Dealing with boisterous behaviour

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by editor, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. editor

    editor Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Young labradors approaching maturity can be extremely boisterous. Barging through doorways, knocking people over, dragging them along, nipping, barking and generally behaving like juvenile delinquents. Which in a sense, they are.

    The following links are aimed at people struggling with boisterous young dogs.

    Teaching your Labrador to control himself
    Walking your Labrador on a loose lead
    How to cope with an overexcited Labrador puppy
    Help I have a naughty Labrador
    How to play safely with a Labrador
    How to stop your Labrador pestering you

    Shout if you have questions
  2. Chebon

    Chebon Registered Users

    Dec 13, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi, sorry but I can't find any info on my query.
    We have a black lab, he is 16weeks.
    My problem is that I have never had a dog before and I have always been scared of them. (Except when I know them) I would never have picked up a puppy and now I can.
    I'm really struggling, I've pretty much been crying :'(every day since the beginning of January when the kids went back to school and partner back to work. Got bad anxiety with this. Although things are improving. It's just been such a massive shock and change to my life.
    My partner has always had dogs including a black lab in the past.
    When he is there, the puppy follows him everywhere and seems angelic. He does anything he asks him to do.
    But during the day when he is at work I'm alone with pup. He goes hyper for me (ears back, startled eyes, tearing around, jumping up and snapping, not all the time tho). The other day his tooth caught me and cut my finger which terrified me! On a weekend he never does this. He seems so contained when his 'dad' is there.
    He goes to the door to be let out to do his business and comes right back, however for me he is constantly at the door and I never know if he needs the loo or not! Invariably he just wants to eat anything in the garden & seems to be taking the 'mick' out of me. I have been braving it out and ignoring some of his attempts to be let out. (He goes on long walks too). And if he asks to go out 10 mins after he's just been out I put his lead on so he can't do what he wants, ie destroy the garden, eat guinea pig straw or bird seed. Obviously when I have treats he follows me and his behaviour improves. I use the deepest voice I can muster when I tell him 'no'...he has only dared growl at me, a few times, but I think that's nipped in bud.
    He even seems better for my 7yr old daughter, who incidentally was terrified of dogs but is fine now with our puppy, and her confidence has grown so much with him. When we first got him she spent the 1st few weeks on a chair or a sofa with her feet off the ground she was so scared!
    So sorry for long post but I wanted to give background info....I guess my question is; is there a pecking order? Or is the puppy reflecting something in me, ie he can sense my fear as I'm still scared of his teeth...!? Or is it the male voice? He's really good for grandpa too!
    He isn't a biter like some pups and I've made him sound dreadful, he is actually quite gentle except when he's hyper! He is also sweet natured, it's just I'm struggling with my authority??
    I would really appreciate some advice and if anyone else has been through this? thank you.
  3. Maggie68

    Maggie68 Registered Users

    Jun 4, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    I just wanted to show you some support, sounds like you are doing quite well, despite what you may think. I think some pups do respond to a deeper voice, there may be something in that. I suffer with anxiety, my lab is nine and a half months old now, but the early days were really hard going, I wasnt scared of him, but the nipping and chewing really got to me at times. You will get there and things do improve quite dramaticaly when they get theyre big teeth and stop teething, try and enjoy him too, play games with him and teach him a few tricks thats always fun, and you will get him to respond to you and pay attention. Its essential you teach him bite inhibition, this will really pay off, and he will become gentle and loving. Offer him chew toys to chew rather than you ! Im sure you will bond with him, he isnt taking the mick, he is just being a puppy, they get up to all sorts, sometimes funny, other times really trying ! Well done , you are doing well. Maggiex
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Jun 15, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hello there, and welcome!

    Having a pup can be a bit of a shock! It takes a while to get used to it.

    There is no pecking order, no, although I think pups probably do respond to calm, consistent, handling.

    in terms of going out in the garden, keeping a diary of times he needs to wee and poo can help, otherwise taking him out on a lead as you are doing is a good thing.

    The hyper, mad puppy moments can be dealt with by short "time outs" put your pup somewhere safe and quiet, just for a little bit, until he calms down. A puppy pen, or safe bathroom perhaps. Turning your back and ignoring him can even do it, pups hate to be ignored.

    It might help if you did some of his training - try teaching him things (lots of tips in the training section). So you get to know how he learns to do what you want him to do.

    And try to enjoy him and build a good relationship with him - they grow up very fast!

