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Thread: 5 Year old Lab

  1. #1

    Default 5 Year old Lab

    I am always seeing such helpful info on here, thought I would post my issue. I have a lab mix that is 5 years old, we have had him since he was a puppy. At about 3 years old he started getting in the trash, and I mean destroying it for fun is what I think. So we tried breaking him of this and put a mouse trap on the lid to prevent this, and it worked. So he turned to the bathroom trash for tissues and would shred them. Now he always knows he has done wrong and will go lay in his kennel and not come out when he does things like this. Well its been over a year since the last kitchen trash incident and this week he destroyed a bag like nothing I have ever seen. We have never been able to quit the bathroom trash, he will work his way around a mouse trap and still get tissues. I am not sure of how we can break this. His new "trick" is to get on the kitchen counter and swipe something. Last night he swiped an entire bag of M&Ms from the counter, and ate the whole bag. Typically we are home when he does this but he also does it while we are gone. If we come home and hes not greeting us at the door then we know he did something wrong. I would think the normal punishment would be to reenforce what he did was wrong and send him to his kennel, but now he is already in his kennel. So what can we do to stop this. We are spending tons of time with him, me and my husband work opposite shifts so he is with someone all day, either playing or sleeping. We have a big yard for him to run around in. Any suggestions would be great. btw I also have a cocker spaniel so he always has a cohort with him to play with.

  2. #2


    Of course the easiest is to remove temptation. Trash cans and food from counters before you leave home.
    The other is to change the type of trash cans you are using. Usually large and taller is harder to get into. I use plastic and metal trash cans that have clip pins that hold the lid on.
    Also try using a plastic carpet runner. Its a clear piece of vinyl that folks use to protect carpet in hallways and such. It has little spikes on the bottom of it. Cut a piece large enough to guard the trash can. Set the spikes up and set the trash can on it. Won't hurt the dog just makes it uncomfortable for them.
    You could also use duct tape. Cut long strips and stick it back on itself. Stick it to the floor alongside the cans. The sticky part facing up will grab a hold of their feet.

  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Kink Alaska surrounded by sled dog kennels, a fabulous view and lots of hunting.

    Default I put all of our chocolate up at 8 feet,

    So it’s work for me to get it.
    With our 3 re-homed dogs 2 to 6 years old, and one Lab since birth, we have all those issues and I honestly just remove the temptations. I don’t even try to correct a thing that happened when I wasn’t there because I don’t know how long it’s been since the crime. Our newest family member– a Saluki x sleddog/pointer (I’m sorry Baron- it just happened) has a very pointy and agile nose and can flip the lid on the once impenetrable kitchen garbage can that sits in the garage. The Dane mix loves tissue too. I just put the cans in a position that is harder to get into. Same with the cat pan. It’s a covered “boda” model with the door turned to the wall with just enough room for the cat to get in. I know that if left alone long enough all these containers will be breeched and the contents eaten so I remove the temptation.

    I think they start to get bored. Do you still work with him and play just with him? Another dog is fine but what one doesn’t think of the other will and they never replace you. With 4 I have to make sure I make time for individual time with each or there are problems either with issues like yours or between them.

    I never use the crate as punishment and his running to it lets me know that he is avoiding confrontation. You might have been mad and yelling which stopped once he went in the crate. Old timey trainers I first learned from ran into this all the time when they put heat on a dog in the field and the dogs would bolt for the truck. Then they had to burn the dog out of the crate to go to work. I don’t have those problems anymore since I changed how I’m correcting the dogs.

    Right now we are really working hard at “leave it” Our place is so small that I have an audience on my heels when I cook and of course stuff hits the floor. Not to mention it might not be good for them, I might save it using the 5 second rule, or I end up with a dog’s head smashing my face, and it is training them to crowd me at the counter and someone might end up nipping another over a piece of onion. I’ve been making a big deal out of theft anywhere near the counter. It seems to be working while I’m there. Everyone is at a different learning and house manner level and there is always something new. Even with the cat. A new thing is at dinner the Saluki walks up Charlie and stares him down, pointy nose getting closer to his plate with each bite. Charlie is patiently stopping each time to take him back to his bed then goes back to eating.
    It makes me laugh since the dogs don't even look at me when I'm eating.

  4. #4


    I will take all of these suggestions and try them. The duct tape actually seems humorous to me.

    We no longer are scolding or getting to upset with our lab when he does this. He knows what he did was wrong, I just thought I could "fix it".

    We say that the cocker spaniel would also get in the trash if he could get into it as well. So we are never sure of who did what and try not to punish either one, but of course my lab is already in his crate, self punishing.

    Other than this issue of the trash our dogs are almost perfect. They are not allowed in the kitchen cant be around when we eat food so as to not beg. Cant jump on people, have to stay and leave it. They are pretty good dogs, they play non stop. We haven't stopped our amount of time with either dog, we play and spend time with both of them and try to give each equal attention.

    We plan to try some of these suggestions, also plan to possibly lock the kennel door so he has no where to run to. Any other suggestions are appreciated as well.

  5. #5
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    When I first got this guy he was 7 months old. He started going over to the neighbors garbage and I put him on the chain for an hour, let him whine,lol, secound time he ran off amonth later, 2 hours on the chain, 3rd time left him at home on the chain while I went to town by myself ( he goes everywhere with me) never had a problem since. Choc.labs are born with a guilty con. They know when their doing wrong. I don't know about blacks, their a little more hiper. He's 8 now


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