Puppy in a third floor flat with no lift

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

  1. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    My partner and I are thinking about getting a puppy however there is some concerns over if we will cause her distress or hurt her.
    We live in a 3rd floor flat with no lift, I would be able to carry her up and down until she is about 6 month old but after this she will be too big. If trained properly to take time on the stairs and not letting her run up and down would this still cause discomfort in her hips in the long run? We are aware of hip dysplasia being an issue with Labs and don't want to do anything that could increase this.

    Also with regards to routine and toilet training, would she be okay to have a pen with puppy pads at one end and bed at the other for while at work. I would aim to train her to use the puppy pads if she needs before I get home to take her out. I will be home at lunch time every day and will be able to take her out just before leaving and as soon as I return each time.

    I have no doubts that she will be loved and well looked after with plenty of one on one training and play. We just don't want to cause her distress but think that she would get into our routine and adapt to it.
     
  2. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi @Christina2807
    Two posts on stairs in one hour. So I searched and found coverage of the issue. I was interested in Oberon's advice to take the stairs at slow pace to reduce impact. Seems sensible idea. I'd like to see a reference. But in the absence of such and you not moving house, I would concentrate on teaching slow pace in heeling and then transfer to stairs. Teach the slow pace first on flat ground. Here's the folder. https://thelabradorforum.com/threads/stairs.12466/
     
  3. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    Thanks for the advice and help Michael!
    The stairs we have are spiral staircases so she would be able to stop and pause on both the way up and down and this is something that we will encourage.

    I never thought of teaching the slow pace on flat ground first and this will be a great help.

    Still so torn as to say yes to her or not!
     
  4. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Is it just the stairs issue or other doubts? Puppies are a lot of work. A tremendous amount of work. So you will need to be really motivated. I suggest you get out a blank piece of paper. Two columns. Pro and con. Weight the observations in each column to express the intensity of your thoughts. And then count each column. Which column wins. Then sleep on it. Share on here if you like. Writing it out will really help you to clarify YOUR thoughts.

    I'm not going to suggest anything for the pro column--it's your dreams that count.
     
  5. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    We have done the list. We both want her very much.

    Pro's
    Improved fitness (I love walking but have become very lazy recently)

    Companionship as she will give unconditional love

    Happiness as no matter what day you've had she will always be home waiting for us.

    'proud parents' watching all the new milestones she achieves and seeing her grow.

    Con's
    We live in a flat (will this cause issues for the puppies hips) Both mum and dad have very sound hips as advised by the vet however they haven't been hip scored.

    My partner doesn't always keep well so won't be able to take her out (I will be home at lunch every day and take her out before/after work and in the evening. Also to start with I will set an alarm to do a toilet break during the night for her)

    This leans to another con of my sleep as I will be her new 'mummy' and will need to be there for her.

    We both were brought up with dogs in the house and absolutely love them and they are part of the family. So we know how much work they are going to be but like anything hard work pays off with rewards and that would be seeing her happy.
     
  6. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    If I may push just a bit. Why did you say in your previous post you were torn whether to say yes or no?
     
  7. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    We don't want to do the wrong thing by the dog.We want to get a pet to love her and give everything she needs and fear she would be at a disadvantage by some of our cons.
     
  8. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    I would be more concerned about the fact that you work full time, and will return home only at lunch time to let her out and feed her.

    Puppies are 'babies' when they are 8 weeks old. They are very needy and dependent and IMO they need someone around way more than this. Please think about the hours alone and under-stimulated, before you get a puppy....
     
  9. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    My husband will be in the house with her all day every day however his ill health will sometimes mean he isnt able to take her out to the bathroom so she would need to use puppy pads while she is still young.
     
  10. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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  11. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    Are you sure you really want a lab? They are big, energetic dogs, not really suited to living in flats in my opinion. What would you do if it was injured or ill? I felt bad enough when my last dog was ill in her last few months of life because our living room is upstairs and she couldn't get up there. I'd never have been able to carry her up 3 flights of stairs (partly because of her weight but also because she had a painful tumour).
    You could meet all the pros on your list with a smaller, less high energy dog. One that you could carry upstairs if you needed to. Incidentally, I'm not convinced dogs are good for keeping you fit. Especially when they are young and you can't go on long hikes or running with them. They are also very time consuming so you have less time to go to the gym/pool/bike rides etc
     
  12. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    Hi Ruth, the reason we are looking at a lab is because our friends dogs have had puppies and we have the chance to buy one.
    Our flat is over 2 floors with 4 bedrooms so there is plenty of space to play.
    I am aware that when she is young that she can't go on long walks until she is about a year old. I don't go to the gym and used to walk miles every day, this is why I know that when she is older we will be able to give her the exercise she needs.
     
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  13. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    I hate being negative but I have read so many forum posts since I joined from people who have underestimated how difficult young labs are. I underestimated it myself, thinking that all they needed was love and exercise and I live in a cottage surrounded by fields and woodland and my partner works from home. I can't imagine how people manage in flats in towns. It's hard enough being woken up at 4 in the morning by a dog that needs to go out to eat grass and vomit up a walking sock ( as happened to me earlier this week) without also having to deal with 3 flights of stairs, neighbours etc. That said, people do manage and maybe your dog will be an angel and not full on crazy like mine is!
     
