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Hey guys!!

I am fixing to be the proud mother of a beautiful yellow lab puppy that me and my fiance have named, Bella Gentry.

She will be 5 weeks old tomorrow!

Me and my fiance, Brandon, have never had a dog- we are cat people. So naturally, we have been reading and preparing since we found out my best girlfriend's dog was pregnant.

I have so many questions!! I don't ever know where to start!! The books have been ever so helpful but I just need more input from Lab owners!!


Question #1: Every book I have read says that Bella should come home at 8 weeks- We are suppose to be getting her at 6 weeks. Is this to soon or should I truly push for her to stay at home with Mom for a couple more weeks?? We live 1/2 a block from Bella's mom so even if we do get her early, Mom is very close by along with her 7 siblings.

#2: Can I take her to my vet to get her vaccinations and first check up at 6 weeks, or should I let her current owner take care of this?? I prefer my puppy be seen by my Vet. I don't know really how to word this- Since I am the one paying for her, I should be able to take her to the Vet and make sure she checks out right?

#3- We are cat people. I read its better to let the cats get to know the dog and not vice versa. Has anyone dealt with this? How did it go?!

#4- My fiance and I (nurse and paramedic) work the night shifts- Is this difficult for a puppy/dog to adjust too when her parents are night people and not out in the daylight??

Thanks guys so much!! I am so excited about being a first time Mommy!!

Brandi
 

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Kudos to you for reading about Labs

Question #1: Every book I have read says that Bella should come home at 8 weeks- We are suppose to be getting her at 6 weeks. Is this to soon or should I truly push for her to stay at home with Mom for a couple more weeks?? We live 1/2 a block from Bella's mom so even if we do get her early, Mom is very close by along with her 7 siblings.
8 weeks would be good, 7 weeks would be minimal. Some states have laws prohibiting separation before 7 weeks age.

There is a critical period of imprinting in dogs such that they need to be with their sibs and each other until that age to form a species identification as well as pick up some other important traits. [Google those two highlighted terms to learn more about them.]

E.g., I got Bess, my first Lab, at 5 weeks age and she never identified herself as a dog, never played with other dogs, or acknowledged them as her peers. That was a terrible lack -- dogs can have so much fun playing with each other.

#2: Can I take her to my vet to get her vaccinations and first check up at 6 weeks, or should I let her current owner take care of this?? I prefer my puppy be seen by my Vet. I don't know really how to word this- Since I am the one paying for her, I should be able to take her to the Vet and make sure she checks out right?
My view on this is take her to whichever vet YOU'RE most comfortable with -- that's the vet you'll use anyway.

#3- We are cat people. I read its better to let the cats get to know the dog and not vice versa. Has anyone dealt with this? How did it go?!
I defer to cat people with experience with Lab puppies. I think you'll need to create safe, out of the way places for your cats -- Lab puppies love to play and chew on each otherl

#4- My fiance and I (nurse and paramedic) work the night shifts- Is this difficult for a puppy/dog to adjust too when her parents are night people and not out in the daylight??
I think your puppy will be quite adaptable but others with experience in this may have some suggestions.



 

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Hi and welcome! And congratulations on your new puppy. Bob answered your questions really well. On the ones he didn't answer:

3. Definitely let the kitty set the terms of engagement. Lab puppies are little Tasmanian devils, and if you have a normal cat, this is going to seriously freak her out. In general, you are going to keep your puppy in your sight, and will crate or otherwise confine her when you can't watch her. So the cat should have the opportunity to come visit on her terms. At first I would make sure that the cat has a room or several rooms where the puppy is not allowed, so she has territory all her own that isn't ruined by a foul-smelling dog. :) I would not bring the cat to visit the dog, nor the other way around--just let the cat come when she's ready. After six years, our cat will snuggle up on the bed right next to our dog, but she still doesn't really like him and will smack him in the face if he gets too close.

4. Dogs are diurnal--they're most active at dawn and dusk--but as Bob said, they're adaptable. I think you should expect that your pup will most want to eat, eliminate, and play first thing in the morning and as the sun goes down, but they certainly have no trouble sleeping all day as long as they get lots of attention and stimulation at other times!

So, if I could ask, what books have you been reading and which ones have you found useful?
 

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I can't add anything else to the good advice already given, except to say enjoy the puppy breath as long as you can! Good luck!
 

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The cat thing is hard. I got Abbey when I still lived at home and we had 2 cats already. They don't get along.

After I got Abbey and moved out, I got a kitten. The kitten grew up around Abbey and they are best friends.

It really depends on the cat. Both of my parents' cats are very temperamental, so they don't really care for the dogs at all. Some cats are just naturally "cool" with whatever, so they might not care. What I would do is put your cat(s) in a room (maybe your bedroom or a guest room) with their litter box, food and water for the first couple of days and let the dog and cat(s) meet through the door. Obviously the dog will smell the cats on other things in your home, but this is the safest way to get them to know each other by scent.

Then eventually let them get to know each other very slowly. Have the puppy on a leash and let the cats come to him, if they want. There will probably be some growling/hissing/etc. Just make sure to train your dog from the start that he's not allowed to chase after the cats!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kudos to you for reading about Labs



8 weeks would be good, 7 weeks would be minimal. Some states have laws prohibiting separation before 7 weeks age.

There is a critical period of imprinting in dogs such that they need to be with their sibs and each other until that age to form a species identification as well as pick up some other important traits. [Google those two highlighted terms to learn more about them.]

E.g., I got Bess, my first Lab, at 5 weeks age and she never identified herself as a dog, never played with other dogs, or acknowledged them as her peers. That was a terrible lack -- dogs can have so much fun playing with each other.



My view on this is take her to whichever vet YOU'RE most comfortable with -- that's the vet you'll use anyway.



I defer to cat people with experience with Lab puppies. I think you'll need to create safe, out of the way places for your cats -- Lab puppies love to play and chew on each otherl



I think your puppy will be quite adaptable but others with experience in this may have some suggestions.



wow- thank you so much! Very helpful!
 

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Honest to god truth- The book I read that has explained so much to me is the "Idiot's Guide to Labrador Puppies." It just broke everything down, and made it so much easier to take in!!

I have several labby dog training magazines, and they are very helpful. :eek:
 
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