When a Labrador puppy first appears in the family, few owners think that the dog will go with them through life for ten or fifteen long years.
The first six months, during which the character and habits of the dog will be formed, the skills of neatness and the foundations of obedience will be created – this is the most important period in the life of the dog.
Love for the owner is an important quality, but it appears gradually, in the process of playing together, taking care of the pet every day and walking. Therefore, the education of a dog begins from the first moment after it appears in the house.
Feeding your labrador puppy
Any puppy who has been separated from his mother usually gets bored and yearning, so the owner’s task is to provide the puppy with maximum comfort in the first days in a new place. The breeder must definitely tell what kind of food the little Labrador puppy ate, and for the first few days it is necessary to feed it with this particular type of food, even if later it is planned to change the diet. A new type of feed is introduced gradually, replacing one feeding with it.
A two-month-old Labrador puppy, like shorthaired pointer puppies, is fed four times a day. Labradors grow rapidly and need a high-calorie diet to thrive. The best and easiest option is to feed prepared dry food that contains everything you need for bones and ligaments.
If you plan to feed a Labrador puppy natural food, then the puppy must definitely receive raw meat: beef or lamb, milk and cottage cheese, eggs and cereals.
By-products are given only boiled, and babies should not be given lungs, spleen and udders.
Carbohydrates in the form of buckwheat and rice porridge are quickly absorbed, and the predominance of cereals in the menu leads to the excessive plumpness to which this breed is prone, and stress on weak joints. The share of cereals in the daily ration should be one third of the volume, the remaining two thirds are for meat and dairy products.
Labrador puppies under four months old do not need to be given calcium supplements, otherwise there will be difficulties with the loss of milk teeth. Once the teeth begin to change, the green light is given to vitamin supplements containing chondoprotectors and calcium. Babies who receive ready-made dry food do not need an additional dose of vitamins.
Breeders usually raise puppies on bedding made from shavings or other moisture-absorbing filler. Therefore, the baby does not know where to recover, makes puddles and heaps all over the place. While the dog is small, you need to teach him to walk.
For this, any quiet place on the street is suitable: rocky or covered with grass: the main thing is that it is quiet and, if possible, deserted.
Important! The Labrador puppy is taken outside after sleeping, feeding or playing, and they do it in any weather. The kid must understand that you can never recover at home!
Of course, it is not always possible to keep track of a small Labrador puppy, and puddles will appear again and again, but it is useless to scold and poke a baby’s nose, because he still cannot control his body.
If you punctually adhere to the rules of teaching the dog to be neat, then after a month the dog will start asking to go to the toilet, whining at the door, for which you need to praise.
Some breeders advise against walking the puppy until after the vaccination course has been completed, but this process usually takes at least a month, and the baby gets used to recovering at home, which is difficult to wean him from.
To minimize the risk of catching the virus, the baby must be carried in his arms to the place of recovery and carried away in his arms, not allowing him to play with other dogs.
Vaccinations for the Labrador puppy
At the age of 45 days, after compulsory litter registration, the Labrador puppy is taken from the mother. By this time, the breeder should give the babies a drug for worms twice. If this is not done, then the pet is given an anthelmintic drug on the third or fifth day of stay in the new home, and then ten days before vaccination.
The first vaccination is done at the age of two months, usually they are vaccinated with a complex vaccine, twice with an interval of three weeks.
Rabies vaccination must not be given before three months. After re-vaccination, the puppy should be quarantined for another fourteen days, and immediately you can start socializing.
Raising a labrador puppy
Socialization is an obligatory process that introduces the Labrador puppy to various aspects of life: walking along noisy streets, traveling by car and bus, visiting a training area. Puppies adapt much easier to different conditions, they are interested in everything new, therefore, socialization carried out on time is the basis of a dog’s successful life in society.
While the vaccination quarantine lasts, the Labrador puppy can be taught the rules of life in the house. These rules are established by the owner, they cannot be violated with impunity: Never bite household members (and puppies just love to bite).
To wean the Labrador from this habit, it is necessary to firmly suppress any attempts of the dog to grab a hand or clothing with his teeth. The command “No!” given during a bite, while the puppy is unpleasantly grabbed by the withers. Never take food that is not in the dog’s bowl! Never climb onto sofas or beds! This rule is necessary, even if the owners do not mind that the dog sleeps on the bed. The fact is that, according to the puppy, those who have the right to sleep on the bed or sit on the couch have a high status in the family.
If the Labrador puppy is allowed to do this, then he will put himself on the same level with the owners, and will dictate his own conditions – this is the case with other breeds, including Groenendael, Hovawart and even Kuvasz.
Important! Any correct action is immediately encouraged by a word or a treat, so you can teach a Labrador puppy a huge number of commands, even without visiting the training area.
Labradors are very intelligent, so they are perfectly trained in the game, and their love for tasty morsels makes them work even better.
Getting to know the street begins for the Labrador puppy after vaccination quarantine, at about three and a half months. To combine outdoor adaptation and walking, you just need to take the baby on a leash and go for a walk.
Cars and birds, people and a huge amount of smells at first discourage the dog, but he very quickly gets used to the noisy environment. It is advisable to change the usual routes, to acquaint the baby with sounds and smells unfamiliar to him.
Attempts by the Labrador puppy to examine each bush should be immediately stopped by a jerk of the leash and the command “near!” After a few hundred meters, the command “walk” is given and the puppy is released to the length of the leash so that it can run and recover. It is convenient to use a leash-tape for this, which is attached to the harness.
The Labrador is an active and lively dog, puppies of this breed grow quickly, and in order for the Labrador puppy to develop normally, he needs to walk for at least two hours every day, and also visit the training area.
With an insufficient load, the growing baby Labrador, like the Cane Corso puppy, begins to spoil and gnaw things, make tunnels, dig holes in the yard. Seething energy must be given a way out, but you cannot overload the Labrador with jogging behind a bike.
A four-month-old Labrador puppy can already visit the training ground, walk with the owner for an hour or two. It is useful to walk up the stairs or up the mountain (but go down either by another road, or to carry the labrador in your arms).
Swimming in open water, running in shallow water – all this is very popular with Labrador babies, it strengthens their muscles and promotes proper development.
Contact with the owner
The Labrador puppy, is very fond of communication, and this quality must be used to strengthen contact with the dog. The puppy will execute the command “to me” headlong, if the owner treats the baby and caresses for each call.
It is unpleasant when the dog does not pay attention to the owner’s calls, ignores him. There is only one way to avoid this: the dog should be interested in the owner! Small surprises in the form of treats are not given every time, but encouragement in any form always follows the correct behavior.
Important! Eye contact with a pet is necessary in any situation, it is important that the Labrador puppy, and then the adult dog, always watches the owner. To teach the puppy to do this, you can hide from him, both within the walls of the house and on the street when the dog is distracted. Having found the owner, the Labrador is very happy, and for some time does not take his eyes off him.