My lab has just passed the 11 week mark and is doing pretty good.
I introduced him to the crate the moment he got home and he has no issues with being scared of it and such as I leave him in there to sleep at night. I feed him in there as well and provide treats and certain chew toys only inside his crate.
I'm fortunate to be able to work from home and perhaps that's where the problem lies. He doesnt have a problem being in his crate once hes sleeping but sometimes getting him to stay in there is a challenge.
Most of the day he naps in the living room or on the balcony as Im working, Im starting to wonder if this is a problem with his crate training. Should I be crating him when he sleeps as well?
The other thing is exercise, how much is to much? I tend to take him for a walk in the morning and evening, about 20 minutes but I read that that may be to long. I play with him throughout the day when hes awake as well. Just curious what other owners think about this. As a new owner to a black lab I've probably over analyzed a lot but read that I should be careful with exercise and climbing stairs with Pups.
I wouldn't worry about him sleeping in other areas of the house as long as your ok with that. He sounds ok with his crate, my lab prefers to sleep out with her crate during the day but I never have an issue getting her in if I need to go out or at night so I doubt it will cause problems. Is your pup fully vaccinated if your taking him for walks? Personally my vet recommended 5 mins per month for the first while until older and better developed, other opinons may vary.
Our black lab sleeps on our bed with us at night - he is 1 year old now. When he gets hot, (he likes it best under the blankets by our feet) he lays down on the floor, and then makes his way back under the covers. I can say that getting him used to the crate immediately is important. Feeding him in the crate is fine. Giving him toys in the crate is fine. 1 key thing that worked for us was during the day we would move his crate and leave it open in rooms we were in. This way he knows he can lay down inside of it or play in it whenever he wants. Every time he would go inside his crate on his own we would praise him, tell him that he is a good boy etc. They associate the crate as a happy good safe place. At night time, we would carry his crate with us into our bedroom where he would sleep beside our bed. This helps keep them calm, vs. being left in another room separated from the pack. Even though our boy sleeps in the bed with us, we still crate him during the day. I give him a toy to carry into his crate with him. I say "go to bed" and he walks into is crate and lays down.
At that age, going for "walks" isn't necessary. In my opinion, playing with him in the yard, tossing something for him to chase around, and goofing around with them is plenty of exercise. In my opinion, people think that there lab puppy has too much energy because it runs, and chases, and picks things up off of the ground, and rolls around etc. etc. etc. because it has too much energy and needs to be walked. Some people may disagree with me, but I believe this is just typical puppy behavior. I could run around and play with my puppy for two hours, he would sleep for ten minutes, and then I could play with him for another 2 hours. I believe the most important thing to pay attention to with a puppy is the food they eat, and how much you feed them. I didn't start walking my boy until he was about 6 months, and even then, a walk wasn't more than 40 minutes.
Enjoy these puppy months! My boy is a year old in a week, and he has completed a number of obedience classes, received awards, certificates, is a member of a Drill team consisting of tricks, obedience, and agility, with 3 practices a week, and shows throughout the summer, and is being trained as a personal aid dog. Time flies!
Some good advice already given.
I have done things differently. I have my Lab sleep in his crate,even for naps.The first week was hard but now he knows when he wants a nap,he goes to his crate.
I have also started teaching him to walk on the leash.He didn't do so well the first few times but now when I grab the leash,I have 2 dogs ready for a walk.I only give him 1 10 minute walk per day if it is not to hot or raining out.
I have kids so they play with him a lot and he does get wound up so bad that he starts biting to hard.He gets over excited playing so I crate him for 10-15 minutes to calm him down and then resume play time.
Mine already sleeps through the night most of the time.He will wake up and want to go outside to potty,gets him a drink of water and his treat and off to bed again. He knows what cabinet the treats are in so he sits there until he gets one. I use Cheerios instead of dog treats.
I have been working on getting him to sit and stay with the Cheerios and he is doing great.He will jump up and I tell him to sit or no treat.
My girlfriend wouldn't let me have another dog for a few years and finally I talked her into getting one and found him on the internet.He was already vetted before I got him.He had his first 5 way shot and kennel cough shot.He has 1 more 5 way shot and rabies shot next month.
Labs are great dogs and very easy to train if you have the time. I forgot how it was having a puppy around since I have had my small ankle bitter for 6 years now. They still don't get along,the older dog wants nothing to do with him and I am hoping that changes soon. I do show the older dog more attention so he doesn't feel left out.He also sleeps in bed with me most of the time.
Jake Black Lab Born 4/22/14