Tell me about Labradors

(131 Posts)
PivotPIVOT Mon 19-May-14 11:08:10

We're getting a yellow boy at the end of June, OH is totally clueless and didn't know that puppies will need taking out during the night and will cry and wee everywhere etc.

Obviously I know it's going to be a lot of work but I was wondering if you could tell me about your Lab pup and what I'm letting myself in for! I've told him it will be very time-consuming and a lot of effort but no doubt it will be me doing the lion's share. We also have a four year old girl.

Suggestions for names would be welcome too!

PivotPIVOT Mon 19-May-14 11:10:26

4yo child. Not dog. Didn't make that clear!

Should I get a small crate and then size up as he grows or just go straight in with a huge one?

SpicyPear Mon 19-May-14 11:12:35

He

SpicyPear Mon 19-May-14 11:15:09

Oops. What that was meant to be was a hello. I am not a lab owner but thought I'd jump in on the crate issue. You can take either approach but if you go for the larger one straight away, I would advise sectioning off so that there is not room for pup to soil away from their bed. A crate is massively helpful in toilet training due to the natural inclination not to soil the sleeping area.

TropicalHorse Mon 19-May-14 11:18:32

I raised a lab pup a few years ago, she was vastly more trainable not more intelligent than any other dog I've ever known. She so badly wanted to know how to be good! It was still challenging, but only one night of crying until crate trained and house trained in about a week. I was SUPER vigilant about chewing inappropriate things, knowing the stereotype of destructive labs, and it worked very well. If she wanted to chew things up, she got bones or chicken wings. She went through a little phase of carrying (but not chewing) shoes, which I solved by booby-trapping one... large aluminium bowl containing spoons on a high shelf, fishing line tied from bowl to shoe...
I did clicker training for lots of the basics and it worked brilliantly. I'm having less success with my Welsh Springer. He's stoooooopid! smile

Bowlersarm Mon 19-May-14 11:19:57

Envious! Great time of year to get a puppy, makes toiletting him easier when it's sunny.

Large crate from the start.

Archie, Nero, Hero, Dexter, Buddy?

PivotPIVOT Mon 19-May-14 11:24:35

What's clicker training? I know dogs need lots of training but I'm actually a bit clueless on the actual training itself!

PivotPIVOT Mon 19-May-14 11:25:29

Buddy is on our list! I like it. OH likes Max but I'm not sure

DramaAlpaca Mon 19-May-14 11:30:25

Labs are lovely, but notoriously greedy. My friend's one has a habit of helping herself to anything she can reach off the kitchen worktops, including their dinner if they don't remember to push it right back out of reach! They still love her to bits, though smile

IdespairIreallydo Mon 19-May-14 11:31:19

How exciting, lucky you. We are on our second Lab, our black bitch is 3.5 now, teenager in dog years so still much fun. You need a firm hand and keep them slim, they are stomachs on legs and it breaks my heart to see waddling Labs. Do go to puppy training classes, good for you both and the earlier you set in the good habits the better trained dog you will have. Remember, you are top dog - our dog knows her place in the family pecking order and doesn't leap all over the furniture. Recommend the book 'The Dog Whisperer' forgotten author, sorry.

IdespairIreallydo Mon 19-May-14 11:32:46

Loved all of of Bowlersarm name ideas.

TropicalHorse Mon 19-May-14 11:36:47

There's a terribly American video you can get a link to from www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/
I used the technique very early on and it's been great.
There's also a classic book called The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey which is very commonsense.

AmenGirl Mon 19-May-14 11:37:05

We have a black lab, aged about 8 now. Word of advice, they LOVE swimming. If you go near a pond or lake or down to the beach then be prepared for their 'Labrador instincts' to kick in and off they go towards water!

BadgersInTheSlurryLagoon Mon 19-May-14 11:40:39

On the chewing topic, get him a Kong, then if he starts chewing, tell him "Chew Kong" and give that to him rather than whatever else he's munching. Mine (4 years old) now goes and roots through his toy basket for Kong if he's feeling chewy (especially common after dinner) even though normally he only wants soft toys. Oh, and not all turn out to be massive chewers, but if he is then don't bother with anything other than a Kong until he's about 3 as he'll just shred it. Mine has gradually grown out of shredding toys but still has his moments.

Is he from a working gundog background or the chunky show dog type? I've had some of each and they tended to have quite different energy levels - much bouncier if they were from working stock. Current one (actually a failed gundog) is currently fast asleep under my desk though so they all calm down eventually. Puberty (6-9 months) is almost harder than puppyhood, lots get rehomed at this time, so don't be upset if your lovely well-trained puppy turns back into a teenage boy for a time - he'll grow out of it again. They do grow daily though, so things that were safely out of reach one day are within a puppy's grasp the next. Lucky you though, lovely to have a puppy in summer.

