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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well Alexander has still been having trouble getting Harley to accept him as dominant. As suggested, I have been letting Alexander feed and and walk him, and that has had a bit of success but not much. I don't blame Harley for that; Alexander is timid by nature and Harley is just being what he is.

Tonight when Alexander tried to put his leash on him for his walk, Harley lunged at him barking and snapping. That was enough for me. I got up, shouted "NO!" as loud as I could, then advanced towards Harley who beat a quick retreat for the bedroom. I caught up with him as he jumped on the bed, still running from me, put him flat, got as much of me over him as I could, grabbed his snout, looked him straight in the eye, and said (again as loud as I could) "NO BITES!"

Then I stood over them as Alexander put Harley's leash on him, and went with them out for their walk. Every time Harley acted up just a little bit, I sternly corrected him, and had Alexander do the same thing. After a few minutes, Harley kind of seemed to get the message and I showed Alexander (again) how to treat Harley in a dominate manner. The idea was that I am the Alpha male, and even if Alexander is not, it's not ok with me that he act like that; that he's the bottom of the pack.

So far tonight, Harley has been less aggressive towards Alexander, and more subdued as a whole towards everyone in general. I hope I haven't traumatized him and he learned a lesson. Let's see what tomorrow holds.

Kevin
 

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It'll take time but he'll learn his place. It took Sam a bit before he learned that lesson as well, he probably had a bit of an easier time because Phoenix was already established with Lucky and Happy.
 

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Too little too late. You should never "flatten" a dog. Your son needs just as much training as your dog does. Don't ever resort to archaic methods of "alpha rolling" a dog when you clearly don't have any idea what you are doing. Sorry.

While Harley is a pup, he should be ALWAYS dragging his leash around so that you can quickly correct him. And shouting NO basically scared him...he had NO idea what he was getting yelled at for.

I think the only thing you proved was that your loud voice scared this pup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, to be honest, I have just as much to learn as the puppy does about this... ;) I didn't think that was any kind of method, it just seemed like a way to ensure his attention. I don't begrudge Harley the effort it takes to train him, and little things like tugging on the leash do not particularly bother me. But when he goes after my son, SOMETHING needs to be done, and right away. As much as I value the opinions of everyone here (and I do, even those I disagree with), I didn't really have time to pull the books out and see what's the perfect method. If I screwed up, I guess I'll have to try better next time and just go on from here.

Kevin
 

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Please find an obedience class and please find a book that uses positive methods for teaching dogs how you want them to behave - not scaring dogs for being bratty. You are confusing puppy upstart behavior with aggression.

What you may very well get with this kind of "management" of your puppy is one who reacts to people with fear. Fearful dogs are a much greater bite risk. The methods you are embracing (flattening your dog, looming over him, chasing him, scaring him) and not only not effective, they could really damage him.

This whole "domination" and "alpha" mindset is the wrong approach - particularly with a breed like a Lab which if given half a chance is very eager to please.
 

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I didn't really have time to pull the books out and see what's the perfect method. If I screwed up, I guess I'll have to try better next time and just go on from here.
Problem is, if you keep "screwing up" you'll end up with a dog that no one in your house can control because he is so confused or frightened that he wont take commands from any of you because in his mind, he hasn't got a clue who the alpha really is.

When it comes to training pups - especially ones who will outgrow your kids in size & strength before you know it, it's IMPERITIVE that you MAKE TIME to train him properly. That includes enrolling him in a reputable training school with a QUALIFIED instructor. Your whole family should attend the classes because it seems you all need just as much training as the dog. I suggest you start asking people like your vet to recommend someone or start a thread on here asking people in your area to recommend a decent trainer.

If you don't sort these problems out NOW, very soon you'll end up with an out of control dog that you'll have to re-home because he was a threat to or he bit your kids. As usual in cases like this, it's not the dogs fault but the incompetent way it was brought up. Trouble is, it's not the family who suffers but the poor dog who was never trained properly from the outset. If you don't have the time to invest in his training (as you stated) then maybe you need to look in the mirror & ask yourself, "am I a suitable person to own a dog - especially one that will be a part of my family for the next 10-15 years?"

If the answer is no, then I suggest you start evaluating your options & work out which one is best for the dog not you or your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Let me make something perfectly clear here. :mad:

I DID NOT SAY I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO INVEST IN HIS TRAINING.

