Care and Maintenance

Integrity Farm Labrador Retrievers                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Brenda Mazzaglia --(603)-432-0811
78 warner Hill Road Derry NH 03038
www.integrityfarm.com  or   www.nhlabradors.com 
**MUST READ** Feeding & Care (Please I understand this is long, But Please Read it.) 
CARE AND MAINTENANCE  - (Purina Pro Plan  Chicken &  Rice Puppy Formula--"Focus")

 Your puppy, when taken to his new home, will be under some stress as he just left his mother, littermates and familiar surroundings.  Do not expose him to too much activity for a few days until he adjusts to him new home.  He will look to you for direction, protection and comfort. Everything is new to him, He may not be very playful, frisky, or hungry at first. Have patients, talk to him they don’t have a big people vocabulary right now, but they will soon learn to respond to your voice and commands. Speak often and softly.

 So when you get home take him to his area. Have a hard rubber or nylon chew toy  in his crate a few toys outside it.  Show him where to find his water and food bowl. It won’t take long for him to know what little area of your house is his. In this space let it be his undisturbed space while he is resting, sleeping or eating.  After he is housetrained and I wouldn’t do it before, you can place a towel or washable bedding to lie on.  Always give your dog an opportunity to eliminate before crating him.

During the first 6 months, your puppy needs the best possible nutrition to help build strong bones and teeth; and importantly promote proper development of body functions; good vision; strong muscles and a thick lustrous coat.  Your puppy will do best on food that is specially formulated for growth.  Proper nutrition plays an important role in all stages of your dog’s life. When your pup becomes an adult he will have different nutritional needs than when he was a growing pup. He will need less to maintain as an adult body than it does a growing body. Some dogs might need special dietary needs at some point in his life to maintain good health and it’s a big responsibility, one that will be best shared with your veterinarian. Let your vet know of any behavioral or physical changes with your dog.    

Knowing basic facts about dog behavior and care will make building a good relationship easy. Take the time to learn about caring for him, making your home safe and some basic training will help to ease the transition for all of you.

Although, showing off your new pup is exciting, please keep in mind, that they have not completed the full series of vaccinations. I cannot stress enough that It is very important that you realize that your new puppy has only had one set of vaccines and has no real immunity to things common to adult dogs. 
So You should not expose your pup to any other dogs or bring him or her to a pet store or dog play park.  Doing this could be detrimental to your puppy. It is probably safe to bring him to play with a family member’s dog as long as you know they are not sick, or have been exposed to any sickness, kenneled or went to doggie day care. Also if the dog is older or larger you must keep an eye on any rough housing. 

• We suggest you crate train him.  He will be confined to wire crate, the size of and adult Labrador, at night, during naps and when you cannot watch him.  Within a week or so, your puppy will love his crate and the security it provides him. Crate is not punishment.

  Food /Feeding

1). ***  At Least Once a day, or  2 tablespoons each feeding, Give your new pup Yogurt, Yes supermarket Yogurt, just make sure it says with live culture or active culture, this is really good for your pups belly and intestines, helps sooth the belly during this transition time put good bacteria back where it is needed; I do my adults also several times a week. It is good for them. Live culture yogurt to help restore the good gut flora continue this for life is a good idea for life. 

2). Feeding when going home ….(Purina Pro Plan  Chicken &  Rice Puppy Formula--"Focus"). (I know they make a Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Formula, I personally use the regular puppy formula Chicken & rice Puppy food "Focus" for the first 6 mos. of life.  I personally do not use the Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Formula in these early months. I like to give them a good growing formula out the gate for 6 months. But it is Ok if you want to.) Which is mixed with equal parts, warm water, let it sit until the food softens.  {If you wish you can add a few tablespoons of the same quality canned dog food. But I do Not do this) If puppy is finicky the first few days take the dry food in a blender Make a powder out of it. Add warm water makes great wet gravy to spread on the food.  Your puppy is currently eating 3 meals a day. Your puppy might skip a meal or 2 the first day, lots of changes but should go back.

** 1 ¼ cups 3 times a day with water. Morning,  noon and night. This should continue for at least a month and then the noon meal can be dropped off and they should move to 2¼-3 cups morning and night.  As your puppy gets older, you can gradually reduce the water mixed with dry food, or you can continue to feed it moistened. Switch to 2 feedings per day around 4-5 months.

