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7 Mo Lab behavior


TMan

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Question for you folks - my F yellow lab is almost 7 months, we've been working together and having fun on basics and using Wolter techniques in Game Dog and generally getting used to her nose with dead birds and dummies with wings, scent, etc. She generally listens well in the field. I do have an electronic collar that was part of my underground fence I put in(It has "Tone" and selective settings - by Innotek) which I use in the field on occasion to reinforce commands when she gets off course. All in all, this is not where I have issues with her behavior, it's at home with my family.

When we are at home, she doesn't listen too well to my wife or daughter. I try working with both my wife and daughter to show them how to speak or command the dog so we have some consistency in wording and tone when making a command. I'm hoping this will help the dog to understand what is being said. In general, the dog listens fair at home too, except she sometime does not obey on purpose when we tell her to leave the shoes alone, stop eating the flowers, or stop jumping up. You know what I mean...when they look at you and say "why should I do that?" I suspect some of this is due to her age and being a rebel, trying to find out where in our "Pack" she fits in the control hierarchy. That, and being a teenager...

I'd like your opinion on how to address these specific lapses in behavior:

1) hovering around the table during supper - we have NEVER fed her around the table, and she NEVER gets people food, only her food 2 times a day. I finally get fed up and kennel her up outside if she hovers too much after being told to go on or lay down somewhere.

2) She knows not to jump up, but sometmes does, I watch her particularly close around new people to qwash any attempt to jump and remind her to "stay down".

3) She does not "Lay down" on command very well. She does when I use a doggie treat to prompt and when she is tired and I tell her to go lay down.

Also, please tell me if I'm expecting too much at this age. She's a pup still I know and maybe I'm just looking for total command that doesn't come until she ages a bit. After all, she listens fairly well, but sometimes she just says kiss-off...

Is there a general obedience class, beyond the puppy one I already went to, that will provide benefit in learning? Or should I stick to working on them at home and be patient?

So many question!

Thanks all.

TMan

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Tman,

I don't think you're expecting to much at all. If anything maybe giving her a little to much slack. She is definitley at the "rebel" stage, and you may see one more yet. You Wife and Daughter have to become somewhat active in the obedience training if they ever hope to have control of your dog. They don't have to be the main trainer, but they have to be available to work with the dog with you at least a couple times a week for 15-20 minutes. Have them work on the basic commands and corrections the same way you do with you as a back-up in case she totally blows them off.\

1. The table one is easy... don't let her have free access to come around the table. She's a Lab... she thinks with her belly! Even if you don't feed her from the table, she can smell the food and the temptation is there. Crate her up during meal time. Distraction over.

2. The jumping issue is again a fairly easy fix. I posted my training technique in the past several times and as far as I know it has always cured dogs from jumping. Here's a copy of the last time I posted it. You can do a search to find more on the jumping issue. Just do a search in the hunting dog forum and the keyword as jumping....

It seems most guys use the knee to the stomach... SOME are having results, some not. A fool proof way to train them not to jump and it's not overly physical is to pinch down on the area of the dew claw every time they jump up. I guarantee you your dog will pick this up quick. Even dogs I've had that never developed a jumping habit, get coaxed up to jump and pinched down just to re-inforce that jumping is bad. In a nutshell, when the dog jumps up, immediatley grab both wrists and pinch down on the area of the dew claws (makes no difference if they are removed, this is a very tender area), command the word 'DOWN' and when their front paws touch the ground (you continue to pinch all the way to the ground) you immediatley release the pinch and re-inforce with "good". It is rare to have to do this more than 3 times the 1st session. They may still try to jump over the next consecutive days but usually only once. Then progrees to other family members and friends to do the pinch routine over the next week. You may have to coax the dog up to jump in order to complete the training. The key is to get them to jump on several people to understand they will not be able to get away with it. Your dog will never jump again for the fact he will not know who will and who won't be doing the 'pinch'.

I wouldn't suggest the knee (had one aquaintence years ago who busted a dog's rib doing that) or the step on the rear foot, you risk a broken toe. The possibility of injury exists with those methods. With the pinch it is just severe discomfort. I don't even know what the kick in the stomach post is all about. That sounds like you can really be asking for trouble...

Good luck!

Ken

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3. Teaching a dog to lay down does take some patience. I'm never a big fan of using treats, the dog is doing the command for itself as opposed for you. Work on the "down" command by laying on the floor or yard and have the dog lay down next to you command "down" as she is laying down. Pet her and praise her, keep her in that position for several minutes and tell her she's "good". Re-inforce down if she begins to get up. After a couple minutes get up and move and repeat. Over a couple weeks you should be able to command down without laying down next to them and keep them down for several minutes. Over time you should be able to command "down" and have them as steady as they would be sitting.

There are a lot of intermediate obedience classes and even some advanced classes. They all will help you in finishing off you dog.

Good Luck!

Ken

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  • 4 weeks later...

For one our labs I cured hovering around the table at dinner time by making him lay on a rug in the dining room. He thinks with his stomach but he also wants to be around us. It took a lot of paitence (like taking a break from eating to make him lay there and stay every time he got up).

I am personally a big fan of a knee to the chest but not to hurt the dog. I do it with enough force so the dog "wipes out" but not so much that it would hurt. The dog will be embarrassed and won't want to keep having that experience. Have everyone do that.

I don't think you are expecting too much. Those times when she is saying "kiss off," are the times you really have to make her listen. If you don't then she gets the idea that she gets to pick and choose when she listens. I am also a big believer in training collars (electric/shock and chokers). Used as training devices they are great.

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I had a problem with my GSP jumping and used Labs technique to cure it and boy howdy, it worked.

As far as staying away from the dinner table, I started giving the dog a "Down/stay" command on his blanket. Shortly after dinner started he would just fall asleep. Now he's to the point where when we sit down to the table, he goes to his blanket.

Good luck.

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Thaks for the tips guys. I've been doing some of the things I've read here and they are slowly working. She's off at Bird & Gun training right now for 2 weeks. I'll let you know how it works out.

TMan

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