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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We adore our 9 month lab Lola but i am begining to wonder if it has all been a huge mistake ! She is great with our children and we wouldn't be without her now we have her but her behaviour seems to go one step forward and two back ! She has been to classes and is very clever and would do anything for food but she has all the lab traits in excess.She is very destructive and has caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage in the house , clothing and garden. She is a very big girl and jumps up alot which is quite frightening for strangers and especially children who visit, she is not aggressive but people do not realise this. She pulls badly on the lead despite one on one training with a trainer. Our visitor numbers have reduced considerably.We are very firm with her but she just can't seem to help herself.Is this just puppy behaviour and will she grow out of it ? I am reaching my wits end and feel i have tried everything and this is just going to be the way it is. Am i the only one ? :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i feel terrible now that i have read that back it sounds like we don't love our pup when we do ! I just want some household harmony back and the return of visitors. I think part of the problem she is so big the vet said she was the size of a full grown lab at 7 months and laughed at the size of her ! ( we were visiting the vet as she had given herself kennel cough from pulling so much on the lead ! ) So normal puppy behaviour is harder to control because of her size.
 

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It doesn't sound like you don't love your pup at all :) Just sounds like you have a very bouncy lab lol

Buster is bouncy and jumps up at people -I've tried everything to stop him but he still does it, bit like Lola I don't think he can help it. Have you tried putting Lola on her lead when you have visitors? I do this with Buster when my 83 year old neighbour comes round cos I'm afraid of him knocking her over! After a few minutes he quietens down and I sit him and let him say hello to her.

I use a 'Gentle Leader' on Buster cos he can pull for England, it works and also teaches him not to pull, I brought him back from the park today without it on and he only pulled a couple of times and even stayed by me when people were passing for the first time ever! I Gave him lots of praise and treats :) . Buster is 6 months old btw.

HTH

Kev
 

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Hi Lolasmum,

I'm not sure if i have spoken to you before, if not - welcome to the site. :wink:

I'm sure no one thinks you don't love Lola, it sounds like you're having a particularly difficult time at the moment, that's all. I don't think you are the only one who experiences difficulties with your lab, i'd say you are just very honest! Although our Lab Bradley is no trouble at all now, he still has his off days and at nearly 1 year he still likes to 'try' and pull if he can get away with it, whilst on the lead.

Personally speaking, i wouldn't give yourself such a hard time, it obviously sounds like you are doing your best for Lola, and everything you possibly can to improve her behaviour. The plus points being, she gets on great with your kids! That's brilliant.

She has been to classes and is very clever and would do anything for food
At what age did she attend training classes? It sounds like she has learnt the basics, but don't forget they do do classes for older labs, and it might be worth enroling her in a new course & get some help from a professional. It would certainly make you realise you're not the only one, you may even find someone else there will similar problems to yourself.

She is very destructive and has caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage in the house , clothing and garden
Have you tried keeping her in one room when you are not around? When does she carry out this behaviour..i.e. is it when you are not around, or at night time?

She is a very big girl and jumps up alot which is quite frightening for strangers and especially children who visit, she is not aggressive but people do not realise this
I've read a lot of posts from people that have this problem with their labs too. In the dog world, jumping up is natural. A dog jumps because he is showing an interest in playing, or i have read, to assert his dominance. What sort of things have you tried to stop this behaviour?

When Bradley jumped up in his early days, we would tell him firmly 'no', every time he did it, then give him the 'sit' command. You could always follow this up with the 'stay' command. If she's good, reward her with a treat. You must be consistant, and make sure she knows that this is unacceptable behaviour.

She pulls badly on the lead despite one on one training with a trainer.
Have you tried her with a halti or a gentle leader? There are quite a few threads regarding these 2 types of leads, a few here for you:

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-1203-halti.html

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-1037-halti.html

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-537-halti.html

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-676-gentle.html+leader

Is this just puppy behaviour and will she grow out of it ?
Personally speaking, although she has reached the terrible teen age, i'd say the problem could only get worse if left as it is, however, that doesn't mean to say it will get worse, and i'm sure with more advice, you will learn ways of putting an end to Lola's behaviour.

