I am new to this site. I am actually a newer Lab mommy as well. My boyfriend and I got a 3 year old, female black lab. Her name is Bella and she thinks she is a lap dog! I never thought that I would have a big dog but here I am with a Lab. she is adorable and has the best personality.
06-28-2013, 05:03 PM
Welcome to you and your pretty girl Bella!
06-28-2013, 05:37 PM
Hi. I'm new to site as well. We have a 10 week old black lab pup, Bear. He's a sweet boy but keeping me very busy. I have 3 kids, 1 a 2 1/2 year old boy. Yes, I have my hands full. I've had dogs in the past, our oldest dog a german shepherd mix passed away last June. So, it's been a while since I've had a pup in the house. I've been a bit anxious about housetraining, crate training, keeping him from biting the kids and their toys. I'm trying very hard to be consistent in Bear's training, but there are days that it all goes out the door. I blame myself for any mistakes he makes. He's trying.
My failure right now is crate training. I never used a crate with my older dogs. We used baby gates at the time and it seemed to work just fine. Our yard was also fenced in. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so I'm here to let him out during the day and play with him. My crate issues are at night. The first night home, he howled and cried, and I made the mistake of letting him out because I didn't want him to wake the kids. I've created a problem. I've tried leaving him in for short periods during the day. It works for a bit, but once he sees me, he wants out. Another mistake I've made is that during the day instead of putting him in the crate to nap, I allow him to nap on the kitchen floor or his favorite spot, our small bath off the kitchen. We actually have his crate set up just outside the bathroom, door open. So he can go in/out. At night, we've put him in the crate only after he falls asleep. (something we used to do with our kids. They'd fall asleep on us and we'd carry them to their crib) Bear will sleep about 2 hours, and cry to go out. I usually let him out at that time, around midnight or 1am, he'll do his business and back inside. Next problem, he wants to play. I've tried to put him back with a treat, but he starts howling and whining, and like I said, I don't want him to wake the family. As you can see, I've acknowledged that I'm the problem, not him.
Here's what I've been doing the last few nights, which seems to be working. And since school is out, I'm no longer concerned about waking my school-age kids in the middle of the night. So at about 10pm, I take him out to do his thing. We finish, come inside, "good boy", etc. But instead of the crate, we've started using the baby gate, just outside the entrance to the mudroom area where crate and small bathroom are. So he can sleep on the cool tile of the bathroom or in his crate. Obviously he chooses the bathroom. He whines a bit at the gate. I walk away, but stay in the next room so he can see me. Eventually he settles down in the bathroom, door open. He'll sleep 2-3 hours this way before he needs to potty again. We go thru the same routine after he goes out and he gets himself settled back in again. This seems to be working for me. However, he's not getting used to the crate. He'll eat his breakfast, lunch and dinner in crate, door closed. And I have left him in crate for short trips to run errands. He's usually crying and barking when I leave, and I can hear him when I return. Not sure if he's carrying on the entire time. I know I have to keep trying the crate during the day and at night, but he's gotten used to sleeping in the bathroom.