Thank you!

171 Labs rehomed in 2010

52 Labs rehomed since 1 Jan 2011

We invite you to come and visit Labrador Rescue at

30 March 2010

Whitley (now Sam) is Blossoming!

Here is a photo of our boy just returned from one of his daily morning walks. If the smile is an indicator, I think he enjoyed it!

Here he is again playing with a ball in the back yard.

Sam, exhausted after a trip to the beach with his two new mates Coby and Hamish (Labradors)

Thanks for all your help again. We have a very happy hound and he is enriching our lives every day.
Sam was fortunate to join a family who called out a dog behaviourist the day after they brought him home. Starting out on the right foot! We were very impressed! Thank you!
Looks like you are reaping the benefits, as is your darling Sam :-)

Bobby is a Very Happy Boy

Hello all at Lab Rescue,

Just to let you know that Bobby is settling in well and adapting well to his new life. I walked him up to the primary school the other day and he loved all the attention from the kid's class mates.

I've attached a few pics of him in our house and backyard; he is a very happy boy indeed.

Just Beautiful !

Chocolate Bubba

This gorgeous baby girl is coming to join us on Thursday. Carole's son has chosen the name Java for her (thank you!). She is responding really well to some TLC in care.  She's had a bit of a rough start but her coat is starting to shine and she's now go, go, go! Can't wait to meet her :-).

26 March 2010

Update On Our Gorgeous Cindy

Hi everyone

Just wanted to update you on Cindy. We picked her up yesterday afternoon and we're in love already! She is such a gentle old sweetheart. It feels like she's always been around. We've been on a few gentle strolls and she's loving them. Our daughter, A, is totally crazy about her and tells anyone who will listen 'Cindy is a good girl'. Here's a photo of the two of them.

At J's suggestion we've put artificial grass on the back steps and she's having no trouble at all with them. In fact, it's even helped our Bichon, who's always been a bit tentative going up the steps.

Thanks so much for everything. We're loving our new family addition!

23 March 2010

Holly at the beach

Dear Lab Rescue Team

A big thank you to all those who have contributed towards Holly's cruciate ligament surgery, we are now passed the half way mark and I can go ahead and book a date for her surgery after Easter.

While the recovery time will be difficult for her, the final result will make such a difference to Holly's life. This girl is overweight, partly because she is a lab and eats anything and everything (dog food, cat food, horse food, chook food and failing that there is always a bit of horse or chook manure for the taking, or a bit of rotting kangaroo bone ), but also because she has continual discomfort and is unable to exercise fully.

Holly had a terrible start in life, she still bears the scar of a cigarette burn on one ear and it seems that the cruciate ligament injury could also have been the result of violence, but she has such a strong and forgiving character that, with the help of Lab Rescue, she has made an amazing recovery. As you can see in her photo she is happy, affectionate and friendly and loves life.

So thank you all who have contributed to make this surgery possible, we will keep you posted on her recovery.

08 March 2010

Volunteer Call - Thank You

We have had a volunteer step forward who is able to set aside 2 hours per week to help us keep foster carers supplied with a little starter kit for new dogs.
Thank you!

Our cute little foster Mad Max having a cuddle :-)

06 March 2010

Another Bubba

There's another baby boy coming to stay with us :-)

We have a very generous transport volunteer bringing him from Wagga to Canberra this afternoon who's help we greatly value.

The kids are thinking up names, any ideas?

Inundated with Golden Oldies!

Older dogs are often much more challenging to re-home. We were really excited and relieved that a suitable home came up for Maxine, they're meeting this weekend! Phew, but wait, can you believe it ...
we now have a few more ...

9 yo Buster surrendered to us in Sydney

10 yo Cindy rescued from a Sydney Pound

and we've just had an enquiry to surrender a 10 yo boy in Canberra

and we're still looking for a wonderful new home for our gorgeous 8 yo Zac!

Please help spread the word if you know people who are willing to give the golden oldies a loving home during their twilight years.  They'll be up on the website soon.

05 March 2010

Thrilled for Holly

Thank you :-)
Your generosity is very heartening.
We've already received $220 in donations for Holly!!!
Her amazed owners are so grateful and relieved and will be booking her in for the operation very soon.
We'll be sharing regular updates on Holly's progress here, so look forward to your company on her journey to a pain free, trauma free future.

