Yes! That's not lab behavior!
No, it's fear-based and needs attention!
Well, I got Beau when he was 6 wks. old (too young, I know) and he became an instant hit with our family. He is the typical lab, loving, bouncy, chews, taught himself fetch, and is VERY smart! But, lately, as he is know a wopping 8 months old, he's been charging the fence and barking at strangers. I brought him to the beach for the first time a couple weekends ago, and he did awesome. He listened well, loved the water, and had a blast! He's a great little swimmer. But when a family decided to swim next to us, at first he payed no mind. Then something caught his eye and he ran over and charged a little boy, barking what looked like to me bad dog behavior but I'm sure to the parents and the little boy a very scary situation. I was shocked! I never thought in a million years!!! I work at a vet hospital so I am cautious to saying "my dog would never bite" because, unfortunately, it's not always the case. So, I promplty said, "Beau, NO!" and grabbed is legs from under him and flipped him on his back. He layed there with his tail between his legs (wagging :suspious until I said, "Ok Beau, lets go". And he just got up like nothing happened and kept playing fetch with me. So then a little later that day a couple came frolicking down the coast with eachother, happily enjoying eachothers attention. I kept a close watch on Beau, he looked there way, but stayed with me. Then the man stopped and offered his hand for Beau to sniff. Beau got close enough to where he had to lean his head in with out moving his legs to sniff the mans hand, backed up and started barking at the man. Of course, the guy was scared. I in turn said I was sorry and flipped Beau on his back again. I do this instead of hitting because it lets them know you are dominant and puts them in there place where as hitting scares them and hurts them. So, after this long story, I just want to know if this is normal behavior? I've taken him to work w/me almost every day, he loves everyone there and has never displayed aggression. We've taken x-rays of him w/out restraint, no muzzles. I cut his toenails all by myself, he just lays on his back happily wagging his tail. He just started this fence charging and not likin strangers about a month ago. What should I do or do I just have a neurotic lab?
Please read "The Cautious Canine" by Patricia McConnell.
You know, my Polly has displayed the same kind of behavior before. Once, on a walk, a little boy approached us and asked if he could pet her. I said yes and had her sit, but every time to boy approached, she growled and barked, and tried to get away. This surprised me, because she had never had trouble with children before. She growls at people she senses I don't like, (i.e. the landlord), but she never seems as though she would bite. She usually lets people into the apartment for the first time with no hostility, but there are some she will growl or bark at while she stands in front of me -- there doesn't really seem to be a pattern behind who she does it to, though. I guess I would say, from my limited experience, that this behavior is relatively normal, but should be corrected.
This was a very poor choice of behavior. He is not aggressive. He's going through what many puppies at his age do.Originally Posted by carenalee
Next time this happens, ALWAYS carry very high value, good treats with you and ask that strangers approach slowly and give him a cookie. Doing this with enough people will let him know they are not scary and actually something to like!
Don't let him off leash for crying out loud and stop flipping him on his back. He's a pup going through a fear stage and you are acting crazy.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003