I have a female yellow lab who just turned 1. A few days ago she jumped my smaller dog over a piece of table food that my boys had dropped. Since then she's been very defensive towards the smaller dog as well as my wife's cat. She'll sat and growl or even bark when the smaller dog comes near me. When they're out in the yard or even away from me she doesn't act the same way.... My worry is that she'll jump the dog or cat when I'm not here and injure one of my sons in the scuffle. I really don't want to get rid of her but need some help/guidance.
Any insight or comments will be appreciated!
and......what did you do to show your lab.. that behavior was not acceptable?
Sounds like she got away with it. So now she knows there is no recourse from you and she figures she can up it up a notch. Do something a bit more naughty each time. She is at that age where she is testing you...what can I get away with? And she will continue getting worse until she is corrected.
This can be fixed. You just need to go back to your basic commands again. Regain control........ Back up your commands no matter what. If you don't back your commands they learn over time that what you say doesn't mean anything. Your family is a pack to your dog. In a pack there is a pack leader....which should be you. If a pack member sees a weakness in the chain of command they will take advantage of it.
This doesn't mean that your dog is going to be this way forever. Some rules and boundaries need to be taught to her. She must be willing to submit and allow you and any other member of your "pack" to control her.
A change in your approach on how you handle her is the only fix that you need.
Consult myself or another dog trainer if you need help establishing obedience compliance.
back to the basics
Thanks for the insight. I did reprimand her but probably not to the level that I should have. I will start tomorrow off on a new foot and tighten her back up. I guess you can say that I do baby her a little to much....
On a side note, I am very interested in some serious obedience classes and waterfowl training opportunities. Can you assist?
Training and supervision
I go through this with each dog on a rotating basis. Molly snaps at Lucy, Daisy snaps at Molly, Daisy grabs Lucy by the neck over a tennis ball. I grab Daisy and Lucy. Lucy (50 lb lab. thinks about snapping at Daisy 80lb Great Dane mix. They all seem to have a little snit now and again where I have to reconfirm myself as head of the pack.
First teach the "leave it" command. Leave the treat, leave the cat, leave the other dog alone and leave the nylabone.
Teach down, stay, or get in your bed. Everyone has a place. The dog is not in charge. Avoid fawning over the other animals.
Now that I see Wetland Retriever's reply - what he said.
With the addition of different breeds in our house, when I look back Labs are one of the easiest on whom to assert dominance. Even the most macho 3 year old intact, male FT Labs I had were easier than Daisy. She thinks she the boss and she is reminded every day that she is not. We are making progress.
Please be careful with your kids and don’t leave them in charge of the dog, any dog. It’s not fair to either. It is more fair for a one year old dog to take them out of the situation by crating or kennel them if you can't supervise. A lot of people think its fine to leave small kids alone with their dogs, most of the time they are lucky - sometimes they are not. It's just not fair to the dog not to have a leader on site.