What I did tonight may have been wrong, and I freely accept that it may have been, but it was not out of anger or impatience. Misguided, yes; intolerant, no...

We have every plan to attend an obedience school with Harley.

We are NOT the kind of people who would punish a dog for his ignorance.

I do not take this responsibility lightly, and I most certainly will do my best not to let Harley suffer because of my ignorance.

We made VERY sure that we were prepared to have a dog and we knew what we were getting into when we did it.


Do you think I like doing things like scaring the **** out a helpless animal?

I get it, I screwed up. Now how about using that collective wisdom to give me methods that might actually work when it looks like a dog is attacking a seven year old, other than 'you're f$#*ing it up, go to obedience school,' because I don't happen to have a trainer in my back pocket right now...

Namaste...

Kevin
 

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I think we all make mistakes when training a pup, so people should not be too quick to judge harshly. What you did (even if not in the best way) is to show your dog that this sort of behavious is unacceptable. Right...or wrong... it's done.
You certainly seem like a responsible dog owner to me from what I read. Both you, your pup and the rest of the family will learn a lot from obediance classes.
Keep in mind people here are VERY opinionated... ;)
 

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I get it, I screwed up. Now how about using that collective wisdom to give me methods that might actually work when it looks like a dog is attacking a seven year old, other than 'you're f$#*ing it up, go to obedience school,' because I don't happen to have a trainer in my back pocket right now...
You, by your own admission said you screwed up. No one said in this thread that 'you're f$#*ing it up (yet) so don't put words in our collective mouths that we didn't say. :mad:

As for this:

I don't happen to have a trainer in my back pocket right now...
So when do you expect to have a trainer in your back pocket? Next year? When the dog is 2 or 3?

TOO LATE!

Read your OP. The whole way you came across (IMO) was not asking for help with this problem but stating what the dog did & how you dealt with it. I suggest if you want advice, you start a seperate thread in training asking for advice. Maybe you'll have more luck that way.

And this twitter post of yours:

Harley lunged and snapped at Alex while he was putting his leash on him and I had to put him in his place big time. No more mister nice guy.
What do you mean by that exactly? :confused:
 

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Patricia McConnell Phd. is a brilliant dog behaviorist and a great trainer who suscribes to very common sense methods of positive dog training. Try "Family Friendly Dog Training" by her - positive methods and effective training which does NOT subscribe to antiquated alpha/dominance concepts.

And I have prior recommended you read her book "The Other End of the Leash" for current thought on canine behavior. When you understand how dogs think everything about working with them is much, much easier.

Honestly, Kevin - I've replied to your posts before and been ignored. Maybe you have firmly bought into the whole Alpha male thing and cannot relinquish that concept and that is unfortunate. Maybe you just want to complain about the puppy and like the attention you get from doing so. I am starting to think that you are not so interested in guidance as support. And - I really don't have any more of that for you.

No one here is paid to dole out advice - and it is no skin off my teeth if you ruin your puppy.
 

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I can understand your fear when you see your pup act that way. She looks about as old as my yellow lab (6 mo). I am having trouble w gracie in the same way..only she behaves this way w me. she lunges, barks, nips and growls when i try to get her if she is loose or if she is overly excited. it begins as play and then turns aggressive. Everyone makes mistakes, im sure many of the people here have lost patients at least once w their pup and "screwed up". I hired a trainer. He calls that roll a level 3 correction...he does not like to use it unless absloutely necessary...and he has not done it to my gracie..i dont know if ill allow it. its so confusing when you read and hear so many different training methods. I find that if i just give her a sharp yelp or stern no and walk away a few min. she calms down. If you cant afford training go to the library and get some books on dog training. I think being consistant in correction is important. don't beat yourself up over it. be patient and a little prayer doesn't hurt either. I am sure she will grow to be a loving dog. take care.

p.s i will let you know how training goes, maybe offer some suggestions that i pick up from my trainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Honestly, Kevin - I've replied to your posts before and been ignored. Maybe you have firmly bought into the whole Alpha male thing and cannot relinquish that concept and that is unfortunate. Maybe you just want to complain about the puppy and like the attention you get from doing so. I am starting to think that you are not so interested in guidance as support. And - I really don't have any more of that for you.
Sorry if it seems like that. It's not so much ignoring, as a lot of info coming really fast. I really do appreciate what you say. and no I have not bought into anything that I can't change my mind about.

