Taking care of a 6 month old yellow lab
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Thread: Taking care of a 6 month old yellow lab

  1. #1
    dreamsignals86 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultTaking care of a 6 month old yellow lab

    We just brought home our yellow lab puppy, Jacoby, yesterday. He's only 6 weeks old. I know that it's common practice to wait 8 or 9 weeks, but I live in Thailand and none of the breeders would do it this way.

    So, instead of dwelling on the fact that he's a bit young, I want to focus on what I can do to keep him happy, healthy, and safe. We live in a big condo with a lot of free space outside for him to explore. Since a large percentage of dogs are treated like wild animals by a lot of locals, we are keeping him away from every dog around as we can't be sure that they've been vaccinated.

    We've bought a crate for him and put up some cardboard in it to make it the right size as we don't want to have to keep buying crates as he grows. He seems to be quite happy. His appetite has been good and we've been feeding him puppy food with some milk and egg (suggested by the breeder who is also a veterinarian). We've been socializing him by having friends visit and have done some very basic training (substituting him chewing on blankets for toys and playing the 'come here' and 'sit' games, and spending small amounts of time in his crate with toys). I don't feel very comfortable leaving him home for long periods of time yet (and actually haven't left him alone yet). We've also been cleaning his butt with a moist warm towel every night to simulate his mom licking it (one of the few suggestions I got online so far).

    He sleeps like crazy, except at night, when I wake up to him playing.

    I know I'm probably freaking out a bit as the last two labs I've owned back in the States were brought home at 8 weeks and this would have been my preference if it was possible. Looking up taking care of a 6 month lab hasn't yielded many results online as most people only focus on why you shouldn't do it, which is probably adding to the anxiety. I do know that I should take it with a grain of salt. Try looking up any ailment online and you're going to think that the common cold will kill you from how people exaggerate certain things. That's not very helpful to me as the reality of the situation is that he is 6 weeks old. Instead, I want to know what I CAN do for Jacoby and how to take care of a 6 week old. My girlfriend and I are very committed and our work schedules are such that at least one of us can almost always be around him, at least for the next 2 weeks.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    yeah - I would not feed the puppy milk and eggs at all. at that age they are weaned and should just get the kibble - which is balance to cover all their nutritional needs. extra calcium is NOT good for a puppy - adding milk to an already balanced food can lead to the puppy taking in too much calcium.

    you absolutely need to start leaving him alone now. the longer you wait the more you run a chance of him freaking out and developing separation anxiety. Buy a crate (if you can find one) and get him used to the crate. once he is happy in there, make a point to have everyone leave the house for a short period at first (20-30 minutes) then keep doing this and increasing time away. he needs to slowly learn to be ok alone, you need to help him learn this. It is very important. Do not wait until you have no choice and need to leave him for 3-4 hours on the first time.

    otherwise things are the same as at 8 weeks. what you loose out on by taking the dog home early is socialization within the litter, they teach each other doggy-manners and what hurts by chewing on each other. It is important but it's not like you have a 3 week old puppy with special needs.

    Your job because he came to you early is to socialize him to people AND other dogs. Clearly I wouldn't want him meeting any stray dog, but if you have friends wtih dogs have them over or go to their place. And have lots of DIFFERENT people over for him to meet.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

  4. #3
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    oh and a 6 week old can poop on their own - I have NEVER heard of having to help a 6 week old puppy do their business.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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  6. #4
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I would get him in a safe puppy k class ASAP if they are available in your area. Also if you have a friend or family member with a bitch, who is fully vaccinated, I would start play dates ASAP. She will be very helpful in teaching your pup bite inhibitions and some of the other manners he missed being with mom and siblings. Same with play dates with KNOWN fully vaccinated dogs of different ages. This should be somewhat helpful with correcting bad habits such as excessive mouthyness and is so very important for puppy socialization. Good luck with your new baby.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  7. #5
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Ditto with the milk and eggs, completely unnecessary and can do more harm than good, by far. Feed a good quality kibble and do not add anything else at this age. Training treats, I would stick with small pieces of good cheese, green beans, baby carrots a small portion of his daily kibble, and home made dehydrated chicken or liver pieces. Stay far away from manufactured treats, especially those made in China.
    You can check "dog food advisor" for the many recent food and treat recalls and sign up for free e-mail alerts. As for their dog food rating system, I would ignore this as it is the opinion of one person and not exactly scientific. Good luck with your sweet baby!
    Last edited by tammyhuffman; 04-20-2013 at 11:11 AM. Reason: spelling
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  8. #6
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Agree with the above advice and want to reiterate that at 6 weeks the mother dog would certainly not be licking the puppy's bottom to stimulate a poop. LOL! At 6 weeks mom is usually trying to give the little sharks a wide berth.

    What your puppy is missing out on is the interaction with the littermates - who are critical in teaching bite inhibition. If you can get the puppy regularly around other puppies (puppy kindergarten) or around a safe, vaccinated adult bitch, he will learn a lot of lessons about how to be a dog.

    Please don't add more calcium to your puppies diet. While I'm sure your vet is fine with medical things, he is wrong, wrong, wrong on this diet advice. You risk excessive rapid growth with too much calcium. If growing fast seems like a good thing, consider that you can wind up with growing pains (pano) and other joint issues. If you are feeding a properly formulated puppy food it is designed to be complete. No additions necessary.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  9. #7
    dreamsignals86 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I've got pedigree puppy food and a few other snacks, but maybe the carrots and doing the chicken livers will be easier as all the snacks are written in Thai so I don't necessarily know what I'm buying and even though I speak the language, getting some of those words translated won't mean very much to me on the 'ingredients part'.

    I'll look into a puppy class as well. He seems to like other dogs and has been very gentle. Everyone in our condo complex loves him and comes to visit all the time.

    Thanks for the advice!

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