2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change
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Thread: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

  1. #1
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    Default2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    So, Lexie and I have been through a lot in the past year and a half so I kind of understand her pain on this one. However, she is causing me some extra stress that I really just don't need right now. She will be 3 this August and is acting like a 6 month old pup lately! Any ideas on how to get her back to her normal self would be greatly appreciated!!

    **Background: My (now ex) husband and I got her at 9 weeks old. She was super-easy to train as are most labs IMO. I never took her to obedience school, but she did very well with her training with me and became a really good dog with only a few minor issues along the way which was to be expected. Issue #1. Over a year ago my husband and I seperated and he moved out. She could no longer be trusted in the house alone. I had to go back to crating her during the day since she decided her new favorite thing to do was destroy flooring (carpet, tile, anything she could dig at and then chew to bits!) Okay, so maybe some transition time or something, probably having trouble with separation anxiety or something similar. Issue #2. My new boyfriend moved in with me. He needed more training with her than I thought initially. He loves her to pieces but thinks it is okay to let her do whatever she wants to. Thanks to this, in part, she now believes herself above him in the pack and is now challenging me also. She jumps on guests, she rushes down stairs in front of me, she won't respond to recall comands when in the yard anymore, she begs for her food and treats worse than ever, she is overall just much more aggressive in demeanor. Not in a mean kind of way, just what I like to refer to as pushy. And the worse thing is the lack of respect on the leash. She was never perfect in this department, but now she pulls like crazy and I can't hardly control her at all. Like I said, she jumps on people walking by, she lunges at dogs cuz she wants to play, she wants to chase cats and squirels, etc etc.

    **Current Situation: My boyfriend and I are due to have our baby in 6 weeks. Lexie can not continue to act this way. We want to be able to take her with us and the new baby to visit family and friends, take them both for walks in the park and all the other things we want to do as a family. The problem is though, even without a baby (this will be my first) it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to control the dog and take her places. I am afraid that when the baby comes, Lexie will not transition well with yet another change and that it will make taking her anywhere just impossible. I never wanted to have a lab that I couldn't have with me. That is what I loved most about her to begin with, I could take her anywhere and she was just my furbaby and along for the ride. My bf is working on being more strict with her training, BTW. I am making him try to make her wait to go through doors and down stairs and to sit for food, etc. He thinks I'm a little crazy I'm sure, but I don't know what else to try. Like I said, she was always good about those things, but I always had that NILIF policy with her so she was great at that.

    What else can I try with her in the next 6 weeks before baby?? She can't be pushy when we bring the baby home, she needs to remember her training and listen to me again. How do I get my good dog back??

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  3. #2
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    how much exercise is she getting? I'd also start working on getting her a job -make her your 'service' dog, fetching things and helping around the house.
    '

  4. #3
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    exercise.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani
    exercise.
    Ditto. Sounds like she's going a little stir-crazy.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
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  7. #5
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    Exercise.

    Fetching is great -- she runs, you stand still or walk. If she doesn't know how, train her.

    Fetching while swimming is even better exercise. Any safe ponds/lakes around?
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    We play fetch in the yard every day after work and several times on weekends. BF is better at tiring her out than I am cuz my arm gets tired of throwing long before Lexie is sick of fetching that ball! She does love a good game of fetch though, and she will bring the ball back as many times as you want her to, more actually. Unfortunately I live in Upstate NY, but in a city environment and we are not really close to any swimming spots for her. I will be able to get her someplace a couple of times a summer but sadly that is about it for water sports. She likes running with other dogs at the dog-park that is nearby and that does tire her out somewhat, but it is an old tennis court and the surface tears her paw-pads from her running and she bleeds like crazy so I hate to take her there. I will try and work some exra exercise into our daily routine though and see if that helps at all. Thanks!

