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Thread: Black lab has me ready to throw in the towel

  1. #1

    Default Black lab has me ready to throw in the towel

    I have a 6 year old black lab.. I know the breed, and am fully aware they have no pause button, but this one is borderline insane.

    Great dog.. really getting good at ducks..


    He is obsessed with retrieving to the point of obsession. We can play with him three hours and he will look at you like he has done nothing all day. In the Summer I make his swim an hour and that almost does it. I've let him off 2 miles from shore, and had him swim,, he just hits the beach and gets a stick for me to throw..

    anyway.. Winter is here, and he is bouncing off the walls.. I let him out to do bathroom breaks in the morning, and he gave me that look over the shoulder.. then just ignored my calls to come back, and ran away.. he goes to the grocery store to find people to throw stick for him.

    I guess shock therapy is the way to go... how about shock fences?.. I hate putting him on the chain 23/7.. but have no choice I guess.. even for bathroom breaks.. he is 6... no signs of slowing down.. we are worn out.

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Had one like that too. Work him in the river for an hour and then go mow the lawn. He'd follow and drop sticks in front of the mower so I'd have to get off and throw them. Working the sluice box, he'd go up stream and drop the retrieving dummy in the sluice so I'd have to throw it. He loved to retrieve stuff. Did not matter what, when or where. That is what labs do. His will never gave out, his lung cancer finally did him in. The ONLY thing that stopped him was the mercy of the vet.

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    ever think of a treadmill to help get rid of some wintertime energy...
    Last edited by Bear; 11-24-2012 at 19:19. Reason: content

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    Put a long leash on him, when he runs off just before he get to the end of the leash call him back, he will hit the end and get the idea after a few times. I have had 5 labs, some are just tough to stop. I used a method called "heeling free" to get them to listen

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    Member DownEastah's Avatar
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    Default Black lab has me ready to throw in the towel

    Tri Tronics classic 70, it lets them know that dad can still reach out and touch them. Do the research on proper use and the signs of stimulation before you start using it. I believe it's like pepper spray, use it on yourself before you use it on anyone else, it's really not that bad!

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    Member junkak's Avatar
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    That behavior all but stopped after our Lab was neutered. Beforehand he would wait to get out the door and head to the nearest lake.

    Sometimes when I throw a ball for him he looks at me like "Hey..its your fault I'm not chasing today"

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Our lab has serious ADHD but I think that is what I love about him. No matter what when or where he wants to retrieve. Never gets tired. He listens very well at 1 1/2 years old but as he get's older he is getting some what stubborn. The E-collar fixed that issue. We got one that vibrates and that usually is all it takes. Our Beagle was the same way and we used an E-collar on her and cured her desire to want to run off. If it works on a beagle it will work on a lab, and has for ours. I have never done the E-fence but would think it would work good. When we let the dogs out we watch them. It is inconvienent when it's cold out but we have never had them run off when we have the control in our hand. Not sure if you have kids but be careful of them if you do. Never shock a dog with a kid next to them. The dog might think the child just hurt them. Also our kidsd think it's fun to see who can hold the collar the longest while the other one is pushing the button. Kids!
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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    Our yellow lab is the same way. Also un-neutered. We use a Tri-Tronics Sport Basic. It takes one or two zaps each day to establish who's calling that shots. (Sometimes, though, he ignores it.) Our dog is 7 and would run all day if we let him.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    he goes to the grocery store to find people to throw stick for him.


    I know a lot of guys do it, but to me your first mistake was letting a bird dog retrieve sticks. Again, I know, I know, it's hard, but all my kids knew not to throw sticks for the dog. If they wanted to work him use the dummy. I pretty much had to with my chessie because they are known to get hard mouthed easily if you don't watch out. But I still believe ANY dog would go easier on a bird if it didn't fetch sticks.

