Lab puppy question

debbiep_gwOctober 11, 2010

In general how long does a lab pup stay a pup?I know there are some lab owners here to answer the question.I keep thinking if I can hold out with Annabelle until this time next year she will be settled down.Shes 8 months approximately now and is spayed.As of now there doesn't seem to be any settling.Before I'm asked,no she doesn't get walks.I'm unable to walk her but she does get exercise daily.We have pecan trees and loads of squirrels so she runs like the wind trying to catch them.It seems like you can't look away from her a minute,if you do she is destroying something.That goes for inside and outside.I cover holes daily.She terrorizes one of the bassets,she can't be left with Sally.Sally has some health issues so I refuse to let Annabelle bother her and thats a daily battle right there.Our land is fenced so she goes in and out and that helps some.So will she settle down within the year or are they like this for life?

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sylviatexas1

Many big breeds, Labs included, don't get out of the puppy stage until they're 2 years old.

It sounds like she's an alpha female, since she terrorizes another dog, & I don't know where to begin to offer any helpful advice there.

Even if you take her to obedience training & she behaves better when you're around, you still cannot leave her alone with Sally, ever.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:08PM
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housefairy

Ah'h she's still just a puppy, though it sounds like she's very rambunctious. She is a bird dog, and is bred for stamina, so you have to expect her to have lots of energy. As stated you're probably looking at 2 years old before she is out of her "teen years". LOL

Is she terrorizing the other dog with a show of teeth and snarling, or is it just a puppy wanting to play? Sometimes an older dog will let a puppy get away with stuff before they will put them in their place. I assume they can smell (possibly hormones) that it is a puppy and seem to put up with their antics. Female dogs seem to give pups more leeway than say older male dogs.

Mine likes to chase squirrels, too, but all that does is just put her on high alert. Seems to wind her up more than wear her out. I would suggest, since you can't walk her, is to do an organized exercise. Get a chuck-it and play ball. Make her do a sit/stay while you throw, then release her to go get the ball. Have her bring it back to a specific place and drop. Or use a frisbee. Start with her catching one and work your way up to throwing two or three at a time. It will work her bird dog traits. Do this long enough to really run her down and do it consistently every day. You should see a change in her demeanor. A tired dog is a good dog.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 1:37PM
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debbiep_gw

It seems like puppy play with Sally.She is not trying to dominate her at all.She wants to play and she wants to play then,Sally does do the growling,snarling,teeth showing but it doesn't affect Annabelle at all.Lucy the other basset only has to give a little bark/growl and Annabelle goes way around her.There are no problems between those two(not yet anyway)Lucy is alpha over Sally to.Sally on the other hand sounds much more aggressive than Lucy but it does not work on Annabelle.

On a good note she does get tired outside playing and running.I've noticed she sleeps really well at night.I no longer hear her stirring around in her crate.I will try the ball/frisbee game with her.She can never be to tired!

I'm just wondering if we will ever be able to trust her in the house.If you are going to step outside three minutes you better crate her.I'm hoping the house is still standing after she gets out of puppyhood.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Ninapearl

at 8 months, her puppy license is about to expire. the other dogs will put up with just so much before they launch a full out "get outta my space!!!" display.

i am NOT an advocate of letting dogs "work it out themselves" when it comes to these issues. however, i wonder if you let sally put the pup in her place with a well aimed nip at her, the pup might learn some instant respect. this would, of course, have to be done under strict supervision. unless you think sally would really take a bite out of the pup or the pup might launch a serious counter-attack, it might help to quell her puppy exuberance.

you don't specify what health issues sally has...is she in pain? if that's the case then i would definitely keep the pup away from her, period.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:54PM
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whimzikl

Our lab, Isabelle, was lucky to have survived her puppyhood at our home! She was a wild girl...when she was 6 months old I told my hubby I think I'm too old for a puppy! Isabelle got to stay and turned out to be the most wonderful dog. We took her took obedience training, which helped, but they are full of energy. We played every night with a chuck-it and a tennis ball..she loved every minute! She even got her picture in the local newspaper..worn out from playing, laying on her back with the ball still in her mouth! What a character!

She had some bad seizures one weekend this spring and never came out of it, so at 11 years old she went to puppy heaven...one of the hardest days of our life!

Hang in there...you will eventually adore Annabelle!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 2:59PM
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loagiehoagie

People said my Duke would calm down at two years of age. Didn't happen. Three years old....nope. About when he turned four he lost most of his wildness. Great dog. Labs are the best....if you can survive those first few years LOL.

