Congratulations! You decided to be a new parent of a Labrador (AKA Lab) puppy! When people think of “man’s best friend,” usually Labrador retriever comes to mind. Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These fur babies are not only cute, but they are also full of energy and enthusiasm. They love water and doing goofy things. Also, they are one of the best cuddle partners around. (1)
How To Care For Labrador Puppies
Before you bring your new Fido home, you need to consider a few things about caring for Labrador puppies. An adult Lab can weight between 55 and 80 pounds. Labradors are very friendly, playful, social, and active breed. They have very high energy, and they descend from a long line of working and hunting dogs. This is one of the reasons why they are popular choices. As a Lab parent, you can definitely count on them when it comes to things like search and rescue, police work, and hunting.
Labradors are high-drive dogs, and they need lots of exercises to burn off energy. That’s why you need to spend daily at least 30-60 minutes outdoors with your pooch. Labs are great family dogs. Their calm disposition fits well with children. Your kid can work out their energy right along with Fido! Basically, this is a win-win situation, right? Labs have moderate barking behavior – what you would expect from a larger breed. Make sure you know how to care for Labrador puppies well before you take one home. (2, 3)
Feeding Your Labrador Puppy
Labradors love to eat! You need to be careful because your four-legged friend can easily overeat and easily gain extra weight. If you notice he is getting overweight, make sure he is getting enough exercise. You’ll also want to check how much you’re feeding your new fur baby. Raw, natural dog food is a great choice for them because their digestive system stems from their “wolf” heritage. An 8-12 week old Lab baby needs to eat a small amount of food 3-4 times a day.
We at TruDog believe raw food is better than processed and overheated kibble. The ingredients of the raw food are simple and good for the pup’s health. Also, it keeps their coat nice and shiny.
To treat your Fido is very important during the training time, but giving them too much can cause obesity. Make sure your pooch has available clean and fresh water all the time. (4, 5)
How To Potty Train Your Labrador Puppy
When it’s time to start training, your four-legged friend is going to do his best to learn everything as fast as he can. Labradors are very intelligent and easy to train. Training shouldn’t be difficult as long as you commit yourself to set up your Fido up for success. It always takes some time with a puppy to learn when and where to do their business. Labradors can learn very fast as long as you get him to his potty spot frequently.
An easy and simple way to start potty train your new fur baby is to watch him from the moment you first bring him home. Watch out for the signals such as cycling around in one spot, and get him outside as soon as possible. After he is done with his business, give him a rewarding treat for his positive behavior. Try to make it a regular routine until he no longer has indoor accidents.
Avoid carrying him to the door during the training. Usually, dogs need to go to the potty in the morning, when they wake up from a nap, or right after eating or drinking. Plan a potty break between sleep times and meals so your pooch can be at the right place at the right time. Never punish your Fido verbally or physically if you catch him making a mess inside the house. Just say “NO” in a louder voice, and take him outside immediately to finish his business. (6, 7)
Socializing With Your Labrador Puppy
Labradors are friendly, sweet, and very kind with other dogs. As a dog parent, you need to be patient during the socialization training. If you start to socialize your canine friend from a very young age, he will do very well with both dogs and people. They will make canine buddies in no time. Labs typically don’t have aggressive nature towards other dogs or people. Socialize your pooch as soon as possible, and you will have a well-balanced pooch who enjoys life in almost any environment. (8)
For more tips, check out our Ultimate Guide To Caring For My Labrador.