Charlie my new foster dog is a chocolate Labrador Retriever
Charlie is available for adoption from Labs4Rescue http://labs4rescue.com/ 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.
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 Labs4Rescue.com