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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! Our 10 month old labradoodle has been biting, barking at, and growling at us since we got him at 9 weeks. Our dog seems to be trying to get us to play with him - he almost always does this when we're outside where he can get lots of speed and attack someone who is standing alone - his tail is always up and wagging during an assault. He's been through obedience school and been seen privately by a trainer for this problem, but we've been told he's a great dog who should outgrow this. Because of the attacks we are forced to keep him on a leash, which means he gets very little exercise (and we have a 1 acre fenced-in yard, he could actually be having a nice life!) Does anyone have advice? I sense that much more exercise and play with other dogs would help the problem but he can't be off-leash around other people because of this so it inhibits us from giving him a lot of play. Any help would be appreciated.
Nancy
 

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Do you have any type of 'doggy day care' by your house? We have a place by us that has open indoor and outdoor areas where the dogs can play off leash together. We send our 10month old 1-2 times per week to help him burn off his extra puppy energy. They tell me he runs non-stop the whole day. Then he crashes when he gets home.
 

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hmmm

what do you mean a leash? do you mean tied outside? that is likly what is causing this behavior he is frustrated,,,you need to commit to at least one hour per day to walking him and spending quality time,reviewing what he has learned in classes you have already taken,,
i would also recommend getting csear millians book "csears way" and the dog whisperer series on dvd,and watching it,, it can be purchased at www.overstock.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
reply: 10 mth old attacking

Sorry I didn't clarify. He's on a leash that I'm holding and going everywhere I go. So if I'm in the yard with my children for 4 hours, he's on a leash with me that whole time. If he "attacks" one of us, and I can get him on a leash, he settles down immediately. I work on his training, and he gets long walks everyday. But as I see him walking along on the leash, I'm thinking how much more exercise he could be getting if he could be off-leash and running. I use to take him for long walks off-leash in the woods, and a friend use to take him with her dog as well. But we've both been "attacked" by him too often for it to continue. Plus I'm nervous he'll come upon someone else in the woods and go after them.
 

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I see,,whew,,

I really think you would learn so much from watching csear millian (the dog whisperer on national geo channel,,and ordering the dvd and books, it really doenst sound like he is attacking,,sounds like he is wanting to play, and you need to clarify with him YOU are the PACK leader,,may take putting him on the ground a couple of times,,but you are in control,,soon after some work and being consistant,all you will have to do is look at him,,give that a try,,im KNOW it will help
 

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Sorry...this is long...I think that several things might be going on here...first, did you play roughly with him when he was little? If so, he thinks that is what he is supposed to do...just because he is big now, doesn't mean he won't react the way he has learned to react. If not played with roughly, what did you do to discourage his nipping/biting or jumping when he was small...? Were you consistent?
I am saying this because we had a similar problem...and I can tell you it is generally NOT the dog. We allow our dogs to play and enjoy life without limitations (or with small commands, given when we think about it)...but they need constanat, regular training.
That doesn't help you at this point though...it sounds to me like your dog needs to get some serious exercise. You have a huge place...could one of you (not the whole family at this point...until he learns some control) work with him on a long (50' lead) and teach him down, stay? Get him to sit on command...every time. When he gets wild, put him in a sit, down, stay command...and when he is released (you always have to release them from a command or they don't understand when it is okay to get up) play a long and active game of ball with him.
Never leave the ball out where he can play with it...just use it to play a really good game with him. This will help wear him out.
Labradoodles really need exercise. If you don't have the time, hire a dog walker. A long walk at least once a day will help you.
Since your dog has been doing this for a while, it will take some serious training to get him to understand that he is not permitted now.
Still, he is getting older and he will settle down with age. (Not automatically become well behaved, but he will settle.)
If you can't train him, have another person come to your home...or take him to a training camp facility. We put our dogs in a training camp for a week and they came back perfect...but WE had to learn how to keep it up!
So, don't blame yourself or anyone else...especially not your dog...but look to how this was allowed to get worse and make corrections. You dog is smart...he will learn, but you have to do the work.
We taught our dogs the command, "settle" and it works great. I just held their collar and in a very stern voice held them still, then softly pet them while gently saying "settle, good settle"...and then after he does that, reward him by saying "release!" in a happy voice...and play ball! Reward him by letting him expend energy doing something he loves.
This is not easy...but you will be glad that you did it.
Oh...and after he learns from you...make sure that your entire family treats him EXACTLY the same.
 

