Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year 2009


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Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and safe New Year, from all of us here at All About Labradors and Labrador Retriever Pictures.

Thank you for all your questions, comments, photos and friendships. Take care of your wonderful Labrador Retrievers!

Fay

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

FDA reports complaints of dogs experiencing illness from Chicken Jerky Treats

Preliminary Animal Health Notification

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/ComplaintsChicJerky.htm

FDA Continues To Receive Complaints about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs and Cautions Consumers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to caution consumers of a potential association between the development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats. FDA continues to receive complaints of dogs experiencing illness that their owners or veterinarians associate with consumption of chicken jerky products. The chicken jerky products are imported to the U.S. from China. FDA issued a cautionary warning to consumers in September 2007.

Australian news organizations report the University of Sydney is also investigating an association between illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky in Australia. At least one firm in Australia has recalled their chicken jerky product and the recall notification stated the chicken jerky product was manufactured in China.

FDA believes the continued trend of consumer complaints coupled with the information obtained from Australia warrants an additional reminder and animal health notification.

Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.

FDA, in addition to several veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the U.S, is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs which may occur within hours to days of feeding the product: decreased appetite, although some may continue to consume the treats to the exclusion of other foods; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; and increased water consumption and/or increased urination. If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state.

From The Irrigator (Australian News):

"THE likely cause of some discomfort in dogs has been removed from the market, but owners are being advised to continue to exercise caution.

The Chinese-sourced KraMar Supa Naturals Chicken Breast Strips have been recalled after several cases of pet illness associated with the product.

Leeton veterinarian Brian Munro said two Leeton dogs have been treated for suspect cases of Fanconi syndrome-like symptoms in the past couple of weeks."

Continue reading: Dogs treated after pet food contamination by Emily Braham.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

10 Ways to Keep Your Pet Safe, Healthy and Happy

Our pets are like parts of our family. No matter what’s going on in our lives, they’re always affectionate and happy to see us. Since they can’t tell us what they need, it’s our job to ensure they have long, happy lives by taking the best possible care of them. These ten steps are a great start:

10. Choose nutritious food and measure it carefully to avoid overfeeding.

9. Maintain a consistent exercise schedule. Pet obesity can cause serious health problems and shorten their life spans.

8. Don’t feed your pet “people food” that could make him sick.

7. See your veterinarian regularly for preventive care, including dental work and physical exams. This way you can catch a problem before it turns into something serious.

6. Get all required vaccinations to prevent serious diseases (cat vaccinations are different from dog vaccinations).

5. Engage with your pet for mental stimulation. Play with toys and get outside whenever you can.

4. Keep your home safe. Keep toxic cleaners and cables out of reach, avoid plants that are poisonous to cats, and gate off the stairs if your pet’s still young.

3. Supervise your pet outdoors. He could get loose of your yard, get into pesticides in the garden, or catch something from a stray animal.

2. Watch for signs of illness. Look for changes in appetite, attitude, and energy.

1. Spay and neuter your pet. Spaying removes the ovaries and uterus, and neutering removes the testicles. These procedures eliminate the desire to wander in search of a partner and also prevent certain diseases.

I would like to thank Helen from My Hollywood Pets for sending in this helpful article.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Real Labradors, Not Marley

Veterinarian Dr. Debbye Turner-Bell shares tips with Maggie Rodriguez about buying and caring for a real Labrador Retriever puppy like Marley from "Marley & Me."

Wait to you see the beautiful Labrador Retriever puppies in this video. Makes me want to go bring home a new one to add to our troops.

There is some good tips on buying and caring for Labrador Retrievers in this video. With the holiday season many people buy Labrador Retrievers for others as gifts. Then those who received the Labrador Retrievers have no idea how to care of the Labrador and how energetic they can be. They realize they can't take care of them or don't want the Labrador Retriever and they wind up in shelters or on the street.

Please realize that the Labrador is a high energetic dog and it does take some work.



Related Articles:

Understanding Labrador Retrievers - Does Your Dog Have an Oral Obsession?

Finding the right veterinarian for Your Labrador Retrievers

5 Dog Training Myths Ebook


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Free Dog Bonery Dog Treat Sample

Request a free dog treat sample from The Dog Bonery.

Information from The Dog Bonery - "Initially we just wanted to make some homemade treats for our yellow Lab, Casey. Once we saw Casey's reaction to these treats, we knew we were on to something.

The Dog Bonery treats are handmade and produced in small batches. The variation in color, shape and size is characteristic of baked goods made from scratch. This is what makes the Dog Bonery treats special and is how you know you are not getting a mass produced dog cookie.

The ingredients are wholesome. Just read the back label on our package or scroll through the product images on our website. The ingredient list contain items you have heard of, like wheat flour, carrots, corn meal, nutmeg, etc. All of our ingredients are purchased in small quantities to maintain freshness. In order to make a high quality dog treat, we need to have quality ingredients right from the start."

Visit The Dog Bonery to learn more about their products, ingredients and to request a free Dog Bonery Dog Treat sample.

It looks like the service the USA and Canada.

All About Labradors is not affiliated with The Dog Bonery.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Labrador Retriever Dry Coat Shampoo

Subject: Labrador Retriever Dry Coat Shampoo

From: A. White (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: N/A

Reader's E-mail - A. White writes:

Hi. I have a lab mix who has a very dry coat. Just wondering what kind of shampoos are good for their skin.

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello A White,

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

Thank you for writing and visiting All About Labradors. I hope you find it helpful to you and your Labrador Retriever.

My apologies on the long delay as I am over two months behind on e-mails. I receive many e-mails asking for help and it's almost impossible to answer them all (but I'm trying).

A dry coat says a lot about your pet's health. Not getting enough of the right types of fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat, poor quality diet, any internal illness, bathing frequently, using harsh shampoos, frequent swims in chlorinated pools, are just some of the contributing factors that can be causing your Labradors dry coat.

Do you notice any other conditions with your Labrador Retriever other than the dry coat? Ex: runny eyes, nose, scratching, shedding, smells even after baths, change in skin color, open sores, etc.

A good shampoo I recommend and use is Hylyt shampoo, a soap free hypoallergenic shampoo containing emollients, protein, moisturizing factors and essential fatty acids.

Here are some other things that may help:

For the dry, itching skin: A occasional cool bath can be very soothing, especially if you use an oatmeal shampoo (helps relieve dry irritated skin) or add a little colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno) to the water.