I am reaching my wits end and feel i have tried everything and this is just going to be the way it is. Am i the only one?
I really do feel for you, but am so pleased you have asked for help. I'm sure more people in the forums will respond to your post and give you more helpful advice. As far as being the only one, i am 100% sure you're not. You are trying your best to understand where the problems lie, and what you can do to help instead of giving up. :wink:

Please remember, we are all here..post anytime you wish.

Talk to you again soon

HTH

Julie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that i already feel better just knowing i am not the only one.I have tried the gentle leader but she can get it off no matter what i do , she also sits down so then needs dragging ! ( smarty pants ! ) I have tried to find classes for older puppies as she did her classes at 16 weeks ,was a nightmare while there as she was the biggest dog and very excited by the other dogs, but come certificate day she outshone them all as the promise of a titbit and she would do anything . But when it is all too much when we have visitors or are out she just cannot control her exuberance.There are no classes in my area for older dogs so we tried one on one training and she performs well but like i say can't contain herself when it gets exciting ! I did think about residential training but i didn't think the kennels sounded too friendly. She has learned the behaviour she exhibits is unacceptable as soon as you reprimand her she just doesn't seem to be able to help herself ! We may have to become hermits ! Having said that she is affectionate,fantastic with my 3 children and a good guard dog as she barks like a trooper at anyone at the door etc ( even though she would lick them if they came in! ) So all is not lost .Thanks again
 

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my ginger is only 7 weeks olds and i am also having the same feelings. Its been a month she has been with me and has caused so much damage in such an early age (not counting the damage she has done to my skin) If she is so jumpy and non cooperative at a baby age i wonder how she will be when is in her teens. :cry: maybe i should have stuck to a cockerspaniel or dachund or maybe no dog atall
 

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Hi Lolasmum

I just wanted to lend my voice to the support you have already received here.

As Julie will know, we had a very bad week with Smudge a couple of weeks back and I was getting very upset. He was jumping up constantly, playbiting and generally being a bit of a terror! Anyway, I was so worried because we were taking him to see family for the long Easter weekend. Anyway, not sure why or how, but he behaved wonderfully!

Does Lola see many other people than yourselves? One of the things we find with Smudge is that he gets very excited when he sees other people because he only normally sees Chris and myself. We don't have any family living nearby and so I get very worried about his socialisation at times. Do you have any family/friends that are completely relaxed around dogs so that you could get her used to others and not so excited? They would need to be relaxed yet firm. We were very lucky when we took Smudge to see family at Easter because they were all comfortable with dogs and so he relaxed around them after a while.

I am intending to take him for more walks through busier streets so that he gets even more used to those around him. At the moment, he nearly pulls my arm off when he sees anyone whilst we are out!

As for the damage, we have to leave Smudge for a time during the day, and we confine him to our kitchen by using a child gate in the doorway so he can still see out. I must admit though that he has attacked our carpet tiles and skirting boards! We do leave him with plenty of toys, though evidently he doesn't always chew them! Kongs are always a good thing, stuffed and frozen are best as they keep them occupied for a good while! Boredom I guess is the biggest problem for our lovely labs.

I mainly wanted to say that you are not alone and we can see how much you obviously love and care for Lola. Please keep us updated on things and remember that we are always here for you.

All the best,
Nicola.
 

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Hi Lolasmum, you really do seem to be having a tough time. It seems that Lola has now become a teenager, and this may take some time to get through, maybe until she is around 2 years old. Even the most obedient and well trained dogs can become a nightmare at this stage, and I talk from experience :D

Go back to basics in training, as if you are starting with an 8 week old pup. Talk to the trainer at your classes and get her back into puppy classes, I have 2 adult labs at my puppy class, no-one thinks anything of it. You have to do whats best for you and your Lab.

