>I have a 14 week old chocolate lab puppy that is very aggressive. we are
>crate training her & we let her out about every hour or two for 15 to 45
>mins. the problem is she constantly bites and scratches not out of anger
>but more of playing the kids are getting afraid of her and I don't know
>how to stop this aggressive behavior. i want to be able to let her out of
>the crate most of the day but with this behavior it has been impossible
>i hope someone may have an ideal
>Thank You
>Don :)

Proper, safe crating is useful to help keep a puppy out of trouble (chewing on electrical wires, eating the couch, etc.) and for house breaking when the owners are not present (at work, etc.) or when the puppy is unsupervised (perhaps during the evening hours). It is not a substitute for puppy socialization. Your 14 month old puppy (lab no less) has an extremely high energy level and a strong desire to learn. She should not be crated when you are home, except perhaps in the evening (family sleep periods), again to prevent mischief. Her feedings should be "synchronized" with her frequent daily walks to prevent mishaps (though they will occur anyway). Your children must learn how to properly play with the dog and also assume the role of alpha, with you, if possible. Play should be restrained and calm until the dog understands her own power and size and can exert self restraint. Your puppy also needs a quiet time. If you household is one continuous blur of activity and motion, this may keep the dog hyper throughout the day and make it more difficult to focus her attention and keep her calm. The children (ALL members of the family) must learn how to accept responsibility for her training and be involved from day one. The puppy should be leashed while indoors and situations setup where she will be quickly corrected if she bites or scratches you or your children. Labs need a lot of exercise and obedience training to focus their energies and develop mental concentration. Untrained and unexercised, your puppy could become destructive (at best), aggressive (at worst). Being left to their own devices in a big yard is not exercise. A bored lab, left alone in a yard may well "runaway" and end up as a stray or worse. Retrieving a ball, Frisbee, etc. for an extended period, with access to drinking water and shade (during the summer months) is good exercise and will reinforce the owner bond. Raising a puppy correctly, is as you know hard work and there are no easy answers. Unless you lay a good foundation NOW, your problems will get worse as the puppy nears adolescence and hopefully afterwards subside as your puppy/dog becomes a contributing member of society (or at least your family) !!!. Final Hint: Make sure sure are feeding your dog a good quality puppy kibble (not the grocery store variety). As she approaches one year of age, you may wish to switch to the adult version of kibble to help reduce the puppy's energy level. Food imbalances can effect general health and behavior. Imagine what your kids would have liked if they were fed candy/junk food all day and then asked calm down and do their homework.

Your labs disposition should be sweet and forgiving. If she is showing signs of true aggression (at 14 weeks), you and your dog will need professional help-fast.


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