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    1. #1
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      Lidlsadie's Avatar
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      Question Pre-puppy paranoia

      Hello! Teddy comes home in 3 weeks so I'm frantically trying to prepare and makes sure I have some idea of what I'm doing (never had a dog before!) Teddy is a chocolate lab and will be about 7.5 weeks old when he comes home! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind!


      • When can you start taking a puppy for walks on a leash? Even if just down the block...?
      • When do you start using a collar?
      • We live in Wisconsin where it's snowy... How big of an area should I have cleared off for Teddy to do his business?
      • While doing his business, do I keep him on a leash or is me being out there with him sufficient?
      • We are crate training. Is it smart to have a crate in our bedroom for nighttime and another in the laundry room for when we're gone?
      • I've read to not keep much in the crate for the first few weeks between accidents and chewing. What all do you recommend be in there with him?
      • Best puppy toys?
      • Do I need a sweater or anything for him when we go outside?
      • Pet insurance... Yes or no?
      • When has a puppy gotten all the shots necessary to socialize?
      • When driving in a car, should I purchase a car crate?
      • I've heard having a radio or some kind of white noise on while you're gone helps. Any opinion on this?
      • How big of a puppy bed should I buy initially? Looking at putting it in the living room to lounge on when we're home.



      Things I've read and already plan on doing:
      1. Crate training
      2. Puppy classes when old enough
      3. Restricting access to certain parts of the house at first
      4. Vet appointment within first week of getting him
      5. Consistency with commands
      6. Bring a few blankets when we pick him up to rub on his mom and siblings
      7. Using a bell for potty training


      Thanks so much for your help! Any additional tips are welcome!!!

    2. #2
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      Hi,

      I'll answer a few of your questions based on what we've done with our pups.

      - We put a collar on our pups from the start, although they grow quickly and their baby collar won't fit for long. He might not like it at first but that's OK. Take it off any time you put him in his crate. You don't want it getting caught on anything.

      - I take them out on a leash, even if they're dragging it rather than me holding it. If they decide to run for it, you can step on the end of the leash (or turn and run away from the puppy calling his name in a high, happy voice. Usually they'll turn and run after you. Of course, he won't know his name at first, but whatever you say, make it sound fun!)

      - I had a crate in the bedroom and one out in the area I spend the most time.

      - When they first came home I had a stuffed toy in the crate with them, or you could put that towel or blanket you've rubbed on his Mom or sibs in there. It wasn't long before my older boy started chewing anything in his crate, so he got a bare crate until he was about 3 years old. My younger girl never chewed so she got a bed in her crate by the time she was 4 months old.

      - Pet insurance advisable.

      - I think after the second round of shots the vets will often say they can start venturing out to places you know are pretty safe but check with the vet. You do not want them walking around in places like PetSmart or Petco or even on the floor at the vet's office where sick or unvaccinated pets might have been walking. I think my vet thought I was overcareful, maybe, but who knows what other dogs or puppies might have brought in with them. Some places like Home Depot or Cabelas will let you bring puppies in, you'd need to check with them ahead of time. You could put a towel from home inside a cart and put the puppy inside the cart to greet people.

      - The chew toy my puppies seemed to like best were these Nylabone chew toys for puppies shaped like keys. Pet Supplies : Pet Chew Toys : Nylabone Just For Puppies Medium Key Ring Bone Puppy Dog Teething Chew Toy : Amazon.com

      - Get some Nature's Miracle or other enzyme cleaner for pet accidents to clean areas where he has accidents in the house.

      - I used a crate in the car until they outgrew it. Right now I have a small-ish SUV and they ride in the way back. When I only had one I put a seat belt type restraint on him but with 2 they just get tangled up with each other.

      - You don't know yet whether your puppy will be Teddy the Destroyer yet, so you could get a medium sized bed but some puppies got through several beds before they get past their chewing stage. I wouldn't get anything too expensive until you know what he'll be like.

      - Any plans you make will be subject to the puppy's whims for a while. Don't stress out too much. A lot of the puppy craziness they outgrow.
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    4. #3
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      Awesome advice!! Thanks!

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lidlsadie View Post
      Hello! Teddy comes home in 3 weeks so I'm frantically trying to prepare and makes sure I have some idea of what I'm doing (never had a dog before!) Teddy is a chocolate lab and will be about 7.5 weeks old when he comes home! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind!


