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Lab puppies are sweet, angelic little creatures with a great desire to please you and be with you.
They are also energetic, teething little devils with a strong will to carry any object not nailed to
the floor. With this in mind, we recommend puppy proofing your home a few days before your
puppy arrives to reduce the amount of trouble he or she can get into.
Small items that can easily be carried, knocked over or smashed should be removed to a secure
area. In other words, put your tiny hand-carved ornaments on a higher shelf, stash your remote
controls in a drawer and put your slippers in the closet. If it's within reach, it will become fair
game at some point. Even though you plan to carefully supervise your puppy at all times, and will
put him in his crate or secure room when you are unable to watch him, you know that there will be
times when you are temporarily distracted by a phone call, knock on the door, or the smell of
burning bacon (at least that's what happens here!) In the split second that you are attending to
these distractions your puppy will have gotten into all sorts of mischief - unless, that is, you have
puppy proofed your home.
In addition to storing small or delicate items out of reach, you will want to make sure than your
household cleaning products, vitamins, or other potentially toxic substances are secured and
inaccessible. Consider using child-proof cupboard locking devices to keep puppy out of kitchen
cabinets and storage closets. House-plants may need to be moved to higher shelves for the first
few months of your puppy's life as well, and if you have any that are dangerous to pets, you may
want to consider replacing them with a more digestively-friendly species.
We highly recommend investing in a baby gate or two. We have one at the top of our stairs, and
one between the kitchen and living room. This allows us to play with the puppies in a particular
area of the house without having to worry about them dashing off to explore somewhere more
interesting. With the use of the baby gates, it is impossible for the puppies to be out of our sight
for even one minute.
Puppy proofing your home is a pretty obvious procedure and for anyone with young children, it's
probably already pretty 'proofed'. Along with proper training and supervision, puppy-proofing
your house will allow your new family member to live safely indoors with minimal damage to your
Having an appropriate area for your puppy to go outside is a must. Labs do NOT make good 'yard
dogs' as they will inevitably wander off, following their nose to somewhere more exciting.
However, your dog will need to spend some time outside, usually to potty, and sometimes may
enjoy a day lounging in the sun or playing in the snow. For these instances, it is important that
your dog is contained.
Fencing should be at least four feet high (5 or 6 is much better and may be required for some
especially mischievous adult dogs) and should have no gaps where your puppy can squeeze
through or crawl under. Gates should have a secure latch with a locking device - you would be
surprised how quickly a smart dog can figure out how to open a gate!
If fencing your yard is not an option, then please consider installing a dog run (outdoor kennel).
While you don't want your dog to live in a small area like this full time, it certainly is a safe an
enjoyable place for him to spend the day while you are at work, when you have visitors with pet
allergies, or when you just need some time to get something done around the house. Dog run kits
are sold at places such as Peavey Mart, Costco, or Canadian Tire and typically surround an area
about 5 feet wide, 10-12 feet long, and 6 feet high. Again, be sure to secure the gate so that the
dog can not open it on his own.
If your dog is going to spend anytime outdoors, he should have access to an insulated dog house
and a water bowl. In terms of housing, bigger isn't necessarily better. The dog house should be
just big enough for your dog to curl up and lie in comfortably. If it is too large, it will not be kept
warm by his own body heat. You might be surprised to learn that an insulated dog house actually
helps keep a dog cool in the summer time also - be sure to place the house so that the door is
not facing directly into the sun or wind, and your dog will be sure to spend a lot of time hanging
out in his second home.
|Containing Your Puppy Outdoors