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Old February 14th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Pls Help Newbie Questions

I'm looking for a yellow lab puppy in Ottawa/Gatineau region, and have a few questions. We just want to get a healthy lab who's going to be our little "baby".

Question #1: What does purebred mean?
Does it have to be CKC-registered breeder?

Question #2: Why is it that some breeders sell puppies at $800 each and others sell at $400 each, and they all offer "purebred" lab pups? Is the difference in price a result of the certificate of pedigree? What if I don't need the certificate and just want to have a healthy pup?

Question #3: What does 2 years warranty on puppy mean?
Some replies from local breeders claim that they offer "2 years warranty" on major illness, I suppose. What I don't quite understand is that if the dog does fall ill (God forbid), so we can take the dog back to the breeder? That doesn't seem to me like much of an option.

Question #4: What's your feeling regarding breeders? Specifically what is your advice on getting a $400 pup vs. a $800 pup?
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Old February 14th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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Welcome, we are always glad to help answer questions.

Purebred means that mom and dad (and their ancestors) were all the same breed. CKC registered means that the breeder registered the puppies with the Canadian Kennel Club. In order to do that, the breeder must provide the bloodlines of mom and dad, so you are assured that they are truly "pure" .

The price variance occurs for several reasons. Bloodlines being one reason, if mom and dad (and their parents and their parents, etc) were all champions, then breeders will charge more. Also, there will be a price variance if you are buying a "pet quality" pup as opposed to "show quality" (usually this means that there is something about the pup that does not meet up to the breed standards to show the dog, this could be a discolouration in the coat, a nose that is too long or too short, etc. Usually nothing that would make any difference to you if you are just looking for a companion dog). Also the price will vary if you get breeding rights or not. Pups cost more with breeding rights, as you will be making money from selling their puppies. If you just want a companion dog, then you do not need breeding rights (which means any pups cannot be registered with the CKC if you cheat and breed anyways). The type of health guarantee will also affect the price.

Health guarantees. This means if the dog develops hip dysplasia, or eye problems or any other ailment common to that breed, the breeder will take the dog back and refund your money or replace the dog. My own golden retriever developed hip dysplasia and the breeder refunded a portion of my money and I kept the dog. The idea being that the refund went towards paying for his treatment.

As for breeders, well if you are dead set on a puppy, then research breeders, ask questions, ask others for referrals. Get a reputable breeder, not a puppy mill breeder or backyard breeder (byb). A puppy mill breeder is someone who turns out puppies like GM turns out cars. Their females are constantly bred (with no care as to the health of the parents or pups). Most of these puppies are what you see in pet store windows. A byb is someone who does not live from the proceeds of selling puppies (as do puppy mills) but is someone who thought it would be fun to breed the family pet (in order to pay for a new deck, or to show their kids what birth looks like). A reputable breeder is going to ask you questions too. They want to know where their pups are going. Usually their contracts will stipulate that if for any reason you cannot keep the dog (even if it is 10 years from now) the dog must come back to them.

Having said all that, a number of us on this board are rescuers. I just rescued a litter of 5 golden retriever puppies last weekend. Someone bred their black lab to a golden retriever (because he was handy) to show her daughter what birth was. We got a call at 10pm on a Saturday night that we HAD to pick up the puppies that minute. Daughter had seen birth and now the pups were disposable.

We also get dogs of all ages into rescue. I know there is a 6 month old golden in Montreal SPCA right now, given up because he committed the sin of growing and his family had not expected that when they bought the cute puppy a couple of months ago. PLEASE, look at petfinders.ca and other rescue boards, adopt a dog who desperately wants someone to love. I can also give you contacts for Lab Rescue in Ontario, if you are only open to adopting a lab.

I bought my golden 8 years ago for $500 (no breeding rights, one year health guarantee). I did not know anything about rescue back then. Now I will never buy a puppy again, when there are so many wonderful dogs being killed everyday in shelters (my mini dachshund is a rescue dog I adopted). But that is my personal choice, I also know some reputable golden breeders to whom I am happy to refer people, because that is their choice and I know this breeder has impeccable ethics when it comes to breeding her dogs (one or two litters and then mom is retired) and placing her puppies.

Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helped. Although I am based in Montreal, I (and others on this site) can help you to find a rescue dog and we are always happy to answer questions.

Again, welcome
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Old February 14th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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goldengirl

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I really appreciate your comments, but I'm not ready for a rescued dog yet. It's been my childhood dream to have a yellow lab puppy, and after months of research and self-debating, I've finally decided to get one.

