Help Deciding if a Lab Puppy is for Me

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by vicv00, Mar 30, 2021.

  1. vicv00

    vicv00 Registered Users

    Mar 30, 2021
    So I have been really keen on getting a Labrador puppy for a while now. I’m not able to foster or adopt because my parents don’t want a large, unfamiliar dog in the house (as in one that hasn’t grown up in our house like a puppy would). I also have 2 bunnies (not free roam 24/7 but have large enclosures and free roam my bedroom at allotted free roam times).

    My mom currently has stage 4 cancer and my 2 siblings both have dogs of their own — my brother has a 1 year old beagle and my sister has a 6 month old Shiba inu. My mom is generally a very depressed person (understandably) and is ecstatic when my siblings bring their dogs over.

    So, since I have wanted a Labrador since I was literally 7 (I am now 20, going on 21 this year) and know how happy a dog would make my mom, I have put a deposit down on a yellow lab puppy that will be ready to go home at the end of June.

    I have been doing some nitty gritty research about raising a Labrador as a puppy, and now have some concerns.

    I know they are land sharks and understand I will have to endure this for months before it calms down. I’m not at all looking forward to it, but it is what it is.

    Now specifically, I am wondering what differing opinions may be on the situation. My mom can’t really bring the dog out obviously because she isn’t too mobile. My dad is my mom’s caregiver, he doesn’t work, and there is usually someone home 24/7. That being said, I know my dad wouldn’t really bring the dog out at all until it’s at least older and he doesn’t have to carry it outside to pee. So until this dog is housebroken, he is my 100% problem.

    I school and work from home. I have classes maybe a total of 5 hours a week (not my main concern), but I work 2 times a week, 7 hour shifts each. Now, one of these shifts I can break into 2 3.5 hour shifts which are much more manageable with a puppy around, but the other 7 hour is non negotiable. My boyfriend can puppy sit during the 7 hour shift, but obviously I don’t want to have to rely on someone to be with the dog all the time when I need to work. My ideal situation is allowing him to be by himself while I work and me occasionally checking up on him every hour or two. I work at a call center so I am in a queue constantly, so I won’t be able to spend a lengthy amount of time apart from my breaks to take the dog out (I get 2 15s and 1 half but can negotiate to get 1 hour in the middle of my shift and no 15s. I think the 3 breaks scattered make more sense though in terms of caring for the dog during my shift).

    I’m not worried about socializing the dog — my siblings have dogs like I said, and my boyfriend’s mom has a dog as well. We also have many people in and out of our house (relatives visiting my mom).

    My boyfriend wouldn’t be able to be over 24/7. Maybe a couple of hours in the evening, but this dog would be 100% mine and my problem.

    I am doing summer school that ends on June 19th, and the puppy would be able to come home on June 20th so perfect timing. I wouldn’t have to go back to school until the second week of September, and I only take 3 courses at a time. Also, I am planning on taking a month off of work when the pup comes home so that I can really bond with him and work on training.

    I am wondering if this situation is doable. I understand people say labs are puppies for 3 years. But will there come a point where he won’t need 24/7 supervision before 3 years hits? If I am diligent with a schedule and crate training, will he be able to be left in a crate for at least an hour at a time by the time I got back to work (so after 4-5 weeks which he will then be about 12-13 weeks old)? I can afford puppy day care twice a week which I intend to take full advantage of when he has all his shots, but until then I am wondering what experienced lab and dog owners in general think of my capability in this situation.

    EDIT: I should also mention that I live in a house with a fenced backyard, if that helps the situation. Also, crate training is a must since I would like to go grocery shopping or event just to the mall for like an hour if I want some sanity. Or even just to take a long shower! I have generalized anxiety disorder, and while I know a dog would help some aspects of this once he is old enough, I also understand that puppy blues is a very real thing and would need like an hour to myself. So shed some light please and help me decide if this is doable. Key word being doable, as I understand it won't be the easiest thing to overcome.
  2. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    May 9, 2019
    Hampshire UK
    You are certainly being very mature and responsible in making sure you are bringing a puppy into an environment where it is going to be well cared for and have lots of socialisation.
    I think the main thing to realise(which you do) is that you will be ultimately responsible for the dog hopefully for the next 12+ years.
    Are your parents ok with having a big powerful dog around them as that is what you will be dealing with in a few months time?I would spend your money on lots of force free training in the early days rather than daycare which will probably over excite a puppy.
    And yes you will be able to have some time out as long as you teach your puppy in the early days to rest in the crate as well as playing/training. Using things like Kongs for chewing helps.
    There are lots of resources on the main site to help you.
    Good luck and let’s us know how you get on.
  3. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

    Feb 8, 2016
    Portland, Oregon & Mt Hood Oregon
    Lab pups are a lot of work, but they don't need attention 24/7. The two we raised from pups had the run of the house before they were 1 year old, and we did not lose very many items in the house. We have had a dog door to the fenced yard for our 3 labs, and also friends dogs when they visit. It makes life a lot easier IMHO. We used crates some, especially at night initially, but relied on a puppy pen and pet gate to keep the pups in the kitchen when we weren't interacting with them.

    I don't really know how they learn, but all of our dogs have known the difference between their toys and our stuff. We lost a few things in the 1st year or so, but not much. All of them destroyed stuffed toys, but not our clothes, shoes etc. We have a Stuffed Polar Bear toy at our cabin, and after telling Cooper to leave it, she has left it alone for 6 years. When we give them a new toy they understand that it is their's and proceed to shred it.

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