I have a few questions about my puppy. Bailey is the first dog I've ever had, and I am raising her alone. I search the internet but keep finding different answers.
First...when do I switch to adult food?
Second...at about what age can I uncrate her? She is 9 months old and she has not destroyed anything since I've had her, except she ate one flip flop and ate a small portion of the molding, but I told her no once and gave her something else to chew on and have not had a problem since. This also happened when she was about 4 months old. She sleeps in my room at night next to my bed. I guess I am afraid of what she would do while I am at work if she were uncrated.
Third...do you let your dog on the couch? This has been a new one for Bailey (I guess b/c she is big enough), but she jumps up on the couch and then will lay half on the couch half off the couch and has to be touching me. It's kinda cute I just am not sure if I should correct that or if it's ok to do.
Still working on resizing my pics of Bailey.
Thanks for your help!!!
1 - Dylan was on puppy food until about 12 months old
2 - Trial and error ! Some dogs are good to go at 6 months and some don't seem to get the "idea" until 6 years + !
3 - A matter of choice ! I love my dogs too much and they have taken over the settee but then they only have to fight with the cats for a seat as it's just me and the animals.
It's all common sense really and you've done the right thing already by asking.
Easy one first. The coach. Do you want to let her on the couch, or do you not want her on the couch? If it okay or desired by you, then go for it. If not, then NO! DOWN!, Don't let her get on the couch for any reason. I personally believe it is all or none. I happen to favor all.
Some never have their pups on puppy feed. Some switch around 9-12 months. Lots of strong opinons on this subject. HK switched at 9 months.
Uncrating? Probably the hardest question you posed. Depends on you and your dog. Sounds like you would like to let her free when you are out. Make your place safe for her to be loose. i.e. no open bag of chips on the kitchen table or counter. no book you are reading left on the sofa, nothing dangerous to the dog. Give her tests, maybe an hour a few times, then a couple hours, then half days, then full days!!!! You might have to retreat for a few months and try again. Some dogs are fine immediately Some dogs are crated for life. Labby has 6 dogs in her house. At least one of them is crated still and she is not one of the younger ones. Her head is just wired for mischief.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Thanks for the replies! I really don't mind her on the couch. I like having her head on my lap as I watch TV or read. She is so calm and lovable when she is laying next to me. I was told by a friend to never let a dog on the couch.
As for crating, she really is a good dog. I get told all the time how well behaved she is and how well she walks on a leash and listens to me. I feel like a proud parent...haha. I guess all that money I paid for training paid off!!
I was thinking maybe getting a gate and only allowing her in the kitchen. I don't keep food out, so that would not be a problem. The only things she could destroy would be the kitchen table and the cabinets. The kitchen is large and her crate is in the corner so I can keep the crate open and she can lay in there.
I can't remember when we switched to adult food, but it sounds like you got a couple good answers already on that one.
We uncrated our two at about 6 months old. They are now 6 and 7 years old. The 7 year old (Sam) has always tried to be very good and has never destroyed anything since he was a few months old. The 6 year old (Bodie) doesn't care if he's good or bad and still destroys things (he prefers books or anything paper). We just don't leave anything out that would be dangerous to them. If Bodie does get a book, I don't get mad at him because I figure it was my fault for leaving it out when I know how he is. They sleep on dog beds beside our bed, and usually jump up in bed with us at around 3 or 4 am (when we're too tired to shoo them off).
As for the couch, we let them up on the couch with us. I like to cuddle with them. The only drawback is getting the dog hair off when we have company. One good solution to that is putting a little blanket on the section she lays on the most.
It sounds like you have a really good girl. Post some pictures when you figure it out.
Brenda, Sam & Bodie
It sounds like you are doing a great job with her so far The couch thing is totally a personal preference. I have heard a theory that, with a dominant dog, they should not be allowed up because it "elevates" them to your status in their minds. Maybe that's where your friend was coming from when she said never to let a dog up. At any rate, it doesn't sound like you have this problem at all, so if you like her up there with you, by all means do!
IF you're feeding a Large Breed Puppy food the recommendations are to switch to adult at about 12 months age but the Calcium & Phosphorus levels in the LBP foods are most important the younger the puppy is and less important the older the pup is -- so, anytime between now and 15 months.First...when do I switch to adult food?How does she behave weekends when you're home and she's out of the crate? -- that should tell you something. Also, beginning with puppy-gating her to the kitchen might be a good beginning. Re: her sleeping -- she doesn't try to hop up on the bed and sleep next to you? Remarkable -- unless you have her in a crate. Most dogs (and cats) like to sleep next to each other and their owners. I had a large blue denim (blue jeans type) bed spread made to absorb the Lab fur oil, shedding, etc., and that works fine for us.Second...at about what age can I uncrate her? She is 9 months old and she has not destroyed anything since I've had her, except she ate one flip flop and ate a small portion of the molding, but I told her no once and gave her something else to chew on and have not had a problem since. This also happened when she was about 4 months old. She sleeps in my room at night next to my bed. I guess I am afraid of what she would do while I am at work if she were uncrated.
Regarding these fears, one of the most important things to get a peaceful Lab is to give an adequate amount of vigorous daily exercise (swimming retrieves, offleash retrieves, about 5 minutes/each month of age up to 60 minutes): "A tired Lab is a good Lab" When they've been sufficiently exercised and you're away, they sleep. Otherwise, they get bored and may get destructive.If you're okay with Bailey being on the couch, Hey!, toss a sheet or blanket over it and let her up there whether you're there or not.do you let your dog on the couch? This has been a new one for Bailey (I guess b/c she is big enough), but she jumps up on the couch and then will lay half on the couch half off the couch and has to be touching me. It's kinda cute I just am not sure if I should correct that or if it's ok to do.
Where my view may be a little different is that, in my experience, my Labs have moved to occupy my place when I leave: my driver's seat when I leave the car to go in a store or the typical place I sit when I leave the house. It's as if I'm in command and they're the junior officer next in line and so they take over that position.
So, even if you decided to not let Bailey on the couch, when you DO give her freer rein when you're gone, it's very likely she'd hop on the couch (if that's a usual place for you) when you're absent. So the sheet or blanket over the couch at all times (except when company comes) could be a wise idea.
Sounds like you've got a great companion in Bailey.
Two books might be helpful to you: Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" is a great primer on dog training and gives many protocols; about $12 from Amazon. Another is Patricia McDonald's "The Other End of the Leash."
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Thanks for your advice. Since I don't mind her on the couch, I guess it's ok!
I am going to look into gates for my kitchen (i have a wide opening so I am going to have to order online) and leave her in the kitchen. I'll definitely start will small amounts of time and work up. I'll see how she does.
She is a really good girl when I home on weekends and really never tried to get into anything she isn't supposed to. I was afraid to get a Christmas tree this year with her, but I did and she doesn't bother it at all!!