If they do not have proper nutrition they will not grow properly and be as healthy as possible.    6 to 8 mos.  puppy food then put them on adult food. (Feeding time frame and amount are all individual find out what works for you both as far as work schedules & house training) 

 A good rule of thumb is: Leave food down no more than 20 minutes. If food is leftover for more than two meals in a row, you are feeding too much; if dish is cleaned too quickly, increase the amount a little. 

3)  I recommend the Purina Pro Plan brand PET FOOD because of its high performance nutrition and it is scientifically formulated to help support a strong immune system, build strong muscles and promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. For more information go to www.proplan.com   Note: I understand you will see Purina dog foods in the Supermarket Different formulas but you may think it is Purina so it is the same. It is not, it is a different formula. Please use the Pro Plan for at least One year before you change the quality of food, give your pup a good first year. 

4) Give the puppy 20 minutes to eat his food and then pick up the dish.  Do not offer food again until the next feeding.  The main meal is fed in the morning and a Very light meal at night.  The amount of food should be increased as the puppy grows and can vary according to size of the pup, amount of exercise, time of year, type of food, etc.  Do not feed chicken bones, beef bones or chocolate.  Small puppies, usually up to 3 or 4 months of age, do not know when to stop drinking water and an unlimited amount of water should not be available to them at all times unless they only drink a small amount when they are thirsty.  Otherwise, offer them reasonable amounts of water between meals. If your switch brands your puppy may have a little gastric upset until he/ she adjusts.  

  • A lot of the feeding is common since these are basic if your pup is to thin or to heavy do what you need to as far as amounts they are all individuals some a little pigs, some are a little fussy some are more active etc….     

 5) If you and your vet decide to change your pups food the first month. For whatever reason he does not like my recommendations.  Please, Please, please Do Not Change your Puppy’s Food For at least 3 -4weeks after you get him home, This is why I send you home with food, Do not upset his belly any more, this little guy has gone through enough right now. Give him time to adjust before you make more changes to his life.    

 6) You must remember that a consistent schedule is VERY important to a puppy. You should try to keep feeding, walking & bed times consistent, this will help with training.  If you have any problems with vomiting or diarrhea, you can use Pepto Bismol and Yogurt, OR Yogurt and boiled Hamburg and Rice, to help settle the stomach. They should also be taking off dog food for 24 hours. When giving the just mentioned belly settlers. You can call me but if these symptoms persist you should call your veterinarian.    

7) Excessive growth and overweight in puppies is a major cause of hip or elbow dysplasia.  Also jogging your puppy with you on hot top or pavement could increase the risk of dysplasia. Do not give table scraps as a rule. Do not give milk  it tends to give diarrhea absolutely NO reason to give milk to your pup. 

8)  • At 6 to 8 mos. of age, switch to an adult chicken & rice formula/ or adult maintenance formula. (Puppy food has high calcium and phosphate levels and is designed to make the pup grow, and that is not good for a very long period of time.)   You can discontinue adding water to the dry food.  (Although wetting food is good for dogs of all ages. it prevents Bloat.) Please leave fresh water down for them at all times, once they are housebroken.  
• If you feel you must give them something to eat.   Give them empty calorie snacks, such as carrots, or green beans. not necessary I DO NOT DO THIS it is only if you feel must give them something to eat.  Remember that any treats throughout the day, especially when training with treats, as this is the best way to train your lab, should be taken into account when decided how much to feed them at each meal!! 

          Snacks and table scraps; Dogs need hard chew food to keep their teeth clean. Biscuits can be used occasionally, but do not give too many. Labs LOVE food and get overweight easily. Scraps are not my choice but if you are going to do this make sure they are not too rich or fatty or real gravy. Again I do not do this it is only for the people who insist on doing this type of feeding.   

             The buyer should also educate himself to proper nutrition of the dog so as not to induce joint problems by either lack of nutrition or by causing an overweight condition in a developing dog. In pet owning love is not enough, you must be a responsible pet owner

Health records & Basic Health

1) My veterinarian has given a routine checkup and a Health Certificate that I provide to you before going to his new home. Your pup has been wormed and vaccinated with the first set of shots. Take this information to your Veterinarian and receive his approval on your new puppy. This appointment is generally 14 or more days after your pick up day.  A stool sample may be requested for your puppy’s first visit.   

