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Old 06-02-2010, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County
826 posts, read 2,585,213 times
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Hi, we just adopted an 8 month old lab this past weekend and she's great with the cats when they are sitting still but once the cats go to run away from her, she chases them. My intent was to introduce them by putting the pup in a crate and having the cats come to check her out but my cats were so scared when I brought her home, that they stayed in the basement for a while. They all are finally on the same floor with the pup but in the past 2 days she has chased each one of them. Our 3 cats are very interested and when they go to get close to her, she shows signs of wanting to play and excitement and then the cats get scared and run away and the dog ends up chasing them. I don't think she wants to hurt them, I think she just wants to play b/c her tail is wagging all the time. I'm sure it also does not help that the dog has a cone on her head from her spay surgery. The noise from her hitting into the walls with the cone and also my cats having something foreign in the house is a bit frightening to them which I completely understand. I was thinking of enrolling the dog in obedient school for beginners where they learn commands. She does know sit but will not do it all the time unless you are REALLY firm with her. I feel she needs a brush up class on that and other commands. Do you think the obedient school will also help with her cat chasing habit? I'm thinking if I get her under control with commands, this can help her understand to not chase the kitties. I don't know what else to do. As I said, all of my cats are finally on the main floor with her although they are trying to keep their distance. One of them actually did swat her in the face (declawed) and she didn't care....she started barking and putting her butt up in the air as if she wanted to play...I thought the cat swatting her would tell her he's not interested.

If anyone can help me out in this area, that would be great. Other than that, she's a great dog and I think she's house trained already. I'm not 100% sure; she's also great in the crate at night.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:48 AM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,677,383 times
Reputation: 5207
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIgirl74 View Post
Hi, we just adopted an 8 month old lab this past weekend and she's great with the cats when they are sitting still but once the cats go to run away from her, she chases them. My intent was to introduce them by putting the pup in a crate and having the cats come to check her out but my cats were so scared when I brought her home, that they stayed in the basement for a while. They all are finally on the same floor with the pup but in the past 2 days she has chased each one of them. Our 3 cats are very interested and when they go to get close to her, she shows signs of wanting to play and excitement and then the cats get scared and run away and the dog ends up chasing them. I don't think she wants to hurt them, I think she just wants to play b/c her tail is wagging all the time. I'm sure it also does not help that the dog has a cone on her head from her spay surgery. The noise from her hitting into the walls with the cone and also my cats having something foreign in the house is a bit frightening to them which I completely understand. I was thinking of enrolling the dog in obedient school for beginners where they learn commands. She does know sit but will not do it all the time unless you are REALLY firm with her. I feel she needs a brush up class on that and other commands. Do you think the obedient school will also help with her cat chasing habit? I'm thinking if I get her under control with commands, this can help her understand to not chase the kitties. I don't know what else to do. As I said, all of my cats are finally on the main floor with her although they are trying to keep their distance. One of them actually did swat her in the face (declawed) and she didn't care....she started barking and putting her butt up in the air as if she wanted to play...I thought the cat swatting her would tell her he's not interested.