Where has anyone seen me complain about Harley yet? I've asked questions about behavior, posted some stories and a couple of jokes, and some pictures, but I don't remember ever saying the trouble wasn't worth the ride.

I do like the attention I get when I post here. I like being around people who so far have been courteous, informative, and fun, and when one of you who knows more than I do answers some inane question of mine, I enjoy it. I thought I had been making a contribution to this board. Please, by all means, if you don't feel what I have to say is worthwhile, then feel perfectly free not to respond to it. It doesn't mean I won't enjoy what you have written, or anyone else for that matter...

Kevin
 

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Kevin - I found some information for you and scanned it into a file. I can't get it to attach on the forum site so I sent you an e-mail. Let me know if you want me to send the file directly to you that way. I think it will give you some solid things to try. We have all struggled with training puppies and dogs. Hang in there - it will get better. Barb
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Doesn't sound like you have much time to me. :rolleyes:
Yeah well, thanks for the help... :rolleyes:

Kevin - I found some information for you and scanned it into a file. I can't get it to attach on the forum site so I sent you an e-mail. Let me know if you want me to send the file directly to you that way. I think it will give you some solid things to try. We have all struggled with training puppies and dogs. Hang in there - it will get better. Barb
Thanks Barb, I sent you an e-mail. I look forward to reading it...

Kevin
 

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Yeah well, thanks for the help... :rolleyes:
I offered you all the help I can in post #6 . If you don't want to accept that help along with all the other advice that has being given to you by other people here, then it's you who has the problem. Classic case of you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. :rolleyes:

But as you admitted yourself, you're an attention whore so maybe you're not serious about any of this & are just getting a kick out of all the attention you're getting. Pretty sad & immature really when there's an innocent dog caught in the middle don't you think?

I do like the attention I get when I post here.
 

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If you continue with the method you have just used you will end up with a scared, uncertain lab who is skittish and afraid of you. I understand you want to protect your son but I think before you can go and let him handle Harley you need to work on obedience with him yourself.

The whole alpha, dominant stuff is crap. I think you need to forget about that and research and apply learnt knowledge of positive reinforcement asap. Your dog is a reflection on you, the more time you put in the better behaved furry family member you will have.

This website could be a good start for you. Also, look for books to help with training and puppies and children.
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/puppy's-first-month-home-8-12-weeks

The thing you must realise is that puppies are costly even after you pay for them, bring them home and feed them. They cost you not only in money but also in TIME. You MUST invest your time EVERY day to get the type of pet you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the advice Sarah, I don't think there's any doubt about not using that method. ;) I didn't even know it was a method until it was mentioned here, tonight. I simply acted on instinct, and apparently it was the wrong one. It's not something I read about anywhere.

Again, I don't have a problem with spending the time training Harley. I really don't understand why it comes across that I do. :confused: In this instance, I felt something needed to be done immediately, so I acted. I spend a lot of time with Harley every day. We go to the park almost every morning and usually we will daily visit the wife's mother in the nursing home where Harley is happily greeted by name from the staff. The MIL's room mate is a former Lab owner and all of the patients look forward to seeing him. He's not a Therapy Dog, but he is still enjoyed. We have even made some progress as far as walking, house training, behavior around others, and so on. This thing with Alexander is different though. It's something I have never had to deal with.

Obedience school is just around the corner for us, books have been ordered and are being read, time is being spent with Harley, things are progressing, despite what this thread has been made to look like.

Kevin
 

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And Harley acted on instinct. He wanted to play with your son... Dogs play with their mouths ;) He is doing what comes natural to him and we all know that nipping and jumping at your son is unacceptable.. you just need to teach Harley that.

I think supervised play with lots of praise and treats for Harley when he plays with your son appropriately is the best thing. Never let them play unsupervised. I agree with whoever said to leave Harley's leash on him at all times when you are home for quick correction. And if he becomes unbearable around your son give Harley time out. Do you have a crate? Is he crate trained? Crate Harley when he has unacceptable behaviour or tie his leash somewhere in your home out of reach of you all and ignore him for a few minutes. Then re-approach for play and remove the fun when it becomes unacceptable again. He'll learn if you are consistent and it should not take him too long at all, from what I have read he's a little bright spark.

How old is Alexander? (love his name BTW)
 
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