      • When can you start taking a puppy for walks on a leash? Even if just down the block...?
      • 5 minutes of exercise per month of age. In this area, I never worried about diseases and walked immediately. Many people do not let puppy's feet touch ground that is not your yard until 16 weeks
      • When do you start using a collar
      • we used a collar from the day we brought him home. We also kept a leash on him at all times
      • We live in Wisconsin where it's snowy... How big of an area should I have cleared off for Teddy to do his business
      • I don't know that it's so much the size. It has to be an area you are ok with him using as a bathroom now and when he's older. You will also need to keep it clean of poop since he'll only have that small space until springish.
      • While doing his business, do I keep him on a leash or is me being out there with him sufficient?
      • I'd keep him on leash. No playing or fun until he has done his business
      • We are crate training. Is it smart to have a crate in our bedroom for nighttime and another in the laundry room for when we're gone?
      • yes it is. He is used to being with his brothers and sisters and will crave interaction. He will be calmer and more comforted in a new surrounding if there is another being close to him.
      • I've read to not keep much in the crate for the first few weeks between accidents and chewing. What all do you recommend be in there with him?
      • we honestly don't keep anything in with Maverick.
      • Best puppy toys?yes. Buy anything/everything. Chews, bones, squeakies, stuffies. Find out what he likes and go from there. maverick loves Kongs. I don't think we've ever gotten a Kong that he doesn't like. And also the fill able Kongs are good for crating. It gives them something to do for a few minutes.
      • Do I need a sweater or anything for him when we go outside?
      • no.
      • Pet insurance... Yes or no?
      • I have insurance on Maverick. I have Healthy Paws. Not so much for the small stuff, but for the inevitable high cost surgery.....that's why I have it.
      • When has a puppy gotten all the shots necessary to socialize?
      • again, I do it immediately. Many people wait until 16 weeks when they get their last puppy shots.
      • When driving in a car, should I purchase a car crate?
      • I do not have a car crate. Maverick has to sit shotgun with me. It is good though, or some type of seatbelt or harness
      • I've heard having a radio or some kind of white noise on while you're gone helps. Any opinion on this
      • I've heard that too. We don't do this. We don't need to. Maybe your guy will, it just depends.
      • How big of a puppy bed should I buy initially? Looking at putting it in the living room to lounge on when we're home.
      • keep in mind he may not use it or he may chew it to pieces instead. I'd wait until he was older to buy a bed.



      Things I've read and already plan on doing:
      1. Crate training
      2. Puppy classes when old enough
      3. Restricting access to certain parts of the house at first
      4. Vet appointment within first week of getting him
      5. Consistency with commands
      6. Bring a few blankets when we pick him up to rub on his mom and siblings
      7. Using a bell for potty training


      Thanks so much for your help! Any additional tips are welcome!!!
      good luck! We will require ongoing pictures

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    8. #5
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      Ya I would say that's all good advice. I'm living the puppy life now (9/10week old) and its way more work than I remember. Our little girl wants to chew everything she sees (including us) ..... we have tried 10 different toys and the only thing that really works is a rawhide. She loves to play with a ball about the size of a volley ball. she didn't care for a tennis ball. When we leave the house we crate her and less is way better because in the case of her pooping its a big mess. We don't leave her crated more that 2 hours or so (and that's only when we leave the house). I am unfortunately learning the hard way what works and doesn't work, but that's why I'm here to hopefully learn new methods that work. Good Luck !

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    10. #6
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      1. When can you start taking a puppy for walks on a leash? Even if just down the block...?
      In your backyard on day one, otherwise I would wait until after their shots are complete (usually 16 weeks)


      2. When do you start using a collar?
      Immediately. Take it off when they're in the crate


      3. We live in Wisconsin where it's snowy... How big of an area should I have cleared off for Teddy to do his business?
      I live in upstate NY and haven't cleared off any area, but I bring my pups home in the summer

      4. While doing his business, do I keep him on a leash or is me being out there with him sufficient?
      Keep on a leash while housebreaking. Late night/early morning trips you don't need the leash, but every second Teddy is with you is a training opportunity. Take advantage

      5. We are crate training. Is it smart to have a crate in our bedroom for nighttime and another in the laundry room for when we're gone?
      I would stick to one crate

      6. I've read to not keep much in the crate for the first few weeks between accidents and chewing. What all do you recommend be in there with him?
      Like Sue said, the Nylabone keys are a hit with puppies. Just those and nothing else for a while

      7. Best puppy toys?
      Nylabone keys and Kongs... get the black, not the red

      8. Do I need a sweater or anything for him when we go outside?
      Nope! Labs are bred to retrieve in icy cold Canadian water. He will be just fine