Supplementation with essential fatty acids

As for washing, I only wash my Labrador Retrievers when they smell, which isn't much. I don't believe they need to be bathed unless they are actually dirty and smelly. Sometimes I wash mine once a month, usually though its much longer than that.

Just remember that washing your Labrador too frequently eliminates too much of the natural oils and can dry out the skin. When you do wash, make sure you rinse shampoo out thoroughly. Sometimes I don't even use shampoo, just water.

Lastly, I received an e-mail from a reader about a dry skin shampoo that he makes at home (from February of 2006) that you can see here:

Labrador Dry Skin Shampoo - readers email

I hope this will be of some help to you and your Labrador Retriever. If you don't understand anything, please let me know.

Take care of yourself and your Labrador Retriever,

Fay

Related Post:

Black Labrador Retriever - Losing hair and Dry Skin - part I

Labrador Retriever - Skin problems - Hair Color Change

Food and our Labrador Retrievers


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Understanding Labrador Retrievers - Does Your Dog Have an Oral Obsession?

Labrador Retriever dogs were raised to be great hunting dogs with the power, stamina, and motivation to chase down fallen game and swim as far needed to bring back the prey to its hunter.

These dogs have a natural drive to retrieve. With the highest focus and determination, Labs are serious about their retrieving jobs. Even though most of these dogs are in door pets and do not hunt, they are just as driven when chasing a ball or running after a stick.

Labradors were made and developed to use the power of their jaws just like a stern hand. During almost every waking moment they feel the need to place something in their mouths, and without the presence of an animal, they will grab a hold of anything they possible can. This is extraordinary for people who love playing fetch with their dog but it's not so good for those dog owners that hate when their dogs are always placing items in its mouth.

Labs Have An Oral obsession

Several families run out and buy a puppy without doing an ounce of research as to what type of dog they are getting involved in and how it will act based on its genetics. Trust me, I know. A relative of mine went out and got a Labrador Retriever simply because her neighbor had one. She didn’t realize that this type of dog needs extra special care. She had her hands full with caring for her new dog. Labrador Retrievers are know to have an oral obsession because due to hundreds of years of breeding specifically for grabbing fallen birds into their mouths when hunting. This behavior most definitely carries over into their every day lives.

An educated Lab owner recognizes that any object within their dog's reach is considered fair game and they would never dream of yelling at the dog for such behavior. Uneducated Lab owners consider this behavior useless and will yell or even hit the animal in an attempt to get the dog to stop putting stuff in its mouth.

There is a very fine line between letting your Lab express its inner retrieving needs, and allowing it to destroy anything within the house it can nibble on. This is where specific training and obedience lessons come into play. These dogs are born to chew so you must take provisions for their tendency to chew by using a crate and dog proofing your home.

Regular supervision and developing daily playtime sessions with your Lab is a necessity for both you and your dog to be healthy. Unfortunately, many people bite off way more than they are able to chew when getting a Labrador Retriever. Many dog owners fail to realize that labs need a lot of love and care. If you decide to not to participate in the proper upbringing and training that a Lab requires, you will become very frustrated and unhappy while your dog becomes bored and violent. So, before getting that cuddly Labrador Retriever, you need to consider whether or not you are capable of handling all that it takes to care for one.

Written by Kelly Marshall from Oh My Dog Supplies - to visit the largest provider of dog car seat covers online, go to Oh My Dog Supplies Dog Car Seat Covers

Related Articles:

My Chocolate Labrador Retriever is Biting - part I

Stop my eight week old Labrador from nipping - part I

Labrador Retriever – Training your puppy to stop biting and nipping


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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bio Spot and Nylabone Coupons

Here are a couple of coupons to help save you a few dollars on products for your Labrador Retriever. A big thank you to Patti for e-mailing me the links to these offer.

Bio Spot® - $5.00 instant savings on any one (1) Bio Spot® Flea and Tick product. This coupon is good only in the USA and expires on December 31, 2009.

Nylabone® - Save $2.00 on any Nylabone product. Redeemable only in the USA. Valid 08/01/08 - 12/31/09.

Hope this is of help to some of you.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Zeb The Labrador Retriever Conquers Hill's PetFit Challenge

Zeb The Labrador Retriever, Conquers Hill's PetFit™ Challenge With Support From Dedicated Pet Owner And Veterinary Team - Vide



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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Training your Labrador Retriever to Sit

Stand in front of your Labrador Retriever.

Hold a treat in front of your Labrador Retriever's nose, just out of his or her reach, so it knows you have food in your hand.

Slowly move your hand with the treat up over your Labrador's head , your Labrador's rear should automatically begin to lower toward the ground.

As your Labrador Retriever adopts the sit position, say your Labrador's name, and give the command "Sit", firmly. Praise your Labrador Retriever abundantly and give your pet a treat when it obeys the command.

If your Labrador Retriever doesn't sit when the treat is held over its head, take the treat out of its reach, putting the treat in your pocket. You will then try again, reinforcing the sit action by gently pushing down on its rear end. As soon as your Labrador Retriever sits, praise and give the treat.

Release your Labrador Retriever from the sit position with the "free" or "release" command and repeat your training.

You want to make sure you keep your training sessions short and entertaining. Two to three sessions of five to ten minutes should be effective.

When your Labrador Retriever fully understands the sit command, gradually scale back the using of treats. Use treats every other training session and then every third time. Keep training until your Labrador Retriever is sitting with no reinforcement other than praise.

I also attached a video that will be helpful with your training.



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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Food allergy and my Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Subject: Food allergy and my Chocolate Labrador Retriever

From: Shelley (Canada)

Labrador Retriever Name: Colt

I received an e-mail from Shelly letting me know about skin problems with her chocolate Labrador Retriever. Shelly went on to explain about food allergies and what she found to help alleviate the problem.

Reader's E-mail - Shelly Writes:

I have a 1 year old Labrador Retriever who started to have skin problems, we were taking him to the vet every month because his fur would fall out and he would dig.

After a while we decided to try different things and we found out that it was a food allergy. I think that he was allergic to chicken and wheat so we are feeding him a new food that is oven baked and has fish in it, no chicken. His skin has never looked better and his fur looks amazing. I am so glad that we found something to help our dog. He is part of our family and I only want him to have a happy healthy life, and he loves this food.

All About Labradors Reply:

Hello Shelly,

Thank you for visiting All About Labradors and for your e-mail. I'm glad you found out the possible cause of his problem. I would like to post your letter to the blog, but would also like to ask you a couple of questions.

What kind of food are your feeding him?

