So you have decided to bring this cute little Labrador retriever puppy home. Because of their friendly nature, Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dogs that are sold in America. But here are few things that you should consider while making this choice. Labradors come under large dog category and their size is something that one should consider because though they look tiny as a puppy, your puppy in no time (more like 4-5 months or so) would look almost like a full grown dog. Also it’s very important to know the place from where the puppy comes. I know they all look so cute and you would probably pick the first one you see, but it’s always a good idea to get the puppy from a place where you can see the puppy’s parents yourself. This will give you an idea of what your puppy would be like in the next few years to come. Also you can see any medical conditions that the parents have which might be transferred in their puppies. Also good breeders would you give you guarantees against certain conditions which would show that they are confident of the health of the puppies.
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And once you have decided to bring that little bundle of joy home, make sure before you bring him in, attend the training class. This will give you in depth idea of what you would expect immediately after the puppy comes home. I remember when we went for out classes, Joanne our trainer told us, the first rule of thumb is that, ” Do not let your 8 weeks old puppy to get away with what you wouldn’t want your 60lb, a year old dog to do”. And this I must say was the best advice that we received from her. Initially when you get the puppy home, everyone wants to cuddle him, hold him and play with him but as always the excitement dies after few months and even though you love your puppy or dog a lot, you do not spend the whole day with him as you would the first few days. So if you actually let your puppy come on your bed with you or on your sofa with you, then keep in mind that your 50-60lb dog would do the same because they are still puppies by nature till almost 3 years old. And they would expect the same treatment from you no matter how old they get. So if you are not planning to sleep with your 50 or 60lb dog then do the same for your little puppy. Make sure you spend time and share your love with them but do not overdo it. The puppies will get tired very easily at that early stage. And also they are a little bewildered as they have been taken away from the only family they have known from the day they were born and also the atmosphere is different too. Some puppies will take longer than others to adjust to this change. They also will cry at nights, just like babies so get used to that sound. Keeping a stuffy toy and a blanket will help them feel safer. But please do not pick the puppy up every time they cry as they will associate crying with being picked up and do the same once they grow up too.
The other thing that we were warned against was the house training. Just like babies, the puppies would also eventually come to love their own private space. So invest in a good dog crate. Instead of changing the crates all the time, its a good idea to buy one that would fit your large dog once he grows and you get the divider panel that comes with it which you move as the puppy grows. Another tip is if you want to potty train your puppy them make sure the area for him to sleep is not much more than his size. This would make him not wanting to do it in the crate and he will cry when he wants to do his business and you can take him to a specified area. As the puppies always treasure their own space he or she will try their best to keep the crate clean as that’s their sleeping place. Once your puppy is a little older, its also a good idea to take them for their basic training classes. You can either go to your breeder for those or can go to any local places like the pet store which would hold such classes. These are very important as here, they will learn the basic obedience training. This will make your life easy as last thing you want is your puppy running around biting on things while you are out or doing some house chore. Make sure he or she has enough biting or chewing toys. If you see them chewing something they shouldn’t then make sure you stop them from doing it and say a firm “No”. And do not worry about it as this is not going to make them feel bad in any way. It can be cute watching a little puppy biting on things but if your grown up dog bites on your favorite pair of shoes, it won’t be funny any more.
Also create a routine for them that they can follow. Believe me even your puppy would love the routine just like a baby. So keep set times for food and water. And it’s important to keep some time for play while they are puppies and exercise once they are little bigger. Labradors love exercise so make sure you can take your puppy out for walks or at least he has a place like a backyard where he can run around get spend his energy. If this doesn’t happen then your puppy will spend that energy in destroying things in your home. That’s their basic nature, they require lots of exercise to get their energy spent in a positive way. So if your puppy is on a chewing spree in your home, it’s time to see if you are giving him enough exercise or not.
You would also need to take them for vaccinations in the first few weeks after they come to your home. So make sure you register your puppy with your local vet. Also in some cities, its a law to register your puppy with your township that is renewed every year. You would need a good collar for your puppy ideally with a name tag and your details like telephone number as this will ensure your puppy doesn’t get lost. You can also put an electric chip in them (many breeders will do this before you take the puppy home)
So now that we have discussed some of the things that your puppy and you would be experiencing after you get him or her home, go ahead and enjoy your puppy. I am sure he would grow to become a part of your family just like our dog. No wonder dogs are called as man’s best friend.