If anyone can help me out in this area, that would be great. Other than that, she's a great dog and I think she's house trained already. I'm not 100% sure; she's also great in the crate at night.
Oh my young labs can be a handful! Thank you so much for going with adoption! Is this your first Lab? They are wonderful dogs but need a lot of exercise, especially when they are young. Also, the key to training is repetition, repetition repetition Has your vet cleared her for exercise? Obviously, if she is still in an e-collar, she still has her stitches so swimming is out for a while. A pup that young is all energy and very little impulse control! Do what you can to drain some energy before putting her in the same room as the cats. Sounds to me like there is no aggression going on and its all about them being either playmates or playthings from her point of view Do you have a long leash that you can use for control and correction while in the house for training her to the "leave it" command? The key to correcting the behaviour is to do it while the behaviour is going on and in a manner that is quiet but firm. That will help the pup to understand that it IS a correction and not just some part of a new game she has invented. Shouting and chasing her while she is chasing the cats can reinforce the behaviour. She can view it as fun and part of the excitment. Any training will stick much better if some of her energy is drained off first. An underexercised Lab can be a real destructive force. I'm all for obedience training but it has to be coupled with exercise too. Speak with your trainer about it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,386,059 times
Reputation: 7084
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIgirl74 View Post
Hi, we just adopted an 8 month old lab this past weekend and she's great with the cats when they are sitting still but once the cats go to run away from her, she chases them. My intent was to introduce them by putting the pup in a crate and having the cats come to check her out but my cats were so scared when I brought her home, that they stayed in the basement for a while. They all are finally on the same floor with the pup but in the past 2 days she has chased each one of them. Our 3 cats are very interested and when they go to get close to her, she shows signs of wanting to play and excitement and then the cats get scared and run away and the dog ends up chasing them. I don't think she wants to hurt them, I think she just wants to play b/c her tail is wagging all the time. I'm sure it also does not help that the dog has a cone on her head from her spay surgery. The noise from her hitting into the walls with the cone and also my cats having something foreign in the house is a bit frightening to them which I completely understand. I was thinking of enrolling the dog in obedient school for beginners where they learn commands. She does know sit but will not do it all the time unless you are REALLY firm with her. I feel she needs a brush up class on that and other commands. Do you think the obedient school will also help with her cat chasing habit? I'm thinking if I get her under control with commands, this can help her understand to not chase the kitties. I don't know what else to do. As I said, all of my cats are finally on the main floor with her although they are trying to keep their distance. One of them actually did swat her in the face (declawed) and she didn't care....she started barking and putting her butt up in the air as if she wanted to play...I thought the cat swatting her would tell her he's not interested.

If anyone can help me out in this area, that would be great. Other than that, she's a great dog and I think she's house trained already. I'm not 100% sure; she's also great in the crate at night.
Natural drive is tricky to undo. If you could somehow get inside a labrador's head, I'm sure it would sound something like this:

"Hi! OH!! HI!!! THERE IT GOES!!! GOGETITGOGETITGOGETITGOGETIT!!!"

Obedience school is great and you can train a lab not to chase a cat, but that's probably beyond the scope of a group class. If you are interested, I would recommend that you get a copy of Jackie Mertens' Sound Beginnings and follow it. There is some excellent information about basic obedience in there. She advocates operant conditioning for early training and mild negative reinforcement for formalization, full disclosure. In any event, that should give you the tools you need to shape your dog into what you want.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County
826 posts, read 2,585,213 times
Reputation: 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
Oh my young labs can be a handful! Thank you so much for going with adoption! Is this your first Lab? They are wonderful dogs but need a lot of exercise, especially when they are young. Also, the key to training is repetition, repetition repetition Has your vet cleared her for exercise? Obviously, if she is still in an e-collar, she still has her stitches so swimming is out for a while. A pup that young is all energy and very little impulse control! Do what you can to drain some energy before putting her in the same room as the cats. Sounds to me like there is no aggression going on and its all about them being either playmates or playthings from her point of view Do you have a long leash that you can use for control and correction while in the house for training her to the "leave it" command? The key to correcting the behaviour is to do it while the behaviour is going on and in a manner that is quiet but firm. That will help the pup to understand that it IS a correction and not just some part of a new game she has invented. Shouting and chasing her while she is chasing the cats can reinforce the behaviour. She can view it as fun and part of the excitment. Any training will stick much better if some of her energy is drained off first. An underexercised Lab can be a real destructive force. I'm all for obedience training but it has to be coupled with exercise too. Speak with your trainer about it.
Yes, this is my first lab. I've been trying to exercise her in the morning when she first wakes up we walk around outside my house in the morning then we come in, eat breakfast, wait about an hour or so and she plays inside with some toys I brought for her and then we got for a half hour walk around the blocks in my neighborhood. After that, we come home and then we've been going in the car (b/c she loves the car!) to the bagel place and then come home. After that, she's tired and lays around the house for a while. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to do all of this next week b/c I took this week off to be with her and introduce her to the kitties. My vet warned me before we go to work to take her for an hour long walk and then crate her. We will also take her for walks at night after work as well. I don't think I gave her enough exercise yesterday b/c when I put her in her crate, she passed out and then woke up in 5 minutes and was playful in the crate. All the other nights, she's been able to sleep right away. She's also slept for like 8 or 9 hours at night without having to potty. I think that's great! As far as the exercise, my vet told me not to let her play too rough but I find at time when she goes in my yard, she becomes crazy girl and runs around the outside of the house like a mad woman...I can't even keep up with her. I'm surprised even with this cone on her head she's able to do that. She gets her stitches out on Monday. I've been trying to keep her calm but it's quite hard when you have a dog on your hands with so much energy. I have a 6 foot leash that I can try to train her with for the "leave it" command. I've been trying to tell her "leave it" when she goes to nip our hands and stuff. I know she would never hurt us b/c she does it so gently but I don't want her doing things like that. When she got pretty close to my cat that swatted her before, I was holding her by the collar b/c I was sitting down in between them. I had no idea they were going to get so close at that time b/c we were in the basement for a few minutes. I definitely see where the dog can misinterpret what I mean when I am chasing after her and yelling; as you said, she probably thinks I mean "play" rather than "stop".

