Agressive Lab

Category Dogs

I have a 1 1/2yr old Chocolate Lab. He is a great dog, sweet, and well behaved. The only problem is he does not like my one son who is 12. This all started happening about 6 months ago. He had surgery and was away from us for about 5 days,(for swallowing a ball that blocked his intestines) about a week after he was home he started showing signs of agression with certain children, (but not all, like I said he is very sweet)


He loves my 9yr old son, but will not go near my other son and has growled at him when he goes by him. My 12yr old is just crushed over this. He is a huge animal lover and a very sweet child, and there is no doubt in my mind that he has never done anything to contribute to this behavior. I need advice or I will have to think about getting rid of him.

Jen from NJ

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By (Guest Post)
February 7, 20050 found this helpful

Let the child feed him and the rest of you treat him like he isnt there unless he is interacting nicely.

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I would consult the vet before doing any behavior "training".


Northern Virginia

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By terry (Guest Post)
February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I don't really have any words of advice, but the same thing happened with my border collie-german shepherd mix. It was only certain children he started doing this with. I think something happens with some animals when they're put under for surgery. My dog eventually got over this.

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By rosa (Guest Post)
February 7, 20050 found this helpful

Could your son been near or thrown the ball to your doggie ?? If this is the case, the dog may think that this is the reason he had to have surgery ? Maybe he associates it with your son somehow ?

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February 7, 20050 found this helpful

I agree with asking for vetinerary advice but it seems this dog has lost its place in the hierarchy or pecking order and is trying to reestablish it - above your son. The feeding idea is great and also get your son to 'growl' back at the dog if he growls at him using the method below, but only when you are present to ensure safety. This dog soulds like he needs a few short sharp shocks to reestablish his place. In the wild he would be set on and nipped - domestic dogs need a slap with a rolled up newspaper. This is not painful or cruel but the loud noise and sensation will make him understand that his behaviour is unacceptable in the group and it should be your son that administers the slap.


As soon as the dog backs off and looks submissive he can be called to sit and patted by your son.

I understand that this may seem extreme to some readers but a dog in this situation is not happy - he doesn't know his place - and the alternative to this is to have the dog euthanased. A dog bite to the face of a child is a serious thing so measures that may appear extreme are preferrable to that or having a much loved family pet put to sleep.



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By Vicki (Guest Post)
February 8, 20050 found this helpful

Using violence towards an animal is absolutely cruel. Dog training has progressed way beyond that over the years. If you aren't able to train your dog without violence you have no idea what you're doing. Domestic dogs are not even close to being in the wild & they depend on us to do what's best for them. I agree to check with the vet to make sure it's nothing physical.


This guy has a show on TV & has transformed many dogs, usually within a couple of hours. You can download info. at his site or contact him. It's an easily fixable thing & there's no reason to get rid of the dog. It's not the dog's fault the surgery had an effect on him. He is the victim.

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By Barbie (Guest Post)
February 16, 20050 found this helpful

We breed and raise labs, and sometimes when a dog...especially labs, show aggression it is because they feel they are dominate.....labs are usually laid back and sweet as you said...they are usually people pleasers.......and seldom associate a single incident with a like or dislike toward a person so even if your son gave him the ball he choked on he wouldn't associate that with your son, it takes repetition for a dog to learn to dislike and if you feel your son has not provoked the dog then there would be no association there..........but if they are singling out certain people it is usually because those people either through fear or uncertainty are giving the dog the signal that they are not dominate but the dog's a natural instinct for them to put things into a "pack" type of can without being mean as stated earlier, teach your dog he is not dominate......he needs to know early on that this behavior is unacceptable or he will continue to be aggressive and can with aggressive discipline, again not abuse, show your dog you do not approve of this's no different than jumping or excessive licking, if allowed to do so they will continue the same behavior or worse.... but if not put "in check" so to speak he will continue to think he is boss in certain situations and he may even become physically aggressive and you need to help your son show his dominance over the dog also...Good luck.....Labs are awesome pets and I hope you can work things out.......

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By Robert Sharp (Guest Post)
December 11, 20070 found this helpful

Email me at structurekstructureAT i don't have time to type something out not sure you are going to read. I can help you. I've been through the same problem with my lab with my younger brother. Who is 14.

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