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My New Puppy, Lola


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#1 zacfields

 

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        Posted 19 August 2013 - 08:39 AM

Hello all, 

 

I apologize if this is in the wrong forum, but I wanted to introduce myself as well as my new companion, Lola. 

 

I'm Zac, a 27-year old Financial Analyst from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My wife has been pestering me for years to get a dog and I've put it off for so long. Now a couple weeks ago, I finally caved when we saw a picture of this puppy. I've always loved labs and I wanted a dog who would be active, fun to play with, and great with kids (as we will be having kids soon). 

 

She's 9 weeks old and she's a little stinker! She has a great personality already and I was actually able to get her to fetch (and bring back) a toy for me this morning for the first time. She fetched her toy about 10 times before she started to lose focus and retrieve the wrong toy. I was so excited, as I've been working with her for the last few days trying to get her to do it but she's usually too "A.D.D." to do it. 

 

The funniest thing about her is that while she seems to love anyone and everyone, she particularly loves kids. If we're in the back yard and she sees a kid walking on the sidewalk, she goes running towards them. I wonder if all labs have this instinct - she seems to know that she'll get the most attention from the little kids. 

 

We're in the process of switching her over from her old food to the Blue Buffalo large breed puppy food and she's definitely having a tough time with the transition. I can hear her little tummy sloshing around. I hope it doesn't last more than a few more days. 

 

I know this post has been quite random, but does anyone have any advice as far as introducing my puppy to water? I got her a little kiddy pool and so far I can only get her in there if I dangle a treat above the pool but she'll take the treat and high-tail it out of there. I want her to love the water because we have a lake nearby and it would be good exercise for her in the summer. Is it concerning that she doesn't like water right now or is that normal for a puppy? 

 

Thanks for reading - we are so excited about Lola so I wanted to join a community of fellow lab lovers! 

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#2 Kurt

 

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        Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:10 AM

Congratulations on getting your first lab! You are in for more fun that a barrel of monkeys would provide.

 

Also, welcome to blacklabrador.com. where the big dogs woof!

 

Remember that you still have a young pup on your hands. Most labs have a built in retrieving instinct. And ball/frisbee are some of their favorite games. Just remember not to go too fast with her. A few throws once per day should be fine for her. You'll want to wait until she's 5-6 months old to start some serious playtime.

 

At 6 months of age is when we recommend dog obedience training. And labs MUST be obedience trained. They do have a tendency to be very friendly but a year old lab jumping on people is just not fun! Look for a class near by you. The training method I like the best is  where you take your own dog to the class and train them yourself under the supervision of a dog trainer. This way you get trained as well as your dog. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people "send their pup off to training school" for a few weeks

expecting them to return fully obedience trained. It usually doesn't work out because the owners never learned how to properly handle the dog. SO classes that you attend with your dog are best. The classes usually are 6-8 weeks long, once per week and you practice with your dog on the days off.

 

I would also switch to another dog food, slowly. Blue Buffalo is not really a great food. Out vet has seen cases of pancreaitis in some dogs. We tried it with our dogs and they really packed the pounds on. It took us 6 months to get the excess weight off of them.

 

In the meantime, let your friends and family handle your pup and play with her. This will ensure a well balanced calm adult. If you know someone who has a dog that tolerates puppies well let you dog play with that dog. And if your dog seems to be frightened of thunderstorms do nothing. Don't try to calm the dog, just act like nothing is going on. This way your dog will learn "no big deal" about storms.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us!



#3 zacfields

 

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        Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the reply, Kurt! We are so excited and Lola is growing like a weed. She weighed 8.4 pounds yesterday - seems a little on the light side from what I've read, but she eats well and romps around like a normal pup so we're not concerned. 

 

We actually recently bought the house next door to my parents, and they have two dogs who don't mind playing with Lola. She has a little trouble trying to keep up with them as she hasn't quite built the coordination/balance to do much more than run in short spurts before laying down to rest, but she still enjoys doing what she can with them. Mom and Dad pick her up and play with her daily as well, and of course she eats up all the attention. 

 

I'll keep you guys updated! 