I have heard an under exercised lab can become destructive. That was one of the issues I was concerned about with getting a lab b/c we work 8 hours a day. BUT when I asked my vet about her (b/c she was kind of a last minute thing...we knew someone who had to get rid of her), that's when he told us to make sure we walk her an hour in the morning. I do notice she tires easily though. Is this normal for labs? She was also diagnosed with hook worms so I am assuming this is why she may be tired. BUT I do notice she gets perky after her naps.

I would definitely do the obedience training along with exercise. I didn't think obedience training would correct the entire issue. Thanks for your advice. I do plan on buying her a childrens pool in a month or so this way she can enjoy being in the pool, etc. I know labs love water.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Suffolk County
826 posts, read 2,585,213 times
Reputation: 266
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Natural drive is tricky to undo. If you could somehow get inside a labrador's head, I'm sure it would sound something like this:

"Hi! OH!! HI!!! THERE IT GOES!!! GOGETITGOGETITGOGETITGOGETIT!!!"

Obedience school is great and you can train a lab not to chase a cat, but that's probably beyond the scope of a group class. If you are interested, I would recommend that you get a copy of Jackie Mertens' Sound Beginnings and follow it. There is some excellent information about basic obedience in there. She advocates operant conditioning for early training and mild negative reinforcement for formalization, full disclosure. In any event, that should give you the tools you need to shape your dog into what you want.
I just had to laugh when I read what it must sound like in a labs brain! LOL. I know it's probably true though.

Thanks for recommending the book. I will definitely look into it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:18 AM
 
418 posts, read 1,203,861 times
Reputation: 295
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post