Duane

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 3:54PM
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catt11

I feel for you!! Like someone else said, Labs are WONDERFUL dogs if you can survive their puppy period, which we found was at 2 to 3 years old!! Almost 6 years ago we got two 10 week old Lab males from the same litter because we wanted them to have company for one another. We live in the country, and have lots and lots of safe space for them to run around in and play in. At one point, even with all of the space they have and the playing and wrestling together that they did as pups (and still do now as adults), for the first two years they still managed to get into a lot of trouble! I have lost count of all the things they have chewed and destroyed when they were pups. For the first three years we had to put small fences around all the flower beds because they would wrestle and destroy the flowers and small shrubs! And------did I mention the chewing they did-------?!!!! One of them even chewed some wires underneath our car and that was something else we had to get repaired! And then there was the porch swing that one or both chewed the wooden arms on and that too had to be replaced! Oh,and I forgot about the carpet that one of them chewed up! But, don't lose hope! Shortly after their second birthday we noticed a change in them and the chewing really pretty much stopped. However, I am saying the "puppy period" is 2 to 3 years old because one of them did chew their bed one night when he was about almost 3 but we have had no problems from either one of them since. They are so loving and so sweet natured. Our two, maybe because they do have each other to play with, still at 6 will wrestle and play together almost as much as when they were pups, but the destruction has stopped. Hang in there----it will get better!

Maybe someone else on here can give you good help on the chewing problem while they are still pups. One person I know gives their pups lots of those "chewies" you can buy but I think there is some controversy with them?

Again,hang in there----Labs are so sweet and wonderful, we would not trade our two for anything in the world!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 5:07PM
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debbiep_gw

I'm not for letting dogs work it out either.I'm slow moving so there are times Sally is trying to put Annabelle in her place before I can get to them but it doesn't phase Annabelle.To her its all in fun.Sally does have some pain sometimes.She has arthritis, mostly in cold weather but has a issue with her mouth that hasn't been totally figured out(not because she hasn't been to the vet,she has)of course Annabelle goes for the loose skin around her mouth and her ears.

At the end of the day sometimes I wonder what was I thinking by keeping a puppy.I so had it made with two basset hounds.They are such laid back dogs.Live and learn!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 5:45PM
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carmen_grower_2007

Our 2 yr. old has finally settled down, I think but that is because I am comparing her to the 11 mo. old lab we just got who is definitely still a puppy! It is probably just due to comparison that it seems our 2 yr. old is settled. I expect it takes a good three years for puppyhood to be replaced with adulthood.

Labs are the best but you have to be patient for at least two years. After that, they will still need tons of exercise, but won't constantly be getting into things.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:07PM
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mazer415

You should know that the squirrel thing can turn into an obession..Frankly walking is the best thing, if you can not do it yourself, maybe you can get a dog walker, there is no substitute for leash walking a dog. If there is a pond or lake and they allow dogs, that is alos a great place to take your dog to wear it out. You might want to contact the local humane society or your vet and ask about dog walkers or if there is a lab related club or community in your area, maybe they can take your dog with them when they go out. Labs need to fulfill a job, and by letting them just retrieve a ball for a couple of hours a day can be very helpful. Good luck

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:43PM
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coconut_nj

I remember when we took Pinky to her obedience class. There were three or four labs in the class and the instructor said we really should have classes for just labs. Smiles. Those whose labs matured by age two are somewhat the exception. Three or four is really more normal. Now don't get me wrong, I can't walk much and taught Pinky to be my personal assistant dog, and she was smart as a whip and learned well and young. I have a high energy dog now [pitbull] and of course I can walk even less than I could fifteen years ago with Pinky. I do a lot of obedience work with him in the house. I do things like what I call doggie calisthenics.. sit, down, stand, sit, stand, down, etc. I also with both Pinky and Jessie did a lot of fetch in the house. I just keep the middle of room clear and use things like those string bones to throw. A bit easier if I overthrow. A hallway works for some people. Smiles.

As far as keeping her from bothering the other dog[s], do as I've done to keep Jessie from bugging the cats, keep her on a leash in the house. I use several leashes hooked together and one end tethered near me on a super heavy table or one end wrapped around my arm. I'm so used to it I don't even notice it but if he gets out of line it's fast and easy for me to give him a correction. He doesn't try to hurt them, but he wants to play with them too rough. It really helps when they do something you don't want them to, to be able to follow up the no with a quick jerk if they don't comply or if they keep it up, to reel them back to you, or out of the way of the other animal. He's learned with this pretty good and now leaves them alone, even taking naps on the bed with the upstairs cats on there too. Hope this helps.

