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    1. #1
      Puppy
      roadrnnr's Avatar
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      Exclamation First Lab coming in Dec!

      Hi everyone,

      My wife and I will be getting our first Lab in about 6 weeks. She is beautiful little Chocolate.

      Have many ? I am sure I will get answered here.

      First one is about feeding. I am going to treat train her and was wondering how I should divide up her meal time so I can work with her with some treats during the day and not get her overweight?

      Looking forward to learning alot about labs here!

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      Meeps83's Avatar
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      We fed 3x daily until Maverick was around 6 months old. Feeding is a really inexact science. If puppy looks fat back off a little, if puppy looks thin add a little more. Treats do add calories, but if you follow those general rules you should be ok.

      Welcome to the board!

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      welcome and congrats.

      yes if you want to take a portion of their meal aside for the training (you may want to add some higher valu treats in there as well though most rewards can be kibble/dog food). And as mentionned above a baby should be eating 3x a day.

      I HIGHLY recommend puppy classes with a good training. They will help socialize the puppy safely in a structure environments while she isn't fully vaccinated and help wtih many puppy issues.

      Remember when using treats you don't want to lure (you may lure initially when showing them the behaviour but you want to stop lure ASAP) and you don't want to use treats as a crutch. keep them out of sight (in a pocket, treat pouch). Once the dog is doing the behaviour you want to quickly move to a random reward pattern (so not each time but keep random rewards for awhile with a puppy). you can also use real life reward (like if they sit they get to go play, or sit and release to eat - obviously baby steps to show the puppy teh behaviour first!).

      If you are not familiar with crate training I highly recommend reading up on it (and how to get a dog used to a crate, love their crate) now.
      Last edited by Tanya; 10-28-2015 at 10:29 AM.

    4. #4
      House Broken
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      Welcome and congrats! I've currently got a 10 week old black female and you sure are in for a treat!

    5. #5
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      6 weeks you have to wait till you get her? You poor things, how will you stand it, the wait? Is that your puppy in your avatar? How old will she be when you get her? Just curious. Welcome to the board.

    6. #6
      Senior Dog
      Abulafia's Avatar
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      Welcome! I have a 5 month old female black lab.

      In re feeding, since I assume you are getting your girl from a breeder, I'd ask the breeder what they recommend in re the feeding of their line. They should also tell you what food she's been weaned on, and what you should use for her first year.

      But in general, yes, you start with 3x a day—and, as others have said, you pull out a portion of that for treats used w/ training.

      On our breeder's recommendation (we were sent home with copious information), we switched our girl to feeding 2x a day when she was about 10 or 11 weeks old. Shortly thereafter, we upped her food quantity to where it is now (which is more than most Lab pups need, but each dog is different, which is why you should go w/ your breeder's rec.).

      I could not recommend puppy classes more strongly. Our breeder's contract specified that we had to put her in classes (obviously we could have ignored that, but only to our peril!), and after three separate "puppy kindergarten" classes (on very introductory; two a bit more advanced) she has just started her more grown up obedience class. She is also in classes for Therapy Dog certification. When I told dog-owning friends that I'd be putting her in classes straight off, I got more than a few "wow, you sure are uptight, let her be a dog!" looks, which I promptly ignored. Now, I have a ridiculously well-behaved 5 month old who knows that when the collar is on, it's "work time." She doesn't bite. Doesn't jump (well, unless she is super excited to see me, and jumps up on the baby gate). Waits politely as I prepare her food and put it down, and she doesn't eat until I say "Ok!" Walks well on a leash (almost always... she is still a puppy!). She has been welcomed in shops, in my husband's clients' homes, in cafes. I bring her to receptions at work. She is welcome nearly everywhere because she is becoming a beautifully trained dog. Of course, adolescence is about to start... but I feel we have a pretty good foundation of training. Too often, I think, people may wait until a dog becomes sort of out of control—in adolescence—before realizing that the dog is is sore need of training. Also, much training isn't just about the dog—it's about the person. I helped my dad train our dogs as a child, so I had a general comfort with it, but I have learned a great deal more in training our pup.

      Also, though I think all dogs must have training—almost as a right (just as all kids have a right to have schooling)—I think that with Labs, it is absolutely crucial. They are intelligent working dogs who like to have a job—and who, as people-pleasers, desperately want to know what you want from them.

      Finally, it is wonderful for bonding. My pup loves training, as it's our special "work time" together. It helps build communication and trust (I mean it).

      And crate training: absolutely. I thought it sounded barbaric (we didn't crate our dogs growing up... then again, my hunter grandfather did), but ours ran straight into her crate the first evening, and has done so ever since. Happily crates in the car. Stays in the crate when she's at a job site. She loves it; it's her safe spot. Now I feel that not giving a dog her or his own safe den is a horrible mistake.

    7. #7
      Puppy
      roadrnnr's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      6 weeks you have to wait till you get her? You poor things, how will you stand it, the wait? Is that your puppy in your avatar? How old will she be when you get her? Just curious. Welcome to the board.
      Yes going to be along wait.

      Not our pup in the avatar just found a pic till we bring ours home.

    8. #8
      Puppy
      roadrnnr's Avatar
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      Thanks Everyone.

      Good Info from all

      This will not be our first dog.

      We have had 2 German Shepards before, both died at a young age, (9 and 6 years old) of Cancer. The last one was really hard on my wife. That was about 4 years ago and it was not until now where she was ready for another dog.

      I always loved the Labs especially the chocolates.

      My friend does alot of Lab fostering and we were thinking of a rescue dog but we wanted to start with a puppy and train it.

      Also we have a cat and want her to start out with a puppy.

      I Have crate trained both my GSD's.

      I am really looking forward to training this pup and working with her.

      We live on 5 Acres in the country so she should have a wonderful life.

      Thanks,
      All

    9. #9
      Moderator
      barry581's Avatar
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      Welcome!!!! Waiting can be sooooo hard!!! Your breeder should send you home with feeding instructions detailing what to feed, how much, and when. They should be the best source of info regarding the care of your new pup for at least the first couple months you have him.

    10. #10
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Oh, you are in for a treat.

      Have you checked around in your area and found where and when classes are available?

      In addition to classes, (not in place of... but in addition to...) there are tons of videos and DVD's and websites. I pretty much only know about the ones that are geared to training a working retriever for hunting and hunt tests/field trials. But I'm sure there are many that focus on starting off on the right foot to build a particularly fine member of the household.

      Best wishes to you and we will want pictures and reports as you go along!

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