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171 Labs rehomed in 2010

52 Labs rehomed since 1 Jan 2011

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25 August 2010

Potter's Story Continued

Sometimes there are challenges to meet with a rescue dog and Potter was no exception. Mouthing can be an issue that some of our new families need to address in their home. I hope sharing these emails will help others.

From Potter's family:

Just a quick e-mail to ask your advice regarding Potter. As I have said in my other e-mails, he is a dream of a dog, absolutely gorgeous. There is only one thing he is doing that I could do with some advice about. He is mouthing the kids arms and feet, and also mine. He has a fondness too for the cushions on the sofa which he picks up, carries around and with a playful look in his eye starts to chew. I have read on the internet that I should spray these things with something he doesn't like the taste of. Including toes and arms if necessary. Normally when I do the sharp "A" "A" he stops chewing us, but it doesn't work with the cushions as he thinks its a game.

Do you think he is doing this because of his lack of socialisation?

On all other counts he is wonderful. He has almost completely stopped jumping up now, and I can walk into to him in the morning and he is totally calm. He walks very well on the lead, and I tried recall with him today in a secure park in the pouring rain - obviously noone else was there!!! He came back to me every time, normally on the second call. After more practise, I will progress to trying it in the dog park next when he has other doggy distractions! As we intend to go for long walks in the bush with him and let him off the lead, could you give me an indication of when it becomes safe to do that? In other words, do I have to have him coming back to me immediately when I call when there are other distractions around?

He is such a wonderful dog, I want to try and get everything right so I hope you don't mind me asking you these questions.

As we speak, he is lying on the carpet about a metre from me, fast asleep after an hour long walk (or should I say wade) in torrential rain - its a good job I am english, I am used to the rain! Thanks again for choosing us to have him. I look forward to hearing from you.

From Lab Rescue volunteer:

I doubt if spraying will work.

Mouthing is not acceptable behaviour at any time. It is dominance behaviour and Potter needs to learn quickly that the humans in his pack are dominant over him!!! Whenever Potter mouths anyone, do not say anything to him or make eye contact (this would reinforce the behaviour). Move quietly and firmly to him and clip a lead on his collar, and lead him straight into the time-out room for 3 minutes. Either one of the adults can do this or one of your older children if they feel confident. The time out room can be your bathroom, laundry or loo or somewhere else boring when he can do no harm to himself or furniture. It is important to use a lead because otherwise he may turn his head sideways and continue the mouthing while he is being led away and it may escalate to stronger biting. I usually have several leads scattered around the house so I can grab one when I need it. If Potter makes a fuss in the time out room wait until he is quiet before letting him out. Otherwise let him out after 3 minutes. When you let him out don’t say anything and don’t make eye contact with him. Everyone should completely ignore him for several minutes and turn away if he approaches them. It is MOST IMPORTANT that you do the time out EVERY time Potter mouths someone – no matter how gently. Even if you have to do this 20 or 100 times, keep doing it and eventually Potter will learn there is a consequence for mouthing behaviour and stop doing it. But if he gets away with it even one time in ten that will be enough reward for him to continue doing it.

You can use the same time-out training for the cushions. Perhaps best to put the cushions out of reach for a week or so if this is feasible until you have the mouthing behaviour extinct and then do the cushion training. NEVER chase Potter when he has a cushion in his mouth – he will think it is a game and this will strongly reinforce the behaviour. Potter is grabbing the cushions because it is fun, he thinks it is a game, he gets attention when he does it, and he has never been trained not to do it. I didn’t have cushions here so he did not learn about them. You could try distracting him with alternative toys or even treats when he is interested in the cushions. And remember if he voluntarily lets the cushion go and comes to the alternative toy or treat, praise him big time and tell him how clever he is as soon as he lets go of the cushion. Potter will want to please you – it’s all about communicating clearly with him what you want and setting up scenarios so it’s rewarding for him to do what you want and he gets a clear message when you are pleased or displeased. Dogs love attention and food and hate being separated from their pack (time out room) so you can use this to train him.

I wouldn’t let Potter off lead in the bush until he is coming back to you immediately when you call even when there are other distractions around. Make sure you have a MIX of high quality treats with you – such as cheese, chicken, dried liver, cabanossi etc. Praise him as soon as he starts coming towards you and give him a treat when he arrives. Then let him run off again. If you put him on the lead – he will associate coming to you with going on the lead – and this will stop him from coming. If he never knows which type of treat he is going to get next, he will come back just in case it is his favourite one coming up. If he knows what treat he is going to get he is more likely to lose interest.

Hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you are still having problems.

From Potter's family:

Thanks for the advice M. I have read your e-mail to all the children, and we are putting into practice the technique you suggested. I have already removed all the cushions and blankets from the family room whilst we get the mouthing behaviour under control.

As to your other e-mail - yes, we are definitely keeping Potter. I will start to action some of the things you mentioned today.

He has definitely found his forever home, now he just needs to understand his position in the pack!! I am still training all my children in life skills, so another member of the pack (Potter) to teach doesn't make too much difference :o)

An update on progress from Potter's family:

Just thought I'd give you another update on Potter. He has settled in beautifully, and I have now successfully managed to reintroduce 5 cushions to our lounge (quite an achievement!!)

I have started taking him to obedience classes and he graduated through the first 2 classes with ease. The dog trainers loved him (there was never any doubt they would!)

I got a tip from one of the experienced trainers to feed him by hand for a while at dinner time as it apparently really helps a rescue dog to bond. We did this for about ten days, and he has truly become our dog now. He continues to get complimented everywhere he goes with me, on his manners and gentle nature. He also gets complimented all the time on his good looks. I may be a little biased, but he is the cutest labrador by far. We have been very careful to keep him nice and slim by making sure he only eats his food, with the occasional addition of vegetables, and fish or chicken.

He has a couple of favourite toys, but really, what he loves the most, is our company. He sleeps brilliantly at night in the laundry room, and after two initial accidents on the tiles, is now completely house trained. He walks superbly on the lead, with his only dalliance when he sees another dog. I have trained him to come back when he is off the lead (using food of course), and he obeys immediately when I call his name. He is walked for at least 1.5 hours a day, sometimes 2.5 hours. We often meet up with my new friend Jane and her lab, Holly. Potter and she have become the best of friends and have great chasing games and rumbles where they really have no sense of where us owners are and Jane and I have to play dodge!! He stops at the edge of every pavement and waits for the walk on command before we cross. I can't speak highly enough of this intelligent, adorable dog, and will never understand how he could have been left on his own for so long!

He has learned not to jump up at the children, and he is more likely to lay down and roll over for a belly rub. My children adore him, and he is given many cuddles, kisses and patting.

He still goes to school with me every day to meet the children and half the school kids know his name now. Many of them say they have their own dogs and wish they behaved like Potter!! Lots of them stop to pat him, even the very young toddlers, and he happily indulges them.

I feel a huge sense of achievement and lots of love for this beautiful boy who has given us his loyalty. I just wanted to let you know how happy he is, and how happy he has made all of us.

As we speak, he is sleeping in his bed next to me in the lounge, snoring!! Although we are all looking forward to our holiday in Fiji, we are really going to miss him! I hope he enjoys the kennels and has some fun whilst he is there.

We will be posting a success story off to the website soon, together with a picture of him with all of the children.

Thanks again M.

Best wishes
AWESOME!!! Thanks for giving Potter a wonderful new life!!!

21 August 2010

Potter's Story - Part 3

We received lots of wonderful updates on Potter's progress which I thought would be great to share. We love hearing how our rescues are going in their new homes :-).


You were so right about Potter - he is absolutely adorable. He has slept well both nights and no accidents. He is laying at my feet as I type with his head resting on top of them. He hasn't barked once - god bless him. I took him out for a long walk this morning and did some light training with him whilst out. He met another couple of lovely agility dogs and the lady has invited me around to her house to bring potter to continue the fun socialising he had with her dogs. She also mentioned that she thought I might like to try agility classes with him (for beginners of course) which also includes basic obedience. So next Thursday, thats where we are off! Potter adores his new bed and I left him hesitantly for the first time today to do 2.5 hours work and came back to find him outside flat out on his back in his bed. He didn't jump on me when I arrived home, and having watched the Jan Fennel DVD, I ignored him for a few minutes before giving him a big hug.

The children adore him, and all day yesterday he was out in the garden playing with them. He has had loads of visitors, and considering the amount of change he has been through recently, he seems remarkably "unstressed" by it all. I think maybe he knows he has fallen very firmly on all four feet with our big family.

He really is an utterly gorgeous dog and we feel very lucky to have him. Everyone who meets him thinks he is fab, and he never stops smiling.