      9. Pet insurance... Yes or no?
      100% yes based on my experience

      10. When has a puppy gotten all the shots necessary to socialize?
      16 weeks (4 sets), but you can socialize earlier with dogs you know in safe places like private residences. Puppy classes are okay too

      11. When driving in a car, should I purchase a car crate?
      Depends on your car. I keep mine loose in the backseat because my SUV won't fit one crate let alone two

      12. I've heard having a radio or some kind of white noise on while you're gone helps. Any opinion on this?
      Luna likes to watch TV. I usually make sure there's some kind of noise in my house

      13. How big of a puppy bed should I buy initially? Looking at putting it in the living room to lounge on when we're home.
      I have a 42" and a 48" crate for Luna and Comet respectively, so use that size to determine if it helps. Make sure whatever bed you get has a removable and washable cover
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    12. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lidlsadie View Post
      There will be some duplication w/ what others have written...


      • When can you start taking a puppy for walks on a leash? Even if just down the block...

      We didn't take her out on the ground outside our back yard until she had had three of her shots. But as it was August, she spent considerable time outside. We would occasionally put a leash on her to "walk" her in this period (again, in the back yard), but nothing formal.



      • When do you start using a collar?

      Hoku doesn't wear a collar in the house or back yard, but we use one (of course) any time she is out of the house. We put a flat collar on her within the first days home; she never objected, and still doesn't. No collar in the crate.



      • We live in Wisconsin where it's snowy... How big of an area should I have cleared off for Teddy to do his business?


      He doesn't need much room—just be consistent.



      • While doing his business, do I keep him on a leash or is me being out there with him sufficient?


      Hm. We only leashed her for her night time potty visits. But again, it was August, so she was outside (with us) a lot. When she was in and needed to go out, she was very good about doing her business quickly, and then wanting back inside. So this depends on your dog (and the weather!)



      • We are crate training. Is it smart to have a crate in our bedroom for nighttime and another in the laundry room for when we're gone?


      Hoku's crate has always been beside our bed. We have one in the kitchen for quick trips out, but frankly she is usually with us. But yes: for night time sleeping, have her next to you. You can quickly "QUIET!" her if she barks (don't tolerate barking at night), but also soothe her.



      • I've read to not keep much in the crate for the first few weeks between accidents and chewing. What all do you recommend be in there with him?


      I put a Kong in her crate the first night because she whimpered a little. I think she had a squeaky pig in her car crate for a while. But in general, we don't put things in her crate.




      • Best puppy toys?


      ​It's worse than having a kid. Kongs of every type are good. Nylabones. Sturdy rope pull toys. The Bob-a-Lot kibble toy. Hoku has about three squeaky ducks, two squeaky squirrels, a squeaky pig. Our living room looks like a woodland massacre.



      • Do I need a sweater or anything for him when we go outside?


      He was born with one. You may need a down jacket, though (it's 27 degrees here this morning, and Hoku has insisted on spending the morning outside).




      • Pet insurance... Yes or no?

      We got it, yes.



      • When has a puppy gotten all the shots necessary to socialize?


      You should begin socializing as soon as he comes home. Invite people over daily. Invite over *safe*, vaccinated, well socialized dogs. You can take him out to meet others if you carry him. Try to get him to meet 100 people by the time he's 12 weeks old—this sounds like a lot, but we did it—120 by just over 11 weeks (and I stopped counting). Show him sleds, skis, bicycles, a skateboard, umbrella, people with hats and glasses and beards. People of different ethnicities. All sorts of difference possible. Dogs, like people, become wary of (and sometimes aggressive toward) people and things they do not encounter early on.



      • When driving in a car, should I purchase a car crate?

      We use one, yes.



      • I've heard having a radio or some kind of white noise on while you're gone helps. Any opinion on this?

      ​Hoku isn't left home much, but this probably isn't a bad idea. Dogs are very social animals, and get lonely easily.



      • How big of a puppy bed should I buy initially? Looking at putting it in the living room to lounge on when we're home.

      ​Ours is couch sized. Ok, it's the couch. So, it's up to you, but keep in mind that he's going to grow grow grow very rapidly.

      Things I've read and already plan on doing:
      1. Crate training Yes!
      2. Puppy classes when old enough She can do the very first classes after her second shot (make sure all puppies are similarly vaccinated)
      3. Restricting access to certain parts of the house at firstWe put up a baby gate in the kitchen.
      4. Vet appointment within first week of getting him Yes
      5. Consistency with commands Yes—for everyone in the family, as well as all visitors
      6. Bring a few blankets when we pick him up to rub on his mom and siblings We didn't do this, but it can't hurt
      7. Using a bell for potty training We bought one, but Hoku very very quickly just learned to go to the door, sit there, and politely grunt. But I've heard that the bells are a great idea.