Are you using any other supplements with the food?

What is your Labrador Retriever's name?

What color is your Labrador?

Looking forward to your reply.

Fay

Reader's E-mail - Shelly's Response:

We are feeding our chocolate Labrador Retriever, Colt, Oven Baked Tradition and that is all he gets nothing else. That way if his skin starts to get bad we know what it is. He loves this food,and he never liked any other dry kibble before.

Thanks,
Shelley

Related Articles:

Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part I

Black Labrador Retriever always has Skin Problems - part I

Food and our Labrador Retrievers

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Why would you want a chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy?

What color Labrador Retriever should I buy? Do you think the yellow Labrador Retriever is better than the black Labrador? These are just a couple different questions I receive from readers of this blog.

I came across an interesting article into why someone would want to own a chocolate Labrador Retriever as opposed to the yellow or black Labrador Retriever.

I feel the author, Stewart Richardson makes some valid points, such as higher prices being charged just for the color, and the gene pool for the chocolate Labrador being smaller than those of the yellow and black Labrador Retrievers, contributing to more inbreeding.

He also goes into medical conditions which I feel can be just as common in all the Labrador Retriever colors, as well as other opinions that can be argued back and forth in regards to the yellow and black Labrador Retriever.

I have posted this article as another information tool for us Labrador Retriever owners and to provide another opinion for some of the questions that I do receive from the readers of this blog.

Why would you want a chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy?


Why would you want a chocolate Labrador Retriever?

That's a question that I often ask myself, as I receive various requests for information about them.

Having been involved with Labrador Retrievers for many years now, and having also observed numerous Labrador Retrievers, including chocolate, I find it difficult to justify the additional price often charged for chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

The yellow and black Labrador Retrievers have been bred now for many, many, years. And they seem to be a very different (and nicer) dog to me than the chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

This opinion is also shared with various other Labrador Breeders to whom I have spoken.

Some Labrador Breeders have felt that the 'gene pool' for the chocolate Labradors is much smaller than those of the yellow and black Labradors. And this smaller gene pool, could contribute to more inbreeding and/or maximum inbreeding depression (which is the opposite to hybrid vigor).

This certainly seems to make sense to me, and I can't see why this wouldn't be the case?

From my personal experience, the vast majority of the chocolate Labrador Retrievers seem to me to be different to the yellow and black Labrador Retrievers, not only physically (obviously their color, but other elements also), but also in respect of their temperament, etc.

Some of the chocolate Labrador Retrievers that I have observed have had temperaments more like kelpies than Labradors. And some of the chocolate Labrador Retrievers I have observed have had temperaments with a combination of being very shy, fearful, etc combined with aggression (seemingly through a heightened sense of fear).

Also, I have seen chocolate Labradors with hereditary diseases, such as ectropion, which is a defect with their eyes which involves their eyelid being lose or turning outwards, which increases risks of foreign bodies (such as grass seeds, etc) being able to get under their eyelid/s. This in turn can then cause other health problems, which may need Veterinary attention.

Another eye condition, which is also accepted as being hereditary, is entropion, which is the opposite to ectropion. With entropion, the eyelid turns inwards, and can irritate the eye by (for example) the eye-lashed rubbing against the eye.

Some Veterinarians will operate on the eyelid/s to remove the defective part, in order to try and reduce the associated risks or health problems. But, of course, dogs with these problems should not be used for breeding, in my opinion (and that of some Vets) as they may produce offspring with the same or similar eye problems.

However, there are some Labrador breeders of chocolate Labradors who knowingly continue to breed from Labradors that have hereditary eye problem, and produce offspring with problems.

I know of cases that have even been reported to the appropriate controlling body (eg Royal NSW Canine Council, now trading as Dogs NSW), and to the best of my knowledge, nothing has been done to prevent the reported Labrador breeders from continuing to breed from defective breeding animals, and producing defective offspring, which they sell to the unsuspecting public!

There have also been cases of the President (at the time) of the NSW Labrador Retriever Club 'endorsing' a Labrador Breeder that was using defective breeding Labradors and producing defective puppies.

Please don't assume that ALL chocolate Labradors are defective etc, as I am certainly NOT suggesting this. But I certainly believe that generally, I would prefer a yellow or black Labrador over a chocolate Labrador, and that if I had to have a chocolate Labrador, then I would do a LOT of research about the parents, their health and temperament, before accepting it.

About the Author:

The Author has been involved with dogs for most of his life, including breeding various breeds of dogs, including the Labrador Retriever. Grant feels that there are many Labrador puppy breeders with sites on the internet, and which offer a wealth of information. Such as www.labrador-retrievers.com.au which has numerous pictures, a Labrador Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, plus more.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from All About Labradors

A very Happy Thanksgiving to all the readers of All About Labradors. Enjoy your time with family, friends and your Labrador Retrievers!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Preparing Your Pup For Winter

With the cold weather upon us in many parts of the country (I'm jealous if your are in a warmer place), we receive many questions in regards to our dogs being outside in the cold.

John Grimes, from All Terrain Co. provides some helpful information when it comes to the cold season with your dog.

Preparing Your Pup For Winter


Would you wear shorts and a tank top during the winter months? In most parts of the country, the answer would clearly be no. Why? The weather would be too cold, so you would wear your warm things. Well, what about your pup?

We are a bit hypocritical when it comes to our pets. We treat them as though they are a part of our family, but then expect them to be able to handle certain aspects of life as though they are a wild animal. This often manifests during the winter when we don’t prepare our pup for the season.

Dogs have fur for a reason, right? Yes, but the fur is not armor. Dogs can freeze to death. This is true even for huskies and bigger dogs with thick fur. This means you need to make sure you have a dog house for your pup. A good dog house is well insulated and just big enough for your pup to stand up, turn around and lie down in. The dog house opening should also be turned away from the wind. Your goal is to create an environment that shelters your pup from the wind while being small enough to retain some of the heat from your pup.

To make things really cozy, you should do two other things. The first is lifting the dog house up off the ground a few inches. You can put a 2x4 frame around the bottom. This will keep water from building up and flowing in the front. Second, you should put a blanket or two down to create a buffer between a cold floor and your pup. He or she will thank you for it.

Winter is a time for hibernation, right? No! Exercise is a key for your pup year around. It keeps them in shape and the activity generates heat as well. Get out and throw the ball around and take them for walks.

Finally, water is a necessary element of life for humans and animals alike. Your pup can dehydrate just as easily as you and I. To avoid this, you need to provide them with water. In winter, the water can freeze over. Take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen. Frozen water is no use to your pup.

