We recommend crate training for your puppy. Dogs are den animals and enjoy the security of smaller enclosed spaces. These labs will eventually need a size large crate. If you use a large crate, create a smaller section for the puppy to use now. Increase the space as the puppy grows.
Use a towel or small blanket to absorb a puddle in case the puppy has an accident. Keep the crate clean and dry. Only a bone or toy puppy cannot destroy should be left in the crate with the puppy. Puppy may be fed in the crate.
Puppy may be in crate anytime you cannot give puppy full attention. You interact with puppy and give him things to do, because a puppy left alone will become “self employed” and what he chooses to do may not be acceptable to you.
Crate should be where people are. Puppy is a member of the family and wants to be with people as much as possible.
Puppies are fed and cleaned up by the mother dog until they are 2 to 3 weeks old. As eyes open and puppies begin to play, they choose a bed area for sleeping and a separate potty area. At first there are some mistakes, but as we keep the sleeping area clean and dry, the puppies learn to cooperate.
When they leave the whelping box, we put down pine wood chips. The puppies learn to use a particular area to potty in. We keep this area clean , changing the wood chips regularly but the scent remains to cue them in to the proper area.
The final week, we remove puppies to a large crate for sleeping, with an adjacent deck for feeding and playing. We have constructed a gravel potty box. When we introduce the puppies to that area, we place them on the gravel. They recognize the scent and use the potty area.
When you take the puppy home, choose the area where you want the puppy to go potty. Take the puppy there first. He will go. Then take the puppy there frequently. Puppy will want to keep sleeping area, feeding area, and playing area clean and dry, however, he needs to go potty often:
after waking up
Puppies need to go potty almost every hour They learn to hold it gradually lengthen the times between but babies need frequent relief. Potty time is not playtime. Be matter of fat. Use words such as “Hurry up!” At night be boring and businesslike. Puppy will learn what you expect and try to please you.
Schedules and Routines
Every family has their own routines and schedules. Puppy is a member of your family and will grow to fit in with your patterns.
In the beginning, we feed puppies three times a day, about the times we eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our adult dogs eat two times a day at breakfast and dinner. We divide the daily amount of food into appropriate amounts for each feeding.
We use Costco’s Kirkland brand dog foods, made by Diamond, also sold at Menards. This dog food does not contain corn, which dogs do not digest well and does contain meat, vegetables and other nutrients helpful to healthy growth. The quality id high and the price is reasonable.
Choose regular times to play with puppy and as puppy grows begin to take puppy on walks. At first, walks are very short with puppy determining direction and speed. Walks lengthen as puppy grows. Also choose a time for training puppy. Brief moments of review build into proper behavior.
Commands we begin with include, SIT, LIE DOWN, COME, STAY, WAIT and
LEAVE IT. Short sessions full of fun and encouragement work well. We reinforce with bits of puppy food at first. Other treats can come later.
We have enjoyed learning from many sources. We have raised many different kinds of dogs and enjoyed other dogs belonging to family and friends. Today there are many good books, articles online and good ideas on You Tube. Just as in child rearing, you sort out the ideas and choose what works for you and your family. We continue to learn.