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Hyper Dog and No Heat

My name is Merry and I am writing concerning our Labrador Retriever. She is a female yellow lab that is 17 months old. We bought her from a local breeder when she was five weeks old for our 13 year old Son. We had heard that labs were wonderful with children and wanted to Get a good one because we also have a 7-year-old severely handicapped Child. Our lab is extremely hyper. She still wants to run and jump on Us. She has quit biting at our hands. Our vet says she also shows signs Of shyness. She has pulled back when people have reached to pet her and has actually growled at 2 or 3 people. My husband was walking her one day and she really growled at a neighbor that tried to pet her. He said that she did have on a big floppy hat so that it might have scared her. If I have her loose in the yard and a car pulls in the driveway, she has no fear of it. She runs and jumps right on it. She will not stop if I call her by name.

She has also never went into heat? Is this abnormal at this age? We have heard both ways. I know her sister just went into heat 3 months ago. Will it make any difference in her behavior once she goes into heat? My son would really like to breed her but I don't want to if she is not going to be a good dog.

We have really gotten attached to her even though she is hard to control. I would really like to keep her but don't want her mean and would like for her to calm down. Right now when walking her I use a No Pull Harness. I cannot walk her with a regular leash.

We recently put her on the Science Diet food. I had heard that some of these other foods are junk and could be one reason she is still so hyper. I didn't know if that was true or not but decided to try it.

If you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breeds. The reason for this is their calm even temperament. A typical lab lies next to your chair when in the house. They love attention and when petted can lick you to death they do not growl at you. . Labs are easy to train and eager to please. I do not see any of these qualities in your dog. I do not know of many breeders of quality labs that would release a puppy to a new home at 5 weeks of age.

A pup needs to be with his littermates until they are seven weeks old. The seventh week is a very critical time in a puppy's life. During the seventh week, lots of things are happening to the pups, the pecking order in the litter is decided who is the most dominant dog in the litter, the alpha male, alpha female. Personality, temperament etc all comes into play during this week. Your pup was not exposed to this and I believe this may accounts for some of her problems. I have known 5 dogs that were released by breeders at 5 weeks, 4 out of the 5 dogs were aggressive... Do you know anything about the parents of your pup? Was either of them aggressive, shy or hyper? -

Labs learn to respond to commands by repletion. Your dog has learned in the fifteen and half months you have had her that she is in charge... I would suggest if you really want to keep her, providing that she is not aggressive with other dogs. That you take her to obedience class, or hire a trainer that can teach her to heel, on a regular lead, and to come on command and not to jump on anyone. A trainer that maybe able to help with her aggressive behavior. - A trainer who is willing to work with you and your family in teaching you how to work with her.

The thing that most distresses me in your note is her aggressiveness. There is nothing worst than a fear biter your description of her along with your vet's comment on her being shy leads me to believe that is what she is. I worry most about her behavior becoming even more aggressive and biting or really hurting someone. In a sense you have a time bomb here, and if she continues to be allowed to be aggressive you will have serious problems. I really worry about a dog showing such tendencies. How is she around other dogs? The time to stop aggressive behavior is at the first signs of it, The dog need to know that this type of behavior is not allowed. And will not be tolerated. Maybe there is still time for your dog to learn this but I am afraid it may be to late.

Some vets feel that if a dog is spay it may calm some dogs down somewhat, but most vets want a dog to have a normal heat cycle prior to surgery. I have had dogs not come into season until 18 months of age, with most labs I have had the normal time they are in season for the first time is by 12 months of age. I would ask my vet if he feels having her spay would make any difference in her hyper behavior. Ask your vet about changing dog foods and if he feels it will help.

I would not consider breeding your dog at all; she has none of the qualities that you would want to pass on to pups. I know you and your family loves her, but she is not the typical lab. Ask yourself would you go out and buy her again if you knew how she would turn out? . I am sorry I can't paint a happier picture for you. I have an article on my WebPages that I wrote titled the to Z's of buying a retriever, to bad that you did not have it to use as a guideline before you purchased a pup. When buying a dog that is going to be a house pet calm even TEMPERMENT is the most important quality that they must possess.

Kim Moses
Hunters Marsh Kennels

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