Thanks again!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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My whole life I also wanted a puppy. (GSD) that was my dream, but as more and more of my family and friends got pups, I saw all the WORK involved!!!
It's like having a baby, sleepless nights, ,chewing all your belongings for up to 2 years, pee and poo all over the house, lots and lots of energy (with labs I would change that to endless amounts of energy) . lots of time and money spent on obedience training.....
I found alot of friends were not prepared for the work involved, and got rid of them :sad: :sad: .

And also it;s only cute and fuzzy for about 8 months, then you have a large dog, who still acts like a pup!!

Just my thoughts on the subject, and I know when I get a dog it will be a rescue. (even though my whole life I wanted a pup, ,I know better now)
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Old February 14th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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There are a suprising number of puppies in rescue too. But if you do go the breeder route, just ask lots of questions. And the better breeders will ask you questions too

Enjoy your new furbaby, wherever it comes from
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Old February 14th, 2005, 06:46 PM
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Hi Nymph.
If you're set on a pup, here's a good way to find an ethical breeder....find your regional sanctioned Labrador club. The people who belong to these clubs are very involved in all aspects of owning, working, showing, and breeding. Here in the States, members of an AKC sanctioned breed club must adhere to a pretty strict set of ethics.
Breed people all know each other....they will know who's got upcoming litters, who may be involved in rescue and knows of puppies, etc.

Price does not affect quality of the dog. Poorly bred BYB dogs often go for much more than what an ethical breeder will charge for a pet quality puppy that s/he knows is going to a responsible home, on a spay/neuter contract, etc. Many breed & show people are involved in rescue too, and puppies often come into rescue.

Within any litter, no matter how carefully bred, and how many CH's in the lineage, there will be a couple of "show prospect" puppies, and the rest will likely be deemed "pet" quality. This means they have some cosmetic....well I hate to use the word "flaw!" But various physical characteristics that do not conform to breed standard.

There is usually a litter evaluation done by an independent evaluator, when the pups are about 6-7 weeks old. This will surely be done when there are great expectations for the litter; if the parents are of excellent, healthy, proven type, there will be people who have deposits on a prospective show prospect.

The litter evaluation, BTW, was really interesting! I was there when Cooper's litter was done. You cannot believe the minutae they recorded on each puppy. Ear leather thickness, height of toes, slope of shoulder blades, elbow set...it was really interesting. The puppies were also put through a little temperament test by the evaluator.

I bought my Cooper from a very, very good breeder in Colorado. I put a deposit on a pet quality male, since I did not want to show in conformation, or breed. At five weeks old, it was clear he was going to be a long haired Rottweiler - thus he is disqualified from the show ring, and any progeny he sires would not be eligible for AKC registration. He has an "limited" AKC registration. I paid $500.00 for him, four years ago. The show prospect pups in his litter were going for about 3x that. You'll see byb Rottweiler puppies in the newspaper going for more than that, every day. (No decent caring breeder will advertise in the newspaper, BTW.)
Both owners of his sire & dam weren't interested in making money off the litter, and their concern with the pet puppies was merely that they went to responsible and loving homes. I was actually interviewed by his sire's owner, she requested referrals, and I had a 2 page contract when I took Coop home.

Such a dog may be shown or worked in every single other venue - Sch, obedience, herding, agility, etc etc. If you are interested in that.
Very often the "flaws" are really minor....incorrect ear or tail set, poor topline, incorrect markings, etc. Almost always someone not really, really experienced in the breed would know about.

I found Cooper's breeder by going through the Mile High Rottweiler Club in Denver. Once people know you are serious, they are extremely friendly and helpful. I met some great, devoted and dedicated Rottie people that way, and learned a lot even though I'd had Rotties in my life for about 15 years at that point!

Hope that helps, I've gone on long enough.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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Ditto on what was said.

NEVER get one from the paper.These are not responsible breeders.They are not health or genetic tested.They do not offer Pedigree papers.They are not Champion or titled dogs.They will sell you a pup for lets say $500 with papers,or $300 without.Under the CKC pedigree act,it is illegal to sell purebreds without papers.

I was raised with GSD's.I owned my first when I was 17.I went to many dog shows,talked to many breeders.Then found the breeder I wanted.I went to the kennel.Saw the dogs.She put me through the red tape.I was put on a waiting list.This was done before the breeding took place.I was also put on a non-breeding contract.I wan't looking for a show dog.Just a pet and companion.I got Cujo at 12 weeks.He was great.So easy to train.No housetraining problems,no chewing on things.He was with us for 13 years.When it was time,I went back to her.I got Yukon and Tron.Tron was being trained for Police work.Here I was raising 2 12 week old pups.No major issues.Training was great.They were amazing.They had free run of the house at 5 months.No messes in the house.No chewing up things.

