Hello all, I have been lurking and reading endlessly today on this forum trying to obtain all the answers and advice I can.
We have an 8 week old Chocolate Lab pure bred (8 weeks tomorrow actually). His name is Charlie, he is playful, and amazing.
I am having the usual problems, nipping/biting, house training, crate training, separation anxiety (from his mom and kin).
I have read up most of these questions from other posts so I won't duplicate, however one I could not find an answer for;
Is it best to start the puppy in the crate right away or let him to get accustomed to the crate?
We have a room near our back door (where he goes out for his elimination), with his crate open, a nice blanket there, as well as a big fuzzy blanket on the floor in one corner. I have all his toys there (not that he stays interested long). Should I be "forcing" him into the crate at night and just letting him bark and howl? or should I let him go in on his own terms (with some crate work during day to help)?
I have no problem putting the crate near our bed once he isn't barking for hours on end in the evening.
Any advice or help is most appreciated, and thanks to everyone who answered all those other newbie quetsions. This place is a massive help.
Congrats on your new puppy!
We have a 7 month old chocolate female named Java. We started off putting her in the crate the very first night we had her. She cried and howled for 2 nights, but after those first 2 nights she would go right in and go to sleep. Now we just tell her it's bedtime and she goes in her crate herself, lays down and goes to sleep. When we first got her, during the day we would leave the crate door open and leave a treat or 2, or a toy in it to encourage her to go in and out herself and get her used to it. Personally, I think it's best to start crate training right away. It's difficult, but they do come to love their crate and think of it as a safe place.
We never put the crate near our bed. Just kept it downstairs in the family room. I didn't want her to get used to sleeping next to us because that wasn't going to be her permanent crate spot, so I figured if we let her sleep in our room then when it was time to move her crate downstairs we would have the crying/whining issue all over again.
Good luck and post pictures!!!
I believe it is important to start the crate the very first night. You are getting the dog accustomed to a new home. Don't allow something for a while that he/she gets accustomed to and then change it. The pup will learn that the crate is his safe place.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Thanks for the tips, we let Charlie sleep in our room last night (at the end of the bed on the floor beside his crate). I am hoping in a couple days time after some day time crate work and crate feeding, I can get him in there to sleep.
He only went out twice last night to pee which is an amazing change already. However he still likes to get up early (5 AM) to start his day. I tried to keep him semi-occupied with some drift wood he found at the beach yesterday and his favourite new chew toy. This seemed to keep him content till I was getting ready for work.
We have taken so many pictures of Charlie but have yet to upload any or get prints. I want to get some for the house as well as my desk at the office.
Here is another quick question.
Should I be feeding him 2x or 3x a day?
I give him about 2/3 c of food twice a day, but he never finishes it. I was thinking of reducing the size of portions he is fed, but feed him again mid day.
Edit: Charlie is going to vet today for round 2 shots, deworming, nail clipping (shredding my skin when he plays).
Last edited by charlie; 08-19-2009 at 10:33 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
Hi Charlie - welcome, and funny that this thread is all chocolates so far. We're another choc family. Maisy is almost 12 weeks old, and I've gotten lots of info and advice from this group of generous and knowledgeable lab owners.
I always imagined we would have the crate in our kitchen for a "den" at the dog's option and a place to confine her when we leave the house; but I imagined her sleeping the night in our bedroom. But when we tried THAT the first night or two, she fidgeted and wandered all over the bedroom, under the bed, chewed on cords, bed skirt, etc. I couldn't fall asleep for fear she'd chew or swallow something or get hurt or stuck. We tried leashing her to bed post with cozy pad/towel nearby, but she yanked on the leash and kept getting tangled, which also didn't seem safe. In the end, we gutted it out and put her in crate in kitchen at night. She howled and cried. I ended up dragging a cushion from my patio chairs into the house and sleeping on the floor beside the crate for 2 nights. As long as I was there, she was quiet, and when she fussed, I put my fingers in the crate and spoke to her. That kept her quiet. On the 3rd night, I went back to my bed! :-) Maisy howled and cried, and after an hour of that, my kids went next door to sleep at neighbors (we have a small house!). The next night, she fussed briefly, and it diminished after that until by a week, crying at night was mostly over.
During the day, I spent time "training" the concept of "quiet." I would put her into crate and say "gooood girl," "quieeeeet girl" in a low soothing voice. If she barked or whined, I would snap "NO!" which would startle her quiet, then I would immediately say "gooood, quieeeet" and give her a treat through the bars. We repeated that a lot, several sessions over several days, extending the challenge with me getting further away from the crate, leaving the room, etc. Always rewarding her for "quiet." I also try to catch her/notice her being quiet in the crate and tell her "good girl, good quiet" and give a treat. I think she gets it now. She's totally quiet at night in the crate (before the 5 AM wakeup!). During the day, she is mostly quiet during crated periods, but she barks sometimes when she wants out. We try to ignore barking, or if we feel compelled to respond, we kneel near the crate and whisper "quieeeet" in a soothing voice, then treat her when she quiets, rather than yelling "NO" at the barking. We never let her out when barking, but remind her "quiet," and then open the door when she's quiet.
Good luck with Charlie!
We are going to work on the crate time and getting Charlie in more often and helping him get accustomed.
Good luck with Maisy.
Oh my gosh..that is the most precious picture!! What a beautiful baby!!
He is gorgeous!
Charlie is so cute.
I was lucky Shiner and his brothers and sisters were introduced to paper from day one and were kept in a pin. When we brought him we put him in a small make shift pin with blankets on one side and paper on the other. After a couple of weeks we got a metal pin and divided his into 2 areas one with papers and 1 for sleeping. We would take him outdoors often to do his thing during the day and at night he would use the paper. We had very few accidents in the house and after few months he was going outside and never on the paper. For the last couple of weeks we have been letting sleep in our bedroom at night. For the most part he will sleep through the night and go out in the morning but sometimes he will nudge me awake to go outside.
We have been very lucky that Shiner has been such a good puppy compared to some of the stories we hear.
We fed Shiner 3 times a day morning noon and evening until he was 6 months old then only morning and evening. Just follow the recommended feeding on the package.
Good luck with Charlie's training everything will work out.
Last edited by space; 08-20-2009 at 05:49 PM.