1. The wonderful world of puppies starts here
  2. Find answers to your puppy questions below
  3. Click here for more information

Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Karen, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    10,448
    There have been a lot of posts recently from first time lab puppy owners, concerned about their puppy's behavior. It made me think about all the annoying things my pup did when little, that have since stopped. I mentioned some of them in a different post, but thought it might help some of you to realize that these really are normal puppy "teething problems", and that things do get better! Poppy is 15 months old now.

    Here are some of the things she did that made me worried, sad, or cross:

    Bullied the old dog unmercifully - bit him, knocked him down, stole his toys and food. This stopped at about 5 months.

    Bit our hands and pulled at our clothes; jumped up and nipped at us with needle-sharp teeth. This started to get much better once her big teeth came in. She is very gentle with her mouth now.

    Ate dog poo whenever possible. This disgusting habit stopped when we started her on a raw food diet.

    Rolled in fox poo a lot. Hasn't done that for months.

    Chewed up cushions and carpets; pulled off strips of wallpaper, and ripped her toys and bedding apart. She is now very gentle with her toys, and I am even considering getting the rugs back out of storage. ::)

    Jumped in the garden pond, dug holes in the lawn and pulled up bushes. She has given all that up and is completely reliable in the garden.

    Most worrying of all - she used to bark, growl and jump at strangers. This has COMPLETELY STOPPED, and I take her all over the place with me, including to school where she is wonderful with the children. She is still a little nervous at the vet's, though.

    So - don't despair - with firm but kind treatment, the barking, nipping, chewing, disgusting eating habits etc will diminish over time. Each dog is different, of course - for instance Poppy is ALWAYS going to be a sensitive character, and I just have to accept that and live with it. But our labs are adorable puppies, and with the right treatment grow up into lovely, loving dogs. Enjoy the puppy time as much as you can - it goes by so fast! Karen
     
  2. lynnelogan

    lynnelogan Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    3,540
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    i am just hitting my 6 month......i have experienced most of the above :'( the biting is now a gentle bite, the rolling over stinking in fox poo, very often....bursting cushions, only just started this......still digs holes in the garden....only barks if he hears my neighbour.....never growled,
    so only got another 8 month to go........i have seen a vast improvement, hope things continue to improve.......i am lucky he is a good boy
     
  3. TheKavs

    TheKavs Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    48
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Thanks for this Karen. You have without doubt saved me about 5 future threads. I can now look forward to all of this!!
     
  4. Lisa L

    Lisa L Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    What a wonderful "it will get better, these are perfectly normal behaviours" post ;D Puppies are like babies:no one expects a baby to walk/talk/sleep all night and behave in public/around strangers from day one. It takes time, persistance and routine and love ;D I have missed the baby steps this time round with Goldie so i'm a bit better off in that she knows the teeth rules and has a bigger bladder than puppies :p
     
  5. lynnelogan

    lynnelogan Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    3,540
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    i was very lucky with his bladder as he held himself all night :) everything else he as normal puppy behaviour , NO NO NO at one stage i think he thought his name was NO :)
     
  6. editor

    editor Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    6,153
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Lovely post Karen, I have made it a sticky so that new puppy owners can find it.
     
    lisa humphreys likes this.
  7. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,422
    Location:
    Australia
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Excellent thread.

    My first dog, Nicolae:

    - pulled washing off the line (stopped at about 5/6 months)
    - stole and shredded toilet paper rolls (stopped after we learned to shut the bathroom door)
    - escaped from the backyard and went exploring (stopped after three occasions when we got a gate that he couldn't push open!!)
    - sat on, squashed and dug up plants in the garden (stopped at about 6 months)
    - lunged and pulled on the lead with excitement whenever he saw another dog or person, even though he walked well on lead otherwise (till about 18 months)
    - jumped up on everyone he met (till about 18 months)
    - growled and barked his head off at people from a certain ethnic group when we moved to a new suburb when he was 12 months :-[ (stopped after a month or so, thank goodness....reinforced the need to give pups a very broad range of early social experiences!!)
    - stole food at every opportunity (never stopped ;D)

    He grew up to be the best dog - a beautiful, gentle, smart, obedient gem. I would have another dog exactly like him in a heartbeat.

    Edited to fix typo :)
     
  8. Lisa

    Lisa Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    6,106
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Thanks for these reassurances. My old dog was 16 when he died so it's been a bit of a learning curve to go back to those puppy days. My hubs and I keep dredging up memories of our old Jet as a puppy to remind ourselves that even our old reliable dog had his puppy days too.

    BTW, does anyone else's dog have a pencil/pen obsession? Honestly I think I've picked up every single one off the floor and next thing I know he's showing up with one in his mouth.....
     
