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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I just received an 8 month yellow lab last night. Needless to say I am thrilled, but this is my and my husband's first experience training/raising a puppy.

My question is this. Bailey was neglected and treated roughly as a young pup. Because of this he is afraid of cars, stairs, and he cowers when he makes the mistake of relieving himself indoors. Because he is timid, I am not sure how firm to be with him. Should we act dominant? When he has an accident should we get stern, or should we let him get used to us and trust us first?

If anyone has any thoughts I would appreciate it. ~Jennifer
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum

Rescues come with baggage and need reassurance and guidence. He needs to understand that you are OK and he is OK and that you will nurture him. Create situations where he will be successful. Clock his bladder and take him outside before he needs to go and praise him for going outdoors. Praise him for coming when called and give him attention. If you can, get into an obedience class as soon as possible. Also get him checked over by your vet if you have not done this already.
Your Lab needs direction not punishment. Tell him no or leave it when he does something wrong. Never call him to correct him.

HTH
 

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Hi Jennifer,

I agree, I think it would be good to let him get used to you and trust you before you try correcting any unwanted behaviour.

We had a very timid foster dog who'd been abused and neglected. The first couple of weeks with Charlie were really no more than letting him get comfortable with us and adjust to his new surroundings. He wasn't house trained so we just treated him as we would a puppy and took him outdoors every few hours and after meals or after he woke up from a nap. Surprisingly, we had very few accidents.

When we started trying to train him we had the best results with ignoring the unwanted behaviour and rewarding him when he did something we wanted. That in itself was difficult because he wouldn't take a treat from us or let us touch him, and he had no idea about toys. All we could offer him in the beginning was a soft tone of voice but it seemed to be enough because he slowly came around. By the time he went to his forever home he would take a treat from our hand, we could pet him and even groom him, and he'd go for walks without trembling or cowering at every noise. I know that doesn't sound like much but for Charlie it was an amazing transformation.

Bailey is so fortunate to have you looking after him now! I know with some time and patience you'll have a wonderful loving companion.
 

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Hi,

Just wanted to say congratulations on your new edition to the family! Hope thing improve soon it will just take time and alot of patience. I think Labdad said the rest . Goodluck :wave:

Cristina and Ben :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks from Bailey and me

Thanks for the advice and the kind words! I think Bailey is really warming up to us. He follows us from room to room and last night and this morning he let us know he had to go out. He really seems to eat up praise. His eyes look eager to please. I will follow your ideas, ie gain trust and praise good behavior and see where it goes.

It is so great to be able to talk to other lab owners/lovers. Have a good day. ~Jennifer
 

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Hi Baileysmum
Well done for rescuing a pup.
Labdad and Dana have given some excellent advice, the only thing I'd add is to ignore any accidents and clean up without fuss and praise good behaviour.
As labdad has suggested try and take him to classes. You may find you have more success using positive reinforcement methods rather than corrections. Clicker training is great for this and easy to learn.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
:)
 
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