      First set of shots have been given on your health certificate( puppy shot need at least 14 days in between them. next are due at about 12 weeks and then again about  16 weeks. I not use the leptospirosis vaccine on puppies first set of shots; so they will need it the next 2 times they get the puppy shots. Your puppy should receive 3 sets of vaccinations by 18 weeks of age, then once yearly thereafter. Because young immune systems haven’t been exposed to contagious diseases and aren’t fully developed, puppies are vulnerable to various diseases. You should consult your veterinarian about a vaccination schedule he can advise you about other possible vaccinations that are suggested, or required, for your area. 

• Vaccinations:  After puppy shots, your dog should be vaccinated once a year to ensure continued immunity against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Lyme and Para influenza.  Rabies vaccines are done every 3 years.  Vaccines are especially important in puppies and older dogs.  Your veterinarian will give you the most recent information and scheduling. 

 *ALWAYS, FOLLOW YOUR VETERINARY ADVICE. This kind of information changes all the time.  

Newborn pups receive some disease-fighting antibodies from mom’s milk, but these only last a few weeks. After that, Vaccines protect your pup by stimulating .him to produce his own antibodies.  Diseases are easily transmitted between pets. Your  vet will recommend a up to date schedule for your pup to prevent these diseases. Most are given as a series over a period of time, with boosters at intervals.  Always follow your vets recommendations

 Sometimes a puppy will have loose stools and occasionally some blood in them, but if he is playful and eating well do not be alarmed.  It can be caused by chewing on sticks, etc., and when swallowed it can irritate his intestine.  Call me if this occurs or see # 6 of this document. Always remember if you have any questions on your puppy’s health or training you can call me.  

2) Spay / neuter:  There are numerous benefits of performing this surgery. An unsprayed female is subject to mammary cancer and pyometra (an infected uterus), which is definitely life threatening.  Spaying/ Neutering are performed under a general anesthetic and are easy on the young dog.  As you might expect it is a little harder on the older dog.  Neutering the male at a young age will inhibit some characteristic male behavior that owners frown upon.  I have found my boys will not hike their legs and mark territory if they are neutered.  Unneutered males are at risk for testicular cancer, perianal fistulas, perianal tumors and fistulas and prostatic disease. Neutering is part of the preferred treatment for all gender-related medical conditions.  Overall, spaying/neutering will make your pet have less desire to run away, may be calmer; avoid certain health risk, more even-tempered and highly trainable. Be responsible. Consult your Veterinarian about the best age to do this.

3). Flea, Tick and Parasite control: It’s very important and we strongly recommend your dog be on a Program. If you live in an area where tick is a concern, we recommend that you vaccinate your pup for Lyme disease.  We recommend that you discuss this with your Vet.  

 4) Nails:   If your dog is not outside enough to wear down his nails, a nail trimmer and file can be purchased at a pet shop.   Cut the tips off and file to a smooth edge. Make sure you also get “Quick Stop” or something equivalent to stop any bleeding. Nails can really bleed.  

5) Do not do strenuous activities until your pup is throw its growth period, which is in most cases at the age of 2 years. If the pup is used for field trilling, open obedience, hunting, or any other strenuous activity (including "roading/jogging on hot top"), Hiking or even forcing them to do long walks, when they have to run to keep up to your walk, jumping up in a truck etc… this is strenuous on them; If any of this done prior to its being 1or 2 years of age, environmentally induced dysplasia and other joint problems may develop. As I say over and over they are like children, the only difference is children can tell you they are tired of walking or they ask you to carry them. BUT your pup will injure themselves because they want to please you so much. So please understand your pup needs limits.  

6)  This might be more safety than health but it is still something you need to talk to your vet about.  I recommended that you use some means of permanent identification for your dog, such as tattoo or microchip “this is a tracking devise implanted in your dog’s shoulder area.  Your vet can provide you with information. I prefer Microchip it is small and easy to do in a regular vet office visit. In the stat of NH it is a law that any animal that is brought into the Humane Society or dog shelter must be scanned for a microchip before anything is done to the animal. This could save your dog.  

