UK Pet Forums Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I have posted before about how my 1 year old lab has started being a bit of a pest and ignoring me since my OH went away on deployment. Its not getting any better and I am really starting to struggle with him. I had dogs growing up but they were really my parent's dogs and weren't that well trained to be honest so this has been a huge learning curve for me and my OH. I thought I knew how difficult it would be because I read a lot before we got him but now he has regressed I am really struggling.

I know this is likely down to my OH being away and the terrible teens but I don't know how long it can go on for! He is okay on walks with just me but if I take him with friends dogs he starts to misbehave like eating things that the day before on the same walk he didn't even blink an eye at (not instigated by the other dogs). And its as if he gets a confidence to run off further than he would if it was just the two of us, he will stop and wait for an instruction but with another dog there he will roam about. Again, not instigated by the other dog, it will be waiting patiently with us and mine will be off. And I probably look daft because I say nothing - if I do he will just ignore me and weaken the command that I am working on, I have to go and get him.

These are new problems since my OH went away - he used to be the better behaved dog out of them all but now he's one of the worst and I'm starting to really dislike walking him because I feel like a total prat and that the dog also thinks that of me! And this frustration I am feeling can't be helping either. I can't believe how good he used to be because it is so far away from what he's like now.

I don't know where to start reinstating the training. I have been doing lots more at home and when its just the 2 of us on walks but its a slow process. I have changed his recall word because he had learnt to ignore come and we're getting somewhere with that but I never expected it to be this hard. I am really struggling and OH isn't back for another 11 weeks so its just me. And walking with friends is a bit of therapy for me too because I don't know that many people where I am so I don't want to have to walk alone all the time.

Thanks for any advice, I'm pulling my hair out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,313 Posts
Why don't you join a training class and then you get to meet new people as well. Also even if you start walking off alone after a while you get to know other dog walkers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,792 Posts
Yes, join a class. It will give you new strategies and more confidence. In the meantime, don't let him off lead. Instead, use a long line so he doesn't have any choice but to do what you tell him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,229 Posts
It may be vile adolescence as much as anything; my dog was 'difficult' in terms of having to go back to basics with loads of things from around 9 - 14 months. It is really frustrating I agree!

I think that training classes as already suggested would be a good idea too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,437 Posts
Young Labs can be hooligans :D

I find with mine that the only thing which works is food. Is your boy food motivated?

If yes, then from now on he has to EARN every single meal and treat. You want to get him used to the idea that when he does what you tell him = good things happen :)

So when you put a meal down - he has to do a 'stay' first. If he moves towards the bowl, pick it up. I did this with my own Lab and it really helped him learn a bit of patience.

If recall is an issue, keep your boy on a long line or a Flexi because right now, he's learning it's OK to ignore your recall command. Turn the recall into a GAME - when he does recall, hide a high value treat behind your back and make him guess which closed hand it's then in. Or throw it and tell him 'find'.

If necessary, don't feed him prior to taking him out so he's good and hungry, and then ONLY give him food/treats IF he recalls.

Hope this helps a bit. I know young Labs can be real terrors but if yours is a typical Lab in terms of loving food, then use this love of grub to get him doing what you say :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dogless - it definitely is frustrating, thanks for your comment it helps to know that you did get there.

Thanks for the advice, I have looked at training classes and think it would be a good idea. I have been to a block classes before but didn't like the trainer's methods so off to find another one. There aren't many where I live and my shifts make it difficult to commit to a weekly attendance but I do think it would help.

Owned by a yellow lab - he is very food motivated, I use cut up sausages, cheese, chicken etc for treats, he never gets food for "free" and even when I tell him to go and get his dinner he sort of hesitates like he's making sure its really okay!! I think the not feeding him before walks is a good idea, will do that tomorrow. And yes, back to the long line, I did go back to it but we walk in the forest a lot and it started becoming a pain when he went round trees the wrong way lol! But we can go to the beach for a while instead.

At least he has stopped the relentless whining since OH went away!!! Its now down to a bearable few pitiful whines feeling sorry for himself because his dad's not here! And I have to say he's very good in the house. I know the day before OH gets back he'll become a little angel!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,229 Posts
Dogless - it definitely is frustrating, thanks for your comment it helps to know that you did get there.

Thanks for the advice, I have looked at training classes and think it would be a good idea. I have been to a block classes before but didn't like the trainer's methods so off to find another one. There aren't many where I live and my shifts make it difficult to commit to a weekly attendance but I do think it would help.

Owned by a yellow lab - he is very food motivated, I use cut up sausages, cheese, chicken etc for treats, he never gets food for "free" and even when I tell him to go and get his dinner he sort of hesitates like he's making sure its really okay!! I think the not feeding him before walks is a good idea, will do that tomorrow. And yes, back to the long line, I did go back to it but we walk in the forest a lot and it started becoming a pain when he went round trees the wrong way lol! But we can go to the beach for a while instead.

At least he has stopped the relentless whining since OH went away!!! Its now down to a bearable few pitiful whines feeling sorry for himself because his dad's not here! And I have to say he's very good in the house. I know the day before OH gets back he'll become a little angel!!!
I'd go and see classes without your dog first to see if you like them and then take the dog. Other than that it really is about back to basics and having lots of patience and persistence. I'm about to do it all again and the thought of another adolescent boy is one I'm suppressing at present!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,290 Posts
My Lab went from great recall to completely blanking me while out at around 12 months old. Nor did he want to play fetch or actually do anything at all with me while we were out. He's 18 months old now and in the last couple of weeks has gone back to asking to work with me, wanting to play with his ball or rope and generally recalling at high speed when asked.