03 March 2010

Open your Hearts – Help Us Help Holly!

Gorgeous golden girl Holly is a former rescue of ours, plucked from a terrible existence at just 9 months of age. So young, but already severely traumatised, Holly wouldn’t even come out from under the house she was living at when our rescuer arrived. It was obvious she was being beaten and under extreme stress, but thanks to some quick thinking and a whole lot of diplomacy we were able to get this beautiful yet terrified dog out of a horrible situation.

Safe, but severely distressed, it took months of rehabilitation and care to get Holly to the point where she could even consider going to a new home. Fortunately for her, she found the most amazing owner who fell in love with her and promised her a secure haven and a tonne of happiness.

Slowly overcoming her horrendous start to life, Holly now faces a major new battle. After signs of leg soreness and discomfort, she has just been diagnosed with a ruptured cruiciate ligament and requires intense, expensive surgery and another long haul of rehabilitation.

Holly’s history has left her emotionally scarred and she becomes frantic when confined in any way. The nature of her surgery means she will need to be kept quiet and unable to walk for one month, short walks only the next month, gentle free activity the third month and normal activity after that.

It is a daunting task for any dog owner at the best of times, but Holly’s mum is determined the months and months of round the clock intensive care will be worth it to give this now two year old a pain-free, trauma-free future.

Holly has a heart of gold and a gentle soul that belies her brutal beginning in life. We truly believe she is a girl who deserves a second chance at happiness and we are asking for your help to make this happen.

The surgery she needs costs $1200 and we are calling on our Labrador Rescue friends and supporters to HELP US HELP HOLLY!

Labrador Rescue already relies heavily on the kindness of volunteers and donations simply to be able to do the daily job of rescuing our gorgeous dogs from death row and finding them magical forever homes.

Your support is needed to help Holly get the peace and comfort she so deserves. If you can assist us in any way possible by donating towards the cost of her operation you would be making a world of difference.

For details on how to donate please visit

Thank you in anticipation of any help you can offer. Labrador Rescue thanks you and more importantly HOLLY THANKS YOU!

02 March 2010

Do You Really Know What You Want? Are You Getting It?

This is one of many dog ownership tips I'd like to share with you under the name 'Paws for Thought' written by a friend at work, posted here with her permission. Please note that these posts are written by a dog lover learning more every day and happy to share. They are intended to give you options and ideas to think about. They do not replace the help of a professional (such as a vet, behaviourist, trainer or lawyer). Posts can be shared with others as long as you make sure that any references contained within the post remain with the post and please do not take chunks out of context. Preference is definitely for the whole post to be shared rather than pieces.

It is critical that you know what you want when you give your dog a cue/command/request.  

For instance: If you ask many people what they expect from their dog when they call their name the response you get will be something like 'pay attention'.  But what do they mean by that?  I can type, read and still pay attention to what someone is saying or doing nearby without looking at them or changing my behaviour in any way.  Surely that's not what they mean?   It usually isn't - instead they might mean that when they say 'Rover' that they expect Rover to do one of the following:

- glance at them

- turn and look at them

- stop immediately what he is doing and listen for the next cue return to them.

Only if you really know what you mean can you ensure that your dog know's it too and that they continue to respond in the way you want.   If you're all over the place expecting one thing one day and something else the next what hope does your poor dog have of understanding you and therefore pleasing you.  So when something is going wrong turn the focus back on yourself first and check out what you are doing, what you expect the dog to do and whether you've been fairly consistently rewarding that behaviour in some way (praise, play, dinner, food, entry, exit, pat or whatever).

Following is a two part test.  Part 1 is about you defining what you really mean by a series of commonly used cues. Part 2 is about checking whether you are currently getting this response from your dog/s. 

Feel free to share your thoughts and even perhaps your results - or alternately keep them to yourself. 

Test it out 1- Check your mind

Rember the importance of consistency - if the same rule doesn't apply every time then it isn't a rule.  If the same performance isn't expected for a particular cue then it's not a really cue is it - you don't know what you want so how's the dog meant to get it?

With this in mind define what the following common cues mean to you for your dog/s. 

Your dog's name

If you say your dog's name do you always expect them to:

Listen to you - yes or no?

Look at you - yes or no?

Stop what they are doing - yes or no?

Turn towards you - yes or no?

