Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Laci's Mommy

NaNa8
January 29th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Good Morning everyone,
I have a 8 1/2 mth old Lab that I am having a problem with. First off, she has just been diagnosed with "Hyrocephalus" :sad: . With this diagnosis some of the brain cells have been killed by the fluid and at this time we are really not sure with her behaviour if the problems are due to that or plain stubbornness.

She has always barked or at times "talked" to us when we are engaged in activites (reading newspaper, watching TV, on the computer). If we do not respond to her, she will attempt to chew on the arm of the chair we are sitting on or the kitchen table and at the same time "talk" in between chews.

My take on this is that she is looking for attention :evil: and she ends up getting it because of the chewing and my not wanting her to destroy the furniture. I am not sure how to get her to stop this. I have tried to tell her to "knock it off" but she persists to do it feverishly. I have removed her after telling her this and given her a time out but it continues. I tried Bitter apple on the furniture and she doesn't mind the taste. She is getting the attention that she wants, but it is getting out of hand.

Any suggestions as to what else to try. Again I am not really certain if this is a problem due to the hyrocephalus and if it is we just deal with it or she is trying to get her way.

Thank you,
JoAnne

Mineeputs
January 29th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Your puppy is adorable! How can you resist that face! I'm not familiar with that brain disorder, and hope for your sake, that this is just a behaviour problem (one that can be fixed). Our 7 month lab tests us every chance she can get! We feed her raw meaty bones which keeps her occupied for hours. It's not only good for her physically, but it keeps her calm. Touch wood, she hasn't destroyed anything in our house, furniture or otherwise. Worth a try!

tenderfoot
January 29th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Sounds like normal puppy behavior. Sorry about the brain disorder - hopefully she won't be terribly affected by it as you seem to have a normal teenager on your hands.
She is acting out to get attention. She is challenging your authority in the house when she behaves this way but doesn't respect your words. You could put her on the leash and empower your words with a slight leash correction when you say "quit" and mean it. Look her straight in the eye when you tell her 'quit' in a short, sharp tone.
Another way to correct her bad choice is to take your flat hand and quickly 'slice' it between her mouth and the chair as you say 'quit'. You are not trying to hit your dog but create a boundary. This is a boundary set by you (the leader) for her to respect. She might challenge you 3-5 times because in her mind your word hasn't meant much so far, so she is willing to challenge you. But if you are consistent and have attitude in your voice and your hand movement is abrupt then she should get the message.
You as the leader have every right to create boundaries for her - but also try to create positive choices as well. 'No! don't chew on the couch, yes! come over and chew on this bone, good girl'. If we only correct her bad choices then she won't learn what the good choices are.
The problem with time-outs and bitter apple is they really avoid the issue and dont' teach right from wrong.
The barking is a sign of 'I am the center of the world and all things must revolve around me according to my wishes' syndrome. Time to put her to work. Put her on a leash attached to you and start engaging her brain. This relationship is about what you want not what she wants. The more time spent with a good leader the better dog she will grow to be. The more time doing as she pleases 24/7, the more out of control she will likely be.

NaNa8
January 29th, 2006, 07:53 PM
Mineeputs: Thanks, we think she is adorable also. What raw meaty bones do you give your lab and where do u purchase them. I never gave our last dog any type of bones other than Nylabone Galileo so I am unsure of what type of others are good and not going to do her harm her insides or her teeth. The only other bone I have given Laci is a 100% natural sterilized beef bones with peanut butter inside that I got from PetSmart here in town. Is this the type that you are referring ?

JoAnne

Tenderfoot: Thank you for the advice. We will try first to do the boundary method. The question I have about "leashing" her to me is that I work. During the day she is allowed into all rooms except the bedrooms and bathrooms. I am only with her for about 1 1/2 hrs in the am and then come home at lunch to walk her. Am I to attach her for that 1 1/2 hrs and then again after work to follow me around to do as I do ? I do not allow her in the kitchen when I am cooking as she tends to be right there waiting for something to be dropped. She does know what "out of the kitchen" means. At this point, would I unleash her ?

JoAnne

tenderfoot
January 29th, 2006, 08:45 PM
Only on the leash when you are home and it is attached to you. You don't have to do it every minute but the more the better.
Great that she knows to stay out of kitchen. That's a boundary for her to respect. The more you work boundaries the more respect she will have for your word.

