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Hi,
I need some advice. I have seen a 6 month old male lab, a lovely dog. However, he is so excitable, jumps up, and mouths. It seems quite a extreme case. I was there one hour and in all that time he did not stop. Every time you went to touch him he mouthed. He's not aggressive, just over-playful.

The current owner is getting rid of him because they cannot deal with him. They have had him to a trainer, and the trainer managed fine, but they cannot. Basically, I think they simply failed to become "alpha dog" when he was a young pup, and now they have lost the fight.

If I get a dog I would be a first time owner; although I have experience with friends dogs, and have read some books written for new dog owners, so I know about things such as "alpha dog", withholding attention from naughty dogs, crate training, etc.

My question is, do you think that if I got this dog I would be able to correct these problems, or is he a dog for an experienced owner?

Many thanks,

Petertb
 

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There should be no problem training the pup to stop these acts. He's in his puppy stage, which comes with lots of energy and mouthing. When the puppy does this simply make it known that the act hurts. For example, yelling "ouch!" and holding the area to which the puppy mouthed, and giving a firm "no!" command. If this doesn't work you could pick up some bitter apple at the store and place this on whatever the puppy mouths...the taste is not pleasent and after a few times he will no longer be intersted in doing it.

Hope it helps!
 

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You're looking at a high energy dog and that has nothing to do with Alpha. These dogs need work/exercise (12-15 miles a day, every day). Mental stimulation can be just as tiring.... an hour a day will substitute for the physical exercise. You certainly want to make the household rules clear no matter what dog you get and thats more about leadership than being Alpha.
I suspect the current owner is not willing to make that commitment.
 

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Do you know how much exercise the dog was getting in that home?
Did he jump on you when you're there?
Does he destroy things in the home?
Because I think exercise is probably a large part of the problem, too. But I agree with you. If the people don't show strong leadership from the beginning, a high-energy dog can run all over them. And since the dog responded differently to someone else, it's hopeful that he would respond differently to you. If you have the time and inclination to give the dog the exercise and discipline he requires, then I don't think it should be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,
thanks. Yes he jumped all over me. Exercise wise they had given up, they just could not control him - they acknowledged this made things worse. He did seem to do some chewing of the home.:(
 

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It's perfectly normal for a 6 month old Labrador to jump and mouth, and generally make you want to pull your hair out. The idea that the battle is lost, if you haven't brought the dog under control by that age, is just silly. Don't worry yourself about Alphas etc.. That stuff matters, but not for a slap-happy Lab puppy. He sounds like he's just undisciplined and full o' fun.

If (and this is a big IF) you can give the dog the structure, exercise, and mental stimulation he needs, then take him and run like a thief. He sounds like a good dog. If you put the time into him, he'll probably be a great dog.

Good luck.
 

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I asked about destroying things because you might want to crate train him if he hasn't been. It really all depends on how much work you're willing to do. He does sound like a fantastic dog who needs the right owner. I guess the important question is "Do YOU feel you're up to it"? If your answer is yes, then, I'd say go for it. But only if you're willing to make the commitment to the exercise and training. I know I would have taken him on. :D
 
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