Hello/newbies

Discussion in 'Introductions & Saying Hello' started by Ridd3ll, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

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    Hi everyone,

    Newbies here. My husband and I recently brought home our little fur baby, Lola, and I just wanted to say this forum has been super helpful. Just reading everyone's experiences has been so re-assuring so I thought I would just write a bit below about our experience so far.......(apologies in advance for the long post).

    Due to a mini break, Lola was 11 weeks when we brought her home in mid-June and is almost 20 weeks old now.

    We did not take the decision lightly to get puppy/labrador and a lot of research was done in advance and we knew it would be hard work but I think actually living it seems so different. It has been mainly an intense yet brilliant experience, with some difficult moments of course. Within days of bringing her home, we felt like we were ready to send her back (we wouldn't, of course!). We felt like we couldn't cope with the separation anxiety, the play biting/teething, the chewing, the hyperactive spells when guests came to the house, zoomies, the constant need for attention around the clock, and many other things. We were sleep deprived and getting 5 minutes to ourselves felt like the best thing ever. We quickly concluded.. never again! And neither of us are first-time dog owners.

    All of this worry wasn't helped by the fact that she didn't complete her course of innoculations until the age of 17 weeks, so couldn't properly socialise with other dogs or walking fully as early as we may have hoped - so therefore her activities were limited. This meant starting full training in classes with other dogs had to be delayed. Whilst we awaited being able to do that, we enlisted the help of a dog trainer who came to the house carried out two one-to-one training sessions (we wanted to make sure we were doing what we could and doing it right), which helped her learn many important commands and develop a good walking manner, which she has built on since - to the point that we're confident in letting her off the lead in parks. This was a game-changing development and, with consistent work on training, we started to see results and generally started to feel much more confident as owners. (I would actually say the trainer trained us as well).

    Now, as the effects of teething start to ease off (and the shock of seeing her teeth fall out), we (and others) are being nibbled much less, and she's got used to being left alone in the house for a few hours at a time in her crate whilst we go to work, or go out. It certainly helps that we have a dog walker who right now provides puppy visits 3 times a day whilst we are at work (she also helps with training), as we await her being able to walk for sufficiently long that she can attend group dog walks with the dog walker.

    We've come a long way in just under two months, albeit with a few behaviours still to iron out. Some of the issues requiring work at the moment are that she's developed a voice and now barks. She barks while we eat at the dinner table, or when one (or both) of us go upstairs (we have a gait in place to stop her going upstairs as she likes to think she is the Andrex puppy :p made us laugh so much seeing her pulling the loo roll out the bathroom). She also follows us about the house a lot and we do try to show her we are boring sometimes and we arent doing naything exciting. She's an incredibly sociable dog and we wouldn't change that as it's one of the greatest qualities of a lab - at the moment we are trying clicker training for the barking but not sure if we are doing it correctly but we'd welcome any suggestions on how we can work to reduce this barking and clinginess.

    The other issue we still need to work on is over-excitement around other dogs and occasionally when meeting humans. At puppy training classes, it's very difficult to stop her wanting to jump up and leap around. Again, any tips welcome but we know this will come the more we socialise and train her.

    Overall, having a lab puppy has been a brilliant, life-changing experience and the very hard work you have to put in in the early weeks is starting to pay off. She is starting to grow up a little in some aspects, but certainly remains a bundle of fun!

    xx
     
  2. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi and welcome from me and my pup Isla.

    Your pup sounds lovely and you are doing well with her
     
  3. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

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    Thank you for reading and hello to Isla. Honestly it’s been such a journey and seeing how far wee Lola has come, sometimes it does feel like no end in site but this forum has been so good and knowing your not the only ones going through it all.
     
  4. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi Ridd3ll,I know what you mean, it's exhausting but brilliant at the same time.

    We were like you, not first time dog owners so we thought we knew what was in store but we were completely out of our depth when Isla arrived, she was a bitey, boisterous, very excitable, chewing everything, digging up our garden bundle of trouble!

    Roll forward 16 months and she's so much better, no more bites or chewing our table legs. She's still very excitable but is getting better at her manners around other dogs, her barking at everything, is a work in progress but she's calmer at home and walks lovely on a lead. So hang on in there it does get easier as you've been seeing already.
     