Lilcamper Mon 19-May-14 11:56:13

They do NOT need firm handling and I would seriously avoid anything by ' the dog whisperer'.

My 2 and a half year old boy is currently curled up on my feet.

They are FUN! Energetic, intelligent, eager to learn, soft as anything and I wouldn't be without one (or 2 or 3....).

Most lab pups go through a chasing and biting phase. Distract and redirect.

Remember that they were originally bred to be working dogs and a bored Lab will go self employed.

Allthelittlefoxes Mon 19-May-14 12:08:19

I think most of this has been said by other posters but I would agree that labs we have had have been FAR easier to train that any of the other breeds (spaniels, terriers, lurchers, pointers)

They really seem to want to please and were easy to house train (I just used paper on the floor in the utility room which got moved closer and closer to the back door and eventually outside) They were also very easy to train on the lead / at heel / recall.

They did chew though. A lot. Seemed worst when they were loosing their baby teeth (teething I suppose!) and nothing we tried really helped. They were both bed-destroyers their whole lives and ended up on wood shavings in their kennel and a canvas bed for inside. Lovely, lovely dogs smile

Navybluetutu Mon 19-May-14 12:11:56

Fabulous family pets. Love to be with people. Will chew everything insight, including skirting boards :-). Can get smelly, as they love to swim in any type of water, will eat anything and leave your house full of hair!
If this hasn't put you off, you will have hours of fun and love from your lab.

Allthelittlefoxes Mon 19-May-14 12:16:11

oh and totally agree with Idespair about the weight issue - 90% of labs you see are too fat, they should have a visible waist and easily felt (though not seen) ribs. On moderate exercise they really don't need much food and certainly no 'table scraps' unless its raw meat. Also on the 'smelly' issue, ours were much better when we moved them onto a raw food diet, otherwise they can really hum....

Lilcamper Mon 19-May-14 12:23:39

Mine has only had one bath in his entire life, and that was because he pooed in the car when we brought him home. His coat is self cleaning and he smells lovely, all earthy and warm

SuperFlyHigh Mon 19-May-14 12:25:43

has it been screened for hip dysplacia? normally not a problem unless you want to breed but something to think of.

labs are great fun, friendly, greedy and I agree re the weight loss.

They also tend to LOVE water, which is great unless you fancy a smelly dog.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 19-May-14 12:27:41

ha Amen - didn't see your post but it's so true, they are brilliant swimmers even in sea...

the only time our dog when I was a child was NOT keen was when she was a puppy (not baby about 4-5 months old) first time in sea, she got scared and clawed my mum's legs.... my mum promptly brought dog out of water, then dog bounced back in and learned to swim!

SuperFlyHigh Mon 19-May-14 12:29:32

oh as Lil says - they are generally farming/hunting working animals which is great only I'd watch around small ones - like rabbits etc - dog had hours of fun if it saw an empty rabbit hole somewhere.... watching for the elusive rabbit.

and on that note watch it near sheep/livestock etc but then any sensible dog owner should do this.

Catsmamma Mon 19-May-14 12:35:12

we've never had a chewer for a pup, well, only one who liked to shred blankets.

My advice would be that they are generally not very bright, but they are eager to please so teach them something and be consistent, once they have learned something whether that be good or bad it's very difficult to dislodge that idea from their brains.

And squeeeee for a cute puppy!

PivotPIVOT Mon 19-May-14 12:46:29

I'm used to big smelly hairy things - I regularly dogsit my mum's gsd. Big silly bugger but he's lovely and soft as owt. Would lick you to death rather than hurt anyone. I can't wait I'm so excited!

I've told OH he has to book at least a week off work if not 2. I haven't got any holiday left to use but I'm only part time. He's full time but weird shifts so we should manage between us.

punter Mon 19-May-14 14:21:32

Our yellow boy is coming up to 21 months now. Very loveable, affectionate and full of the joys of life. Agree with everything said above, your black trousers will always be covered in yellow/white hair and your worktops will never be as clear or clean as all food, even just molecules, will get hoovered up. Never had much trouble with chewing, except hanging off the end of my dressing gown when going out for early morning/late night wees. Second night in largish crate - no problems. Be prepared to do lots of training either with a clicker or a dog whistle. Tires them out before they can go on long walks etc. Swimming is very good for them, uses lots of energy and teaches them to retrieve. Between 9 months and a year he was horrible, recall gone, barking when I was getting food ready, jumping up at visitors, sulky face - think teenager. Then it improves,, small steps and wow you feel that you trust each other and can enjoy walks again. Would recommend doggy day care once a week, tires him out and lets you get on with non dog stuff. Good luck.

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