    If you haven't trained your dog with the whistle, if you decide to use the the e-collar, you might want to teach him the whistle in tandem with the e-collar. First train him to stop and sit with one blast with the whistle. Most obedient, even older dogs will pick that up pretty quick. Then when he goes to run off hit one blast with the whistle (to stop him) and if he doesn't, immediately hit the collar. After awhile he should get the idea, and you shouldn't have to use the collar after that. The whistle is a good thing......MANY times my yellow won't come right away when he's called (by voice), but he seems to come back real quick when I call him with the whistle, which is a few long running blasts. I remember reading a training book and the guy said the whistle just seems to really penetrate their heads better than your voice, and I have to agree. And if you use it with the collar, you can bet when he hears it, it means you mean business.....lol

    I tried the e-fence for a awhile, and it works for a bit. But I was always having problems with the thing. Mostly the collar battery always going out....and those darn things are spendy. I finally gave up on the thing as my dog seemed to figure out that if you go fast enough through it, it doesn't hurt as much. Plus unless you run the wire in the ground, which you can't do now because the ground is frozen, then the darn moose are always breaking the thing.

    Lastly, I know a lot of guys hate to have their dog neutered, but it does make a world of difference when it comes to them running off.....

    Good Luck...
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Listen up. There is much truth in the tongue of 4merguide.
    Not trying to be mean or hold your hands over the fire but I believe much of your problems stem from a lack of basic ob way back when he was a pup. High end dogs need to be handled different than a quieter mannered dog. I know, I have 2 of them. I like high end dogs but you need to start them right. Your stuck with most of it now at 6 years old but you can make a difference but your vigilance will need to be 100% on all the time. The e-collar will help but first you need to teach the desired behavior and then you re-inforce the training with the collar. Before you start with an e-collar, get a real good DVD on how to use it. Watch it until you understand it. I did not really get the grasp of e-collar use until I attended a training seminar and that was one of the best things I ever learned. Duckdon
    Forgive me for being arrogant. I own 2 Drahthaar's.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Wire fencing runs about a buck-fifty a foot. Put up a fenced-in yard. End of problem and you won't have to suffer the agony of having your dog hit by a car or shot by a neighbor while its out running amuk.

    Couple a fenced in yard with a dog door and your dogs can "do their business" whenever they need to and without bothering the pack leader. I know those two items are the best investment I've made. Just the peace of mind that the dog is safe and comfortable in my absence makes it worthwhile.
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    We used to throw sticks for our gal. Wife through a stick and it stuck in the ground. Cedar fetched it up - at a full sliding run. The stick went in her mouth and down her throat and poked a hole out the side of her neck. One sick hurting dog right there. We knew not to throw sticks for her.

    Two trips and a couple thousand dollars later at the vet - and the dog seems fine, savings account a little lower, and no sticks for the dog.

    Worse than a high vet bill would have been if that stick had hit her juglar - that would not have been cool.

    The whistle in pair with a shock collar work well if properly implimented....Cedar won't run away no matter what is done - she only wants to be with us.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    Had one like that too. Work him in the river for an hour and then go mow the lawn. He'd follow and drop sticks in front of the mower so I'd have to get off and throw them. Working the sluice box, he'd go up stream and drop the retrieving dummy in the sluice so I'd have to throw it. He loved to retrieve stuff. Did not matter what, when or where. That is what labs do. His will never gave out, his lung cancer finally did him in. The ONLY thing that stopped him was the mercy of the vet.

    wow thanks for all the great feed back guys.. I didn't realize folks had posted here. I posted after a discouraging morning when he just looked back at me, and kept going.. snuck through the trees.. then gone.


    He is a really good dog, and really obedient believe it or not.. when hunting he stays right at my side, and is trying to figure out what I want him to do. I rarely use a stick for retrieving.. already did the 300 dollar vet bill for the infected gums.. splinters.. we do use tennis balls.. a little late now.. he's addicted.

    He rarely hard mouths a bird.. in spite of all the stick chasing he has done...

    I got him from a friend at the river one year.. I told him how great looking a dog he had, and he said take him... he also was at witts end with him(running away).. I spent a lot of time with him.. always taking him with me.. hours of training.. but if he has not had a good amount of work.. he runs away.. done deal.. if the wind is blowing hard outside.. he wants to go...

    He is already neutered... he runs because he has learned exactly how to work people, and has someone throwing stick for him in short order.. or feeding him .. says right on the collar.. no fetch, no food..

    One lady had him inside and told me she fed him.. did I write.."no food" because we didn't have any?.. oh well.. my fault for letting him getaway..

    another guy had him for a week.. kept him inside.. re named him buck was ready to take him outside.. found him just before they left..

