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HELLLLLLP!!!!!!

Posted by Krazy Dandelion, 22 September 2012 · 2,167 views

training biting jumping unruly naughty

HELLLLP!!!!!
This past July we adopted our sweet, loving, adorable TUFF from the local Humane Society, after having to put down our faithful family pet of 17 years. Our former dog Kooper was Australian Shepard/Cocker Spaniel mix and the most delightful, calm, smart dog ever.

Tuff is black lab mix-- possibly with some chesapeke, as his coat is wavy and he has a white patch on his chest. He immediately stole our heart and as a 3 and 4 month old puppy, he minded his manners, listened (fairly well), walked nicely on walks, and was easy to train. It seems as if the older he gets, the more stubborn and crazy he becomes! We had him neutered 3 weeks ago and since then, he's been absolutely nuts! Yesterday he chewed the exhaust vent, that comes out of our basement bathroom, completely OUT of our vinyl siding, he broke his collar, chewed his leash in 1/2 while he was tied outside, and over the past few days... it seems like he's completely lost his mind. He jumps, bites, and chews everything in sight.

I know that we are a major part of the problem because we don't walk him daily and he's kenneled during the day while we're at work. As he gets bigger (he weighs 35# now and is approaching 6 months old) it seems as if he's misplaced his brain & is in the process of losing all of his manners (what few he learned at first) and he's just really beginning to be a naughty, naughty dog.

In no way have I considered getting rid of him, as I know he's just a puppy and doesn't know better, but I need some tried and true advice from those of you who have lived through this "phase" with your lab, on how to get through this stage of Tuff's life without losing my mind!

We switched him from a collar to a harness for walking (not sure if I should just leave that on him all the time, instead of a collar) and we now have to tether him to the clothesline pole so we can keep him away from the house where he can chew things out of the vinyl siding. The problem with that is... he wraps himself around the pole and gets himself stuck on a short chain when we're at work.

Any and all advice you can send my way would be MOST WELCOME!!! If you have some lab-wisdom that you'd be wililng to share or advice, please reply back here or email me at krazydandelion@charter.net.

Tuff and we thank you!




themigardener
Sep 23 2012 11:20 PM
After raising several labs from puppies one word of advice is a tired lab is a good lab. One thing you have to do is to make time to walk or play with him. Labs have all kinds of fun energy and can get bored. Never meaning to destroy anything just have fun. I think the smarter they are the more they get bored. They need positive ways to help in remembering their manners. I doubt having him neutered contributed to his being more crazy it is just his age. If you don't have time to walk him every night then take time to throw a ball, work on obedience, teach him tricks, and there is a wonderful thing made by Kong (looks like a BIG Kong) that you can put his food in and have him chase it on occasion. Maybe take a puppy class together. I would be careful in how he is tethered outside and wrapping himself up and not being able to get to water or worse. Labs are very social and they love people; sounds like yours is needing some of your time. You will get through this. Just remember back to when you first had Kooper there were challenges it is all part of being a puppy and being taught how to behave. Good Luck
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Thanks for the advice~ you're so right... Tuff's a very smart little fellow, which explains why he gets bored so easily! We spent a ton of time with him yesterday and he was a really good boy all day even into the night when I took him on a 30 minute long walk. Today though, he was back to his bitey, jumpy, disobedient self... we tried to do some obedience training in the back yard and all he wanted to do is yank on and try to eat his leash. Patience is a virtue, but on days like today, patience is a precious commodity, one of which we have very little left of. I took him on a short walk, thinking that THAT would help him get rid of some of his overzealousness... but that little stinker only pulled and dragged and jumped at everything that moved along the way. I kept a short leash and did my best to keep him at heel, but it was not a fun walk. Just like our kids... there are bound to be days like this when nothing works.
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Thanks for the advice~ you're so right... Tuff's a very smart little fellow, which explains why he gets bored so easily! We spent a ton of time with him yesterday and he was a really good boy all day even into the night when I took him on a 30 minute long walk. Today though, he was back to his bitey, jumpy, disobedient self... we tried to do some obedience training in the back yard and all he wanted to do is yank on and try to eat his leash. Patience is a virtue, but on days like today, patience is a precious commodity, one of which we have very little left of. I took him on a short walk, thinking that THAT would help him get rid of some of his overzealousness... but that little stinker only pulled and dragged and jumped at everything that moved along the way. I kept a short leash and did my best to keep him at heel, but it was not a fun walk. Just like our kids... there are bound to be days like this when nothing works.


Trying to train a hyped up lab pup or taking them on a short leash walk when they have been cooped up all day would generally lead to disappointment and frustration. I have found with my lab pups that you need to first burn off that pent up energy. Let them run, play hard and wear themselves out a bit before you try to train to walk nicely or learn other obedience objectives, as this will allow them to focus a little more. Find a field where he can run or go to an off leash dog park where he can play with other dogs. Take him somewhere he can swim...the best means to tire a lab and it is nice for you too. Providing him with stimulation during the day would also help. If you cannot take him out yourself, check out options for hiring a dog walker or sending him to day care or even look to your neighbors...do they have a dog that he could go have play dates with.

The issues you are having all relate to lack of exercise and stimulation. He is wired because he has been tied up all day and he has been separated from you, so he is excited to be with you. Plus he is a pup and they are always excitable and he will regress at times and also try to test you. My advice is to take more time for your pup, sometimes it means giving up other interests, but it will result in a better dog and a calmer you. If your yard is fenced I would recommend stopping the tying to a pole routine as it is going to end up with problems, sometimes dangerous problems for the pup. Strangulation and dehydration being the two serious ones...never mind not being able to protect himself if a predator got into your yard (not sure about where you live but we have bears).

We sometimes forget how much work goes into raising a pup. I know as I lost my old gal earlier this summer and was devastated, but also knew that having a lab in my life was the only means to make it full again. So I too am raising a puppy again...forgot all about those teeth and high energy antics and I too get really frustrated when all of the tried and true methods don't work (like when she seems to think that I like having a lab/piranha attached to my knee!). It is a little easier for me however as I have the luxury of being self employed and working out of my home most of the time, so I can get her out in the morning, mid day, after work and again in the evening. By getting her out, she is resting at my feet asleep between adventures because she is not all full of angst. So if you can look to means to get your pup some company during the day and take him out for a good run around to burn off some stream at the end of the day, I think you both will be much happier. Even if that means just playing in your yard...but remember you need to play long to tire a pup. As you noted on the day you spent a lot of time with him, he was good as gold.

Good luck and have patience.

From Bijou II's mom

Patience is a virtue as you have noted and it will get easier.
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