If you are truely set on a pup,just remember,early training is a MUST.And you need to be consistant.If your not home all day,see if you can get someone to come over to let him/her out for potty breaks and be fed.An 8 week old pup should not be left alone for 8 or so hours.Just my opinion.

There are Lab rescues if you want to go that route.

Where are you located?I can direct you to some very reputable Lab breeders.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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And I know exactly what you meant :lol: I had babysat a golden retriever for 4 months, and he did ALL that and more and he thought he was a lap dog. But in the end it was all worth it. That's how I made up my decision to finally get a dog of my own.


Quote:
Originally Posted by happycats
My whole life I also wanted a puppy. (GSD) that was my dream, but as more and more of my family and friends got pups, I saw all the WORK involved!!!
It's like having a baby, sleepless nights, ,chewing all your belongings for up to 2 years, pee and poo all over the house, lots and lots of energy (with labs I would change that to endless amounts of energy) . lots of time and money spent on obedience training.....
I found alot of friends were not prepared for the work involved, and got rid of them :sad: :sad: .

And also it;s only cute and fuzzy for about 8 months, then you have a large dog, who still acts like a pup!!

Just my thoughts on the subject, and I know when I get a dog it will be a rescue. (even though my whole life I wanted a pup, ,I know better now)
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Old February 15th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Carina: From the replies I've got, I guess the only way to really know a breeder is to do more research, asking around, talking to the breeder. I guess I was looking for an easy way out, but I know it now that there is none.

Mona: Yeah I was puzzled by the price difference from ads in papers and the CKC-registered breeders. Are there no good breeders that advertize on papers? I don't need a show dog, just a family pet, our little baby. My husband works close to my home, so he'll go home during lunch hour and feed and walk the pup, and we are going to put the pup through training for sure. I'm located in Ottawa, Ontario. I only found this forum yesterday and was amazed by the responses I got so far, you gals are so nice, so welcoming. It's just a great forum!
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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[QUOTE=nymph]Carina: From the replies I've got, I guess the only way to really know a breeder is to do more research, asking around, talking to the breeder. I guess I was looking for an easy way out, but I know it now that there is none.

Mona: Yeah I was puzzled by the price difference from ads in papers and the CKC-registered breeders. Are there no good breeders that advertize on papers? I don't need a show dog, just a family pet, our little baby. QUOTE]

No,there are definately no good breeders in the paper.Their dogs are not tested,this is very important.They are not Champions or have been titled.This is important.They do not belong to any clubs of their breed.They don't do or help in rescue work.They will not take a pup back if for some reason you have to give it up.They are what we call BYB,this means Backyard Breeder.They don't ask questions to the new owners.They don't do any checks on the potential owners.PLEASE do not get one that is advertised in the paper.

I too was not looking for a show dog.But my breeders dogs where champions and titled in SchH.But since I was training my one for Police work,which quite a few of hers became,I knew I was going to the best.Tron passed and worked with my brother.As for Yukon(lost him in Sept),he was my big sucky boy.I have owned 3 of her GSD's,and they have been very healthy.No HD at all.

Here is a link for the Labrador Retriever Club of Canad.I do have their websites for the ones listed in the Ontario region.I have ones for the others also.
http://www.labrador-canada.com/
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Old February 15th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Carina and Mona have given excellent advice and my one other thing is that a reputable breeder will always be involved to some degree in rescue. They do this sheerly for the love of the breed and want no harm to come to them and want to get them into loving and safe homes.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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Thanks so much Mona! :love:
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Old February 15th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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goldengirl: After reading your reply, I end up on petfinder and OMG, there are so many young puppies waiting to be adopted, I just couldn't believe it! It breaks my heart knowing this...that being said, I'm not sure if I'm ready for the challenges of adopting a rescued dog yet.

I've read some posts in other forums and one major concern I have now is that both my husband and I work long hours. My husband could come home and walk the dog during his lunch hour since his office is not too far from our home, at least for the time being, but that could change anytime. I really don't know if we'd make good parents for a rescued dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengirl
There are a suprising number of puppies in rescue too. But if you do go the breeder route, just ask lots of questions. And the better breeders will ask you questions too

Enjoy your new furbaby, wherever it comes from
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Old February 15th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymph
I really don't know if we'd make good parents for a rescued dog.
I assure you a young puppy is MUCH MUCH more work than any rescue you'll bring home!
Have you ever raised a puppy?