    Good luck, all the best.
  5. Chebon

    Chebon Registered Users

    Dec 13, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi Maggie and JulieT,

    Thank you so much for your kind and quick responses.
    That has really helped thank you.
    We do have a crate and I put him in to calm down when he's hyper in the house, it does work. If he tries to bite the children they say no and turn their backs on him and end the petting.
    From what you said I can see an end to it now. I must try and be more positive! I keep telling myself that there are far worse things that could be happening to me. I think I've read the website back to front, it's very good, so I'll do some training.
    Thank you again for your support.
    Blessings to you both x
  6. lynnelogan

    lynnelogan Registered Users

    Apr 10, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    i feel for you, i have always had a fear of dogs even jasper when he was that age,....jasper behaved just like your puppy, he was 6 month old before he started to calm down, will get the bond with him, when you do he will be your very best friend,
    jasper is almost 14 month, he is my best friend, i have no problems with him now, it all takes time, keep up with the training :)

    he destroyed my garden :)
  7. David

    David Moderator Forum Supporter

    May 21, 2011
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi and welcome from me too. I can't really add anything to what the others have said. I have a black Lab called Lady who is 4 1/2 now. She could be an absolute mightmare when she was a pup and it was important for our sanity to try to balance keeping her calm with the play that she needed as a pup. To be honest we thought we'd made a huge mistake getting a working bred Lab rather than a show dog. Time out when play got too rough worked. Long slow strokes down her back when she had calmed down reinforced the calming down, Lots of stuff to exercise her mind as she got a bit older worked. I actually got her going with gundog training as that exercised her brain and helped enormously with lead walking and recall etc, but she was around 18 months old by then. Visitors are another issue. They need to be coached in advance if possible to ignore the dog and turn their backs etc.

    Anyway - you are not alone! Your pup will gradually calm down but it will take time, In our case, Lady was three before she was properly civilised. She's now a lovely, lovely calm and affectionate dog. I'm sure your pup can be too. So hang in there and and try to enjoy the pup time. It's actually gone very quickly - just like children. Before you know it they've grown up.
  8. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Sep 29, 2012
    Hampshire, UK
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Welcom from me Helen, Hattie 6 years and our rescue Charlie 3 years. Don't despair you will have a lovely calm dog before you know it. Keep going and good luck with your training. x :)
  9. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

    May 24, 2012
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi - I just want to reiterate what the others say. Just stay calm, your puppy is not being aggressive towards you, he is just playing in that sometimes rather wild and unruly way that labrador puppies do.. The good news is, his big teeth will be coming in soon, and the horrible nipping with the needle sharp teeth will soon be a thing of the past! I too think you are doing better than you realize. Hang in there, remember to reward your pup for good, calm behaviour - in other words don't just ignore him when he is being quiet, but stroke him and tell him what a good dog he is. Ignore the wild behaviour as you have been doing - turn your back on him or put him in a brief time out. You'll get there; and I'm sure that soon you'll be delighted by the gentle and loving friend for life you have gained. :)

    In the meantime - any questions, don't be afraid to ask! We've all been there, and understand. :)
  10. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Sep 14, 2013
    Bristol, UK
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi and welcome to the forum :). I am sure any questions or support that is needed can be found on here ;)

    I also reiterate what others have said. When Harley is hyper we give her a time out. She is very much my dog and listens to me but not so much my daughter and hubby. I have had to learn not to intervene if my hubby has told her to do something as if she refused I used to butt in and repeat the command. My daughter is only home on holidays from university and I have to do the same with her. Might be worth having a chat with your partner and asking them to do the same?

    Training with your pup will help reinforce your relationship too.

    What is your pups name?
  11. Chebon

    Chebon Registered Users

    Dec 13, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi all!

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply, you are all very kind.
    Our puppy is called Alfie. I realised when I never gave his name it seemed like he was an 'it' oops.
    He is a gun dog type, long and lanky. With a pointy head. My photo won't upload?!
    Thanks for all the reassurance, I take it all and feel better about the future.
    He's been good today apart from having an accident in his crate when I left him for not much more than an hour! :eek:
    What you (Naya) say about the butting in when my commands are ignored, we realised that at the beginning so we try but it's hard sometimes. I have a sore throat today and my voice is deeper...he's definitely been more responsive.
    :) thanks
  12. amandamumma

    amandamumma Registered Users

    Feb 12, 2014
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi Chebon, I just worked out how to upload a profile picture so you can post one of Alfie. All you have to do is to make the picture 65 pixels on it's longest side.

    Save your photo to somewhere you know where it is, i.e. on your desktop. Right click on the filename in your chosen location and select the 'open with' option; open with Microsoft Paint. Then, in Paint, on the top task bar, select resize and then select the 'pixels' option. In the 'vertical' box, input the number 65 and the horizontal box will change to the relevant size automatically (my photo is in portrait, not landscape so it was the vertical which was the 65 pixels, horizontal was 49 pixels I think - if your photo is in landscape I think you'd have to make the horizontal option 65 pixels). Select Ok and Save. Go into the profile section and where it says upload an avatar and you will be able to browse and upload your 65 pixel photo to be your profile picture or avatar! I just did mine and uploaded my Lily.

