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    1. #1
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      Whitetail90's Avatar
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      New black lab puppy!

      I am going to pick up my new black lab puppy on December 14 at 9 weeks old! I am beyond excited as this is my kids christmas present. I have a couple questions, and hope all you experts can throw in some extra advice for me. I have been reading some research on lab puppies. I am aware that they are known for possible hip problems and such, so should I give him any extra vitamin enriched treats or anything to help prevent that? I haven't found out yet what the breeder has been feeding him, but I guess I should stick with that brand so he doesn't have problems? Any and all puppy advice is welcome!

    2. #2
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      Hello and Welcome!

      Oh, the waiting for puppy to come home is the hardest.

      I'm sure the breeder will have instructions for you. I'm not the best at puppy help as we home seniors. From what I've learned here, keeping puppy on what the breeder is feeding is advised. It's going to be quite a change for the pup already without adding a change in diet. The breeder should also have information in the parents and grandparents hips. They should have been tested at about 2 years of age. Doing this guides the breeder in selecting the right sire and dam, continuing the good traits and in some instances enhancing other traits.

      I'm sure others with much more puppy experience will give you more valuable information and answer any questions. Plus, there is a wealth of information in the posts on this board.

      We'll sure be looking forward to pictures.
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      Tanya (12-03-2015)

    4. #3
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      Regarding the hips, your breeder should have some information for you. Between health clearances, being careful with jumping down and waiting to spay/neuter until the puppy is full grown will help. Some people give supplements and some do not.

      Do the parents have good hips and elbows? Do you know which health certifications the parents have? Here are the clearances your puppy's parent's should have. Parents with certifications should produce healthy puppies free of genetic diseases that are debilitating and very expensive. It's not a guarantee, but it can certainly decrease your odds by quite a lot!

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      Tanya (12-03-2015)

    6. #4
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      congrats!

      for the hips it's a large part genetic. if you have concerns (as all lab owners do!) your best way to (hopefully) avoid issues is to go with a breeder that does health clearances prior to breeding so you know the parents (and grand parents and great grandparents) have good hips (and elbows, and eyes and heart). What are health clearances? I think this was discussed in your first thread but here is the link again with a good explanation:
      Clearances For Labs

      But beyond that, no I wouldn't give vitamins, it can throw the pup's diet off. Stick with an age appropriate food.

      There are things you can do while the puppy is growing to encourage good joints/development. Encourage daily age appropriate exercise. no long walks on pavements (5 minutes or so per month of age until they are over a year). Lots of free off leash play on soft surfaces - you want a fit dog. not running or biking or roller blading on leash on pavement until their joints are done growing. No playing on stairs (going up and down is good but don't overdue it). Limit jumping in and out of high vehicles. stuff like that. Oh most importantly keep them at a good weight - extra weight is very bad for them.
      Last edited by Tanya; 12-03-2015 at 08:10 AM.

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      Annette47 (12-03-2015)

    8. #5
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      oh I HIGHLY recommend puppy classes for the entire family It's great for socialization of puppies who are at risk as they haven't had all their shots. The age of 7-16 weeks is crucial for socialization but also the period they are not fully vaccinated - so puppy class helps with a safe socialization outlet. Plus they are REALLY fun and will give you tips on dealing with all the issues that are common with puppies

      and yes stick to what the breeder is feeding for at least one big bag. Ask them why they feed that. If this is a knowledgeable breeder that is educated and knows their liens (keeps puppies from some litters) they may have a very good reason to feed that food and experience on how their dogs grow up on it.

    9. #6
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      Yikes! Waiting is so hard!

      As the others have suggested, hip or elbow problems have a large genetic component. Selecting a breeder who has the dogs (s)he breeds x-rayed after they are 2 years old to confirm that the parents have no orthopedic problems goes a long way to helping insure the puppies have less of a risk of developing orthopedic issues. Even with parents whose x-rays are clear, there's some risk but the deck is stacked in your favor. No supplements will prevent orthopedic issues.

      See what the breeder is feeding and start with that. If you are concerned that the food isn't the quality you want, check back here for a few other opinions. People often want to feed their puppy the "best" food possible, switch around a few times and can end up with issues that might have been avoided. While labs are not considered large breed dogs and do not need to be on large breed puppy food, the calcium and phosphorus content and their ratio to each other while the puppy is growing is something to watch out for. Regular puppy food or large breed puppy food is often selected by breeders, but see what your own breeder is feeding first before thinking about a switch. You'll want to start there anyway.

      As exciting as getting a puppy is going to be for everyone, aren't your kids something like 1 and 3 years old? Lab puppies are rarely quiet, soft little sweet puppies once they come home and start feeling comfortable in their surroundings. They can be active, jumping, nipping little demons and wear out even the most experienced and patient adult owner. If you've glossed over the threads on how to help teach the puppy to stop biting or nipping, go back and read those now! Do not be discouraged if the kiddos find the puppy to be a little much for them to handle and don't be surprised to see some tears. This puppy can grow up to be the best friend for your kids but it will take some work.