That said and I know you've got your heart set on a puppy, and I understand completely. But....do not assume a dog will be a "challenge" just because it came through a shelter or rescue organization.
Puppies are a challenge no matter where they come from, and not just till they are housetrained...you have to get through adolescence too.
And - were you to get a puppy from a good breeder who raises working labs and emphasizes typical working traits, you are liable to get a pretty high-octane, opinionated puppy.
Depends what you want to do with your new dog. You do know that Labs can be tremendously hyper, right?
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Old February 15th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Majority of my dogs have been rescues I have also gone the breeder route as well for a puppy twice. I will tell you from experience a rescue is much easier in the long run and in the end will love you so much and all these dogs want to do is please you and love you. They have seen the bad side of life and once they have tasted the good life they never want to live through it again and are usually very quick to learn and want to. There are lots of young dogs available and you don't have to go through the puppy stage which is a lot of work believe me. Reconsider a rescue you will not regret it
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Old February 15th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Puppy=never again

Lord knows I love them but puppies= AHHHHHHHH.... we got ozzy as a puppy and lived in an apartment. I am a student and am home the majority of the time, but did have to go to class. I would have the house totally puppy proof before I went out and we would keep Oz in the kitchen. Ever see a 8 week old puppy scale a baby gate, its pretty interesting. Well needless to say Oz had a thing for leather, especially the expensive italian kind. I cant even count how many shoes he destroyed. He also had a thing for eating carpet. He ate about $500 worth of carpet, that number came about when we had to pay our landlord $500 for the destruction. He pooped everywhere, peed everywhere. Cried non stop and ate all my stuff. He even ate the cord connecting my digital camera to the computer.

Long story short, sure he was cute and I had all the time in the world to be home with him and watch him, but look what can happen. I have had many rescues come in and out of my home and have never had issues like that. Dexter is nothing like a newborn puppy, he is an angel compared to the h.ell we went through. Ozzy is a good boy, but never again do I get a puppy.
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Old February 15th, 2005, 08:05 PM
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Smile Rescue dogs

I too am like goldengirl and have gone both routes. I have purchased purebred puppies and enjoyed the puppy experience. A few years ago while looking for a puppy a friend found a young golden retriever (my preferred breed) running loose in a soccer field. She could not keep it and knowing that I was looking for a golden puppy asked me if I wanted it. I adopted her and although we went through some rough periods I have found the experience to be most rewarding. Seven months ago I adopted my second rescue. I have now made a decision that all my future dogs will come from rescue. I have also now become involved in rescue because I feel strongly that these dogs need to be given a second chance.
Last week I fostered a 9 week old pup and I can tell you the amount of work and attention required is exhausting. It is much easier to adopt an older puppy or dog. LOL
You mentioned that you were concerned about leaving a rescue alone for long periods while you are at work. I think it would be easier to leave an older rescue alone at home than a young puppy.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 10:33 AM
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Just some update

I've got a puppy from an animal rescue shelter in Pontiac, Quebec last night, and ohh he is a bundle of joy, and a lot of work...hardly slept at all last night.

Diego is only 6 weeks old as of yesterday, and he's a mix of Golden Retriever and Lab Retriever. He's the most golden one among the litter, so I was told. I wrapped him in a blanket during our ride home and he slept like a baby.

Since the puppy got home, I suddenly felt that all that research I've done is useless, I'm drawing complete blank here. Last night we put the puppy in a large crate next to our bed, but he had such a rough time sleeping alone in it, I had to put him in my legs and put him to sleep...this activity repeated at least 4 times last night. One time I couted to 168 steamboats before getting up to pet him, and I felt really lousy having to do that, it made me feel like a failing parent. :sad: Diego also refuses to go outside to pee and poop, it is terribly cold today. He peed and pooped in the crate several times last night, and we did let him out right before going to bed, and he had no food only water before going to bed. He pees a little bit here and there, even without drinking water. He's also constantly biting, I think he's teething so we gave him a lot of chewing bones and toys, but he doesn't seem to be interested, but my toes and my shoes, very much interested...and oh he has incredibly sharp claws and teeth.