    Hope this helps, all the best :)
  13. Teena Ann

    Teena Ann Registered Users

    Jun 14, 2013
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi there and welcome to you and your puppy,
    Cooper is now 11 months old and will soon turn 1 nxt month and he was more boisterous than your puppy don wry its the puppy phase jus follow some simple and basic training tips it will really help but don overexercise or do training using harsh methods but gentle methods jus keep the training time small and not too sternous reward ur pup for good behaviour and keep urself calm this will help ur pup to bond with u more and not get scared he is still a puppy so it takes time and practice to get him behave into a gud and obedient don rush it stay calm and positive and enjoy ur time with your pup....All the best from Cooper and Teena.... :) :) :) :) :)
    Cooper is sending lots of cuddles and licks :p :p :p :p
  14. LisaB

    LisaB Registered Users

    Aug 26, 2014
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi there...wanted to offer a few thoughts (and hopefully some support) too .... . I have a 7 month old lab and although I've been around dogs all my life...even I've had trying times so you are definitely not alone!

    One of the things I think has worked really well with my pupster, Welly, is a tip in either one of Pippa!'s books or on the website ...I'm sorry I can 't remember which....try and make sure you reward the dog for the stuff you want him to do, so when he's lying being quiet ...throw him a few treats. Perhaps feeding him by hand might also work to build your relationship/trust?

    Welly and I have also been studying for our Bronze KC certificate which we recently passed ...perhaps this is something you could do together which will help you build your confidence (and relationship) with your dog as you work together towards a common goal.

    Good luck and I'm sure things will get much quicker than you can imagine and you'll look back with hindsight and wonder how you ever felt this way
  15. Edp

    Edp Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Mar 16, 2014
    Re: Dealing with boisterous behaviour

    Hi Lisa , just wanted to say congratulations on your Bronze Award. That 1 minute stay for a youngster is super tough. Well done Emma and Meg :)
  16. dan mitson

    dan mitson Registered Users

    Aug 25, 2015
    Hi, I have a 9 month old male labrador called harley. He's amazing and we love him dearly but there are certain times where he seems to switch and will kind of attack me. I know it's not aggression, Think it's over excitement and sometimes even anxiety. He will go mental, running at me flat out and will jump up and bite my hands, arms and body. It's really hurts and occasionally draws blood and rips clothing. We can't seem to find anything that really works, we just have to fight our way into another room and leave him for a few mins. The problem is worse when out on a walk as we have no where to hide. He is extremely food motivated but that rarely works when he is in that frame of mind. I know it probably sounds like we're stupid and doing it all wrong but he weighs nearly 30kg now, is very strong, and can jump very high..we feel like we're getting nowhere with this and would like some help. He used to do it when he was a lot younger but it was easier to manage and we thought we had corrected it by using treats and getting him to sit and lay. After a few tricks and treats he'd be ok and we could carry on but it seems to of come back even worse. I've noticed that 3 things seems to trigger it off. 
    1 - if he passes another person or dog.
    2 - he will sometimes hear another dog bark and that can set him off. Mainly if he can hear a dog or noise but cannot see where it's coming from.
    3 - no real reason at all haha. I'll be walking up the garden and he'll just start biting at my clothing and then jumping up. 
    Doesn't make and difference what we do. We have tried ignoring it, Walking away, standing still and seeing if he'll stop or get bored, food rarely stops him now, on or off the lead is just as bad. Any kind of movement or shouting or pushing him away just makes it worse. He is very boisterous around other people and dogs. Other than this though, he is pretty good and very loving. We've attended many classes and training was going well. Thanks Dan
  17. Riverdog2017

    Riverdog2017 Registered Users

    Dec 12, 2016
    Try kneeing him in the chest not hard but if he's jumping to bite that stops my lab
  18. Dexter

    Dexter Moderator Forum Supporter

    Apr 10, 2013
    Hi Dan,

    It's tough going when they hit the age your lab is,you've got a dog with a puppy brain and energy at almost fully grown size . There's lots of resources to read on the main site not to mention posts and post of Members that have gone through the same thing and,more importantly, with consistent training and patience...come out the other side!

    Riverdog I've stopped by to welcome you to the Forum and to link in this article from the main Labrador Site :

    It explains why the knee in the chest is neither recommended or considered effective in a positive reinforcement approach to training.

  19. CamK

    CamK Registered Users

    Feb 9, 2017
    Hi! I just wanted to share a 'duh' with you. My Zeke is 3 1/2 months old. We also have 2 year old Rex and 15 year old Fudge. So I have done this puppy thing before. Zeke would come when called and sit so nicely but then when I would give him the treat he would jump all over... Rex never did this. Just figured out I wasn't getting the treat down to his nose level, I was holding it a bit above his nose. Sometimes it's changing little things.

    The excuse I am going to use is these dumb new bi focals.
    drjs@5 likes this.

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