You treat your pup as part of the family most of the year. Don’t let that change during the winter months. Your dog gets cold just like you do, so take steps to make things more comfortable for your furry friend.

John Grimes writes for http://www.allterrainco.com - providing safe, natural products for dogs, pets and humans alike.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Cold Weather and your Labrador Retriever

Is it to cold for my 2 year old Labrador

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

FlushEze Pet Waste Bags Sample

We have found another free sample for those of you that are interested. This one is for a sample of FlushEze pet waste biodegradable bags from PetHabitats.com.

Information from PetHabitats.com: "FlushEze is so biodegradable, you can actually watch it dissolve in water. But you don’t have to! You can flush it immediately and you never have to worry about clogging your toilet or pipes.

FlushEze is king among biodegradable bags!

Our FlushEze sample packs are provided free of charge so that you can find out for yourself how convenient it is for your pet to be as environmentally friendly as you are."

This is an interesting subject as to where your dog's waste is discarded. I myself am still guilty of throwing my Labrador Retriever's waste in the trash. If anyone has used biodegradable bags to flush their dogs waste down the toilet please let us know. Thanks!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Free Sample of Whites Premium Dog Food

I would like to thank Sara for letting me know about this offer. Whites Premium is offering a free 100grm (3.5 oz) sample of their dog food.

Information from the Whites Premium website: "Whites Premium - premium quality food for dogs at work and play. Providing high quality nutrition for all dogs from Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Collies through to German Shepherds, Springer Spaniels, Pointers and Jack Russells to name a few of the breeds who enjoy Whites Premium.

Our Premium dog food is gluten free and hypoallergenic. We only use human grade fresh meat and fish and does not contain artificial ingredients or preservatives. Whites premium is a complete ‘super premium’ food, made from natural ingredients, offering convenience without compromise and providing all the goodness your dog requires."

Visit the Whites Premium website to learn more about this product and to make your request for a free sample of Whites Premium Dog Food

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part II

Subject: Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part II

From: Jeremiah (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Hailey

Reader's E-mail - Jeremiah's Reply:

Fay, thanks for your response...

She has had the bald spot for about 8 months. The vet said allergies in general, he did not say what kind (I don't think they knew!). She is beginning to lose hair on the corner of her ears. Her coat was greasy and had an odor to it before we changed her food, now it's fine.

The bald spot is itchy, she rubs it on the carpet when it irritates her and when I put cream on it. Her paws are sometimes red and she licks them often. Her skin is not dry or flaky and has had no ear infections. No nasal discharges and hasn't had any other conditions you listed.

We had her on IAMS Chicken and Rice before we changed it to Nutro Lamb and Rice, we do not feed her scraps from the table and we give her rawhide bones. Hailey hasn't had any other medical conditions in the past. I have attached a few photos for you! I appreciate your help on this and look forward to your response.

Thank you,
Jeremiah

All About Labradors Answer:

Hi Jeremiah,

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

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Thanks for the responses to my questions and for the cute pictures of Hailey. She looks so much like my Meeko, they could be sisters.

There are many different reasons for hair loss with our Labrador Retrievers. Some reasons of hair loss include: fleas, allergies, mange, skin infections, Hypothyroidism, Cushings Disease, flank alopecia, poor nutrition, and pattern baldness. These are just a few of the many reasons associated with hair loss.

Based on your answers to the questions I asked, and your veterinarian ruling out other conditions, I also feel allergies are causing problems for Hailey. The oily skin and odor you described is also symptoms for a condition called Seborrhea oleosa, or oily seborrhea. Here is some further help with Seborrhea:

Seborrhea: Introduction

With the itching going on with the head and the paws, allergies can be the cause. When Labrador Retrievers have allergies, they are more likely to scratch, chew and lick in an attempt to suppress the itching sensation.

Labrador Retrievers with allergies may show some of the following symptoms:

Chewing on paws, itching of body, rubbing head/ face on the carpet/couch, recurrent ear infections, infected skin, and hair loss.

Atopy (inhalant allergies) are most common in Labrador Retrievers. Just like you and I, your Labrador can develop allergies to something it inhales, such as tree pollens, weeds, grass pollens, with many of these being seasonal. There is also a possibility to allergens such as house dust, molds, mildew, which can be around all the time.

Some things you might want to do around your home:

Keep Hailey out of rooms several hours when you vacuum.

Wash Hailey's bedding in very hot water

Try to avoid stuffed toys and letting her sleep on stuffed furniture

Keep Hailey out of carpeted rooms

Use dehumidifiers

Keep Hailey out of basement (if you have one)

Other allergy testing can be done by your veterinarian, such as blood tests or intradermal skin testing. The better allergy test is intradermal skin testing, which is usually done by a veterinary dermatologist. You may want to visit a veterinary dermatologist (you can ask for a referral from your vet) if he/she is not one themselves. Veterinary dermatologist are specialists that tend to see chronic and odd cases, and often recognize unusual syndromes a general practitioner may miss.

Food allergies to something eaten (beef, dairy products, chicken, wheat, chicken eggs, corn, and soy), can occur at any age (majority of cases between 2 and 6 years of age) and may mimic the signs of an inhalant allergy. These animals tend to have recurrent ear and skin infections unless the allergy is identified and the allergy is addressed. Food allergies can be complicated to recognize and to treat.

The problem is figuring out what the allergen is. As I stated previously, skin and blood test can be done by your veterinarian, as well as setting up a special diet "hypoallergenic diet", for a possible food allergy.

Changing the food, which you have stated you tried, is called a "hypoallergenic diet" - a changing of his food to something he hasn't eaten before, which is fed for a set period of time (usually it takes at least 12 weeks on the new food) can be done to help to determine if this is the cause.

If you do decide to try changing Hailey's food again, remember:

Give the trial at least twelve weeks on the new food

No other treats should be given during the food trial. Only exception is if they are based on the same food sources as the test diet.

You have to be strict with the new food test, offering no other foods and NO table scrapes.

No unnecessary medications are to be given.

No edible chew toys (such as rawhides or bones) should be given.

Recommendations of foods for Hailey:

Wellness

Eagle Pack (Holistic Select)

These companies also offer treats based on the same food sources as their foods.

Many people believe (and recommend) Lamb and Rice for dog food allergies. Our Labrador Retrievers had never eaten lamb and rice before, thus they never had time to develop an allergy to it. There was nothing special about the lamb and rice except as I said, our Labs had never eaten it before.

