Hello, I'm new to this forum as we will soon have our new chocolate lab puppy we named Ryker. It will be another month or so until he can come home with us (and we are so excited). I'm sure I will have lots of questions once we get him home, but for now I have a question about crate training. We have prepared a little side room (like an enclosed porch with slate floors) just for him. It opens to our living room so I closed it off with a swinging baby gate. Inside his room is a large crate, his food and water dishes and chew toys. I was thinking this little room would be perfect for days when we are at work and just leave his crate door open so he can lay inside when he wants or step out and play with his toys. However, I wonder if he would be more inclined to have accidents if I leave the crate door open vs locking him in his crate. Any thoughts on this? Also, where do you get those crate dividers I keep hearing about? I couldn't find them at my local pet store. Thank you!
crate train. there is a long list of reasons to crate train rather htan use a room.
How long will he be crated during the day? A puppy can only hold their bladder for 3-4 hours at most, so if you are gone longer than that you will ideally need to have someone come in and let him out to potty. if you cannot then you will need an expen or really really dog proof the room but it will delay house training.
crate dividers should be sold with a crate, so get a crate that comes with it. during training hte crate should be only big enough to get up and turn around, but to do this you need to get the puppy outside often enough to potty. the theory is dogs will not want to potty where they sleep. once they are house trained they are good to have the full crate (get a big one if the dog is going to be spending hours there)
crate training is important not only for house training but to keep them safe. even in a room there is tons they can do to get in trouble.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
the crate dividers usually come with the crate.
how long will the pup be left alone?
he can get himself into trouble, even tho the room is little, with slate floors. they've been known to eat walls, electric wires....
i'm assuming, he's coming home at about 8 weeks and keeping him in the crate for too many hours straight , wont stop him from eliminating in it. so, is there someone that can come in and take him out, play a bit, before crating again?
oh yeah, didnt mean to be rude, but hi and welcome!
Welcome! What they said ^^!
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.
Thanks for the quick replies. He will be 8 wks when we get him home and luckily my 15 yr old son will be home to really work with him before he has to go back to school. I work part-time so he will be alone for about 6-7 hrs a day. My parents live next door so they can come let him out while I'm at work.
We already bought a large crate (used) and it didn't come with a divider. Maybe I can rig something like a piece of wood or plexiglass. Okay...crate at night and while we're gone. Thanks again. We have a lot to learn. It's been a long time since we had a puppy. :-)
I agree with everyone else; definitely crate train him. Labs are piranha puppies (and velcro adults ; ); they will chew and eat just about anything which causes health issues obviously not to mention the damage to your home. A wooden child gate is a really tempting treat for a lab puppy! You might come home one day to see he has chewed his way through not just it but aa few pieces of your furniture as well.
We just brought home our own little 8 week old black lab last thursday; at this age they sleep a lot so if you're feeling bad about him being in a crate for that long, don't really worry about that in the early days. Your biggest concern should be to make him feel safe and at home in the crate. Kongs work wonders for making them like to be in the crate as does feeding them their "real" meals. Even as they grow up, they will spend most of the time that you are away sleeping up and gathering up their energy for when you get home!
I know how excited you are to get him home...we just waited 8 weeks for our little boy...but it will pass quickly! And then you'll wonder how you ever got by without him!
Thank you. Yes, I think crate training is the way to go. May I ask if you had any problems putting him in the crate? Did he fight it at first? Did you have to convince him with treats or toys to go inside? From what I read on crate training, you should start very slow and for brief periods. Did you find this true in your case?
I too have heard that putting a Kong inside with them is a good idea. Anything to keep them from getting bored. I also think that playing with him/exercising him before going to bed might help wear him out.
We are very excited (and a little nervous too). I feel like a new mother counting down the days until my "due date". :-)
I would agree with crate training for sure. When I was growing up and we had cocker spaniel puppies, we didn't crate train, and they were potty trained fairly easily.
However, when we got our lab puppy it was very apparent that crate training was a necessity. When I was growing up there was literally always someone to keep an eye on the puppy and plus our cockers didn't seem to have nearly the energy Jaxx did. It also was apparent that when our eyes left him for a minute he was going to get into things. Our puppy proof room, wasn't as puppy proof as we thought. We didn't have any mishaps because I wanted to observe him in our 'puppy proof' room and that's when I realized that anything is fair game.
I think I'll reserve "his room" for times when we have company or just need a little break from him being under foot. I won't leave him alone in there unless he's locked in his crate. There is literally nothing in there but 4 walls, his crate and toys and the baby gate is metal and swings open in either direction. It's about as puppy proof as I think I can make it.
Thanks for everyone's input so far. You've been very helpful.
but there are four walls... thats a lot of material to chew through - lol and dont think they wont if they get bored enough !