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Timing has been awful

(20 Posts)
mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 17:37:02

We have an 8 month old lab - had him since he was 8 weeks old.
Gorgeous boy.
Love him to bits but everything seems to be working against us.
He is extremely clever and needs a lot of stimulation and attention.
I have had dogs before but never a lab.
I got him cos i wanted to train him to be a PAT dog.
I have 3 young kids but they dont really seem to have bonded as well as i would have liked with the pup and that is down to the fact that he steals their toys and destroys stuff.

I feed him only with kongs, scatter feeding, foraging etc.
He gets a good amount of exercise and i try to train daily but he just steals everything everywhere.
I have a trainer and i take him to classes aswell.

He is a lovely guy but I am starting to think that maybe he would be suited to a household with other dogs, somewhere where they have alot more time for him that i can give him and most likely somewhere where he will have a 'job'. He is so intelligent.

My health is getting worse every day and we are searching for a reason for this.
My son has just been diagnosed with special needs.
My husband and i need to work on our marriage.
I just feel totally overwhelmed.

I am totally of the opinion that a dog is for life but i am really considering that rehoming him would be better not just for him and his quality of life and happiness but for ours too.

BiteyShark Sat 28-Oct-17 17:47:29

He's still a big puppy. My cocker who is a lot smaller than a lab started with the teenage phase around 6 months and peaked at 8-9 months. A lab will mature abit later so you are probably looking at him starting teenagedom soon grin. Stealing and destroying things is not unusual and you need to get the children to keep things they don't want destroying out of the dogs way. Did you other dogs not destroy or try steal anything? Mine has a thing for running off with shoes if I don't put them away as he knows they get him attention.

Is you lab a working type? How much exercise does he get and is it on or off lead? Mine definitely is more badly behaved if he hasn't had the chance to stretch his legs off lead. You say he is intelligent, what things do you do to exercise the mind?

Floralnomad Sat 28-Oct-17 17:51:27

He's a young dog and a popular breed so he will find a new home easily enough just don't make the mistake of getting a different type of dog thinking that would work better , most dogs are hard work and annoying at that age .

mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 18:09:00

Yes he is in his teenage years .
We do all sorts of mind games.

The issue is my health and the energy i dont have any more to deal with him.
The stress i am feeling at my son's diagnosis and the time and attention he is going to need .
I love this puppy but i do feel i am not allowing him to reach his full potential in a home where he doesnt get as much attention as he deserves.

I dont know what i am asking really - i feel like such a failure.
I love dogs and animals and always believed i could give them a wonderful home but maybe my health, the 3 kids, and a dog that needs so much dont go togther.

My other dogs did steal a bit but never to this extent and i didnt have children when they were puppies.

Floralnomad Sat 28-Oct-17 18:14:20

Sounds like you've got your hands full , unless your husband can take more responsibility for the dog or you could utilise a dog walker or daycare service . I rarely agree with people passing on pets but he is young and you do need to concentrate on your health and your dc .

BiteyShark Sat 28-Oct-17 18:15:01

Can you hire a dog walker or send him to doggy day care a few days a week which will help tire him out? Can your DH step up and help more with the dog?

mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 19:06:32

He was going to a doggy day care 2 days a week but then he got kicked out cos he was being a bit too full on with the other dogs. The owners wanted me to get him neutered but he is too young.

I have just found another lady who will have him but she is quite a distance away.
we had a dog walker come today but even after an hour and a bit of off leash walking and playing with another dog he still wasnt tired.

DH helps a little but the dog only really listens to me and the main time i have problems is in the day when all the kids are home or after school when i need to struggle with dinner and homework, bath etc.

BiteyShark Sat 28-Oct-17 19:25:12

How old are your children. Are they old enough to help do training sessions with the dog whilst you supervise from a distance and cook dinner or are they too young?

Have you tried training him to be calm during homework time. My dog finds dinner time boring and goes to sleep because when he was younger he would be rewarded by going on his bed to wait until we finished. He knows after he gets a 5 min ball game as his reward.

To be honest my dog isn't tired immediately after a long run. It's more that consistent off lead exercise tends to make him more likely to settle well in the evening without the naughty attention seeking episodes.

Obviously if you have made your mine up to rehome him then I would do it soon but if not I am sure there are plenty of people on here who can give you tips on what might help.

mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 19:32:06

He has daily off leash walks - pretty much all he gets and we do lots of enrichment in the woods too.

My kids are 9, 5 and 2 so too young and they dont want to do much with him without me cos of all the stealing etc.

He will settle in the evening once the kids are in bed.

I am so torn.

I am not a quitter but at times i dont see it as quitting but more recognising that our lifestyle is not a good fit for this dog and he would be better suited to a working environment. BUt at other times i feel such a failure and like i am quitting.

I am exhausted

mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 19:32:16

He has daily off leash walks - pretty much all he gets and we do lots of enrichment in the woods too.

My kids are 9, 5 and 2 so too young and they dont want to do much with him without me cos of all the stealing etc.

He will settle in the evening once the kids are in bed.

I am so torn.

I am not a quitter but at times i dont see it as quitting but more recognising that our lifestyle is not a good fit for this dog and he would be better suited to a working environment. BUt at other times i feel such a failure and like i am quitting.

I am exhausted

Oops4 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:20:29

It sounds like you're having a really hard time and it's just making dealing with him so much harder. He is at a really difficult age which won't be helping.

