Adopted a female lab puppy(or mix) (9 weeks old) from pound this week for my 11 year old daughter ( 5 that were found in a box at a local dump....note the whitened toe nails from standing in urine). Have always been a beagle owner and have never owned a lab. I never really tried to train a beagle.....just enjoyed them. However, the ONE thing that I did not like about every beagle that I ever owned was the total lack of recall!! My number one goal with new puppy is to work on recall.....no matter what the distraction. So you experts if you could put in order your top three things to work on in the first year of a labs life what would be your ranking for the training schedule. I think we have the potty training down.....only been two days but so far Molly goes to door and stands I take her out, she does her business, I praise, and we are ready to come in. I am crate training at night and have only had to get up once to take her out.....and then back in crate. I have a big fenced in back yard that she gets to play in every afternoon with my daughter. Molly Brown is home alone during the day and I agonized over this.....keep in crate or yard. What I did was put in a small fenced in area inside permanent fenced area that is about 10 x 10 with lots of chew toys and water. Right now the weather is not an issue (sunny and 70s). But once we get cold again I know I am going to have to find an alternate place. I also hear mention of puppy kindergarten.....but I don't think we have anything like that around here. I do plan on having play dates with a couple of her siblings who some friends adopted. ALSO....not sure I want your answers/reasons on this question......but why would someone put a box of chocolate labs in a box at the dump? I am sure that they could have "sold" on craigslist for a few dollars at least??
Jusy a suggestion, I wouldn't leave chew toys in the fenced in area when your not home to supervise. My 1 year old lab is at the vets as we speak because she may have swallowed something. She is very lethargic and doesn't want to play. Labs are famous for chewing things. You don't want to end up at the vets if they have to perform surgery to remove the object. I agree with the recall as a number one priority... Good luck
I hope you got the dog for YOU as well. A puppy is not something an 11 year old can "take care of" themselves no matter how much they participate in the care of the dog.
a yard is NOT a safe place for a puppy. not one bit. Keep the puppy in the crate. If you are gone more than 5 hours get a friend, neighbour or dog walker to come and let ht puppy out mid-day (unless you can come home at lunch or stagger your work hours so it's not more than 5 hours alone).
dogs are a dime a dozen on kijiji and craigs list. so no guarantee they would have foun them homes quickly at all and they are a lot of work at that age, much easier to "just dump"
Recall is all about training. NEVER call the dog to you for "bad things" (nail cutting, baths) and never EVER punish a dog when they get to you no matter what (it makes you a negative association). Teach the word for recall and during training DO NO USE IT unless you know the dog will come (as in, you have it on a long line or the distractions are low and you know the dog will come)
My advice would be to get a crate as well. There are many dangers even in a double fenced yard…puppies dig themselves out of places we think they are safely contained - they dig out of boredom. Stray dogs can jump even 6 foot fences when they really want to get inside them…ask people who thought their in heat female was safe in a fenced in yard! An 8 week old puppy is a tasty looking morsel to some of the birds of prey…like owls and contrary to popular belief they DO sometimes hunt during the daylight hours. And unless you are locking your gate, someone could enter it and steal your puppy…years ago we had a shepherd who stayed outside while we were at work who somehow was getting out every day….on a sick day, I realized it was the child across the street who was coming in the yard to play with him after school each day and then leaving the gate unlatched afterwards. We not only bought a lock for the gate, we started leaving him inside while we were at work - he slept most of the day anyway!
As for training, the basics are of course the most important and the easiest to train…like sit and down. Adding stay is a bit more challenging. I'd also recommend not letting her walk through doorways in front of you….when you let her outside, you step out first and then give permission for her to come through the door - that will save you getting caught by a toenail as your grown up dog rushes to get out the door as soon as it is opened.
Long stays and recall are the hardest to train and require a lot of consistency to achieve perfection.
Work on commands slowly. Don't move to the next one too quickly; it's tempting…I fight that temptation all the time with my two puppies at the moment…I stopped myself today from working on Dreama leaving a kibble on her paw until told she can eat it….because we are still perfecting "down". and "sit" and short "stays".
Our Yellow Baby Girl "Dream A Little Dream" born December 16 2014
Our Chocolate Girl "Kona of the Storm" born August 8 2014
Our Black Boy "Angus Demetrius" born April 26 2013
Our Yellow Girl "Calliope" born January 6, 2006
Our TriPawd "King" - Shelter Rescue born late fall 2004
Come, sit, stay, watch me and heel; these are really important if you want a well mannered and enjoyable lab. Also, proper socialization is a must! Labs are a very unique breed. They are energetic and need lots of exercise and activity to keep them "occupied", especially when they are puppies. They are super smart and usually train easily, but they can be very stubborn as well. Every personality is different, but Molly needs to understand her place in the family/pack to feel safe and be a happy dog. Check to see if you have a local obedience club, because they usually offer basic and advanced training classes. If there is no obedience training in your area, Youtube has plenty of videos that offer training techniques. Labs are fantastic dog; you're going to love her! Just be sure that you read up on what to expect from the breed in general, otherwise you may encounter some frustrations.
your daughter will be a good teacher I feel for Molly..when I was her age I had a german shepard and she ran beside my bicycle and we went to the store together and she sat by my bike til I came out and watched people but did not interact with them..in my old age I still have fond memories of Heidi..and your daughter is making those memories now.
I am working on pottey training..with my 16 week old lab marley..she is also doing well if she stays out of the water bowl..and does not try to drink all the water in it.
for me what is important to learn at this time is eye contact and to teach marley to listen. marley has learned to sit and stays calm when I exhibit patience..I truly believe Labs teach us patience..
you are doing all the right things..we live we learn..and marley makes me smile..and it doesn't get better than to enjoy my dogs.
Molly is grateful to you for giving her a good home..I just know it.