Now the visitor thing. Can you maybe get someone to come to the house and as soon as Lola jumps, the visitor must immediately turn around and walk away, NO acknowledgement whatsoever. This must be consistant with every visit made.

I have 6 Labs now and all get very excited when a visitor arrives and are not allowed to greet the visitor before I do. I have baby gates at all the doors in my home and when visitors arrive my dogs are behind the gates with the door open, so they can see what is going on and are invited in one by one.

Please dont get disheartened, many times I have threatened my lot with the 'dogs home' :lol:

She has learned the behaviour she exhibits is unacceptable as soon as you reprimand her she just doesn't seem to be able to help herself !
Don't reprimand her, she does not understand right or wrong, you are simply giving her the attention she wants and will continue in this vein unless you ignore her. Praise good behaviour, ignore bad, she will soon learn that good behaviour gets her the attention, bad behaviour does not.

It will take time, be consistant and patient.

As Julie has said, we have all been through it at some time or other, and are here for you.

Oops edited to say it was Nicola that said that, but we are all here just the same :roll:
 

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hi lolasmum.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! max is 8 months old and hit the terrible teens a couple of weeks ago :evil: he is totally unpredictable at the moment and goes from angel to devil in a split second. if i had a pound for every time he's been threatened with the "dogs home" i would be a very rich woman! i have had to go right back to basics with him. at the moment i have enlisted the help of the post man and paper lady who both have dogs. when they come thru the gate and he launches himself at them they just turn away and totally ignore him untill he stops jumping and sits down. they then give him plenty of praise and treats. i have shouted myself silly at him which just makes him worse. so now when he starts he gets ignored, very hard to do i know or he gets put in the kitchen for 10 mins for a "time out". that gives him time to calm down and me time to step back take a deep breath and get ready for the next round :roll: some nights i have gone to bed and cryed myself to sleep in frustration over him :cry: but then when i wake up to a big sloppy kiss and a tail that wags for england it gives me the strength to go in to battle with him once more.
you will get thru this with love time and patience the same as i will and just remember we are all here for you. its a real comfort to me to know that i only have to shout "HELP" and someone is always there for me.
pm me any time if you need a chat.
 

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I'm sure lots of us wonder how we would have managed without the help that this forum gives us. I definitely draw great strength from just knowing that others are having the same issues with their Lab as I am

Hang on in there Lolasmum! you are certainly not alone .. it is a struggle sometimes but with the support and expert knowledge so freely given on this forum, combined with patience and persistance, I know that we will all end up with the wonderful, well behaved Labs we all hoped for

Cheers
Nigel
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone you have all been very helpful and kind.I don't consider myself quite the inadequate monster that i did before ! I will persevere and keep more pinot grigio in the house ! Fingers crossed 8O
 

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Lolasmum, thats good to hear!!

... oh, btw I may not be much help in training Lola, but if you should need any assistance in polishing off the Pinot Grigio I'm yer man!!!! :wink: :lol:
 

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Hi Lolasmum

Your Lola sounds just like my Scooby. He is 6 months now and is a big boy for his age (tall - not fat). He is VERY excitable and jumps up at everyone, normally a run and a jump (a body-slam!).

He is better with people he knows but we have a lot of children who visit to see our horses and he is dreadful with them for the first 5 minutes. His claws can't half hurt, although he doesn't mean it. I try shouting for him to sit and 'off' but he takes no notice - he is in la la land.

We have been going to training classes for the past couple of months and he is soooo excitable there aswell. He does manage to do his training exercises but wants to play with the other dogs and the instructor all the time!

I have not managed to overcome his pulling on the lead using the trainer's methods but I now use a halti, which is a godsend :p. It means I can take him for a walk at least as he used to drag me everywhere and I wasn't enjoying it.

I don't know what to suggest really, apart from using the halti and sometimes keep it on when you get visitors so you can control her and the give praise when she does as she's told.