  9. #7
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    sarah is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    Quote Originally Posted by Luv4Lexie
    We play fetch in the yard every day after work and several times on weekends. BF is better at tiring her out than I am cuz my arm gets tired of throwing long before Lexie is sick of fetching that ball! She does love a good game of fetch though, and she will bring the ball back as many times as you want her to, more actually. Unfortunately I live in Upstate NY, but in a city environment and we are not really close to any swimming spots for her. I will be able to get her someplace a couple of times a summer but sadly that is about it for water sports. She likes running with other dogs at the dog-park that is nearby and that does tire her out somewhat, but it is an old tennis court and the surface tears her paw-pads from her running and she bleeds like crazy so I hate to take her there. I will try and work some exra exercise into our daily routine though and see if that helps at all. Thanks!

    buy a chuck it! they work well without tiring out your arm and you don't have to touch the slobbery ball either!

    http://www.gundogsupply.com/chuckit.html
    Sarah & Milly - Sydney Australia






  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    Riley is 15 months old now. Rescued him when 3 months. Born in shelter. He was and is very active. We go for a fast 1 1/2 mile walk daily. He walks, I ride my recumbent trike. We also play fetch outside and inside, Tug of war, and grandson plays chase with him when he is here. We had 1 accident (my fault) in house. He chewed the first pad in crate, but none since. I am totally convinced about the necessity for exercise I picked that tip up on this forum right after I got him.

    We have a kong and air dog (lifesaver shaped kong with tennis ball cover) in house for fetch - won't damage anything if I throw a little hard. Also you can play with them while doing other things.

  11. #9
    Trickster's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    We play fetch in the yard every day after work and several times on weekends. BF is better at tiring her out than I am cuz my arm gets tired of throwing long before Lexie is sick of fetching that ball! She does love a good game of fetch though, and she will bring the ball back as many times as you want her to, more actually. Unfortunately I live in Upstate NY, but in a city environment and we are not really close to any swimming spots for her. I will be able to get her someplace a couple of times a summer but sadly that is about it for water sports. She likes running with other dogs at the dog-park that is nearby and that does tire her out somewhat, but it is an old tennis court and the surface tears her paw-pads from her running and she bleeds like crazy so I hate to take her there. I will try and work some exra exercise into our daily routine though and see if that helps at all. Thanks!
    I would not suggest fetch as the primary means of exercising dog. Have a read of this excellent article and you will see why:

    http://www.4pawsu.com/fetch.htm

    Continuous games of fetch tend to wind them up rather then calm them down and unless you are doing structured retrieving, it offers no mental simulation.

    Do you walk her? unless you have a lot of property, dogs need walking every day, twice a day ideally. Not for exercise but for mental stimulation. Although if you have any off leash trails you will be exercising both the mind and body.

  12. #10
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: 2 1/2 year old not dealing well with change

    Trickster said:
    I would not suggest fetch as the primary means of exercising dog. Have a read of this excellent article and you will see why:

    http://www.4pawsu.com/fetch.htm

    Continuous games of fetch tend to wind them up rather then calm them down and unless you are doing structured retrieving, it offers no mental simulation
    .

    I read the article. The author, a dog trainer, owns a border collie and was using his/her experience with it to draw upon, as well as citing a number of other dog writings on stress (which I did not find related except to give the appearance of being pseudo-academic). Possibly they have relevance to the personality and temperament of Border Collies but I saw no relevance to Labs.

    I have no quarrel with some of the author's suggestions, such as giving the dog mental stimulation along with physical. And I usually agree with Trickster's suggestions.

    But my experience with Labs and that of my friends with Labs, and much of what I've read about a Lab's daily needs, indicates daily vigorous physical exercise is usually vital to having a calm, comfortable Lab.

    My beloved Bess demanded that every day and would pick up everything she could in her mouth and drop it at my feet until we went out for her daily retrieving exercises -- during which I also gave her training (go right, left, etc.). Afterwards, she dozed; she was never wound up unless some new person came by, giving her the opportunity to charm them.

    At our weekly Saturday afternoon LabFests where the Labs have an hour of unstructured playing and competition to see which Lab can grab the retrieving dummy and bring it back, plus running and chasing each other, wrestling and playing Bitey-Face, their owners frequently are heard to say something like "Wonderful!! He/she is going to sleep the rest of the day!"

    IMO, getting daily vigorous exercise (such as fetching, retrieving) is important for most Labs in order to remain calm and docile.

    "A Tired Lab is a Good Lab" -- Socrates

    "A Bored Lab that is not Tired is a Royal P.I.T.A" --
    Confucius


    "A Dozing Lab Rarely Causes Problems" -- Bhagavad
    Gita


    "A Lab sufficiently exercised has partaken of Nature's own
    Prozac and Valium" -- Hippocrates



    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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