At wits end please help!

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Hugo's mum, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Hugo's mum

    Hugo's mum Registered Users

    Apr 6, 2016
    Hugo is 11 months at in the past month has turned into a nightmare!! It is as if he has had no training whatsoever- he is dragging me round on walks (we'd got pretty good at loose lead) he is biting again pulling our clothes running off with things and constantly humping my leg and jumping up! He has always been allowed on one sofa and has settled well on it but now he is dragging the cushions off and trying to rip it apart. We have cancelled visitors with little children over xmas and my mum who is coming for xmas day is dreading it because of him! If it wasn't for my children I would be giving him up to rescue - going to start clicker training in January already completed two training courses and he was doing well up until a month ago !
  2. Jes72

    Jes72 Registered Users

    Jul 5, 2014
    Your pup's behaviour is not unusual, he's become a teenager! There are a few things you can do defore giving him up. Go back to basics with his training and increase his training sessions to keep him mentally stimulated. I found at this age reinforcing boring excercises such as 'down' and 'wait' helped. Although I know it can be hard to do but keep constant with what you allow or don't allow, for example if he's settled on the sofa, and reward him for it but messing around is not. You may find increasing his walks help too.

    There are lots of threads with further advice.
    Hugo's mum likes this.
  3. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog

    Jul 31, 2016
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    Honestly, don't lose hope. Terrible teens aren't just for humans, they are for dogs too. Most dogs come into rescue from 10-18 months for a reason. A lot of people talk about having to really go backwards and just train again because their dog seems like he's forgotten everything. As @Jes72 mentions, this is a pretty common topic here on the Forum, so you (and Hugo) are not alone.
  4. Beckyt6

    Beckyt6 Registered Users

    Nov 29, 2015
    You re not alone!

    Alfie is 9.5 months and has lately developed all these opinions (lol) about how far away from us he should go, that mouthing is allowed, that he doesnt need to come back when asked amoungst other things.

    I keep reading all the positive stories on here and telling my OH he ll get better.

    Alfie is now back on the long line whenever we go out for a walk, we leave it trailling, but it helps us feel like we have a bit more control.
    Bridget3789 likes this.
  5. Samantha Jones

    Samantha Jones Registered Users

    Apr 19, 2016
    Don't give up hope - my 9 month old boy is rapidly forgetting his training, how to walk nicely on a lead, his recall, how to sit and wait, the fact that clothes are for me to wear not him to chew, barking at everything, excitement levels sky high so back to basics for us too! However he is still a big cuddle monster that I adore :heart:
    Bridget3789 likes this.
  6. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Jun 16, 2015
    leicestershire uk
    Don't loose heart just dig in and keep going. The belligerent drunk stage does pass .
  7. SteffiS

    SteffiS Registered Users

    Aug 14, 2015
    Fife, Scotland
    This was Ripple at 11 months, apart from the fact we seemed to have no break from puppy to teenager and he was a horror with biting all the way through.
    We got a behaviourist in as we also felt like giving Ripple up - BUT in hindsight everything she told us she would have known ourselves if only we had been able to take a step back and look at everything rationally.

    I can't remember if you use a crate but we had to instigate a one bite and your out regime. Lots of people don't use a crate in this way as it can make a safe place into a punishment area, but by treating it differently e.g. Toys and treats when it's a safe place and nothing when he was put in there for biting, it seemed to work for us. Often just isolating ourselves from Ripple by leaving him in the kitchen behind a baby gate was enough for the behaviour to calm down. We also used a longish line indoors so that we could safely move him without having to grab his collar.

    I also spent a lot of time teaching him games to play indoors together, this tired him out. On walks I had total nightmares when he would turn into a twirling biting monster, on one or two occasions I had to tie his lead to the swings until he calmed down. Using JulieT's advice I now work hard at keeping his focus on walks giving him things to do rather than allow him to charge off and nearly pull my arm off.
    Teaching him a 'settle' helped as well.

    Lots of this is still a work in progress as, at 18 months Ripple is still a long way from maturity, but it is beginning to come together. I don't think I would have cancelled any Christmas plans as I knew I could use my crate when necessary, and still do as Ripple still has a tendency to get overexcited when we have visitors.
    I'm sure it will all come together for you eventually. Being on this forum kept me sane and hopefully it can do the same for you :).
    Bridget3789 and Emily like this.
  8. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

    May 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    I love reading this. I remember feeling like I was living through this stage with you so it's lovely to hear that you've made it!

