Disobedient black lab--help!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have a black lab, she's nearly a year old. She's wild to put it mildly. She jumps and scratches (lovingly--not with malice). We've taught her to sit and lay down (although it only lasts momentarily). She's just so excited all the time. I've had dogs since I was 3 years old--that was quite some time ago. I've never had one that I couldn't teach to obey...until now. She's very affectionate (too much so), but I need to figure some way to make her mind. Any advice would be helpful. I've had her for 8 months now. As you can tell I switched to a fake email; trying to avoid the spam. I've been using the board for several months now and so many of you have given me great advice in the past--I'm hoping someone can help. Mainly I want to stop her from jumping up and scratching. Thanks.
-- Sharon (email@example.com), March 07, 2002
When the dog jumps up on you, give it a swift knee to the neck. It will be cured after a few jabs.
-- Me (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
Or lightly step on their hind feets toes right as their front paws touch you.
-- mitch hearn (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
I'm looking for a humane way. I don't want to hurt her. :^)
-- Sharon (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
Why didn't you say so in the first place? Just say, "No, no, naughty girl." Try not to say it too harse, it may upset poopsie. This is probably inhumane too, but spray her in the face with water every time she does something you do not approve of.
-- Me (Me@nowhere.net), March 07, 2002.
Hi Sharon...yep some of these four footers can sure be a handful. We took in a (then) two year old mix breed that was gonna be shot by the dog catcher. You can tell she has had trauma in her life..I mean scared to death of EVERYTHING! Well, once she started warming up to us..she started jumping up. I hate getting scratched! I did not want to spank her or hurt her...as she really has sort of a mental thing going on(?) so..when I went out and she would come barreling to me, I kept my hands and arms down, cause 1. I did not want to encourage her to jump up and 2. I did not want her to think I was going to hurt her. I would yell at her in a VERY stern voice ..down...and ..no..and as soon as her feet were back on the ground..I would snap my fingers and kinda slap the side of my thigh..she comes right over and sits down..(yippy..no scratches). She learned this quite quickly..and lets be honest here..Clara Belle is not the sharpest tack in the stool. I hope you can get somewhat of a picture of what I am talking about. And I wish you luck and stamina! Have a great evening Sharon..and HANG IN THERE..they are so worth it.
-- Sher in se Iowa (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
Okay......I have a feeling this might be a LOOOONG answer ;o) but here it goes.....
Have you taken this dog to any obedience classes? The first way to curb unwanted behavior is to have an obedient dog. I think a VERY SOLID sit-stay or a down-stay is going to be VEERRRY helpful to you.
If you haven't already done so, be sure that the commands you choose are VERY clear. Many times a person will use the command "Down" to mean get down AND lie down and they wind up with a confused dog. If you're going to use the command "Down" to mean lie down then choose another command to mean "all four paws on the floor" (in our house that command is "off").
"Stay" is another misused command. If you want the dog to stay then tell them "Stay" and don't allow them to get up or move until YOU release them from the command.....if you use the command "stay" to mean "don't go any further" or something like that too then you again wind up with a confused dog. In our house we use "Stay" to mean "Stay there and don't move a paw until I release you" and "Wait" to mean "stay in that area there....don't come closer".
A solid "Stay" command isn't an overnight thing.....to make sure the dog understands you want to teach it to them to a point where they are likely to succeed. Start out with a "stay" command with the dog sitting/lying next to you for a few seconds....when you can get that 100% then try a stay standing directly in front of the dog (toe to toe) gradually (not in the first session but rather as the days go by) you'll be able to move a foot away, then two feet, then three feet, but be sure you ONLY progress to distance when the dog is staying 100% of the time when you're close.....if the dog breaks then back up a step. You want to allow the dog to be correct.....you don't want to have to do a correction (if the dog makes a mistake its your fault, not the dog's).......avoid making mistakes. ;o)
For a while you may have to keep a short leash on the dog......try to catch the dog BEFORE he jumps (heh heh, didn't think you had to be a "dog whisperer" too did ya?) and give him a down or a sit command to offset the excitement. If the dog does succeed in jumping on you then don't give the dog ANY attention (positive or negative). Even telling the dog "NO" or pushing it away is attention for the dog......turn your back and walk away. Then, when the dog is off of you give the dog a sit command and give lots of praise (as long as the dog's butt is on the ground.....if the butt comes up turn your back). This works GREAT! Can you tell we've had lots of "jumpers" come in to this house (we've done a lot of fostering/rescuing)? In this house all dogs have to be sitting or lying in order to get attention (they can eventually graduate to standing quietly when they're no longer prone to jumping). Good luck! (sorry if I blabbered on....I tend to do that).
