New Lab owner
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Thread: New Lab owner

  1. #1
    Scrolls01 Guest

    DefaultNew Lab owner

    Hi, my name is Tom. I just got a yellow Lab from the animal shelter Wednesday, but facing some problems with him. He is a year and one month old, but I can't seem to get him trained and all that. He keeps going potty in my house, which I can't seem to get him to use the yard. I took him for a walk this afternoon and he almost took off on me, and I can't get him to focus on me. Thursday, a neighbor of mine had a chair in his arms taking it back to his house, and the dog growled. I feel he's been in an abusive situation with the guy who owned him before he went to the shelter, and feel he has fear issues along with being a wild dog at heart. He hasn't been neutered yet, which he will be in about 2 weeks. I want to train him, but not sure how to do it without him being afraid or scared or whatever. How do I get him through this so he knows that everything will be alright? And what do I need to do to solve the housebreaking issue along with the fear and all that? I am also trying to train him to be an inside dog, but having no luck with that without him going potty in the house. By the way he acts, he acts like he was an outside dog, cuz he does fine on the leash, but when he's walking, he's really wild and won't calm down.

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  3. #2
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    Take a deep breath and relax. It takes TIME and consistency to train a dog. You have had your boy for less than a week - he probably doesn't know what's what right now.

    If he is fearful you will have to be encouraging, this means you encourage good behavior, and ignore bad behavior (or gently put him where he should be) - some dogs do not handle negative feedback well.

    I HIGHLY recommend taking an obedience class ASAP. It's good for BOTH of you and best of all, it really really helps build a bond.

    The first week with my fosters was hellish. They are stressed and have no clue what is going on. The second week we can start doing more "real" work on training (not to say I don't keep rules when they arrive, but it's not the same). After a month they have figured out the schedule and things are improving. With any new dog they say to keep an eye on them and ASSUME they are not potty trained. So I recommend you treat him like a puppy. If you are not watching him keep him crated. Take him outside often . Praise when he pees and poos outside (just like a puppy).

    With Rocky it took a good year for our bond to start to grow. Thru training we've now got a solid bond (I adopted him almost 3 years ago now).
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  4. #3
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    oops! I forgot the most important part:

    Congrats one your new pup, and bless you for adopting from a shelter. most make great pets, but they need some time to understand what is expected of them.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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  6. #4
    Scrolls01 Guest

    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    I was thinking of taking an obedience class with him and all that, and see how that goes with the both of us, but it's wondering if I have the money for that right now to do it. See, originally, I had a Border Collie who was like 5 or 8 when I got her, but I didn't have the problems with her as I do him. I took him for a walk, calmed him down, and all that, then when we got home, I told him good boy and all that. Then Friday night, he peed and pooped all over my carpets, I rubbed his nose in the pee and told him no. I got back this morning, he didn't pee on the carpets, just pooped on them by the front door, so I figured it was because I didn't have time, which I didn't. He ate just as I was walking out the door. Well, with him being in an abusive situation and all that before me, I figured he was nervous, and that's why he's doing it.

    Well, when I got Sass 2 years ago, almost 3, I didn't have that problem with her, because she was already trained and all that. She passed away June 30, which was last Monday at 5:00, so I've had dogs and all that, but never had the chance to train them. With her, she was already trained and too old, so I figured I would give him a chance, but I also don't want him going potty in the house for the next week while he gets used to it.

    I have a friend that has a couple chocolate labs, and he's going to help me train him and all that, but you're right, I think we should do this obedience class, it would help him to trust me better, and I would understand him better if we do this. I want to give him a better home, but I also don't want him to be scared of me either because of what I did to him Friday night when he went potty in the house.

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  7. #5
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    If you do not catch the dog going potty in the house it is useless to correct (this includes rubbing their nose in it). Like I said, with any dog from a shelter or unkown situation, you have to assume they are not trained (if they are, all the better) and treat them like a puppy. Take your dog out more often, and regularly. Celebrate when they go outside. Keep a constant eye on them in the house. Crate when you are gone. Oh - Be sure to use a odor neutralizer on the accidents. Even when it's "clean" to us the dogs can still smell the urine and will use that spot again (Nature's Miracle is a good cleaner). I treat all my fosters like this and they haven't had more than one or two accidents.

    Sounds like you were lucky with your first dog. But all dogs are different. Your current dog clearly needs abit more direction. Obedience classes would really really be helpful. If he is fearful you will have to ensure you are always calm with him. No negative reinforcement in this case, just be sure to highlight all the good stuff and ignore the bad stuff.

    As for leash walking, there are many threads on this. If you are using a flat collar you may want to look at other tools, such as a walking harness or martingale.

    Good luck.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  8. #6
    Scrolls01 Guest

    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    And I guess I also need to understand that even if he's going potty in the house now, it's not going to last forever. I take him out all the time, but he won't go potty or anything else. When we go out to the yard and all that, he'll just sit and stare at me, and he won't tell me that he has to go or anything else until the damage is already done.

  9. #7
    Scrolls01 Guest

    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    I'm wondering if that's why he's going in the house and not in the yard, cuz he smells Sass. The last week she was alive, she did go potty in the house, but on the opposite end, because she couldn't move, but I'm wondering if why he's not using the yard is because that's where Sass urinated in for the last 2 and a half years.

  10. #8
    Scrolls01 Guest

    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    I was also thinking about tying him up outside on the patio when I'm gone, but I'm also afraid if I do that, he'll never want to be an inside dog, and the other question is, how do you crate a 65 pound male?

  11. #9
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    I crate my 81 pound lab. I have crate trained the 90 pound black lab foster and the 65 pound cattle dog. I crate all dogs. They earn the right to be "out" of the crate by good behavior (if they ever get there) but having said that, it's not about "punishment" at all. You just buy a big crate. I have a 42" for in the house (the black lab had a bigger one than that though!). I start by feeding them in the crate, associate it to good stuff. I do admit I'm not great at training process for that, I ended up (by pure necessity) just crating the dog. I do my best to keep the first crated experience short. I will give them a stuffed kong or throw kibble on the ground to keep them occupied.

    If your dog is not going outside you will have to overcome that step, or they will continue to go indoors. Go for a long walk, or play fetch in the backyard. exercise usually gets them going. If you just stand there with him it's normal for him to not go.

    I also agree that tying him outside is a bad idea. Especially when you are not there. Unless you have a good pulley system it's very unsafe.

    He has only been with you 4-5 days. Give the poor guy a chance! You have no idea what his life was like before, and he's been in the shelter how logn? This is a TOTAL life change for him. You really need to be patient. Put yourself in his shoes. He still doesn't know where he is, why he's there or what you want. Be his leader. Show him the way, be patient and fair.

    And yes - ensure to clean ANY place where there was ever an accident with an odor neutralizer.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  12. #10
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: New Lab owner

    How much exercise is he getting?
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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