      Thanks so much for your help! Any additional tips are welcome!!!
      —I hope this is of some help. Have fun!
      Hidden Content Hokule'a ("Hoku") / b. 06.08.15

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    14. #8
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      Congrats!
      The first step is actualy ensuring you pick a good reputable breeder that breeds for temperment. Labs are so popular and sooo overbred that their temperment varies greatly. Pure bred doesn't mean well bred and is no guarante it'll be a nice well rounded friendly lab - those are things the breeder is careful to breed for (as well as health by doing all the health clearances).

      I highly recommend puppy classes asap if there are any in your area. Preferably with a repuatable training school with experienced, knowledgable staff. These often start around 9 weeks of age and are amazing and fun! then you keep going with obedience classes as the pup gets older (remember learning and training is a life long thing).

      Definately crate train - make sure to make the crate a safe fun place by desensitizing before just putting the puppy in there.

      the main socialisation periode is from birth til around 16 weeks. this is when it's most important to get the dog socialisted to people, dogs, other animals, places, smells, textures (on their feet), sounds, etc. However, this is also the period when they are most at risk of illness. so your job is to find SAFE places to socialise. Have people over, meet friendly balanced dogs i safe places, puppy classes, go for drives, carry the puppy places, etc. I recommend avoiding dog parks and pet stores (and hold the puppy in your arms at the vet).

      be patient. set the dog up for success. this means supervision (eyes on puppy) and controlling their movements so they can succeed. crating,x-pens, etc. if puppy gets into something that is becuase the humans failed

      No collars in the crate! most crates say that on the box! But you can put a clip collar on the puppy starting day 1 for periods of time. you can get them used to a leash. Be careful where you walk at first, find out how bad your area is for communicable desiese like parvo before bringing the puppy home.

      Both the breeder and the vet should have details on vaccination schedule. but socialisation should NOT wait until all shots are done - it just has to be done safely and smartly.

      I would get a cheap bed for now, puppies tend to pee on and destroy them :P

      I always leave the radio on for my dogs.

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    16. #9
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      oh read up on age appropriate exercise. puppies need tons of exercise (ok maybe not at 8 weeks but in a few months) but it needs to be age appaoprite until their joints are done growing around 18-24 months. "forced exercise" is anything on leash (doesn't refer to the dog not being able to keep up!). the general rule of thumg is 5 minutes per month of age of "forced exercise" (on leash walks really). no running with you on leash (or biking on leash or roller blading) until they are done growing. BUT you want to encourage plenty of daily off leash free play (running around) on sofer surfaces (not pavement/cement). As they hit 7-10 months they often need an hour offleash play daily.

      mental exercise will be hugely important as well

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    18. #10
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      OK, I'll take a crack. Happy New Year

      Quote Originally Posted by Lidlsadie View Post
      Hello! Teddy comes home in 3 weeks so I'm frantically trying to prepare and makes sure I have some idea of what I'm doing (never had a dog before!) Teddy is a chocolate lab and will be about 7.5 weeks old when he comes home! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind!


      • When can you start taking a puppy for walks on a leash? Even if just down the block...?



      When shots are up to date, or your Vet gives you the all clear, or there are not other dogs walking down the street, ever. Probably Parvo is your biggest concern, ask your Vet what incident report numbers are for your area. We did not do leashed walks till two weeks after the last shot, making Oban 18 weeks. We walked lots of places off leash before that though.


      • When do you start using a collar?


      Right away. WE were collar off in the house and our own yard but on every place else. Some need a break in period of only a few minutes a time at first.



      • We live in Wisconsin where it's snowy... How big of an area should I have cleared off for Teddy to do his business?


      We made pee paths throughout our large yard. We do anyway. Oban didn't pee or poop on the paths, mostly, but he used them to access fresh snow to toilet in. We played tag and hide and seek on the paths too, there was enough snow that year to hide me if I crouched. He loved the snow.



      • While doing his business, do I keep him on a leash or is me being out there with him sufficient?


      No leash for us, the snow was too deep for him to escape our yard. I found cold is pretty good at encouraging puppy to get the business done and back inside quickly. Unless we were playing too.



      • We are crate training. Is it smart to have a crate in our bedroom for nighttime and another in the laundry room for when we're gone?


