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    Thread: Tantrums!

    1. #1
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      alexalk's Avatar
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      Tantrums!

      Theo is driving me crazy! Anytime we are on a walk and he doesn't want to do something (usually if he has just picked up something and I say "drop it" or try to take it from him, but also sometimes if I give him a command he doesn't want to follow) he goes nuts and throws what I can only refer to as a temper tantrum! He starts bucking up and down like a bronco, tries to jump on me and claw at me and even snap at me with his teeth. He pulls at the leash and tries to run away, and it's all I can do to hold on to him! Today someone pulled up in their car and asked if he was having a seizure! It was pretty mortifying...not to mention that Theo has broken free of his leash a couple of times during these tantrums and ran into the middle of the street, and I'm scared that he will get killed or injured!

      I try to control him. I try to stay calm, I have tried essentially tackling him until he calms down, but I usually get many scratches and bites as a result. I try redirecting him with a treat or command, but all focus is completely out of the window. What can I do? Why on earth does he freak out so much, and how can I prevent it?

      Also, this seems different than the zoomies which he more so does in happy moments...but then, what do I know, could these "tantrums" be an extension of that?

    2. #2
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      kimbersmom's Avatar
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      Looking at your other threads, I see Theo is 11 months old. What you described sounds very dangerous.

      1.) Was he walking nicely on leash until recently? The 11-12 month range is often one of those teenage phases where they test you.
      2.) How much exercise does Theo get outside of leashed walks? Are you exercising Theo before you go on your walk? It sounds crazy, but for Kimber's first 2 years, I had to take her on a pretty strenuous off-leash hike before we got on the leash; she just had too much pent up energy. If you can do a quick but good paced game of fetch or something else to take the edge off Theo's energy, you may see some improvement.
      3.) What kind of collar are you using? Different labs respond best to different collars, so there's a bit of trial and error. If you decide to try a prong collar, I suggest doing some research to make sure you are using it properly. (there's no judgment; until her spinal injury, the *only* way I had control over Kimber was with the prong collar. I had our obedience trainer help me size it and spend some one-on-one time teaching me how to use it.)

      Meanwhile, I would do a lot of leash practice in the yard and in parks, and try to walk him in less populated areas until things calm down.
      Miss Kimber, CGC, birthdate 6/15/2005

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    3. #3
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      One of my neighbors has a 4 year old Lab. He drops one or two pieces of kibble every 5 feet. This way his dog learns to walk behind him.

      Seems crazy but he is able to Walk her off leash using this method. Have not tried but seems interesting.

      I second the prong collar as well. Gentle Leader simply did not work for Scarlett.

      Keep trying new things!
      -- Ken, owned by:

      Max - Black Lab mix gotcha 4/23/2012 Born 12/2011
      Scarlett - Yellow Lab gotcha 4/19/2013 Born 2008? 2007?
      Lizzy - Terrier mix gotcha 6/29/2014 Born 2006?
      Zeus - Papillon mix gotcha 1/30/2015 Born 3/26/2014

      Avatar: Ziggy, my kitty who crossed the bridge a few years ago.
      He slept in the sink for years, silly boy.
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    4. #4
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      Sans benefit of seeing this in person I will guess this is just very bad manners and some regular off leash exercise and a good training class might go a long way to helping you. I did see your dead tail thread but does he get off leash to burn off energy every day?

      I agree this is dangerous. A dog the size and weight of most 11 month old Labs could knock you down. He could miss with the snapping and bite you. I bet he's not trying to bite you but that behaviour is completely unacceptable.

      I think it could be an extension of the zoomies. An expression of too much energy. If it's not just bad manners and too much energy then he's a problem and I urge you to consult a trainer to observe and suggest how to manage him. I really bet it's just lack of exercise and training though. Good luck.

    5. #5
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      I second Snowshoe.

    6. #6
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      Thanks for your reply. He is usually very well-behaved, it just seems like he has these crazy spurts of energy every now and then. These tantrums don't occur daily, but they are always during his (leashed) walks, which is interesting to me--I guess I assumed the walks should be helping him burn his energy. I walk him 3 times a day and try to adhere to the 5 min per month of age rule. He does not get off-leash exercise every day, but I can certainly make more of an effort to do so if that may prevent these tantrums. I also failed to mention that this has been occurring at least a couple of times a month for many months, since he was about 5 or 6 months old.

    7. #7
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      Halcyon's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by alexalk View Post
      I walk him 3 times a day and try to adhere to the 5 min per month of age rule. He does not get off-leash exercise every day, but I can certainly make more of an effort to do so if that may prevent these tantrums. I also failed to mention that this has been occurring at least a couple of times a month for many months, since he was about 5 or 6 months old.
      If you are having trouble finding time to give him off leash time, I would substitute one or two of the walks with off leash play. Walks aren't really exercise for a Lab and in fact, are just a warm up! During our walks, we work on recall over distances which tires Bobby out. As mentioned above, 11 months is the time in which they become defiant teenagers and are very willing to push boundaries and see what they can get away with. Since you've said it has been occurring since he was 5 or 6 months, it is becoming an established habit. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to break.

      Worried about my lab's health due to separation anxiety.
      ^ It might give you a couple ideas on how much exercise Labs need but of course, all differ.

      6 months old and I just don't know who you are anymore???
      ^ This thread is about the teen years which might help you relate and maybe even laugh.

      ETA: With the walks, try to keep them training oriented. For example, every ten steps, ask for a "watch me" and a "sit" or whatever and maybe in another twenty steps, ask for a couple more commands (e.g. puppy push-ups). Reward frequently (preferably with high value treats) at first and see if this will keep his attention on you and stop the behaviour.
      Last edited by Halcyon; 06-27-2014 at 08:33 AM.

    8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Halcyon For This Useful Post:

      alexalk (06-27-2014), kimbersmom (06-27-2014)

    9. #8
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      Georgia's Avatar
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      Sam used to act this way for me. It was horrible. We started working with a trainer in private lessons when he was about 9 months old. She started Sam on an ecollar. We worked on training with the ecollar and Sam started to get so much better and his crazy psycho butt tucking walks on leash finally stopped.
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    10. #9
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      I agree with Kimber's Mom about finding a collar that works. The day I was introduced to the prong collar and learned how to use it, it was like wow! Kain is a big boy and if he really wanted to be a lot stronger than me. He respects the collar and knows not to mess around now. I still use it more or less because of his size and to avert any potential danger should he try pull away for some reason.
      Katie and Kain
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    11. #10
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      Prong collars are power steering for dogs. Make sure you get one properly sized and seek training on using it. Mocha only needed 2 quick "pops" at about 5 months and he still walks like dream on leash. Even without the prong collar he now walks calmly.
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      Labs- "Hearts of gold, heads of stone, cast iron stomachs"

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