Hey all! We'll I'm going to be a new lab owner on October 13th. It will actually be my first ever dog, even though I've been around my uncles 2 labs for 9-10 years now while duck hunting. The pup is a chocolate and will be 6 weeks old when I pick him up.
I live in a one bed room apartment while I'm finishing up college (finish in December).I've been doing alot of reading on potty / crate training and I've come across alot of conflicting view points on crate training. I'm going to start crate / potty training from day one. Its very nice being able to let out my uncles lab and tell her "go pee" and she goes and does her business. I'm going to get a exercise pen and keep him in that while I'm in classes (max I'm gone is about 3 hours).
Now my question is, at night I know he'll have to go to the bathroom so I'll set some alarms and take him out. I know he should sleep in his crate, but I've seen people say to get him in his crate and shut the door. Then people say that I should put the crate in the exercise pen area and leave the door open because he's too young to be in the crate with the door shut and this will stress him out and make him not like his crate.
What should I do? Put him in and shut the door? Or put the crate in the pen and leave the door open?
I'm going to get the plastic type crate, so that I can use it in the back of the truck. It just has a little more diversity than the "cage" type crates.
Thank you for any help you can give!
Is there any possibility that you can wait 1 or ideally 2 more weeks before picking up your pup? He should really be with his litter-mates until at least 7 and ideally 8 weeks old.
I don't think I will be able too. I think all but one of his other litter-mates will be gone by then too anyways. I know its a little early, but I'm one of the later people to get one out of the breeding.
It's worked well for us to have the crate by our bed. You can hear the puppy get restless so you can get them outside and once back inside, it has always worked well for us to put our fingers or hand in the crate to help settle the puppy back down. I'm in favor of crate training but forced isolation of a young puppy just seems cruel. Good Luck.
Sophie has been with me and my husband from day one. The first few nights my husband slept in the floor beside her. After that, she has slept with us. She has never had an accident while in our bed. We used to take her out during the night. It wasn't long till she slept right through. Lots of people crate train and it works well for them. We are fortunate to be retired, so we don't have to manage around a work schedule. I wish you could have left the puppy till it was 8 weeks. But it is what it is. Remember, your pup won't have had that 2 weeks to learn puppy behavior from siblings, so expect alot of biting with those little needle teeth! We started putting our hand on Sophie's muzzle and issuing the Don't Bite command from day one. She finally quit at about 3 months. Those teeth really hurt! Find out what food the breeder was feeding, so you can continue and have less chance of gastric upset. Good luck, and we'll watch for pictures!
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye
I would actually crate train the dog. the ex-pen is nice and dandy for the first few weeks but it won't be long before he is big enough to get out (unless you have a 6ft ex-pen braced to the floor or wall - and even then).
The goal of the crate (as opposed to the ex-pen) during the day is to avoid letting the puppy have room to pee and then sleep far from it. With a crate it is recommended (when house training) to leave just enough room for the puppy to get up and turn around. but obviously this means letting the puppy out often (i.e. you may need to ask someone to go to your place and let him out if you are gone long). with the ex pen the house training will take longer.
They can hold it in, when sleeping - and hour per month of age. So 2-4 hours at 6 weeks. When they are awake you go outside pretty often (sometimes 20 minutes after you just got back in, but likely every hour or so for awhile). This varies by puppy of course.
I would use the ex-pen for when you are home and need to shower or something but otherwise use the crate with the door closed at any time you leave the house.
I would honestly recommend you hold off on this litter but I realize this is useless to say - anyone that lets the puppies go that young is not doing things properly and you are going to have a heck of a time.
Be VERY careful where you bring the puppy - when you bring him home he will be VERY susceptible to catching deadly diseases. Find a place that very few dogs go to to bring him potty and only bring him there. no dog park, no pet stores and keep him in your hands when you go to the vet's. Look for a puppy kindergarden as a place to socialize and train him until he has at least two sets of shots. (you can start puppy Kindergarden pretty early)
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Please realize that you will have a much, much more mouthy puppy due to leaving the litter this young. Please read up (plenty of info on this board - so search) on how to deal with that now.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Coming from someone who got a pup at 6 weeks, I'd run, NOT walk away from this breeder. You're going to have a myriad of issues with taking a pup from it's littermates at 6 weeks. Prolonged mouthiness, and extreme bonding with you, which can lead to seperation anxiety. What kind of clearances and such does the pup's parents have? If you're supporting a byb, I'd really reconsider. And you need to crate train from the get go, and forgo the xpen. It will just prolong potty training. For the first week you will need to set alarms because he's going to be so young, but hopefully by 7 weeks he'll be sleeping through the night.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
My first suggestion is to find another breeder. Not trying to be harsh, but if they're letting puppies leave at 6wks, they've probably cut other corners too. What do they DO with the parents (I'm assuming they have both)? Have you seen copies of OFA reports for hips and elbows (and verified them on the site? Copy of recent CERF? These are the MINIMUM clearances. Your a student, so finances are probably a bit tight, don't throw your money away on a byb pup.
Where are you located? I'm sure we can help you find a responsible breeder.