My Awesome Labs       Specializing in white Labrador Puppies

Crate Training Suggestions

Remember, they are still puppies. They will play hard, but they still need a lot of sleep, lots of water and a place they feel is secure. When you receive the puppy, your days of training have begun and will continue for years to come. It will be a lot of work and with great reward. It is truly amazing how fast these puppies will learn. From sit, stay, to tricks and even simple obedience. We recommend that you crate train the puppy. This will give them a secure place to sleep as well as teach them to be comfortable in an enclosed area in case you travel or go to the veterinarian. After and even during the crate training, our dogs seem to make it to our bed to sleep.

Puppies eating

We feed the puppies three times a day, 8am, noon, and 9pm. I give them canned puppy food every other day, and they enjoy it. I feed them all they want at that specific time, then I remove the food pans. During their first 3 months of age, we keep a pan of food in their crate all of the time. That way they can eat whenever and as much as they want. We always have water available for the puppy, they will drink a LOT of water.

For keeping the dogs indoors, we give them a bath at least once a week and try to brush them daily. We use Dawn dish washing liquid to bathe them. It really gives them a clean soft coat. Interestingly enough, we've tried many shampoos and Dawn works the best, even with Oklahoma red dirt! If you are in an area where fleas are a concern, Dawn actually kills fleas and if you comb them with a flea comb after their bath, you'll actuall remove the dead and dying fleas.

The training techniques that we use are always the positive reward training. REMEMBER!! You are training the puppy the moment you receive him/her, good or bad! If you rough house and let the puppy jump on you when it's young, then when it is a grown 80 lbs dog, it will still want to rough house and jump on you! The most important tip I can give is for you to have the puppy with you a lot and be consistant in your discipline. If the puppy is going to be a house dog, then they need to be trained predominately in the house. They need to know what "NO" means. When you see them doing something that they shouldn't be doing, give them a stern "NO" and then give them something to redirect their attention. You will have to do this a lot. Puppy chewing on toy Remember, you must train them WHAT to do as well as what NOT to do!

One additional thing, we use the "drop it!" or "leave it!" command for anything that we don't want the puppy/dog to do at this time. This is so we can be consistant with the "No" command and not use it for something that they are allowed to do at a later time. A example of this would be playing with the cat. The puppies sometimes get a little rough with the cats and we use "leave it" to command them to stop at this time and leave the cat alone. Later it is still ok to play with the cat. Where the usage of "no" would mean never play with the cat again.

I'll give you an example: say the puppy is chewing on your favorite pair of shoes, and really enjoying it. Approach the puppy and sternly say "NO", then give the puppy one of their toys, then when they take their toy, reward the puppy (say Good girl/boy ), never hit the puppy! Give the puppy a good petting, they really like that. This might take several times of exchanging your "toys" with their toys, but it works. They will soon know that it's OK to chew on their toys and will leave your toys alone. Remember, you might have to do this for all of your toys and on the other hand, they might pick it up very quickly. Consistency is the key. Be consistent on not letting them chew on your toys. If you let them have an old pair of shoes to chew on, then they will have difficulty knowing to chew only on old shoes and not new shoes. Buy them lots of toys at the store and have them on hand before they come home.

Something that I want to inform you about, if you plan on training the puppy for any kind of service, you might not use the term "No" to stop chewing on a shoe. I have been informed that if you tell the puppy "No" it will NEVER think its ok to put the shoe in it's mouth, therefore, when you teach the puppy to bring you the shoe, it will not want to put the shoe in it's mouth because it has been told "No". Try having the puppy bring you the shoe and trade it for one of their toys, or reward it with a cookie. This will enforce the service attitude in the puppy.

More on crate training. We start them out introducing them to the crate, door open, you may throw a treat in the back and let them play in it during the day. They seem to like playing with their toys in the crate too. This helps them get the idea that they enjoy being in the crate. At night, to begin with, we put a little food in the crate, and always water. We feed them at 9pm, give them time to go to the bathroom, then off to bed in the crate.

Puppies enjoying his crate

There are several kinds and sizes of crates on the market and we prefer the wire open type of crate for the puppies. We have a plastic crate that has a wire door but rather closed sides, except for slots in the top of the sides. We find that the plastic crate restricts the puppies view of us when we are in the room. The puppy really likes to see us and know that we are close.

We have the crate close to us so when we hear the puppy moving, rustling around, we immediately get up and take the puppy outside to go to the bathroom. We don't wait until they whine or bark. Sometimes that's too late. Getting up and taking the puppy outside may be every two hours until they get a little older and they can hold it longer. Take them to the area outside where they can potty. Remember this is potty time not play time. Praise them, after they potty, and bring them back to their crate. If you let them play at potty time during the night, you'll find yourself spending your nights playing with the puppy! We have had some puppies that will adapt to the crate very quickly and can hold it almost all night. But be patient, don't give up, it will work.

This would be the time to start directing where the puppy goes. If you take them the same place every time to potty, they will eventually go to that spot every time. They will soon associate outside and the location with where you want them to go. This makes it much easier to clean and keeps the potty to a specific area in the yard.

If for some reason it is determined that your family cannot keep the puppy, please contact us and we will work with you to relocate the puppy. Please do not take the puppy to a humane society or a animal shelter. We have people who contact us wanting older dogs all the time.

It has been a lot of fun with the puppies and I hope you enjoy them as much as we have. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email. My wife and I will try to answer any question you might have.