This may be a one-of-a kind problem, I'm not sure...
Our 2 year old yellow lab Piper is the love of our life. We have a great time with her and we know she loves us too...she used to pretty much be wherever we were in the house or out, like all family dogs...during the past few months she has taken to wanting to be in only 1 of two places: either sleeping on the bed in our spare bedroom OR outside on her lead. The bedrooms in our house are in the lower level, so the main hub of the house is in the upper floor (living room, etc.). So while we are in the living room, kitchen, back deck, etc. carrying on with everyday life, she whines at the door to outside or at the baby gate we have put up to go downstairs. I wouldn't mind if it was bedtime and she decided to turn in for the night, but I don't think she needs to be cuddled up in her "teenager bedroom" (as we have begun to call it) in the middle of the day. :whatever:
She is NOT a lazy dog, she is obsessed with fetching the tennis ball and we take her for walks/runs 1 to 2 times a day, and she can't get enough. . . .have we spoiled her by letting her sleep on beds (she usually sleeps with us overnight, or comes in half-way through the night from her bed to ours)...??!? I have no problem with her being outside of course at any time, but when it is time for her to be inside I really don't think she should be "in bed" at all times....am I making too big a deal out of this? I just want our dog to be comfortable on the floor of our living room like she used to be....thanks for any information or advice you can offer...
Just a few thoughts -
Have you had her checked up at the vet lately? Sometimes dogs hide pain or illness and her separating from you could be an indicator.
If she is OK physically, has anything else changed in your household that might have affected her? Like, someone arriving or moving out? Any changes to your routine or hers?
There are things you can do to increase your bond with her. Things like daily grooming and obedience lessons are great for that.
It could also be that as an adult dog (which she is just becoming) she is just naturally more independent. I have a Shepherd that is like this. She is not a cuddly dog - she often will curl up elsewhere from the family. She likes to be somewhere that she can hear us, but not in direct contact. This is normal for her. My Lab on the other hand is up my butt all day.
Also, is there a big difference between outside/inside temps? (ie, do you have central air turned on high?)
Thanks for the replies..!!Originally Posted by BigBrownDog
She just had her annual check-up, so she is OK physically, and no changes out of the ordinary around here. I am not sure I can do much more to increase our bond with her, we do everything with her as we have no children yet....I suppose more obedience lessons could help. I do believe it has to do with her being an adult dog and becoming more independent, although doesn't it seem odd behavior for a lab??? The latter reply asked about changes in temperature....when it does get hot it is way cooler downstairs, and after a run she goes right downstairs to cool off, which i don't mind, i think she has just gotten used to that comfort level, and now she just wants to be down there.
Should I take away her priviledge for that room/bed during the day, or maybe entirely for it to be effective...don't want to be "mean," but I do feel she is taking charge and the dog should not be the boss...! There's nothing wrong with her being down there, but we would like her to be around us when we are together.
If you are doing something daily with her (like grooming or daily training) then maybe you cannot increase the bond - it is the one on one interaction that mattersOriginally Posted by JoLabs typically are very gregarious - but that does not mean all of them are. Females in general are less "needy" than males. This for her could be very normal.I do believe it has to do with her being an adult dog and becoming more independent, although doesn't it seem odd behavior for a lab???This has nothing to do with her "being the boss" she is doing what she likes to do. You are applying motive that does not exist IMO. You want a dog that wants to be with you always - maybe that is not going to be her nature. So you may have to accept that she is going to interact differently with you than you would like.Should I take away her priviledge for that room/bed during the day, or maybe entirely for it to be effective...don't want to be "mean," but I do feel she is taking charge and the dog should not be the boss...! There's nothing wrong with her being down there, but we would like her to be around us when we are together.
If you don't want her on the bed - close the door. See what happens. But if you are trying to change the essential nature of this dog (if that is what it turns out to be and not illness) then you have a tough road ahead.
Like I said before - I have a female dog that is a bit standoffish. She loves me but she is by nature not a touchy feely dog. I accept her as such. I give her her space. I do not pressure her to be something else to satisy my needs.
As mentioned, usually female Labs are much more independent than male "velcro" Labs. My first Lab, Bess, was an exception (I now find). She wanted to be close by any human, the closer the better. My Puff is much more independent as long as she knows where I am and can go with me whenever I go out. But they go through phases.
As a pup, Puff didn't want me to be out of the room with her and she'd moan and cry if there was a barrier. When she was about 9 months old and had transitioned past the point of a puppygate barrier, she usually preferred to be in an adjoining room but instantly by my side in case I did anything interesting.
At night, she wanted to sleep near me (in her crate beside the bed). Later she wanted to sleep next to me on the bed. Currently, she sleeps next to me awhile then jumps down to sleep on the floor or her crate a few hours, then hops up to snuggle next to me.
If you don't already have one, you might try a dog bed upstairs that Piper can retreat to when she wants to go in to napping or "standby" mode.
Dogs do do an incredible amount of napping but (IMO) are always almost instantly alert whenever there's something interesting to do (like meal time, walk time, potty time, car ride, etc.).
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":
We have found over the years that some are more clingy than others. Our Hank, for instance, even when he was a puppy, never felt the need to be in the same room with us. I have finally accepted that he will never be the snuggler that I would have liked him to be. Now that we have gotten Ellie May, who IS a snuggler, Hank has become more affectionate, but he will always be a very self-contained dog. So... I guess the answer is...Labs come in all tempraments.
I think you hit the nail on the head there....she is doing what she likes to do, plain and simple. And she IS a dog who does what she likes to do. I think I am comparing her to my Baylee who used to have to be EVERYWHERE my family was...again, it was just her nature to be that way. Incidentally, I never realized that female labs are less clingy to their owners, but now that i think of it, it makes sense when i think of people i know who own male vs. female labs....Originally Posted by BigBrownDog
Also, as Bob Pr. put it: "Dogs do do an incredible amount of napping but (IMO) are always almost instantly alert whenever there's something interesting to do. . ." I totally agree, that's exactly how she is! From a dead sleep to instantly chasing that tennis ball!
And just to let you know, I did shut the door to the bedroom a few times since my first post, and the first night she whined a bit, but by the second night she just turned around and came and laid down beside us... So i think i will let her have her time in "her room" during some of the time, we will see how it goes.
Well I thank you all for your replies. I do love her for who she is and I am happy that she is has her own personality...she can be and is very lovey and cuddly when she wants to be with both my husband and myself....it actually makes for an easier situation, not having to worry about her whining and crying when we leave, she seems pretty content (although a wee bit peed off) when we leave for work during the day. Thanks again everyone...