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I'm getting my lab pup in a day or two and have a question for you experienced lab puppy owners! Since labs are considered super chewers, did you do anything special for them as pups? I do online schooling from home, so I'll always be with the pup but at times I work out, clean, do homework, etc. around the house, will I always have to crate the pup when I do these things? Or, how did all of you handle the chewing tendencies of your puppies, and still find time to get the things done that you needed to? I know toys, but sometimes they find things to do, haha.
I've never raised a lab from a pup, but I do have an Aussie Shepherd, and she's a pretty big chewer, but she's also pretty good to be left loose when I'm home with free reign, becaues if you're with her, she doesn't chew on what she's not supposed to, and if she does have a lapse in judgement she does stop if you give her a verbal scolding!

Can't wait to get my pup! :)
 

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I think you should definitely crate your lab when you are not interacting with it and are doing something else. Just for the safety of your puppy and your belongings!

Your puppy will sleep ALOT when you get it so after about 10 mins playtime you will find your puppy will want to snooze alot. So crate the puppy for nap time to get him/her used to it.

as for the chewing, kongs and nylabone's are wonderful. A stuffed and frozen mashed pumpkin kong will keep your puppies interest and chewing under control for a good while. But remember that your puppies attention span will be very small at 8 weeks of age.
 

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I agree with Sarah. Keep him crated when you are not around or cannot keep an eye on him. They can get into trouble so quickly.
 

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as for the chewing, kongs and nylabone's are wonderful.
Ditto that! Get the black kong, it's the strongest. Frankie was a powerchewer and we still have all th nylabones from when he was a pup (almost 4 years ago!!).

Good luck!! :)
 

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Totally agree on crating when you are not right there (it will help with house training too).

When Bauer was about 10-12 weeks old he discovered wood (chair legs, table legs, etc.). I sprayed them all with bitter apple spray, and he never chewed them again. I also sprayed all of the electrical cords that he could get to.

We also limited the number of toys we left out at one time (and rotated them frequently). We discovered that the more toys we left laying around, the more he thought everything laying around was his toy. When we started limiting the toys (and rotating to make them new and exciting), the less he chewed on other stuff.

He is a year old now, and has free roam of the house at night and when we are home (but normally follows me everywhere so I don't have to wonder where he is). We only crate him if we are going to be gone for more than an hour.
 

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Yep, I agree. Definitely a crate when you are not home and when you can't watch him. Even if you think "Oh, he's fine. I'll be right back." still crate him. 5 minutes can equal a lotttt of damage!

Nylabones are great and last FOREVER. They are basically like hard plastic, but when chewed on, it tends to come off in little flakes. I don't recommend those rock-hard dog bones that they sell at the store because they can dent your floors and break teeth.

Kongs are awesome. You can fill them with all kinds of stuff, freeze them and give them to the pup in the crate when you are gone. You can put mashed pumpkin like Sarah said, but just a little bit, or do a combination. Normally I plug the hole at the bottom with a little bit of peanut butter, put a few pieces of kibble, add some plain yogurt, a couple of treats, some sugar-free applesauce, some more treats, etc, then top the big hole off with peanut butter. I made a bunch of them at once and throw them in the freezer. They are great for when you need a few minutes of peace and quiet. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Totally agree on crating when you are not right there (it will help with house training too).

When Bauer was about 10-12 weeks old he discovered wood (chair legs, table legs, etc.). I sprayed them all with bitter apple spray, and he never chewed them again. I also sprayed all of the electrical cords that he could get to.

We also limited the number of toys we left out at one time (and rotated them frequently). We discovered that the more toys we left laying around, the more he thought everything laying around was his toy. When we started limiting the toys (and rotating to make them new and exciting), the less he chewed on other stuff.

He is a year old now, and has free roam of the house at night and when we are home (but normally follows me everywhere so I don't have to wonder where he is). We only crate him if we are going to be gone for more than an hour.
Debi,
Thanks for letting me know what you did with your lab! It's been a while since I've raised a pup and these are GREAT suggestions! In fact, I'm off to buy a little bitter apple!
 

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Yep, I agree. Definitely a crate when you are not home and when you can't watch him. Even if you think "Oh, he's fine. I'll be right back." still crate him. 5 minutes can equal a lotttt of damage!

Nylabones are great and last FOREVER. They are basically like hard plastic, but when chewed on, it tends to come off in little flakes. I don't recommend those rock-hard dog bones that they sell at the store because they can dent your floors and break teeth.

Kongs are awesome. You can fill them with all kinds of stuff, freeze them and give them to the pup in the crate when you are gone. You can put mashed pumpkin like Sarah said, but just a little bit, or do a combination. Normally I plug the hole at the bottom with a little bit of peanut butter, put a few pieces of kibble, add some plain yogurt, a couple of treats, some sugar-free applesauce, some more treats, etc, then top the big hole off with peanut butter. I made a bunch of them at once and throw them in the freezer. They are great for when you need a few minutes of peace and quiet. :)
Hi Justine!
Thanks for the suggestions, one question for you! At what age can they have peanut butter, apple sauce, etc.? She'll be 9 weeks when I bring her home!
 

