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Hey everyone im brand new here on the dog forums, i actually signed up like 5 minutes ago haha, anyways i have a 3 year old Chocolate lab named Cody Bryce who is a loving, goofy, big happy companion. I got him as my graduation present from middle school...anyways i was wondering if anyone could help me answer these problems and questions i have, so i will list them.

1. Terrified of stairs and the porch- He is absolutely terrified of the upstairs stairs. They are really big, about 15 steps, and he wont even go near the foot of the stairs. He does go down the back stairs which are only 3 steps to get outside. He is also afraid of the porch and will only go on it if someone he doesn't know is near the driveway. He will also not go up the steps on the porch which are only 3 steps.

2. Runs at people- Cody full out sprints at people and other dogs when we are on walks if they are in close range. Like this afternoon a little boy was with his mom and Cody scared the snot out of them. He barks at dogs and goes crazy if he cant get at them. But, when he does get to the dog or person he is not aggressive he licks and jumps (Jumping is bad too haha).

3. Wont Rollover- Cody will not go on his belly anymore when he was a pup he used to, so i was wondering why he wont and how i can fix it.

4. Wont lift his leg when he pee's- Im just curious about this one haha he just stands and pees haha so i was just wondering why he did that. I have no problem with it.
 

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Stairs can be very difficult for puppies and older dogs with hip, joint, spine or eye problems. If there's no medical issue then, it's a confidence problem. I prefer a low key approach that I use with puppies....bait each step with a tasty morsel and then walk away letting the pup take the staris at his/her own pace.

For the charging at people and dogs stop him before he gets wild eyed....that usually means you have to work at a distance from them.....if you get too close, training is impossible. Step between Cody and the person/dog. Ask for a sit and attention on you. Treat and praise for calmness. The step inbetween is important...you're telling Cody that you get to do the meet and greet first....Cody gets to say Hi after he's sitting politely.

Belly up is a very vulnerable position. Puppies submit easily but, adult dogs are reluctant to that unless they've learned that they get wonderful belly rubs or some high quality play time. Aside from that, they should rollover for grooming, the vet or your own inspection. The usual approach is to lure them into that position with a really good treat starting from the Down position.

Leg lifting is often learned from older male dogs but, some just don't do it and I wouldn't be concerned.
 

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Stairs can be very difficult for puppies and older dogs with hip, joint, spine or eye problems. If there's no medical issue then, it's a confidence problem. I prefer a low key approach that I use with puppies....bait each step with a tasty morsel and then walk away letting the pup take the staris at his/her own pace.

For the charging at people and dogs stop him before he gets wild eyed....that usually means you have to work at a distance from them.....if you get too close, training is impossible. Step between Cody and the person/dog. Ask for a sit and attention on you. Treat and praise for calmness. The step inbetween is important...you're telling Cody that you get to do the meet and greet first....Cody gets to say Hi after he's sitting politely.

Belly up is a very vulnerable position. Puppies submit easily but, adult dogs are reluctant to that unless they've learned that they get wonderful belly rubs or some high quality play time. Aside from that, they should rollover for grooming, the vet or your own inspection. The usual approach is to lure them into that position with a really good treat starting from the Down position.

Leg lifting is often learned from older male dogs but, some just don't do it and I wouldn't be concerned.

great post!

i also have been having problems with Rosie on walks, who wants to say hello to EVERYONE. i have had luck with sit/watch me, and i have been working with her on a combination of leave it/watch me. i get her to watch me while we are walking past the other dog, and when she looks at the other dog, i tell her to leave it and get her focus back on me.

good luck. chocolate labs are great, but they can be a huge pain in the butt!!
 

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Sadie had trouble with stairs too. I took her to a friend's place that had the outside open stairs (that was what we had trouble with) and I just stood near them. When she got close, click & treat. Then I waited for her to sniff them. c&t. I finally lured her onto the first one, c&t. I kept luring as we went up, going VERY slowly. After a few minutes, she was running up and down on my command. The open stairs can be very scary for dogs because they can see right through.


I suggest you guys do a puppy/beginner class for the other problems.
 