      We only sort of crate trained. The crate with door open was in our gated kitchen. Crates do NOT potty train your puppy. That's your job, you have to get him out in time. I found the crate actually interfered with getting him out quickly. Free to roam the kitchen he was ready by the door to go out. Otherwise at night he slept and moved from place to place to stay cool. Crates aren't cheap but if you can afford two and you're crating it's ok to have two.



      • I've read to not keep much in the crate for the first few weeks between accidents and chewing. What all do you recommend be in there with him?


      I recommend nothing. They tend to chew when you aren't looking so it can be hard to tell ahead of time if you have a chewer. Since our crate door was open there were no accidents inside it. He chose a place on the kitchen floor well away from where he liked to sleep for his accidents. Obviously then they were not HIS accidents, they were ours.



      • Best puppy toys?


      They all like different things. We had nine and rotated them. Every night they were put away. Each morniing I gve him a "new" toy and by the end of the day he usually had three on the go. Next day a different three.



      • Do I need a sweater or anything for him when we go outside?


      Probably not. We didn't. Watch, he will get cold on very sub freezing days. WE found running around for 10 minutes or so playing mostly kept him warm. On pee breaks you won't have time to put a sweater on him anyway.




      • Pet insurance... Yes or no?


      Check it out right away, you have to have it soon. Most breeders send you home with 6 weeks or so of insurance. We did not continue it, it was so expensive.



      • When has a puppy gotten all the shots necessary to socialize?


      When your Vet says so. Your Vet will probably ok puppy classes. We went out with a neighbour dog we knew was safe and visited my sister's dog and we walked out in the bush where few other dogs go.

      You can socialize with all kinds of people. And, strictly speaking the correct term is Habituation, but remember puppy needs to get used to sights, sounds, smells and places and motions that have nothing to do with other dogs. We visited my Aunt's nursing home where nearly everyone wanted to pet the puppy, he smelled new things, rode in a wheelchair, an elevator and since it was Christmas all sorts of commotion was going on. We also visited the local ski resort parking lot and lobby - fumes; cars moving; big clumping, noisy ski boots; funny hats. Hats are a big bugaboo with lots of dogs. With permission of the resort.



      • When driving in a car, should I purchase a car crate?


      I used one of the cat carriers when he was little and I snapped it into the seat belt. A puppy lose in the car is an accident waiting to happen. EXcept, he was on my lap all the 3 hour drive home. OH drive. My feeling is that is an important bonding time, and puppy had just been wrenched away from Mum and siblings, on my lap, cosy and cuddled with me on the first ride home. Oban didn't cuddle, he stood up most of the way so he could look out the window.



      • I've heard having a radio or some kind of white noise on while you're gone helps. Any opinion on this?


      We do, radio. We think it helps give the impression the house might be occupied anyway, we do it as part of normal household security.



      • How big of a puppy bed should I buy initially? Looking at putting it in the living room to lounge on when we're home.


      LOL, well you might as well buy an adult sized bed. I had one anyway and Oban still doesn't lie on it. As a puppy he never "lounged." He was awake, active and getting into trouble. In the evenings I sat on the kitchen floor and played with him. Sometimes he fell asleep on my lap. Other wise it was go, go, go.


      Things I've read and already plan on doing:
      1. Crate training


      Lots do. My Vet says he thinks too much crate time is responsible for the upswing he sees in UTI, joint disorders from not being able to move enough and neuroses from understimulation and boredom. As said above we had a crate but the door was open. I decided puppy would only be crated with the door shut for a maximum of three hours a day. After the first couple of weeks we just never shut the crate door, even when we were not home.



      1. Puppy classes when old enough


      YES. We didn't though. They were full, then I was too busy. WE didn't get into a class till he was 5 months old.

      Restricting access to certain parts of the house at first

      Sort of. We allowed no unsupervised access anywhere other than the gated kitchen but made a point of spending time in each room.



      1. Vet appointment within first week of getting him


      REad your health guarantee. It's often stipulated that you must go within days, not a week. Make sure you get copies of his health records and what the breeder's VEt has done. You should get a worming and booster shot schedule too.



      1. Consistency with commands


      Yes, and not just you, the whole family.




      1. Bring a few blankets when we pick him up to rub on his mom and siblings


      We didn't. It might be reassuring to some puppies.




      1. Using a bell for potty training


      Up to you. No way I'm teaching my dog to ring a bell when he wants out and then having to listen to it whenever he gets the urge to pee or sniff or roll in the snow. Lots of people do like a bell though. Remember, it's YOUR job to get puppy out in time to potty. You can't rely on puppy telling you, she won't have the control at first.

      Thanks so much for your help! Any additional tips are welcome!!!
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