-- Lisa - MI (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
See if you can find a small spray bottle, and fill with 50/50 vinegar/water. When the dog jumps at you, give it a little squirt and say "OFF!" in a firm voice. You don't need to get him right close in the face, just a wide spray to put out a little cloud in front of him will be enough, dogs don't like vinegar. Tell the dog "sit!", and don't praise until the dog sits. Then praise and a treat. When you come in the door and the dog tries to jump at you, make it sit before it gets attention.
Black labs can be right "full of beans" til they're 2 or 3 years old. If there's a good obedience class available nearby, consider taking the dog there. Also sounds like the dog needs a good daily run or two. Our German shepherd is 2 1/2 years old, still full of energy. We taught him to "fetch", and when he gets wound up we just take him out in the backyard and have him chase his ring-toss toy for a few minutes. Usually settles him down, not to mention that he's in great shape.
-- Chelsea (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
Great instructions Lisa.
If she's not nuetered, you might want to try that also. It usually calms a dog.
I did the knee thing. I figured if I can hit my head on the barn beams a few times and remember to duck, kneeing the dog a few times will get it's attention that if I do this, I'll hurt so I'll stop. We're not talking about a beating here after all. Good luck and let us know what works.
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
A gentle knee block to the sternum accompanied by a stern disapproval command to get her down and positive re-enforcement when she behave properly. Dogs are just like kids. Some are hyper and take more time to rear.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
Lisa gave very good advice about not confusing the dog. Pick a word that means "get off of me" (I use "off") and stick with it. Don't make her think "Does "DOWN" mean lay down or get off of her/the couch/etc.?" I even used a different word for down for my dog - she was getting "Down" and "Bow" (a trick we taught her) confused. (kindof funny when I was at the 4-H dog show) Make sure everyone in your household does the same, or you will end up with a confused dog and she'll still jump on you. You could try to use her energy in a useful way, I was going to try skijoring this year, but we don't have much snow here.
-- malinda (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
I've had luck curing a few dogs of jumping up by grabbing their front paws when they jump up on you and hanging onto them.
You don't have to be mean, or squeeze or anything, just don't let go.... You can talk happily to them, but they will get uncomfortable pretty quick, hold them past the point that they *really* want to get down, then let them go.
A few times of this, and they usually start thinking twice about getting "trapped" :)
-- Tracy (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
I've had luck with simply turning your back and ignoring her when she jumps up on you. If you see her ready to spring simply turn around in place, ignore her behavior (don't move or say anything), and let her jump on your back side. I'm guessing she wants your attention and will soon learn that doing this behavior gets her nothing. You can also ask her to sit as soon as she comes racing into you. You can set her up and ask people to come over and visit you. Have a 6 foot leash and snap it to her collar, prior to them ringing the doorbell. Allow enough leash for her to stand up (on all 4's) and then stand on the leash. When you open the door she can bounce all she wants but will only get an inch or so off the ground. Let them pet her, etc. If she comes to you and doesn't jump on you lavish the praise.
-- Leslie in Western WA (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
Labs are notorious for being forever puppies. A 1 year old lab should be trainable by now at least not to jump up, but needs a little more training time than some other breeds. Labs are extremely intelligent, they just want to-play!
-- Kathy (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
Kathy is right...forever pups....Our puppy is now 6 years old. Couldn't ask for a better dog. BUT it took alot of patience and training. The knee to the chest is a very humane way to teach not to jump. Great dogs for children, no doubt! Best to you..
-- Suzanne (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
Yep, Labs tend to mature slower than other breeds. They can be dumb as a box-o-rocks right through their second year. Then, presto, you have the wonderful Lab of fairytales. In my kennel, jumpers get kneed in the chest when they do it. Yes, you'll make 'em yip the first couple of times. But they definitely learn. Don't be afraid to use a forceful approach, even if it makes you feel mean. This is just the type of dog who goes through 4 homes in one year, due to owners who can't or won't deal with the behavior problem. (Not you...you ARE dealing, and are to be commended.)
-- Shannon at Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary (email@example.com), March 07, 2002.
Chelsea is right about the spray bottle. I just put plain water in mine. My dogs are scared to death of it. My biggest dog weighs between 90 and 100 lbs and when I whip out the spray bottle she drops to the floor and rolls her eyes up at me. Most of the time after a few squirts all you will have to do is show it to them and they will stop.
-- Sheila in NC (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 07, 2002.
