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Tell me about puppies - particularly Labrador puppies...

(62 Posts)
wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:19:52

Never had a puppy before... tell me all the good and bad bits... don't spare anything lol

Sarah

orienteerer Fri 29-Jan-10 19:24:52

It's like having a baby in the house.
They come with VERY sharp teeth.
When they grow up it's the same as having another child to cope with.

morethanyoubargainfor Fri 29-Jan-10 19:26:33

they are harder work then babies but really worth it!

I would have more puppies anyday (have 2 dogs) not so sure i would say the same about babies grin.

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:27:34

choc labrador bitch - hell on earth. she bit the children, (made them bleed), and was impossible to house-train. she got detention at puppy classes because she decided she would only obey different words of command to the rest of the group... (must be a woman thing) loathed being petted.

black lab dog - total and utter pudding and needed to be cuddled constantly. essentially house trained himself, has always done as he is told, hasn't so much as nipped when teething (but does still steal food if given the chance - he is a labrador after all)

i love both my labs to death, but dear god, the brown one was harder work than any of the dcs lol.

erm, not sure what specifics you want really?

would recommend crate training?

wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:30:08

My boss's labrador is due to have puppies in 14 days, they are chocolate labs and I would so love one. The doggie parents are nuts so no doubt the puppies will be too!

I work full time, could prob take pup to work with me - is this a stupid consideration?

wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:31:47

oh no madwoman - bit the children gulp my children are 6 and 12.

Is the choc lab any better now?

Definately am thinking crate training.

Owls Fri 29-Jan-10 19:32:28

Utterly and totally adorable. You will be besotted. Have two Labs and love them to bits. BUT you've never had any puppy before? Mmmm. Be prepared for lots of hard work, chewed items, dog hair for carpets/furniture and broken nights.

Bit like trying to prepare someone for their first baby. Can't be done!

Is all the family onside with wanting a dog?

wildfig Fri 29-Jan-10 19:33:55

if you work full time, you can't have a puppy. Sorry. Housetraining them is basically a full time job in itself because you need to supervise them constantly so they learn what to do and where to go - and it doesn't happen overnight. I adore my pup, and now he pees all over my garden, rather than all over my carpets, I'm starting to forget how close to tears it brought me on a daily basis, but I keep the gallon bottle of Simple Solution in a prominent place to remind me...

KEAWYED Fri 29-Jan-10 19:34:29

I have a 3 and a half year old choc bitch lab.

She is excellant with the children and hardly barks.

For the first couple of years though she chewed EVERYTHING.

My only problem with her is the malting twice a year it drives me crazy.

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:34:41

um - full time? it might work once the puppy is house-trained to take him/ her - i'm not sure i could have taken either of the puppies anywhere really. you aren't supposed to take them out properly until all the vaccinations are done - about 12 weeks i think? so 4 weeks from when you bring the puppy home?

how are you going to organise looking after a puppy and working? (not sure what you do - i couldn't be on the phone to a client with a baby/ puppy crying in the background...)

once they are older - yes, not sure how the first couple of months would work out - they can be, er, quite needy!

wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:34:42

Children desperately want one, DH not so keen BUT DH never keen on anything (including the children before we had them lol).

Don't care about chewed items, (you can quote me on that lol when I whinge about chewed items). Dog hair doesn't bother me. Nights hmm surely they can't cry at night for ever????

I know its really a bit thing, my boss loves her labs and the children playing with them was lovely, the dogs actually played with them which was wonderful.

Bit concerned might be untrainable though.

cissycharlton Fri 29-Jan-10 19:35:52

I've known a few choc labs and they were completely mad.

I would steer well clear of pups whose parents are hard work. I know this sounds harsh but pups are hard enough work at the best of times.

We have a labradoodle. Much maligned in some quarters but an easier, lovlier dog you have never met.

Pingpong Fri 29-Jan-10 19:36:04

cute as anything, very chewy when they are young.
Usually easy to train as they will do anything for food.
Very greedy!
I've had black labs before (all bitches) but last January got a chocolate lab from a rescue centre. It never occured to me there would be a big difference between chocolate and black but I've lost count of the number of people who have told me 'oh the chocolate ones are all mad!'
As another helpful dog walker pointed out you never see chocolate guide dogs which hadn't occured to me and then another helpful dog walker pointed out that you never see chocolate gun dogs (not that I have any experience of gun dog training).
Labradors make great family pets but I would go for black again and not another chocolate bombshell!
My girl has never bitten my child but has chewed lots of her toys. They are very gentle with each other (dog 16m DD 22m)
Crate training is good. I'd never used a crate before this one but it means I have a safe place to leave her if we are out and overnight she goes in the crate.

