Doggie teenage years

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
1589 posts
Bumble bee

Teenagers are hard!

Yes they are! Teens have to stretch the limits and see where the boundaries are.  It’s probably especially since you’ve only had him a short time and you haven’t had the chance to really instill the training you’d like from the start. 

I’d go back to the basics.  Don’t give him the chance to ignore “come”.  He’s always on a leash where you can enforce a come after you’ve run out of all the ‘happy’ lets do this the fun way tricks – food, running the other way, having a ‘party’ that’s intriguing enough that his curiosity gets the best of him so that he has to come investigate, etc. Teen aged dogs do get older – eventually 🙂

Post # 4
356 posts
Helper bee

@HoneysHoney:  Oh the high energy, stubborn lab! I have a lab/retreiver mix, she just turned 2 and still pretty hyper. Granted, I got her when she was a puppy, and I consistantly trained her, she still has her “naughty” moments. Like a previous bee posted, I’d go back to the basics. Maybe find a book about training labs- My SO is currently reading a book on how to train dogs for waterfowl hunting (getting a lab puppy in april) and its made several good points on how to train that I’d never even think of! Good luck! Dogs are great, but sometimes such a PITA!

Post # 5
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Haha! I feel ya, girl! I have a 3yo Lab and she STILL tests me – although not nearly as bad as she used to. She has really grown into a great dog, but not until recently and she (still) tugs on her leash unless I use a chain.. otherwise she pulls against her windpipe. 

Labs are great dogs, but they tend to be difficult cause they are intellegent and stubborn. The key is consistince, day after day after month, etc. I figure by the time my baby girl is 5 she will be the perfect dog behavior wise, its the breed – they stay puppy/adolescent for years.

As for obedience, you owe it to him and yourself. I did puppy good start with mine and it was the best thing I could have done, I learned so much from it. If you can’t take him to a class have a trainer come to you for private lessons. Will be pricier but I promise obedience training is worth it.

Post # 6
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@HoneysHoney:  labs are some of the toughest puppies to deal with.  They’re adorable, but crazed.  

In my experience (clients from the shelter I volunteer for), the more effort you put into them as babies (training, good food, etc). the calmer and more enjoyable your relationship will be when they’re older.

Also, FWIW, I have a puggle who was a hyper and destructive puppy.  It didn’t matter how many hours at the park we spent, she’d still go nuts all day.  She is 5 now, and all she wants to do is snuggle, eat, and sleep.  I think she calmed down around age 2.

Post # 7
825 posts
Busy bee

Hang in there!

It does get better. It WILL get better. AND you’re on the right track. My lab puppy was in at least one obedience class up until a couple months ago when he turned 18 months old. He now has more days when he’s a wonderful couch potato instead of the spawn of satan, but at 7-10 months old, I would have laughed at you if you would have ever told me that this would happen. I also have a border collie mix who at nearly 3 has still not calmed down. Here are some suggestions: 

1. Continue to tire out his mind: Since it seems like his body is getting a good amount of exercise. Look into IQ Balls (particularly if you have hardwood floors) — they’re feeders that you have to roll to get the food out and have adjustable settings so that you can make it harder as the dog figures out the game. Other good ones are the Kong Wobbler and the Tug-a-Jug … every dog has a favorite and the IQ Ball is a good place to start. 

2. Continue working on training at home: If there isn’t a fearful dog class, this is entirely up to you. I’d look into Kikopup’s Youtube channel. She makes clicker training very easy — particularly for lab puppies (your pup is still very much a puppy) and has wonderful suggestions for making your movements less exciting, working on the basics, and teaching your dog what TO do instead of what NOT to do. 

3. Ramp up Socialization: Fearful dogs require a lot of work and a lot of socialization. Take your pup on an outing at a time that works for you and him. (eg. if he’s easily overwhelmed by lots of people, go during a weekday — if people are a positive thing for him, maybe a weekend morning.) Places like Home Depot and Bass Pro shop allow dogs indoors and are great places to work on training. Go to wherever is just shy of his trigger — wherever that is — if  it’s the doors, stay a good 10-15 feet away. Feed him high value (eg. steak, chicken, cheese, hot dogs, stuff he only gets at a new place.) and do lots of positive reinforcement and praise. If people come up and want to pet him, encourage them to take a few steps toward his trigger, and then reward for calm behavior (usually a sit) and taking a few steps toward the new building (or going through the doors, or what have you.) 

Remember to always keep these sessions short (10 minutes) and end on a positive note. 

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