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Hey everyone thanks for the info Ive already tried doing some of the training tips you've given me. And yes chocolate labs can sometimes be pains haha. So hyper !
 

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Hey everyone haven't been on here in a while, but im having a couple of problems. I still cannot get Cody up the stairs no matter how hard i try. He is death;y afraid of the stairs, i mean "Deathly". What do i do ????
 

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Hey everyone haven't been on here in a while, but im having a couple of problems. I still cannot get Cody up the stairs no matter how hard i try. He is death;y afraid of the stairs, i mean "Deathly". What do i do ????
Baiting the stairs with really, really good treats didn't work?....try SPAM. Remember, you have to walk away and let him go on his own. If you're trying to encourage him, that can backfire. He can view the stairs as something to be very, very concerned about because you're giving them so much attention.

If he still won't take the stairs after baiting I'd have the vet check his spine and joints.
 

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Our chocolate, Bella, is 4 months old and she'll do the stairs to the basement just fine - as long as we're with her. She also goes up and down the 3-5 steps to go out either the front, back or interior garage doors. So imagine our surprise earlier this week when she absolutely would not go near the stairs at the motel we were staying at on vacation. I'm talking belly to the floor and legs splayed out around her in panic.

The difference - the stairs at the motel were tile, and "open". In other words, you could see through them into the lobby area - so I'm sure for her it felt like walking to the edge of a cliff. She didn't have nearly as much trouble going down the stairs - because she couldn't see the open space behind her. The only time she went up easily was when my husband was at the top, encouraging her, and she was focused on getting to him. Maybe your stairs are open concept also? Or "slippery". Another thing I've noticed with Bella - the few times she slipped on our back steps (wooden but wet with rain) she was very hesitant to go up or down after that. Eventually, with success, she got over it - but it could be that your Cody Bryce had a bad experience slipping or falling on stairs and remembers.

We're also having an issue with Bella and her "greeting" other people - she loves EVERYBODY and would sprint towards them also, if it wasn't for the fact that she's almost always on her lead when meeting/greeting. But she pulls like crazy, and then jumps all over the place when she gets to who she wants to see. Reminding her to stay down sometimes works - sometimes not. I know this is a training issue - and an important one. I won't have a dog that people hate to encounter because she can't control herself.

I've been wondering about something, and one comment here reminded me of my question . . .
chocolate labs are great, but they can be a huge pain in the butt!!
Never having had a lab before of any colour . . . are chocolates different than other labs in character or personality?? We love our baby girl dearly - but I find myself telling her she's a pain in the butt, too. :p If chocolates have special "traits" (good and bad), I'd love to know about them because we love this dog and we want to know all we can about her - so her life with us, and ours with her, will be full of joy.

One other thing - I don't mean to hijack this thread but, because of my question about the character traits of chocolates, in particular, I have a question about something she does that we never experienced with our other dog. Bella is still VERY bad about wanting to chew on us. When she's excited to be with us, it's like she wants to be "tasting" us - she doesn't nip, or bite hard, but she's just after our hands and arms and even our faces sometimes - and she is just absolutely persistent about it. She'll jump up on the couch and just climb all over us in an effort to be as close as she can possibly be to us. We've tried to command "calm" or "no bite", have put her down off the couch when she won't quit, and have even put her back in her penned in area where she can't get to us to no avail. We given her treats and praise for complying (when she occasionally manages) but it's like her attention span for this issue is practically "nil". The bigger she gets, the more troublesome this issue becomes. Anybody with some good advice for us?
 

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Sit on the stairs and yawn. Toss some treats out to the puppy while you are sitting on the stairs, gradually tossing them closer and closer to the stairs. Yawn semi frequently while doing this. Work up to the pup taking a treat off the bottom step. Yawning will show the pup its no big deal. Do you know anyone with a puppy friendly adult dog? Sometimes having an adult dog to lead they way can help.