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:37:09

6 and 12 would be fine.

choc is lovely now and all the dcs adore her(and extremely fat - they do tend to run to fat easier than other colours - lots of exercise needed!)

i'm quite worried about the idea of ft...

wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 19:37:58

I'm in an office but not front of house, do deal with clients but essentially that isn't my job. I deal with the complaints and issues lol (with thankfully there isn't a huge amount of!).

Didn't realise you couldn't take them out at all (what would I do without mumsnet?!) can you not start training them to wee in the garden then until 12 weeks old? Had no idea about that one!!

Also didn't realise they chewed for 2 years.

Still want one though!! Will consider this very carefully though. Thanks for all of this I need all this info.

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:40:14

lol smac - i get stopped on the street too and asked what the diff is between choc and black. having only really looked at the generic 'lab' characteristics and deciding it would fit in with our family circs, i hadn't really understood the choc issue before...

wannaBe Fri 29-Jan-10 19:41:41

it's worth bearing in mind that.. guide dogs use yellow labs and black labs. They don't use chocolate labs. That must tell you something.

orienteerer Fri 29-Jan-10 19:43:06

Of course you can take them out in your own garden before 10-12 weeks grin. To be honest if you work FT I wouldn't get a puppy, even if you can take it to work. Big difference between taking an adult,trained dog to work and taking a puppy.

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:44:44

you can as long as you are sure the garden isn't accessed by anything carrying nasties lol - ie foxes/ other dogs etc. some people choose not to take them out at all, but we did. walks and stuff are a no. some training books suggest a lovely wee puppy pen, with a sleeping crate, a food area, and a 'toilet' area. (which you are supposed to crate from a dug-up section of your lawn).

we fell for this hook line and sinker. choc thought it was the best fun she'd had since birth - the neat square of grass got dug and scattered all over the pen.

tbh we let them pee outside in the end (and crossed our fingers that the foxes who lived under the rhodedendron were relatively disease free...)

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 19:47:54

it's totally like having your first child though.... 'but the book said' 'why is it crying?' 'i don;t know what to doooooooo'

once you've had one, you realise that (unless it's choc lol) most things are probably going to fall into place given a modicum of care....

minimu Fri 29-Jan-10 20:07:21

Have I missed something but do you work full time?
If you do you do not really have a choice it is a definate no to a puppy

It may be easier if you explain how you think it will be having a puppy and then we can fill in the gaps

StayingDavidTennantsGirl Fri 29-Jan-10 20:13:45

We have a chocolate lab puppy (8 months old) and she is lovely. I second what people have said about the chewing and the toilet training - it is very intensive at first, though our pup was very quick to learn, and only soiled her cage once, and very soon learned to 'go' outside.

But you do need to be there - every time the pup wees indoors, or looks about to start weeing, you have to whip them out into the garden and wait until they do at least a bit of wee/poo there, and use whatever command you want to for weeing/pooing (ie 'be quick' or 'do your business') so that they learn to associate the phrase with the act, and should be able to do it on command, then when they have wee'd/pooed, reward them and praise them. You also need to take them outside at regular intervals anyway, particularly after meals, I believe, and wait with them until they wee/poo, and do the same process as above.

Also a young pup really can't be left home alone for any real length of time. We use a cage, and now ddog will stay in her cage quite happily whilst I go to art class or nip to the shops, but most of the time I am around so she has company and someone to keep an eye on her.

Also labs will eat anything - and if they can't actually eat it, they will chew it up and spit it out. Since we have had her, our pup has eaten 15 mince pies, steak, salmon, my glasses, four shoes (sadly not two pairs, but four shoes from four pairs), wallpaper, two xbox headsets, 16 rashers of defrosting bacon, two doughnuts, her own poo, sheep poo, horse poo and cow poo, some bits of rotting rabbit that she found in the field, the edge of two rugs, the rungs of all the kitchen stools, any amount of packaging and milk cartons (nicked from the recycling) and a mars bar - that last one necessitated a trip to the vet because chocolate can be poisonous to dogs, and he had to make her sick - which cost us £30 - a jolly expensive mars bar!!

