Labrador Retriever puppies are the cutest things you’ll ever meet. With a friendly temperament and great disposition, they can make anyone happy. But, beyond the cute and cuddly, what does having a Labrador Retriever puppy mean for you? Well, as with any puppy, there are a few things you need to know.
Your Responsibilities as a Puppy Owner
Labrador Retriever puppies need lots of love, attention, and training. It is the best way to form a long lasting bond with your Lab puppy. Also, exposing your puppy to friends and family early on ensures he is a well-adjusted and happy pup.
Taking the responsibility of any puppy is a big commitment, especially when you have Labrador Retriever puppies. They are little balls of energy and need regular exercise. They generally do not start to settle down until they become 2-3 years old and some take even longer.
Every puppy goes through an adjustment period when he arrives at a new home. It is the first time he is away from his mother and littermates. Keeping him active and engaged with the new family helps a lot, but exercise wears him out. So a puppy sleeps at night and is less likely to whine. Exercise also establishes a healthy habit and ensures he does not grow fat with age.
Teach Your New Lab Puppy the House Rules
The most important things to teach to Labrador Retriever puppies from the time of their arrival are the “house rules.” It is vital you make training a positive, fun experience for your puppy. This makes all the difference between a good, loveable pet and a bad, obnoxious pet. When they do something correctly, they should be praised. Repeat this process until the desired command is obeyed every time.
If your puppy is unresponsive to training, do not resort to harsh punishment. It can make Labrador Retriever puppies hostile, nervous, and fearful of people. A small ‘flick’ or a stern “no” is more than enough to let your puppy know he has done something wrong.
Proper Labrador Retriever Puppy Care
Make your home as inviting as possible for your new Labrador puppy. Plan and prepare yourself well before you bring home your puppy. This is essential to make your puppy comfortable in the new environment. Here are a few things your need for Labrador Retriever puppies.
A soft, comfortable bed for your Lab puppy to snuggle in
We recommend an inexpensive bed to start. Also, it is a good idea to buy a larger bed than required. That way you won’t have to replace it as often while your Labrador is growing.
Lots of toys to entertain your puppy
Toys are extremely important, not only to exercise your puppy physically, but also to stimulate the brain. Retrieving a ball is a great way to prepare them for any real-world retrieving tasks in the future. Moreover, playing with your Lab greatly strengthens their bond with you. It is important that the balls you give your puppy are too large to swallow. Toys that squeak are a great choice, if they do not bother you, because they will keep your puppy entertained all on their own.
Remember, as your Labrador Retriever puppy gets older, he starts teething. That is why we highly recommend investing in some high-quality chewing toys. Quality is important. Poor quality, chewable toys can fall apart and become a hazard to your puppy’s health.
When you play with your puppy, the most important thing is to be happy and engaged. Remember, playtime is the time to bond with your Labrador Retriever puppy and if you are playing full out, they will too.
Food and water bowls to ensure their health
Unlike the bed, we strongly advise against buying cheap water and food bowls. That is simply because inexpensive bowls break easily. Also, avoid plastic ones. We also recommend placing a mat under their bowl since Labs can be sloppy eaters.
Playtime is essential for your bundle of energy
If you live in an apartment, you need to take your puppy to a park or other public, open area to play. If you do not have a park nearby, neighborhood walks are the next best thing. Remember, Labrador Retriever puppies need exercise regularly in order to stay healthy and maintain good temperament. Daily exercise is highly recommended.
Keeping your Labrador puppy clean
One of the most important tools for cleaning your Labrador Retriever puppy is a good grooming brush. Your Labrador will shed more (or less) at different times of the year. However, if you brush him regularly, a few times a week, the amount of hair shed will be a lot less.
Luckily, most Labrador Retrievers love water and they show little resistance to bathing. The most important thing to remember when bathing your Lab is to keep him calm. And for that to happen, you have to be calm too.
Getting Along With Other Pets
If you have multiple pets that you introduce your new Labrador puppy to them as quickly as possible. When you familiarize your pets at a young age, they are more likely to get along with them in the future. However, if you don’t, bad relationships can develop between your puppy and other pets.
The good thing about Labrador Retrievers is they are very friendly to other pets, including cats, and usually develop good relationships on their own. It is extremely important that you don’t force your puppy upon your other pets. Letting them develop their own relationships is often the best way.
There is nothing more rewarding than a life-long bond with your dog, especially a Labrador. Compared to other breeds, Labs are the most loving and adaptable dogs you ever find. Simply introduce your Labrador puppy into different aspects of life, and he will become your best friend in no time at all.