Sharon, Lisa has the right idea! Get thee to an obedience class! I say this not only because it will teach your dog to stay "off" of you, but you don't just have a "junping up" problem. You have a major ("not comunicating " problem. Your approaches cannot be wishy washie and just keeping the dog off of you won't do it. If you take advantage of a good class you and your dog will reap the rewards of a whole lot of years and experience to help you. It is NOT enough for a dog to just "be there". Use their brains, they are so smart! Have your dog use all of that energy and to have fun learning things. But first you must know how to communicate with her. Labs are not my breed but I am around them constantly, they are NOT slow to learn! I can tell you are not doing this, because you say your dog has learned to "sit" and "down" but this is not true because she does not "stay". When you learn to teach your dog the basic obedience commands "Sit, Down, Come" etc and most important "STAY" then you will start learning what true canine joy and pride is all about. After those stages you will start really enjoying your dog because both of you will have learned to learn. Then you can go on to even more fun things, like teaching your dog to help pick up the laundry. Bring you your socks,hat, her leash, her brush. Bring you her own towel when she needs drying off. "Go Find you, go find her dish, her dog food, go find anyone you name , open and close doors for you....as well as a lot of silly things that are so much fun to teach and to learn..... the possibilities are endless. You are also giving your dog exersize when you do this, for her mind and her body. So, go do you and your dog a favor. Get to a good obedience class and you won't believe how proud you can be of your dog and how much she will love learning. All those excuses to say "GOOD DOG!" instead of "BAD DOG!" The people in my classes hear all of the time "A Good Dog is a Tired Dog! " and it is true. Keep her busy learning. LQ
-- Little Quacker (email@example.com), March 08, 2002.
You need to scold (yell) a couple of times, and maybe a smack or a paw crunch a couple of times, if she doesn't back off easily.
I'm not talking about making her cower, just being Master. Be consistent.
Praise her, love her, and reward her, when she obeys.
When she realizes she is pleasing you, she will turn herself inside for you.
-- Rick in SW West Virginia (Rick_122@hotmail.com), March 08, 2002.
bear must be a lab? large black and somthing biggerin there too heavyer hair coat been difficult to work with we always force the dogs to SIT to be petted everyone but him he flopps on his back at the comand to sit and gives a high pitched whimpering whine which sounds hilariouse from a huge dog like him ,i tell everyone i think he is brain damaged but he is the bigger dog there to back up the smaller smarter dog . its dangerouse to let a large dog get the habbit of jumping up elderly or even the most phisicaly fit could be injured in a fall not to mention the mud splattered from paws on good clothes when you are late to go some place important. just withhold petting abd attentin unless they are sitting still or in his case flopped on his back .stepping on toes does not have to be hard just enough to be uncomfortable,if you can aford it a shock collar can be a fine aid for breaking many bad habbits,used one here to tech them to stop crossing the road they got the idea really fast
-- george darby (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2002.
Thanks for everyones advice. Just for the record, when I made the post that I only wanted humane advice, I was not accusing anyone of giving me otherwise at the time--I was just trying to prevent any posts being made to that effect. I LOVE my dog(s). By the way "Me" her name is Sadie not Poopsie :^)--that post wasn't directed at you-- sorry you took it that way. I'm not too good at the knee thing; I'm short and the dog is long and tall when she's jumping. I can't quite connect. My Dad told me to also step on her back feet; same problem by the time I can reach them (too short) her front feet are on my head. I'm trying the holding paws, it helps. Also, I'm going to give the water bottle a try (she doesn't like the hose). I've actually taken one of my sheperds to obedience class, know the routine--this gal just doesn't seem to play by the rules. She is my third black lab. The other two (still have one; the other is in "doggy heaven"); I've had no problems training them even though they were super frisky and playful. I think this one has doggie ADD. :^) I'm in for the long haul, whenever I get a pet I commit for their lifetime; I just want to make it a more pleasant time together. The good news is I do know that she loves me! Thanks again everyone--I'll give you an update in a few weeks. God bless and everyone have a wonderful week; things are looking up here, it is raining!
-- Sharon (email@example.com), March 09, 2002.
are you afraid of the dog? teaching an animal should be good for both of you,yes,they need to be told or control with firm stick,if yu can't do either things with dog of 12-18 months,find it a good home,not your home.
-- Dusty Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 10, 2002.
Dusty, no I'm not afraid of the dog, or most any dog for that matter. She has never given me any reason to be afraid of her, she's not mean spirited, just hyper. She's right at 12 months this week. I spent some dedicated time with her the last couple days, letting her tag after me everywhere, being consistent with my instructions, etc. She seems to be a little more cooperative. I've just never had a dog that was difficult to train and find it somewhat exasperating. I'm not a quitter, that's why I asked for advice--I want her and want her to be well behaved. We'll get there. Thanks again everyone!
-- Sharon (email@example.com), March 10, 2002.