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friend's difficult dog

(9 Posts)
TriciaF Mon 04-Apr-16 18:03:08

My friend, who I've been going for walks with for a few years, has taken on a 2 yr old black lab. who belonged to divorced neighbours. Her own dog had just died. I've written about the poor dog before, she wasn't well treated.
She's hyperactive , circles endlessly for ages if let off the lead, and on the lead tugs and has had my friend over. Today in her spinning she ran headfirst into my knee, very painful.
Do you dog-lovers think her behaviour can be modified? And if so how? I don't want to give up our walks, but even our 2 elderly dogs try to hide from her.
She was sterilised a month ago, but is no calmer.

Iam64 Mon 04-Apr-16 18:59:59

This dog has been poorly treated you say . The behaviour you describe sounds like well established behaviour pattern, maybe associated with stress. Your friend needs to join a training group, run be proper dog trainers who use positive, rather than aversive training methods.
If she can afford to invest in the dog, I'd get 1 - 1 help from a good behaviourist or dog trainer. There is a myth that Labs are easy to train - not so

Rubyredshoes Mon 04-Apr-16 20:24:50

Hi Tricia my lab can be a "puller" on a normal collar and lead. My vet recommended the Halti head collar and I wouldn't be without it. It's easy to fit, doesn't hurt the dog and I think cost around £10 (I got the delux version which also clips to the collar). Hope this will be of some help to you.

NanaandGrampy Mon 04-Apr-16 21:03:48

Poor dog . It sounds like the dog didn't benefit much from early training. It's going to take quite a lot of work I think but if your friend is prepared to invest some time, effort and probably money I think you could end up with a nice dog.

I definitely agree with the 'Halti ' suggestion . It means she can't lead with her head so is unable to pull as easily. I agree with Iam64 because of the underlying issues, I would search out a good trainer and get some help.

Otherwise , she might be looking for another new home and that would be so sad. Spaying a bitch doesn't usually affect their behaviour unlike a male dog where you would expect a little calming effect.

Good luck.

Pippa000 Tue 05-Apr-16 13:55:44

My friends husband took his black Labrador to dog training classes, the dog was fine, but the husband got thrown out.grin

TriciaF Tue 05-Apr-16 14:29:00

Thanks for the replies, I'll definitely mention the special collar to my friend. I don't think they could afford special training for her. Might even get it for her from Amazon.
Yes the poor animal was ill treated, and neglected. Kicked, yelled at etc. I saw it myself several times. Some people shouldn't be allowed to have dogs.

GrannyPiggy Tue 05-Apr-16 15:58:55

This post rang a bell with me
10 years ago we adopted our first rescue dog as the children were a bit older and thought it would be a nice thing to do
He displayed all the issues you've mentioned plus a few more
Couldn't use a halti as one of his previous owners had misused one and cut his nose so he was scared of it ( they do a padded one by the way )
He was excellent at training classes knowing all the commands but reverted straight back when out in the open
Span and barked constantly in car even after one on one special training
Chased anything with wheels etc etc
After 6 years of endless training, walks where no one else dared to go in the thick of the forest, wrecked car interiors, I discovered he hated going out !! He's perfectly happy at home with me where he feels safe and loved
Awful guilt feeling he must go out everyday but he just doesn't want to
Luckily we have large grounds and now at 11 he isn't great on his legs but he adores me and I him
Only issue now is he still guards me when hubby's not here. Nice but generally unnecessary
I hope your friend finds her way and has as much love as I have had with my shadow

TriciaF Tue 05-Apr-16 16:25:29

I'm so glad to read your post GrannyPiggy, I was just beginning to wonder myself if she really needs security more than anything else. Like a child who has been neglected, she needs boundaries. And she gets lots of love from both owners now.
All this running wild in the open fields just makes her more insecure. They have a fenced garden so she could get exercise there.

rubylady Wed 06-Apr-16 02:34:08

And maybe she could try some massage on her? Lying down at the side of her, talking softly and stroking her gently (which I am sure she does already) but doing it often might make a difference. She might not like to go out, like others have said, maybe get a place where she can sit/lie down in the garden while your friend has a sit out in the sun. My doggie acts like a new puppy when I take her out, jumping around, and she turn 7 in 10 days. Party time! lol X