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    Thread: hi!

    1. #1
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      hi!

      Hi, I am new here! I came because I have a 10 month old black lab, Sampson. I've had him since 7 weeks. He's a great dog, and very smart!! I just am having problems with him that I have been unable to control. The main thing is his chewing. I've replaced 4 remotes and have 2 now that are chewed, my dining room chairs, really anything he can get hold of. Shoes, make up, toilet paper, just everything!! He will not drop it when told we basically have to chase him through the house and corner him to get it. He has access to all of his toys, and when told to go get one he goes to his basket and retrieves one so it's not like he don't know where they are! I buy bones from the pet store and he literally eats them in no time. I try to keep everything out of his reach but I have to live too. He is just ruining everything, my kids shoes, bookbags, books for school, I just can't take it anymore!! He has recently become a counter surfer so are food is now at risk as well. We walk him and he runs while playing, some days if it's raining he doesn't get as much exercise but indoors he plays tug, and chase his ball, and runs around the house with the kids. Either way it makes no difference in his chewing! A little background before I go on... Up until a few months ago I believe he had separation anxiety (it is still there, but not as extreme). If I left whether it was 5 min or a few hours he would cry and cry. My brother lived with me and would be home, so he was never alone it was just me well and my daughter he reacted to. If I left and my daughter was home he would not cry, he was fine and the other way around. But if my grandma was there with him or anyone and my daughter and I left he just went crazy. Now he will bark for a few minutes and then calms down when someone lets him know they're in the house. But still he knows when I get my coat, purse, and/or keys that I'm leaving and he follows me around right against me. I have to tell him I'll be right back and he seems to respond to that. When my daughter leaves, he goes to the door and watches her, an occasional bark, he runs up in her room to look for her out the window, then back to the door. I try to distract him, he'll come lay by me then gets back up and goes to the door, will lay back down by me for a few and back and fourth for awhile. He knows my car when it pulls up, so when I get out I hear him barking. Like I said previously, I've had him since he was 7 wks so he knows if I leave I am coming back, he has never been abandoned, ir left for long periods of time. In fact now the way our schedules are, the longest he is home alone is 4 hours 1-2 days a week, if that. The point is I don't know if the chewing is part of the anxiety?? Plus it makes it difficult to leave. He is not fixed, so that was my next question, will that help? The other issue I have with him, is when he sees someone whether I have guests or we are out walking, he gets so excited, he wants everyone to pet him and he can be overbearing, sometimes he pees! I thought only little dogs peed when excited. Even when I come home or my family, he gets so excited and if you give him attention when he's in that state he will pee. I have to ignore him for a few minutes until he calms before I greet him. I could leave for 5 min and run to the store 2 blocks away and when I return he reacts like I was gone for days. He recently started jumping up at people too. He weighs 80 lbs, so he can do some unintentional damage to someone. Other people don't know to wait til he calms before petting him and responding to him and I need him to listen to wait or sit. He sits and waits when he is not in this excited state but when he is, he hears nothing. I would appreciate any suggestions/help. I love him, and I don't want him having this anxiety, if that's what it is, and I also would like to keep my stuff in one piece. I also need to figure out how to control the excitement. Oh I should mention, he thinks he is one of us. He sleeps with either me or my daughter, he sits on the couch, and believe it or not yesterday I looked over at my daughter in the dining room and Sampson was actually sitting in a chair at the table. Could this be part of the problem? He thinks everything is his, and we are his instead of him being ours if that makes sense? Do I give him too much freedom I guess is what I want to say?

    2. #2
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      One thing that may help generally is that Sampson probably needs lots more exercise. Training exercises really wear them out because their minds are working. How often do you work with him on commands? A tired puppy is a good puppy. Is it possible for you to take him to puppy class? Does Sampson have a crate?

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Macy View Post
      One thing that may help generally is that Sampson probably needs lots more exercise. Training exercises really wear them out because their minds are working. How often do you work with him on commands? A tired puppy is a good puppy. Is it possible for you to take him to puppy class? Does Sampson have a crate?
      We work on commands daily. He follows them well, unless he gets in the excited state. Pet Smart has a class but a friend told me it's not what I'm thinking it is. I have to get some information on it. Because he is continuing to have no change in these behaviors I will be checking it out ASAP. I had a crate for him when he was smaller. He slept in it and went in it on his own. But I tried to use it because of his anxiety when I left and he went crazy in it. It was so bad, I was afraid he'd hurt himself. So when he grew out of it I never got a bigger one since essentially it ended up being his bed, then just a place for his toys.

    5. #4
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      I would work on commands 2 or 3 times a day for 10 min at a time. The mental aspect as mentioned tires them out. I hear you about rainy days, we just had 2 weeks of solid rain here in SC and I have a 7 month old lab. He still went for walks. We either used a golf umbrella or a hooded jacket for us and had a towel waiting for Max upon our return. I would restart crate training. I would put him in his crate for a bit while you are home. Ignore his cries and be out of sight and don't let him hear you either for 10 or 15 minutes. Then when you return to let him out praise him with extra hugs for being good. Gradually build up to 20 minutes. Eventually, he will figure out you will return and the crate isn't so bad. I have had dogs who would just go to their crate for no reason other than it was a secure place and their own place and stay in there for hours with the door open. Every morning as soon as my Max wakes up, typically 5 to 6 AM at the latest he goes out to do his business and I go out with him and we play fetch for anywhere from 15 min to 1/2 hour. Every time I make him sit before I throw his ball. Mentally and physically burning energy.

