Struggling with bad Labrador behaviour - with me not partner

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Lucy Hopkins, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Lucy Hopkins

    Lucy Hopkins Registered Users

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    My Labrador male (nearly 9 months old) is very badly behaved and it’s beginning to wear on me because I can’t enjoy the simple things like chilling out with him, which he does quite happily with my other half. It’s mostly when I’m trying to chill out he does it. For example he’s fine when I’m milling around the house, if I’m busy cooking etc he will sit nicely on the floor or in his bed near by. As soon as I sit on the sofa, or on the bed, he instantly starts biting at my arms or chewing my clothes; or doing something destructive like chewing cushions / throws and burying his head in the sofa trying to rip it up. I obviously tell him off straight away and stop him from this behaviour but this invoked barking, snarling, baring his teeth at me and running away before I can catch him - this turns into ‘zoomies’ and he will usually proceed to go loopy up and down the stairs or out side, wherever he can put run me the easiest, with more jumping and biting at me. Although he is a lovely dog he’s behaving well and I know he loves our companionship, the snarling and barking at me does worry me that he’s aggressive and I can’t tell whether he’s playing or not. He lays happily on the sofa with my boyfriend and will settle down while he watches tv etc. I also know I can confidently leave him in the lounge / bedroom alone without chewing anything, but as soon as I enter the room or come close he will grab the nearest thing into his mouth, usually a blanket or cushion!

    I have tried numerous things to stop this behaviour and never encourage it. I have tried telling him off as firmly as possible and pushing him off me when he jumps / bites, putting him in his crate to calm down, ignoring him (difficult when he bites), walking away from him, rewarding with treats and praise when he stops being badly behaved and is doing a good behaviour. The walking away seems to work best but doesn’t prevent him from doing it the next time. Perhaps I’m giving him too much attention the rest of the time, as I do cuddle and play with him more than my partner but it seems a shame to stop that as he loves it.

    It’s really beginning to bother me as I can never get any peace! Plus the biting hurts and I’d like my stuff to stay intact. If anyone has any ideas or advice I’d much appreciate it. Thanks
     
  2. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

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    Hello Lucy, we get the sofa thing too! I think the sofa is exciting as you get to jump on and off it, you can roll on it, its got squishy and flappy things on it and gets her easy access to us. I've changed the time of day Gwenni gets her walk, we used to wait until later in the day so that we could have peace in the evening, but now at 8 months she gets her main walk in the late afternoon. We still get an evening of good behaviour and can share the lounge and sofa with her, we are busier at around late afternoon / early evening so we are less inclined to sit on the sofa. We have also taken away the cushions for now. We don't tell her off as even a mild moan from us escalates her. We just get up and fold our arms - now that's not to say she doesn't stop there ... she may try and jump up and bite at us standing up.And yes she can hurt a lot which is so disheartening too. If we have any further escalation you get the sense she just looses her ability to think and goes over threshold as she is excited by the whole thing so we go out of the room or pop her in the kitchen behind gate. Gwenni's threshold for arousal is very low and many things can trigger her biting and jumping, even a change in routine / clothing / heavy rain / frustration / she can't do something playing ball for more than 5 throws . Teaching her to settle down - been doing that for a number of months and rewarding calm. I have never had a dog that you have had to train or shape her behaviour so much, some of these young labs are a challenge I can see that and by that I mean she is challenging my skills and emotions at times. This is taking some time and is sooooo much slower to change than many of her other behaviours. Hope it gets better for you over time and for us !!
     
  3. Kelly Crane

    Kelly Crane Registered Users

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    We have it as well. Our lab is 6 months old and will bite due to excitement and frustration. Trying to get him into his crate for a timeout is.becoming a challenge. I hope this gets easier for all of us. He particularly goes crazy towards my husband and seems to think he is another puppy to play with.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2019
  4. MontesMum

    MontesMum Registered Users

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    Wow some of these young labs can be such hard work! I kinda wish I’d realised before we got him I have to say. Training Monte is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. As with you Lucy, Monte seems to act out his bad behaviours on me so much more than my husband. I think it’s the person that is with them the most or their ‘main person’ they seem to test you more because they know they’ll still get their care no matter how much they push you. Clever things, but so so waring. We don’t let him on the sofa but he’s constantly testing to see if he can. This is where most bites happen. I’m sat on the sofa, he rocks up and without warning just bites my arm and locks on. It’s so hard not to react, I just silently scream in my head, prise myself off and walk out. Ignore him when I come back in. Our trainer said that is the most important part. Don’t make eye contact or anything towards him when you walk back in for a few moments. Does seem to stop the episode but as yet it hasn’t stopped it happening. Trying to be patient.
     
  5. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

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    This little Labrador has surprised me with her behaviour too, didn’t quite anticipate the behaviour or level of training need she has. All my other dogs, border collies, Toller retriever, cavaliers have been so easy compared to this little dog!
     
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  6. Neytiri28

    Neytiri28 Registered Users

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    Hi there, I feel for you. Is there a time of the day when he behaves this way? Our pup has never tried to bite or destroy anything but what triggers her is being 'hangry.' she barks incessantly and acts out when she's received less than her usual servings of food. I think your pup hasn't learnt self control yet. Does he know his 'sit' and 'down' commands? Next time, try a firm NO and sit/down. Our pup has learnt 'no biting' so if she starts to nip when excited, she immediately stops when I say 'dont bite.'
     
  7. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    He's definitely playing from that description. I'd suggest you stop telling him off - for one, it doesn't work. For two, it only further riles him up and (as always with punishment) backfires.

    If you don't like something your dog does, ignore it. That may be really really hard, but you can always stand up and walk away and leave the room if necessary - and do that repeatedly.

    But on the other hand, it's really best to hear this behaviour as a form of communication from your dog. What he is asking for, is more engagement with you, more training or more physical or mental stimulation. I can pretty much guarantee that a dog working on a shoot all day, is not going to be mouthing and barking at their owner on the sofa that evening - they will be deep asleep.

    Many dog behaviour problems stem from a dog's needs not being met (no matter how much owners think they are meeting them), and are forms of communication from the dog first and foremost...
     
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