Come to you - yes or no?

React immediately, within a few seconds or what time?

Stay tuned into you until the next message or are they able to go back to what they are doing if you give no further response within a given timeframe (such as if you say their name while talking to other people)?


When you ask your dog to sit do you always expect them to:

Stop what they are doing immediately, within a few seconds or what time?

Sit where they are or move slightly (perhaps into the shade or away from the ant hill?

Sit evenly on both hips (like an obedience sit) or are they able to flop over on one hip for a more comfortable long term sit?

Sit with their bottom as close to the ground as it goes or can they sit up a bit?

Stay sitting until told to do something else or until released or stay sitting for a short period and then get up?

Do they have to look at you when they sit?

Do they have to face you when they sit or doesn't it matter where they are in relation to you?


When you call your dog to come do you always expect them to:

Stop what they are doing immediately or within a given timeframe (if so what timeframe)?

Run towards you at full pelt, lope, walk or any of the above depending on how they are feeling?

Sit in front of you or just come close enough for you to touch their collar?

Stay still while you put their lead on or touch their collar or can they wiggle around?

Should they drop whatever they had in their mouth or can they bring it with them?

Do they have to come straight or is a slight detour or arc okay?

What do you expect if another dog or person intercepts them?  Should they politely say hello and then keep coming or ignore and come or is the come request cancelled?

It can be really handy to then do two things:

1. Give your written description to someone else to read and let them ask you questions or give you suggestions such as 'but what if..' or 'do you mean...?'  This helps you get it clearer in your head just what you expect.

2. Have everyone in the household write down or at least discuss their interpretations.  This way you can all try to agree on one set of rules and help keep it clear for your dog.

Test it out 2- Check current performance

Now that you have your 'doggy dictionary' of cues and their meanings it's time to check performance.  Over the next few days ask your dog/s for each behaviour and note exactly how they respond and then compare it to your dictionary definition.

Then comes decision time.  If there is a difference between what you wanted and what you got you can a) accept what you get and go on with life having modified your definition of that term or b) not accept the difference and work on changing the response to the behaviour that you want. As you can see simple words that we think of as simple cues or commands actually have quite complex meanings in a variety of situations.  The clearer and more consistent you are about the behaviour you want the easier it is for you to teach your dog what is required and the simpler for them to 'get it' and consistently perform.  More on some of the complexities of teaching your dog these behaviours (and others) to come in future posts.

01 March 2010

Call for a Volunteer

Can't foster a rescued Lab but would you like to help Lab Rescue in some way? 

We have come to the realisation that we really need someone who would like to prepare little starter kits for our foster carers taking in a new dog.  All our dogs need to be started on monthly heartworm prevention, need to be wormed for intestinal worms and need a regular flea prevention program (and sometimes a flea infestation treated). They will also need a folder which may contain pound and vet records, a trial placement form for their foster's new home to sign on collection, as well as some way of recording any medication and preventatives given during their time in foster care.

Ideally you would be in Canberra or Sydney but it may work over a long distance if you have easy access to a post office. If you think you might like to help in this way please contact us at


Autumn Reminder

It's the first day of Autumn
A friendly reminder
Time to administer monthly heartworm prevention, monthly flea prevention and 3 monthly intestinal worming.

A Bit About Buddy

Time to rave about our current foster Buddy!! As you can see here, Buddy is the most affectionate loving foster we've had so far. We don't normally allow our dogs and fostered dogs on the sofas or the beds but Buddy is just made for cuddles, who could resist ;-). He seeks out human company and loves to please so will make the most wonderful canine companion for his new owner.

Guess what I found out this week! Buddy loves the trampoline, just like one of our early fosters 'Trampoline Sam'. He's an athlete and loves to tear around in the backyard and jump up onto the trampoline to be with whoever is on it. I've even seen him jump up while playing with our two dogs, Gus and Kaeli, and then bounce down for another run around the garden with them. Very entertaining to watch!

Happy to report too that he is beautifully housetrained. Many fosters need an initial reminder but Buddy has never made a mistake since he's been with us. Yay, what a nice change!

He had us in stitches this morning. The kids were bouncing a little rubber ball in front of him and he would follow it down with his head but not see it bounce back up so he kept looking for the ball down on the ground. Happened everytime, LOL!!

Love you Buddy, still looking for that special home just for you :-)