People in the shelter don't believe in crate training, so we didn't get a lot of info from them. My urgent question is: where should be put the crate? How do we get Diego to like to go in the crate? Any useful tips is highly appreciated. Should I let him sleep with me? Very confused.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 10:55 AM
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First great that you got a shelter baby. He is still very young so he is probably missing the rest of the litter and mom. No bones or rawhide he is much too young, put a wet washcloth in the freezer and let him chew on that. Yes fingers and toes are much tastier but deter that behaviour by replacing it with a squeaky toy or a stuffed toy and when he takes it praise him like it is the best thing in the world. Your crate is probably to big but you just need to put a divider in it which you can buy or make something yourself he should be able to stand and have his bowl in it and make sure you but a blanket in with his scent on it and if he feels safe with you put a tshirt or something that has your scent on it as well it will make him more comfortable. I will be honest I have never used a crate so that is up to the others here to help out with the training end of it. Good luck
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Old February 18th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Two more things that will be invaluable to you. Puppyproofing your place get down on your stomach and look around at that level these are all the things your puppy will see and be able to get into cords stuff you thought you lost under a sofa then after you have got rid of all the possible hazzards, don't worry he will still find something to get into that is what puppies do. Then get on your knees and survey from that level. Next a great thing to use when you have things to do and want puppy out of the way is an x-pen kind of like a playpen that you put them a blanket and toys in and let him amuse himself while you do whatever.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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Thanks Mastifflover. The weird thing is dogs don't usually poop where they sleep, but Diego pooped right in the middle of the blanket where he slept, several times.

And the whimpering, oh it's so hard to take, I ended up getting up every time.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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And the whimpering, oh it's so hard to take, I ended up getting up every time.

Yeah that is tough especially cuz they are so cute you just want to scoop them up. Normally they will not mess there crate but remember this pup is still very young. I would divide the crate and put a wind up clock in the crate under the blankets it has always worked when I had pups. The ticking is like a heartbeat to them.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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I read about this but thought it was a crazy idea: why would a ticking clock make the puppy feel safe!

Thanks for the tip! I'll give it a try tonight.


Quote:
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I would divide the crate and put a wind up clock in the crate under the blankets it has always worked when I had pups. The ticking is like a heartbeat to them.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Oh, yay! A big welcome to Diego!

Mastifflover gave you great tips...you can also use the search function here to look for other puppy threads. Since he's a bit young, make sure you give him gentle and consistent guidance about biting behaviour so he learns proper bite inhibition (since he doesn't have his littermates to learn that from.)

On crating...my dogs are very comfortable in crates, but I have never used them as training tools or for puppies at night. Mainly because I'm lucky enough to have been able to take puppies to work with me, so they get potty trained and socialised etc with me on the job.

What I have done at night, last three puppies:
Have a dog bed or blankie next to my bed. Making sure puppy has only a comfortable buckle collar, I tie the pup at night with a 6' leash to the bed. This seems much less traumatic for them, at least in my experience. Always provide safe chew-toys, nothing they can rip apart and swallow parts of. He's not teething yet, but still is exploring his world by trying to bite it. It's what puppies do.

Congratulations!
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Old February 18th, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Thanks Carina, this site is so helpful! I'm in a bit of stress and a lot of excitement since I'm new at raising a puppy, you can probably tell.

Carina, if you don't crate your puppies at night, how do you deal with his bladder?

I also notice that Diego stinks. He had a flea bath at the shelter right before we brought him home and I checked and checked, his fur is clean, nothing on the paws and nothing on the rear-end, but he smells like, well, a little bit like feces, is that normal for a puppy?
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Old February 18th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Oh I almost forgot

Meet little Diego.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 04:57 PM
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He is just adorable...looks so small,no wonder you have a hard time letting him cry....maybe a bigger stuffed dog-toy,together with the ticking clock,would make him feel less lonely in the crate....but watch for anything he could chew off and swallow..
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Old February 18th, 2005, 05:03 PM
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Thank You.

Puppies do have a smell that is different than an adult dog. It will go away. Congratulation on the pup. He's a beaut. A big thanks for picking a shelter pup that needs a home.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nymph
Carina, if you don't crate your puppies at night, how do you deal with his bladder?
Same way I would have if they were crated - take him out to go, praise him when done, right back to bed.
A six (or 8) week old puppy simply can't hold it all night, they are not physically able. Hence, he will cry for a while, then he'll soil his crate because he has no choice.
It's been 4 years since I had a puppy to raise...if I recall, Cooper was about 10 weeks old before he could make it all night.
He did have a chew bone available at night to occupy him. If he whined because he wanted attention or to play after I'd just taken him out, I ignored it.
I don't recall any puppies being overly fussy, but I do recall not getting a whole lot of sleep! I had two friends with puppies (one who had his litter-sister) and we would do our own whining and comparing notes about how many times we got up at night in the first few weeks!
Diego is thoroughly adorable!
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Old February 18th, 2005, 08:41 PM
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Truely what a adorable puppy enjoy your baby as they do grow so fast.
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