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A few questions about a 7 week old lab puppy
Asked Jun 8, 2005, 08:25 PM
I'm pretty much convinced I have the cutest, best puppy ever. But I have a few questions. Everything I've read says that puppies will defecate in an hour or so after eating. I think my little girl holds hers in for as long as she possibly can because she doesn't go until several hours after she's eaten, usually she's eaten twice by the time she goes, and she has quite a bit of it when she goes. It's solid when it starts, and towards the end, it gets really soft and a little liquidy. I just got her this past weekend, and I know for a fact that her stools were solid when she was with her breeder. I'm feeding her the same food he fed her, but could it be happening because I'm not softening her food the way the breeder was? And is there anything I can do to help her be more regular? I'm home with her for most of the day, so I usually take her out every hour or hour and a half or so, so we don't have any accidents in the house. Also, I've read a lot about teaching her bite inhibition, and can someone please tell me that yes, she'll stop biting someday? She gets tired of her toys in two seconds flat, but she never gets tired of chewing on my feet and various other things she's not allowed to chew on. And puppy teeth really hurt! Other than the biting, she's just the sweetest, smartest little pup there ever was. So when can I expect it to stop? Or at least, how old will she be when she figures out that toys are for chewing and people and electrical cords aren't? What do I have to do to get her there as soon as possible? Thanks so much. I love my puppy, and I'll do anything for her to keep her safe, healthy, and happy.
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Jun 8, 2005, 09:42 PM
It is unusual for a puppy to go that long after eating, but I don't see it hurting. You may be feeding the same chow, but the change in water could be causing the loose stool. Give her a few days to adjust. You will need to be running her to vet soon to continue her shots. If it hasn't settled down by then, ask the vet about it. Maybe take a stool sample.
Young Labs, which I know best, and other puppies tend to very bad about
Biting. You see a litter of them, and all the ones that are awake are biting
Another one or themselves. I am not even sure they realize that when they are
Alone, if they quit biting, they would quit being bitten. At 3 to 4 months
They are getting their adult teeth, and it seems they spend every waking
Moment biting or chewing. I maintain a Lab's favorite chew toy is another
Lab. Otherwise they settle for any person they can. They keep hoping to find
One that won't yelp and jerk their hand away, or growl "Bad dog." and clamp
Their mouth shut. Then offer a chew toy. They keep trying despite hundreds
Of corrections. Another good technique is to quit playing and go away. Be
Sure to praise them when they are playing nice and not biting.
You just have to keep on correcting them, hundreds of times, not dozens.
Provide sturdy, safe toys such as Kongs and Nylabones. Avoid things they can
Chew pieces off and choke on them. Keep them away from electrical cords.
Crates are essential for most young Labs and other dogs.
The pet stores are full of toys that many dogs will quickly chew up into
Pieces they could choke on or cause intestinal blockages. If you are not
There to watch, stick to sturdy stuff such as Nylabones and Kongs. Keep a
Close eye on chew toys and quickly discard anything that is coming apart in
Pieces. Rawhide is especially bad because it swells after being swallowed.
These problems are the worst with, but not limited to, large, aggressive
Chewers such as Labs.
Ropes from the pets' store quickly turn to hazardous shreds. Ones I made
Lasted much better. Go to a hardware or home center that sells rope by the
Foot. Buy 2' of 3/4" poly rope. Melt the ends, and tie knots in it. Get
Them as tight as possible, put it in a vise and pound it with a hammer. Watch
Carefully, and be ready to discard when it comes apart.
This site is designed for less complex matters than a Lab puppy. If I throw in help on housebreaking, it may be too long. That problem is easily solved by putting it in a second post.
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Jun 8, 2005, 09:44 PM
Much of housebreaking is not training the puppy, but making it easier for your
Puppy, you, and your carpet while its body to catches up to its instincts. At
Around 8 weeks when the puppy goes to its new home, the time from when it
Realizes it has to go, and when it can't wait any longer is a matter of
Seconds. Only time will fix that. You can hardly be expected to be attentive
Enough to avoid all accidents There is no sense punishing the puppy for your
Inattention. It is not fair to punish you either, but you still have to clean
It up if you didn't have the puppy outside in time.
Housebreaking starts before you get home with the new puppy. If you don't have
A crate, buy one. I prefer the more enclosed, den like plastic ones. Skip the
Bedding. At first it gets wet, and later it can be chewed into choking
Hazards. A wire rack in the bottom will help keep the puppy up out of
Accidents at first. They are available with the crates, but a piece of closely
Spaced wire closet shelving from a home supply place is cheaper. If you
Already have a metal crate, covering it may help. Just make sure you use
Something the puppy can't pull in and chew. Dogs that start in crates as
Little puppies, accept them very well. Never leave an unattended puppy loose
In the house. If nobody can watch it, put it in the crate. I suggest letting
The dog have its crate all its life.
Choose a command and spot you want it to use. The less accessible to strays,
The less chance of serious disease. If it is a female, choosing a
Non grassy spot will avoid brown spots later. When you bring it home, take it
To the spot and give it the command in a firm, but friendly voice. Keep
Repeating the command and let the puppy sniff around. If it does anything,
Praise it. Really let it know what a good dog it is and how much you love it,
And maybe a treat. Note, being out there not only means you can praise it,
But it also keeps it from being snatched by a hawk. If it doesn't go, take it
Inside and give it a drink and any meals scheduled. A young puppy will need to
Go out immediately afterward. Go to the spot and follow the above routine.
