Saturday, October 24, 2009

Living with a teenage Lab

Another week with Charlie the Chocolate Lab Pup

Puppy Play

Charlie finally talked Gigit into some fun and had her playing with him for a few minutes. They zigged an zagged in circles around the yard. Gigit can make much tighter circles than long legged Charlie. Then Gigit got tired, but Charlie didn't and being a teen he didn't want to take no for an answer which made Gigit mad and she had to do some snapping and growling to get through to Charlie that playtime was over and it was time for him to leave her alone.

Poor Charlie wants to play with my dogs most of the time and they being older dogs really get a bit tired of his constant play nagging. He has put his nose under Gigit and has lifted her back legs off the ground. He tried to do the same with Logo, but 95 pound was too much to lift.

Charlie barks in their faces, licks their faces, rolls around on the ground and kicks them with his feet, and does anything he can think of to try to get one or more of them to give him some attention and play with him. He has managed to get Gigit to play with him a time or two and has cause BooBoo to get mad enough to chase him for a short distance. He even aggravated Logo until he growled at him.

From Charlie

Toy Time

Charlie is slowing learning how to play with dog toys. I guess whomever owned him didn't introduce him to toys so he was not sure what to do with them. He likes a small stuffed toy that squeaks and today I got him to play tug-a-war with me for a while. He may never be a gun-ho retrieving fool like some Labrador Retrievers are, but with a little more time I think he will really look forward to playtime with dog toys. That will make my three older dogs happy.

Bicycle Running Time

Oscar Bluhm VerfolgtImage via Wikipedia

I have started bicycling with Charlie running alongside the bike. I have a special attachment for the bicycle that has a short lead that I attach to Charlie's slip collar. He was a bit scared of the bike at first and the tug on him when he tried to move away from it. But I walked the bike along for a while and then rode it slowly at first. Now I can ride it much faster and Charlie gallops alongside the bike.

Biking with your dog is a good way for you both to get needed exercise and biking is so much less trying than jogging with your dog. I really thing more people should give it a try. But do not try it by just holding on to your dog's leash or you could end up hurt.

There are a few different bike/dog products around. I have the K9 Cruiser Bicycle Leash and I like the way it keeps your dog towards the back of the bike where he has less chance of getting in the way of the moving tires.

There are some other dog bike leash attachments, like: Springer, WalkyDog, Bike Tow Leash and others.

You might also want to use a special dog harness with your dog bike leash. EzyDog Dog Harness is a comfortable padded dog harness.

And there are other options, two of them shown in this video...
Terra Trike and Dog Powered Scooter, Willie

Some people with large, active dogs really like the scooter where the dog is pulling you. The dog gets more exercise this way and you don't have to work peddling a bike.

Bicycle leashes comparison Compares the K9 CRUISER and the SPRINGER

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A week with Charlie the foster Lab

Seven days living with a Lab Puppy

Teenagers can be cute by tiring too. Charlie has a lot of young healthy energy as most Labrador Retriever puppies do. He wants so bad to play with my three dogs, but so far they are not amused with his puppy antics and will not play with him. Maybe they are getting too old for puppy play. Charlie pounces at them and barks in their faces. He also runs circles around them and from time to time goes under the large one or jumps over one of the smaller ones. Lobo my large male German Shepherd dog mostly ignores Charlie and Gigit the blue heeler mix wants to bust his but when he will not listen to her, "Get Lost" warning growl.

So like most teens he picks on the one that he gets to the most -- my little terrier, BooBoo. BooBoo curls her lip and snaps in his face and growls, but this just seems like a fun game to Charlie so he keeps going back to her for more. I have to keep asking Charlie to leave her alone. If I had another young adult dog I think they may play together well. My dogs are just getting a bit too old for his active play.

Charlie still doesn't show much interest in balls or toys -- maybe he just was never given them when he was younger.

Charlie likes to run through puddles, but so far he hasn't taken any dunks in my goldfish pond -- I'm sure my fish appreciate this -- he is a bit much for my little pond. Charlie also like to bite at the watch coming from the garden hose, until I try to wash him with it, then he rather not. I have not taken him yet to the two ponds to see if he would take a swim. Most Labrador Retrievers like water, but not all.

From Charlie

Charlie doesn't like the rain pounding down on the tin roof and barked and whined a lot on two nights when we had downpours along with lots of lightening.

