Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I am brand new to the site and am on here just trying to get as much input and do as much research as possible before my little girl is with me.

I have been wanting a puppy for a very long time. Finally I am out on my own, with no roomates (other than my BF), no parents, etc. to tell me "no puppies allowed."

Last weekend I visited a home with some brand new labrador pups. Initially I went to look at the chocolate lab but fell in love with the little black runt of the bunch. I knew she was for me when she gave me a little sass. :D She will not be ready to leave her mother for another couple weeks or so. I will end up getting her at about 2 - 2.5 months old.

I am looking for as much advise as I can get due to this being my very first puppy. I will give you a little about myself. I do live in a (large) one bedroom apartment but am very willing to take daily walks and I have several friends and family with dogs for socialization purposes. I do work full time but my schedule is somewhat flexible and may possibly have a sitter that can be with her durring the day.

I am mostly worried about the potty training. Any advise what so ever is welcomed!!!:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
Hi, welcome to our forum!

The first thing I'd do is look for a good puppy class in your area. This will help you more than we ever can. Puppy class will cover socialisation, potty training, digging, jumping, play-biting, chewing, crate training, nutrition, basic obedience, toys, exercise and much more. There's a lot to learn. The class will also provide really valuable socialisation for your pup.

You should also check out this free e-book by Dr Ian Dunbar, a world-renowned dog trainer: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/you-get-your-puppy It's called Before You Get Your Puppy and will prepare you for the trials of puppy raising. You should also check out After You Get Your Puppy, also provided free here: http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/after-you-get-your-puppy

Just a few things about Labs off the top of my head... Labs are HIGH-ENERGY dogs. They need a lot of exercise, and it is especially important that you let them release their energy if your pup is going to be living in an apartment. They love to play fetch, and they love to swim. Just regular walks and jogs are fine as well. You're probably looking at an hour-long walk twice a day, and then some fetch at home, once your puppy reaches adulthood.

Having said that, many Labs have severe joint problems, so it's important not to over-exercise your dog when she's still a puppy. Her bones and joints won't fully calcify till she's about 1.5 years old, so it's essential to avoid prolonged or high-impact exercise in order to let them develop properly. No long walks (many short walks instead of one long walk); no extended periods of running; no sprinting on hard pavement or concrete. Swimming is a great low-impact way to exercise your puppy, and she'll love it too.

A crate will help a lot with raising your puppy. The crate is used to confine her when you cannot watch her... so she doesn't chew up all your stuff. Rule of thumb: Every time your pup pees on the carpet/chews up your socks/counter surfs/tips the trash over and gets away with it, she learns that doing those things is okay. Second rule of thumb: You cannot punish a dog for bad behaviour at ANY time after the incident has occurred. You have to catch the dog in the act, or his brain doesn’t connect the action with the reprimand. What does this mean? It means supervision is key, and it means that as far as possible, she should not be allowed to get away with any of these things while you aren’t watching. See why a crate is so important?

Crates are also important for potty training. Get a crate that is only large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their sleeping places, so as long as your crate is this size, your dog’s crate is her “no pee/poop” area. That means when you can’t watch her and you don’t want her to pee/poop in your apartment, you put her in her crate. EVERY time you cannot supervise her, she is in her crate. Of course, she can't be expected to stay in there forever… she’s going to have to pee sometime. She has to be taken out every two or three hours at first (yes, this means waking up in the middle of the night) or else she will soil in her crate because she won’t be able to hold it any longer than that. This means you have to get a sitter to take her out this often during the day as well.

I would also start looking for a good puppy food... Wellness, Solid Gold and Taste of the Wild are good ones. Avoid store brands like Purina, Pedigree, Science Diet, Ol Roy, etc.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
363 Posts
Congratulations on the new lab. Good choice, great dogs.

Crates are practically essential. On the crate buy a large one and just make a barrier to cut the inside space in half or less until he is bigger (if you have the right sized cardboard box you can just stick that in the crate to mostly fill it up).

Lots of good info on this site and in a million different books on training. I'd especially recommend that you read one of Cesar Milan's ('The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic Channel) books which is not a 'how to train' but is more about your relationship with our dog which is even more important.

Spend a ton of time with her that first week to bond. Never let her do anything as a pup you don't want her to do as an adult (e.g. jumping on you). Never get angry at her, be calm but firm and build trust and respect. You will be amazed at how well they read your emotions / body language. Labs are very eager to please, you need to be her leader first, her friend second. She she's not going to hate you for correcting her or saying 'No', she will worship you. Lots of exercise. Make meals a ritual where she has to sit and wait for her food until you say OK. Your in for a shock when you see her eating, LOL, you're cute pup will be 100% animal when that food is in front of her. Socialize her a lot with everybody, everydog, everything as soon as possible.