Praising it if it goes is extremely important. If it doesn't go, take it back
Inside and put it in its crate and try again soon. Do not let it loose in the
House until it does go.
At first it is your responsibility to know and take the puppy out when it
Needs to go. It needs to go out the first thing in the morning, after eating,
Drinking, and sleeping. If it quits playing, and starts running around
Sniffing, it is looking for a place to go. Take it out quickly. You will just
Have to be what I call puppy broke until it is a little older.
By the time most dogs are about 3 months old, they have figured out that if
They go to the door and stand, you will let them out. The praise slowly shifts
To going to the door. Some people hang a bell there for the dog to paw. If
Your dog doesn't figure this out, try praising it and putting it out if it
Even gets near the door. A stern "Bad dog!" is all the punishment that is
Effective, and only when you catch it in the act and are sure you didn't miss
It going to the door. Clean up accidents promptly. I mostly keep the little
Puppies out of the carpeted rooms. Still I need the can of carpet foam
Sometimes. First blot up all the urine you can with a dry towel. Keep moving
It and stepping on it until a fresh area stays dry. A couple big putty knives
Work well on bowel movements. Just slide one under it while holding it with
The other. This gets it up with a minimum of pushing it down into the carpet.
This works with even relatively soft ones, vomit, dirt from over turned house
Plants, or anything else from solids to thick liquids. Finish up with a good
Shot of carpet foam. Note, do not let the puppy lick up the carpet foam.
Once the dog is reliably housebroken, your carpet may need a good steam cleaning.
Many people strongly strongly push cleaning up all evidence of past accidents. I am slower to suggest that. Dogs will return to the same spot if they can find it. When you see one sniffing the spot, that is your clue to run it out.
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Jun 8, 2005, 10:06 PM
I'm in the process of crate training her, and she's doing really well. I just feel bad about having her in the crate so much. Most of the time, she's asleep anyway, but I'm afraid she feels that it's a punishment when she's awake and wants to play. But if I let her roam about, playing, she might poop on the carpet behind the coach when I'm not looking, like she's done before, because her bowel movements are completely unpredictable. I don't want her to resent being in her crate, even though I give her special treats when I tell her "Annie, kennel" and she goes in. Will she still like her den if she feels like I'm confining her to it, and she doesn't understand why? Also, I think she might be afraid of going no. 2 outside at night, which is tough because she's been going once in the morning and once at night. Is there anyway I can comfort her without encouraging her fear? And more importantly, is there anyway I can convince her to use the bathroom when she's afraid? I think she's afraid of the other dogs barking in the neighborhood. She met a particularly rambunctious 1 1/2 year old yellow lab who was happy to meet her yesterday, and it scared her really bad.
P.S. I picked up a nylabone for her today, and she absolutely loves it. Thanks for the tip on that.
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Jun 8, 2005, 11:10 PM
You are right about not crating her any more than you have too. Can you close the door or put up a gate to keep her in the kitchen when you are working there? I have a short chain fastened to one computer desk to allow the puppy to be confined near me while I am working.
Being outside with her should help the fear. Keep her moving too. Suddenly, they can't hold it any longer. The lavish praise when it happens will help too.
I am surprised at how well bigger dogs play with young puppies. I was very pleased at how my friend's big, 3 year old, male Lab played with my Sheba when I first got her. At 7 months now, she is still smaller than him, but the 2 of them have a great time.
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Jun 23, 2005, 12:55 PM
Thanks for all your advice. She's 9 weeks now, and my, how she's grown. She's made friends with that big yellow lab next door, and they have regular playdates. She has a lot of attitude in that little body of hers. She's overcome her fears, and is quite regular.
Now I have some new concerns, though. She's my first puppy, so I don't know what things are normal. I've started to notice a few bumps on her. There's one on her eyelid. It's the same color as the rest of her eyelid, and it doesn't seem to be bothering her. She's had it for a couple of days, and it hasn't changed in size, shape, or color. She has another one on her leg that a little pinkish that doesn't seem to be bothering her either. It's covered up by her fur. I was wondering if these might be bug bites. I've never seen a bug bite on a dog, so I don't know what they look like. Also, she has a different, hard, crusty bump on her lip. It doesn't seem to be bothering her either. I've touched all of these bumps, and they don't hurt her. I'm taking her to the vet next week to get her booster shots, and I'm going to ask him about the bumps, but I wouldn't hesitate to take her in early if these things sound like they need to be looked at now. I appreciate your suggetions!
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Jun 23, 2005, 08:32 PM
I don't remember any of my puppies having bumps like that. I think they are something you can let go until the next vet visit. They always seem due for another visit at first. I think my vet might be described as paranoid when it comes to parvo, giving even more than the usual shots.
Puppies do need playmates. Do make sure he is up to date on shots. Your puppy is at an age now where it needs to be learning to be comfortable in your home and wherever you take it. Puppies left in the kennel until 12 weeks will do better with other dogs, but perhaps not a well as with people. For a dog to be well socialized to both people and dogs, it needs to go to its home at 7-8 weeks, but continue to play with other dogs.
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Sep 27, 2007, 11:44 PM
Speaking of labs, they have to be the best dogs in the world and the most social. I just got a 1-1/2 year old yellow to add to my older black lab (sort of to learn from my black one). She is used to being in a crate and absolutely loves hers. That is where she sleeps every night and she is close to 80 pounds. Won't sleep anywhere else and I bought her a big pillow! She is out during the day and both are running (we live in the country); but nighttime it is in the crate she goes. I love my dogs. They are great. Take them swimming whenever you can! Dogs like that love water!
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