Owner Nick White, is a former US Marine and US Secret Service, he has also trained with some of the best trainers in the world. Nick has trained with Andrew Ramsey who was the Lead Drug/Bomb Detection Trainer at Lackland Air Force Base which is where all of the military dogs are trained.
Anyway Jim, either way, 8 hours is a long time for a Labrador to be alone 5 days per week. I understand some people are unavoidably in this situation (we all have to work!) but it will be hugely positive for your dog if you can arrange a family member or professional dog walking service to visit your lab at the mid-way point in the day so she can get some exercise, interaction and stimulation. This will benefit her in lots of ways…though may come with a financial cost if a family member cannot help out.
If after you’ve practiced these steps, your dog seems to be alternating between walking beside you and pulling, stop rewarding coming back towards you after he pulls and instead concentrate on rewarding him for taking a larger number of consecutive steps by your side.
If she’s rebelling at night and gets to stay out of her crate against your request, you’re training her (inadvertently or otherwise) that she can make a fuss and stay out of the crate. So my worry would be: Why shouldn’t she try this during the day or at any other time also? She will have found out what she needs to do to stay out of the crate.
Sometimes we may wonder why our dog starts doing something we don’t want him to do. It’s probably something we have inadvertently reinforced ourselves. Consider this: Your dog has a toy and barks to ask you to throw it for him. So you do. You have just taught your dog that barking is how he can get his own way. But what if you don’t throw the toy and he barks louder and longer. If you now give in and do what he wants, you have created your own version of Frankenstein’s Monster. He will now believe his persistence will get him anything. He will bark incessantly whenever he wants something. What you need to do instead is ignore him when he barks, or give him a command to do something else.
The other day I got up and did 10 minutes of click-treat for quiet, but this morning I just flat out ignored the barking. After she was quiet again for sometimes (this went on until 6:20am), I let her out and took her out to the bathroom, and we started the day. She eats breakfast around 7:00.
If you repeat this process, your dog will soon be looking at you as soon as you go out the front door. Once you’ve reached that level of success, you can stand up and repeat the process. Once he can stand calmly and look at you while you’re on your feet, give him the cue for loose leash walking and click when you take your first step (before he gets the chance to race to the end of the leash). Immediately offer him the piece of goodie right beside you. Gradually, you’ll be able to add more steps and eventually you’ll be doing your regular walks with an attentive and loose leash walker.
The way to find out for sure is to set up a camera and film your dog from a few minute before you going to leave him alone, then covering the time alone when he is crying, whining, exhibiting destructive behaviors and so on.
Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences. It’s important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don’t go too fast.
Once your dog is happy spending time in its crate with you around, you can introduce it to crating at night. Make sure your dog has toys or treat-dispensing toys with it to initially settle it into the routine. Keep the crate in a familiar, central area so the dog feels comfortable and settled. With young puppies or older dogs you may need to take them out for toilet breaks during the night. By making the crate a ‘fun’ and enjoyable place to be, night time crating should be an easy transition.
Many dog owners are resistant to crate training because they think it seems mean or because they haven’t been exposed to the method before. They also worry that their dog might think he’s being punished or “put in jail” when he’s in his crate. However, most dogs respond very well to this type of training, since they have a “denning instinct” that causes them to feel secure in small spaces and makes them want to keep their sleeping area or “den” clean. Most of us have witnessed this instinct in our own dogs. Have you seen your dog curl up under a table or desk when he wants to take a nap or when he thinks he’s in trouble? He’ll naturally be drawn to a cozy, sheltered place when he wants to feel secure, so crate training is a great option for most dogs.
She is also in either of two states: calm or very excited and itâ€™s hard to slowly build up distractions because everything outside of our yard is a big distraction. She sometimes calms down when there is nothing happening and she’s very tired. When she’s calm, she walks perfectly. When she’s excited the behavior falls apart.