I'm about to be the proud new owner of a chocolate lab and I'm trying to get things ready for her to come home. I read in another thread something about an unfortunate incident involving someones pup and a rope toy. I've bought a few toys so far but intend to get some more and I'm wondering, with the labs chewing tendencies are there any toys I should steer clear of? I like rope toys because the dogs I've played with that have them seem to love them and they seem to hold up well but I'm worried about threads getting ingested and causing issues. Is it ok to have them as long as the dog isn't left alone with them? Are there any "crate-safe" toys for the dog to play with when/if she ever is alone for short periods of time? I don't intend for her to be alone for more than an hour at a time TOPS but I'm concerned that I don't really know whats good and whats bad when it comes to toys.
Also on a side note, my dad was telling me that he read somewhere that having a blanket/toy or something that was left with the mother (and has her scent) is good to have for the first few days/weeks when you bring a puppy home to make her feel more secure. Anyone have any experience with this? I could take a toy/blanket this weekend when I go visit and give her a week to get it all smelly if I need to but I wasn't sure if this would be a good idea or not.
Any suggestions about either topic would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
We left a big stuffed dog and a small little blanket with the breeder and took it home with us (in a sealed freezer bag to hold in the smell! Gosh I'm a geek... ) and put it in his crate with him. I think it helped.
Also, nylabones are great, start with the gummier ones but watch to make sure puppy isn't eating them.
Also, the only toys Baloo still has to this day from his puppyhood are his puppy kongs and his orka jack.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
we had a rag from the breeder and a toy like Kate and i think it helped too. David swears it was cause we left Milly with the radio on with the cricket commentary but I beg to differ LOL.
And baby kongs, and baby nylabone's are great crate safe toys. You can stuff the kong with a bit of mushed up pumpkin and freeze it... will keep your little one entertained for hours!
My lab is not a fanatical chewer and she has LOTS of toys, some from her puppyhood and some more recent. We still even have her material puppy kong ... her first toy ever and it's still intact and everything! Even though she could tear it apart she doesn't.. I think she really cherishes that one toy. (Even though that sounds silly)
If you get stuffed toys with squeakers, be prepared for the stuffed toys to be destroyed and the stuffing to filter through your home, but be careful the squeaker doesn't get swallowed. So ensure you are always inspecting the puppy's toys regularly for damage and hazards.
Kongs. Gosh I wish I had known about them before Clancey developed his fetish for wood.
Kongs are awesome! If you've never seen them, they look like this: http://www.petnutritionproducts.com/...s/kong_toy.jpg and they are hollow in the middle.
Plug the little top hole with a little bit of peanut butter, fill with a couple of treats, a little bit of yogurt or unsweetened applesauce, then top off with more peanut butter and throw in the freezer. I used to make a lot of them all at once and throw them in the freezer and Abbey used to get one in the crate every day.
My favorite thing for teething pups is to get some old jeans, cut the legs off, tie them in knots, soak em, then freeze them..they gnaw on them and when they are gross, rewash them and refreeze....
Kongs are great with stuff in the middle frozen too...
I remember when Indy was a pup though...he had so many toys, it was very interesting while poop scooping......there was this time when some googly eyes were staring back at me.....or a barbie leg (I didnt have kids so I have no idea where that one came from)...
Mom to Indy 6/12/98 to 11/16/11 (always in my heart), and Jobe 8-14-2000 to 6/24/2013 (Working TDI) English Labs, and Annie our Golden Retriever (TDI), and Kodiak (who will one day hopefully be a TDI dog if he doesn't kill me first).
Thanks for all the info! Here's what I've gotten so far. I'll have to see whats too big for her when I get her and put those away until later. I'm going to look at maybe getting another kong and a nylabone or two.
Also, I think I will try taking a blanket or stuffed toy to be with the mom for a few days when I go up on Sunday.
Thanks again everyone and feel free to keep the suggestions coming.
I recently went to the store looking for Kongs and they were nothing like the ones pictured above. The ones I saw looked like a ball made of canvas type material and it had long tendrils coming from it. It sort of reminded me of dreadlocks.
With our first lab, we would soak and freeze socks.
I think most labs destroy stuffed toys, but not as little puppies. They just play with them. Our labs began to destroy stuffed toys around 8-9 months old.
But some labs don't destroy them at all. I think you just need to see what your dog likes. Ours love to chew on Nylabones and marrow bones. They also will play with a Cuz and not destroy it. Go figure!
Rope toys get shredded. Squeaky toys get desqueaked.
Just buy your dog a variety of toys and see what develops during the 6 mo.- 1 yr. phase.
Oh yeah....ice cubes have always been a favorite toy for our lab puppies.