Just to let you know that you're not alone :lol:
 

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Hi Lola, sorry to hear you're having a hard time, but just want to echo what's already been said. Sometimes our little darlings can test the patience of a saint - bit like kids really :shock: :D .
Just to add to the good advice already given:
Using a gentle leader - have you tried getting her used to it indoors before taking her out with it. I'd put it on her and treat her for having it on - even for a matter of seconds initially. Clickers can be useful for this. Put it on regularly throughout the day, click and treat when she has it on, and gradually increase the time she has it on. Do this for a week or so before you even venture taking her out in it. If you've already tried all this (some dogs will just not tolerate a headcollar), she may be better on a harness (lupi, halti, komfi etc) and it may be worth trying one of these.
Re: Jumping up. This is natural behaviour for a dog. A pup will jump up to lick it's mum's lips, and in the wild the dam would regurgitate some food for the pups.
As Kay has already said, go back to basics, take each step at a time. Her advice re greeting visitors is good, but if you find her still difficult just take it a step further back - when the doorbell goes, put her into a room while your guests come in, leave her a few minutes until she is calmer and then bring her in when your guests are sitting down. If she gets over excited then out she goes until calmer etc etc.

She has learned the behaviour she exhibits is unacceptable as soon as you reprimand her she just doesn't seem to be able to help herself !
It's just a subtle difference, but what we percieve as a dog looking guilty when they have done something wrong is actually them giving out appeasing signals. They don't actually understand the concept of guilty, they have just learnt that they get a certain response as a result of doing something and if the response is a telling off, they will give out appeasing signals. Far more effective is showing her how you want her to behave by ignoring her when she is doing something you don't want, and giving her attention her when she is good.
Just one thing I would add, it b]may[/b] get worse before it gets better. When trying to change a behaviour using positive reinforcement, you can get what is known as 'extinction burst'. Basically, take for example, jumping up. If she has been given attention or 'rewarded' for jumping up (even telling off is still attention), then when you first start to ignore her, she will try it even harder (after all, it got her what she wanted in the past, so maybe she just need to do it harder), persever and be consistent and she will get the message.
Good luck
HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the great advice.I have tried the gentle leader but so far has not been successful,also the car seat strap that we use in the car which is a harness but she is so powerful.In fact having grown up with alsatians and dobermans i can still honestly say i have known such a powerful dog as Lola.I think you are all right it is perseverence , praising good behaviour etc. I honestly think she can't help herself it is all too exciting for her. We have a porch in the hallway so when i answer the door i always make sure she is on the other side of it and after 5 mins she is calmer about the guests being there but she will still jump up if they ignore her or lick their feet or something else ! A box of marbles shaken used to work well for jumping up but she has become desensitised i think.I don't know if any of you have seen the film the mask when the dog puts the mask on and turns into a wide eyed tongue hanging out loon ? That's our Lola :lol:
 

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Hello, glad you are feeling a bit more positive.

Have you tried a Walkezee harness? http://www.walkezee.com/

Haven't tried one myself but bloke I see in the park who is an APDT trainer says they are really excellent for stopping pulling.

Sophie
 

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NigelB said:
I'm sure lots of us wonder how we would have managed without the help that this forum gives us.
How true Nigel. I have to say that having this forum to 'turn to' has made my experience of owning a lab even more rewarding and complete.

Glad to hear you are feeling better Lolasmum.

All the best,
Nicola.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You have all given me great advice but the best advice has been that all the baby labs are a bit nutty ! That is good to know , i can't take it too personally then ! Progress report today Lola ate most of a wooden georgian dolls house in about 10 secs, ate a big hole in a wicker trunk , went for a walk with a gentle leader on promply lay down and rubbed her face all over the ground to get it off and refused to move , and jumped and licked the babysitter half to death ! But thankfully all your similar stories have meant i have kept my sense of humour over it today! And as for the pint grigio Nigel , when there is more in the bottle and less in me i know i will be making progress ! :lol: I still think there should be special house insurance for puppies !
 

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Eating the dolls house sounds an expensive munch!!! .. Ive seen what those things can cost ... no wonder you have taken to drinking Pinot Grigio in pints!! :wink: :lol:
 
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