Your New Puppy
Crying Potty training Chewing Digestion Food Toys Obedience training
What to expect these first days .........
Crying - they will miss their litter mates for the first few nights. There are two options. Sleep with them, or listen to five or six nights of them crying themselves to sleep. If you decide to let them cry, we recommend you ignore their howling 100%, or they will have you trained! Soon enough they will figure out that the howling is keeping them awake too, and just stop. To help you may try placing a ticking clock near them or as we found a radio on very low sometimes help sooth them. We also suggest an old tee shirt that has been worn for them to snuggle with.
Potty training - As far as housebreaking, You need to give them a place outside that they are comfortable with, like straw or paper (sometimes a soiled one works best) and get them familiar with that location. Then it will be up to you to learn their signals or "tells" as we call them! (ie.. Excessive sniffing and circling, quick or rapid movements, (almost worried actions) You do not want to punish any accidents – just reward good behavior. You can also train puppies to go on demand. Each and every time your puppy is going (#1 or #2 ) pick a word like "potty" and repeat it the whole time they are going, then reward them. After time when you say "potty" they will walk off and go.
Chewing - Labradors are chewers by nature, but with some gentle guidance they will learn what is OK to chew and what is not. The worst thing you could do is to punish them for this chewing. Simply replace it with a desirable chew toy.
Digestion system - Puppies have an extremely sensitive stomach. Switching foods to fast can cause diarrhea (in some cases with blood) vomiting, and in extreme cases, death. If a puppy gets a hold of bark, leaves, paper towels, etc.. They can have an upset stomach (when a puppy digests a foreign object, they could develop diarrhea, and in some cases you may see a little blood in the stool. This is normally caused by the foreign material (the bowel of a puppy will bleed very easily. Should this occur, don't be alarmed. Just keep an eye on it to be sure it goes away.
Foods - We strongly recommend spending the extra money, and using a good food. You will either spend the money in a good food now, or in vet bills later. We believe strongly in quality food. We suggest using a large breed food for Labradors of about 26% to 31% for the first 4 to 6 months then switching to a large breed 21% to 23%. Another advantage to using a good food with little or no fillers is less dog mess in the yard to clean.
Toys - Everyone loves to shop for their new puppy! We suggest avoiding the plush toys and the stringy toys. Both can as they wear loose the fiber stuffing or the single strands from the rope toys. Both of these things are very dangerous to the puppy as they can tangle in their digestive tract. Some things you have to watch out for are buying "contaminated-products". The leading pet supply stores that allow pet in the building, can lead to the spread of the deadly puppy virus known as Parvo. If you would like to purchase your new puppy chew toys , you can do couple of different things.
1. Purchase from an online store
2. You can sterilize the products you purchase with a 15% bleach solution.
Obedience Training - There are a couple of routes to take here. You can take or send them to obedience school, or train them yourselves. You can train them as a gun dog for serious hunting, or as a family pet with a few simple commands. Or you can do both. There is a great book called WATER DOG by Richard A. Wolters.