LAB PUPPY CARE GUIDE
Are you looking at adding a labrador puppy to your family? Labradors.com enlisted the help of lab training expert Bill Miller to give the prospective lab parents an idea of what a good training schedule looks like. Enjoy!
Rise & Shine
Without engaging the puppy, I open the crate and quickly take him to his potty spot. I’ll ignore the puppy for 10 – 15 minutes so he will pee and poop more quickly. If you start playing with the puppy before he’s done all his business, he’ll most likely finish it on your kitchen floor.
Breakfast & Potty Break
Initially, I like to feed the puppy in his crate. It helps get him used to the crate and prevents him from getting distracted from his meal. I leave the puppy and food in the crate for 20 minutes or so. Since most puppies will pee and/or poop after a meal, I will take the puppy out for another potty break shortly after he eats. Then, I will play with the puppy for as long as I can. If I don’t have time to play, I have a secure fenced-in area outside the puppy can run around and play in.
Morning Nap Time
Puppies are a lot like babies. A big part of their day is napping. After breakfast, potty and play, I will put the puppy into his crate along with a chew toy or two to play with. The puppy will remain (hopefully snoozing) in his crate for the next 2-3 hours.
Potty, Play & Lunch
If the pup has been in his crate for more than an hour or two, I know he’ll have to pee and/or poop. I quickly take the puppy to his spot to go. After he goes, I’ll praise him and have some playtime. After he’s blown off some steam, depending on the age of the puppy, I’ll give him some lunch (in his crate) and then we’ll go outside for another potty break after he eats.
Shortly after lunch, I’ll give the puppy time to settle in to his afternoon siesta.
Potty, Play & Dinner
After the puppy takes care of business, it’s playtime. It’s ok if you don’t have two hours to play with the puppy. Do the best you can. 15 minutes of interaction with your puppy will stimulate him. Then you can put him in a secure fenced in area or a larger exercise pen until dinner.
Potty & Crate
In lieu of crate, I will have puppy tethered to me with a leash or I’ll have her in a secure fenced in area. You can occasionally substitute having the puppy on a leash with you instead of the crate. Having the puppy on a leash teaches him how to behave in the house and gives you some control if he decides not to.
Evening Nap or Tether
I often watch TV at night with a puppy lying at my feet. I’ll have the puppy’s leash wrapped around my leg and give the puppy a chew toy. After they fidget around and figure out they can’t roam around, they fall asleep. A sleeping puppy is a good puppy.
Potty & Bedtime
With a new puppy, I will stay up as late as I can stand it. Before bed, i’ll take the puppy outside to his spot and give him time to go. After he goes, I put him in his crate, pat his head, give him a treat and go to bed.
THE AWAY PLAN
Eventually, there comes a time when you’ll have to go away and can’t take the puppy with you. The time to plan for this event is not on the way to the airport. If you do have to find someone to care for your puppy, there are several options.