What would you do differently if you had your time again?

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by alistairharriss, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. alistairharriss

    alistairharriss Registered Users

    Apr 25, 2020
    Hi everyone,

    There is so much amazing advice on this forum. I've been reading for a few weeks as we are getting our little bundle of energy in a couple of weeks.

    Having read lots of books and trying to digest all the advice i was hoping some of you would be able to offer us some absolute gems of info or advice for new puppy owners like us. Anything you would do differently or anything you did from the start which made all the difference would be amazing.

    Thank you for taking the time to help us prepare for our new pup. We are giddy with excitement and cant wait to start tackling the daily challenges that await us.
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

    Mar 16, 2014
    How exciting, great fun ahead. I have had 5 dogs over about 25 years, so training techniques and behaviour management strategies over the years have changed. So, top tip, take advise from folk who are up to date with moden thinking. Old fashioned advise is detrimental. So, on that note the best thing we ever did with Meg, my current dog was let her off the lead from day one. There is a thread on here from Pippa all about how and why. Be brave and go for it. Meg is 6 and hardly ever on a lead which is wonderful for her. Buy a copy of Total Recall and work your way through it from day 1, it works. Be sure to come back with some puppy pictures too .
  3. alistairharriss

    alistairharriss Registered Users

    Apr 25, 2020
    Edp, thanks so much for the advice. I will definitely have a look at the book. we have already ordered it. thanks again. Any other advice would be greatly received. :)
  4. alistairharriss

    alistairharriss Registered Users

    Apr 25, 2020
    out of interest we have been recommended to put a second puppy pen in the garden where we want her to go for a wee and use this pen as a method of teaching her where she is allowed to go to relieve herself. Is this in any way training her to go in her pen in the kitchen once inside?

  5. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    Hi Alistair and welcome :). I would love to have my time over again, so I could be as nice to my first dogs as I am to my current ones :). But times change and we live and learn. As Edp says, look for up to date modern training. I've seen it from both sides, and modern training is a wonderful improvement on the old methods. Congratulations on your impending arrival - so much fun ahead!

    A puppy pen in the garden shouldn't cause your puppy to pee indoors and is a great way to ensure your puppy toilets in the part of the garden you have designated. Make it a great place for your puppy to be by always giving your puppy treats once the puppy is in the pen. Look forward to hearing about your adventures!
  6. Tarwheel

    Tarwheel Registered Users

    Feb 21, 2020
    Raleigh, NC
    We crate trained our puppy from the start and are so glad we did. She quit whining at bedtime by the third day and was sleeping through the night in about 4-6 weeks. She likes her crate and will go in there to nap during the day. Plus, we can leave her in there when we need to leave her home alone for a few hours.
    Joana likes this.
  7. Dandan111

    Dandan111 Registered Users

    Feb 7, 2019
    We love our lab "trumpet". He's a great dog. If we were doing it over I'd lean
    towards more towards a full English lab. Ours is a American /English . He looks like a
    strong American lab and has energy that's hard to control at times. He's strong
    and my daughter has her hands full at dog club more often than not. I'm sure
    he'll setting down more as he matures. A full English might be a tad easier.
  8. TEE

    TEE Registered Users

    Jan 13, 2019
    Key focus items for me in no order:

    Recall from day 1
    Off leash walking as much as possible
    Socialization as much as you can
    Create training from day 1
    Dummy retrieving when time comes
  9. SullyBear

    SullyBear Registered Users

    Apr 9, 2020
    I am actually doing it over again lol. I had labradors as rescues but not as puppies.

    I am not quick to listen to everyone's opinion. Like raising babies and kids it is NOT a one size fits all. Not clear cut. There is not a black and white way to do things. You have to be ready to approach training with creativity and patience. For me I am a certified professional dog trainer (wheelchair and disabled) and even with all the science I am still always tweaking and changing my ways of training.

    Self care - if you are not sleeping eating or functioning well (you will NOT be your best for your puppy). You need to be recharged, you need to be relaxed and you need to have your own needs met. No one really explains this in any training books. It is okay to separate yourself and get space. Puppies are exactly like babies (psychological sense).

    The first cues I am working on and it is absolutely crucial and beneficial for you and your family.

    • calm
    • boundaries
    • take it
    • drop it
    • recall
    • loads of games (absolutedogs group on Facebook)
    • seperate

    Training should be fun. Not stressful. People should want to help! As fast as a behavior or a ooopies appears you can develop confidence to change your dog's behavior and focus on how to reinforce wanted behaviors.

    Yesterday I took my exercise pen down for my 13 week pup. No matter how the books say crate and pen (when not watching). It was stressing him out and overflowing his bucket. Magically now he goes and picks the boundaries we have designated. He is laying on them. Quietly. Out of the way. No barking, whining, jumping or stress.

    I have also started sleeping away from him nightly. Completely away. No crying barking etc. He is more confident. 13 weeks and he is quiet through the night, goes potty once (my kid let's him out and handles him during night shift). It works FOR me.

    I see him at 6:45-7am. Feed him at 8:30-9am with games, puzzles etc (we focus on boundaries and calm 99% of the day). Ignore the jumping and excitability when he greets me - he immediately stops and goes to his boundary to settle.

    He goes to bed at 7pm.

    Now everyone has many different opinions, views, ways, structures and reasons. Really you need to do what's best for your family. Nothing worse when people make you feel stupid or like they KNOW so much more and you aren't doing it right.

    Just you worrying about this proves your a good owner

    Have fun. Change things up. Join AbsoluteDogs - it is a blast! The positive attitudes, all the games and fun is amazing.

    I wish I would have done it sooner!

    Enjoy your pup!
    Oatley likes this.
  10. alistairharriss

    alistairharriss Registered Users

    Apr 25, 2020
    thank you all so much. We are 7 days away and have Amazon coming every day it seems with an endless trail of crates, pens, toys, beds etc for the new pup. we still dont have a name but we have finally got a short list. I think the name will come when we finally see her.

    It is certainly going to be fun, thats for sure. In terms of the pen in the garden we are definitely going to do that. One question which i cant find an answer to is during the night when i take her out for a wee i appreciate that it has to be calm and quiet but if she wees in the pen at say 2am is it wise to give her a treat if i want her to go straight back to sleep??

    Thanks again everyone for your wise words, the books are being read as i believe good preparation is key for a calm fun first few months. Pictures to follow!
    SullyBear likes this.

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