Thursday, July 12, 2007

Chocolate Labrador Retriever gets to Excited - part II

This is part two of a two part e-mail that was sent in by Lloyd (USA) in regards to his 20 month old chocolate Labrador Retriever named Peanut, who gets himself all excited around other dogs and is also slightly vocal when going on car rides.

Readers E-mail - Lloyd's Response

Fay,

Thank you for your response.

There is definitely no aggression (at least in the “mean” sense) with Peanut’s reaction around other dogs. He is very “in your face” to other dogs though when approaching them, it basically seems as though he has bad doggy manners because he is so excited to greet them. This sometimes illicits a growl or snap from other dogs because he’s just so excited and close to them, but I have never seen him so much as growl at another dog. When they do it to him, he basically jumps back and looks startled as if to say “what’s your problem?”

We have tried obedience classes and Peanut was sooooo interested in the other dogs in the class that the first 45 minutes he would not pay attention to me. By the last 15 minutes though, he had tired himself out to the point that he was focused on me and he did great. He is awesome with no other dogs around…he pays attention and listens very well. When he sees other dogs though he completely disregards anything I try to do.

I think the solution to our problem would be to just keep him around other dogs as much as possible. On that note, do you think it would be more beneficial for him to just take him to the dog park and unleash him and let him do his thing, or to keep him on leash and maintain our distance until he “forgets” about the other dogs?

That is more difficult than it sounds as he only weighs about 75 lbs, but is extremely strong!! I weigh about 230lbs and I have a hard time keeping control of him when he makes up his mind that he wants to go towards the other dogs.

I think I should probably make sure he gets “heeling” down pat and then take him to the dog park and try it within view of other dogs.

I will take a look at the links you sent. Thank you very much for taking time to respond to my dilemma.

Hopefully with a lot of patience and persistence on my part, Peanut will overcome his anxiety and behave around other dogs as great as he does around us, because he is a wonderful dog and truly is part of our family.

Thanks again,

Lloyd

All About Labradors Answer:

Hi Lloyd,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

I would definitely work on the "heel" command. You state he pays attention and listens well without other dogs around, so he should get the "heel" command quick. You then have to practice the command with him around the distractions (dogs). I don't think it will hurt to let me play at the dog park every now and then while you are training him. Just watch his body language and interaction with the other dogs.

The Halti or Gentle Leader collar, will help when he is distracted, as they provide excellent control, especially when he makes up his mind that he wants to go towards the other dogs.

Make sure you read that Attention Please article. The training method by Linda O'Hare Newsome is very helping with handling your dog around other dogs. Having and getting Peanut's attention at all times will be very helpful, if a situation should arise at the dog parks.
As for him getting growled at I'm sure this will happen more than one occasion, with Peanut getting in their face.

What people fail to realize, is that not all dogs will be friends. The thing that by just putting a dog together with another dog, it will all work itself out. This just doesn't happen, some dogs just can't get along with others.

Here is another link to a mini PDF book on Meeting other dogs on the leash and at the dog parks.

http://www.eastbayspca.org/petownership/MeetingOtherDogs.pdf

Keep practicing the training, and keep me informed along the way. Also let me know how the car instances go, and if you try any of the methods I recommended.

Talk to you soon,

Fay

To read part one of this e-mail click: Chocolate Labrador Retriever gets to Excited - part I

To see a photo of Peanut click: Peanut 7/11/07

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