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Possessive labrador - advice please!(8 Posts)
Our lab is 13 months, so pretty big but still some puppyish behaviour. Like stealing things, all the time.
The stealing and running off is frustrating, but mainly in play. He will usually swap for a treat or a ball. The issue arises when he steals something really valuable like a foody item. He is growling and refusing to hand it over even for a treat. Today it was a yogurt pot, my son tried to remove from him and he really growled. Everything I’ve read says practice getting him to give things, reward with high value treats. We do this, but it isn’t always working.
Advice appreciated, thank you.
You need to completely prevent him stealing food. We never leave anything out and always eat at the dining table.
What else does he steal?
The technical term for what you're seeing is resource guarding.
There are ways to work on it when he's resource guarding around humans (as opposed to other dogs), but I'm not qualified to give that advice so I won't. If you want some proper help with it, you'll need to see an APBC or CCAB accredited behaviourist; your insurance may cover it.
However, the first thing to do is to manage the risks
- ensure dog cannot access anything he will consider valuable that you don't want him to have
- drill it into your son that he's not to take away anything from the dog (fetch an adult instead), or to go near the dog when it's eating. I'm not saying that your dog is going to bite, but there's a higher than average risk and I'd hate for it to happen so it's best your son knows how to keep himself safe.
So we eat at the table and I try not to leave anything out. But it does happen - in this case one of the kids left a yogurt pot on the worktop.
Other stuff he steals are things like soft toys, clothes etc but he’ll give them up for a swap. Yes I’ve talked to the children today, thanks I will keep reminding them though. Thank you. We have been to a puppy training class, I could contact the trainer for some 1-1
How old are the kids? We told ours that if they don’t want the dog to eat it then it stays in their rooms. We have a stair gate on the stairs.
There’s a great FB group called dog training advice and support. They have files about this issue. All run by excellent dog trainers.
The biggest issue is preventing the behaviour! My house was never as tidy as when we have kittens or puppies.
5 and 9 .... yes I have said similar 😄. Dog is mainly in the open plan kitchen / living area and they don’t bring their stuff in there. I do let him roam a bit more sometimes though, but maybe he’s still too young. I feel mean when we are all elsewhere in the house. He’s not allowed in bedrooms.
Will check out the FB group thanks
Our dog has free roam now he’s older (18 months) I thought he was pretty good and reliable now (there was a naan bread incident in the early days that we don’t talk about).
realised the other day when I found him all dreamy eyed licking a block of butter that the only reason he is good is because we don’t (usually) leave food out unattended
Mine ate a doughnut yesterday 😩. It was somewhere he previously couldn’t reach. He must have grown......