Another thing that you should do that may help with future possible health and care. is touching your pup. Throughout his life, you will need to handle your dog to groom, trim his nails, check for any problems or ticks and maybe give medication. It will be easier if your pup is used to being handled. When the pup is relaxed, gently rub your hands over his body, feet maybe a little squeeze gently  like you are trimming his nails. Look in his ears, and maybe even open his mouth and talk to him while you are doing this. You can do this in stages not all in one day. Don’t forget praise, petting and treats.

 Things you will need 

1)Collar and Leash: Your pup will need a 12-16 inch adjustable Lightweight nylon collar to start with,( or measure his neck and add 2 inches. check daily too make sure it is not too tight, you will be checking the collar as you take it off to put puppy in his crate. You will need a 6-foot leather lead for walking and training. 

 2)A Crate  That will become his safe and special place to sleep and feel secure. The size for an adult lab. Put it near family hub of activity, so he feels like part of the family. The key to successful use of the crate is to always use it in a positive manner never punishment. Do not allow children in it.

 3)Identification tag one that permanently attaches to the collar. Then some day at 6 mos. or older a microchip.

4) Food and water bowls   heavy enough so your pup can’t tip over.

5) Safe Toys are important they help your pup exercise and provide a safe way to satisfy the need to chew.    Rubber  toys  can be filled with treats and  hard rubber toys are usually safe. If you are not sure how safe a toy is don’t let them play with that toy unless you are carefully watching.    Keep your pup away from children’s toys made of soft rubber, wool, fur, polyurethane or sponge. Swallowing these can cause digestive problems.  Toys to avoid :  one that he can fit in his mouth. Sponge, squeakers, whistles, or attached parts he can swallow. Don't let them play with old shoes or clothes.

6)  A Pooper Scooper  a must and often forgotten.  Keep the yard clean :)

7)Grooming supplies- nice soft brush for now

 HOUSETRAINING 

Pup will relieve them self almost immediately upon waking and shortly after eating. They should be let out every hour for the first week or so until they start asking for the door. They will rarely soil the sleeping area, If you keep them confined to this area except for short periods after taking them out, you should find training fairly easy, If they make a mistake reprimand immediately or not at all, as they have very short memories and will not know why they are being punished. Never reprimand your pup until you know they know what is expected of them.   

A young puppy, 9 -16 weeks old, usually has no problem accepting its crate as its own special place”. Any complaining is caused, not by the crate, but by the puppy’s resistance to the controls of his new unfamiliar situation. Remember to keep the crate in the room you are in for the first few weeks, really all the time, as they want to be with you. Until the puppy is past the chewing stage, old towels which can easily be washed, and some freshly worn article of old clothing such as a t-shirt or sweatshirt can used as bedding.  This will make the puppy feel comfortable in your absence. 

 Crate Training

1) DO NOT leave food or water in the crate (a Med/Large crate 38’Lx24”H x 26”W) this encourages spilling and elimination. You can feed the pup in their crate to get them to like their crate but always leave the door open and stay right there so you can bring them out as soon as they are done eating. Then remove the bowl. Be sure to remove anything from the pups’ neck, I.e. collars, which might get caught. Establish a crate routine immediately and stick to it as close as possible. A puppy should be taken outdoors to a specific bathroom spot after every meal, nap, and at regular intervals in between. A good rule of thumb is to keep the puppy in the crate any period of time when the puppy isn’t being directly supervised by you. Let the pup outside every hour if he is not sleeping.  So not wake them up to go out.  Unless you are leaving and want them to go pee before you leave. Never leave your new pup alone more than 1-2 hours the first 2 weeks you and he are bonding.  Do leave him alone for short periods though,  5 minutes at a time to help him establish independence. 
Be consistent. Be firm, and know that a puppy needs to be kept out of trouble when left alone, It will make your time together much happier in the long run. Studies have shown that puppies that are crate trained are 75% less likely to have behavior problems during the first 3 years of their life. A good beginning with a puppy can mean a lifetime of happiness. 