NaNa8
January 29th, 2006, 08:57 PM
Thanks, I will continue to work her and wish for the best. Working on the rest of the family will be harder.

Lucky Rescue
January 29th, 2006, 11:08 PM
My take on this is that she is looking for attention and she ends up getting it because of the chewing and my not wanting her to destroy the furniture.

You have rewarded her for the chewing and barking, so of course she'll continue to do it. Dogs do what works. She barks and chews so you give her attention. This is training her to do just that.

Consistancy is important above all.

NaNa8
January 30th, 2006, 11:11 AM
Morning,
Laci was up to the same tricks this am and while I was reading the newspaper, she started on me by whining and then attempting to chew on the arm of the chair or my sleeve. I tried using my hand to show her the "boundary" . This did not deter her in the least. The only way I found today was for me to leave the room and not allow her in the same room as I was. When I returned she was okay only for a few minutes and then started the same thing. It only happened 2 x as I was then trying to get ready for work and I am not stationary for to long.

You have rewarded her for the chewing and barking, so of course she'll continue to do it. Dogs do what works. She barks and chews so you give her attention. This is training her to do just that.
How do you not give the attention with the chewing? How would you go about it as she is doing this?

JoAnne

Mineeputs
January 30th, 2006, 11:45 AM
Because we feed our dog totally raw food, the bones for recreational purposes should be a large beef bone (marrow bone) which you can get from your local grocery store or butcher. Do not cook it as you will destroy all the nutrients and cooking can cause splintering which could be harmful to her. I suggest beef bones because they are readily available. I guarantee she'll be in heaven!

tenderfoot
January 30th, 2006, 02:04 PM
She has been playing this game with you for a long time you can't expect miracles in 1 try. Was she on the leash so you could correct her? Were you willing to continue until she got the message and stopped? I promise you that if I created a boundary for her around the couch she would mind me. That is because I would establish my relationsihp with her instantly by showing I was the leader and she was not to challenge me. I would never have to be mean to do this just clear and consistent. You are at a disadvantage because she knows how to push your buttons and get what she wants. You have to decide that this behavior will not be tolerated anymore - not once! When you change inside you will change on the outside too and then she will feel the difference and start to take you seriously. You can't demand respect you have to command it. Your attitude has to change - dont be so quick to cave in. Take a stand.
Don't wait until you are in the same old situation. Set her up to learn some manners. Put the leash on her, sit down at the couch and be ready to control her behavior. Pressure the bad choices and reward the good ones. Try not get get too energized when you are correcting her as she might just think its part of a game. Be firm and low energy.

NaNa8
January 30th, 2006, 10:09 PM
She has been playing this game with you for a long time you can't expect miracles in 1 try. Was she on the leash so you could correct her?

Unfortunately I did not have her on a leash as I thought that I would try without and see what happens. Well after work, I came home and tethered her to me and she was not too happy about it but has been with me for the last 4 1/2 hrs. It is my first step in leadership. I also went back to your "Love Them and Lead Them" tapes. I did start these tapes many times and I am at fault for not watching them and following through with what I was being taught.

Thank you for reminding me what my role is.

JoAnne

tenderfoot
January 31st, 2006, 10:26 AM
Don't be too hard on yourself. When you are ready to do the work you will. You have all of the resources there for you. Sometimes it just takes being fed up with the bad behavior to say 'that's it! no more' and then the shift happens and you never look back.
4 1/2 hours was a huge step :eek: . Don't forget to take her for a drink occassionally :p . Also try to have some fun, don't make it like a punishment for either of you. This is about creating a better relationship that you will both enjoy.
Remember to ask her to do lots of things and to work the drills too. When you are still she is in the 'close' zone (no pulling on the leash). When you are moving she is not to pass your toe line (2-step dance). When you are in a room send her 'out', or when you answer the door there is an 'out' box at the door she cannot go past without permision. We are shooting for her to start to give you eye contact and check in with you for the answers and this will come when you do the relationship drills. Then add on lots of little jobs: sit, stay, come, down, scoot...etc. Keep her busy and reminded about who is in charge.