Hi everyone. Just got a eight week old yellow lab pup and have been working on the crate training/housebreaking. Both seem to be working well when he actually goes into the crate. My main question is about the eating habits for the puppy. Our breeder gave us food that he had been on for over two weeks and we have set up a schedule of three feedings a day. However on each of these feedings (done in the crate) he eats about half of what we provide. I usually leave it for about 15-20 minutes so he has plenty of time. He'll take a few bites, come out of the kennel and drink a little or take a break then eat a little more. Should he eat it all? Is it just adjusting to this environment?
How much and what kind of play should we be doing with the youngster? I read the 5 min rule and he doesn't seem to active right now. Should we force the issue to ensure he gets tuckered out?
Appreciate the sticky of good advice and I read it to answer many of the questions I would have been asking. I will post a couple new puppy pics when we get around to taking them.
How long have you had him? My pup (11 weeks) usely plays for about 10-15 mins then takes a longgg nap, i give about 20oz of food and sometimes he eats it all then others he doesnt, he only gets feeding 2 times a day.
Sorry I forgot to add that I've had him for three days.
Give him a little more time before you start to worry to much, animals go through stress when they get moved around.
Thanks, but have another question about crate training and if I can't get a joint response on this I may start a new thread to keep the little hair that I have. We've been working well with the crate training during the day but at night the puppy will howl, bark, whine, etc for about thirty minutes. The only way I could stop the most vocal barking was by putting his crate in the garage. Is that bad? I'm laying on the couch just on the other side of the door to listen for potty breaks. I'll call the breeder tomorrow to ask.
Personally I wouldn't put a puppy this young out in a garage. Most Labs are very social and want to be with there people. The first couple of weeks suck. For the first two weeks Oona woke up every three hours. When she was about 12 weeks she was sleeping through the night. If you know your puppy doesn't have to go to the bathroom ignore the cries. If you respond to them he will know this works and it will be that much harder to get him to stop. You might try covering the crate up with a blanket. Put a board or something on top of the crate so the blanket extends away from the sides of the crate otherwise he might chew on the covering.
I brought Rowan home at 7 weeks of age and slept beside her crate for the first three weeks. She only had 'outside' visits for the first few nights as she had diarrhea due to the food switch....... I was beside her... and was lucky that she never whined or howled EVER. I would not be placing the crate out in the garage. If you can I would try to incorporate her crate near you - afterall, this is a new environment for her and she is just a baby.
As for feeding - can't really help you there - I didn't give Rowan any treats when she was that young only her food which she ate in three daily intervals and was gone in less than a couple of minutes.
I got my pup at 6 weeks old (I know bad, bad, bad, but not our choice really) and I started crate training him right away. We put his crate in our bedroom at night and covered it with a blanket. He whined quite a bit the first couple of nights. I read somewhere to talk to them softly, "it's ok" or whatever so that is what I did and he started whining less and less also probably because I didn't let him out unless I knew he had to go potty. As far as the feeding thing goes, I have been trying since day 1 to get my pup on a three time a day feeding schedule with no luck. My pup is like yours and doesn't usually finish all his food or eat any at all when it is feeding time. He does eat, but just not on the schedule I wanted him to. So I have been giving him 2 meals a day instead because he doesn't seem to need a third.
This is just a thought and might not be your puppy's situation- but:
We brought our puppy home a month ago. We flew up to Canada to get her (we live in Ohio)- we had to take 2 flights to get home (we had her in the cabin in a carrier with us). It was a long day, and shge didn't get to eat much because of the air travel. She went right to sleep when we got home, but needless to say was extremely hungry when she woke up the next morning. We put her food and water in the bathroom behind the kitchen and left her to eat. In 5 seconds, she was back in the kitchen, food falling out of her mouth, at our feet because she wanted to be around us. She would only eat when we brought her food bowl into the kitchen with us. In other words, she likes company when she eats, so now she eats in the kitchen. Just a suggestion, but maybe bring your puppy's food closer to where you hang out?
I put food down for 5 minutes and then take it up if there's any left. One of my dogs used to be really picky, and once he learned he had to eat or wait until next feeding time, he learned to eat what he was given. This type of training will prevent your dog from being a very picky eater, or from requiring the food to be placed in a certain location, etc. Don't worry, a dog can go a day without eating if it comes to that, and they will not starve themselves to death... if the dog doesn't eat for more than a day or two there is probably a bigger issue. But I think you will be fine.
With the crate... you just gotta suck it up for a while. I kept the crate right next to my bed, on top of a larger crate that his brother slept in, and I could stick my fingers through the cage to comfort him to sleep, which seemed to help.