Puppy success stories

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Gertiegoo, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Gertiegoo

    Gertiegoo Registered Users

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    Hi there!

    I have been reading through posts and the website and I’m so grateful for all of this information! We have a 9 week black lab and have just entered the “bitey” stage... we are of course overwhelmed with a new puppy, in love with her of course - but tired and sometimes I personally feel sad and regretful.

    I really would love to read some success stories though. I find I end up reading about all the problems that people have raising their puppies, but I can’t compare my experience as each situation and puppy is unique. Rather than feeling depressed and concerned that our puppy may have concerning behaviours like some other families - I’d love to hear about success!

    Have you got a black lab (or any lab) puppy and experienced success with toilet training, “no bite” training, sleep or crate training? Please share! Lift our spirits and give us hope that life will balance out again. Hope that I can return to working part time from home and perhaps even watch a movie I. The evenings instead of putting the whole family to bed anticipating the 5am wee break!
     
  2. BlackLabS20

    BlackLabS20 Registered Users

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    Hi Gertie,

    Your post made me smile :) the puppy blues won't last long. As a new dog owner (my husband grew up with labs) I definitely felt overwhelmed. Not only by pup, but the wealth of information and stories.

    My husband and I both work full time. I work from home thanks to Covid and will be permanently WFH going forwards:D. We have 2 cats and no children.

    We have a 6 month old black boy.

    He came home toilet trained, can only thank our fantastic breeder for that one. He had a few accidents in first 2 weeks - we missed his signals. Made a conscious effort to take him out regularly and took away the play pen, so he could sit by the door to let us know.

    Crate training was easier as associated the crate with food, chill time etc but always left the door open unless we left the room. He had no issues being crated overnight or during the day and I would say he likes it.

    We struggled with biting the most. I would say by 11/12 weeks, he had learnt that biting us meant no fun. We would turn around/ walk away / go to the other side of the stair gate. At 12 weeks, he could hold our hand in his mouth without biting.

    Sleep times 8 - 12 weeks. Husband covered nights (11pm bedtime) and I covered mornings (5am wake up). We used an app to record pees / poos / water intake etc to help us work out when he would likely need to go. Set your alarm 15-20mins before that, take them out and put them straight back in crate with minimal fuss. I think he only got up twice a night during this time.
    From 5am we would kip together on the floor, and watch Winnie the Pooh (Disney+ is a saviour). For the evenings, my husband would do something similar, have a snuggle etc.

    We got him sleeping straight from 11pm - 5am. He then suffered with some tummy issues and diarrhoea, so this upset the rhythm and we were getting up x2 in the night again. Once this settled and we were confident he was better, we removed the night wakes slowly and went back to the previous times.

    He now sleeps from 10pm - 7am and wakes me when he's up.

    It was a lot of concentrated and consistent effort that paid rewards within weeks for us.

    Our current challenges at 6months old - loose lead walking, and greeting / jumping at people because everyone is a friend and MUST be greeted :rolleyes:

    I would say that you should be able watch movies and relax, but that of course depends entirely on your puppy.

    Hope this helps, things really do get better. I would highly recommend finding a puppy class (we did ours online), as this helps to guide your training.
     
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  3. Gertiegoo

    Gertiegoo Registered Users

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    Thanks BlacklabS20!

    This is such a useful and positive reply! And your story has some similarities to ours so far too so that is encouraging!

    Our pup goes to sleep at 8pm/9pm and wakes at around 5-5:30am for a wee then back to crate for a rough 20-30nap while we lay/rest/sleep till around 6am. This I can handle! (Though ideally I’d love a 7am wake up)

    I feel so encouraged by the success of your “no bite” training as we are doing the same thing (standing on opposite side of gate, rewarding/praising when she chews on the “right” things, rewarding calm (we do this bit a lot).

    I return to the office for 2 days a week when she is 12 weeks, so I am hoping to arrange day care for her so that we don’t leave her alone. Perhaps we’ll work up to short alone times (school drop off is approximately 15mins so that may be a good goal for me to have) Until then she is coming with me in a travel crate, the upside is that she will be used to car travel pretty quickly!

    We have enrolled in puppy preschool which won’t officially start until she is 11 weeks old. But after those 4-5 sessions we may enrol in the next round of classes or perhaps some 1-1 training to focus on our most needed areas. (I think bite training is our number 1 focus)
    Toilet training is going well. Only 2 wees inside so far. She’s pretty good at holding her bladder!

    I can’t wait for balance so that I can work from home (on my three home days) and of course so that our whole family can enjoy balance, and fun with our beautiful fast growing pup!
     