      Your puppy will need just as much love and training as your humans babies. He is a baby as well. He won't know much about house training and will view your little ones as his litter mates, with whom he has spent time rolling around with, biting, and play fighting. What passes for puppy play can look a little aggressive, but at his age and for the next several months, he'll think he's playing. Keep the kids up off the floor and supervise them around the puppy at all times to try to minimize scary interactions. If you do not have a crate for the puppy, I would strongly suggest you consider getting one to give the puppy a safe place to nap and chill out and a place he can be when you or your spouse cannot keep an eye on him. Puppies have been known to chew on table legs, baseboards, door frames, remote controls, your favorite shoes, baby toys, anything they can get their little teeth on, so they need constant supervision. He can be in the crate when either of you need a break or to get something done around the house, like take a shower! Think of when your kids were newborns and it was hard to get stuff done, it's like that.

      Do not be tempted to put the puppy out in the back yard by himself at the beginning for many reasons. Puppies will eat and dig and do all sorts of things that can be dangerous to them. They explore the world with their mouths, so rocks and sticks and mulch and stuff are all fair game and can get swallowed. And, you want the pup to be a family dog and there's nothing puppies and adult labs like better than being with their family. He won't learn how to behave around you or your kids if he's outside all the time or crated too much. Take time to help your kids know how to be gentle with the puppy/dog as well. No sitting or jumping on him, no pulling ears, no bothering him when he eats. You want him to be kind and gentle with them, they need to be kind and gentle with him.

      Well, I got a little carried away but we do so want you to have a great time bringing home this little guy! When you have a chance, let us know his name and we always need photos!

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      Abulafia (12-03-2015)

    11. #7
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      Merry Christmas. Many breeders will not let a puppy to to a home with small children at Christmas time because there is just so much commotion going on at that time. Try not to let things get overwhelmingly excited for little puppy.

      As Labradorks advises, Labs are prone to several health problems, more than just hips. Heart, eyes, elbows, CNM, EIC, hopefully you picked a breeder who clears for all these in the parents. The breeder will send you home with details on what and how to feed, what exercise to allow. In fact you will probably get an information packet, a bag of recommended food and a conversation on what to expect and how to contact your breeder for any little thing that worries you.

      My current boy was a winter puppy too, brought him home Dec. 8 at 8 weeks old. I guess you won't have the snow and cold to deal with that we did but even so, don't lock yourself out on those midnight trips out to pee.

    12. #8
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      Annette47 (12-03-2015)

    14. #9
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      Thanks everyone for the replies, this site is awesome! Yes my kids are now almost 4 and 2 years old. My 2 year old is an explorer, always climbing and doing wild things so I know he will be crazy about him. We are home a lot, and do not travel so we will be able to be at home with our pup a lot. Christmas time isn't wild and crazy like most households. We get our kids 2 or 3 presents and that's it, so it shouldn't be too crazy for him. My 4 year old daughter wants to name him Shadow because she loves the movie Homeward Bound. I do already have a crate, and have a huge bonus room next to our kitchen that will be all dedicated to our pup so he can play and do whatever he wants (concrete floors with heat and A/C). It will be new and interesting with the kids at first I realize, but so was bringing home a newborn baby lol. At 6 weeks the pup had all vaccinations and vet clearances. I go tonight to finally meet the litter for the first time. She has 2 black males left, and 2 yellow males left! I can't wait to pick mine out! Is it difficult to pick the one you want?

    15. #10
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      you get the puppy at 6 weeks? it's illegal in most states to sell dogs before 8 weeks of age.

      Note that he can't be all vaccinated at that age. There are three rounds of vaccinations that ideally start at 8 weeks of age, then 3-4 weeks between them. (then rabies). Until they have had all those vaccinations they are at higher risk of catching things (there is tons out there). now, socialization is also crucial (safe, positive socialization) but you have to be cautious.

      Curious what the others who know more will think of the concrete. that's a pretty hard surface for a growing pup especially to run and play on. like i said you want to encourage free play on soft surfaces for growing joints, concrete is hard and the impact on their growing joints will be hard. Ideally if you can get heavy mats if you want the dog to play there to protect the joints.

      a good breeder will pick the pup with the best temperament for your family and lifestyle (especially as you have young kids). they know the dogs (usually for 8 weeks but not in your case) and should know enough about buyers to know which pup is the best fit. the pups are still pretty young to be able to tell much between them, plus it's hard to tell on a short visit (the more outgoing one may be tired and appear to be the quietest for example).

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      Abulafia (12-03-2015)

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