The problem is that many of the lamb and rice-based foods also contain many other ingredients, and if your Labrador Retriever has a food allergy to any of those ingredients, the lamb and rice food will do nothing to treat the food allergy.

Additional help for allergies:

Supplementation with omega fatty acids (3V Capsules, DermCaps, etc) can help to improve the health of the skin and coat.

Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoos and cream rinses - these products pull inflammatory toxins out of the skin, along with colloidal oatmeal sprays and lotions, which can be purchased at your local pet stores.

Benadryl has been known to help allergy conditions in many Labrador Retrievers. Be advised that it can also have potential adverse side effect.

One thing that I make sure I use with my Labradors is probiotics and digestive enzymes, which I feel should be given to all Labrador Retrievers. Probiotics are live cultures found in yogurt which will help out in maintaining and increasing the good flora (bacteria) of the gut.

You could also supplement Hailey's diet with regular, non-flavored yogurt with live cultures daily. Make sure there are no sugars or sweeteners in it. You could add it to her food, or your can use it in the Kong toys if you use them. One reader of this blog stuffs it into the Kong toys and freezes it.

Some places to get probiotics and digestive enzymes:

Health and pet food stores: Acidophilus for dogs

1-800-PetMeds - NaturVet Enzymes & Probiotics

Only Natural Pet Store

Pet Enzymes

Here's a helpful article on probiotics:

The Benefits of Probiotics for Your Pet

Here are some things you can do to help Hailey with her paw itching:

You can soak her paws for five minutes, four times a day, in cool water. Add a sprinkle of Epsom salts to the water as it will also help soothe the paws. A compress applied to the paw for approximately five minutes will accomplish the same.

A nice cool bath can be helpful, since the water will assist in relieving the itching. You can add a little colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno) to the bathwater, which will help soothe the paws or your veterinarian can prescribe an antiseptic shampoo. Make sure you rinse Hailey's foot thoroughly after the bath, since any remaining soap that remains can make the itching worse.

Another method that you can try is Aloe Vera applied to the paw. Make sure its 100% Aloe Vera, like the kind from the plant (you can find in health store) not the mixture. This will also not hurt Hailey if she is to lick it off.

Hope this helps Jeremiah. If you don't understand anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Also please keep me advised with her condition.

Take care of yourself and Hailey,

Fay

References:

The Merck Veterinary Manuel
Pub Med.org

To read the first part of this e-mail visit: Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part I

A big thank you to Jeremiah who shared some wonderful photos of Hailey with us. Visit: Hailey 11/18/08

RELATED ARTICLES:

Labrador Retriever's hair not growing back - part I

Another Chocolate Lab with Hair loss around the Eyes - part I

Labrador sheds lots of hair

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

PetVitamins Flavored Capsules Samples

A free sample of PetVitamins flavored capsules.

"Anyone who has ever tried knows that pilling a pet is NO FUN! Cats and dogs have a very keen sense of smell and taste and will reject anything that does not immediately appeal to their senses.

PetVitamins’ Flavored Capsules are perfect for the difficult task of pilling cats and dogs.

Whether for pharmaceutical, holistic, vitamin, or herbal use, our Flavored Capsules mask unpleasant odors and tastes – making them a readily accepted and flavorful alternative that eliminates the need to force-feed, use pill dispensers, or resort to hiding the remedy in unhealthy foods or treats."

To request your free sample, visit the PetVitamin website, and on the left hand side of their website, you will see a box that states "Register now to win". Inside that box you will find PetVitamin e-mail address to request your free PetVitamins Flavored Capsules samples.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part I

Subject: Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part I

From: Jeremiah (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Hailey

Reader's E-mail - Jeremiah Writes:

Hello,

I have a 3 year old chocolate lab named Hailey. She has a bald spot on the top of her head and I have taken her to the vet 3 separate times. They gave her a cortisone shot, did a blood test on her and I have changed her food twice. Currently she is on Nutro Lamb and Rice formula for six months and has not gotten any better.

The vets said it could be allergies but this has been going on for almost a year and is not getting any better. She doesn't have a thyroid condition and this was found out after the blood test and also they did a skin graph on her and she had no parasites or mites.

We have tried anti-fungal cream and this does not improve her hair loss either. As you can see I'm running out of things to try! She is now beginning to lose her hair on her ears as well, do you have any suggestions, I would really appreciate it. I've attached picture's of her bald spot...





Thank you,
Jeremiah

All About Labradors Response:

Hello Jeremiah,

Thank you for visiting the All About Labradors blog. I am sorry to hear about Hailey's condition. There are a couple of other things I need from you to try to be of assistance.
Please answer the questions listed below.

How long has Hailey had this bald spot?

Did the veterinarian mention what kind of allergies, or just allergies in general?

Any other areas of hair loss (besides what you mentioned) on Hailey?

Is her coat greasy with a unpleasant order?

Is this bald spot itchy to Hailey?

Is she itchy anywhere else? (paws, other parts of body,etc)

Is the skin dry and flaky?

Any chronic infection of her ears?

Any nasal discharges?

Do you notice any of the following - lethargy, increased thirst and urination, potbellied appearance, skin infections, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, aggression?

What other food did you try before the lamb?

When you tried changing foods, did you feed Hailey anything else besides the food? (treats, table scrapes, etc)

Any other medical conditions with Hailey in the past?

I'm awaiting your reply Jeremiah.

Talk to you soon,
Fay

To read the second part of this e-mail visit: Chocolate Labrador Retriever with Bald Spots on Head - part II

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Free 5 lb Bag of Nutro Natural Choice Dog Food

This is for a coupon for a free bag 5 lb. bag of any NATURAL CHOICE® dog food or 4 lb. bag of any NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® cat food.

TYPE IN code - go4nc and then complete survey and registration information.

Information from the Nutro Products website - "Nutro Natural Choice

* Formulated to Improve Skin & Coat

* Contains High Levels of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid & Zinc for Healthy Skin
and Shiny Coat

* No Chicken Heads, Feet, or Intestines

* Advanced Antioxidants for a Healthy Immune System

* Natural Sources of Glucosamine & Chondroitin to Help Promote Healthy Joints

* Made with High-Quality Fats, Proteins & Whole Grains that Help Provide Natural Vitality & Energy."

For Your Information - "One coupon per household. If your entry is rejected, then your household has already entered. Residents of USA only. Offer expires December 31, 2008. Allow 3 to 6 weeks to receive coupon."