    ADD describes him... he doesn't really connect with people or other dogs... just retrieve obsessed.. is what it is..



    I am going to get the shock collar and try going that route.. kills me I have to have him on the chain 24/7.. but even when we are all out side.. if we stop playing for a while.. he goes..

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Our lab has serious ADHD but I think that is what I love about him. No matter what when or where he wants to retrieve. Never gets tired. He listens very well at 1 1/2 years old but as he get's older he is getting some what stubborn. The E-collar fixed that issue. We got one that vibrates and that usually is all it takes. Our Beagle was the same way and we used an E-collar on her and cured her desire to want to run off. If it works on a beagle it will work on a lab, and has for ours. I have never done the E-fence but would think it would work good. When we let the dogs out we watch them. It is inconvienent when it's cold out but we have never had them run off when we have the control in our hand. Not sure if you have kids but be careful of them if you do. Never shock a dog with a kid next to them. The dog might think the child just hurt them. Also our kidsd think it's fun to see who can hold the collar the longest while the other one is pushing the button. Kids!

    bingo... I get up at 3 am to go to the bathroom, and he jumps up ready to go. One year we did the Denali bus tour, and Ihad to leave him behind on the chain.. when we got back I decided he deserved a good play.. I threw Tennis ball across this creek so he had to swim upstream.. then back.. I wanted to find his limits.. he never quite.. three hours and I was done..

    Out trolling for salmon he knows about when I am done and he can swim.. he looked back and I let him swim from 2 miles out in current.. he hit the beach and went and got a stick..

    un real breed.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorrivercrowds View Post
    I am going to get the shock collar and try going that route.. kills me I have to have him on the chain 24/7.. but even when we are all out side.. if we stop playing for a while.. he goes..
    Don't forget the whistle. You may not think so, but until you've had a dog trained to the whistle you really don't know what you've been missing. The whistle works SO much better in the field than a voice does. Besides, like I said, if you do it in conjunction with the e-collar you "may" not need to use the collar for too long. If he's a smart dog he should be able to pick up the whistle pretty easy.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  16. #16

    Default Black lab has me ready to throw in the towel

    They make good wolf bait

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Don't forget the whistle. You may not think so, but until you've had a dog trained to the whistle you really don't know what you've been missing. The whistle works SO much better in the field than a voice does. Besides, like I said, if you do it in conjunction with the e-collar you "may" not need to use the collar for too long. If he's a smart dog he should be able to pick up the whistle pretty easy.
    e.

    Yea, I can imagine this is effective. It sounds like it has some of the same benefits as a shock collar in that the stimulus is isolated from the owner.. the dog disconnects it in some way from the person giving the command.. like a shock collar..

    I imagine reading this it's obvious this dog lacks proper training. I got him at age two as an unwanted dog.. he was fat.. over weight.. and like now ran away every chance he got..

    I worked him hard for a year.. running him, getting him to sit and wait till I let him retrieve.. much of the basics.. and he's now slim trim and bullet proof..

    this Fall he really stepped up.. and was healing right by my side in jump shooting.. and did a great job retrieving even multiples.. one time we had 5 flappers down and he was herding them to a central spot in the water until we got out and collected them.. he soft mouths perfectly..

    bottom line.. kill 300 ducks over this guy and he'd become a rock star.. his drive is simply unmatched.. even among other labs..


    I just don't bird hunt enough... it's a shame to have him sitting around watching his life go by not doing what he needs to be doing..


    Wife opened the door this AM.. and he bolted again.. straight for the woods.. yesterday I spent 2 hours walking him, retrieving with him..a little exercise just gets him wound up for more.


    considering giving him to someone that puts in the hours duck hunting.. could maybe lend him to me two times a year..

    when I got him from the previous owner.. and went to get him, he said I don't need to be there, just go get him, throw a couple balls, and he will be yours... just how he is.. none of my 4 children were this difficult..lol

  18. #18

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    A lot of those lab problems go away once they go through Force Fetch Training. But at 6 YO I don,t know.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kk alaska View Post
    A lot of those lab problems go away once they go through Force Fetch Training. But at 6 YO I don,t know.

    yea, I am going that route.. I've attempted it.. but I may need to get a professional.. and stop the wife and kids from playing stick with him..

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