Last night we sat and ate dinner and he just lay down and made no attempt to pester us for attention or food. Could be that his long walk and all the playing in the garden left him absolutely shattered :o)

I will send a few updates as the next couple of weeks progress and let you know how he is getting on. Its great news about Jack as we did hope he would find his niche very quickly.

Potter isn't even bothering the rabbit or guinea pigs who are content in their big run. He has the biggest ever bone in the garden which he loves to chew. He also playfully lifted one of my cushions from the sofa last night and carried it around in his mouth. The kids were all trying not to laugh - it was so funny!

He definitely still has the puppy in him which is wonderful to see.

Thanks again to you and everyone at Lab Rescue. Already can't imagine life without Potter.


Just a quick update on the georgous Potter. We went for a very long walk this morning, 1 and a half hours, before meeting up with another labrador called Holly in the local dog park. She is a seven year old golden lab, and it was love at first sight. They chased each other, rolled with each other, kissed each other on the face, and generally had a riot. He really enjoyed the opportunity for rough and tumble play, and I have to say, she had the better of him!

So after a mammoth 2 and a half hour outing we came back before I had to go to work. He is still behaving beautifully on the lead, and is very good when the house is nice and calm. He is still getting very excited when there is lots of noise and people coming and going, and this is when he has a tendency to start mouthing. We are putting into practice your technique, but think, given his history, it may take him a little while to understand what is expected! He is thoroughly enjoying being part of a family, and has at least one really long walk a day which he loves.

When he is calm, he gets lots of cuddles from my youngest, E.

C, my son, and Potter have a special bond as he is the one who goes out into the garden to play chase the ball and running games. They both came in today covered in mud - in a perfect world I would have plonked both of them in the shower :o)

One day a week, my eldest O takes him to the coffee shop where all her teenage girlfriends get the chance to rub his belly and pat him. They adore him, and he of course loves the attention.

Just to let you know, we are planning to take him to the vet to scan him on the weekend. We have had the paperwork through from the pet register.

He is booked in to Pet Resorts whilst we are away in Fiji, and whilst there he will get two hours a day of play time with other dogs. He should enjoy that!!

Potter sends a big paw hug and lots of smiles and tail wags.


We took Potter to the vet on sunday and had his chip scanned. We will now proceed with sending the paperwork off.

He and I are off to obedience training tonight. He had a private lesson the other night at agility classes because it was rained off! The lady thought he was very handsome, and from good breeding stock. Potter just grinned at her!! He met a number of other dogs, and was very good with all of them, especially to the little puppy who had come along. The lady who runs it advised me to take him to obedience classes as well as this would bring him on in leaps and bounds! Potter liked the sound of the leaping and bounding!

He continues to make good progress, and is becoming less excitable as I try to ensure the kids are calm around him and they stick to the five minute rule when they walk in. He is much loved by the whole family and getting heaps of walks and playtime. This afternoon I am taking him over to my friends house. She has a seven year old retriever called Lily. They should get on like a house on fire.

He has a couple of new toys now, and particularly likes his oversized tennis ball! C and he played in the garden for ages yesterday, despite the mud! Hopefully we will have a dry week now and the garden will have a chance to recover.

A big thank you to all of you at labrador rescue who do such a marvellous job. We feel blessed to have him as part of our family.

I will keep in touch as time goes on. Big paw hugs and tail wags from Potter.


17 August 2010

Potter's Story - Part 2

Time in Foster Care

Hi everyone.

This is me, Potter – see my photo. I spent the last 2 years in a concrete run. I am so happy that M has come and got me I haven’t put my lipstick away since I got to M’s place! I just love playing with Jack – I hump him non-stop and then we race around peeing on all M’s bushes. I have never been inside a house in my life so that will be exciting too!

M says she will take more photos of me soon. Tomorrow I have my crown jewels off – I hope I won’t be too sore!!!

Love from Potter xx

Today Potter went to the vet to have his crown jewels removed. I asked the vet to check his ears and the vet found deep seated infection in both ears which would have been very painful. So Potter’s ears have been cleaned out and he will be having ear drops for at least a week. I’ve covered my goldfish pond with mesh until potter’s stiches heal up.

Potter, in contrast, has a softer nature and will fit in well just about anywhere and with most other dogs I think. He walks well on lead, sits for his dinner, and is much easier to handle than Jack. He still jumps up on people (so not suited to small kids) and still pees inside sometimes. Jack and Potter growl at each other over bones a bit so I separate them now.