Final warning: you won't be walking anywhere very fast with her. There's nothing like an 8-12 wk old lab pup for making people stop on the street and bend over. Woman all stop and say 'Isn't he/she cute' ? Men all stop and say 'Oh he's going to be a big boy look at those paws etc etc'. Its all pretty funny and good for the dog. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you for your wonderful advise!!!!​


Crates are also important for potty training. Get a crate that is only large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. Dogs instinctively avoid soiling their sleeping places, so as long as your crate is this size, your dog’s crate is her “no pee/poop” area. That means when you can’t watch her and you don’t want her to pee/poop in your apartment, you put her in her crate. EVERY time you cannot supervise her, she is in her crate. Of course, she can't be expected to stay in there forever… she’s going to have to pee sometime. She has to be taken out every two or three hours at first (yes, this means waking up in the middle of the night) or else she will soil in her crate because she won’t be able to hold it any longer than that. This means you have to get a sitter to take her out this often during the day as well.
I was thinking about taking some time off work for her first week home to increase the bonding and start with the basic manner and potty traning. I am just worried about crating her for 2, 3, 4 hours at a time. I have a small kitchen (about 4x6) that I was thinking about gating off and then having a crate in there as well. Is that better than a small crate all the time?

I also MAY have the option of my BFs little sister staying at the apartment while he and I are at work. I just want to be sure all of the rules arent being bent while we are gone. She is only 14 ;)

I just want to try and be the best puppy parent I can be so that I can have a very well rounded little girl. :)


P.S. I still havent decided on a name. I am leaning towards Abby or Emma.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
363 Posts
I vote for Abby. Good name.

During housetraining don't let her out of the crate unless she is being supervised, in a 4 X 6 area she'll be happy to pee at one end and sleep at the other. Lots of good housetraining threads on DF.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Thanks to both of you for your wonderful advise!!!!​




I was thinking about taking some time off work for her first week home to increase the bonding and start with the basic manner and potty traning. I am just worried about crating her for 2, 3, 4 hours at a time. I have a small kitchen (about 4x6) that I was thinking about gating off and then having a crate in there as well. Is that better than a small crate all the time?

I also MAY have the option of my BFs little sister staying at the apartment while he and I are at work. I just want to be sure all of the rules arent being bent while we are gone. She is only 14 ;)

I just want to try and be the best puppy parent I can be so that I can have a very well rounded little girl. :)


P.S. I still havent decided on a name. I am leaning towards Abby or Emma.
Welcome! So is this your first dog? You'll have great fun with her. I think Abby is a great name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I like Abby.

When my dad was in college he had a pug named Abby. She was one of those dogs... went everywhere with him, even to class. When I was a toddler, my dad used to nickname me Abby. Everyone was horrified that he had nicknamed me after his dog, but he didn't see why it was an insult at all. To him it was a tremendous compliment.

Don't worry about crating her -- although right now she should only be crated for two hours at a time, max. She can't hold it longer than that right now and she will be forced to mess in her crate... so don't leave her in there for more than two hours at a time, maybe 2.5 or 3 if she is sleeping.

Don't baby gate her with the crate open. The whole point of the crate in potty-training is to make sure she doesn't pee or poop when you're not supervising her... so the space needs to be small enough so that she's instinctively averse to peeing or pooping. Otherwise she'll just pee and poop on the kitchen floor, and sleep somewhere else. And what happens when she pees and poops on the kitchen floor? She learns that peeing indoors is acceptable, and housetraining is slowed down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
My family had a black lab for 11 years...unfortunately she is no longer with us as of a couple months ago. Do be warned it may be difficult owning a lab living in an apartment with no yard. They love playing catch/frisbee outside and LOVE soaking their bodies in water. Jewel used to plunge her legs in her water bucket outside and then roll around in the dirt, so she would be a muddy mess when I let her in the house. ha. Also my lab had seizures later on in her life, and I was told by my vet that the black labs are actually more prone to getting seizures than the chocolates or yellows. That was the first time I had heard this, and don't know if it's true or not. They are great dogs, but I think it would almost be best you got a smaller dog for an apartment. That is just a personal opinion though. If you really think it will work and you will have enough time to take her on long walks...I say go for it. I hope everything works out. Keep us updated.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top