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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI

I am a newbie on to the LF. Have been browsing for the past couple of months and now decided to join. I have a beautiful 1 year old yellow lab called Tilly.

I was just wondering if anyone else feels like this or is it just me. I am really struggling to cope with Tilly, I have always grown up with dogs, and have got on fine with their obdience. However Tilly is really hyper and refuses to do anything I tell her. I have tried to take her to puppy training classes and she made such a noise with barking that I couldn't go back to follow up course. She is really good with her walking on the lead until another dog appears and then i am pulled off my feet.
Last night I had her out for her walk in the park and she took a maddy and was jumping up on me, biting me. I was just so embarressed as everyone was staring at me and this is not the first time i have left the park with scratch marks and teeth imprints. I got quite upset and was wondering if I should keep her or try to re home her (which i really don't to do)

Sorry for rambling on, any advice would be really helpful
 

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Hi Kirsty

Sorry to hear you're having a rubbish time of it!

Let's go back to the basics first. What kind of food is Tilly eating? Many "supermarket" type foods contain huge amounts of colourings which is just like giving sweets to kids. How much exercise does she get? How long is she left alone for each day? Is she otherwise destructive at home, i.e. is she a chewer when left? How much training does she get each day (simple stuff like teaching basic commands)? Is this a recent problem or is it constant? Has she had her first season yet?

Sorry for all the questions (others may have cross posted while I'm typing this and asked similar things) but we may be better placed to help if we know a bit more about you and Tilly :)
 

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Oh dear I really feel for you. It can be an uphill struggle at times with these lovely labs. I think your first port of call is to return to the training classes. The trainer there should be able to cope with a barking dog and you shouldn't be ashamed - at all. :D
Perhaps the trainer might pay you a home visit first so you can go over your concerns in the safety, and comfort of your own home. I know this may be a bit pricey, but might help you in the long run.

Have you thought of changing the type of lead you have for Tilly so that you stay in control? What form of discipline do you give to Tilly to stop the jumping up and biting?

Did you get Tilly recently or have you had her from a pup?

Is it just you and Tilly, or do you have a partner or other family that can help with her training?

Good luck, as you say she really is a beautiful girl and you will get there in the end. :D :D
 

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Hi Kirsty

Sorry you are feeling down atm, where abouts do you live? If you are near me then I would be happy to meet up if you would like. Not that I am a dog behavouist lol

Do you do the same walk everyday? As I read somewhere that dogs can get bored doing the same route and like variety.

She is a beautful girl hopefully you can sort this out
 

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I was thinking back and when Cadbury was a year that was about when he was at his maddest. He was neutered then and now six months on he is definitely a calmer dog who is easier to control.

With us it was a combination of switching training classes to a place where there were only 4 dogs in the beginners group (that was the best move I ever made) and I think also the fact that he was growing up and the hormones were settling.

Training is very important though, imho. Labs can be a challenge (but lovable with it :wink:), so I would find a good training club, pick one with small group sizes and a trainer that YOU like. If you don't like the trainer or her attitude the class will be no good at all.

Trust me, it does get better. She sounds quite a bit like Cadbury, who will still try and pull towards dogs even though the rest of the time he walks quite nice. But we are getting there, slowly but surely and he is shaping up into a great dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks very much for all your advice, it has made me feel a bit better. I have had Tilly since she was a pup. Theres me and my husband. Tilly is left in during the day well till lunch time till my husband gets home and she gets about 2-3 walks a day (as we don't have a garden). It is in the same park so I might start to try and vary her walks.

I feed her on Pedigree chum (which i changed a few months back as she was hyper, but due to upset stomach have had to change it back to pedigree chum) Do you think maybe dry food would be better for her.

She has had her first season and she was dressed a couple of months ago.

We stay in Coatbridge in Scotland.

We use the extendable lead to try and let her a run around, but it is very hard to control her, so I think I might resort back to the normal lead.