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Have you tried shock therapy on him? Otto at 10 weeks thought he was the big BOSS, until he had a taste of the water pistol, now if he is naughty we just show him the pistol and he stops, the bad side of this he is afraid of the hose pipe on the shower mode, but we can always slush him with a bucket of water. Dont give up, he is not attacking you he wants to be the leader, and shouting is not going to make any difference what so ever, we are both in our sixties and handle our doodle no problem, except he is very strong and pulls on my arm when walking
 

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We occassionally see behavior like this from George. I agree that he's not attacking us, but he seems to want to play. The way he gets his sister (littermate) to play is he runs up to her, crashes into her, grabs her tail in his teeth (or her ear, or whatever is available). This is perfectly appropriate behavior between dogs, but not great, as you know, with people.

What works best with George, besides tethering, as you are already doing, is we put him through several days of what I call "boot camp." All this means is that before he eats, plays, gets a treat, walks in the door, in other words, before he does ANYTHING he must sit. Sometimes he gets a treat for sitting, but at meal time he gets his food. When he really needs a wake up call, I make him sit and feed him his kibble out of my hand very slowly. I will then put a few pieces of kibble into his bowl and stand over him while he eats. I do all this very calmly, no loud voices or any tension, but firmly. Sometimes I put the kibble in my hand INTO his bowl and hold my hand there. Sometimes I will tell him to leave his food and make him sit while I stand over him and talk pleasantly to him. When I'm satisfied that I have his attention and he is settled, I give him the rest of his food. It sounds like a strange ritual, but for George, it works! I do this for a couple of days whenever I see him getting a little pushy and bossy with me. It gives us both a lesson. It especially reminds me that I am the steward of these fine animals and sometimes I have to really concentrate on how I interact with them. They are so sweet, but sometimes when I let down my guard it's "give 'em an inch, and they take a mile!" Then we go back to "boot camp!"

I also agree with everyone here that lots of exercise is very important, too. If it helps at all I can tell you that my two doods seemed to really start pushing the limits a lot more at around 9 or 10 months. But they seemed to calm down again pretty quickly. In fact, today they are 1 year old! And they are mostly well behaved. Sorry this is so long, but I know how frustrating this can be and this has really worked for us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the great responses. I don't feel it's so hopeless now. I'm printing this all up for my husband to read so that we can be on the same page in terms of how we handle Ciri. And I've ordered a training book as was suggested. Thanks again.
Nancy
 

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I don't know your whole situation, but if you have a large fenced-in backyard, can't you take him out in the yard by himself with a few tennis balls and just keep throwing them- not giving him an option to jump up and bite or "attack" you? Or get a Chuck-It tennis ball launcher and three or four tennis balls. It would keep him running and wouldn't require him to drop the ball for you. He would automatically chase whatever ball was moving. It just sounds to me like he needs a good hour or so a day of really good exercise. They always say, a tired dog is a good dog.

Bridget, Summer, and Duke
 

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All have given you good a advice and lots to think about and work with. The only I might add is don't give up on him so many people just give up and I feel when you do this the dogs knows it so keep up what your doing, also have you contacted your breeder for help?
 

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I would say DITTO to all the others, but I want to especially reinforce that all of this sounds like dominant behavior and your 10mo. old is acting out his belief that he is in charge and what he wants is what you should be doing. Like my 15yr old son :wink: he's testing his manhood and trying to find his boundaries.

Keep us posted! You're going to do fine, I just know it.
 
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Nancy,
I have 4 month old who does this and I know EXACTLY what you are talking about! Even during games of fetch or playtime she will just drop everything and 'attack'. I can control her with her leash that I always keep attached, but I worried about her doing this to my children. Everyone had great advice. This is specifically what worked for us. She will now only do this occasionally. Puppy preschool or doggie daycare would be a big help because she will learn boundaries from other dogs and get tired out. I use the 50 foot leash for playing in the yard. She gets freedom to run, but I retain control. When she 'attacks', all play stops. I then crate her for a few minutes. I have found that holding her close, restraining her gently while saying "enough' also works. I also discovered certain toys would set her off: the soccer ball or the toy that she can rip apart (velcro). We will save these for when she is a little older. I'm still working on the problem and would love to hear if you find other solutions that work for you. I am going to try the 'boot camp' suggestions, too. She definitely likes to think she is in charge! Don't give up, our trainer has said this can definitely be resolved!
 
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