    @Hugo's mum I hope these posts give you some confidence that this is just a stage and your hard work and perseverance will pay off. Hang in there x
    SteffiS likes this.
  9. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Jun 15, 2013
    I don't think this is a 'phase'. People think it is, because they dig in, work on the training and things get better. Things get better because people train, not because the behaviour 'wears off'. Well, of course dogs do grow up and they stop being quite so silly, that does help. It didn't help in the case of my dog until he was nearly 3 though!

    So make sure he has enough good stuff - attention, exercise, training, stimulation etc. - and then just draw a line in the sand and organise things in ways that prevents him rehearsing bad behaviours. The reason for this is because it is pretty much impossible to remove all the reinforcers for that bad behaviour. Ignoring bad behaviour only works if there really is no reinforcer for it, but there often is. E.g. pulling the cushions of the sofa is reinforced because it's just a fun thing to do, and better than doing nothing.

    So just use a lot of management to stop your dog doing the things you don't want him to do and accept that this might be extremely inconvenient for a while. This is particularly necessary with young males, I think. By 11 months they have become very strong, active dogs, keen to seek out their reinforcers. Because they are strong, boisterous behaviour often gets them what they want (e.g. sometimes he will be successful in lunging and pulling you off balance to get to that smell he wants even if usually you manage not to let him do that and he ends up working harder at lunging, because he learns he just has to try harder).

    So staying with that as an example - if he lunges to interesting smells, walk down the middle of the road so he can't get a reinforcer. Yes, really. Walk down the middle of the road. Ok, you might say you have a massively busy motorway outside your house so that's impossible, but you know what I mean - change what you do so there is no way he can get reinforcers for bad behaviour.
  10. samandmole

    samandmole Registered Users

    Feb 1, 2016
    We had a particularly boisterous Mole at about 9 months - I agree with @JulieT that the boys can be hard work at this stage. I just upped the training and especially mental stimulation. High value rewards for desired behaviour and kept anything away from him that he might destroy (well apart from the recent Cushiongate!!!)
    I have found that his behaviour is so much better now 13 months and overall he is great. I continue to train and engage with him every walk. My OH laughs at this and tells me that when he walks him it's Mole's time off and that's fine as he is hopeless at training anyway lol!!
    My last boy lab calmed down a lot by 2 and was easy by 3 so I plan to continue putting the time in for the long haul!
    Keep at it and you will see the behaviour change. I think Julie's advice about getting them very engaged with you is key - whatever it takes, a ball, hide and seek, etc. This is what has made the difference for us.
    Jyssica likes this.
  11. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

    Sep 5, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
  12. Lisa

    Lisa Registered Users

    Jun 6, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    :cwl:That''s a pretty apt description....
  13. Bridget3789

    Bridget3789 Registered Users

    Apr 18, 2016
    Chicago, IL USA
    @Hugo's mum Don't worry - you are NOT alone! Duncan is about 10.5 months and I wrote about this recently and talked to his trainer about it and it is the terrible teenager stage! haha

    A few weeks ago he started doing all his old bad behaviors like biting and pulling on the leash (which he had completely stopped doing) constantly running away with things and playing "come get me!" -- AND on top of his old bad behaviors he started a bunch of new fun ones! (sarcasm) haha - one in particular that came out of nowhere and was really difficult to ignore and train him to stop doing was that I work from home and he had gotten so well trained on when I am in my office with my laptop out from about 730am-11am he needs to go lay in his bed or on the couch or wherever and be quiet and nap or play independently and not bother me... but then a few weeks ago he decided to start sitting behind me outside of my open office door and bellowing, barking and crying at me to try and get attention ALL DAY LONG! haha! they are such rascals! I about lost my mind a couple days and it was super hard to ignore him and not turn around or yell at him or give him attention of any kind (which is what he wanted and would have taught him that it works) but I powered through it and called his trainer and setup additional classes to go to to basically start back from square one on all the different training because they "forget" during this teenage stage and I was so exhausted at the end of every day with how bad he was being

    He is already doing better than he was a few weeks ago and it really really stinks that you have to go back to square 1 basically when you were just getting used to FINALLY having a semi well behaved dog after the crazy puppy crocopup phase, but everyone swears to me that this too will pass and they make the best dogs once they grow out of these phases!!!

    Hang in there!!! I feel for you! :)
    SwampDonkey likes this.

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