10 month old chocolate lab...
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    10 month old chocolate lab...

    Hi, my name is mark and I now have a dog... her names molly and shes a 10 month old chocolate lab. Shes really sweet and all but I am afraid that she doesnt respect me and I do not know how I would get her to do this. Shes already house trained, she doesnt pee in side or anything, she chews on everything she can get her mouth on, she doesnt come to me when outside, she jumps up on people, she always pulls on the leash. I think that right now she is the "pack leader" and I want to change that. I heard that punishing doesnt work on labs, it doesnt work on me so why would in work on them, I want her to respect me not fear me lol, so im glad thats not an option. i just want to be able to control her more. I have to keep her in my room because if I dont then she goes and jumps up all over my family and takes their food from them, and chews on my mothers furniture and she gets really mad. Right now I have everything that she would chew on up in a high place and she has a bone, but if I take the stuff down so i can get to it easier she still chews on it like the bone isnt good enough, even though she loves it. Can someone tell me what I should do for basic training? i dont want to take her to someone else for training because thats stupid, i love dogs and i want to teach her myself, i just dont know how. What problems should i work on first and how?

    thanks for reading and I hope to hear from someone soon.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Enroll in obiedience classes. It is not just for the dog, it is for you as well. It will teach you how to train your dog.

    Does she only have a bone to chew on? If so, she needs more toys. I would get tired of always playing with one thing all the time.

    Exercise, exercise, exercise. A tired dog is a good dog.

    search the forum, there are plenty of tips already posted here that I may have inadvertly not mentioned.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    As for obidience classes... i or my family dont exactly have the money for that. We are kind of... poor at that moment, although it wasnt always that way.

    yes i was actually going to get some toys today.

    Exercise exercise exercise yes yes yes, i still need to lose about 10 lbs to be satisfied with myself and im going jogging at least twice a day, i take her down to the lake and let her swim which is a half a mile going there, and half going back.

    thanks for your input, appreciate it.

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    Senior Member SFury's Avatar
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    With an energetic breed like a lab, one mile is nothing. While I wouldn't take a 10 month old pup for more than that because of possible joint issues, rigorous play is needed. Labs are full of energy and need to have a tremendous amount exercise in order to be good dogs.

    An energetic lab can do massive damage if that energy isn't redirected into a positive activity. Just remember that labs are a retrieving breed of dog. Playing fetch is hard-wired into them, and training dummys are cheap. Get some if you already haven't and use the natural drive of your dog to your advantage.

    As far as jumping goes, just push, or knee the dog back down, and say no forcefully. You don't want to hurt your pup, but you need to make her understand that jumping on people is bad. Labs are exuberant dogs, and her feelings won't be hurt. I'll bet she thinks its a new game at first, so just be consistent.

    If you can't afford obediance training, and haven't trained a dog before, you need to do some serious reading. The best way to learn dog training is from those that have done it successfully. Dog training can be tough at times, and no matter what you do, be patient and don't give up. Labs aren't stupid, but they are stubborn so training them can be exasperating.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Yea I have been reading for days now, just trying to get tips on what to do. I have been telling her to get down when she jumps up but she keeps on doing it but i will of course keep trying.

    What was that about joint problems? If I cant be taking her walking to much then what should I do for exersize because she is pretty much living in my room, which used to be a garage so its not small, and i need to make sure she gets exercise. We are trying to get a fence put up so then she can be outside, but she doesnt run around if shes alone so id still have to help her exercise alot.

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    Senior Member SFury's Avatar
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Too much extended exercise can hurt the joints for dogs. No problems may show up right away, but they could later on in life.

    That's where playing fetch comes into play. Pups can run around a lot, while you can basically stay in one place as you work her. Playing fetch with a training dummy is great exercise for your dog. They are bigger than a tennis ball, and can be thrown for a good distance. Although I wouldn't throw one too far if you are uncertain of the retrieving instinct of your dog. The trick is knowing when to stop. If you don't catch the signals then you'll be the retriever!

    Seeing as retrievers instinctively like to bring whatever is thrown back to us that also makes it a good time to do some recall training. You kill two birds with one that way. Recall training is teaching your dog to return to you. Normally the word come is used, but I was taught to use here. The end result if done right is the same.

