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Labrador Training!

 

 Labrador Health  |  Labrador Diet Labrador Training  | Puppy Health | Info

Settling-In:

     It will take your pup at least 7 days to settle in. During this time, spend as much time as possible carefully acclimating your pup to his new home and everything he will be exposed to there, such as other pets, vacuum cleaners, children, car rides, and neighbors. Your pup has had many experiences here, but it is necessary to keep exposing the pup to everything in his new world especially during these early months. Find places where he can visit such as friends and relatives, a pet store, a grooming shop, a dog training facility or parks where other people take their dogs after he has had his rabies shot. We do not recommend doing any traveling outside your backyard onto public grounds that is, until the dog is 4 months old and has fully had his shots and rabies shot has been administered. Then find pet friendly events, such as Animal Shelter fundraisers, or pet store promotions. Find a nursing home that welcomes visitors with pets. If it is an "only" pup, find friends with dogs that can be good and safe playmates. Continue exposing your new puppy to everything that will make up his world especially during the early weeks and always put the health of your pet first. Then continue right through his adult life. Use the Rocal spray on your shoe soles, and if necessary, spray the paws of your pet before re-entering your home.

    

     Always keep your pup safe from other animals that are not good with puppies, watch out for stairs, and never leave a young pup unsupervised with a child. If at any time your pup looks fearful, remove him from the situation and take him where he feels safe. Try again at another time when the pup has not been over stimulated or find a way to present the scary situation in a less frightening way. If the pup shows signs of fear, and makes an attempt to approach, reward him immediately. Never reward fearful behavior with words of encouragement, simply back the pup away or remove him until he feels safe enough to attempt an approach on his own.

Exersice:

      A pup's bones are not fully hardened until the pup reaches 18 months old. It is very important to avoid repetitive activities such as long walks, and jumping until after that time. The very best exercise for a pup is free play with another dog on good footing. Never allow your pup to play roughly on a slippery surface. When you do not have access to another appropriate canine playmate, it is up to you to see that the pup receives appropriate exercise. Teaching the dog to retrieve a toy or ball is an excellent way for the pup to exercise. Start out slow with short distances and stop frequently to play hide and seek or practice tricks or obedience exercises. Use a long hall way and close off all the door so it is just the two of you. Roll the ball and encourage him to bring it back in exchange for a treat.

     A schedule is the best thing for a young pup. Make one up that works with yours and try to stick to it. Remember, no running or jogging hard with you on the street until at least 18 months of age. Slow walks, short and tiny walks are best at first. Remember the pup is still growing and too much is not good. Your pup could suffer lameness due to your ignorance. So, be extra careful as to how much you let him do. Ask your vet for more advice.

Grooming:

     At least once a month, check the puppy's nails and clip them, including the dew claws, if necessary. Clean out his ears with a cotton ball and gently brush the coat all over. I do puppies in my lap or standing nicely next to me. Brush teeth once a week, brush the coat once a say or once a week, and clean the ears once a week. Find a good groomer and take your pup in for a bath and nail clipping every month or so if you wish, just for the socialization and the nail clipping. Do not do any of this until your pup is over 4 months old and has received all of its vaccinations.

Training:

     Find a good dog training center and sign up for basic obedience or puppy kindergarten. This is great practice for you in teaching your pup the basic obedience commands and is great socialization for the pup. Do not expect the pup to learn everything he needs to know by going to a few classes. The only way a pup will learn the obedience exercises are if you PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and PRACTICE. Many short sessions each day at home. Remember, your dog is always learning something, make it something positive!!

     Choose a POSITIVE reward class, with a very patient teacher, and don't worry if your puppy seems hopeless. These are very sensitive and clever pups and they are learning much more than you think. A well trained puppy equals a well trained dog. Don't let your pooch get away with anything now or you will be sorry later. Remember, there are no bad dogs. Just bad trainers/owners.

     We do offer help in the training area so give us a call if you get stuck and we can possibly take your pup in and get him started and trained or recommend someone reliable.

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Labrador Potty Training Guide:

     So... you buy your new adorable puppy, bring it home, everyone in your house falls in love with the adorable puppy Until it uses your floor as a toilet!  After so many accidents, the puppy isn't so adorable any more. Unfortunately a puppy is just like us when we are an infant. It is said that over 80% of dogs in shelters are euthanized because they aren't potty trained. This is just sad!

