Need help with 7 month labs behaviour

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by Rose0311, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Rose0311

    Rose0311 Registered Users

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    Hi, we got our first lab at 8 weeks old. She is now 7 months old and recently has destroyed my sons mattress and bed. She has never been crated and has always slept in my sons room. She was spayed a couple of weeks ago and the past few nights she has woke up at 3am and after taking her outside to toilet, she has not settled back down. She jumps up on us and not sure if she is playing or not but seems to be trying to bite us. We have tried distracting her but this only lasts a few minutes and then she will jump up again and nip at us. If we say ‘no’ to something she should not be doing, she growls and shows her teeth and snaps at us. Is this aggression and what should we do as we are exhausted with the early rises and do not know how to deal with the snapping.
     
  2. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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  3. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    Well I seem to be the only person left in the world who thinks cages for dogs are unnatural and inhumane. I'm really hoping that some research will come out proving me right and we'll all look back on this era of caged dogs with the same disdain we now view things like dominance theory and punishment based training methods.

    At 7 months the only thing that calmed my dog was leaving him alone in a safe space - in our house this is the kitchen. We would return when he'd settled. It took a while but we got there in the end, he's 2 now and a lovely dog.
     
  4. Rose0311

    Rose0311 Registered Users

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    Thanks for the comments. Yes, Ruth we do not like the thought of our pup being caged either. We have done what you said and have put her in the kitchen till she calms and it does seem to work. She is becoming a bit more settled now and hopefully one day she will stop the mouthing stage.
     
  5. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    @Rose0311 If your dog is waking in the middle of the night full of beans then perhaps have a look at your daily routine and see if your dog is getting enough physical and, especially, mental stimulation and interaction with humans during the day. Do you play games like tug and fetch? Do you take your dog out to different places and let them sniff?

    You don't have to use a crate if you don't want to (@Ruth Buckley - I don't use a crate either) but you do need to provide a place for your dog to be when she is left alone that is safe for her and where she can't damage anything you value.

    The jumping up and biting is either over-tiredness, in which case put her somewhere safe to rest, or the need to interact with you shown in the only way she knows. I would suggest coming up with a plan for interaction with your dog multiple times a day. Each time decide what you are going to do (play tug, practise loose lead walking, teach her to find a hidden toy etc.) Also provide things like a stuffed Kong, using some of her daily food allowance, as chewing is very relaxing.

    Finally has she had a vet check to ensure all is ok after the spay?
     
  6. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    Assuming that she has been on full rest since being spayed 2 weeks ago, it may just be excess energy and frustration.
     
  7. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    Regarding crates, we always use crates for puppies for their own safety. Shredding a matress for example, could result in a fatality if pieces were ingested.
    It comes in handy as well if one is injured and needs full rest etc.
    Unless we have an injury, I don't use crates for adult dogs, but if there is a crate in the kitchen, all the adult dogs will pile in there. It's their favourite place to sleep.
     
  8. Rose0311

    Rose0311 Registered Users

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  9. Rose0311

    Rose0311 Registered Users

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    Hi Joy thanks for the advice. We do play tug with her, when trying to get her to fetch, she will fetch but tends not to drop, even if we try and give her another toy or a treat. We tend just to take her to the same park to run about with other dogs and we let her out to run in garden. We also give her a stuffed Kong and we have also bought her several puzzles where she has to find the treat but after working out the puzzle she tends to start chewing it. She seems to lose interest very quickly.

    She is still bad at pulling when on walks and I’ve tried stopping and not saying anything and she will turn to me but when she starts to walk again she continues to pull. Any advise on what to do there or is it just perseverance and will take time.

    I do agree I think the jumping up is when she gets tired and we tend to put her in kitchen until she calms.

    She has been checked by the vet after spaying and everything is fine.

    I do appreciate everyone’s comments as we are new to having a pup and any advice is more than welcome. Thank you
     
  10. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    There is an excellent series of videos on YouTube on loose lead walking. The detailed plan starts just under a minute in to the first video. There are three others showing how the method develops.


    When you go out to train loose lead walking try to think of it as that - training time - and don't worry about getting anywhere. Stopping when she pulls is fine but you'll make quicker progress if you reward with food for every step initially, and you'll find it easier if you're just going round a circuit rather than heading to the park.

    I think you'll find everything improves if you spend more time playing / engaging with her, instead of most of her exercise being running around with other dogs. Try hiding a toy and encouraging her to find it (make it easy to start with). Train some simple tricks - go between your legs, do a twirl etc - as the good thing about tricks is that it doesn't really matter if the result isn't perfect, but you still get the benefits of building that relationship.

    Kikopup videos on YouTube are a great resource for all kinds of training.
     
  11. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    It's worth considering that your dog will be put in a cage at the vet's, for example - and it's much better if they are already trained to like and enjoy a cage, than if they suddenly wake up and panic, finding themselves in there.

    Dogs are routinely 'caged' in cars for car journeys of several hours as well, yet no one seems to have any problem with that...

    And if you ever stay in a hotel with your dog, you will find it very useful to have a crate-trained dog which is not going to trash the hotel room whilst you're in the bathroom...

    Crates can be abused and dogs can be left in them too long, but if a dog's needs are being met at other points during the day and they are in a crate for safety and containment, it is no more 'cruel' than a toddler in a cot or playpen...

    People project all kinds of human feelings onto the idea of a crate, from their own feelings about cages and imprisonment - but it's important to recognise these are human feelings, coming from associations you yourself have - they are not innate characteristics of being confined...
     
  12. Rose0311

    Rose0311 Registered Users

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    I appreciate everyone’s comments, thank you and I will take on board everything that has been said.

    Joy, thanks for all the good informative info, I will definitely have a look at the videos you mention too.

    Thanks again everyone, every bit of advice helps us a lot with us being new to this.
     

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