• Michael D'Abruzzo

    March 31, 2010 at 3:01 am

    Hi Joanna,

    Thank you for the compliments on the site! This is what I would suggest to get started with your high energy boy!

    First thing to remember is that this is going to take Patience – Patience absolutely will pay off (from step 3).

    Next thing is try to tire him out first thing before you bring him in the house (or tire him out in the house). A correct game of tug will get a lot out of his system – and help sooth his restless spirit some (step 6). don’t skip this.

    Read the page at this link here: Establishing the Relationship

    I updated this page recently and it is VERY important for a new adult dog coming into the home.

    Follow these exercises on-leash for at least a month. If you start doing some simple obedience exercises such as “climb” you can encourage him to lay on a dog bed while you watch TV, sit at a computer, etc. He will appreciate chews if they are controlled correctly and will be more likely to relax after exercise. This should be able to expand the amount of time he is indoors and also allow you to work on his peepee schedule.

    The “leave its” and “offs” may be a little annoying right now, but the patience will pay off after a month if you have been praising him for obeying and correctly redirecting him.

    Also, encourage on greetings and when you call him over to you to “sit” for affection. Stay calm for a full month when he jumps and just be careful to teach him that you only touch him when going by your rules.

    After a full month of being consistent it is fair to use correction if you be sure to do it respectfully at the minimal amount necessary to discourage the behavior. This shouldnt be anything that makes him cry or tuck his tail in fear.

    Adult labs usually aren’t easily startled and have a high pain tolerance – therefore the most humane and gentle correction, despite what some ignorant and unqualified “experts” may say, is usually a dogtra collar – using only the pulse button on the lowest level and then slowly increased until you see that it “annoys” the dog NOT hurts the dog. You can see a little on how to fit them in the phase 3 video. Never use the continuous button!

    You can use it as a dog god after a month of having him leave household objects, counter tops, etc on leash. But, do not “dog god” him jumping on humans because you don’t want him to get confused into thinking touching humans is bad. Say “off-no-off” with little to no delay between words and pulsate on the lowest level that annoys him when you say the second “off”. Praise him at any point he complies. He can avoid the correction by obeying the first “off” or the warning “no”. You will praise him when he complies even if he is corrected. Stay consistent with that since it is the only way to teach him that he can 100% avoid any corrections.
    It is very fair if done correctly and more gentle than all of the physical corrections you may hear about involving the leash, knees, etc.

    You can also try a remote citronella collar to do this, but their is a bigger risk that it may not motivate the dog after you spent the money.

    Many of the corrections that involve loud noises that you hear about generally don’t work well on labs that are bred to stand behind shotguns while hunting, but if you do have one that responds to it – you may cause a kind of PTSD after repeated exposure to something he is scared of.

    Therefore it is much more humane to do something that is consistently annoying rather than scary. Some of these things may sound a little different than some of the common opinions out there, but i promise that i speak from experience for what i feel is the most humane to the dog and not what is popular opinion.

    If you do decide to go with the dogtra route be sure to write back with any questions before you try. They must be used carefully for only one issue at a time.

    Hope this helps,