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MY 7 month lab is showing aggression, help?

MY 7 month lab has shown aggression again this time to my teenage daughter who tried to make him drop the biscuit wrapper he was about to swallow.He growled at her , bit her hand and when she tried to shoo him off he bit her again menacingly.I am at my wits end as to how to teach him never to be aggressive to family members. Apart from this he is also very intelligent , communicates well (when he is hungry /when he wants to relieve himself) and is very playful I am contemplating giving him back to the breeder and getting a smaller breed like a pom or a pug.People pls help coz we really love him and would hate to see him go My husband who is not much of a dog lover is upset as he thinks that some bigger accident may happen if we keep him
By phoebe · 03 Feb 2012 7:09 pm

Answer

 
By vignesh · 03 Feb 2012 8:25 pm
first teach him no or off command....whenever he misbehaves with family members use this command.....if u hire trainer check his knowledge towards dogs cz many trainers will give physical punishments.....if you are willing to train ur dog go to google n search " MARKER TRAINING " and follow it.....it is most scientific and effective method....
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By KamalRaj J Kuppal · 03 Feb 2012 9:45 pm
When your daughter tries to pull the biscuit wrapper from your lab mouth, here the fight starts, its like tug of war for your lab and who wins will be in higher position in pack. So we never allow small child to pull anything from dog's mouth, obviously dogs are stronger than child and he will definitely win and the moment he wins, he start feeling himself as he is the higher rank than your daugther and he will never obeys your daugther hereafter.

Its easy to handle this issue, just follw the things

1. Always make sure that your daugther eat first and your lab should see this.
2. After your daugther had food, make your daugther to feed your dog. Feed your dog only if he sits or atleast in calm mindset. If he is excited or jumpy, make him to calm then only feed him.
3. No tug of war game hereafter, never allow your child to pull anything from your dog's mouth.
4. Whenever you/your husband enters home give more attention to your daughter and last give attention to your lab.

Labs are extremely lovable dogs and it is really shocking to see/read about aggressive labs, the issue what you mention is common as this is the age dog set them in pack ranking, we can handle him by constant training in calm and assertive manner. Labs are far better than pom and pug from my personnel experience as i had both.

Also, i am not the expert and i am not sure that points that i mentioned may or may not work. I am sharing my experience as this really worked well for my lab and now he is soft among any age of childrens.
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By phoebe · 04 Feb 2012 12:31 pm
Thanks a lot Kamalji for your wise suggestions.We love the Dog very much but are a bit scared too.My kids used to play Tug of war games with him all the time and apart from the food aggression incident he has never shown any aggression.I will take your advice and give him another chance
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By phoebe · 04 Feb 2012 12:31 pm
Thanks a lot Kamalji for your wise suggestions.We love the Dog very much but are a bit scared too.My kids used to play Tug of war games with him all the time and apart from the food aggression incident he has never shown any aggression.I will take your advice and give him another chance
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By Rashi Ahluwalia · 05 Feb 2012 10:17 am
Please give him some time, i have 2 lab boys and had similar experiences while they were growing up however now that they are both about 2.5 years old all the old aggression has subsided and they are the most gentle dogs i have ever had. They play with the entire neighborhood's kids and everyone loves them. However while growing up they do need to be taught that they are not the pack leaders and the family members need to be respected. I think Kamalji has given some very wise suggestions which should help you and your family. Also going back to the breeder at this age will not be good for the lab as he has already grown up in your house and will find it very tough to adjust elsewhere. Please give him another chance - Good Luck!
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By Navjot Singh · 06 Feb 2012 1:55 pm
A 7 month old dog undergoes an important phase in his physical and mental development which is called Adolescence. That's the time, he learns to exert his presence in the pack, to understand his territory and so on and so forth. During this period, you notice your dog starting to become alert, his bark becomes thicker in sound, he may get over excited when come across another animal. You may even notice your dog trying to exhert his dominance over the family member by barking at them during play sessions, growling when not being listened to.
This is the time when you have to teach your dog who's the leader in the family.
Does your dog barks and growls only at your daughter or on all family members? If he growls only at your daughter, it means he's not been properly raised. Lack of socialisation right in the beginning makes the dog either to meek or too aggressive. In this case, one must consut a dog behaviouralist. These professionals can correct these behaviour related problems.
If he exhibites this behaviour towards other family members then it's just a result of his mental development. He's learning to defend his pack. However, am not justifying his biting your daughter. Biting is very normal at his stage of growth. You can nevertheless control it in your favour. If he exhibits any aggressive behaviour during play you should do the following- Make him lay on the ground holding him by your hands in such away that your one hand control his upper body including his mouth and neck and the other hand controlling his back so that he's completely overwealmed by you. Hold him in this position until he relaxes and gives in or 3 minutes whichever is earlier. Inthis way, you convey a clear message who's the more powerful and thus the leader in the pack. This will make him understand that his family is not the one he should be messing with. He'll also learn to be gentle with your kids during the play. Repeat this until the symptoms ceases or elso consult a dog behaviouralist.
Secondly, how much exercise you give to the dog? The root cause of aggression is excess energy being left unexhausted making the dogs frustrated which they may express by biting, barking relentlessly, and all other behavioural issues. Infact, Labradors are not the dogs whom you can expect to stay calmly in your house without thorougly exercising them. They don't just require long daily walks but a bit of running.
I've seen people taking their dogs out, after the dog has done potty they take them back to home. That's it. Then they expect them to stay calm all day!!
I wouldn't suggest giving the puppy back to the breeders because when you do so you spoil a life which is bad. A lot of exercise and love will certainly make him a better pet and am sure 100% you wouldn't have to even consult a third party.
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