  9. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,167
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    [quote author=Lisa link=topic=1722.msg13067#msg13067 date=1371433836]
    BTW, does anyone else's dog have a pencil/pen obsession? Honestly I think I've picked up every single one off the floor and next thing I know he's showing up with one in his mouth.....
    [/quote]

    Yes!!!! Absolutely loves them!! Riley will even climb on the sofa to get one which is a big no although he's very clever, he doesn't put his paws on the sofa he kind of tucks his front legs back down his body so he can put his chest on the sofa and do a maxi stretch and just reach them. I'm sure he thinks he's abided by the no dogs on the sofa rule ::) bless him.
     
    MF likes this.
  10. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    11,057
    Location:
    Dubai
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    You have GOT to get us a photos of that move!priceless ! X
     
  11. jade805

    jade805 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    901
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    As I read this Amy put holes in the rug! ::)
     
  12. spannertrucker

    spannertrucker Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    13
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    My boy, Merlin, seems to be a pretty standard pup after having read this thread.
    He is obsessed with chasing other dogs, and will always jump up people who do not have a dog when we are out walking off lead.
    He steals socks and torments us with them once he has one. Sometimes, we don't know where he gets them from. We are convinced he has a "sock mine".
    When we are washing up after a meal, we turn around from the sink and he will have his head deep inside the bin, which he has learnt to open.
    He uproots plants in the garden. We wouldn't mind if he uprooted weeds. But no, he prefers plants.
    He must have seen the Andrex advert on TV as like any child, he tried to emulate his hero last week. The results were found all over the house.
    He does have some good points though. He has yet to roll in fox poo and has never eaten dog poo. He is very loving and loyal, and brilliant with our young son.
    Back to the naughty stuff, On holiday the other week, he proudly presented us with a dead seagull, Yuck!!!!!
    We are sure he will get better, but will continue laughing at him until he does. (Behind cringes of embarrasment).
    Now.....where are my socks............MERLIN!!!!!
     
  13. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    14,582
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Well.....with a name like Merlin.... ;D ;D ;D

    jac
     
  14. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,422
    Location:
    Australia
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Dead seagull - lovely! ;D I bet that he was immensely proud. Getting all the gross stuff they find out of their mouths is a bit of an ordeal sometimes - you just don't want to touch 'it', whatever the heck 'it' is!

    And what is it with socks?????
     
  15. Teena Ann

    Teena Ann Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    396
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Can anybody tell me wat to do wid Cooper always sniffing wen I take him for a walk he never walks on heel nd pulls d lead so tat I follow him which is totally making me go nuts once he tried chasing a person on d bicycle nd the lead snapped it's really hard for me to manage him pls help me find a proper leash nd collar set nd how much length it should be nd wat type of material I have to start d training again or I need to arrange a trainer nd it costs around 15 k other wise he is Fyn doesn't eat poop or carets anything bad how do I knw if he has mites I read Pippa's article abt it
     
  16. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,637
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Have you followed the steps in this article here: http://www.thelabradorsite.com/?p=1166

    It takes you through how to teach Cooper to walk properly on a lead - you do have to teach him to walk on a lead, it's not something he knows how to do. He doesn't know not to pull, you have to show him what to do.

    If you work carefully through the steps, it does work - promise! I know it's not easy, but you will get there.
     
    Jenn K. likes this.
  17. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    10,448
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    One of the easy things to practice with him Teena is when he pulls, just stop and wait. Make him sit or stand nicely. then say 'good', and take another step forward. Refuse ever to take a step when he is pulling you! He will learn the only way to move forward is when he is not pulling. Of course you will have to practice this at home first - in the house, and then outside. Then slowly taking it out into the streets.

    You might find a harness works better than a collar, but I have never used one and so cannot recommend it myself. But there are lots of threads on here where people who have dogs who pull, say how they have helped.
     
  18. Lisa

    Lisa Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    6,106
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Teena, the sniffing is normal!! One thing I discovered early on with Simba is how "nosey" he is - always sniffing while on a walk. Makes sense, as Labs are bred to be retrievers, which involves, well, sniffing!

    I found the Halti worked well with a previous dog who pulled terribly but honestly I would first give a good try on the training tips that you will find here on dogs that pull, and use that as a last resort. It takes a bit of getting used to for the dog and some never adjust, so it's better to try the training first.
     
  19. Gerry

    Gerry Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Fantastic post, I can see myself referring back to this when the going gets tough. :p
     
  20. Jenba

    Jenba Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Re: Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

    Thank you for posting this! Harvey is 14 weeks and we've had him for two weeks - blimey is feels a lot longer haha! Today I could have cried! He wants to eat EVERYTHINg and that includes the children. He grabs my clothes as I walk by and hangs off them. He eats cat poo! He met with our in laws dog yesterday and they hate each other!! Should be interesting at christmas! I pop him behind a stair gate in the kitchen when we are busy getting ready to leave for school with toys and things and do go in to give him a bit of attention but he barks like mad when I am not in there! I know this is all normal but its hard work haha!! I have him booked into classes soon and I am doing clicker training with him so lets hope that all helps
     
    IreneM likes this.

Share This Page