We chose a chocolate lab, because dh has been told that they have the best temperaments of all the labs - this was certainly the case with the three labs, one golden, one black and one chocolate, that they had during his childhood. Ours is affectionate, naughty sometimes (dh is never allowed to keep his socks on - she nicks them and puts them in her bed), funny and clever. She used to take herself out of the cat flap to do her business in the garden when she was little enough to fit through it, and now, when she needs or wants to go out, she rattles at the cat flap to tell us.

They have the softest, silkiest ears imaginable.

Your kids may well be very keen now, but they will not be cleaning up the wee and poo in the house (though mine will do poo patrol round the garden and collect up her offerings), and whilst they will love playing with the pup when it arrives, this will wear off, and they will find all sorts of excuses not to take the dog for walks, especially when it is wet and/or cold.

We love our lab and wouldn't be without her - currently she is asleep on the couch, wearing a specially-bought t-shirt to keep the bandage on her spaying scar clean and to keep her away from the stitches!

madwomanintheattic Fri 29-Jan-10 20:17:24

one of ours ate a whole roll of paper towel. i posted on here in a flap, i'm sure it's around somewhere... i had visions of it swelling up and blocking his innards... grin

MrsL123 Fri 29-Jan-10 20:20:28

As the owner of two labs, I'm not going to try to convince you how lovely they are, because I honestly don't think a lab is the type of dog you should get (if any). And I certainly wouldn't choose a chocolate lab as my first dog, if you value your sanity!

I honestly don't mean to come across as mean, but it sounds like you don't really know much about dogs at all, and labs need a lot of knowledge and patience to turn them into healthy, well rounded dogs. It's not the same as having one of these miniature 'toy' dogs, you can't take it everywhere with you, and you certainly can't expect it to sit in an office all day (unless you want a loopy dog). Labs don't mature fully until at least 2 years old, and in the meantime they chew everything, destroy things, and need lots of attention and lots of exercise to occupy their minds (meaning a bare minimum of an hour a day - ours get two and are still a bit mad). A big dog also requires a lot of training, and although labs are exceptionally quick to learn and eager to please, it still takes a lot of time. And would you know how to avoid the health problems that labs are prone to? Would you know how to regulate their food and manage their activity to avoid joint problems? There's only so much you can learn from asking on forums, and yes ok, you can read books etc, but you definitely need to spend time learning and researching. Do you even know anything about the puppies? Are the parents hips scored, elbow scored, do they have clear eye certificates? Do you even know what these things are or why they're important? I am an experienced dog owner and researched our chosen litter very carefully, but our 9 month puppy still has still ended up with an excruitiating elbow problem, which has led to her being in constant pain her whole life, unable to play and run like a normal dog, with the final result being a £1500 emergency operation on Tuesday and a very unhappy dog who can't be walked for another two months, is in constant pain, and after all this still only has a 50% chance of actually having a normal life afterwards. How would you cope if your lab ended up with a joint problem like this? They're very common, and many people can't cope, or aren't experienced enough to deal with it all, and their labs end up getting PTS or being dumped at a rescue centre.

Added to this, the fact that your DH isn't on board with it, which means there will be a lot of stress in the house during the chewing and destroying phase, which the dog will pick up on and become anxious.

I'm sorry to sound so negative, really I am. But so many people buy labs just because they make cute puppies, and don't realise what a handful they are, or don't know how to look after them properly and end up with fat, unhappy dogs with mental issues and/or crippling joint problems. If you really are serious about getting a dog (any dog) and your DH agrees, please spend a few months learning and researching rather than getting the first one that comes along. It's easy to get carried away when faced with cute puppies.

wangle99 Fri 29-Jan-10 20:28:10

thank you for your comments, all of them they are greatly appreciated.

I am not totally naive when it comes to dogs although never owned anything like a lab before.

Perhaps we'll just go play with them till my boss rehomes them. Best of both worlds then.

Her dogs are nuts, absolutely mental. When I was visiting with my children, her grandaughter and my son were on the trampoline and the dog got on as well and was LOVING it, never seen anything like that before!

The hip scores are good - boss was talking about this before the bitch was even pg and before I had said oo I want one and she does have papers. I didn't know about the elbow issues.

We live in a beautiful area for walking but appreciate bad weather isn't fun for walking dogs (although I quite like the solitary-ness of walking when nobody else about!).

Thank you!

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