Lab Training question


The Dude Abides
Hey dog peeps

Need some imput

My lab Murphy is doing great...5 months now and is actually going in to be spayed tomorrow

She responds well, pretty darn birdy, heels on command, stays close when asked, retrieves to hand and releases to retrieve via her name.

Here are some issues i need help with

1. WHen we take her outside to do her biz, if she sees people across the street...she cant contain herself, especially with my wife. She doesnt break me often, but has a couple of times.

2. the classic jump up on people when they come to her...can be shitty when little kids are involved

All in all, this is a great dog....just work in progress. Cant wait to see her face when the first rooster or quail flies next fall

So, D3Smartie, CWUGirl, all the posters who are big with dogs...lend a hand if you can and also, what are some of the best "tricks" in training you can think of or drills i can do as we progress with her and she gets older.

Thanks for all the help in advance!
Ahhh...I love retrievers. Have two. The whole people issue is part of every young dogs life. It's just young age. The best thing to do is take her to social events if possible, socialization with strangers is very important. As for the jumping up, this is jsut a sign of love and companionship, part of what makes Labs labs. But to cure it if you don't mind doing this is just give them a brisk knee in the sternum and a clear affirmative NO! Not too hard, just hard enough to get your point across...if you don;t wan to resort to this physicalpunishment, just let her get away with it, and let her be a pup! Congrats on your new friend!

Hope this helps!


Active Member

My dog Libby is 13 months and I've resorted to the "knee-sternum" 80 pounds she pretty much mauls over my wife, daughter, and me if caught off guard! As for breaking to people...I've got the same issue. I'm more afraid of her hauling ass over to them and getting struck by a car than the people possibly getting jumped or licked.

Walking her on a short lead and commanding HEEL, and NO when close to people have helped, but there is still that look in her eye that says "oooooh boy people...I love PEOPLE!"

The latest development my knucklehead is doing is whenever I'm sitting in front of the tube with my feet on the ottoman (24"x18") she insists on sleeping on my feet! Which means she climbs onto the ottoman and curls into a ball only after she proceeds to spin a few times searching for the best position!

Good luck! As they say you have another 2.5 years of puppyhood to go!
Hey Josh- it sounds like you have a normal 5 month old puppy! I bet she's a lot of fun. I can't stress enough how important it exercise your dog as much as possible. Retrieving a ball is a gear energy sucker (I let my dog retrieve as exercise seperately from when I'm training to retrieve- he seems to know the difference), walking several times a day, off leash play at a dog park should all be very regular occurances. A bored dog is much more likely to have bad behavior.

How much obedience training has she had? You say she'll heel, etc- how about around new people/dogs? Are you taking her to classes? It's possible that you can train w/o classes, but it's very benefical to her if you go to classes. She'll learn quickly in that environment how to behave around other dogs/people/stimulation and they'll cover how to stop her from jumping up. I've gone both ways- trained a dog myself and taken one to classes. Yeah, I did a pretty good job on my own, but it's hard to replicate all the stimulation they receive in classes by yourself.

Two, 6 week classes (beginner and intermediate/advanced) really makes a difference. The classes offered at PetSmart/PetCo are pretty poor. Family Dog Training Center in Kent is where I've gone in the past and I can recommend others if you'd like.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
I'll just chime in with a caution about using balls even for fun. Everyone knows at least one Lab who is a "tennis ball nut". My last Lab was just that. Absolutely gonzo insane with a ball-obsessed. The problem with balls is that they take on a life of their own and it further excites a dog. The ball is thrown, but then it bounces and bounces and rolls, and so one. The dog's senses are heightened when they chase a ball. Doesn't take much to turn a dog into a crazed fool. Some dogs can handle it- like my current Lab. He's laid back and mellow, and while he loves balls he can turn off like a switch. My last dog could not. So, just beware that a ball may be a negative toy. For an exercise toy, consider using a bumper that is different and separate from your training bumpers, so your pooch will associate a difference. If you use plastic for training, get a canvas one for playtime. But don't let her have it for chewing- just get it out for fun time.

Check chords/leashes are good for teaching her not to break no matter whether you're in the field or blind, or just in the yard and want to discourage her from running off to greet the neighbors. When I lived in a neighborhood my dog(s) weren't allowed out of the fenced yard off lead until they were completely under voice command.
Well she's just a pup, bottom line. Enjoy it while it lasts, although sometimes hard.......because in their elder years you sadly know that they won't be around forever, and You'll miss their exciting youth.


The Dude Abides
she's doing great...and thanks for the tips. My dad and I have two older labs that are stars in my humble opinion in the field...and at home and it's easy to forget it's a process that takes time

Murphy is currently resting off her spaying...but how in the hell can you "try to keep your dog calm" as the vet says...yeah right, she's a happy bouncing try and keep her calm.ahah


Active Member
all good advice. My dog that I have now was very easy to train as she is very soft. Only took a couple firm "NO"s to get her to understand.

Knee to the chest is the best way i know of to correct the jumping.
As far as running across the street to see other people. A long leash and quick punishment are the way to go. Dont let her off the leash to do her business if you cannot control her.
And like C.C. said. She is still a pup and thats the agrevating and yet fun part of the whole deal.
post up a pic of her. :)
When a dog is jumping up on you, they're looking for attention.

I think that the jumping behavior is usually TAUGHT to the pup, by us, even though we don't know it. It starts when adults bend over to pet the "cute new puppy"... Children usually plop down on the ground to play with them. I've tried to get adults to squat down BEFORE playing with the pup, although that doesn't always work.

The pups start to link that standing position with getting affection.

So we need to break that link.

It seems that the way pups get attention usually can come in three ways:
* Talking to the dog
* Touching the dog
* Looking at the dog

So when he jumps, we look down at him, push him off, and say "get off me..."... Hmmm.. we just gave him attention in all three ways. That BUILDS the desire to jump.

The alternative is to ignore the pup. He jumps up, you turn away from him. Not quickly, like its a game, but in a way that you IGNORE him. If he wants attention, he'll try again and again, until he sees that isn't working. THEN HE'LL TRY SOMETHING ELSE. As soon as you get the desired reaction, SO WILL HE. He sits and wags his tail, you cover him with attention.

I, too, have used a knee in the sternum, but I'd rather not do that. My goal is to have my dog WANT to work for me, but never be afraid of me. If you LOOK at your dog when you knee him, it can create a link between YOU and BAD.

Breaking and running seems to have been well covered by everyone. A long check cord and some additional time training will probably cover it. The only thing I'd add is that you mentioned that it happens more with your wife than with you. I'd make sure that SHE is using the check cord during the training, so the pup can understand the order of the pack. When you are doing all the training, the pup may be thinking "Cool... HE is the top dog, and *I* get to spend all this time alone with him, so *I* may be number TWO!"

Ensuring that your wife is training with you, or she is training the pup, will let him know the REAL pecking order of your pack.

Just my two cents,

My old golden (long passed now) was still jumping up when he was 8 years old.
Almost broke my nose once.
If I saw him coming I could control it, but lookout if ya didn't.
He was real gentle with children, go figure.
As for running off after people, ya need to have a fenced yard or keep her on a lead.
Have fun.