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Thread: Need Help with Young Rescue

  1. #1
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    Default Need Help with Young Rescue

    Background Information:
    My girlfriend of five months has had two rescue Labs, one yellow and one chocolate, for 10 months now, both neutered. The yellow is about two years of age and is well behaved. The chocolate is 14 months and has no discipline whatsoever.

    It has gotten to the point where the chocolate must be the center of attention at all times. He will push the other dog out of the way for pets, will not sit for treats, chews furniture, forces his way on to the bed after being told "no" multiple times. I believe the yellow is getting tired of the younger dog as well.

    He is very protective of my girlfriend and will lay on top of her in the bed. I see this as more a sign of dominance than protection. He is not receptive to her commands unless there is a treat in hand.

    There are several times where I have raised my voice considerably at the dog and he just becomes confused and less obedient out of fear. I hate to anthropomorphize the feelings of animals, but I am convinced he sees me as a threat for his mother's attention.

    Unfortunately, the dogs only get about 30-60 minutes of leash exercise a day. They are outside in a small suburban yard for most of the days and there are minimal signs of digging and trying to escape.

    Question:
    What steps do I, my girlfriend, or us together need to take to allow the chocolate lab to be a more enjoyable aspect of our lives?

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
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    Have your girlfriend sign the dog up for an obedience class--one that will allow her to use a pinch collar.

    Second, the younger dog in particular needs lots more exercise. Will he retrieve or play with a ball? Quick way to wear a dog out in your own yard.

    Third, USE A CRATE. The dog should not be allowed on the bed, not allowed to lie on top of her. The dog doesn't seem to know where he fits in the pack and your girlfriend isn't doing anything to help him figure it out.

    Training, exercise, consistency.

    Good Luck!

    Meredith

  3. #3
    Senior Member fishin444's Avatar
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    My fix for a pup that misbehaves is the rolled up newspaper across the butt. I normally won't strike a dog in the head. Use a firm swat when pup does what he's not supposed to. Your girlfriend will also need to do the same. You won't have to do much after the first few times you use this method other than show pup the raised news paper as he;ll learn what the swat means. You need to be firm and fair with his dicipine no going all King Kong on him. The newspaper won't hurt the dog I think the noise it makes is the motivator

  4. #4
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    Meredith-
    Thank you for your reply.
    When playing fetch, the younger dog only seems interested in what the yellow is doing and disrupts the retrieving process. I try to use two balls, but the second will go ignored. Should they be split up, or try to train them together?

  5. #5
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    I have physically reprimanded the dog with a pop on the butt, but I don't think the use of physical deterrence was well accepted. The harsh love taps my girlfriend gives him have no effect.

    This is my first time with young labs. Most of my experience is with Standard Poodles and Brittany Spaniels. They seemed much easier to train.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jeannie Greenlee's Avatar
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    I know it takes more time but the younger dog needs more exercise from what you have posted I would exercise him separately. Definitely the younger dog needs obedience class but you should take the older dog and let your gf train the younger dog and take the class together. That way everyone is on the same page.
    Jeannie Greenlee

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  7. #7
    Senior Member afdahl's Avatar
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    My suggestions:
    1. Learn about NILIF and apply it rigorously to the chocolate.
    2. Separate the two dogs as much as possible.

    Some of what you are seeing is typical of a Lab raised in constant company of another dog. It really hurts their trainability and responsiveness--their whole ability (and inclination) to communicate with and understand a human. Some more of it is characteristic of a dog who's been able to make his own rules.

    Both of my suggestions are likely to require significant changes in household routine. I doubt anything less will work.

    Amy Dahl

  8. #8

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    I suggest that you get a copy of Susan Garrett's little book "Ruff Love." Your dog sounds like a perfect candidate for the Ruff Love program, which is a type of NILIF program (Nothing In Life Is Free). Ruff Love is a comprehensive program and sets out in detail what you need to do to change your dog's behavior. The book also contains some information that will help you understand why your dog behaves the way he does. It will take some time and effort on your part, but if you follow the Ruff Love program carefully and stick with it, you'll eventually have a dog that's much more pleasant to live with. Because he already has bad habits, it will take longer to undo those bad habits while you're training new ones, but just keep at it.

    I agree that major changes need to be made if you want to change the dog's behavior. Ruff Love will give you some excellent guidelines for how to do that. If you only do part of the program, you're not going to get the results you want, so you really need to commit to doing the full program as it's set out in the book. It's not a quick fix.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
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    You don't have enough posts to pm yet but I'm not far from you in Longview Texas. If you need hands on help let me know.

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