  5. Paige Bower

    Paige Bower Registered Users

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    Hi! My lab followed me everywhere when he was younger. Now at 5 months, he follows me most of the time but when I am "boring" he will adventure off... which makes me follow HIM haha to make sure he is not destroying things.

    Question for you- when you leave your pup alone, does he bark when you come home? We leave our pup in the crate and he doesn't protest when he sees us leave. When we come home, he is howling. I just wonder if he hears us walk up or barks the whole time?
     
  6. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

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    Hi Paige,

    Lola is almost 6 months now and similar to yours, follows us most of the time but if we are "boring" she takes herself off - usually to the couch but I know what you mean about then following them, never quite trust the silence....yet :)

    Lola's pretty good with her crate, we had a puppy cam for a while so could check on her, I'd say she might whine a little when we go but then she usually chews on a kong toy/sleeps until we return and when we walk in she sits up but no barking. It could be your pup hears you coming or could be suffering from seperation anxiety. Have you done much crate training with them? would recommend the puppy cam as it helped us with the crate training at the beginning.
     
  7. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Toby will be 2 in November and he still barks when our car drives onto the drive.
    He does it less with mine because I am in and out a lot during the day with work so it has become a bit boring. However when my husband comes back in the evening he barks like mad from the moment he hears the car to the key going in the door. At first I wasn’t sure if it was all the time when we were out so I asked a neighbour(not adjoined thank goodness) and she says she hears him occasionally but only when the postman or delivery people are around.
     
  8. Paige Bower

    Paige Bower Registered Users

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    Thank you! That makes me feel better. I was thinking about buying a camera and checking if it is all the time, but I feel like he would be pretty tired if he did that!
     
  9. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I also used to leave the drive, park down the road and walk back to the house to see if I could hear him. Or park and walk up to the house on the way back. He was never barking! We are now at the stage where he has a good walk in the morning and is waiting for me to leave so he gets a kong. Nothing like feeling wanted!
     
  10. Paige Bower

    Paige Bower Registered Users

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    Haha right? Guess I know he likes being around me- maybe too much! I put him in our bedroom yesterday instead of the living room when I left and he didn't make a peep even when I opened the door, must be more comfortable there!
     
  11. CasV126

    CasV126 Registered Users

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    Hi All! Newbie Lab Owner here (My parents had Labs for over 40 years so only one choice for us and our first family dog)

    Our beautiful Chocolate boy is now 15 weeks! Generally I think he is doing really well - he picks up training pretty quickly, he sleeps well in his crate and has virtually no toilet accidents any more. Our only main issue is biting/humping! Having lurked on the boards for last few days I am reassured it is fairly normal and will improve, but all tips & advice welcome (I will put post on relevant boards)

    It’s definitely worse when he overtired, but the humping is new and is always first thing in the morning when he should be rested - and mainly aimed at my jumper/arm while I try have my first cup tea! Should I walk him first before I try and have a cuppa?

    For biting we have tried the “ow” and removing ourselves, switching out for a toy, or distraction with a treat, but I think there term “Crocopup” is brilliant as that’s how it feels sometimes!

    Anyway, hello to you all from us! X
     
  12. Ridd3ll

    Ridd3ll Registered Users

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    Hello and welcome from us and our Lola!

    I haven’t had any experience of humping with Lola so not much advice there (maybe he’s just super excited to see you or perhaps a bit scared of something? only think scared as our family dog years ago when frightened used try jumping arms/legs)


    Biting will definitely improve, Lola was a “crocpup” (i still laugh at that description as it’s so true) and we thought it would never end.
    he’ll be in teething phase now at 15weeks, keep switching out for toys, treat or removing yourself, he will soon get the message. We were told not to do the “ow” thing as pup might associate that with what there bros/sisters would do when playing and entice her more so we started doing a lot of the ignoring, and removing our complete attention and turning away from her. She son got message and if they really want to chew and empty plastic bottle does wonders (label and plastic rims removed) xx
     
    CasV126 likes this.

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