I have a question about something she does that we never experienced with our other dog. Bella is still VERY bad about wanting to chew on us. When she's excited to be with us, it's like she wants to be "tasting" us - she doesn't nip, or bite hard, but she's just after our hands and arms and even our faces sometimes - and she is just absolutely persistent about it.
Labs are a retrieving breed, they are genetically hardwired to put everything in their mouths. Its a very difficult thing to break with them because you are fighting genetics. Most people have the best success with teaching their dog to put something appropriate in their mouths instead during high excitement times, like a ball or stuffed animal. When she starts getting mouthy yell OUCH! and then stick a ball or stuffed animal in her mouth and praise her.

If she is doing this all the time, not just during high excitement times then I would use abandonment. Put her leash on her and tie her to something she cannot move. Pet her and let her get excited. The second her teeth touch your skin, get up and leave the room for a minute. Do this over and over again in every room of the house. For a little while she will need to be tied up indoors because you need to be consistent, meaning every time her teeth touch you, you need to be able to leave the room and she can't be able to follow you. Using baby gates for this can be bothersome because they can follow you across the room, grab at your pant legs . . . it becomes a game to chase you. One person I know put a carabiner on the loop of their leash and tied little loops of rope around various heavy objects in the house. That way when the pup got mouthy they could quickly clip the leash onto the nearest loop of rope and leave, and this way the pup wasn't tied up all the time, just dragging her leash.
 

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Thanks so much for the suggestions - good ones. It's very true that she just has to have something in her mouth. She'll dig in the sofa cushions to find anything - even a Kleenex . . . and whenever we go out, she'll pick up a stick or a rock, or even just carry her leash in her mouth. Always something.

We have done the "abandonment" thing with some success - but it only works when there's only one of us home. It's close to impossible when everyone is around because it's just not convenient for all of us to get up and leave the room when she starts in with someone. That's when we either put her outside on her lead, or confine her to her pen. But when she's allowed back with all of us, it seems she's just that much more excited and that translates to "mouthy" again. We've also tried the "ouch", and always replace our hands, etc., with a toy . . . but each thing that works only works briefly. That's what's so frustrating - it's like she just doesn't "get it". Or she refuses to get it. Sometimes I think she's testing us to see who'll let her get away with it most often. My husband can just give her "the look" and she stops in her tracks. Our 13 yr old son has learned to put his knee up in her face when she comes at him with her mouth open - and she pretty much leaves him alone now, too. I have to be really persistent with her to get her to quit with me - sometimes works and sometimes not. But our 16 yr old daughter is at her mercy - nothing any of us does will back her off until she, basically, finally chases my daughter from the room.

I'm hoping to get a better handle on it when the kids go back to school, while Dad's at work and I'm alone with her. When she finally mellows out she's the sweetest thing ever, but I suspect part of the problem is that she's growing like a weed and not getting enough exercise. It's done nothing but rain almost since we first got her, and she really does better on days when we've been able to take her outside and poop her out. We had some success with "treats", but they upset her digestion and we had diarreah issues . . . so we sorta got away from that for awhile. As I said, hoping things will settle down a bit when school starts again and I can get her focusing on me and accountable rather than distracted by all the rest of the activity around the house. And we do intend to get some training really soon.
 

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Thanks you guy and girls. Im going to keep trying with new treats and a new mindset. I really want him in my room at night.:)
 

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As far as running at people you can always try the easy walk harnesses they help dogs from pulling and lunging towards others.
 

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Labs are a retrieving breed, they are genetically hardwired to put everything in their mouths. Its a very difficult thing to break with them because you are fighting genetics. Most people have the best success with teaching their dog to put something appropriate in their mouths instead during high excitement times, like a ball or stuffed animal. When she starts getting mouthy yell OUCH! and then stick a ball or stuffed animal in her mouth and praise her.
Excellent advice from someone who obviously knows these breeds. Labs have the dubious distinction of being the most "mouthy" of all the retrievers and that is saying a lot.

After you have done this for a while - maybe a couple of months - I would suggest you really start teaching no-mouth greetings without a toy. You CAN do this. You won't always have quick access to a toy and some people - especially children -get very nervous when a dog puts his/her mouth on them.

Even though Labs have a very soft mouth and a very fast release, their teeth are as sharp as any dog and if the person pulls away quickly they can break the skin or cause a bruise. That's considered a dog bite and then you really have problems.
 
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