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  4. LizzyB23

    LizzyB23 Registered Users

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    Hi Gertie,
    We have a black lab who is now 16weeks.
    All the same issues. I got the puppy blues and really felt we had made a mistake, I don't recall our last lab being anywhere near this bitey!
    Toilet training ng is all sorted now. We put her on a lead to go to a certain spot, every 45mins to an hour, then straight back in for a treat. That worked great. After a coue of weeks of diligence she was asking to go out. Only accidents were when we got complacent. We only use the lead for toileting when it is dark now, which is great!
    Sleeping is much the same as you. Now the clocks have gone forward she will be waking at 6.30. We are going to try to train her to get up when our alarm goes off by setting it for 6.15 then moving it forward a couple of mins a day. Wish us luck
    Her biting is bad for about 2 hours a night. We need some help with that.
    I'm sure in a years time we will look back on this and laugh. X
     
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  5. blackmac

    blackmac Registered Users

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    Our little girl just turned 12 weeks. For us I would say that 9-10 week was the hardest. Not progressing on the housetraining, the biting crazy growling over excited croco/pup had us wondering what we did. Now at 12 weeks we know her much better, can anticipate when her excitement level is increasing and intervene. She is progressing well on potty training, sleeps easily 8 hours at night, we even slept to 8:30 this morning and is also biting much less as we don’t interact with her if she bites.
    The key for us is to keep her mind and body busy. She gets her meals as training rewards or in an interactive toy or dish. Frozen stuffed kongs and she is happy to go to her crate and wind down to a nap. A variety of chew toys helps too. A pocket full of kibble will give us a nice loose leash walk around our small block.
    Our weekends have been spent socializing her the best that we can these days. We took a towel and spent an hour in a shopping cart in Home Depot today and she was perfect. Hand fed her lunch sitting on the curb in front of our house watching the world go by.
    So hang in and hopefully things will get better. Our little girl is very sweet, 95%of the time. She is so fun, we love her to bits!
     
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  6. Gertiegoo

    Gertiegoo Registered Users

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    Oh thank you blackmac! This is so encouraging!

    So it looks like we are about to embark on the hardest bit! I do hope it gets better because my husband and I are so tired we are snapping at each other and everyone, our kids (12 and 9) only help out in little bits and I’m left alone with puppo majority of the time so I’m starting to lose it a bit. I can’t concentrate, I don’t get to make meals properly and even getting time to shower and dress is very hard.

    I have to pop to work for two half days this week and we had arranged for my father to come over to look after Pup, but he just said leave her at home! My in laws also said the same thing! We officially now have no support and I’m very stressed out about it. They clearly don’t see how this is not an easy thing and that puppy families need support around them much like new parents do.

    My son has needed to go to the doctors due to being unwell and just trying to arrange my father to look after the pup for a short time fell through. My stress level is massive when I can’t do these very important family things.

    Feeling particularly low at the moment. I know it will get easier, but my work and family life is taking a beating right now

    Stories like yours help immensely! I am very grateful - thank you so much!! ☺️
     
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  7. Gertiegoo

    Gertiegoo Registered Users

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    Thanks LizzyB23!

    Again, such encouraging words! I so need this right now!

    We feel as though toilet training is going really well so far as we are very diligent with taking her out. When she came to us she held her bladder for 2 hours at a time - do t ask me how we figured it out! We took her out every 30 mins it felt like and then we just noticed this pattern. She has only had 2 number 1 accidents inside. And this was when we were watching her like a hawk and noting everything down (sleep, eat, wee, poo).

    You might have read my last reply, I’m feeling low today. All of our support network has essentially decided not to help us! We had banked on them helping us out just I. The first month or two before day care and pet sitting could happen - but they’ve done a complete turn around and have told us we should just be able to leave her at home alone... We do not agree with this at all - a puppy at barely 9 weeks old should not be left alone without being gradually trained to do so.

    I hope things do get better otherwise I will have to rehome her and that would be shattering in so many ways. Not to mention feeling as though we have failed!

    Thanks again for your encouraging words! It’s great to be able to connect with people who understand - considering my network doesn’t seem to give a rats!
     
  8. LizzyB23

    LizzyB23 Registered Users

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    Oh that is so hard. Could you get a pet sitter to come to your house in the short term, until you can access day care.
    It does get easier. I can now shower without putting mine in her crate. Small things....
     
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  9. Gertiegoo

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    LizzyB23

    I did find a local pet sitter online, I might contact her to come and meet pup in the next couple of weeks so that we can arrange the occasional day of pet sitting at our house. Lord knows I need a “day off” (as well as actually going to work of course!)

    Pup was up at 2:30am for poo and wee! And then more at 6am. Hmm, perhaps an upset tummy. Let’s hope it’s out of her system and she might sleep more tonight! :)
     
  10. Punga

    Punga Registered Users

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    My puppy bit me from 10 weeks to 5 months and I still have scars from when he drew blood. When nearing 6 months he suddenly stopped biting me. Increasing amount of exercise also helped, and now he is the sweetest. Hang in there, you can do this!
     