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      Abulafia (01-05-2016), Jenjen2626 (01-06-2016)

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by SCLAB View Post
      I would work on commands 2 or 3 times a day for 10 min at a time. The mental aspect as mentioned tires them out. I hear you about rainy days, we just had 2 weeks of solid rain here in SC and I have a 7 month old lab. He still went for walks. We either used a golf umbrella or a hooded jacket for us and had a towel waiting for Max upon our return. I would restart crate training. I would put him in his crate for a bit while you are home. Ignore his cries and be out of sight and don't let him hear you either for 10 or 15 minutes. Then when you return to let him out praise him with extra hugs for being good. Gradually build up to 20 minutes. Eventually, he will figure out you will return and the crate isn't so bad. I have had dogs who would just go to their crate for no reason other than it was a secure place and their own place and stay in there for hours with the door open. Every morning as soon as my Max wakes up, typically 5 to 6 AM at the latest he goes out to do his business and I go out with him and we play fetch for anywhere from 15 min to 1/2 hour. Every time I make him sit before I throw his ball. Mentally and physically burning energy.
      I will try working on commands as you described, and maybe trying the crate again isn't such a bad idea. We too, take his tennis ball outside in the morning. We have also had a lot of rain lately. We got some snow today, and it was his first time playing in it. (We got about 2") he ran, jumped dove all around. When he was younger, he went in the crate on his own, would go in and out when I was there. But when I went out the door he would bite the cage while whipping his head, claw, scream and cry. I tried to gradually increase the time in cage. When I'd leave the room for any amount of time he was fine, it was when I went to/out the door!

    8. #6
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      Get enrolled in an obedience class ASAP! Preferably not at PetSmart if at all possible. Check with your local Lab club to ask for recommendations.

      Although you think he is getting plenty of exercise he sounds bored to me. He is also right at that "teenage" stage which makes it even worse. They become deaf and dumb at this point and "forget" everything they have been taught. It takes a lot of patience and work through this stage. Work his brain, play hide and seek, get some puzzle toys, etc. Along with a few 10 minute training sessions daily these things will help but Labs at this age often need an hour of off leash play/run time daily.
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    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Maxx&Emma View Post
      Get enrolled in an obedience class ASAP! Preferably not at PetSmart if at all possible. Check with your local Lab club to ask for recommes.

      Although you think he is getting plenty of exercise he sounds bored to me. He is also right at that "teenage" stage which makes it even worse. They become deaf and dumb at this point and "forgeting they have been taught. It takes a lot of patience and work through this stage. Work his brain, play hide and seek, get some puzzle toys, etc. Along with a few 10 minute training sessions daily these things will help but Labs at this age often need an hour of off leash play/run time daily.
      I've heard that same thing about PetSmart. I can't find anything else local. I will do some more research and see what I can find. Maybe he is bored, I am willing to try anything at this point. Yes, that is him!!! He forgets or just completely ignores what he's been taught!! Puzzle toys, that's also a great idea, thank you. Nobody has entertained the idea of him getting neutered, will that not make a difference? Growing up, our lab was not neutered, so I don't know much about the different effects of it. But people have told me it may calm those behaviors as well as the peeing upon excitement.
      Yes, you are very right, it has been trying!! If he didn't know/understand, or was just dumb it would be one thing, but he knows what he is allowed and not. If he didn't get it, he wouldn't sneak stuff. Like he will watch me, and inch to whatever he is after. Then when he gets hold of it he watches me and knows he better be ready to run cause I'm gonna take it from him. Then when I get the object, I tell him go get your toy, ball, baby, or whatever and he does! That is what drives me crazy, cause he knows what he's doing is wrong!!! Everyone has given very helpful suggestions and advice and it is greatly appreciated! I will be starting today with increasing his playtime off-leash, and the 10 min intervals of command training. I will have to get a big enough crate for him in order to try that route again. And again, I will research to see about other local classes for him as well!! Thanks again!!

    11. #8
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      Hello and Welcome!

      While not the best with advice on puppies, we home older dogs, don't be afraid of trying PetsMart. The quality of training depends on the trainer. Fortunately, I found an excellent one at PetsMart. It also will be good for both of you to learn and puppy socialization. If it's the only local place with a trainer, worth a try.

      You can contact any local dog clubs, even those that are not specifically a lab club, and see if they have any classes.
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    13. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by POPTOP View Post
      Hello and Welcome!

      While not the best with advice on puppies, we home older dogs, don't be afraid of trying PetsMart. The quality of training depends on the trainer. Fortunately, I found an excellent one at PetsMart. It also will be good for both of you to learn and puppy socialization. If it's the only local place with a trainer, worth a try.

      You can contact any local dog clubs, even those that are not specifically a lab club, and see if they have any classes.
      There were reviews on their website, and I read them all. They all were very good. While looking, I saw someone I knew left a review. So I contacted her, she spoke very highly of the class and the trainer. There used to be someone that came to the local YMCA, but I cannot locate them now. The YMCA gave me the name but said they no longer do it there. I was just going to google local dog/lab clubs when I saw your comment. I live in a small town, I have a feeling the closest place will be the Pittsburgh area which is an hour away. Being that it's winter, I would not commit to a class there not knowing if we will be able to make it there and back with the weather. I am going to check it out now! Thanks for the advice. And yes, if PetSmart is the only option it is worth a shot!

    14. #10
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      hello and welcome

      sounds like he has little structure day to day and not sure if he's getting proper physical exercise? How much and what kind of daily exercise does he get? at that age many dogs need at least an hour offleash play in a day. and some structured exercise (walks).

      I totally agree with training but it will be key that everyone in the house be on board to make the best improvements. Working his brain daily will help with mental exercise which is great though. And classes can only be helpful.

      While it is true tee family "still needs to live" there does need to be some level of dog proofing/picking up required. sorta like baby proofing when a baby arriveves

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