Sorry for rambling again. But once again thank you for your advice
 

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Gillie can be very strong and I have ordered a Gencon headcollar which was recommended on here. It hasn't arrived yet but I was speaking to someone at puppy class that uses one and she says they are brilliant. My husband has very bad knees and can't walk at the speed Gillie wants to walk at!

http://www.gencon-allin1.co.uk/

At class last week, we had to hold a treat in our hand and show it to the puppies and then they only got the treat when they stopped trying to get it from our hands with teeth, paws etc. It is really useful!

It may be a useful exercise to do with Tilly when she goes mad but she only gets the treat when she is calm and sat down. It will take a while but may help you?
 

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Sorry things are getting you down at the moment. I so know where you're coming from, though! Last summer, at 1 year Jed was driving me nuts! He suddenly started to get better at about 17 months and unless he's feeling stressed out, most of the time he's pretty good these days - he's 2 now.

Personally, I'm not keen on extendable leads if the dog is more than toy sized. With a larger dog, it's so hard to control them. I use a 1.25m (4 foot) training lead with Jed - this has a doubled piece at the catch end so you can hold him very close under control if you feel the need, but you have enough length to let him mooch a bit while still under control.

Do you use the extendable all the time, or do you change to it when you get to the park?

Can you find some place secure where you could start to let her off lead at all? Maybe using a really long training line to start with?

One of the ways to reduce jumping is to put them in a sit and then stand on the lead so they can't jump, which isn't too practical with an extendable - know there are loads of people with more experience, hope someone will be along soon with more ideas.

Best of luck getting through this stage, it is hard, but it will be worth it!

Liz + Jed
 

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Sorry to hear you are struggling. I think we have all had similar experiences!

I would definitely get off pedigree chum and on to something like Arden Grange, or James Wellbelloved or Burns. Make sure you change the food over a 2 week period by adding some each day until the swap is complete to avoid tummy upset.

The only other thing I would do is get back to training classes! Find one that works for both of you and don't feel you can't go because your dog barks whne you are there. A good class will see that as a reason to help you even more.

Training could be the answer to your prayers!

Good luck :)
 

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BTW, extendable leads are great for teaching a dog to "lean" on the lead and thus pull even more as they don't allow any slack. Dogs can get used to that feeling round their necks, rather than the feeling of a loose/slack lead.

I sometimes use a long 10m training line if I don't want to let Sophie off the lead but want her to have a run with some level of freedom but still under control.
 

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The key might be a change of food, Pedigree is one of the "E numbers" foods. If you can't afford any of the James Wellbeloved or Arden Grange dried foods, then try Skinner's Field & Trial. It's a good food without being too expensive (VAT free :D ).

It might take a couple of different swaps (over a few months though, don't do it quickly) to find the correct food for Tilly.

Otherwise, the training idea and teaching her recall so she can have a really good off lead hooly may well aid her in calming down a little. Good luck :)
 

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So sorry you are having a hard time at the moment, but hang on in there. It will get better with perseverance.

Tilly is probably right in the middle of her adolescence at the moment, and that can be a very trying time as they become teenage dogs testing the boundaries. :twisted: Charlie was a real s*d at that age, but looking back I can see that over time he did settle down.

I would echo the advice to get off the Pedigree food. It has loads of additives and fillers rather than good quality ingredients. It is one of the brands that the instructor at our training classes has labelled "chemical warfare".

Look for a brand where "meat meal" rather than "meat derivatives" is the largest ingredient. Check the protein levels in the analysis. I prefer not to have a protein level above 20%, as that can make some dogs hyper too. You might need a higher level if your dog is to be a working dog, but not for a pet.

Also, you do not want any artificial colourants or preservatives (Pedigree is full of them :( ), either EC permitted or otherwise.

Brands I would consider feeding are Arden Grange, James Wellbeloved, Skinners, Burns, Denes. Currently I feed Burns.

Go back to training class as others have said. Don't be embarrassed either. Lucky indeed is the owner whose dog has never misbehaved in public. Most of us are put through the mill at some point if we are honest. :twisted: Don't believe people who claim otherwise. If the instructor is worth their salt they will have seen it all before and should be able to advise.
 
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