2) For crate training, we recommend a wire crate, which is completely collapsible.  Before going to bed take the puppy outside where you want him to go ( same area every time); after he goes let him run back to the house.  Then put him in his crate.  First thing in the morning, take your puppy out to go potty and after every meal, after he plays hard and when he wakes up from a nap...  If he doesn’t go when you take him out, bring him back in and put him in his crate.  After 20-25 minutes, take him out again and he should go.  Watch him closely after he’s been in the house for 15 minutes.  Anytime you can’t watch him, put him in his cage especially when a visitor comes or you receive a phone call.  The fewer mishaps in the house, the faster he will go to the door.  Always praise him for going outside never spank or push his nose in his mishaps, as he can’t identify 20 seconds after he has had an accident. If you want the puppy to sleep in a crate, no matter how hard they cry leave them in it.  If you let them into your bed you will teach the puppy if they scream loud or long enough you will give in.  

Exercise

1)Playing is exercise and should be done daily it is also important contact between you both and allows a little training at the same time. It develops social skills and strengthens the bond between the two of you. This will also provide the puppy with a constructive release for that pent up energy. Provide several different toys and games to keep it all interesting. 

2)Exercise is another issue for most. Too, much versus too little. I suggest no rough housing with other dogs, no jumping in and out of trucks, no jumping off stair landings, no jumping high to catch the Frisbee. Lots of supervised playing and a lot of training at the same time. Leash walking is a must learn activity and you can start that as soon as you get home with your pup. But remember do not push the exercise if they are tied let them rest. No not push them. 

3)Swimming is the one exercise that cannot hurt your pup so go ahead and let him swim and fetch in the water all you can take, but do watch your pup constantly. Always pay attention to either the heat or the cold with your dog. Check the pads of their feet, their teeth and ears, and clip their nails at least once a week. Once your pup is teenager, which is at about 9 months old you can start to increase their exercise. Longer walks and loose exercise, running freely off lead as long as you are in a fenced in area and you have control of your lab.  Do not be a lazy lab owner. I spend an hour a day walking around in the winter with all my labs just to give them exercise.  They love this, anything you want to do with them, they will love to do. Obedience classes and socialization are all individual depending on you and your pup. I do recommend that you socialize your pup with other dogs and people early on, you do not have to go to class to do this. If you have doubts about whether to call a trainer or go to a class you should probably do one or the other. However, you should be able to teach your puppy sit, heal, stay, to walk on their leash, down, off,  no and their name, all too some degree before they start class which is about 16 weeks, once all vaccines are given.  

 Obedience Training Tips:

Say his name often and make “come”  the first thing he learns.

1)Labrador Retriever  puppies are normally a very easy breed to work with. They are bred for their brains as well as their beauty. Do not let this adorable pup get lost in the shuffle. Make them part of everything possible in your lives. Try your best to make every experience a positive one for your pup. Proper behavior as well as improper behavior is learned not instinctive.  

2)Dogs live in groups that expect and respect a leader in their social pack. SO it's important that you take this leadership role and establish clear rules and expectations for behavior. when you do this you help the dog or pup learn his place and role in your home. Help your dog learn the rules of your house so you can live happy together. 

3)Basic obedience training begins as soon as you take your puppy home, but for the first few months, you will be teaching the puppy what your commands mean, not demanding obedience. The exception is "NO" which can be enforced by simply picking up the pup and removing it from the problem. With basic obedience as with housebreaking, logic and consistency are the keys to success. 

4)Make sure the dog (not just you) understands what the command means and don’t give a command that you are not prepared to enforce.  

 5)Remember to keep training short and repetitive a few minutes each day or several times a week is better than a long session once a week. 

6)Put a lot of thought into what Commands you will use, and when you will or won’t use them. 

7)For example don’t use "stay" when you mean "sit".   If your dog doesn’t  remain sitting repeat "sit" and put it in a sit position if necessary.  “Stay”  means that you are going to leave the dog, and it should remain where it is. "Stay" mean don’t come with me.  Try to give positive commands. 

8) Use "NO" sparingly, if possible and only for  behavior that is never expectable.  Don’t use "NO" when the pup barks, use "quiet" instead.  Don’t say "no" when the pup jumps up on the couch, use "Off" 9)if you were going to allow it up there later in life don’t allow it as a pup. You have to know your limits in your house for the pup. ( you might also want to think about babysitters. Who will want to watch a dog that is bad...) 

