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Discussion Starter #1
my 6 month old lab can be very aggressive at times. I can pull food and bones away from her, but when she is over excited or having fun and does not want to be removed from fron she can become aggressive. She growls and lunges at me. I find that if i correct her and walk away or put her in time out, she does calm down. I tried the tap on the nose, but it only makes her more aggressive. Some idiot told me a good beating would straighten her out...something i would NEVER, NEVER do. Any suggestion? I have hired a trainer and we are starting to work on correcting this. So far we are trying a stern no while shaking a can w coins. it seems to work most of the time for a short time. Suggestions welcome . Has anyone else had this problem?
lisa

p.s other than these short bouts of anger, she is a good loveable puppy...smart too
 

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Are you sure they are bouts of anger, and not just rough play? Bauer used to bark and lunge and us (I don't think he has ever growled) when he was trying to engage us in play. He had 2 very rambunctous times of day (7:00am and 5:00pm), and I made sure he was out walking during those times. After we started on this schedule, he didn't have those crazy times of day.

A mistake I made was too many different types of corrections. He did much better when we stuck with one type of correction. I had a short leash that was always attached to his collar (except when he was in his crate). He got one leash correction, and if the behavior didn't stop, he got a time-out in his crate. He always knew what to expect.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
she has about two of those bouts during the day morning an around supper. I have started taking her for longer walks and that does seem to help. Sometimes it seems like play because it happens when she gets overly excited. Sometimes she seems angry, she has actually put her teeth on my hand, although never biting hard. she is very hard to get a hold of because she lunges and then backs off. I don't remember this behavior from my first lab, but that was 14 years ago. I am going to try the leash thing, time out does seem to work. if she is removed from the situation she calms down.thanks

bauer is so cute
 

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I think if she was really being aggressive she would have bitten for real. That said, you are correct in trying to get her to stop. And now is the time while she is still young.

Consistency is the key and make sure you continue to hold your ground. I think she'll be fine in the long run! Good luck, and the idiot who said she should get a good beating? I think that person should get the beating and see how well it straigthens him up!
 

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Can you describe EXACTLY when this happens? what are you doing, what is she doing.. is she protecting a valued resource (a toy or bone)? or are you trying to take her by the collar, and she is mouthing you as you try to move her?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
it happens on different occasions, mostly if she is having fun doing something...usually something she is not suppose to be doing, if i go to grab her collar or if she gets loose and i go to put her leash on her. most of the time it starts out as over excitement, some mouthing . but she can get very mean looking. she lunges, growls and nips. I have tried the yelp and she gets worse, i find removing her from the situation (putting her in another room)seems to work best, but am i teaching her anything that way? i have never experienced this w a lab before...well not to this degree.. i would love suggestions. she is not a mean dog. i can pull food and bones away w no proble
 

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Lots of dogs resent the collar grab, and will protest with the only means they have - growling and mouthing. So, two things to work on: 1)leave a drag line on (a 5-6 foot leash, you can cut the hand-loop to prevent snagging, and leave it on only under supervision) so that you have a 'remote handle' to control her; and 2)start teaching her that collar grabs are the BEST thing in the world.

Start with a high-value treat in one hand, with the other, touch the collar lightly, then give treat. Work up to longer, more abrupt, and more vigourous collar tugs, always pairing them with a treat she loves. (I would also recommend that you do the same process with handling paws, ears and muzzle, etc - many collar-sensitive dogs are also not fond of people handling elsewhere either..)
 

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I'm a little concerned that your trainer is using the 'coins in a can' trick. IMO - kind of junk food dog training. I have seen some dogs made noise shy by use of this method of aversion.
 

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I agree with Sharon, I don't like the coins in the can trick.

Do you have accessability to an obedience school? I have seen alot of dogs come through our obedience school with similar issues to your lab and the voluntary trainers help them alot with all these behavourial questions.

I would definitely take the advise from Kaytris and work through handling of your lab in a positive manner.

The way we worked with Milly when she was younger and had ahold of something she shouldn't was by trade off. I would find something of higher value than the object she shouldn't have had and simply re-directed her interest to that. Squeaky toys for us worked best cause she has ALWAYS loved squeaky toys. I also think you should start trying to teach your lab 'give' and 'leave it' .... you should never need to yank your dog by the collar away from something you don't want it to have. "leave it" can be much more effective, the dog also realises what you want from them when you say 'leave it' - yanking a dog by it's collar away from something can surprise and shock them.

I think I'd nip at you if you did it to me :) lol...
 

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Also, i do not know if you went to puppy preschool but handling of puppies is something that most puppy schools encourage. Sit with your dog and touch and handle areas while talking to them in a soothing tone.

