Well Im new, but looking for any advice I can get. We just got our new Lab Pup, Maya. She is all of 2 1/2 months old now and quite a hand full. She isn't my first pup, but is my first Lab. That said, its been a while since Ive had to house train a pup. Ive done the reasearch and knew going into it that she would be a handful and that isn't an issue. She is just a baby on wheels after all. That said Im looking for any advice I can get. She is doing ok on number 2 and hasn't been leaving suprises, but she hasn't done so well on the peeing. Sometimes she will get antsy and warn us, other times no warning at all.
Im also trying to start her with the leash, but don't really know where to start.
We have a crate and we are trying to get her used to that too...
I checked the faq at the top and that was helpful. Any books? Anything at all because Id really like to be a good pet owner and have a well behaved adult Lab when we are done..
Leash - Just let her drag it around for a few minutes per day, to get used to it. Work on name recognition and things like playing with her paws and teeth for ease later of nail-clipping and brushing.
'Walks' - at this age they should be short play sessions in your own yard until all shots are done. Keep them fun, but you can start to instill the beginning of things like a reliable recall even in puppyhood.
Potty - Find a spot you want her to use again and again and settle on a word you can use and praise. Maintain a regular schedule. Praise the successes and cleanup the mistakes thoroughly (Nature's Miracle). Stick with the crate; it will be your best friend.
You may already know this, but after waking, playing, eating..take her out to pee. Take her out every 15 min., 1/2 hr., whatever intervals you think.
Here's what I did...out frequently, to the same spot. Use a word...potty, pee, whatever you choose. Say the word over and over while at the spot; she'll make the connection to pee, and to do it there. Then right back inside after peeing...no playing. If you wanna play, take her inside, then go back outside for play time.
Walk around a bit at the spot, trying to keep her walking or moving a bit so she doesn't just sit there. Of course, praising, petting, whoopin' it up when she does pee.....GOOD GIRL....GOOD POTTY!!
A funny, and great, result with housebreaking. We have a huge yard, with a 2-3 acre field beside us. We took ours up to the edge of the yard, by the field, to housebreak him. When he pooped, hub would just throw it into the field with a shovel (it's a neighbor's field, and we made sure to ask him first...he said that was fine with him, no problem). After only the third/fourth day, Tucker started stepping into the field to poop and pee, since that's where the poop was. ;D We don't even have to clean the yard....he always went in the field after that, and still does.
I don't know if you confine her in the house or not. With mine, we confined him to just the kitchen at first...easier to clean up mistakes, and just watch him. I carried him outside and back in for potty. We'd stay in the kitchen with him, to play with him. But after the first week, we let him explore more; he was allowed in the living room and hallway. All doors to the bathroom and bedrooms were closed for a couple more weeks. We just didn't confine him for long....we just watched him like a hawk.
We had the crate set up in the kitchen, with the door open. We'd left an old sweatshirt with the breeder, plus our breeder sent toys (that had been with the litter) home with each puppy....so the smell of mom and littermates were around. We kept the sweatshirt in his crate for probably the first week. We were lucky, I guess....he stepped right into the crate the first day (lured with a tiny treat), and walked in and out of it, laying in it for naps (again with the door kept open). We planned it so he came home on a Friday (I took off work), so we had 3 days home with him to start.
We moved the crate into our bedroom, so I could hear him at night. He whined some the first night, so I'd drop my hand by the crate; it soothed him.
He just naturally took to his crate, and never minded once Monday came and we went to work (he was only crated for 3 hours at a time with my work schedule). Keep the divider small, so there's only room enough to turn around in. Mine had a few accidents in the crate (poop and pee), but I never...never....said anything harsh to him; just cleaned him and everything else up. I don't believe in being harsh with a dog that has an accident while confined to a crate. When we were home, we never crated him; that was just our personal preference.
Patricia McConnell's "Other End Of The Leash" as mentioned before, is a great book. It's the main one I used to learn how to communicate with, understand, 'read' my dog, and train him. I can't remember other titles, but I read lots from the library, too...especially lab-specific books.
The bottom line, I found anyway, was consistency and repetition with everything. Mine just fell right into a routine.
One other piece of advice before this book ends ;D, teach her to sit for everything. Sit at the door before opening the door to go out. Sit before putting her food down for her; sit when someone comes to the door; sit for everything.
And play with her like crazy! She'll poop out after about 15 min., probably, and be asleep for awhile.
More great advice. Ill pick the book up for sure. So far she has free roam the living room and kitchen. We take her outside for bathroom and some short exercise. Shes a bit young to need a lot of exercise.
Ill have to work on the teaching her to sit, but it sure seems like she has an awfully short attention span so Im being paitient.