    I used to play fetch with my family's golden retriever using training dummies while I grilled food for my family in the summer. It was great. Caruso got exercise, and we spent more quality time together.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    We adopted a 2.5yr old black lab when he was about 9wks old. I agree with the others...........find an obidience book (the Dummies books are great), or a group class. The classes can sometimes be found through the city recreation dept for a fairly reasonable price and books are available at your library. Remember....... patience. I'm sure this is true for all dogs, but my lab was always searching for a good time. We used what some people refer to as "trading". When Molly has something that is not hers, trade it for one of her things. When you (calmy) take away the wrong thing, say a stern no and give her one of her things with a big smile on your face and lots of praise. She needs to learn what is hers.......sorry....that's obvious, huh. If you can afford it, a kong toy is an indestructible chew toy that can be stuffed with treats.....peanut butter, dog food, etc. It's loads of fun and will last just about forever. Bitter apple spray works for us. You can sometimes find it in the pet section at the grocery store, or at pet stores. You can safely spray it on almost anything she might chew on........it tastes baaad. One of my dog's favorite toys is an empty plastic water bottle. Don't leave her alone with it and make sure you remove the cap. Toss it around.....it makes a great sound and bounces everywhere. You can also use it as a reward as you teach sit, come, fetch, etc. One of the most important things you can do is stay calm. I found that the calmer I am, the calmer the dog is. If you get excited about some bad behavior Molly just might do it again, just for your attention. Get excited (overly excited sometimes) about the good stuff. Dogs can really be affected by your mood. And remember patience, patience. She will become a great dog with a trained and respected owner. Good Luck. Patience, patience........she'll grow out of it..... some of it...... someday.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    ok cool thanks, I think a dummie book sounds like a great idea! Molly does love water bottles too but we use and reuse water bottles alot and I dont want her to get used to that idea :/ i am definatley going to get some more toys for her though, i can tell shes bored right now

    Thanks again for your help!

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    Senior Member MagicToller's Avatar
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Hi! and congrats on your new pup!

    heard that punishing doesnt work on labs
    That goes for all dogs, harsh or any punishing after the fact is counterproductive and arguably cruel - this doesn't mean everything should be sunshine and butterflies, but boundaries and corrections need to be made.

    Like mentioned before, you should join an obedience class - perhaps even join a group or organization in your area (time permitting.) Respect and attentiveness from dogs doesn't come until alot of training, positive reinforcement, consistency, and time.

    You already know that labs are notorious for their reserve tanks of energy, so it's your job to find a constructive outlet that will channel the energy and mentally stimulate your pup at the same time.
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Punishing doesn't mean causing pain. Punishing, or correcting would be the better term, a dog is the most efficient means of training working dogs. I have met very few large breed working dogs where a positive only training approach would work.

    Big dogs are workaholics who test their limits, and correcting them works very well. A proper correction when they do something inapproporiate is neither cruel, and will only make them better dogs. Think of them like little kids. I have yet to meet good parents that don't correct bad behaviors with their children. We need to do the same with our dogs.

    Correcting a lab can be difficult though. They tend to need to be leaned on pretty hard when training. There are some labs I've worked with that almost needed to be beaten down at first just so they would listen. There energy level can be incredibly intense at times. Calming labs down is not an easy task.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Yea I went outside and tried to play fetch like people said... didnt work... =( I went and bought her a toy and she loved it so i took her outside to fetch it and when I threw it she ran away and didnt listen, she went out into the street and almost got hit, thank god its a school zone or else people would be flying by. anyway, once I caught her I held her by the collar making sure I didnt choke her at all and she just wouldnt go, i kept tugging and shes like "nope... aint movin". So this is starting to get really frustrating, im not mad at her but the whole thing is scary, she almost got hit! I think I will need an obidience class. I just kinda wanted to do it on my own =( I wanted to learn and do it myself but I guess... i cant.

    thanks for the help people...

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    My retriever still won't retrieve. Ask lots of people around here if their dog's game of fetch is just a game of throw to the dog. Anytime Molly is outside don't take any chances, keep her on a leash at all times. You can make a long lead 10ft or so, long enough to play but you're still in control. You'll probably read about putting some pennies in a soda can and shaking it anytime Molly heads out of the yard. It will distract, startle and scare her keeping her in the yard. Remember to praise her when she returns. Although it didn't work for my dogs (my yard it too big), it works for many others.
    Slow down. Fetch should come after the important basics: Come, Sit, Stay, Heel. If you still want to work on fetch, I would suggest offering a small food treat when/if she brings it back or near to you. Food treats have been great for all of my dogs in learning every command. Inside might work better at first. Like I said before, patience. Just spend a few minutes every day on a few commands and within a week you'll see great progress, but don't stop.....they need reminding every day!

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    I'm sorry Molly almost got hit. Dogs are living animals and can be unpredictable. Also, not all labs have a strong retrieving instinct. I tend to forget that because I generally only deal with field bred labs who are bred for looks and the retrieving instinct.