#4 Kurt

 

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        Posted 21 August 2013 - 10:18 AM

It sounds like you have a great situation for your lab. What kind of dogs do your parents have? The reason I am asking is that your pup will pick up behaviors from them.

 

One other question. Have you had your pup to the vet for her puppy shots and a intestinal worm check?  This is very important.Parvo runs rampant in the U.S. from people not vaccinating their pets enough. It is airborne and your dog doesn't even need to make contact with the infected dog to get it.

 

Please do keep us posted! We love to hear lab stories!



#5 zacfields

 

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        Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:42 AM

Lola received her first set of shots (distemper - I believe) just a couple days before we got her.. August 6th I think. We have an appointment with our vet on Tuesday next week to get her next shots. 

 

Funny you should mention intestinal worms! We made the assumption that the family we got Lola from had been properly worming her before we got her, but that must not have been the case because we discovered hookworms in her stool a few days ago and had to run her to the vet to be dewormed. Contrary to popular belief, you actually can visually see hookworms. They're about as thick as a strand of hair and you'll know they're worms because they'll be moving! Gross! The vet gave her a chewable dewormer and within about 12 hours we could no longer see the worms. We're going to make sure they give her another round of dewormer on Tuesday, if necessary (and I've read that it usually is). 

 

Lola is 9 weeks old today and she is biting like crazy! Is this normal for a lab puppy? If you pick her up, she will chomp at your neck/nose/ears/etc and when she's on the ground she will chomp and your feet - and those little needle teeth hurt! For now, we're doing the old "misdirection" trick - stuffing a toy or a chewy in her mouth when she starts to bite, but we're hoping this is just a phase that she'll grow out of. She's very difficult to play with right now for this reason (but of course we still try). 

 

My parents have a Sheltie and another dog that's a total mutt (we have no idea what he is, but he's very playful during playtime and very relaxed when it's not playtime). 



#6 Kurt

 

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        Posted 22 August 2013 - 11:08 PM

You are definitely on the right track with your dog. You wouldn't believe how many people don't get their dogs vaccinations. Some vets estimate that for any city only 20% of dogs ever get vaccinated. And that's being very optimistic.

 

Vaccinations prevent the spread of diseases in dogs. It's essential that you get them. When you take your dog into the vet next week bring a fresh poop sample with you. This way the vet will be able to examine it to verify that the worms are gone for good.  I like using Heartgard as a heartworm preventative because it contains a intestinal worm preventative in it.

 

Ah, the biting thing. There are lots and lots of threads on this subject here. It is a puppy thing. You are approaching the problem correctly. When out dogs were pups and they would bit us we'd tell them no, put them on the ground and then put one of their chew toys in their mouth and pet them and say good dog! They quickly get the idea that they are supposed to chew on their own things.

 

Puppies bite because that's one way they find out about the world around them. We have hands to feel things with, all their have are their mouths. They also do this to test you to see how hard they have to bite before they get a reaction out of you. Sometimes you'll notice that they just put your finger in their mouth, then they slowly increase pressure until you yell at them.



#7 zacfields

 

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        Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:06 AM

As Lola has gotten older, we've discovered something about her. We don't believe she is actually a black lab at all, but rather a flat-coat retriever. We're perfectly okay with this, but it has been quite the revelation as Lola continues to have long curly hair on her ears. The real telling factor was this week when we decided to acquire another pup (a lot of work - we know... did a lot of research beforehand) but this time we actually did get a purebred chocolate lab. They are the same age, but he's MUCH more muscular looking than she is and they have totally different temperaments, even though they are both sweeties! Plus she has a very soft, plush coat whereas our new pup has a more rough, almost wirey coat. 

 

Here is an updated picture of Lola. In comparing it with pictures of black labs and of flat-coat retrievers, we feel very strongly that she is the latter. I have actually ordered a DNA test for her to double-check. Again, we're happy with whatever breed she is - but now we're curious! I think the issue is that we actually got Lola from a farm, not actual breeders. So my guess is that they had two adult black dogs and just referred to them as labs when at least one of them must have been a flat-coat retriever instead. They actually look more like black-colored golden retrievers than labs as adults, though the puppies look very similar in the face until they start getting the curly/wavy ear hair. 

 

I guess I don't belong on this forum anymore :( haha

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