I don't know why you can't walk your dog, but as Mazer said they love a job, so perhaps you could work on training her to do something to help you. I taught Pinky to pick things up for me and give them to me. Eventually she'd find any little scrap of paper on the floor and bring it to me. At times I was bed ridden and she would even bring a sandwich to me upstairs, in a baggie then in a plastic grocery bag. She was so proud to do those things.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 1:48AM
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mamacotti

I've had Labs most of my life, and I have to vote for a good solid 3 years.
If you can handle her until then, you will have earned the prize she will be.

Probably by the end of two years you will see a difference. Then it's fun to watch the changes happen over the next year. I suggest finding a soft, padded wall to bang your head against when you need to.

Here's my worst Buck story...
In 2000, we had just had a pool put in and the back yard landscaped. Buck (about 1 yr at the time) had a great kennel back there. One day I came home from work for lunch and to let him run for a few minutes. He had so much fun I decided to let him stay out while I went back to work.

Just a few hours, right? How much harm could he do, really? I figured he'd dig in the new mulch some, or even lay on "his" shelf in the shallow end of the pool.
Nothing I couldn't clean up quickly before my husband got home.

The scene that greeted me...I'll just never forget it. All the plants and small trees had been in the ground for over a month. They were gone. All plants, bushes and trees were in the deep end of the pool.

Buck and half of the dirt and mulch were in the shallow end. There was no cleaning up before husband came home. I simply made a stiff drink and sat there and cried.

So that was his worst stunt. Otherwise, he like to lay outside on his back and gnaw on the brick.

Seriously, a good 3 years....He's now 11, and growing older right in front of our eyes. I'd give anything if he could tear up my yard now.

Oh, here's a game my 5 yr old Lab LOVES...Flashlight. Indoors or out, if we grab a flashlight she thinks it's for her. She'll chase the light everywhere, back and forth, back and forth, forever. At first we thought it was kinda mean, so when I turned it off she ran right up to me nipped at the light.

The downside to that game is when we are outside a night with a light, she has to be put in. But at 5 she's perfect unsupervised in the house!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 1:41AM
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debbiep_gw

That was a good story mamacotti.I can see/imagine Annabelle doing something just like that.I just hope I can wait her out to grow up!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:49PM
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prairie_love

I also say it'll be three years before she's truly calmed down.

I am a big believer in mental workouts. In your situation, it seems like clicker training might be a huge life saver. I can just see Annabelle starting to pester Sally when you call out "Annabelle, watch me", Annabelle's head whips around and she looks you in the eye, CLICK! Annabelle then runs to you for a treat. Follow with a few minutes of tricks and clicker training and now Annabelle's forgotten all about Sally.

As others said, teach her to bring you things. Labs and other retrievers love to feel useful and bringing you the paper or your slippers (or a cold beer from the frig) can be a great way to use up some of her energy.

mamacotti - love your story. Reminds me of a hose that was turned into a soaker hose, the pots of flowers that were replanted multiple times, and the sod. Oh my, the sod. I used to call it the "sod wars". We had a section of lawn that had new sod and the pups learned quickly that if they pulled at one corner they could get the whole patch of sod to come up! Being somewhat lawn obsessed, DH wasn't too happy.

Puppies are so much work - and with the big energetic breeds it lasts years - but the memories are so worth it! Hang in there, you will be so happy Annabelle is part of your family.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:34PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

For me, right now, it's the leaves. I rake up the leaves, spread out the tarp, start to fill it up and then Carmelita (almost 6 months) grabs one end and starts to run!!! So cute, but so annoying! She is my first puppy. My other two dogs came to me full grown and practically perfect. She is so much fun, but also a lot of work. But it is amazing to see how much she has changed in these four short months. Hang in there. It will get lots better. You'll see.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Sofarris

How much room does she have on your land to run around?

Mine's just over a year and she's up at the crack of dawn jumping around waiting for me to take her out. I think it helps to get her out of the house, but if that's a problem for you, then playing fetch with a ball or even a stick might help.

It helps that my little darlings chase her round the garden when they get back from school every day. They usually run out of steam before her though.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 11:36AM
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eandhl

Most dogs that are chewers do their worst destruction between 9 months and a year. Again most learn about a year it is not acceptable. Does she have appropriate chew toys?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2014 at 6:46PM
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ryseryse_2004

It takes a lab a good three years to get out of the puppy phase! This may not be true of most large breeds but it takes labs that long.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2014 at 8:54AM
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