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  11. Gertiegoo

    Gertiegoo Registered Users

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    Ah Punga!
    What a crazy pup!!
    Oh, I love these encouraging comments so much! I really need to know it gets better!

    I have decided I need to focus most attention on crate training for the day time, “no bite” training and hopefully somehow train her to not eat everything outside!!
     
  12. BlackLabS20

    BlackLabS20 Registered Users

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    Yes re crate training, definitely important to work it up. In the last lockdown lift pre Christmas (I'm from UK), went out for half an hour at a time / an hour to the pub for food etc, when we knew he was going into deep puppy nap. I'm also a runner so had to leave him crated to get my workouts done (upto an hour).

    One thing I would recommend, if you have Spotify or YouTube - look up puppy music and leave a playlist running. I have done this while cooking dinner etc and while I'm in other rooms in the house. This transfers really easily to the car, we put his playlist on, and he chills out in the back.

    Main thing is to not make a big deal of leaving and coming back home. I'll say "hi pup", check in case he needed loo, put my things down and go straight upstairs to shower etc or whatever else I need to do.

    Great on signing up for classes! :)

    It sounds like you are doing really well, so once those pup blues go, it'll feel more manageable.

    Re picking stuff up outside. Teach the "leave it cue".
     
  13. Gertiegoo

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    Yes! The “leave it” training - I started yesterday so we’ll keep that going. I popped in to work leaving my husband with a day of to look after her today and our main focus was crate training. We started focussing properly on this yesterday - following the happy pup instructions - and she started at 50secs with me next to the crate, a kong and randomly scattered treats (with door closed) and today she has been happy for just over 9 minutes! This is very encouraging for me!

    My husband and kids have two weeks break for easter starting tomorrow so I will have lots of help and will be able to go to work with no issues while we do plenty of crate training. So I hope that by the end of the break we might be at the stage that we can leave her for short periods (like 20 minutes). She’ll be 12 weeks old at that stage.

    My husband and I both workout too, so we will be so grateful to have at least 30 minutes in which we can duck out for a run. (Can’t wait!)
     
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  14. Skele

    Skele Registered Users

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    We have recently got a beautiful now 9 week old black lab and I am feeling all of this. Me and my partner have a case of the puppy blues mixed with some other issues. I am really struggling when working to keep him entertained he sleeps quite a lot as he's still a baby but once he's awake he just wants all the attention. Any advice would be grateful!
     
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  15. LizzyB23

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    It does get easier, by about 12 weeks our black girl could amuse herself with toys in the garden while someone kept an eye out from their desk. She is still a bit bitey at night, but definitely getting calmer and easier to handle. We have just started 'place' training which is helping with the dishwasher and counter surfing. Am not feeling the puppy blus nearly as much now
     
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  16. Deboragh

    Deboragh Registered Users

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    I went through the puppy blues as well with our now 3 year old yellow girl. Pippa's information on this topic was really helpful as I couldn't understand why I was feeling down after getting this beautiful puppy. Hang in there, it gets better soon!
     
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  17. Gertiegoo

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    Yes this is how we felt intensely last week, and it’s already starting to turn a bit now she is 10 weeks old. We still need to be with her in her pen most of the time when she is awake, or outside playing of course, but she is starting to have her own time playing in her pen while we dart around the room (we have open plan kitchen dining and lounge) sometimes we are out of sight due to our layout and sometimes she can see us. We feel this is a sign that she is moving toward more independence. And my puppy blues has mostly lifted - I have moments (had one this morning!) where I melted down because I just wanted to eat my breakfast and have a shower!!! Anyway, we are only I tiny bit ahead than you and we are already seeing positive signs. :) keep it up!!!
     
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  18. Gertiegoo

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    Lizzy this is so great to hear! Maybe I will be able to do my work again! I work two - three days at home and two days at a workplace so I am behind in all of my “home” work...

    Does your pup eat everything in the garden? Like possum poo, bird poo, leaves, sticks and just about anything!? We are doing “leave it” training and she is very good at the basic training inside (only in her pen as we don’t let her have access to the rest of the house - at least not until she can be trusted to not toilet, or chew furniture/rugs etc) We’ll keep the training going of course but we can’t wait until we can let her play in the garden without a leash!
     
  19. LizzyB23

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    We don't have trouble with eating naughty things apart from the odd pot plant... Or so I thought... My husband took the puppy for a walk on his own and she found yummy cow poo
     
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  20. Gertiegoo

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    Cow poo! Yes, our pup has eaten chook poo and possum poo. We are moving our chickens to our mother in laws so that’ll help!

    She likes to eat leaves and has even tried to eat rocks! Chews on random plants as well. But she doesn’t always do this. Hopefully our leave it training will help!
     
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