New Dog Owner

Old 01-01-2007, 08:31 PM
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Default New Dog Owner

Hello everyone. I have unexpectedly become a new lab owner. I decided to take this of hunting season off as my fiance is in her senior year of getting her bachelors of science degree (nursing) and my help has been needed around the house more. My youngest brother is in his first year of college himself and decided in October he wanted a puppy. Well he picked up a chocolate lab female pup, Dixie, that was born on 9-9-06. After finishing his first semester and also working just about full time he figured he doesn't have time to care for her properly. He asked if I would take her. My fiance has been wanting a dog, but she wanted an ankle bitter......and I said no way. So when this opportunity came up I figured it would be a good chance to get a dog to satisfy her and also get me a hunting mate. We have never had a dog before so we know NOTHING about taking care of one. My brother gave me "Water Dog" along with Dixie, and I have read the first few chapters, but there is nothing about basic care in that book. I picked her up yesterday and need to know things like how much/when to feed her? How much water does she need? How to house train her (my brother kept her outside, but I want her inside)? Just the basics. My brother has her doing the basics commands of sit, stay, come, and fetching soft stuffed animals. I think just in two days she has adjusted to me and knows that I'm her new dad. My fiance is having trouble dealing with her however. She jumps allot and scratches Amanda. She did it a couple of times to me, and I spanked her mouth and that was that. She is worried about hitting the dog. I told her we would not "beat" the dog, but a little spanking will let her learn. Am I off base with that? I know she is very young (a little shy of 4 months). Any help you guys can offer is appreciated on where to find basic dog care. I know these are things you should learn BEFORE you get a dog, but I didn't have that luxury in this case. Thanks!!!!

Oh and Dixie has thrown up twice this afternoon. Both times it seemed like a lot for such a small dog. The throw up was undigested dog food and water. Do I need to take her to a vet ASAP? Do I need to give her more food/water?

Thank you!!!!!
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Old 01-01-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: New Dog Owner

Congratulations on the new dog. We have five so I know a little about raising them. Right now I wouldn't be too concerned about the dog throwing up, she is in a new enviornment and will be under some stress from that, possibly even new food, just keep an eye on her, if it continues get her to a vet. She's a little young for and obedience school, we took our first two when they were about 6 months old, let your fiance take the dog, the training will be great for both of them and allow them some bonding time just for them. Make sure she has LOTS of things to chew on, every lab pup I've had has been a chewer, one even chewed an outside water faucet off. I'm not a big believer in dog spanking but that's kind of a personal thing, I find that a loud "NO" works with most dogs, if we want to punish one of ours we seperate from us and the rest of the dogs for a little while, dogs are pack animals and most don't like that. Lots of good books out there that would be a good investment. Good Luck.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:12 PM
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Never spank a lab on the butt. They already have a tendency towards hip displasia so a hard spanking may aggravate the condition especially as the dog gets older. Two fingers across the nose works well and I've even seen a person bite a dog on the snout as a form of punishment. It seems dogs respond better to biting rather than beating.

Start training now. You're a little late but with enough attention and patience you can get the dog to do what you want it to. Ideally, a 7 weeks is the best time to start training a dog because that's when the brain is the most ready to receive "data" and when the pup hasn't started any bad, unbreakable habits.

When training always remember KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. One word commands are best and don't name your dog with a word that rhymes with a command. For example, don't name the dog Fletch or Ray.

House break immediately and get the dog used to being around guns if it is to be a hunting dog.

Oh, and when training, make sure it's just you out there while training is in session. If the dog is distracted, training will be frustrating to you and the dog.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:31 PM
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Congrats on the dog !! I got one last year after not having one for almost 20 years. Alwys had dogs until mid 20's when life got in the way. It's really been a pleasure and it's good to know he didn't go the way of a lot of pound dogs.
it's never too early to start training -at least the basics. The jumping is a problem though, instead of spanking try pushing the dog over backwards when she jumps, a couple times falling over on her butt will stop it.
For larger, older dogs a well timed knee in the chest will quickly cure the jumping.
Good luck and enjoy !
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:47 PM
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Puppies will puke - a lot. Don't think its anything to be alarmed about unless she shows some other sign of illness. Then take her to the vet by all means. I don't believe in hitting a dog, but i've found that when you yell "NO!" as loud-as-you-can it is usually sufficient to get the point across. I mean get right in her face and YELL! To stop the jumping you might try grabbing her paws and squeezing hard. She'll get the message, but tell other people to do this as well. The key to dog training is consistency and repetitiveness. Good luck, and don't forget to get her spayed as soon as possible.
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Old 01-01-2007, 10:39 PM
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I've been watching a program on TV called "Dog Whisperer" w/ Cesar Millan. I'm not going to say what the guy does is magic, but he sure does seem to know his stuff! You can check it out here >

The principal thing he teaches dog owners is to be the boss/ alpha dog and to treat the dog as a dog and NOT as a family member.

Good luck and congrats with the new dog........does she have her shots yet?
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Old 01-02-2007, 07:30 AM
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Congrats on the Pup. We are on our second lab and my wife found a good book when we got our first one. the name of the book is "Labador Retrievers for Dummies". We got our copy at Petsmart or Borders I believe.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:11 PM
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A piece of bread broken up will help settle the stomach if throwing up. Also help if the dog hurt the inside of the throat. Changing in diet can be hard for a dog....we went 50/50 with old food and new to transition. We feed twice a day amount depends on weight gain. For me a rolled up piece of paper and beating carpet or floor while yelling got some attention. My chewed up slippers beat on the floor went a long way to. Never use the hand for spankings. Watch the hips....and warm her up before running hard just like an athlete. My 4 YO is already feeling the hips getting worn. Dogs, esp Labs will respong more to praise than just takes more time. Love em as much as you can. They get older kids.
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:17 PM
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Man that was quick. Hadn't thought about the implications about living in an apartment and having the dog. Well low and behold the dog must be under 20lbs! The manager was nice about it, but said there is no way that we can keep her. So now I could just about cry because I was so happy with her and glad she came into our life and we already have to get rid of her. We can't afford to move places at this point (wedding and moving to Florida next year). I guess it wasn't meant to be, but it still doesn't make it easier. I just hope we can find a home for her quickly.

Thanks for all your help!!!! I have done a lot of reading and learned alot. I also bought a couple of books which I will keep if the new owner does not need them. Hopefully in the not so distant future we can be dog owners again.......and hopefully for a little longer.

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Old 01-02-2007, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: New Dog Owner

Rule #1 get a crate..........
Skip the spankings and snout biting/ slapping....
Good Idea to check out Dog Whisperer....
Remember dogs dont talk so yelling a bunch of words at it only makes you look foolish...... One word comands,great idea!
Make sure the GF is using the same comands and not using the "Play" voice when giving them. With a Dog like a Lab you and GF must rule or He/She will.
Good luck they are worth the work.......

My Dogs...... 2 pitbulls and an English Bull terrier
Pits are old and have "NEVER" behaved badly, english bull is in training and learning fast!
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:14 PM
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Tone of voice,and short to the point sentenceing.Also young labs have alot of energy that they need to expell,try walking you will notice a big difference . Good Luck sounds like a great dog!
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