 10)The word “COME”. The most important thing you can teach your pup.  If your puppy doesn’t come when called, DO NOT CHASE HIM. If you start to chase your pup, it will soon become a game he enjoys. This will not do you any good when your pup is running towards the road and thinks your cry of the word "come" is a game.   Things to remember when he is a pup is, he soon will out run you and it will strengthen in his mind that he doesn’t have to come when called.  If he is busy doing something, do not call him, as he probably won’t come.  Instead, quietly go over and pick him up or snap a leash on his collar and say, “come”.  Also, you can raise your voice, go the opposite way and when he sees you leaving he should run after you.   You do not want to continually tell him to come and not have him respond.  The fewer negative responses the better.  Try a treat during training that usually helps.   I also tell people to purchase a very long rope ( like the one people use to hang laundry on tie one end to the collar and hold the other end, say the word "come repeatedly" and keep shortening the rope as to real him in. then a reward.) little do you both realize that good come command can save his life someday.   

 11)Don’t use similar words for different commands. " Down" means don’t jump on me, and lie down are too similar and are confusing. Traditionally " down" is used for lie down and a word like " off" would be acceptable for don’t jump on me. You could use "no" further don’t jump on me if you never want your dog to do that, but if you sometimes encourage your dog to stand on its hind legs and give you a hug, Or jump up to lick your face, then don’t use no.  ( I personally don’t recommend any jumping up on you for any reason because when your puppy is 70/80/90 pounds someone is getting knocked on their butt and it won’t be the dog!! and a child or elderly may get seriously hurt.   

 12)Teaching "sit" is easy," down" not much harder " come" is the most difficult in the beginning;  and in my opinion the most important. to teach it use it when you know your pup will come ( like when you’re having his dinner in your hand ) "Heal" is a more sophisticated concept, but in the beginning it can mean walk by my side and don’t darts between my legs.

13)I don’t recommend public training classes before six months of age Labradors do require the early socialization that the more aggressive breeds may need in the  Health risk are high. Also you do not want to expose them to other puppies that are aggressive at this stage in their development.  

14)"Fetch" is easy with Labradors, but make sure the pup actually sees what you throw and where. It’s eyesight is still developing, make it fun and easy at first to encourage him.  "Fetch" means retrieve it and bring it back. "Give" means release the object into the throwers hand. Many future problems will be avoided if you follow through on this entire sequence from the beginning.  

 15)Many Labrador  puppies do like to garden and they especially like newly planted landscaping, so a dog run or a fenced off area or in your yard or patio can prevent a lot of grief and bad habits during the first 18 to 24 months . 

 16)make sure you spend regular periods of time with your pup indoors teaching it to live quietly and to be a good citizen in the house. This requires patience, but it is much easier to deal with a small rambunctious puppy then a large rambunctious adult. 

17)Put the collar on your pup, when they are not in their crates and put the leash on them and let them lead you around the first few days.  Never let them pull you around. Just plant your feet in and do not move when your pup gets bigger and decides he is going to take you for a walk. Resume your walk once your pup has sat at your side and you have given him a treat, one piece of kibble is a treat/reward and lots of praise.  

 18)**Do not take puppies dish away from it while it is eating as has been recommended in some booksDo not interfere with a dog’s meal and keep children away from a dog that is eating. If you were really concerned about snapping response try touching while eating, pet the dog while it’s eating so that it learns that touching doesn’t mean that the food will be taking away. labs love food. 

19)DO NOT PLAY ROUGH WITH YOUR PUPPY! Don’t let the puppy develop bad habits such as jumping up on you or the children, biting at clothing, etc.  You need to start from the beginning with the rules that you want for later don’t try to change rules later.  You must remember that your puppy will grow to be a large dog at maturity.   Some of the bad habits that he develops as a small puppy will certainly not be desirable when he grows older. DON’T LET HIM GET BY WITH ANYTHING AS A PUPPY THAT YOU WONT’WANT HIM TO DO WHEN HE IS OLDER AND LARGER.  

 20)Puppy teeth are razor sharp, but we are down quickly and Our shed between 4 to 6 months of age. Be careful with your fingers and clothing when your puppy jumped and grab this behavior should be discouraged, but since they usually do this when they are glad to see you, be careful what message you give. If a puppy bites hard deliberately, grab it in the scruff of the neck and say no sternly. If it has clamped down on your hand, Press upper lips against the points of its teeth so that it’s biting itself and say "no" sternly. This is always affective.  