Clicker Training

HEEL: This week I have continued to work with getting Charlie to pay more attention to me on our heeling walks on lead. He is doing pretty good about not pulling on the leash but he does keep walking ahead of me. When he reaches goes ahead and draws the leash taunt I reverse direction and when he catches up and is alongside me I click and treat him. He will learn that the only time he gets a click and a treat is when he is in the correct heeling position. From time to time he does catch himself as he is passing me and slows down and looks at me. I click and treat him to his good self control.

He is now eating both the dry dog food and the hot dog slices on our training walks. Charlie also like raw chicken gizzards which I cut into small pieces with a scissors.

DOWN: Charlie had a hard time figuring out down. I had to keep placing him in the down position time and time again before he had a light bulb moment and figured out what I was wanting him to do. Some dogs can be trained down just by moving the food out in front of them on the ground while they are sitting, but this didn't work with Charlie. He is still slow to go in the down position but should get faster with more training.

From Charlie


Charlie has no problem with being handled. I can put my fingers down his ears, between his toes, tug on his tail and ears, and even lift his hind legs a bit off ground by his tail without him showing fear or nervousness. He will also let you clip his toenails without a problem. Of course I am clicking and treating him for his calm behavior at my antics.

Charlie is available for adoption from Labs4Rescue

Dog Clicker Training - Teaching the Down Cue

Puppy: 2 Month Yellow Lab Tricks

If you are on a roll and want to learn more here is another video to watch:
YouTube - Re: Every Dog Must Know This: How To Train Your Dog To Stay

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chocolate Lab Charlie

Charlie my new foster dog is a chocolate Labrador Retriever

Charlie is available for adoption from Labs4Rescue He is a young dog - under a year I believe, as he is as lanky as a teen, very playful, and still squats to pee instead of lifting his leg like an adult dog would.

From Charlie

Charlie was an owner-turn-in; I didn't get a reason why they could no longer keep him or the yellow male lab that was also turned in with him. So many people are now running into problems and cannot keep their pets.

While visiting our local animal shelter in Hammond, LA we saw quite a few dogs that were 'owner-turn-ins'. They are usually sad and stressed and miss their homes.

Well Charlie also acted very upset when I first got him on Thursday evening (Oct. 8, 2009). He barked and barked -- keeping me up most of the night. I walked him in the middle of the night and he peed and pooped. He drank a lot of water - his throat was dry from all that barking.

But this is how some dogs act trying to deal with the stress they feel from losing a home and their people. Some dogs withdraw and don't make a sound, hanging to the back of the kennel and just watching and waiting and some like Charlie wail out their miseries with anxious barks and whines. I wonder if the people that give up their dogs to shelters realize what the dogs goes through after the walk away.


Friday I walked Charlie on a leash and started clicker training him to learn to pay attention to where I was and not pull on the leash. Because he was still upset and anxious he was only half interested in the hot dog slices and notat all in the dry dog food I was using as treats. But this too is common, with some dogs not eating much for a day or so when you first rescue them.

Charlie takes the treats nicely from my hand. By evening he was starting to look into my eyes to ask for the treats and I would blink my clicks with my eyes and treat him.

I let him explore my fenced in acre size yard. I tossed a ball and kicked a soccer ball around for him, but he didn't show a whole lot of interest in either of them. He did do some fast large circle runs and try to play with my two female dogs, which don't play with new dogs right away. They growled at him and he kept a bit of distance.

Friday night no barking, yea! He slept quietly in his crate all night.


Rainy morning. I took Charlie for a short leash walk up and down the gravel road a bit and walked on heeling. He is doing better, learning to watch my movement more and stay to the left side of me. When he happens to be in the right spot on the left side I click and treat him. He was hungrier today and eat the dry dog food offered.

Also worked on SIT. He is a doing good and learning to sit and watch my eyes for my blink click, then treat.

I let him out a few more times during the day into my yard to run around. Whenever he would return to me I would click and treat him. If he would sit by me I would click and treat. I tested him by rubbing him all over and playing with his ears, tail, and toes. He doesn't mind this handling at all. No fear, no nerviness, no mouthiness - good he will probably be fine around children. I do recommend that dogs and young children should always be supervised when together. 

He chased some butterflies -- puppies do this, and he squats when he pees, so he may still be a puppy and will fill out more. He is pretty lean and lanky for a lab.

Charlie still barks when I place him in his crate and leave him, but he doesn't bark for as long and he doesn't sound as stressed as at first. His barking will lessen with time and as he learns that he will get out and get attention and playtime a few times per day. Labrador Retrievers are active dogs and need a good amount of playtime and exercise to keep them happy and healthy mentally and physically.

Charlie is up for adoption at

From Charlie

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Related Posts with Thumbnails