Puppyhood - trials and tribulations

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Puppyhood - trials and tribulations
26
Thu, 07-26-2007 - 9:49pm
Some of you know we adopted Jack, a black lab mix, from a kill shelter. We have had him 2 months and he is about 10 months old.
Having been a cat person all my life, Jack is a new challenge and quite a character. The shy, quiet little dog we adopted is now a 60 pound mass of high energy with a dominating spirit. During the day he is as sweet and as laid back as he could be but come 5:00, watch out! He is a whirling devilish dervish!!!!!
The good news is that my DH are getting lots of exercise as we take him for 2-3 long walks a day. The bad news is (maybe not so bad...) is that I have MUCH to learn about raising a dog like Jack. We have become "Dog Whisperer" fans, and he will be "evaluated" for training class on Saturday. The other thing I have noticed is that somehow Jack knows how to push my buttons and I feel so inept and discouraged sometimes.
How come I can maintain order in a class of 30 middle school students but one dog is kicking my butt??? LOL!!
Anyway, if anyone has some experience, strength, and hope to offer me, I would greatly appreciate it.
Leslie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-11-2004
Thu, 07-26-2007 - 10:00pm
Hang in there...labs have a way of settling down and becoming rugs after they are about 18 months. They respond best to praise and positive feedback. They tend to ignore being chewed out. You can try a spray bottle with water and a tablespoon of lemon juice...they don't like it much.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Thu, 07-26-2007 - 10:59pm

Sorry Leslie, but I had to laugh.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 7:06am

How about a super soaker hose?

LOL!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 7:16am
Good for you, Brenda! What a great way to get exercise!!
I loved the pictures - how cute!
I can't attached pictures here (I don't have all the bells and whistles for Ivillage) but I did send you some pictures this morning.
As I write this Jack is racing around the house with one of his favorite toys in his mouth...
Leslie
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 7:28am
LOL...I can just see that now that I have seen Jack..The lady that I walk BlackJack for is worried that when people come to the door they will be intimidated seeing him, so she has trained him not to bark when the doorbell rings...he goes and gets a toy and stands at the door, so the first thing you see is this big black dog with a toy hanging out of his mouth...lol.
Avatar for rosolo
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 10:43am

When we first moved in our 15 years ago., there we two chocolate labs that lived
down the street. If our gate was open, they would come in the back yard, swim a couple
of laps in the pool, and leave. We would just laugh.

Our golden retriver is 11 years old. She still gets as excited for a walk now, as she
did when she was younger. Besides, it is the only time she gets that is just for
her, as I leave the other two dogs at home.

Have you read the book, "Marley and Me"? I highly recommend it if you haven't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2007
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 2:59pm

I am sitting here having a good laugh (at your expense I'm afraid).....because I know how trying our furry babies can be, but they are just as rewarding....and being a cat person, to take on a lab....brave, brave woman. In my experience labs are a furry ball of energy...and love, lots of love. They are very intelligent and will challenge you from time to time, but luckily they are also very happy to make you happy. They chew up anything not tied down, covered up and boxed....with strong tape:) I have had a couple....one full blooded, one mixed with chow.......and honest to goodness, my biggest challenge and most loving at the same time is the one here beside me, a lab mixed with husky which we also rescued from the urgent list.

I knew about labs, what I didn't know was that husky is more predominant in this one because he looked more like a lab as a baby. Once I started researching, come to find out the husky is "unparalleled" in stubborness. How fun! He is also the sweetest, most affectionate, most intelligent dog I have ever known. When he needs to go out, he goes to the back door and hits the doorknob with his nose. If that doesn't work, he will come over and position your hand in his mouth and take you to the door (gently of course, you have to be willing to walk with him). He will also take us by the hand to the living room and pull us down to the floor if he wants to cuddle. And most recently, due to his intensely free spirit, he has turned into houdini! He has managed to figure out how to not only do some sort of alligator role to come out of his collar, now if he is in the back (on a 30ft cable), he has found a way to climb out of his harness! I almost thought someone was letting him go until I saw him climb out with my own two eyes.

Anyway, congrats on the new baby, and if you need to know something, I might be able to give you some advice. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 5:28pm
Hi Rose! I loved the picture in my mind of the two labs enjoying your pool...they may be a lot of things but they are not stupid!!
I just finished "Marley and Me" last week - what a wonderful story. Not only was it excellently written, but I loved the descriptions of Marley's antics.
Actually, Jack is pretty good compared to Marley!!
Right now he has a new game - push a toy under the couch or a chair, and then try and get it out! My carpets are not long for this world....LOL!!!
Leslie
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 5:32pm
Thank you for taking the time to write! I posted here because one of the things I have noticed with Jack is that I was losing my sense of humor! Smiling now, with the things I have been reading, I know that I am not alone and that there is so much that I have to learn!
More to follow, I am sure!
LOL!!!!
Leslie
Thank you so much again -
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2007
Fri, 07-27-2007 - 5:42pm

Hang in there, and thanks for posting this. It's a nice refreshing change to talk about something good with the buddies that we share our heartache with!

One of my biggest lessons with Luke in keeping my temper in check is to remember that he is very much a free spirit and doesn't mean any harm......he just wants to have fun.....and he gets so terribly upset when we are upset with him. Sometimes I think it's just as heartbreaking to see him upset as to deal with a child that has gotten themselves into trouble. I like to think of him as my little 4 year old:)

Also, he was recently bitten by a copperhead in my back yard....thought we were going to loose him......and not jazzed about going out in my garden now:) Talk about funny and sad at the same time.....when we got him back home, he was so knocked out from the meds, he tried to throw up his leg to potty, and fell over. Was it evil for me to think that was a little funny? You just don't see your dog drunk everyday, and by then we were pretty confident he was going to be ok after a few days of being intoxicated. It actually really made me think about self medicating, or being an addict of any kind......he REALLY didn't like being under the influence. He kept trying to shake it off. Anyway, kisses to Jack and keep laughing!

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