"Hi! OH!! HI!!! THERE IT GOES!!! GOGETITGOGETITGOGETITGOGETIT!!!"
LMAO. That almost made me spit out my drink I laughed so hard. That...is...a...LAB!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:39 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,677,383 times
Reputation: 5207
Quote:
Originally Posted by LIgirl74 View Post
Yes, this is my first lab. I've been trying to exercise her in the morning when she first wakes up we walk around outside my house in the morning then we come in, eat breakfast, wait about an hour or so and she plays inside with some toys I brought for her and then we got for a half hour walk around the blocks in my neighborhood. After that, we come home and then we've been going in the car (b/c she loves the car!) to the bagel place and then come home. After that, she's tired and lays around the house for a while. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to do all of this next week b/c I took this week off to be with her and introduce her to the kitties. My vet warned me before we go to work to take her for an hour long walk and then crate her. We will also take her for walks at night after work as well. I don't think I gave her enough exercise yesterday b/c when I put her in her crate, she passed out and then woke up in 5 minutes and was playful in the crate. All the other nights, she's been able to sleep right away. She's also slept for like 8 or 9 hours at night without having to potty. I think that's great! As far as the exercise, my vet told me not to let her play too rough but I find at time when she goes in my yard, she becomes crazy girl and runs around the outside of the house like a mad woman...I can't even keep up with her. I'm surprised even with this cone on her head she's able to do that. She gets her stitches out on Monday. I've been trying to keep her calm but it's quite hard when you have a dog on your hands with so much energy. I have a 6 foot leash that I can try to train her with for the "leave it" command. I've been trying to tell her "leave it" when she goes to nip our hands and stuff. I know she would never hurt us b/c she does it so gently but I don't want her doing things like that. When she got pretty close to my cat that swatted her before, I was holding her by the collar b/c I was sitting down in between them. I had no idea they were going to get so close at that time b/c we were in the basement for a few minutes. I definitely see where the dog can misinterpret what I mean when I am chasing after her and yelling; as you said, she probably thinks I mean "play" rather than "stop".

I have heard an under exercised lab can become destructive. That was one of the issues I was concerned about with getting a lab b/c we work 8 hours a day. BUT when I asked my vet about her (b/c she was kind of a last minute thing...we knew someone who had to get rid of her), that's when he told us to make sure we walk her an hour in the morning. I do notice she tires easily though. Is this normal for labs? She was also diagnosed with hook worms so I am assuming this is why she may be tired. BUT I do notice she gets perky after her naps.

I would definitely do the obedience training along with exercise. I didn't think obedience training would correct the entire issue. Thanks for your advice. I do plan on buying her a childrens pool in a month or so this way she can enjoy being in the pool, etc. I know labs love water.
It sounds like you are off to an excellent start and I commend your vet - sounds like you have a good one. As far as the exercise goes, remember that 15 minutes of good involved "fetch" is equal to about a 45 minute walk. Please do not trade fetch for a walk. Just use it as an additional tool to keep your Lab tired and happy. The 2 things most Labs love more than anything in the world is retrieving and water. Combine the 2 and you have a dog in bliss I'll DM you with some specific techinques to help you to teach her the "leave it" command specifically in regards to your kitties.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:41 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,677,383 times
Reputation: 5207
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
Natural drive is tricky to undo. If you could somehow get inside a labrador's head, I'm sure it would sound something like this:

"Hi! OH!! HI!!! THERE IT GOES!!! GOGETITGOGETITGOGETITGOGETIT!!!"
LOL - definately what I would expect to hear!
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,386,059 times
Reputation: 7084
Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
It sounds like you are off to an excellent start and I commend your vet - sounds like you have a good one. As far as the exercise goes, remember that 15 minutes of good involved "fetch" is equal to about a 45 minute walk. Please do not trade fetch for a walk. Just use it as an additional tool to keep your Lab tired and happy. The 2 things most Labs love more than anything in the world is retrieving and water. Combine the 2 and you have a dog in bliss I'll DM you with some specific techinques to help you to teach her the "leave it" command specifically in regards to your kitties.
Dead-on right. The best way to have a well exercised retriever and a human that is not over-exercised is to have a retriever that lives for a game of fetch.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:23 PM
 
13,314 posts, read 25,546,272 times
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Friends of mine with a very large active Lab played endless fetch with a tennis ball, using a tennis racket to save their arms.
I once had a very strong friend throw very large sticks as far as he could into the local lake. The Lab belly flopped into the lake and retrieved the stick for almost two hours before refusing. He then slept for two days. My friends wondered what I'd done to him!
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