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Puppy problems - will things EVER improve???

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

  1. DebzC

    DebzC Registered Users

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    Sounds like it's going really well. The counter surfing is a pest when I've forgotten to clear the side properly but she now (mostly) sits or lies at one end of the kitchen on her mat while I cook or load the dishwasher etc, which is a massive breakthrough. Libby will be 6 months on Saturday.
    She is in my daughter's bad books because having told her recall is excellent and she doesn't run off Libby ran the whole length of a 2 mile beach yesterday following another couple as if they were me with Rachel unable to catch up. The couple eventually stopped before going up the cliff path but really could have stopped earlier! All is forgiven but there were blue words down the phone to the tune of "will you come and get your stupid dog"...hey ho.
     
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  2. b&blabs

    b&blabs Registered Users

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    Ha! Glad everything turned out well, but yes, it would have been nice of the couple to just stop for a sec, no?

    That is great re: her lying quietly on her mat while you cook! B's doing pretty well with that but dishwasher - no, her nose is right in there. Then again, I've been letting her...so...that's really on me.

    B counter surfs just to see what might be up there, ha! Biggest issue is how I feed my son - chunks of warm, juicy chicken on the kitchen island on a plate. He likes to hop up from sitting and run across the room and then back again. If I forget and leave Bessie out, she's right on that and bam, has half a chicken in her mouth in about three seconds. So unfortunately it's been reinforced, and I need to put her in her crate or ex-pen when he's eating, but with the whining/crying/separation anxiety I've had to work up to that - so it's been a delicate balance. Been considering tethering her to me for such times. But she's finally starting to settle more in the ex-pen and somewhat the crate as well. (I have her crate IN the ex-pen and yesterday switched it up so the only comfy spot to lay in the pen is inside the crate. That made a big difference. Door is open but she'll take a treat there, lie down, and eat it.)

    I'm most worried about the separation anxiety. I'm working on it, but she hates to be separated from me, whether it's behind a baby gate, the ex-pen, the crate, inside the house while I'm outside, etc. It's terrible, just terrible. She'll whine and cry to get at me. Doing short stints with lots of positive reinforcing for quiet, but building up time is really difficult so far. It's too easy to give up and keep her with me all the time, but I know in the long run she needs to learn confidence in being alone, so I persist.
     
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  3. Adele Weiss

    Adele Weiss Registered Users

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    Titan is so darling! We are also experiencing the new puppy blues. At times I think Finn (11 weeks) is part alligator so we have taken to calling him the "labragator". We knew raising a puppy would be hard but I guess we forgot how hard! Finn is smart, cuddly, and utterly darling EXCEPT when he uses me as a chew toy. We have tried everything. I am a behavioral psychologist so wouldn't you think I'd know how to manage his chewing behavior?! I have no words of wisdom but am simply commiserating. Luck, love, training, time, and patience to you and Titan.
     
  4. babs75

    babs75 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    And it continues..... 5 months this weekend. Biting is better on some days than others but now that the adult teeth are coming in she draws much more blood than before. It actually seems to be worse on the days when she's had more activity. Perhaps she has trouble winding down like a toddler? I've given up trying to wear bedroom slippers. The biting starts the minute I get up in the morning where she's trying to bite my ankles all the way down the stairs. I'm no good until I have my paper and my coffee so sometimes she ends up in 'time out' just to give me time to wake up. Diversion to toys, chews, etc. sometimes works for a short time. Evenings are no better. I've learned that when I get home, I need to just put my stuff down and immediately spend time with her. After some time of playing and fetch, then I can get myself some dinner. Trying to have some time on the laptop in the evening is a thing of the past. When my husband gets up from the recliner and goes to bed (she doesn't pester him), I move to his chair and usually by 9:00-9:30 she will wind down and fall asleep in my lap so we can both get some quiet time. I believe some of this is because she wants my attention. It's been interesting because she was supposed to be my husband's dog but she has attached herself to 'mom', as have all the other dogs we've ever had (think my husband is feeling rejected). She is truly the center of our world (no kids anymore - we're both 60ish) but we can't devote every minute of every day to her because we have other things we need to do. Someone please remind me again when this will get better??????
     
  5. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Registered Users

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    Stanleys coming up 8 months next week and he gets better all the time.

    Don't get me wrong we still have bad days and bad moments, but they're getting less.

    Sometimes he still forgets himself and you get a little nip but I just say "enough" and he stops straight away.

    Sometimes I think he's still a nightmare but I think of how far we've come and I can assure you it does get better.

    And I'm sure even still for us Stanleys going to continue to get better! :D
     
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  6. Kelsey&Axel

    Kelsey&Axel Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    It gets better! Axel was pretty good by about 6 months. Although once he turned 10 months he has turned into the dreaded adolescent I feared would come. There is no nipping but there is jumping up at us, he's 41.5kg so we can't be having that, as well as stealing things and running to his bed. But as long as he gets a walk in and some out door free run or chasing balls then he is sleeping the rest of the day away.

    To get me through his crazy puppy stage I heavily relied on puppy day care, for a couple reasons. Mainly because my OH and I work, I only work 6 hour days and come home for a lunch but I felt guilty leaving him, and secondly because it burned off lots of puppy energy so training him after work was much easier and he LOVED it. He only goes once a week now but it's his favourite day of the week I'm sure.
     
  7. babs75

    babs75 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Yes, my husband and I both work, too. I work from home 2 days a week so she is only on her own for 3 but I come home for lunch. Obedience has helped and if I wanted to be tied to a clicker and treat bag 24/7, she would behave better but she is very food motivated so then she will just continually pester me for treats. We have a doggy daycare 1/2 block from work. Libby gets her rabies shot on Friday so maybe I should look into that for one day a week. Good idea.......
     