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Hi Justine!
Thanks for the suggestions, one question for you! At what age can they have peanut butter, apple sauce, etc.? She'll be 9 weeks when I bring her home!
Good question. :) I would probably wait until she's a little bit older and obviously if you give too much of something at one time, it can cause diarrhea.. so be smart with it and just do a little bit at a time.

When Abbey was really little all I did was smear some peanut butter on the inside of the kong and she was content for at least 30 minutes trying to get it all out. :)
 

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You can also wet a little puppy food and freeze it in a kong until puppy's tummy is ready for other stuff. Ceaser's tummy doesn't like new stuff so most of the time I use wet kibble in his frozen kongs. He is such a piggy, he doesn't care what is in his kong as long as it is full :)
 

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My Rudder is a major power chewer. After her chewing up five black XXL kongs in about 4 months, we purchased "Blue" kongs online. You can not get them in any retail store, you can get them from most vets or order online (I ordered mine from vetamerica.com). They are 25% stronger than the black kongs. Rudder started out with the puppy kong at 10 weeks of age and we learned quickly what a chewer she was! Rudder never ever chewed anything that was not a toy or her kong. Now Scupper on the other hand - she is not a chewer of toys or kongs really - she likes to chew ANYTHING else! A perfect example was I walked a glass to the kitchen and came back into the family room, walked up to Scupper to see what she was doing hiding under the bed and there it was - a chewed wire from the surround sound! Quick is not the word for those little buggers!
 

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MNLab,

Store all these suggestions, remember them, but don't set your mind on any one being the perfect and only thing you are going to do. (Except for the crate!!!)

All Labs are different and react differently.

i.e. Bitter Apple: Perfect for my son's Lab, Newman. But not for Hershey Kisses. She loves apples, and gathers up all the Harylson apples that drop from the tree, i.e. a bitter apple.

i.e. Toys: HK has many available at any time. She chose the toy of the moment, and when bored of it chose another. When toys were limited, she would find something not intended for her, i.e. furniture, baseboard molding, any kind of paper, shoes and clothing. Much better to learn that if it is on the floor it is for the dog and anything you want undamaged needs to be picked up for the next 18 months or more.
 

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You might get a couple or several small kongs so you always have a new one loaded with tempting smells and tastes in reserve.

I used distract & substitute with Puff. Whenever she started chewing on something I didn't want her to, I quickly whipped out an enticing chew treat to get her attention. That worked very well for her (& me).

Kongs are safe -- rawhides much less so because pieces can break off and get swallowed.

The worse chewing phase will be at the transition when the puppy teeth are being lost and the adult teeth are coming in. At that time, some people suggest wetting, knotting, and freezing wash cloths to offer the pup to chew on to relieve gum pains. We didn't do that but it sounds like it'd be helpful.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
MNLab,

Store all these suggestions, remember them, but don't set your mind on any one being the perfect and only thing you are going to do. (Except for the crate!!!)

All Labs are different and react differently.

i.e. Bitter Apple: Perfect for my son's Lab, Newman. But not for Hershey Kisses. She loves apples, and gathers up all the Harylson apples that drop from the tree, i.e. a bitter apple.

i.e. Toys: HK has many available at any time. She chose the toy of the moment, and when bored of it chose another. When toys were limited, she would find something not intended for her, i.e. furniture, baseboard molding, any kind of paper, shoes and clothing. Much better to learn that if it is on the floor it is for the dog and anything you want undamaged needs to be picked up for the next 18 months or more.
Sounds great! I planned on trying to bitter apple, we'll see how it works, and then just kind of trying out different methods for her. I have raised puppies, it's been a while, but like you mentioned, different things work for different dogs!
 

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Work with the dogs personality.

When Milly grabbed a shoe -- I'd go play with one of her toys. She quickly dropped the shoe and the toy and I were much more fun! If she was outside and I wanted her to come in and she'd run up the back of the yard. I'd squeal and call her name and run inside. She always (still does!) coming running in after me. So cute...

It just depends on what they are like.. work with their personality will get better results for training manners and learning new tricks. One thing I learnt about labs (Milly is my first) they have SUCH BIG personalities.
 

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Definitely go with crating when you do not have your eyes on the pup.

Not all Labs are power chewers, some are much softer-mouthed and don't tear up toys. Once your pup gets grown-up teeth, you will be able to tell better if it is a power-chewer or not.

Some Labs will keep stuffed animals and other toys for years. Others (like our boys :rolleyes:) will de-stuff and destroy any and every soft toy they can get their mouths on.
 
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