During his time in foster care Potter showed us a nice nature and learned all sorts of new skills so that his write up on our website attracted much interest. We discussed him with a few families and finally found a wonderful new home that would meet all his needs. Do they sound excited ;-)

We are all so excited. Potter has a new luxury dog bed awaiting him, and my husband has been busy with some carpentry ensuring the two low gates are now fully Potter-proof!! As for me, I have been watching video clips on the internet as to how to train my new georgous lab. The bag of food has been bought, a couple of toys purchased, a new blue collar and lead,and some bones are now in the fridge and freezer. The kids are really looking forward to welcoming him into his new home, although the rabbit hasn't said much :o)

Thank you so much for all your help. I literally can't wait to meet him and I wonder how long it will be before we couldn't imagine life without him :o)

I will be in touch if I have any questions, and to let you know how he is settling in.

15 August 2010

Potter's Story - Part 1

Thought I might share Potter's interesting story over a few posts.

One of our volunteers noticed an ad for Potter in the classifieds

FREE to good home. 3yr old male labrador- beige in colour

very nice dog, regretfully 4 yr old daughter is scared of dog. he is a little active needs older kids or active people , he is very beautiful and has a sweet nature. loves company. Needs some training. please email or phone

... so offered our assistance. Surprised to find out it was placed by a friend with the owner's permission

hi, I am doing this for a friend, they can't do it. He is a beautiful dog but he can't join in with family as their little girl is scared of him. what is the process?
Our volunteer drove 2 hours (4 hour round trip) to pick him up and let us know when he arrived
Just got back from collecting Potter from .... 3 yo entire pure yellow lab. Nice looking boy – seems healthy. Friendly, travels well in car. Been kept in a small (< my kitchen) concrete run without sunlight for at least the last 2 years. For the last 9 months his owners haven’t even lived at the house and he has rarely been let out of the run. Never had any training and never been inside a house. No papers except signed surrender form and signed C3A microchip transfer.

I’ve booked him into the vet to be desexed and vaccinated tomorrow.

Will take some photos for a poster this arvo.

Potter does not know how to play although he is friendly and confident. Jack is trying to teach him how. He jumps up a lot!!!
Phew! Potter was in Lab Rescue care ready for a second chance.

14 August 2010

Sweet Ccelli

My 12 year old son accompanied me to a pet store this week. You should have seen his face light up when he saw the wall of toys. I just had to let him pick one for Ccelli ;-)!  The expression on this duck's face just cracks me up. The duck's legs and squeaker survived two Labs for about four days, LOL.

Poor little Ccelli arrived with a very cracked sore looking nose which the two vets she has seen suspect is sunburn. We're popping clear vaseline on it and seeing some improvement. The cracked bits are flaking off to reveal healing skin underneath. Ouch :-(!

The love affair continues between our two fostered pups, Diesel and Ccelli. I love the heart shape they slept in here.

13 August 2010

Join us in welcoming the newest member of Labrador Rescue!

We are pleased to introduce the newest member of Labrador Rescue! Jesse is now 7 weeks old and has already shown us why every family should have a Labrador. Before he was even born, he would bounce around every time he heard his Labrador family playing. When he came home from the hospital, he managed to wrap the Labs around his little finger. Every time he screamed, the Labs came running and demanded that we do everything we could to make him happy again. He enjoys nothing better than snuggling up with his favourite boys and having a cuddle. If there isn’t a Lab in the room, he refuses to settle. He loves his daily walk in his pouch, watching the Labs race around and burn up some energy, knowing full well that when we get home, all 5 Labs will curl up with him on the lounge for a nap. Thank god we have a big lounge or there would be no room for us! I am so proud that all of my boys are so gentle with Jesse without having been told. They have welcomed him with open paws and open hearts and are already super protective of him. I have no doubt that Jesse will grow up to not only be an animal lover but if his way with the boys is anything to go by, he will also have a special bond with animals that will allow him to calm even the most boisterous dogs.

Welcome to the family Jesse!

Katherine, Shane, Pepper (pictured above), Samson, Bourke (pictured above), Java and Prince (temporary family member, whilst waiting for his forever home)


11 August 2010

It's been far too long!

We are currently fostering two dogs under one year old, 10 month old Diesel and 6 month old Ccelli, yep crazy!! They do so love eachother's company :-)

Diesel is due to have surgery on his hips this week, our vets recommended fixing his hips or putting him down. We're really thrilled that we have the opportunity to proceed with surgery as he is a really lovely young boy who deserves a chance for a pain free life with a loving family.