17 weeks with our puppy

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Christina2807, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Cant believe we have had our puppy for 17 weeks now, feels like a lifetime and also not that long! We have learned so much along the way and had to adjust to life with an ever growing bundle of energy.

    We have all these great intentions that we were going to follow the books to a tea and do everything right to make the perfect puppy. Shock horror, we have veered off the books, learned from our puppy what her needs are and we have a little monkey who creates new challenges to work on.

    The first couple of nights were the hardest and by the end of the first week we were thinking, what have we done, should we give her back. She never seemed happy or content and like she was frustrated at us. We decided to scrap the books a bit and try to learn from Luna what she wanted and needed, this was revolutionary for us.

    Crate training – Luna hated being behind bars and she got herself so worked up. It was at this point we thought our plan of her being crate trained, not being allowed in the bedroom and sleep in her crate all night was out the window! As soon as we lost the crate she curled up on her bed and slept for hours at a time. Puppy 1 – human 0 but we had a happy little girl and she was more cuddly with us.

    Feeding times – Plan was to have strict eating times of 6am, 12 noon and 6pm and no food when crying. This lasted all of the first week if that! Luna couldn’t go the 12 hours at night without food and would wake up about 4.30/5 and be physically crying for food – no barking at all just crying. We thought, if we had a baby would be just let them sit and cry if they were hungry? No so we started to introduce supper as she was obviously hungry and needed the extra food. First night of doing this she slept until 6 when she woke for toilet and food. Feeding on demand puppy 1 – human 0 but again she was happy, content and a lovely little girl. We never fed her when she barked at the ledge as this was her demanding food, we only done it if she was clearly crying and hungry. Now at 6 months she doesn’t need to cry for food as she knows when feeding time is and that she gets enough to keep her going.

    Biting – This has been hard for me as Luna has been very bitey with me more than my husband and the first 2 months I was covered in bruises. Ouch!

    It took us a while but we were able to learn that Luna wasn’t biting to be ‘naughty’ but she was trying to tell me something.
    • When she was jumping up at me, pulling my clothes and getting frantic – I was telling her off and this was making her worse. Turns out she was trying to tell me she needed out to pee. I am the one who takes her out when in so she knew this and that is why I was the ‘target’.
    • When I was trying to do housework at nights she would nip the back of my legs and not leave my side – this was her telling me that she wanted to play. My husband works from home so she got time with him during the day but when I was home she just wanted to be with me. We then worked out how to balance play time and work time. Now she understands when I am ‘busy’ and will go play by herself.
    Walks – who knew how much of the world is edible or needs sniffed until you walk a puppy! This is so stimulating for a young puppy and so much to take in. Luna often got to excited and would jump up at me and bite and not know what to do. This was mainly when she didn’t get to do what she wanted. I took a step back and let her sniff more and sometimes she just sat and watched what was going on around her taking it all in, once she was happy she would move on. Now Luna knows ‘leave it’ ‘no’ and ‘come on’ this is great now when she goes for something she shouldn’t have, pulling or if I want her to move on.

    Walking her is still far from perfect but wow what a difference and it is now more enjoyable to take her out when before it was like a chore.

    We now have a very happy, cuddly and well trained little girl. She loves to play and loves her training. There is still loads more to train her but we are feeling much more positive about it and look forward to learning with her. I know that this goes against all the puppy books and would not actively advise people to go against them as they are made for a reason, they usually work, seems our little monkey is an exception.

    I can’t wait to spend many years with her and the joy that she brings. Here are some pictures of our relationship so far from 3 days old falling asleep in my hands to our walk in the frost on Sunday :)
     

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  2. sarah@forumHQ

    sarah@forumHQ Moderator

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    What a lovely journey you guys have been on together! I'm not sure you've broken any rules as such - unless I missed the paragraph where you made some heinous confession! Our puppies are as unique and individual as we are, and it sounds like you've done a wonderful job in acknowledging that and adjusting your approaches to help her succeed every step of the way :)

    Beautiful photos too!
     
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  3. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    I think you can learn a lot from books and people with experience but you also have to hold on to your values and trust your gut instinct too. I never bought into the pack leader training rubbish when that was still considered acceptable and I'm hoping maybetime will prove me right on the subject of crating too. It certainly didn't suit Loki, he got so much calmer once we stopped closing the door on his crate and he realised he could choose where to settle down and come and go as he pleased.
    Luna is beautiful and it sounds like you're doing a great job!
     
