not a peep from him all night long.
Mental Stimulation: Should be training 10-15 min per day (this is just a guideline... adjust according to her attention span)... but also you need to give her other problems to solve... Ender loves the "egg babies" from Dog.com... they are big stuffed animals with egg shaped squeakers inside that he has to work to get out, a frozen kong with treats stuffed in at different angles will occupy a puppy for 45 min, buster cube or any puzzle releasing treat (some people just use some kibble in a plastic bottle).
Lastly... one of the best things we did for Ender when he was a puppy was take him to doggy day care once a week. Best $20 we'd spend that week cause all day long he got GREAT exercise (and was tired into the next day) but he also had tons of socialization with other dogs. Do you have anyone you can set up a play date with?
Modified to add.... at 6 months she probably needs around 30 min of GOOD exercise (retrieving, running around with other dogs, swimming) per day... more if necessary but be careful to not over-tire her... labs never know when to quit.