(Closed) Any tricks to deal with a stubborn black lab?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Labs are pretty willfull.  Can I ask you what the treat situation has been?

The key to training a lab, especially with treats, is to not give them a treat every time they do somethign right.  Give them a treat randomly so they are never quite sure which trick will result in a reward.

Additionally, make sure you never ever reward them before they do the trick.  That’s how you get labs that don’t listen.  

Keep up with crating him.  He’s learned how to manipulate you and that’s why he’s whining to be let out.  

Good luck!

Post # 5
9114 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

You need to teach him “leave it.”

Dogs work on the function that everything is theirs unless the Alpha claims it. You and your SO need to be the alpha and start claiming things — A dog should not own anything unless it is given to them, and even then it is only on loan from the Alpha.

Basically, start off small with a treat. Show the dog the treat and put it on the floor. PUT YOUR HAND OR FOOT ON IT. This is very important. You are taking ownership of this treat. Remove your body part and tell the dog to leave it. If the dog goes for the treat, immediately remove it from their mouth, sternly scold them (I use the word “Wrong” but use whatever you normally use) and put the treat back and repeat the process.

When the dog successfully leaves it for a few seconds (start off slow), take the treat and hold it to your chest, praise the dog and say “Share” and give them the treat.

This will start to make the connection. When you say “Leave it”, that means “Leave it alone.” Leave it will work for People, Places and Things. This is good when walking. Your dog wants to investigate a mailbox? Leave it. Wants to chase a cat? Leave it. Wants to be over friendly with a house guest? Leave it.

It also means that when you say “Share”, you are surrendering ownership of the item to the dog.

Start off with treats and work your way up. Never put your dog in a position to fail (Such as waiting for him to go for the trash and then scolding him), so you can approach the trash with him, call his attention to it, and then tell him to leave it.

I usually couple my commands with hand gestures. When my dog is told to sit, I flick a finger upwards. I can command him silently if he sees the gesture. If I tell him down (“lie down”) I point to the ground. Same when I tell him off (“get off the couch/person/etc”) or when I send him to bed or out of the room. For “Leave it” I usually wave my hand over the object or between him & the object.

I have a nearly 2 year old hyperactive black lab and he has taken to “leave it” exceptionally well. Labs are smart and attentive. It took my dog two weeks to be great at leaving things. If I put a treat on the floor, instruct him to leave it, and leave the room? When I come back, it will still be there.

Post # 6
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

Mr. 99 and I are actually out-numbered, outweighed and the odd men out in our house, we have a Great Pyrenese, a Greyhound and a Lab…it’s nuts, seriously, but I love it! 

When you deal with large dogs, obedience is key, since there is no way I can overpower any of them….our baby lab started being a whiny pants, he learned it from the greyhound who is, odd, to put it mildly, but I cut him a lot of slack since he raced for five and a half years, and I would be pretty fuckin weird if I spent five years chasing something I NEVER caught too..ANYWAY

The lab has no reason to whine…I find he does it if our routine has been deviated from, if one of the other dogs, who are both older, are having a rough day health wise, or if Mr. 99 and I are stressed or tired…he’s like a little barometer for what’s going on in the house emotionally, so I tend to tune into that, and find that the best medicine is to give him more time, attention and contact with us….labs really like to be with their people, as much as possible, maybe he feels separated and isolated from you two at night? 

We don’t let our boys roam the house either, it would burn down, so we use baby gates at night, that way he’s free, but at least restrained to the room with us.

Post # 7
7647 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

Can you give him sonething to keep him busy in his crate? Like a bone or something?

I would also make sure to take him for a very good walk before bed at night or do some playing with him. He may not be burning off enough energy.

Post # 8
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@thisorderistall:  My husband and I have a golden lab and had the same problem with whining.  She’s 8 but we started crating her at night again because she was pacing at night and keeping us up.  She was great for about a month and slept through the night but then started whining every night.  We got a spray water bottle and filled it and the next couple nights she whined we would get up and spray her with it.  Problem fixed.  She stopped whining.

Post # 12
3170 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Our pit bull used to whine in his kennel when he was a puppy until we put a sheet over it, he didn’t like it being so open. We had the black wire kind. He sleeps with us now but the sheet did wonders! Just leave the front open so there is air flow.

Also, are you using the crate as punishment? I have always found that my dogs didn’t react well to spending time in their crate if it was also used as punishment. They are in them during the day when we are gone.

Post # 13
998 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Ha I don’t have any advice to add other than what other people have mentioned. I do want to say that I got a good chuckle out of this because our black lab mix has started to “test” us a lot lately too. He has become a real spoiled brat and we joke around that we have the only black lab that expects us to be loyal to him instead of the other way around!!

Post # 14
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@thisorderistall:  2 years old means he’s hitting puberty.  This might just be a phase but… ermm… is he fixed?  That might be causing the “macho dog” problem Wink

Post # 16
12 posts
  • Wedding: May 2015

I have a lab/border collie mix and have had similar problems in the past. 

First, regarding the issue where you need to tell him to do things multiple times before he does it, it could be that you have lost consistency.  I notice that when my dog becomes very good at a trick (sit, for example), it becomes habit and ‘expected’ and I don’t always tell him he’s doing it right.  Maybe spend some time gaining that consistency back, even if it is dedicated ‘training sessions’.

Second, my dog is a TERRIBLE whiner.  I have been told it’s a collie thing…but who knows.  If he’s bored, he whines. If there’s something he wants, he whines.  This is both good and bad.  Obviously we need to know if our dogs need something, but you have to find the balance so that you aren’t accidentally rewarding the unnecessary whining.  I don’t know which, if any of these, is the problem you are having but maybe it will get you thinking.  Make sure he is very well exercised and gets plenty of attention so he’s not bored.  And make sure you aren’t feeding into him if he whines when he doesn’t need anything.

Hope that helps at least a little!

P.S. I always heard you should keep crates in the same room as you…something about it making the dog more comfortable, less scared, etc.

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