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The ASBO Labrador

I can't count how many times people have said to me when talking about their dog problems " Oh, I wish I had a Labrador, it would be so easy" Well think again on labeling and stereotyping breeds.

I recently met the most beautiful rescued Labrador boy . He had every behavioural issue in the book. 
Jumping up?... No.. he launched at you from 4 foot away and if you didn't prepare yourself you'd be flat on the floor being licked and trodden to death!
Pulled on the lead?... He was like a train engine and if he saw a dog or cat you'd be half way across Britain before you'd come to a halt! When it came to bikes you had no chance :(
Would he have attacked any of these? Yes he would ! out of shear fright and the face that he was driven on adrenaline and bounced from one reaction to the next.

He would not settle at home at all when the owners were around, he constantly barked, bullied and barged for attention, pacing and panting. The children couldn't play in the garden when he was there as he'd run after the football and pop it and run off with it to dissect it in to tiny pieces.

Now you're asking what was he like when friends came round? It was that bad that within three months of them getting Sam, no friends came round to see them. This is not the first time I've heard this and it certainly won't be the last.

The poor owner was exasperated and ready to give him up. Then her mother called me and we set the date for change. Since my visit they have all worked very hard indeed and have transformed Sam into a different dog. He has learnt to relax, be respectful and does not barge, not demanding and now playing and walking is coming along very well. We have a long road to travel with him but already he can walk past a bicycle without reacting. 

This is two months down the line of hard work and the light at the end of the tunnel is glowing.

So if you think a Labrador is an easy safe option think again.  

When choosing a dog as a puppy there are so many things you need to ask and see and one of the most important is how are they brought up....Is the litter born and brought up in a home of gentle loving people so they learn the human touch and voice is kind and caring. 

Socialization to the normal comings and going in the home are the greatest lessons to be learnt. 

You do not make dogs aggressive to anything because they haven't seen it, you make them aggressive and reactive if you introduce it to them in the wrong way.

No dog or human is born aggressive or over reactive...It's us that make them like that and the way we bring them up. And their personality that depicts which action they will take when alarmed or frightened.

If you have a reactive dog, don't worry we can help and also don't beat yourself up about how he is. We all do the best we can with the information provided and sometimes we get so much advise we don't know which way is up. You're confused and now the dog is too. 

A good place to start would be to read my book "Why Does My Dog Do That?" you'll learn how to understand your dog and help him though his problems. He's trying to please you but can't get it right. Too many commands and not enough understanding is generally when it all starts going pear shaped.

AUGUST 15TH, 2014 @ 16:06:12 BST


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