  14. Christina2807

    Christina2807 Registered Users

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    We have no doubt that it will be hard work with night time toilet trips and early mornings. (I have the bladder of a child anyway so will fit in with her!)

    Your little one sounds like they are mischievous and likes adventures.

    I am a firm believer that pets are hard work however that they will adapt to what they have and their owners when they mature. In the mean time life is full of surprises!
     
  15. TEE

    TEE Registered Users

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    Consider they get heavy before you can or should let them walk stairs on their own. Mine is 6 months and 19 kg. Hope you are fit enough to carry the dog at least 4-5 up and down each day for better part of a year...
     
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  16. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    Mine was 25 kg at 6 months and wouldn't tolerate being lifted for 1 second. I'm fairly fit but don't enjoy carrying 25kg sacks of grain on level ground from car to shed and they don't wriggle!
     
  17. 5labs

    5labs Registered Users

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    She may not always make you as happy as you expect. If you intend to let her toilet in the house on puppy pads, it will make it very difficult indeed to house train her. She will likely be bored a lot of the time as well so you may expect to come home to wee and poo, shredded puppy pads etc biting, frustrated puppy (who may not take kindly to being carried when excited to see you (picture tring to carry an excitable corodile :) )
    If you take some time to read though some of the 'issues' people on here have with labrador puppues, you will see that there can be a lot of unhappiness as well.

    Personally, I wouldn't consider for a second taking on a puppy who's parents have not been hip and elbow scored. The vet cannot "see" how good/bad they are. Your puppy's hip/elbows are going to be put under significantly more stress than those of a normal puppy as you will have to take her up and down the stairs very regularly to toilet. Normally every half hour for the first few weeks, but as you are going to allow her to toilet in the house on puppy pads, this will be for many months.
     
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  18. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Hi Christina and welcome to the forum! It's great that you are putting so much thought into this big decision


    Many people who come here to ask similar questions have already made up their minds and just really want their decision to be approved. But it sounds as though you are interested in feedback, so I hope you find this helpful. And not too negative
    This is a very common way for people to be sprung into a decision to not only take a dog into their lives, but also a dog of a specific breed, and even a specific puppy.
    Because dogs have such a big impact on our lives, it is important I think for me to say that this is really not a great way to make that decision

    A good way to make this decision is to
    1) Look at your circumstances and decide if you are in the right point in your life to add a dog to the mix
    2) Think about whether a puppy or an adult dog would be best. Bearing in mind that puppies need a huge amount of attention and socialization for the first four weeks and a lot of attention for the next few months
    3) Once you have decided that you are ready for a puppy, think about the breed of dog that would suit you best.
    4) Once you have settled on a breed, think about what kind of breeder you are looking for

    Even if you are ready for a puppy, and even if a Lab is the best breed for you, the choice of breeder is so important. Most pedigree dog breeds have specific diseases that are common to the breed due to the restrictions of breeding within a closed register of animals. So it is vital that a pedigree (or first cross) puppy is from parents that have both been tested for diseases specific to that breed.

    Hip dysplasia can be a painful, crippling, and expensive condition. Health testing parents before breeding is a sign of a breeder that is committed to producing healthy puppies. And it increases the odds that your puppy will grow up to be strong fit and pain free. It's hard to know how a vet could tell that a dog has sound hips without an X-ray, I can't imagine any vet making such a statement. So I would be very skeptical about such claims.

    If you have your heart set on this puppy, you'll probably find this hard to hear. But if you are open to suggestions, do have a think about the suitability of various other breeds for apartment living. Do also consider also that a six month old Labrador can be very heavy. You are going to need a strong back and arms. If you decide that only a Labrador will do, please do consider finding a breeder that health tests their dogs. It may cause a bit of awkwardness with your friends in the short term, but can save so much heartache in the long run. You won't have any trouble finding another puppy - Labradors are very common! Whatever you decide, good luck and do feel free to come and ask for help with anything you need once your puppy is here.
     
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  19. TEE

    TEE Registered Users

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    Read some of the comments again and share the view that you are underestimating the work of a Lab puppy. I would not want to have one with your living arrangements. Mine is now 6 months old. So I know demands firsthand.

    The point I see critical is that one does not pick a puppy because friends have puppies. That doesn’t do the dog justice. That is also not the right way to pick a breed. Hence I encourage you to rethink your thoughts on bread which would better suite your situation than a Labrador. Simply not fair to the dog!
    If you want some ideas on breeds which work better for you let us know.
     
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  20. Ruth Buckley

    Ruth Buckley Registered Users

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    The other thing I think you should do is have a look at a rescue centre. Partly cos I think an adult dog would be easier for you with your living arrangements and a good rescue will help match you with a suitable dog but also because it's a real eye opener seeing how many dogs end up in rescue from nice families who simply can't cope with the demands of young dogs.
     
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