    Keep Molly on a leash, and work with her every day. Don't give up on her or yourself.

    As far as training goes, none of us learned how to train our dogs over night. I have spent years working with various retrievers and I understand them. They are loyal, hard working dogs, who can be stubborn to get any training started. Once the first steps of obediance training have started things do get easier. It's just that the first steps are the hardest ones to make.

    Don't get discouraged because things didn't go well today. Dogs need repetition, patience, and love. If you do some reading, and/or get some help with training everything will fall into place. Good luck.

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Well she plays fetch, she loves it in the water, but this time she came to me and when i reached out she ran away. I read somewhere that, that is a sign that they are taking on the role of alpha. Could this be true?

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmickler1 View Post
    Well she plays fetch, she loves it in the water, but this time she came to me and when i reached out she ran away. I read somewhere that, that is a sign that they are taking on the role of alpha. Could this be true?
    Relax Mark,
    Molly's going to be messing with you forever. Don't get too stressed. Of course, she will at times be that submissive wonderful dog that everyone longs for, but at this age more often than not she'll have a mind of her own. It's normal. As your training progresses, you as the trainer, will become a stronger alpha figure and she will always follow your every command (NOT!). Just kidding. Remember, patience. She's very intelligent, but remember she's sort of learning a new language that will take some practice. Like English to Spanish.
    Enjoy her "puppyness" and all of it's frustrations. She will become a wonderful companion but it takes time. Do the training research.
    Be thankful she's housebroken!

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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    I went and bought her a toy and she loved it so i took her outside to fetch it and when I threw it she ran away and didnt listen, she went out into the street and almost got hit,
    Mickler - until she has a solid recall I seriously advise against any off leash play that is not in your backyard.. this is especially relevant when there is nearby traffic.

    You can begin working recall with a long rope or lead, a clicker and some treats.

    Remember that returning to you needs to be a completely positive experience, so a good voice pitch and/or a clicker + treats should be involved. If there is any chance that she'll ignore you for any reason like a distraction, try not to call her in - don't get her used to the idea that "Come!" (or whatever command word you use) is not a serious business. Since she's ignored the command frequently in the past, you need to be extra careful that you don't wear off the command by repeating or losing patience and get her used to the idea that she *must* come when called on the first command.

    Here's a good Clicker Training article on recalls:
    http://www.clickerlessons.com/recall.htm

    ..there are also additional lessons that you might find useful
    Last edited by MagicToller; 05-10-2007 at 02:41 PM.
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Another thing you may try is hiding toys and treats around the house and making her find it. Good mind stimulation and keeps her busy. There are also treats that hide food inside of them and it takes a certain movement to get them out. However, watch what treats you give her - labs have a tendancy to gain a lot of weight, esp if they aren't given the exercise they need. As everyone has already said, exercise is so important. I have had the pleasure to take care of two labs on seperate occassions. Unfortunately the owners found them destructive...I later discovered that neither lab ever got out of the house! So when they stayed with me we walked 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening - or if I didn't have that much time we'd bicycle for 30min in the morning and 30min at night. That seemed to help a lot and neither were destructive while they were given enough exercise.
    Do you know of any local dog parks? That would be a fantastic place for her to run and play - a great out let for energy.
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    Re: 10 month old chocolate lab...

    Quote Originally Posted by mmickler1 View Post
    Hi, my name is mark and I now have a dog... her names molly and shes a 10 month old chocolate lab. Shes really sweet and all but I am afraid that she doesnt respect me and I do not know how I would get her to do this. Shes already house trained, she doesnt pee in side or anything, she chews on everything she can get her mouth on, she doesnt come to me when outside, she jumps up on people, she always pulls on the leash. I think that right now she is the "pack leader" and I want to change that. I heard that punishing doesnt work on labs, it doesnt work on me so why would in work on them, I want her to respect me not fear me lol, so im glad thats not an option. i just want to be able to control her more. I have to keep her in my room because if I dont then she goes and jumps up all over my family and takes their food from them, and chews on my mothers furniture and she gets really mad. Right now I have everything that she would chew on up in a high place and she has a bone, but if I take the stuff down so i can get to it easier she still chews on it like the bone isnt good enough, even though she loves it. Can someone tell me what I should do for basic training? i dont want to take her to someone else for training because thats stupid, i love dogs and i want to teach her myself, i just dont know how. What problems should i work on first and how?

    thanks for reading and I hope to hear from someone soon.
    Hi Mark.......hope you're still around.
    I just remembered your postings about Molly's training. How are things going?

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