Really struggling with adolescent labrador behaviour

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Golden Ted, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Golden Ted

    Golden Ted Registered Users

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking for advice. My golden retriever is now 6.5 months. For the last few weeks every walk I take him on...on lead/off lead results in him leaping at me/growling and biting. The biting hasn't broke my skin but I'm bruised and sore.
    It can happen at the beginning or end of walk. New places or regular places. Sometimes I can see it starting...other times its like he just switches. I've tried running him in our field first/playing ball, find it etc before lead walks but it makes no difference. Today I let him off lead in the field and within a minute he started.
    I've tried shorter walks/exercise but he still does it. It's like a vicious circle as I want to exercise him to tire him but he does this every single time.
    We do training/brain work regularly during the day. His impulse control is pretty good. I can leave the outside door open and tell him to stay in the house until I release him etc.
    I live with my elderly parents and he started to behave badly with them today. Barking/jumping/mouthing and humping!
    I work from home so I'm always around but he does settle in the kitchen if left alone.
    I'm just drained at the moment and dread each day. He does have positives but this behaviour is becoming too much.
     
  2. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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  3. base28

    base28 Registered Users

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  4. Golden Ted

    Golden Ted Registered Users

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    Thank you for your reply. I have just read through some posts from people going through the same and it does seem that the behaviour eventually fades out. Today i just did garden play and in our field where he has gone since being 8 weeks old but today has been the worst so far. I think I'm just so fed up with it at the moment that I needed to tell someone.

    Hopefully in the next few months I will be able to post that this behaviour has finally stopped.
     
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  5. base28

    base28 Registered Users

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    yes we hit lots of lows but also lots highs, eventually the lows became less, I think they have to just mature a bit and then the magic happens, they say that Turing the mind out is better than physical and in Luna case that is so true .
     
  6. TEE

    TEE Registered Users

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    6-7 months is not an easy age, but soon will pass. I did lots of obedience and retrieve work when our dog got excited. The bitting and jumping you should address through training as it should start to fade.

    That said they are still kids and when they get exited they do both. I always thought that at this age they are kids in an adult body, unaware of their powers :))

    Just keep at it.
     
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  7. CasV126

    CasV126 Registered Users

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    Hi All.

    My male Choc is 7.5 months old and has generally been very good puppy - if you take out mouthing/biting - but for last several days he has had a complete obsession with either constantly ripping or humping my sofa cushions (and he also appears to have gone completely deaf to me) Its constant - I can't leave him unattended in the Living Room at all - and even if I am there he ignores me and carries on! I have tried training, distraction, time-out, but then he just goes straight back to it! If I take the cushion away, he tries to bite me... If this just usual adolescence (first dog, sorry) or any ideas? Thanks x
     
  8. katsme

    katsme Registered Users

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    My pup hates orange essential oil. If I’m trying to keep him off of something, I either sprinkle the oil on it or cover it with a blanket with the oil sprinkled on it. Maybe you could try throwing a blanket over your sofa and sprinkling orange oil on it.
     
  9. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    We’ve just hit this stage (27 weeks old) and it’s like we’ve got a different dog!

    He is shedding like a maniac, is really difficult to play with or train as within minutes he is so over stimulated he starts to snatch toys/bite arms/sleeves and seems to be set on finding new, destructive, danger inducing, noise making behaviours to experiment with whilst we are working from home due to COVID.

    Bless my little bundle of hormones that we sometimes call Wilson.

    Advice on how to ride this out is very welcome... Or reassurance that your experience improved!
     
  10. mummyp85

    mummyp85 Registered Users

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    Hello from Hero. Had a few really rough months with all of these things especially the jumping up and biting and destruction of things. We are now 11 months old and apart from the issues caused by lockdown which Hero now seems to have settled in to, it's like he is a totally different dog. No more being pulled to the ground on walks, no destructive chewing or ripping at furnishings, has become very soppy and wanti g cuddles, the awful biting, jumping up and pulling at clothes has just gone. Yes he does still have issues with thieving, wanting to chew wood when outside and has reverted to picking up stones in his mouth since walks have been restricted but trying not to make a big issue as it stopped before so hopefully will again using distractions. He does have occasional zoomies, still looks for the family out the window, goes nuts when he can hear his friends barking or sees them from a distance but these are issues from the current situation we think. A big plus is the barking at everything and anything has lessened to a reasonable level. It's taken a lot of tears, hard work and patience to get to this stage but it's beginning to show that it seems to be working. Yes we've totally lost his recall training. We had just gotten to the point of involving friends dogs so guess we'll have to start again with that, but Hero appears happy and contented. Apart from consistent training, working with his Behaviourist through the worst things, and it is still possible to get help by video links, and using lots of structure without overloading him to the point of excitability has helped. We also keep training and play to short bursts st any given time. Three things which have helped tremendously have been making him a makeshift agility set up in the garden, lots of nose work and chewroots. At his age there's still a long way to go and with some of his training having to come to a halt at the moment, I know there will still be lots of challenges, but from where we were 4 months ago when all hell seemed to break loose and we had a right devil dog, can't believe how different things now are. So when people tell you that things will change then do believe but it won't happen on its own. It takes an awful lot of patience, input and hard work from hoomans to get there.
     
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  11. Jess_Bushby

    Jess_Bushby Registered Users

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    Thanks mummyp85 - it’s so reassuring to read posts where people have worked through these behaviours with their puppy. It feels impossible and endless when you’re in the thick of it. This is our first dog and I am certainly a ‘helicopter parent’ as the fear of getting it ‘wrong’ and not doing our four legged family member justice is really a worry.

    Agility is a great idea, as is nose work - any DIY suggestions to get us started? We’ve played ‘find it’ with stinky little dried fish around the lounge and we’ve got a snuggle mat but these are only short 1 minute games which doesn’t tucker him out/hold his attention long.


    Thanks for sharing.

    Jess
     
  12. mummyp85

    mummyp85 Registered Users

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    Hello Jess
    With the agility we just made our own version of a tunnel using old sheets and making framework out of whatever is to hand. Started very small to get him used to going through using a lure and then gradually lengthening. He loves it. We made weaving poles out of some canes we had and used a hula hoop for jumping through starting at floor level and not raising too quickly so he doesn't damage hips. Making an obstacle course round the house using anything which comes to hand works as well. We only had to use food lures for a short time and now he just loves it. Haven't managed the seesaw yet. With nose work, Hero still loves when we hide small amounts of his kibble to the downstairs. Hubby keeps him occupied elsewhere while I hide it and then I say 'go find' and he spends a good half hour looking for it. Sometimes we hide stuff in the garden. We also use assorted boxes and hide either treats or something scented like lavender, mint or bits of cloth dipped in things like fish or something equally pongy and then he has to find which box. Started with two boxes now up to right and he gets it every time.made a flirt pole and he loves chasing that. There are so many ways to come up with diy games and training, many on the internet. When Hero is a little bit excitable we find a cardboard box for him to play with. Eventually ends in pieces everywhere but he loves it. We found with our big boy that although physical exercise is important, he needs a lot of mental stimulation. Hope some of this helps
     
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  13. Jaime K

    Jaime K Registered Users

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    I’m so grateful to hear you say all of this because I am in puppy hell right now with all of these issues and am really needing encouragement. Thanks for posting!
     
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