I would do this and if the dog got excited/nippy I would probably use one word consistently for this exercise like "quiet" or "hush" and when your dog calms down high value treat is the reward. Your dog will learn through practice that 'hush' means to calm down and calming down is always rewarded with something good. You could then inturn use this word when your lab is excited about a situation or object etc...

I have had lots of dogs while living with my parents over the years and have always really enjoyed training them to do things. I really believe that a dog is more responsive to you when you tell it one clear word that it understands. Your tone and body language is also important. This is reflected highly in obedience school where you use a combination of directive word, hand action and body language to communicate with your dog. Obedience and other such dog training can really help you bond and communicate with it better, the rewards are huge and definitely worth the time and effort.
 

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I found that Guthrie would have meltdowns like that when he was overstimulated or tired...just like a two year old temper tantrum. My last lab was not like this as a pup either so I was initally surprised by his behavior. I found that rather than more exercise what he really needed was a good nap.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thanks so much for the suggestions. we are working on "leave it" and i have been using her toys or a treat to lure her away from things she can not have. the leash suggestion is working well. i stopped using the noisey can...she is not fazed by noise at all, it is ineffective. i began just giving the leash a slight tug and a no, seems to work if she is not to worked up. when she gets really aggressive and wont listen, i just walk away or remove her from the situation and place her in another room. thanks again, everyone here is so great:) keep the suggestions coming
 

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Discussion Starter #14
it is so funny how like people they all have such different personality...and boy, does Gracie have personality. i find the same thing, when she gets tired if i just leave her for a nap, she is fine when she wakes up. naps and exercise work together well. I wish i had crate trained though, i think this was my biggest mistake. i never had to crate train my first lab, she was very different. i just assumed Gracie would be the same. Do you think it is to late to get a crate, she is 6 1/2 months.
 

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it's never too late to crate train her.. i would suggest you start it as a great place to be for her.. feed her in there.. give her high value treats in there.. kongs, marrow bones.. etc.. so she doesn't associate the crate as a punishment..

the crate can be an invaluable tool.. especially for pups.

it's also really handy to have a crate trained dog should a medical emergency occur and they require rest for long periods of time.. trust me on this one =)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you. ok here is the deal. my sister just came over, she does not see my sister too much...she gets very excited. my sis was sitting on the chair and gracie wanted to play, she started jumping on my sis and got very excited and began to bite, my sis had to pin her down gently just to get away. help i have never had any dog act like this. she starts off playing but them gets almost vicious.
 

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In all honesty, she sounds like a mouthy lab pup to me. Labradors (like many dogs) explore and interact with the world through their mouths. Mouthing, chewing and eating are main behaviours associated with this predominant tendency, all of which labs are known for. ;) Some puppies are mouthier than others, and it sounds like you got a really mouthy one.

I would utilize the time out. Baby gate a small room that is uncluttered and out of the way (read: quiet and boring!) bathrooms work well for this, and pick her up and place her there when she starts to get over excited. Let her calm down before "releasing" her. Soon she'll make the connection between her behaviour and playtime ending and will start to watch her actions more carefully.

I would not do the coins in a can thing, utilizing fear is never an ideal way to train babies.

I don't think she's being malicious or even angry, just sounds like she's over stimulated and doesn't have any emotional control as of yet. I wouldn't play roughly with her, as that's just asking for trouble at this point.
 

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Yeah, i agree.. what you're describing isn't vicious.. at least, that's not what it sounds like.. you have a lab..and lab puppies are very rambunctious and quite mouthy.. i'd be VERY careful about using the term viscous when describing your dog.

I think it's time you enrolled her into an obedience class because it sounds to me like you could use some help on how to properly train her.. it also sounds like your girl needs more exercise.. do you have a lake nearby where she can work out that energy in a way that will be a low-impact workout on those growing bones of hers? Swimming really is a great way to tire out something that tires out mommy =)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i do not do the coin thing. i find what works best is putting her in a room and letting her calm down. i know she is NOT vicious, but that is the only way i know how to describe the way she acts for a few min until i get control of her. she really does bite ( not too hard), growl and lunge at me. i know it is over stimulation. she walks alot and we live on a beach but i can not get her to swim. today there was a little less exercise because i had to help my sis move in today. we have hired a trainer who does seem to focus on positive training for the most part. training gets confusing...everyone has there idea about what works. i love my dog and will do everything i can to help her grow to be a wonderful dog. i do not work and i spend a lot of time her. she is never left alone for hours and hours, she even comes w me on short tris...she loves the car. thanks again for all your help. if anyone can recommend a good training video let me know. i know we have a trainer but i am very open to all and any suggestions...my trainer is very open minded as well.
 
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