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Posted 12/4/2012 by Nyla in NSBR Board


PeaNut 144,412
April 2004
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:10:37 PM
We have the SWEETEST NEEDIEST CUTEST lab ever. We had a lab before so we know labs but she is like having lab quadruplets. She is also spoiled & I know that is the problem & now I need some help solving it.

We have a huge fenced backyard but she only wants to be inside. That's great when we're home & can supervise her. But she doesn't want to be inside just to lay in her bed. She wants to be inside to play, run, eat kitchen appliances, etc. Our $2,500 fridge has a dent from her running into it, full speed. We love her to pieces & the fridge isn't the problem.

We play with her constantly, walk her twice a day, take her to the dog park, etc. She can't be worn out.

So, when I need to go to work or work from home, which my schedule is VERY flexible & she's never alone for more than a few hours, I want to put her in the backyard so she can lay in the sun, get a drink, go to the bathroom, enjoy the view, walk around, chase the birds, eat her bone. She does NONE of that, she sits at the back door and barks until I let her in. THAT'S the problem I'd like to solve first. BTW, the weather has been beautiful here, she's not cold.

I know she wants to be sitting on our feet 100% of the time. Since that's not possible how to we get her used to being comfortable away from us? She's 3 yo & had a MAJOR health problem a couple of years ago & we've spoiled her rotten ever since.

She has a kennel that she sleeps in at night but if I put her in it during the day she barks until I let her out of that too.

We've created a monster & I need help! Any suggestions? TIA!

Captain K

PeaNut 247,594
February 2006
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:16:38 PM
Is there a doggie day care you can take her to on some of the days that you need to work or work from home? In our experience, the pup comes home SO worn out and exhausted from that, way more than just playing with the family.

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PeaNut 164,125
August 2004
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:26:53 PM
I would be putting her in the crate. She will tire of barking. Put some music on for her. Oh look for doggy daycare. Your lab needs to be tired out on a daily basis. You have spoiled her probably for good reason.

Try the crate.

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PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:27:01 PM
She doesn't need "walked" she needs to be RUN for a couple of miles every day. Know a teen who runs cross country that could be paid to run her for you? It won't solve the foot sitting but it will wear her out so she will lay down instead of running in the house.

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PeaNut 25,575
December 2001
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:37:37 PM
I agree that she may need to run. You can buy a vest for her and add weight to tire her out on walks. Or look into a bike attachment to have her run along side to use up her energy.

I feel for you. My border collie has tons of energy and we spend time with him playing in the yard and walking him. My SIL walks her goldens five miles every day to wear them out.

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PeaNut 33,625
March 2002
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:41:16 PM
Obedience classes are also a good idea. She will learn some basic commands such as 'leave it' and 'no bark/quiet' which will help around the house

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PeaNut 18,741
July 2001
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:43:05 PM
I agree with much of what's already been said. I'd add too that sometimes you get a dog who simply NEEDS your companionship more than the average dog. Or they need a companion like themselves. My dogs wear each other out. Being out in a yard by yourself, as a dog, is B.O.R.I.N.G.

Good luck!

ETA: We too have been having insanely warm weather for a couple of days now. I've "kicked" my dogs outside. They are absolutely barking at anything and everything that moves. They want back in. We live rurally, so their barking isn't bothering anyone besides me. And it's not constant, just regular They normally are inside with me all day. They are rarely ever home for more than a couple of hours alone. And STILL all three prefer to be inside with me. To the point that they will ALL three be lying in various parts of the floor of the actual room I'm in.



PeaNut 144,412
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:44:22 PM

She doesn't need "walked" she needs to be RUN for a couple of miles every day.

LOL! you are SO right! My dh used to "run" her on a leash while he was on his bike, until she pulled him off his bike a couple of times. He also takes her to the mountains & runs her while he's on his motorbike (no leash).

Her medical problem I mentioned in the OP was leg amputation because she ran her damn leg OFF! I can laugh about it now and it's only funny because it's true. 3 legs has not slowed her down AT ALL. She's nuts! We have to make her stop running at the dog park because she runs so long, fast & hard that she gets wounds on the bottom of her feet & she STILL runs! She should be pulling a plow like a work horse, she's insane!

But you guys might be my lucky charm. I just put her in her crate & she's being quiet. This literally never happens. STRANGE!

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PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Posted: 12/4/2012 12:45:10 PM
We have a very needy blue heeler. Ours also will not stay in the yard (she will dig her way out and go in search of a good time). DH runs her sometimes, but also we take her down to the park and throw the ball or frisbee for her to run after for 15 minutes 2-3 times a day. She runs full speed and comes home worn out, but it needs to be 2-3 times a day. That's in addition to the 30 minute walk I do with her every morning.

Whenever we do that, she is pretty well behaved in the house. If it's raining or we don't get out with her for some reason, she is like you've described your dog. Tearing all over the place, running into stuff, etc.

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PeaNut 510,579
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:02:26 PM
Yes, there is probably a female runner near you who would love you have a big dog to take along and make her feel safe.