     Here at SoCal Labradors, we have several different ways of potty training our puppies: Crate Potty Training, Potty training with Verbal commands, and Potty training with a 3x2 foot piece of fake grass and X-Pen.

Crate Potty Training:

     Puppies can comprehend the same way we can, but it does take a bit of time and patience. When you potty train your puppy with a crate, at first the puppy wont understand why it's been put into the crate, the puppy might be scared, the puppy might not want to be inside the crate, and the puppy might have separation anxiety from being alone and bored. Do not force the puppy into the crate, you need to entice the puppy to go into the crate with treats or a tasty bone. The first few days of crate training is very rough because the puppy will bark a lot. The puppy will eventually get acclumated to the crate. You may expierence a few accidents inside the crate for the first four days. Try to remember to let the puppy out often to encourage the puppy to do its buisness outside. Either way, the puppy must stay inside the crate for at least one hour at a time, increasing the time by fifteen minuets, up to a half an hour, three hours max. (especially over night). It helps if you put your puppy on a schedule (potty time, play time, eat/drink time then back in the crate). When you let you puppy outside to go potty, go outside with the puppy and bring some treats with you, when you see the puppy go potty, give the puppy a treat when its done and say "good potty!" in a "Happy Tone" of voice, so the puppy knows it's doing the right thing. This process is repeated, if the puppy is barking in the crate, that is a sign that the puppy needs to go potty. It is tempting to let the puppy out of the crate every time the it barks, but the puppy needs to know it has to be quiet inside the crate, so you dont want to let the puppy out every time it barks or the puppy will be training you! You can gauge this by keeping a journal, and keeping record of times to let puppy out. Never allow your new puppy to run around inside your house just after opening your crate door.  Carry or leash walk your puppy outside to go potty each time in the designated potty area or area in which you want him to eliminate. The puppy has to learn that the crate is its little home until its potty trained. The puppy must be fed in the crate and it must sleep in the crate until it is trained to not go potty inside the crate. This will come in time, there will be accidents along the way. The crate training process takes 2-3 weeks and it is extremely effective if the process is done correctly. But don't forget that a puppy is just like an infant, there will be times where the puppy will be barking at four in the morning because it needs to go potty, letting it out right away is the best thing to do to ensure perfect crate training for your puppy.

Potty Training With a 3'x2' piece of fake grass and an X-Pen:

     It might seem silly to train your puppy to go potty in a specific area, but it is possible. Picking up accidents all over your house in different areas is aggravating. Training the puppy to go potty in a specific area is so much easier to clean up.  This process needs someone to be with the puppy all day.To start with you need an X-pen that is adjustable to make it bigger or smaller. Then get a piece of fake grass, make sure it's at least 3'x2' feet, you can make your own platform so that the grass is elevated off the floor as well. To help soak up any liquids that sinks through the fake grass; fold up a towel and put it under the fake grass. To start the training off, find an area in your house to set up the X-Pen. (Pick an area with tile or hard wood floor, this makes it easy to clean up messes without staining your carpet.) Then start off the training by making the X-Pen really small; almost as if it was a crate. Leave enough room to have the fake grass, bowls for food and water, and a blanket for the puppy to sleep on. Just like crate training, the puppy will learn that the X-Pen is their dining room/bedroom with a bathroom. Over time the puppy will learn to only go potty on the fake grass, you also need to take the puppy outside on a leash frequently and wait for it to go potty outside, when the pup goes potty outside reward the puppy with a treat and have a "Happy Tone". Once the puppy is trained to only go potty on the fake grass, you can slowly make the X-Pen bigger. Once you feel that your puppy is ready to advance to the next step, remove the X-Pen so that your puppy can run freely throughout the house. Keep the water/food bowls and blanket near the piece of fake grass. Now you watch the puppy and make sure it knows to only go potty on that piece of grass and nowhere else. The transition from going potty on the piece of fake grass to only going potty outside is really tough to teach most puppies. When your pup is fully potty trained to only go potty on the piece of fake grass without the X-Pen, that's when you take the grass completely away and let the puppy outside with a leash frequently (every hour on the hour). If your puppy does make an accident, make sure you show the accident the puppy made and use your "Angry Tone" so the puppy realizes it did something wrong, say "No potty in the house!" Giving the puppy a little tap on the nose works along side with the "Angry Tone" but it's optional.   Reward the puppy with a treat every time it goes potty outside. Essentially this process takes longer, and it's harder to do depending on your puppy's behavior, but the results of an accident are much easier to clean up!
Cleaning up is as easy as 1..2..3..
1. Pick up poop with a paper towel and dispose it. If there is pee, spray anti-bacterial cleanser on the accident and wipe up with a towel.
2. Remove folded towel under the fake grass if needed, and wash it. Clean the fake grass with a hose and anti-bacterial cleanser, and then hang it to dry off.
3. Once everything is cleaned and dried, reassemble all of it. Bam! That easy!