Free 5 lb Bag of Nutro Natural Choice Dog Food

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Free Pedigree Good Bites Samples

I've come across another free sample for those that are interested. This one is for a free sample of Pedigree Good Bites being offered by Walmart.

Information from Walmart.com - "New PEDIGREE® GOOD BITES™ Snacks are tasty, bite-sized treats packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Because they taste so good and are so good for your dog, you can feel good about treating them anytime throughout the day. Available in three good-for-your-dog varieties."

Samples are only available to consumers in the United States.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part II

Subject: Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part II

From: Doug (England)

Labrador Retriever name: Mollie

Reader's E-mail - Doug's Response:

Mollie's mouth area beteen her nose and mouth has also become pink, looks like she is losing pigmentation. Her feeding bowl and water bowl are ceramic. We also have a golden retriever bitch (Shelley) that seems perfectly normal. Mollie has grey or maybe even white hairs between her nose and mouth (seems her pigmentation is fading in that area, but no issues elsewhere in her coat. She's gorgeous.

Thanks for your help and ideas.
Doug

All About Labradors Answer:

Hi Doug,

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

In regards to the color changes, Labrador Retrievers that have spent too much time in the sun may occasionally get a little pink on their faces and the tips of their ears.

Another cause, and the one I believe you are dealing with is a condition called Vitiligo. Vitiligo - is a hereditary lack of pigment in the skin in which the dogs develop somewhat symmetrical depigmentation especially of the nose, lips, muzzle, inside of mouth and footpads. There may be whitening or graying of the hair.

In some cases the pigment returns and in other cases the changes are permanent. It does not appear to have consequences other than cosmetic. There are no medical treatments known for Vetiligo.

You can have your veterinarian perform a biopsy of the affected areas to confirm this is the condition with Mollie.

Hope this helps you Doug. Please keep me updated on Mollie's condition, and if you do take her to your veterinarian, please let me know the outcome.

Take care of yourself and Mollie,

Fay

References:

The Genetic Connection:. A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs. Lowell Ackerman 1999 Paperback, 244 pages.

To read the first part of this e-mail visit: Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part I

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Free Flush Doggy Waste Bag Sample

Information from Flush Doggy - "FlushDoggy, is a fully flushable(water soluble) and biodegradable dog waste bag that is very eco-friendly. Dog poops are best to be flushed down the toilet and degrade naturally , just as our own poops. Stop destroying our earth and start educating the public, one poop at a time. Be a responsible owner and go green for our pets.

You might ask why we need to care about dog poops being thrown into the trash. Dog poops are the major source of fresh water contamination and they pollute our earth. Study has shown that almost 4% of landfills are dog poops. That's hundreds of thousands of tons of dog poops a year. Also people use plastic bags to get rid of poops and you know how plastic bags will stay for up to 400 years WITH the POOPS inside, right?"

Free Flush Doggy Waste Bag Sample



They are on temporary back ordered as of this post but state they will ship it to you as soon as available.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Free Breath-A-Licious Green Bone Sample

A free Breath-A-Licious Green Bone sample from breathalicious.com.

Information from breathalicious.com : "Dancing Paws® Breath-A-Licious™ bones contain sodium tripolyphosphate to help remove tartar build up; chlorophyll, peppermint, parsley, dill and fennel to help freshen breath. Not only do these herbs help freshen breath but they also aid in digestion, alleviate gas and soothe upset stomachs. What's more, they come in just the right size for small, medium and large dogs."

Visit breathalicious.com to learn more about this product and to request your free Breath-A-Licious Green Bone sample.

For Your Information: Limit one free bone per mailing and/or e-mail address and it looks like it's for US residents only. Samples go quickly, so if your going to request one don't delay.

I tried looking for further information on the Internet for this product but could only find sales information. If anyone uses these please share any information you may have be it good or bad.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part I

Subject: Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part I

From: Doug (England)

Labrador Retriever name: Mollie

Reader's E-mail - Doug Writes :

Hi,

We've noticed that the paw pads of my 3yr old chocolate Labrador bitch, Mollie, have changed colour this summer, pink on the outside and hardly any dark. Is this anything to be concerned about? Her mouth area from below her nose to just around/under her lower front lips has become pink also. Otherwise she seems very healthy, good diet and full of beans. Any suggestions welcomed.

Doug

All About Labradors Response:

Hello Doug,

Thank you for writing and visiting the All About Labradors blog. I know of a couple of reasons this could be happening, but I want to rule out another possibility. Please provide me with the answers to the questions listed below.

What kind of bowls do you use to feed Mollie? ( plastic, stainless steel, etc)

Any problems with color change on the nose itself?

Does Mollie have any patches of white hairs, or white hairs scattered in her hair coat?

Any prior medical problems with Mollie?

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. You DO NOT have to send a photo to receive an answer to your question.

OK Doug, get the answer to these questions back to me at your earliest convenience and we will continue from there.
Awaiting your reply,

Fay

To read part two of this e-mail question visit: Labrador Retriever's Paws Changing Colors - part II

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All About Labradors E-mail Update

After trying to find out what the problem was with our e-mail and getting nowhere with Feedburner, I have switch to Feedblitz to carry our newsletter.

I have also removed the banner for PetSmart which seemed to cause problems with the e-mail subscription sign up buttons.

If you would like to sign up for the All About Labradors newsletter just enter your e-mail in the subscribe box (top right hand corner of this blog).

Thank you and my apologies to any who have tried to subscribe.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

What is the best dry dog food for my Labrador Retriever

Subject: What is the best dry dog food for my Labrador Retriever

From: John (England)

Labrador Retriever name: Toby

Reader's E-mail - John Writes :

Hello, my name is John, I live in Newcastle and have a 1yr old retriever Toby. What would you say was he best dry food to feed this kind of dog? and also is it best to stay with one brand of food or is it ok to swap around?

I hope you can help me. Thanks

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello John,

Thank you for your question and for visiting All About Labradors. I hope you find it helpful.

My deepest apologies for such a long delay as I am more than two months behind with answering questions. I have so many people writing for help that it is close to impossible for me to answer them all (but I am trying).

Trying to find a healthy nutritious dog food for your Labrador Retriever can be a chore as there are are currently over a hundred dog foods on the market.

Here are some dog foods for your Labrador Retriever that I recommend, which are based on my own experiences and experiences from many other Labrador Retriever owners that have written in to All About Labradors. I am not affiliated with any of these companies. These are listed in no particular order.