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PeaNut 181,836
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:07:06 PM
I have a blue heeler too, and she cannot be worn out. I've taken her on 9 mile runs and she gets home ready to play fetch. I didn't realize labs were nuts too! My next dog is going to be a LAZY dog!


PeaNut 378,960
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:26:38 PM

No Advice for you but I can feel your pain lol. If someone could give me the magic cure for barking I would love it.

My dog runs out the door barking weither there is anything to bark at or not. Lord help us all if a dog or a person is out there she will never shut up. We have used the citrenella(sp) collars, we have used the vibration collars, we have done classes and NOTHING works. She is driving me INSANE!!!!!!!!!! Now someone might suggest shock collar but that I refuse to do.

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PeaNut 464,263
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:38:56 PM
She doesn't want to be outside by herself--that isn't any fun. She needs her own dog.

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PeaNut 380,938
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Posted: 12/4/2012 2:39:44 PM
she may have a form of ocd. I mention this because of her exercising to the point of self harm. Nothing wrong with consulting with your vet about that behaviour. maybe she needs something to calm her down?



PeaNut 144,412
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Posted: 12/4/2012 3:01:22 PM

She needs her own dog.

Forgot to mention, she HAS one, lol! A cairn terrier who plays dead so he doesn't get trampled, lol! Oh dear, at least she's good for a laugh. Thanks for all of the advice. I'm going with OCD.

Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
August 2005
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Posted: 12/4/2012 3:10:02 PM

She needs her own dog.

I keep telling DH ours needs a friend, too, but so far he's not buying it.

The one thing I can say is that this dog has forced me to keep up with my exercise routine no matter what. She gets a long brisk walk every morning rain or shine, or she's absolutely intolerable.

She is the sweetest dog, though. Heart of gold. Just crazy!


PeaNut 406,102
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:38:42 PM
I might try one of those pheromone plugs by her crate (or near a bed by where you are working). Perhaps it would help her calm down.



PeaNut 463,630
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Posted: 12/4/2012 7:44:20 PM
Our lab never would go outside alone, she would freak if put in the backyard and the door closed. Freak to the point of launching herself at the door, digging her paws bloody- freak! Labs don't like to hang out anywhere alone, they need their people. I would crate train her over a weekend, and put her in a crate in the house when unattended.

Our lab now has dementia and for the first time in 11 years will go outside alone- we can't get her in, she sits in the corner of the fence and stares at...nothing. But until she lost her mind, she never once went out alone, voluntarily.

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PeaNut 92,987
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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:14:12 PM
Our solution for Princess (she was similar) was a second dog. A dog for the dog, it helped.

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PeaNut 226,011
October 2005
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Posted: 12/4/2012 8:36:48 PM
I always heard/understood it should take no longer than 3 weeks to crate train a dog with consistent training.

Ha ha ha ha ha. Right.

It took 5 months to crate train Rusty. FIVE. MONTHS.

He wouldn't go in the crate. We would have to carry him. Once in the crate, he would bark for hours. HOURS.

Then one day, it was like a light switch went on. He just went along with it. Went right in, laid down, and sat there quietly. Light switch. So weird.

So my advice is crate training. Consistency. And DON'T GIVE UP!!! Even the stubborn come around eventually.

ETA: Rusty is also an Australian Cattle Dog (aka Heeler).

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PeaNut 188,727
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Posted: 12/4/2012 9:51:00 PM
how about I send you my pup for a playmate to yours? They could run and romp together endlessly - outdoors. Pup doesn't mind outdoors so much but she doesn't like birds or anything 'blowing' by with the wind. That she barks at.

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PeaNut 14,100
April 2001
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Posted: 12/4/2012 10:11:37 PM
You could always get a treadmill and have her run on that...


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PeaNut 268,201
July 2006
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Posted: 12/4/2012 10:35:54 PM
We had a barking dog and you can buy sound aversion devices. It emits a sound (human ears cannot hear) that dogs dislike when they bark too much. Put one by her kennel and/or out by the back door.

You also need to stop "rewarding" the barking when outside. If she barks and you open the door to let her in, she just learned barking gets the door opened! If you let her back out of the kennel because she's barking so much, you just accidentally reinforced her belief that barking gets you let out of the kennel. It's TOUGH, I know!

I would suggest finding activities that also exercise your dog's brain (in addition to the physical exercise.) You have a breed that NEEDS to work! It's in a lab's DNA - quite literally! You can do all sorts of things. Train your dog to carry a bag around for you, to bring you a bottle of water, to pick up dirty socks, to carry a vest on walks - and put some kind of weight in the vest. Anything to give you dog a job - they will be MUCH happier as a result.

My service dog loves a Kong like this because I can put a couple of baby carrot inside, and/or peanut butter in the outside grooves. Gracie LOVES to roll it around and work to get the treats out of it.

Even spending a little time everyday training a new "trick" for your dog to learn is good for them. It tires their brain out a bit, because training IS tough work, but it also indirectly trains them to work with/read YOU. Your dog WANTS to be your partner and I'm sure you will find your dog will be more obedient in other areas as you work together to learn those new tricks.
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