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Old 05-24-2010, 18:56   #1
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Looking for Advice on my Dog

Looking for some advice here because we're fed up with one of our dogs. We have a 4 year old lab mix, (think she is mixed with great dane). We adopted her and she is a great, loving dog.

My wife and I had our older dog for two years before we were married, she's my wifes best friend. When we bought a house and were out of an apartment, we had more room and she really wanted another dog. I'm a big lab fan and thats what we decided to go with. So we got lucy.

She always seemed to be a dog that was much more independant than others that i have had in the past. All the labs that i have had (4) have always been fairly eager to please and dont like to be in trouble. For instance, our other lab, charlie, hates it if she thinks you are unhappy with her. If she does something she knows she shouldn't, for instance, get in the trash, i will come out in the morning and she will be sulking in the corner just knowing she's going to be in trouble.

Not Lucy... I've never seen a dog that could give a crap less what you want her to do. She can be really sweet when she wants to, but we have some ongoing problems that we really can seem to get her to leave behind. Mainly, barking. We have a kennel that we keep her in at night, because she isn't responsible enough to be out by herself. When you open the kennel door, she will go tearing out of the room if she can get there, and run through the house barking as loud and fast as she can manage. I've tried making her calm down before she leaves the room, she will still do this when we let her out. I've put her on a leash and tried walking her to the back door after coming out of the kennel, it's a tug of war the whole way. She also has a problem with the stairs in our house, i don't know if it is because her kennel used to be down there before we moved it upstairs, but anytime she is on the stairs, it's more running and barking. It will not stop.

When i say she runs, i mean watch out, she may knock you over if you are in the way. I can handle her better, but she has almost knocked my wife down the stairs before.

We are discussing having kids in a year or so, and to be honest, it woudn't be safe to carry a baby around with her doing this, not to mention, i dont think that trying to get a baby to sleep will be made any easier with a dog that thinks she has to run and bark at the top of her lungs anytime she feels like it.

Now my wife is about at her last bit of sanity with her after lucy jumped the short fence we put up in the backyard and ate half of the plants that we put in the garden yesterday. She is starting to talk about how we can't keep her if she acts like this and we'll never get her to behave. We are not people that take the responsibilty of pet ownership lightly and i don't think that you should just cast off a dog because of behavior problems. My wife is one of the biggest animal lovers i have ever met, i had to dodge traffic to get a turtle out of the road yesterday because she was scared it would be hit. But we need to figure out a way to get this dog under control and i'm not sure what to try.


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Old 06-02-2010, 17:18   #2
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How much exercise does this dog get? Regardless of the breed, there are individuals within each and every breed and mix that have completely different energy requirements. This dog sounds like she needs some serious energy outlet activities, and a walk around the block just isn't going to be enough. You need to be playing an active game of prolonged fetch with her twice a day, taking her roller blading or bike riding, etc.

She needs activities that get her RUNNING, not walking. If you implement a serious exercise program for her before bed and when she gets up, you'll likely see most of these problems disappear.

Regarding bolting out of her crate and running around barking, I'd start with a little patience training in that she learns not to bolt out the crate door when you open it. She should wait until released from the crate verbally or by you stepping back and allowing her out. Prior to opening it, tell her to WAIT, open the door an inch or two, and if she tries to bolt through it she should instantly find her nose ramming into the door as you close it. Let her settle, tell her to wait again, and repeat as necessary. It may take a little while but she'll get it quickly if you are persistant. In addition, I'd personally clip a leash to her and a training collar such as a prong (if she is the type to drag you around on a leash and flat collar). I'd leash her after the door is open, but prior to allowing her to leave the crate. She has established this pattern of behavior for her to blow off her excess energy and steam by galloping around the house barking. If you teach her to wait, then leash and immediately take her outside to potty and exercise, you will be heading for the right path.
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Last edited by Platz; 06-02-2010 at 17:22..
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Old 06-05-2010, 20:50   #3
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Platz offers some good advice and I can't really expound on it much. I have a five year old male Corgi that is more of a house boy and enjoys the indoors more than being outside. He sleeps right beside my bed in his open crate each night and he doesn't get up and roam about the house while I'm asleep.

Sometimes if we quarantine them in another room other than where we are they get a bit "testy" about it because they just want to be with their people. Labs are more energetic and need that daily play time and exercise or they'll take it out on everyone else doing the things described. Although a given breed has natural characteristics of his own breed, the personalities vary tremendously among that particular breed and Labs wouldn't be an exception.

My Corgi is a laid back, lazy couch boy but his siblings are the type who love chasing balls and herding and are more outgoing. Bubba will only run after a cookie thrown-no balls of any kind. Adopting any breed is the luck of the draw as you know very little about their background and parents and thus, they can be more challenging. Perhaps a talk with the vet or even a behaviorist may help if all else fails and you desire to keep her.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:14   #4
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Ditto PLATZ's reply, except, if you need a "prong" collar, you've failed as a trainer. These collars are no substitute for adequate TIME spent in training. Sounds like Lucy is lacking in basic training - SIT, DOWN, STAY, LEASH ETIQUETTE. If you haven't spent the time to teach these basics, you aren't going to correct Lucy's problems with a simple fix. Just like human children, some dogs are born to be "compliant" and some are born to be "strong-willed". To expect a "strong-willed" child or dog to behave correctly without LOTS of training is guaranteed to end in disappointment.
Maybe these will give you some ideas to start:


Good luck!
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