I resorted to taking Spens food out with us and ONLY feeding him while out during his teenage phase. He's raw fed so obviously his regular food is extremely high value to start with. We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the Kevins now but we're not quite there yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Haha Dogless - patience?! I have forgotten what that is!! Its putting me off ever getting a puppy again lol!

Sarah, thank you for your comment, it makes me feel a lot better to know that we will get there, think I had a mini melt down earlier! I feel like a bad owner who can't control her dog when her OH is away. How did you retrain the recall? Did you change your recall word and/or use a long line? Duke is all about the sniffing, would much rather sniff another dog's urine than any treats I've got!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,811 Posts
You could check on the Association of pet dog trainers website for trainers and classes in your area. APDT is one organisation that only uses kind fair reward based training if you didnt like the previous clubs methods. If you want to read more about them and to try and see if there is classes in your area

Welcome to APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,290 Posts
Haha Dogless - patience?! I have forgotten what that is!! Its putting me off ever getting a puppy again lol!

Sarah, thank you for your comment, it makes me feel a lot better to know that we will get there, think I had a mini melt down earlier! I feel like a bad owner who can't control her dog when her OH is away. How did you retrain the recall? Did you change your recall word and/or use a long line? Duke is all about the sniffing, would much rather sniff another dog's urine than any treats I've got!!
I used a long line with Spencer. Still do at times as I can't guarantee he'll recall if other dogs are around. And there's one spot on our walk where I can pretty much guarantee he'll blank me so he's on leash there, either regular or long line. Also, I clicker train and for a while I'd have Spen on a long line and just click and treat any time he came anywhere near me, even if it was by accident. Then I'd send him off to go do his own thing again. I found that resulted in him coming to me of his own accord on a pretty regular basis.

I didn't actually have to re-train a recall as he'd never been taught one. He was 9 months old when we got him. I'm not sure whether it's harder or easier to take on a dog at adolescence, at least I have no memory of Spen as a nice, obedient puppy to make me wonder what the hell went wrong lol. I did re-train his down though as he was absolutely terrified when asked to lie down. Slightly different situation but I found I didn't need to change the verbal cue, I simply got him offering the behaviour reliably then re-introduced the cue and he's been fine since.

If you're looking for moral support I can highly recommend the What Are You Working On? thread in general dog chat by the way :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,970 Posts
Hopefully your dog will settle down xxxx, it may be hormones/age and the fact your OH is away, when my hubby works away my dogs are more unsettled, i can fully understand how stressful this must be for you when your OH is deployed, sending you big hugs and hope your little "rascal! !!!! will settle down soon xxxx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks sled dog, will check out the trainers near me!

Thanks Sarah will definitely check out that thread! And I like the idea of clicking and treating whenever he comes over, he usually picks things up so quickly so surely he'll be back on track soon enough lol!! (Wishful thinking!) If you have done it then I can too.

We're off on a walk soon, cut his breakfast right down this morning so he'll be hungrier!

Thanks for the kind words hazel, this forum definitely helps, moaning at my OH is no use! Nevermind having another puppy its putting me off having children too lol! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
i would def go to a trainer/class, as i was given a dog which was well trained in the likes of 'fetch, stay, paw, lay down etc. but was not dog socialised, it was a Nightmare at first going on walks, i was absolutely exhausted on coming home from walks as i had never had a dog which wasn't dog socialised!! it took me around 1 month of trying on my own to get him amongst other dogs, some times it worked sometimes didn't!!. the first trainer i had taken our dog to was an idiot, i think he had 'slept' with a dog trainer as opposed to really being one!!

the second trainer/behaviourist was brilliant, £95 per 8weeks session and my the first lesson was all owners without dogs, sitting discusssing all about your dog, it's good points and faults, training that was given to dog previously, food grooming everything. this lasted for 3 hours and the next week, we were all started to get some training done. my dog was brilliant at the training and it took time to introduce him to the other dogs, which was great 'cos they were all young dogs and my dog loved it. again all was taken slowly and my dog eventually could be 'off lead' amongst the other dogs and then training for real started, it was a great experience.

with adult dogs it can be a bit pick and mix as my dog is a nervous dog and also hates face to face meetings, i need to be careful when new dog comes around as i really need to put our dog on lead as there has been instances that have occured that has resulted in a ruccous betweeen dogs especially complete dogs, so i tend to keep away from parks and keep our dog on lead. he does get 'off lead' but when i see a dog approaching with owner i tend to put him on lead and walk away. our dogs great with people of all ages and that's all that matters to us. he has his 'pals' that he walks with so has plenty of dog company, but to get to the point, get dog to training when young, get your dog socialised when young, and also relax when out walking as i'm sure they can sense your reactions. also try to make the training and socialising fun, it does make a difference. there are dogs that our dog loves and ones that he will not go near, maybe it's 'cos he's complete i don't know but all i know is when i see my dogs reaction i know which dogs to let him walk with and which one's to keep away form. try to enjoy your dog.

ttfn
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top