Popcorn (5 month old Black Lab) is due to start puppy classes next week. Late I know, but when I rang the vets about their puppy parties when she was 16 weeks old, they told me she was one week too old, they wouldn't take puppies over 15 weeks. All very well, but bearing in mind with injections, and waiting time after time, she couldn't go until 13 and a half weeks so they don't really give you a lot of scope, especially as they only run to a month! Anyway, I have managed to find a puppy class for her, but due to timings, the next course doesn't start until next Thusday so that is how it worked out. However, I am now a bit worried about her attending. Popcorn has met quite a few other dogs, but she is so in your face with them. She's a right aggrivation to my sister's Yellow Lab, but that's because she is so in love with him it's sickening! She spends the whole time they are together trying to follow him around, trying to get her head as close to him as she can, and then trying to lick his tongue. He's very grumpy with her and snaps and growls ect trying yo warn her off, (tries to find somewhere to hide to get away lol), so I'm not too worried about the two of them, they spend a lot of time together and he is getting generally more tolerant, and at least he is doing the right thing by telling her where she is out of line. I think as she grows up and stops being so in your face, he will settle down around her. Fingers crossed anyway. However, with other dogs it's a bit different. My father-in-law has a Yellow Lab(of championship lineage) who is around 70 pounds, and has always been a bolshy, barky, slightly angry dog. When we take Popcorn round, she is jumping up in his face the whole time and he is just taking it from her. Her paws are all over his face and she is leaping up constantly, it doesn't stop until we leave. The window cleaners dog came to collect money the other day, this is a big thing, a Yellow Lab, and again, and she spent the whole time jumping up(bear in mind she's about the same size as him), and right in his face, trying to stand on his face I think! This poor big guy didn't know what was going on, and he didn't look too upset by it, but it was a bit embarassing for me! Then a half hour ago, we were just coming back from a walk, when we spotted a neighbor with his Black Lab, Popcorn has met him before, but at this time she was having a mad half hour round with my sister's Yellow Lab, and I don't think she noticed. Anyway, I took her over to say hello, and she started jumping up and climbing on his face, and this poor Black Lab was cowering and running away. She just wouldn't give up either, like her mission in life was to play with this dog's face and when I stpped back, she was straining on the lead, jumping up in the air trying to get him. I eventually brought ber back in and whilst I sat pondering it, she sat by the front door crying to go play with this dog(who is now long gone). I then remembered the last time I picked her up from the Dog Salon, they had her on the floor playing with a Yellow Lab(supervised), and she was doing the same thing to this Yellow Lab too! Only this time, only this time she really had to jump to get near his face lol! No obviously I have obvious problems I need to work on-she doesn't behave when we're out for a walk, gets far too excited by everyone and everything(including poor little Yellow and Black Labs) and obviously she needs more interaction with other dogs to learn correct behavior, hence I have really been looking forward to puppy classes starting next week! However, what I am worried about, the place she is going normally takes puppies around 3 or 4 months old, sometimes oder puppies dependant on their size, and is happy to take Popcorn at five and a half months becuase she is a Black Lab. I already know that the classes start with a socialization period(in other words a free for all!), and now I have noticed a pattern in Popcorn's behavior with other dogs, I am concerned that she is going to go steaming in there and nock all these poor little puppies, who are likley to be much younger than her, flying. She is going to spend the whole time jupming up on their heads or faces, arms flailing, terrifying them, and earn the reputation of being the big bully with the owners tutting at me as I walk past!!! I don't want to be tutted at! Am I over-panicking? I feel slightly giulty at attending next week knowing very well my puppy is far too boisterious with other dogs, and putting her in the room with three year old which she is just going to steam-roller! I don't think she intends to bite them-it is possible she is trying to lick their tougnes as she tries to do with Max, I don't know, because all the dogs she has done it with either run off or too high for her too reach. But she's using her front legs as well, which means there are uncontrollable claws flying at other dog's eyes, and it's only a matter of time! Tips or thoughts appreciated. I am not sure I will get try any new solutions with her before next Thursday as we don't always meet other dogs on walks-not dogs that stop and say hello anyway, but things to be thinking of for the future would be great, and especially for next week. Ta muchly. :)
Labs are pretty hyeractive until they get to about age 3 or 4, and if you haven't started basic obedience at home like making her sit, lay down, stay, etc this whole time before she gets anything, food, water, let out, she's probably pretty spoiled. Any time she acts like that with another dog and gets away with it, she is rewarded for acting like a fruitcake. What kind of collar are you using? Your lab sounds like a poster child for a head halter. Head to a pet supply store like Petsmart or something and get a gentle halter/leader. It's a type of halter, kind of like a horse halter, that fits over their noses. So they're much easier to control when they jump up, it pulls down on their noses and causes a generally unpleasant activity. It will let you keep the dog much more in control, so she won't be constantly lunging at other dogs. Anytime you are around other dogs and have her on the leash/halter, you need to make sit, and reward her with a treat. Literally stand on the leash if you have to, but do NOT let her get into other dogs faces like that. Ask people not to pet her or anything unless she is sitting. This way she will learn that good things happen when she sits, and not at oany other time. But control is the key here. If you think she is bad at 5 months of age, imagine her weighing 30 or 40 lbs more and acting the same way. Or bowling over a small child. If you are going to puppy class (honestly, you should probably start basic obedience at her current age), ideally, your class instructor will know what to do to help you control her. But you need to take charge of her life and her in your face behavior for her own good and safety. Some dogs will totally not tolerate a dog in their face like that and will retaliate, thinking that it is aggression.
this sounds like typical lab behavior, like my pearl (my lab's name) when she was young........ at puppy class keep her on a leash and you can let her meet the other puppies, but if she starts going wild you can lead (or jerk) her away with the leash. when mine met other strange dogs on leash she was quite wild, but first she would do the submissive down on the ground thing; the in their face is a play thing and the licking affection and greeting. i would take cues from the other dog and if it seemed okay with pearl's antics i'd let them wrestle (of course the person with the other dog had to think it was okay, too.) there was lots of growling, but it was play. it can be good for your puppy to get corrections from other dogs, but you have to watch for a fight beginning. if you turn a dog away from a thing they are wild to get to, so they can't see it, they will calm, at least it works with my dogs. with your father-in-law's dog, i'd just let them play. sounds like they are fine. they know each other now. if they are too rowdy in the house, you could take it outside. in an obedience class you should learn how to have your dog greet people. basically, i have them on leash and if they start to get all jumpy approaching someone i say "No!"and lead them away, keep approaching and leading away several times. if they approach calmly they can come closer. if they don't get calmer they don't meet the person. takes lots of practice. i think a head halter sounds good, too. and keep up with obedience classes! take the next level when you are done with puppy class. you need it with any dog, but especially with labs!
Minniyar and pearl beat me to it, but I agree that a head halter/gentle leader would really help you. My chi/terrier, Willow, had a serious issue with dog aggression and would literally LAUNCH himself at other dogs, no matter how big. I got a gentle leader and it did wonders for his behavior! Better control, etc. I know your problem isn't aggression, but I do believe that having better control, etc. will help you alot.