Wellness

Eagle Pack (Holistic Select)

Natura Brands - (while your at their site, make sure you click on the Tools and Resources link on the top of their website as there is some very helpful information for you there).

Here is a helpful video on why you should feed your dog Holistic dog foods:

Holistic Dog Foods

As far as switching foods, your Labrador Retriever will have different needs as he grows from a puppy to an older dog and need different requirements which will require you to switch formulas, but I don't recommend switching brands once you find something that works for your Labrador Retriever (as long as requirements are met).

I hope this will be of some help to you and Toby. Please let me know when you find a food that works for him.

Take care of yourself and Toby,
Fay

RELATED ARTICLES:

Food and our Labrador Retrievers

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How to Understand Your Labrador Retriever

To totally understand the true character of the Labrador Retriever, dog owners must have a solid grip on the three most important aspects that make up this animal's temperament and character.

Three Things You Can Always Rely On When Raising A Labrador Retriever

1. Labs Are Like A Box Of Cookies: The most important thing to understand with Labrador Retrievers is that they are peculiar and not every Lab is the same. A Labrador is like a box of cookies, they come in all sorts and you never know just what you will get as they become adults.

Many Labs demonstrate the same interests in the following: hunting, running, retrieving, and swimming, but oftentimes you may get a Labrador puppy that may completely hate water. If you are lucky enough, your Lab may not have an oral fascination, which causes many of these dogs to eat anything they can get a hold of.

One thing you can positively count on is that every Labrador Retriever is special and through proper training, attention, and love, you will have a wonderful dog that will show the utmost in loyalty and affection until its last day on earth with you.

2. Labs Are Natural Born Hunters: Unlike most other hunting dog breeds, Labs do not just wait for its human hunting companion to command them to retrieve fallen birds. These dogs have to be so love that they can mark the fallen foul themselves.

Many people believe that Labrador Retrievers are more aware of their surroundings than other hunting dogs because of their heritage. When hunting, Labs await for the right signal from their hunter in order to find their prey. While at home, they regularly wait by their owner's side for the next task or command, regardless of what it is. It could be to walk, eat, etc. This is what makes Labrador Retriever dogs just a little too needy for some owners.

3. Labs Must Be Well Trained: As hunters, Labs have to be able to follow specific rules in order to find birds. So, even if they do not have a direction to move in, they will keep hunting without giving up. So, basically, a good Lab literally takes matters into its own hands to get the job finished.

These characteristics are great for dog owners to enjoy having a service dog that can take on its own in certain situations. Alternatively, it's bad for dog owners who are not able of providing absolutely no direction whatsoever. This is where most issues lie with new Labrador owners.

Several people see well-trained Labs at the beach or walking with their owners and think to themselves “I should get one of those dogs. They’re so well trained!” Little do they know that these pets are never born trained. It takes regular progressive dedication to exact training protocols, all based on a Labrador's genetic make up. For many people, this can prove too much work for to handle. They will more than likely end up with nothing but issues and annoyance with their dog.

Provided by Kelly Marshall from Oh My Dog Supplies - the largest choice of dog feeders online, visit http://www.ohmydogsupplies.com/dog-supplies/elevated-dog-feeders

Published At: www.Isnare.com

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All About Labradors E-mail

Hello to everyone, I hope everyone is doing well. I received an e-mail informing me that the "subscribe via e-mail" box (top right hand side of this blog)is being transferred to PetSmart.

My apologies to anyone this may have caused problems I am contacting Feedburner (the service that runs my e-mail and feed) in regards to this problem. The "subscribe via Feed Reader" is still working.

I am disabling the e-mail form until I have the problem straightened out. For those of you that are signed up to the e-mail alerts, I don't believe there is any problem. If someone who is subscribed already would let me know that would be appreciated.

The All About Labradors blog has only ONE affiliate banner to PetSmart and that is on the left hand side of this blog.

For those of you that would like to sign up for the All About Labradors subscription, please be a little patient while I get this straightened out. Thanks.

Fay

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Chocolate Labrador Retriever is Biting - part II

This is part two of a two part e-mail, to read part one, visit: My Chocolate Labrador Retriever is Biting - part I

Subject: 4 month old Chocolate Labrador Retriever biting and attacking -part II.

From: Amy (USA)

Labrador Retriever name: Tybee

Reader's E-mail - Amy"s Response:

Hi. Thank you for your response...attached please find a photo of "Tybee".

We got Tybee on our vacation in July in South Carolina. My husband saw an ad, we went to the persons house, and drove home with the dog. We didn't know to ask any questions. I've never had a dog and my husband only had one when he was a little boy.

-Don't know if he was being aggressive, I think he may have been. He has bitten me from behind when I am doing dishes or not paying attention.

-Have taught him to sit and give paw. We make him do that before he eats.

-We just switched from a retracting leash to a 6 foot.

-Yes, we have a crate. He sleeps in it every night and hangs out in it during the day. We have been told to never use it for time out.

-I am a stay at home mom and except for errands, am home all the time with Tybee and my sons when they aren't in school.

We just started training a few days ago and they gave us the pinch collar to use but I am afraid if i keep it on during the day, it'll hurt him? Am I being ridiculous? I use it though when I walk him.

Thank you for your help.
Amy

All About Labradors Answer:

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

Thanks for the great picture of Tybee, he is just so cute!!

Based on your letter, I'm putting Tybee somewhere in the 16 to 19 weeks of age period. What you must understand is Tybee going through a critical period right now.

Labrador Retrievers between the age of 12 -16 weeks go through a phase called Seniority Classification Period. During this period Tybee will challenge you to see who the pack leader is going to be. He will bite you in play and as a challenge to your authority. He will try to dominate, may grab leashes, may growl, and can often become over excited. Basically, what he is trying to do, is to figure out exactly where he stands in the pack order, and see if moving up in the pack will work. What is important here is that you establish yourself as the pack leader or the Alpha.

Obedience training and the Alpha dog - obedience training (basics: sit, heel, stay, recall, down) doesn't solve all behavior problems; however, it becomes a foundation for solving just about any problem. Effective communication is necessary to instruct your Labrador Retriever with what you want him to do. What the Alpha dog basically comes down to is - Who is the leader.

Dogs see all the people and other dogs in the household as a pack. Each person in the pack has a rank, with a top dog. Your Labrador Retriever's rank should be at the bottom of the pack. You and everyone in your family are ahead of him and he must understand this.