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  8. b&blabs

    b&blabs Registered Users

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    @babs75 - definitely increase whatever you can to tire her out - playing fetch, tug, doing little training sessions to work her brain. And for Bessie, she has to have something appropriate to chew or else the biting gets worse (and the inappropriate chewing). Biting at ankles was for me her wanting interaction or being overtired.

    Bessie's the same, very food motivated, very keen on when I have a treat handy and when I don't. She won't even sit unless she thinks I have a treat for her, and conversely, if she thinks I have a treat for her, she'll follow me everywhere sitting and looking expectant, ha. Then she'll try lying down if I'm in the kitchen or if sitting hasn't worked.

    Trying to fake her out with that a bit, move off constant reinforcement and proof her behaviors, but not always easy.

    Bessie is almost 6 months and we've really turned a corner in the past few weeks. I hope the same happens for you! Once all her adult teeth came in the biting decreased dramatically. She's still a huge pain when people come over and she's super excited and jumps on them, bops them in the face with her nose, is overall a little pogo stick of a puppy.

    I'm pretty sure a month ago I was still near tears every day over how exhausting she was, but it's gotten so much better.
     
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  9. babs75

    babs75 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thank you SO MUCH for your encouragement! We played a bunch of fetch tonight (as we do every night) and that begins to get her worn down. A new chew stick and now a plastic pop bottle (her favorite toy and the cheapest too?). For a few minutes she is busy with that. Kinda reminds me of what it was like when our kids were little. Constantly trying to find things to keep her occupied. She turns 5 months on Sunday so hoping things improve soon - until she becomes a teenager......
     
  10. babs75

    babs75 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    And as the evening came winding down, Libby had a MAJOR case of the puppy zoomies, which she doesn't do very often anymore and had my husband and I both absolutely laughing so hard. You gotta stay out of the way when she does that or you might get knocked over! Then she promptly laid down and went to sleep. We tried something tonight with the biting: my husband fixed me up with a small metal can with a lid on it and put some stuff in their that makes a loud noise when you shake it hard (coins maybe?). When she got out of control with her playing and started biting, I gave the can a hard shake and it startled her into stopping the biting. Only had to do that a couple times.
     
  11. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Don't be too quick to move away from rewarding her behaviours, or those behaviours will die out. If your pup will only perform when you have treats on you, then you're effectively bribing, not training. What you need to do is teach her that treats aren't necessarily on your body. Place a few pots of treats on shelves around the house. Then do your training and, when she performs, run to one of those pots to reward her. You can do this out and about, too. Or have an assistant carry them, so, when she does what you ask, your assistant can toss a treat over. These will all teach her that, just because she can't see or smell the food on you, she will still get paid for her actions.
     
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  12. b&blabs

    b&blabs Registered Users

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    Thanks @snowbunny - that's exactly what I meant by "faking her out." Trying to make it less predictable so that she learns she can't tell, she might/will get a treat even if she doesn't see one on my body.

    No assistants here, unfortunately; I was looking at that Treat N Train thing, though, wondering if it might help esp with reinforcing quiet in the crate.
     
  13. Diane0712

    Diane0712 Registered Users

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    Ok so Cooper is 5 months old now. I really thought the biting would be getting less now and it is not! Im ohaving trouble bonding with him because any time I try and pet him or play with him it involves him wrapping his jaw around my arm. My 9 year old can never go near him.He'll be sitting on the couch and Cooper will just jump up and start biting him. We start basic puppy training in 2 weeks but I don't know how much it will help. I'm just so sad because I love him so much he's so darn cute but yet at the same time I can't live like this. Please any one with experience with this should I be wrong to think it should have stopped by now? He has lost several teeth so I know he is teething but does that matter?
     
  14. xxryu139xx

    xxryu139xx Registered Users

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    it gets better. we are a little ahead of you. Sparky is a little over 6 months now. All his puppy teeth are gone as far as I can tell. The adult teeth are out but they are still growing out. He still mouths and nips, but believe it or not it actually hurts less. As much as I want him to stop biting completely, he still needs to learn bite inhibition. It helped to have a chew toy nearby if he started nipping or walking away. If he gets too riled up, he goes in the crate for a time out or during a walk, I just stop dead in my tracks and do nothing else. I guess we've been lucky that he only nips at arms/hands, never the feet. Also, keep his leash on his collar/harness when he's around. Easier to grab or step on the leash than competing with puppy teeth, especially if you are afraid of getting bit.
     
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  15. Dawnee9

    Dawnee9 Registered Users

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    Karen
     
  16. Dawnee9

    Dawnee9 Registered Users

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    Karen,
    Hi! Hoping you can help. Our 7 mo old male , intact, is still having dribble accidents. We let him out frequently yet sometimes catch him dribbling. It isn't a daily occurrence. If we see/hear him and say his name he stops and heads to the door. I don't want to be giving him the wrong signal that sprinkling on the carpet is his signal to go out. I thought by this age he would hold it longer. We never had this problem with our other male lab. Any suggestions?
    Thank you
    Dawn
     
  17. Karen

    Karen Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Hi there Dawn, first things first I would take him to the vet to check he doesn't have a urinary tract infection. Dribbling doesn't sound quite normal for a 7-month-old...
     
  18. Jo2201

    Jo2201 Registered Users

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    My last lab used to snap leather collars he was very strong tried him withe a halti didn't work in the end we got a heavy duty harness my boys said it looked like a saddle hado a thick chest strap and handle on top if I needed to hold him back worked a lot better was hard to control a 39kg dog when your 8st and 5ft 2 in tall but it worked there was a time when he had lead on his collar and one on old normal harness just to have control
     
  19. Dawnee9

    Dawnee9 Registered Users

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    thank
    Thankyouf
     

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