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Raising Your Chocolate English Labrador

Updated: Apr 3

Your New Fur Baby

Bringing your new little bundle of joy home is an amazing experience and you probably have hopes, dreams, and high expectations of what your new life with your fur baby is going to be like.

After many of my own trials and tribulations of raising puppies, I have found that being an instrumental part of your puppy’s life at the early stage is key. Raising them to grow strong and healthy, along with helping them learn and mature is a way to build an indestructible connection between you and your puppy.

Here are just a few tips to get you started on your journey. By all means this is not everything you need to know but will get you started on the right path.

Tip #1 - Be Prepared

When deciding to take on that challenge of raising your fur baby you need to be prepared for the new responsibility. You must be prepared to take time out of your busy schedule to care for them. So, if you are planning on getting a puppy, it is a good idea to do so when you can take time off work, or work from home to give you time with them. This will allow you to let them out to do their business frequently, as well as create that important structure and help start controlling the right behavior

Tip #2 - Patience

Raising puppies is no different than raising your human baby. They need love, patience, comfort, structure, and discipline (the right kind of discipline). You need to teach them and instruct them towards the right behavior and teach them about the dangers of this world. One of the most important aspects of caring for your puppy is allowing them to feel comfortable and safe in their home environment.

The Labrador is a versatile dog who excels at a variety of activities."

Tip #3 - Structured Environment

Just like your human baby, puppies will react similarly. They will sleep a lot, but also wake up whining and barking to let you know they need something. You must decide what they need; to go to the bathroom, are they hungry or do they just want your companionship? That is why a structured environment is important. It helps you understand and connect to your new little new fur baby and makes your life a little less stressful.

Tip #4 - Healthy Nutrition

Nutrition is a very critical component for the growth and development of your puppy. Ensure you feed puppy food with the right nutritional value for the breed of dog you are raising. The best brands of puppy food should be chosen based on their ingredients, and how they compare to the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the National Research Council. Puppy and dog food should meet or surpass the minimum guidelines set by these groups

Tip #5 - Potty Training

Potty Training your puppy is probably one of the most stressful first things you will have to conquer but the most important habit to build. Setting a routine is key. First thing, every morning brings your puppy outside to the same general area. Once your puppy has successfully gone outside, it is important to reward the good behavior. I find praising your puppy for going potty is the best reward, but some also like to give treats for their good behavior. Just remember positive reinforcement. A general rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold its bladder for one hour of every month of age; so 2 months old equals 2 hours they need to be taken outside. A puppy’s digestive tract is extremely quick and efficient. Most puppies will have to defecate anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes after they eat, so be prepared to take your puppy outside as soon as they finish their last bites. Don’t punish your puppy for an accident or do anything to create a negative association with their bodily functions. Stay calm and quietly place the puppy to where you want them to go potty at.

Tip #6 - Socialization

Socializing your puppy begins at birth. So, ensure you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder that uses socialization techniques in their kennel. However, it doesn’t end there. You must continue that socialization. Socialization is not just getting your puppy used to other people, children, or other pets, it is all about teaching them not to be afraid of new experiences.

Tip #7 - Chewing

Puppies are known for their chewing. The main reason for chewing is because they are teething. Below is a great link to learn more about puppy teething and just general knowledge about teething, biting and the importance of your puppy’s mouth.

Tip #8 - Discipline

Discipline Training is no different than raising your own children – the key is consistency with your discipline. If you don’t want them on the couch – never let them on the couch. Never let bad behavior get by with and always reward them for good behavior.

Your reward

Raising a puppy is a very rewarding experience and if done correctly you will raise a very confident, well-behaved companion that will give you as much respect as you give them.

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