New puppy

(15 Posts)
sunshineday Tue 07-Jan-14 19:58:00

We have just brought home our new golden lab puppy and she is such a sweetie grin she is settling in really well. Loves her crate and (at the moment) responding well to us. Any tips for our lab will be great fully received!

Hop over the New Puppy Mummies thread, lots of folk going through the same thing at various stages. You would be welcome smile

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 07-Jan-14 20:47:22

Ooh! Lucky you grin. Sooo many tips, so I'm bound to miss stuff...

1. Start socialising today... Every household event/activity/object you can think of, one at a time, and for short duration. Make it fun/enjoyable with distractions/treats/contact, but don't fuss over the event itself... It just happens to be going on in the background and is nothing to be scared of. As examples, she should be familiar with hoovering, washing machines running, being groomed, balloons, singing, calm and well-behaved children, friendly dogs (known to be vaccinated), grass, concrete, musical instruments, other pets, people with beards, pushchairs, wheelchairs, sitting in a car, sitting in a moving car... Everything you can think of. You need to commit to doing new stuff every day, because the window is seriously short! Book a socialisation class (association of pet dog trainers) tomorrow for as soon as she's vaccinated. Book vaccs as well.

2. Build up the time she spends alone really gradually, first with you elsewhere in the house, then with you out of the house. 5 mins this week, 10 mins next week, then 20, 30 etc. Don't pay attention to her the moment you get in... Neither you leaving or returning should be a performance. Leave when she's already calm and settled, for a sleep, or with a kong. Only let her out of her pen when she's calm and settled again.

3. Get straight into toilet training. Ignore accidents, it's all about rewarding the behaviour you want to see. Give her every opportunity to get it right: take her out as soon as she wakes up, as soon as she's finished eating, immediately after playing, any time you see her "circling", plus every hour on the hour. And that's a minimum wink. When you take her out, put her on the surface you want her to use (grass/wood/concrete - your choice, but be consistent), give your chosen toilet ing command once, maybe twice, and wait for her to go, then reward.

4. Let her have plenty of quiet time... Especially if you have young kids. Nobody should bother her when she's in her crate... That's her refuge from all the craziness of the scary new world she's landed in. She should only ever associate it with good things and feeling calm and safe.

5. Remember that sometimes puppies are a fucking nightmare, all teeth and claws. It's not your fault, she'll fall asleep soon and you can have a break, and one day she'll be a wonderful adult dog. The only thing better than puppies are grown-up dogs grin

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 07-Jan-14 20:58:47

One last thing, and then I swear I'll shut up...

Get her used to claw clipping/tooth brushing now, a teeny bit each day, and you'll be a step ahead of me 8 years from now! Just 0.5 mm off one claw each day, while offering a particularly stinky treat. Similarly, a smear of peanut butter on a finger, swished round her teeth, building up gradually to a baby toothbrush and doggy toothpaste.

sergeantmajor Tue 07-Jan-14 21:05:51

ooh very good advice thank you

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 07-Jan-14 21:22:53

<I want a puppy>

Sounds adorable. We keep saying about getting another dog. I get excited every time I read about a new puppy!

I took my boy to training classes for six years. I only stopped going because we moved away. He passed all his tests first time but there was a bunch of us that just kept going as a social thing. We were the Graduate class. grin

I swear he's such a lovely well behaved boy now because he saw it as a way of life for so long. I miss it. Of we get a puppy I'm going to find a club near here and start it all over again.

She is a yellow labrador! Golden only applies to Retrievers.

Teach her to walk to heel off lead from now. Teach her that the correct place is always to your side and so when you put the lead on, she'll continue to trot alongside you. Don't allow her to learn to pull, it'll take forever to correct.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 07-Jan-14 21:54:51

Yes, that's good advice, but make sure your recall is in place first! Don't let her off the lead until you are 100% happy that she will always come straight back when called.

Aren't we all different!

Mine are off lead from day one - I take advantage of their natural nerves as babies to teach a rock solid recall. It is far harder to teach recall once their confidence and inquisitiveness builds. When they are very little they are most interested in you and that is something to use as a training aid in my book.

And of course, training to walk to heel starts in the house and garden while waiting for jabs etc.

sunshineday Wed 08-Jan-14 09:35:14

Thanks BSS for your advice and daisy sorry yellow lab grin your right. She is booked in tomorrow for her vac so will ask for puppy classes for her as well. I have picture of her on my profile.

punter Wed 08-Jan-14 10:31:25

She is gorgeous! We have a 15 month yellow lab who still thinks he is a puppy. The thing I found most useful when dealing with the very young puppy stage is to remember that just like human babies, the very trying times do come to an end (sometimes replaced by even more trying things!), but eventually with patience and humour, the annoying stages do fade away. When punterdog was 6 months old I would have gladly left him in a field if it was not for the fact he was microchipped! Now we cannot imagine life without him.

I am in the 'let them off lead immediately' camp smile

Our breeder took the same view as daisy i.e they will be keen to keep near you as their safety net.

Clearly, you have to work on recall too, but it did work for us, our dog has excellent recall and always has (or is too big a wuss to ever be far away!)

littlewhitebag Wed 08-Jan-14 20:31:55

punterdog At 6 months i was ready to take my lab back! Like you i would have left her in a field. I am also glad we persevered as at 21 mths she is adorable and almost (maybe 90%) perfect. Her recall is still a work in progress!

OP - train, train and train again! Book her in for classes as soon as you can.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Wed 08-Jan-14 21:21:41

Oh, it was obviously just me then that had a pup that took one look at the open field and went 'wahaaaaaay!' grin

I let him off the lead in our field before I had taught him to walk to heel, or pretty taught him much at all. He has always been a pain in the arse to walk to heel because he found at a young age that he could run about on his own. The next one will have a bit of recall on a long line before it gets let off!

sunshineday Thu 09-Jan-14 11:33:51

Will take defo take notice of training her recall before taking her out grin I don't want her running of.

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