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Hello folks,

I have owned many senior dogs in the past but I'm inexperienced with puppies. I need your advice and suggestions.

I have a 8 month old pure bred male Labrador. I got him at 8weeks. He has been an excellent dog. However off late he has been difficult.

Very adamant, runs away with socks or any other small piece of cloth he can get his mouth on, he still eats anything and everything off the ground, he jumps up at people and if they are holding anything in their hands he tries to get it.

He had stopped mouthing completely, but now every time he gets excited he has started mouthing again.

The other day when my mother was walking him he found a coconut on the ground.. He picked it up and started guarding it. Growling and barking whenever anyone got near it. First time he has done that.

He is still on puppy food and eats about 450g split into 3 meals.

I run with him in the mornings for 30minutes and walk him in the night for 30minutes. We practice leadership while feeding him and generally through out the day. We try and make him work for everything(toys and food). On weekends I take him to the local grounds to play fetch etc with him.

Please advice me as to where I'm going wrong. Is this a phase that'll eventually pass? How long should i expect it to last? Should I exercise him more(I'm worried about hip and ortho problems)?

Thanks in advance to everyone who helps.

Prashant
 

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Everything you've listed sounds very much like regular puppy/young adult behaviors.

I'd suggest that when he jumps on people, have them turn their backs and ignore him until he begins performing a more desirable behavior.

I have never met a mouthier breed than Labs when it comes to taking things out of people's hands. Some of the worst bites I have ever gotten off of dogs have come off of Labs trying to get tennis balls out of my hands when I worked at a dog daycare. Until he stops this grabbing behavior, I'd recommend giving him nothing out of your hands. Don't hand him treats, don't hand him toys. Teach him that if it's in a person's hand, it is absolutely off limits.

It sounds like a strong "leave it" command would help you out with a few of these issues. For the hand grabbing issue, you can start teaching "leave it" by showing him a treat in your palm, telling him to "leave it", and then reward him by putting the treat on the floor when he successfully 'leaves it' and doesn't try to remove it from your palm. This can also be applied to the grabbing of socks/cloth materials and running off. A "leave it" can be used to get him to drop the undesirable object and you can reward by giving him a toy that he is supposed to play with, instead. After he begins to understand what "leave it" means, it would also maybe help with the coconut guarding situation by indicating to him that he needs to leave the object alone.

Other comments - I think what you described is more than enough exercise for him, and would actually worry about doing even 30 minutes of running with an 8 month old dog, if you're running on concrete.

Overall, it sounds like you're doing things correctly and the behaviors are not an indicator that you're training poorly, but rather he's just going through some growing pains that will eventually diminish :)
 

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Everything you've listed sounds very much like regular puppy/young adult behaviors.

I'd suggest that when he jumps on people, have them turn their backs and ignore him until he begins performing a more desirable behavior.

I have never met a mouthier breed than Labs when it comes to taking things out of people's hands. Some of the worst bites I have ever gotten off of dogs have come off of Labs trying to get tennis balls out of my hands when I worked at a dog daycare. Until he stops this grabbing behavior, I'd recommend giving him nothing out of your hands. Don't hand him treats, don't hand him toys. Teach him that if it's in a person's hand, it is absolutely off limits.

It sounds like a strong "leave it" command would help you out with a few of these issues. For the hand grabbing issue, you can start teaching "leave it" by showing him a treat in your palm, telling him to "leave it", and then reward him by putting the treat on the floor when he successfully 'leaves it' and doesn't try to remove it from your palm. This can also be applied to the grabbing of socks/cloth materials and running off. A "leave it" can be used to get him to drop the undesirable object and you can reward by giving him a toy that he is supposed to play with, instead. After he begins to understand what "leave it" means, it would also maybe help with the coconut guarding situation by indicating to him that he needs to leave the object alone.

Other comments - I think what you described is more than enough exercise for him, and would actually worry about doing even 30 minutes of running with an 8 month old dog, if you're running on concrete.

Overall, it sounds like you're doing things correctly and the behaviors are not an indicator that you're training poorly, but rather he's just going through some growing pains that will eventually diminish
Thank you for your detailed reply sir. I really appreciate all the advice.

I'm glad that this is normal puppy behavior and not because of my training.

I try to make him sit before greeting anyone. He does it most of the time, however if he sees that the person is as excited to see him as he is to meet them, he goes bonkers and starts jumping and pulls on the leash.

I think I have to put more effort on my leave it command. Thank you sir.

I do run with him on concrete but when I mentioned 30minutes, I didn't actually mean 30 minutes straight. I walk him for sometime(warm up, he finishes his business in this time), then I run for sometime and again walk him to cool off. So essentially he might be running for 15-20 minutes. Is that okay?

I know it depends on him and my training but how long will it take for this stage to pass?

Thanks once again sir.
 

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Thank you for your detailed reply sir. I really appreciate all the advice.

I'm glad that this is normal puppy behavior and not because of my training.

I try to make him sit before greeting anyone. He does it most of the time, however if he sees that the person is as excited to see him as he is to meet them, he goes bonkers and starts jumping and pulls on the leash.

I think I have to put more effort on my leave it command. Thank you sir.

I do run with him on concrete but when I mentioned 30minutes, I didn't actually mean 30 minutes straight. I walk him for sometime(warm up, he finishes his business in this time), then I run for sometime and again walk him to cool off. So essentially he might be running for 15-20 minutes. Is that okay?

I know it depends on him and my training but how long will it take for this stage to pass?

Thanks once again sir.
It's not a problem at all (and I'm a lady :)).This forum is full of people who are here to help!

I think 15-20 minutes on concrete is okay, as long as it's not full-out racing speed.

It sounds like you're on the right track and that "leave it" work will help corral his behaviors. As to when these behaviors will stop - I think Labs tend to stay youthful and energetic longer than some other breeds, which is both a good and bad thing. It also depends on the individual dog, of course. I think anywhere from a year and a few months to two years old is when you will see many of the puppy-ish behaviors completely dissolve with the proper training and direction.
 
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