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How to Lose a Dog Indoors and Out

Doing TimeDear Mr. Wade,

I am writing you today to inquire about my 8.5 month old pure bred chocolate Labrador Retriever. She’s a beautiful dog in every sense of the word with a few annoying exceptions. Is there anything I can do to curb this chewing as she has decided she would like to now chew on the door and window mouldings. Also, she has taken a liking to getting loose and running off. The dogcatcher is getting rich off my dog, the neighbors are complaining about her roaming. She will not listen when we call her. She also enjoys jumping up on us. I think she should be better behaved. She just behaves how she wants to behave.  My children refuse to walk the dog because she pretty much walks them and they cannot control her.  I’m at the point where I’m ready to pull out my hair, not to mention give the dog away. -N.G. Winnipeg

Hi N.G.

I’ve seen scenarios like this a thousand times and the key is getting the client to stop treating their dog as if it’s a college graduate and start treating it like it’s a 2 year old child in a room full of cacti.

Your dog has way too much freedom and you’re using the wrong equipment and what you are using, you’re using the wrong way.  Go buy, a thicker leather leash not a nylon leash either, which can give you a burn and not chain which is nearly impossible to grip. I assume that’s what you meant, if not stop chaining her, you’re going to drive her insane.  Get a 30 foot cotton lunge line for horse training. Get a crate and comfy mat for every level of the house. You may need some guidance as to which but a proper collar is in order as well. Finally go find a trainer that uses a balanced approach. That means, uses positive reinforcement and discipline. Although I suspect you’re going to get a lot more disciplining then the dog will.

Until then here are the rules. Indoors, the dog is dragging a leash so that you can get to her before she can get into trouble. Tie two together if you need to. You’re going to be too occupied to supervise her all the time so teach her to stay on her mat like there’s Velcro involved or alternatively crate her. When you’re outside let her drag the lunge line when she needs more freedom then the leash allows. Hopefully it will get her out more because unless she’s a professional athlete taking growth hormones there is no way that a pure bred 8 ½ months old female Labrador Retriever can be 100 lbs, without being morbidly obese

Indoors or outdoors the only person that should be supervising or walking a yet untrained dog regardless of size is someone you would leave a 2 year old child with for more then 24 hours. If anyone else wants to be part of walking a trained dog, then I put a second leash on the dog and give the handle to them.

There is so much more to say but I’ve used up my alloted words. Find a good balanced trainer before a good family loses a good dog.

-John Wade

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