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  4. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thank you Sarah, it has been a challenge at times but now we can sit cuddled up and know it is 100% worth it! So proud of her, she is a wee cutie
     
  5. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Luna hated the crate and as soon as we got rid of it she seemed to realise this was home and started to settle in. Luna can walk around the house when we are in during the day and she loves being able to be free to explore.
    Thank you Ruth, at the start we never thought we would be able to do it but we were determined to do right by her and give her the best we can.
     
  6. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi what a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading all about your journey.

    It sounds like you are doing a brilliant job caring for Luna. It's not easy, these little pups can be a challenge.

    The photos are gorgeous and Luna is beautiful:inlove:
     
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  7. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Thank you Saffy! They do love to make challenges for us and you think you conquer one thing then she has a new challenge :rolleyes:

    Thank you, I think so but of course I am biased:heart:
     
  8. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    we were incredibly lucky with Kyko his favourite thing to do in the house is sleep. He didn't bite, didn't chew & was genuinely a dream puppy. Before we got him we had dreams of long walks with him off lead walking lovely coming back etc. The reality is he is over excited by other dogs, animals, scents, sounds & takes off at a thousand miles an hour & just can't listen, so we still do the long walks round woods etc but he is on a long line all the time & I spend a lot of time bracing for the force of him running flat out and hitting the end of the line! He is getting better & we work on it all the time, & he is very good at loose lead walking so structured walks can be a dream. Our new challenge is he has figured out how to undo his restraint in the car (clever pup!) so need to find a better solution
     
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  9. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Luna is okay off lead if we are at the park and she has a toy to keep her focused. Sometimes if she sees another dog/someone that looks interesting/birds then you can say bye bye Luna! The blinkers go on and she suddenly becomes deaf. We don't have a long lead yet but when on the short lead she can be walking nicely beside me then she spots something so interesting and yank there goes 22kg pulling on my arm.
     
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  10. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    Kyko is 32kgs very hard to keep hold of when he tears off on his long line. In fact on Sunday he manged to yank me so hard the loop of the lead slipped right off my wrist before I even had a chance to react, thankfully I knew he wouldn't go far as he was running after 2 dogs that had took his fancy, even more luckily they were friendly dogs & their owner was very understanding when I had to go grovelling to her for not controlling my dog properly :oops:
     
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  11. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    The world out there is so exciting for them, I can keep hold of Luna just now but not looking forward to when she is bigger, I will be doing a lot of grovelling!
     
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  12. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    they do like to embarrass us! Kyko's thing is when he sees a dog approaching he will get down low and commando crawl forward, once close he will just lie down as he knows we can't move him :D. I spend my time grabbing the handle of his harness and dragging him to the side of the path while he lies in the mud watching the dogs pass. Then we have to be ready for the lunge when they get close
     
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  13. Neytiri28

    Neytiri28 Registered Users

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    We also have had Poppy for 17 weeks now. Time has flown by with her and she's adjusted so we'll to us and our routine. She's a perfect blend of couch potato and active puppy at the right times. She's very attached to everyone in the family and knows our names and routines, for example, stands and waits by the garage door at 5.30 pm, waiting for my husband to get home.

    We were initially in an apartment when we got Poppy, it was a beautiful renovated unit where we hoped to live for at least a couple of years more. We soon realized the need for a single-family dwelling with a fenced-in yard. I honestly cannot imagine apartment living with a Labrador. It got so bad that our options were giving up Poppy or moving. Thankfully, we were able to move (it costs us thousands of dollars as we needed to break our lease) but I now see why some labs might end up in shelters or rescue for no real fault of theirs.

    With respect to crate-training, we hated the crate and so did Poppy. We got rid of it when she was 5 months old and she slept in a gated space at night when we were in our apartment. After we moved, she has the run of the living room and family room and she has two doggy couches and two couches in the living room she loves to sleep on. She has not destroyed a single item in our home, ever.

    Overall, it's been a pleasure and a joy and a lot of hard work. It has made us a lot more disciplined and she has brought happiness to all of us. It's an incredible experience.
     
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