 21) It is quite natural for a very young Labrador puppy to jump right into the water the first time it sees a swimming pool. It does not mean that it has any idea how to get out, or even how to swim for very long. Watch any dog, pop or adult, closely around a swimming pool unless you are sure it has been shown and remembers where the stairs and how to use them, and you know that the dog can swim a long enough to reach them.    

  22)  Hope this helps and make sure everyone in your house uses the same command words to get the same meaning across with the same results. Be firm, Follow through with each command. Always reward good behavior with lots of praise, patting, or kibble.  Consistency is Key!  Have fun! and remember just little bit every day. 

Keeping your puppy safe   

All of the above should help. But puppies teethe, they are lively, and curious.  This all can lead to trouble. It's had to completely puppy-proof your house but hopefully this will help, again just suggestions are all I can do.

 Confine your puppy to a safe area in your home.  Keep doors and windows closed.  Keep your pup off of high decks and porches.  Unplug ,remove or cover electrical cords in the pups confined area.  Keep plastic bags or other choking material away from pup.  Keep sewing supplies; like buttons. And hardware like nails or other sharp or small objects of puppy's reach.  Hide any Medication.  get rid of any poisonous plants or hang them high in hanging baskets.  Secure and store away hazardous items cleaners, paint rodent and insect poisons, antifreeze, plant foods ets,etc,etc...  

Common poisonous plants: Amaryllis, Azalea, Bleeding Heart, Caladium, Clematis, Daffodil, Daphne, Dieffenbachia, English Ivy, Foxglove, Holly, Iris, Ivy ( most types), Marijuana,  Mistletoe, Morning Glory,  Narcissus, Oleander, Philodendron ( all types),  Poinsettia, Potato, Rhododendron, Rubber Plant, Tobacco, Tulip, and Yew.

I think I have room on the page so I am going to keep going. Some people ask about blending the pup into their family.

Children: Kids love pups and pups love kids. They do need to learn proper animal care. First of all always supervise. Children must learn not to pull a dog’s tail or ears, squeeze or poke him, make loud threatening noises or move toward him to fast. Explain to them if pup hides under couch not to pull legs or hurt joints that can cause parents lots of money, but to call you instead. Also if they can’t hold the pup securely don’t let them, make them sit  on the floor to hold him.

Babies:  Let the dog smell a piece of the baby’s blanket. To dogs babies are totally different creatures than children or adults, they move and smell  different. So supervise.  

Visitors: This is an important part of his socialization. This will make him friendly and reduce fear of strangers.  Don’t Let him jump on people, give the “sit” command and help him into this position. Don’t have them pet him until he is sitting. Have him stay sitting while they pet him calm praise and treats help.

Older dogs: Have them both on leashes, don’t leave them alone till you are sure they are good together. If the dog is much bigger make sure the pup doesn’t get hurt playing. If the other dog is so old it doesn’t want to play keep an eye out.  

Cats: You may want to put a wire mesh  gate in a doorway between a pup and a cat in case the cat jumps . give them time to get acquainted, while letting the cat jump out if she needs to. Do not allow the pup to chase or bark at the cat.  Trust me usually the puppy will love the cat but cats don’t really like puppy Love.

Make sure you give all animals separate time for attention, affection and playtime .   

 Books

*The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete..   *Mother Knows Best by Mary Rutherford  ..  *The Book of the Labrador Retriever by Anna Katherine Nicolas..  *Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook by Delbert G. Carlson, DVM and James M. Giffin, MD  (This book has saved more than one of my dogs, it is a must in your dog library!)..ask 10 people how to do something , you will get 10 different answers, and... my advice try different methods she what works for you and your dog’s personality then stick to it if it works. :)  

Be careful of dangerous ingredients in some shampoos, sprays, air fresheners, cleaning products etc… and other things in your dog’s world the best you can.

 Give your pup excellent nutrition, Veterinary care and training, and help your pup to grow and become a healthy, happy pet and faithful companion. 

                    Keep these  pages for reference material because Brenda  hates to type and feels this is very important information. Thank you for choosing me as your Labrador breeder!  Good Luck.  Love and enjoy your puppy,  Brenda Integrity Farm Labrador Retrievers :)