 

Verbal Potty Training:

     Verbal potty training is an alternative to crate potty training. It takes time, patience, commitment, and someone that can be with the puppy at all times. Since you are giving your puppy the privilege to run around the house freely, you should consider in blocking off important areas with baby gates. You must make sure the puppy is with you at all times! Do not forget to let the puppy out every hour on the hour! This process is so effective and it also teaches the puppy the tones of voice you use. There are 2 tones you use on a puppy: Your "Happy Tone" which is what tone you use when your puppy does something good (always reward with treats as well to emphasize the training). Your "Angry Tone" which is what tone you use when your puppy does something bad (example: goes potty in the house, destroys something of value, ect..) When your puppy makes an accident inside the house, you need to react right away by showing your puppy the accident. Use your "Angry Tone" so the puppy realizes it did something wrong, say "No potty in the house!" Giving the puppy a little tap on the nose works along side with the "Angry Tone" but it's optional. Once you have showed the puppy what it did wrong, let the puppy outside right away so that you can watch the puppy go potty. Once it goes potty, show the puppy that going potty outside is a good thing by rewarding the pup with a treat and using your "Happy Tone".  Eventually the puppy with catch on as it gets older. Remember that this process does take a lot longer than the Crate Potty Training, and it involves cleaning accidents in your house for the first week or so.

 

ENS:

      We found this process called ENS, which stimulates the puppies' neurological system by applying mild stress to young pups in a very controlled and limited way. We have been using the Early Neurological Stimulation on our new born Labrador puppies once each day starting at only three days of age for about two weeks straight. ENS consists of five exercises; tactical stimulation, head held erect, head pointed down, supine position (laying on back), and thermal stimulation that should be done for 3-5 seconds each process. The tactical stimulation is done by holding the pup in one hand and with the other hand you gently tickle the pup in between the toes on any foot using a Q-tip. Using both hands, hold the pup straight up from the ground so the head is directly above its tail. Then, hold the pup where its head is reversed and is pointed downward towards the ground. Supine position is when you hold the pup resting in the palm of both hands with its nose facing the ceiling and it is okay if the pup has sleep struggle. Placing the pup on a damp towel with its feet down is the thermal stimulation. The puppy should not be afraid of falling during the exercises, so it should be safely and securely held. The benefits for ENS include: improved cardiovascular performance, stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease.

*Clinically proven for  improved cardiovascular performance, stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, more tolerance to stress and greater resistance to disease.*

Rule of 7:

     Labrador puppies and all other puppies should go through the puppy socialization called the Rule of Seven.  By the time a puppy is seven weeks old it should have: been on seven different types of surfaces, played with seven different types of objects, been in seven different locations, met and played with seven new people, been exposed to seven challenges, eaten from seven different containers, and eaten in seven different location. The different surfaces could include carpet, grass, gravel, wood, concrete, dirt, and vinyl. Different objects could be from big to small balls, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, metal items, and soft fabric toys. Front and back yard, basement, kitchen, car, bathroom, and garage are different locations. Children and older adults or someone in a wheelchair or walker are good examples of new people they should meet. Some challenges are: having to climb over obstacles, go up and down stairs, going through a tunnel, and playing hide and seek. The containers that they should eat from could be plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper. They could eat from inside a crate, living room, bathroom, kitchen, yard, and basement. Puppies should always exposed to a variety of people, places, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures while they are still developing. A new stimulus should be introduced to the puppy about every four to seven days and the puppy could act differently to each one.