Are you able to contain him? I am generally on dinner/homework/bedtime myself and that was the hardest time to be dealing with our dog when he was younger. The best thing we did was put in a stair gate. We got a tall pet gate which meant I could contain him in the kitchen if I was busy, kids had friends over or were just generally being a bit messy and for when he have guests. He's always put behind the gate when the door goes and isn't allowed out until he is fully calm (not just faking it calm!). I also make a big deal about telling the kids to put their stuff away, I think any dog of that age will steal given the opportunity. The dogs have a toy box of their own now and they know that they're the toys they can play with. I don't suppose you watched the programme that was on a few months ago, about 9 puppies? One was a lab that was on his 3rd home due to chewing and one of the things the behaviourist recommended was to change his diet. Made a massive difference.

Might also be worth looking at different classes? He's a bit young yet for agility but see if you can find one that leads into something like that. I remember loving setting obstacle courses up for my dog in the garden when I was wee, maybe you kids could join in with something like that.

If you feel like it really is the right choice to rehome then that's what you should do but I feel like you might be just about to turn a corner and would be a shame when you've already put in so much work

mooma3 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:27:40

yes he is crated but i feel like i put him in there so much.
Then i feel guilty.
we also now have a dog gate over the kitchen.

The problem is that he also steals teddies right out of their arms which obviously upsets them.

Tonight i was trying to love him and he kept biting at my dressing gown.
I got him his chews and he started pulling at the sofa.

It is just relentless.
I dont get a second to sit down if he is with us as he is just chewing or pulling at the furniture or bothering the kids.

I love him so much but i am shattered and dunno what to do for the best.
Right now i feel i cant give anyone the right amount of attention

knockknockknock Sat 28-Oct-17 22:38:04

Personally I think it’s right to rehome him. People’s circumstances change and you’re not in the same position as you were to be able to properly look after a pup who obviously needs more than you can currently give him.

It sounds like he would benefit from someone who is able to meets his needs and not be with someone who is going to start having a negative impact on his life - it’s not your fault but it’s also not his - he’s just being a dog.

Hard decision to make though.

Wolfiefan Sat 28-Oct-17 22:42:56

If you're ill the cinnamon trust could help.
He sounds like he maybe needs more mental stimulation, training and mind games. Sometimes you can't physically tire them out.
Wish I could borrow him to tire my girl out. She loves a full on playing lab!
My kids are older but I've said no bringing toys downstairs. Puppies do chew. (Through walls in our case!)
What does the breeder suggest?

Floralnomad Sat 28-Oct-17 22:45:15

I don't think it's got anything to do with him needing a working home , he's a normal 8 month old puppy and he's doing what they do .

WeAllHaveWings Sat 28-Oct-17 23:02:23

Our lab would destroy anything until he was 18 months old, then just stopped. Think that is fairly typical of the breed.

You do seem to have a lot on your plate with your circumstances, your breeder (if reputable) may be willing to responsibly rehome the pup for you.

bluetongue Sun 29-Oct-17 01:14:54

I really feel for you OP. My puppy is also eight months old and is pretty full on. He had me in tears last weekend because he is playing too roughly with certain dogs and doesn't get that not every dog he meets want to play full on whippet style.

Apparently my boy is fine at daycare. I'd Definitely look at other daycare options as they should be able to handle an exuberant eight month old lab as long as he isn't aggressive.

It is a difficult age but if you really can't cope then rehoming isn't the end of the world. Did become from a registered breeder? If so I'd go through them to start with. If they are reputable they should offer to take your dog back and find him a new home. Otherwise, there are usually breed specific rescues that can help.

Good luck and hope things get better soon I think loads of puppy and young dog owners feel the same way but it's a bit taboo to actually admit it in public.

mooma3 Sun 29-Oct-17 03:38:14

Thanks everyone.
i have him booked in with a home boarder for a week to give me a break and a think.

yes the breeder is wonderful and i will approach her if we do decide to rehome him.also my trainer knows people.

tough decsions

Bubble2bubble Sun 29-Oct-17 10:22:29

It sounds entirely normal op, but also very tough. Children and puppies are not always a great combination and it may be a long time before the biting, toy stealing phase passes. He will also be picking up on the stress of the situation.

shouldknowbynow Sun 29-Oct-17 20:51:50

Completely normal behaviour for a young dog - he is still learning how the world works through his mouth and testing the boundaries with other dogs. With regards to the mouthing you need to change your expectations. If by trying to love him you mean cuddle him calmly on the sofa the same way you would an adult dog then sometimes we have to accept that a lot of dogs don't see cuddles and strokes as displays of affection, that's a completely human interpretation. By playing with you, mouthing, nibbling etc that an effusive response to your presence and probably about as close to typical affection as you will get until he has grown out of the puppy stage and calmed down a little. Try to see the mouthing as his way of playing and showing affection, just be sure that he is learns his bite inhibition by giving firm, persistent "no's" when it gets too rough or feigning a yelp. Being a bit much with other dogs could simply be exuberance that can be improved with continued socialisation and attendance at training classes. He should not be spending more than 4 hours a day in the crate, any more is not fair on him. Sleeping in crate overnight is fine if he is happy to settle. Young dogs are very hard work so you need to ask yourself whether you have the time and energy (emotional and physical) to do it. Perhaps now isn't the right time for you or perhaps you just have a case of the puppy blues and feel a bit overwhelmed with all that you have on your plate. If the dog is happy and you are willing to work through it and persist with the training, socialisation, establishing boundaries etc then you could look back on this in future as nothing more than a distant memory. If you are really running low on reserves and the dog's quality of life is suffering it may be better to find him a new home with the help of a reputable rescue. Is dh helping with the dog too? He should be.

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