Hunter, 7 yr old Chocolate Lab

January 8, 2018

Hunter is a 7 year old chocolate lab who has been with us for a week now.  You’d never guess he is 7…he’s got the energy of a 3 year old : )

    

He was a Brookline owner surrender whose adopters decided to surrender him back to Brookline after 3 weeks because he was growling at their daughter.

When he first arrived at our house he was unsure of our resident dog Olivia (6 year old mini-dachshund) and our 12 year old son Ryan, which manifested itself through some growling/teeth baring.  We were prepared for this, and all parties involved felt safe about placing him with us.

After a few days of trying to correct this ourselves we decided to enlist the help of Eileen Conroy, a trainer who had worked with Hunter once in his previous home for similar behavior.  Eileen said that as soon as she saw Hunter she knew he was much more at ease and relaxed with us than he was with his previous owners.  They happen to be first time dog owners so, understandably, were not sure how to handle his issues.  She also said feels that Ryan must remind him of someone with whom he had some kind of negative experience in the past. We worked on how to respond to any growling behavior and how to show Hunter what we expect of him.  We’re working on having Ryan show Hunter that any interactions with him will be positive and rewarding.  Ryan works on leading him around the house on a leash and he is the main feeder (making him sit and not allowing him to eat until he is released from his sit).  Since Hunter will also play with both Olivia and Ryan, and show affection to them both, we’re confident he can overcome this.  He also can be “mouthy”, but is responding well to our corrections and us teaching him “nice kisses.” So, after a few days of working with him, we see a little improvement, and will continue to reinforce what we’ve been doing to try to get Hunter over his issues. Otherwise, he is a WONDERFUL boy : )  He was trained as a hunting dog in his early life, and engages so well.  When you are working with him he is totally focused and keeps eye contact. He’s extremely food driven.  He listens very well and comes when called.  He is very affectionate to myself, Darren and our daughter Meghan and is so happy to greet visitors.  He loves to cuddle in bed, but when it’s time to go to sleep for the night will go to his own bed on the floor.  He is crate trained and will also hang out in there sometimes with the door open.  He LOVES to run and take long walks and wants so badly to play with Olivia…she looks at him like, are you crazy?? You just growled at me and now you want to play? She has given him the dog equivalent of rolling her eyes many times in the last week!

Even with his minor issues, we’re really enjoying having him in the house.