Here's an article on Alpha dogs with rules to follow to let your Lab know his place:

Establishing and keeping Alpha Position

Amy, the training has got to be consistent, might be frustrating, and won't happen overnight. You will have to keep on correcting Tybee, possible hundreds of times.

Whenever you want Tybee to do something, you must TELL him, not ask. Remember, you are the boss, the top dog. You (and your family) are the one that makes the rules and give the orders. Stand up nice and straight, and in a firm voice TELL him what to do. Always remember this!

It's great that you taught Tybee to sit and you are using it before he eats. What you have to continue to do is make sure you get him to sit before getting any rewards (his food, playtime, etc).

When it comes time to feed Tybee, walk him, play with him, your going to TELL him to sit. When he does, praise him with the Good dog, or Good boy, give him the permission with an Okay and then give him his reward (his food, playtime, etc...).

What happens if he doesn't want to sit?

If Tybee doesn't sit, you’re going to walk away from him and ignore him. Remember, No Sit, No Reward. Make sure you state your sit command in a good firm voice and if he doesn't obey, walk away and ignore him. You will try again a little later.

What you are teaching him is to respect and obey you. His place is at the bottom of the pack, nowhere else.

Time for your Labrador Retriever to be fed... SIT, OKAY then feed him. Time for him to go out...SIT, OKAY and out you go (you go out door first, not other way around). You’re the boss! Practice, practice, practice. It might take much ignoring for him to get it.

You also want to make sure that you do not play aggressive games during this phase. (Tug of war, wrestling, etc). If Tybee becomes over excited, mouths or growls, make sure all activity stops. I would also advise against leaving small children unattended with him. Make sure all members of your family are consistent with training and any corrections.

The next stage of development for Tybee is called the Flight Instinct Period (4 - 8 Months). During this period, your cute little Labrador puppy will decide he is ready to go off by himself. He will become more independent and will ignore your commands of come and stay. He will try to venture off and be clever in attempts to run around loose.

During this period, teaching Tybee to stay close and to come when he is called is critical. Failure to do so can lead to major problems as Tybee grows into adulthood.

What you want to make sure of during this period is that Tybee is on a leash every time he is in a unconfined area. You also want to train him the "come" command and make sure it is reinforced and that it becomes a positive experience.

For Tybee's problem with nipping / biting:

Your going to have to train him that this nipping / biting is wrong. By ignoring this problem and believing your Labrador will grow out of it, you are risking the chance that a serious injury could occur as your Lab puppy reaches adulthood.

Here is a copy of an article (it's posted on the All About Labradors blog) I have written on this subject.

Labrador Retriever – Training your puppy to stop biting and nipping

You have brought your new Labrador Retriever puppy home and all is well, except for the occasional biting from your pup. Sure the biting hardly ever causes serious harm or injury, but by ignoring this problem and believing your Labrador will grow out of it, you are risking the chance that a serious injury could occur as your Lab puppy reaches adulthood. If your Labrador puppy does have a habit of biting, nipping, or "mouthing" you or your loved ones, try some or all of the following to help correct its behavior.

1. Teach your Labrador Retriever puppy that biting hurts. When he does bite, let out a sharp "no" or "ouch" while maintaining eye contact with him. It will teach him that his play is to rough, and you will not continue to play until he is gentler.

2. Close Your Mouth – gently hold your Labrador Retriever’s mouth shut while stating "no".

3. Time Out – while maintaining eye contact with your pup, state "no", or "ouch", and then get up and move away, stopping interaction with your Labrador. You can also place him in his crate, if you do use one for training. By walking away, or placing him in his crate, you teach him that he will lose his playmate if he continues to nip and bite.

4. Rough Housing – Do you let your Labrador puppy grab your hands in its mouth while playing? Then when he bites your hand to hard, you scold him and state "no". You’re encouraging him one minute and scolding him the next. What your doing is completely confusing your poor little Labrador puppy.

5. Teach your Lab pup the "off" command.

Helpful Tips:

Make sure your Labrador puppy gets plenty of play time and exercise daily. These are great distractions and may help reduce your puppies biting.

Be consistent with whatever methods you use to help break the nipping and biting habit. Make sure family members are consistent also.

Have plenty of chew toys for your Labrador puppy.

Always reinforce your Labs good behavior. Whenever he plays nicely or licks you without biting and nipping, shower him with love and praise.

Watch the tone of your voice with the "no" and "ouch" commands. They should always be sharp and to the point.

A Word of Caution:

If you have small young children, never leave your Labrador Retriever puppy alone with them until he has learned biting and nipping are unacceptable.

Games like tug-of-war and rough housing encourage your Labrador puppy to bite. Waiting until he is fully trained in the "off" command until introducing these games. You must discourage any and all biting because such biting is a sign of dominance!

If for some reason your Lab puppy becomes more aggressive when he bites, or your training methods don’t seem to be working, seek help from your veterinarian or professional trainer.

Apply one or more of the above training procedures, be consistent with your training, and shower your Labrador Retriever puppy with praise for doing good, and you’ll be on your way to nipping your Labradors biting habit in the bud.

As far as chew toys that I mentioned in the article goes, I do highly recommend and love the Kong toys (make sure you get the proper size for your Labrador). The Kong toys that you can stuff with treats can keep him busy (and out of trouble!) for long periods of time by encouraging him to get the food reward inside. They also provide plenty of physical as well as mental exercise for him. You can stuff them with peanut butter or other treats, freeze them overnight, and it will make it that much tougher for Tybee to get the treats out, again keeping him busy.

Nylabone also makes very good toys. Many pet stores are full of garbage toys that your Labrador will quickly chew up and choke on or cause intestinal blockages. Rawhide is especially bad because it swells after being swallowed. You want to make sure you always inspect your Labradors toys, when pieces are starting to break off, it's time to discard them.

As for leashes and controlling Tybee, I recommend the Halti or Gentle Leader collar for him, as opposed to the pinch collar, for I believe they make it very easy for you to control him.

One last thing Amy, as you can see from number three in the nipping / biting article, I do recommend using the crate as a time out as opposed to others that may not.

Hope some of this will be of help to you and Tybee. If you have any questions about anything (training commands, leash training, etc) please don't hesitate to ask. Please keep me informed along the way.

Take care of yourself and Tybee,

Fay

References:

dogbreedinfo.com

PubMed.gov

To see the way to adorable Tybee visit: Tybee 10/18/08

RELATED ARTICLES:

Labrador Retriever – Training your puppy to stop biting and nipping

My six month old Labrador Retriever Bites - part I

My six month old Labrador Retriever Bites - part II

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