Training my Lab

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Thread: Training my Lab

  1. #1
    KimC261 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultTraining my Lab

    OK...I LOVE my black Lab Bosco, he is 5 1/2 months old. I came home from work yesterday evening and he had pushed all the cushions off the couch, ripped them and pulled the stuffing out of them. Sitting in the middle of the floor with stuffing hanging off his mouth and looking at me and wagging his tail like "What?". Aaaaah! I don't want to pen him up, and he's too old for crate training. If I do that now, wouldn't he think he was being punished? :P He is an inside puppy. I baby him alot, but at the same time, I don't want him to destroy my house. Any suggestions for a "mom" that works 5 days a week? Thanks for your help. Kim olice:

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  3. #2
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    and he's too old for crate training.
    What are you basing this on?

    If I do that now, wouldn't he think he was being punished?
    Not at all, providing you introduce it correctly.

    Basically, at 5 1/2 months old, your puppy is FAR too young to be trusted loose in the house. If you continue to leave him loose not only will he destroy the house and develop life long bad habits but he is also a danger to himself. A puppy of that age could chew and swallow anything.

    What kind of exercise or activity are you doing with him before and after work?

    I would get a crate set up ASAP.

  4. #3
    JacksAndLabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    Crate your puppy. Now that he has discovered the fun that can be had when you're not around, it'll only continue. Crating him will protect him from chewing on something that could possibly kill him.

    Also...what is he getting as far as exercise??
    ~Nicole<br />Grand Ledge, MI<br /><br />

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  6. #4
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    I also agree with crating him. He is not too old to be crate trained. At 5.5 months, he is a sponge for learning. I would recommend getting a crate before this 3-day weekend coming up and using the long weekend to introduce the crate, so on Tuesday when you go back to work, the pup can stay in a crate.

    When you first set up the crate, let the pup sniff it and get used to it being in the room. I'd guess in less than half an hour, he'll stop noticing the crate is even there. After that, start luring the puppy into the crate with treats. Just make him come into the crate, give him the treat, and let him come out at his own pleasure. While you're doing this, introduce command "Crate" or "Kennel" or whatever you want to use. This might take several tries over your first day of crate training.

    On the next day, start by luring him to come into the crate and letting him come out at his own please just a couple of times. Then, do the same when he gets inside, close the crate door just momentarily, then let him come out. Keep doing this with increasing the time for keeping the crate door closed. Keep using your "Crate" command. Also, keep rewarding the pup for staying in the crate.

    You might at this point buy a Kong and some stuffing for it and let your puppy chew on the Kong while you leave him in the crate with closed door and you still in sight. Your next step would be to start walking out of the room while the pup is in the closed crate enjoying his Kong. At first, just walk out and come back into the room immediately. Increase the timing of you being out of the room and the pup getting used to not seeing you around and of you always coming back.

    If you're diligent over the long weekend, on Tuesday, you'll be able to leave your pup in his crate and go to work without worry that he might get into things and destroy them or worse yet, hurt himself.

    Some other suggestions, if you cannot come home for lunch to let your pup out, you might want to look into hiring a pet sitter. You can also look into doggie daycares and take your pup there several times a week (he'd have to be neutered before most doggie day cares would let him attend).

  7. #5
    KimC261 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    I am gone from about 8am to about 5pm every day. My 9 year old daughter Brianna and I and my husband Ryan all take turns with him in the evenings. Every evening to dispel some of his energy. We run, toss a ball, etc. I had just heard from some of the K-9 Handlers here that after 5 months, there was no use in crate training. I have not tried it, but I will. The cabinets are locked and everything is put up. The only thing he CAN chew on is the furniture and all the doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms are closed. He has chew toys and apparently, furniture. He is a smart puppy, after all, he is a Lab. I have purchased a Kong and was told to use peanut butter. I'm not sure though. Maybe something else specifically intended for doggy digestion. Thank you to everyone who responded and for taking the time. Thoroughly appreciated. Kim

  8. #6
    Indiana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    A dog is never too old to be crate trained through positive reinforcement. It also doesn't take very long to do. Labs are food motivated, take advantage of that. Super special liver treats work miracles

    If you don't have a crate or have a serious objection to using a crate, find a small room that has a door and nothing in it that you care about or that can hurt him. Never understimate the destructive power of a lab puppy! I made that mistake. Carpet and wood trim and cabinetry are favorite chewing, ripping and digging surfaces.

    He is way too young to have free run of the house. My 9 month old is only just now earning the freedom to roam around. Until recently I had to be able to see him at all times, so he had to travel with me through out the day. He is still restricted to certain "Indy proofed" rooms and he gets crated at night and any time we're not home. Even in the "Indy proofed" rooms, he still finds things to destroy. Just recently, he went through three remote controls and my glasses, among other less valuable things too numerous to count. It is my understanding that though this will improve slowly, he will still have the tendancy to chew inappropriately until at least two years of age.

    If I were you, I'd invest in a wire crate ;D
    <br />http://picasaweb.google.com/IndyandFriends/Indy<br /><br /><br />

  9. #7
    Indiana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    Quote Originally Posted by KimC261
    I have purchased a Kong and was told to use peanut butter. I'm not sure though. Maybe something else specifically intended for doggy digestion.
    Natural Peanut Butter is ok. I would smear it around on the inside then freeze the kong. As he gets efficient at cleaning that out, increase the difficultly level by adding more things. The Kong web site has some good ideas. I also have a lot of luck finding good, interactive toys at a small, privated doggy boutique. The toys cost a little more than what I would spend at petsmart, but tend last way longer and get way more use.

    You can also consider spraying bitter apple on all of your furniture. But I think your fingers would fall off trying to use that pump bottle on a whole sofa ;D
    <br />http://picasaweb.google.com/IndyandFriends/Indy<br /><br /><br />

  10. #8
    Tatyana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    I had just heard from some of the K-9 Handlers here that after 5 months, there was no use in crate training.
    There is absolutely no basis in that. There are quite a few people on this board who rescued their dogs at ages older than 5 months and the dog never knew of a crate. The dogs were crate-trained successfully.

    Just because you puppy has not done something before, does not mean that he won't decide it's a fun thing to do later on. There are people on this board who had their carpets, door, walls chewed and shredded to pieces by their dogs. You should ask in Lab Chat for people to post their photos of destruction done by their dogs.

    Since you're gone for so long, you might go with a bigger crate or an exercise pen for your puppy.

  11. #9
    Indiana is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    Just a thought, if you get the exercise pen, get the tallest one, and get at least two to hook together. Just one won't be big enough for a lab, and the short and medium one can be climbed, jumped out of and knocked over. Also, be aware that they can scoot these across the floor and through doorways if they are clever. Indy got the point where he could move his pen anywhere he wanted and get to anything he wanted
    <br />http://picasaweb.google.com/IndyandFriends/Indy<br /><br /><br />

  12. #10
    JacksAndLabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Training my Lab

    xpens shouldn't be used without supervision, and certainly not with a dog that isn't crate trained. They are very easy to move and knock over regardless of the size. A regular crate will do just fine, but 9 hours really is too long for a puppy to go without a break...is he currently holding it that long in the house?
    ~Nicole<br />Grand Ledge, MI<br /><br />

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