Dogs with the size, energy level and behavior issues of Marley often end up in shelters because their owners do not know how to work with them. Labrador Retrievers are one of the top five breeds that are relinquished to shelters. This belies their image as a favorite family dog. Working with a trainer and understanding your dog’s physical and mental needs can go a long way toward keeping dogs in their homes. Some members of the APDT have provided tips for living with “unruly” dogs on the APDT’s Web site, www.apdt.com. Some highlights include:
1. Crate Training – Teach puppies to love their crate. Crates prevent dogs from engaging in destructive behaviors around the house when owners are not at home or unable to supervise them with their complete attention.
2. Reinforce for Calm, Quiet Behavior – Trainer Tayrn Hodge recommends reinforcing your dog for calm, quiet behavior and to have them “sit or lie down to get everything – sit at doorways, sit or lie-down for meals, sit for petting, sit for getting his leash on, sit before tossing his ball.”