What to expect these first days .........

Crying - they will miss their litter mates for the first few
nights. There are two options. Sleep with them, or listen
to five or six nights of them crying themselves to sleep. If
you decide to let them cry, we recommend you ignore
their howling 100%, or they will have you trained! Soon
enough they will figure out that the howling is keeping
them awake too, and just stop. To help you may try
placing a ticking clock near them or as we found a radio
on very low sometimes help sooth them. We also suggest
an old tee shirt that has been worn for them to snuggle
with.

Potty training - As far as housebreaking, You need to give
them a place outside that they are comfortable with, like
straw or shaving or paper (sometimes a soiled one works
best) and get them familiar with that location. Then it will
be up to you to learn their signals or "tells" as we call
them! (ie.. Excessive sniffing and circling, quick or rapid
movements, (almost worried actions) You do not want to
punish any accidents – just reward good behavior. You
can also train puppies to go on demand. Each and every
time your puppy is going (#1 or #2 ) pick a word like
"potty" and repeat it the whole time they are going, then
reward them. After time when you say "potty" they will
walk off and go.

Chewing - Labradors are chewers by nature, but with
some gentle guidance they will learn what is OK to chew
and what is not. The worst thing you could do is to
punish them for this chewing. Simply replace it with a
desirable chew toy.  

Digestion system - Puppies have an extremely sensitive
stomach. Switching foods to fast can cause diarrhea (in
some cases with blood) vomiting, and in extreme cases,
death. If a puppy gets a hold of bark, leaves, paper
towels, etc.. They can have an upset stomach (when a
puppy digests a foreign object, they could develop
diarrhea, and in some cases you may see a little blood in
the stool. This is normally caused by the foreign material
(the bowel of a puppy will bleed very easily. Should this
occur, don't be alarmed. Just keep an eye on it to be sure
it goes away.       

Foods- We strongly recommend spending the extra
money, and using a good food. You will either spend the
money in a good food now, or in vet bills later. We believe
strongly in quality food. We suggest using a large breed
food for Labradors of about 26% to 31% protien for the
first 4 to 6 months then switching to a large breed 21% to
23% protien. Another advantage to using a good food
with little or no fillers is less dog mess in the yard to
clean.   

Toys - Everyone loves to shop for their new puppy!  We
suggest avoiding the plush toys and the stringy toys.
Both can, as they wear, loose the fiber stuffing or the
single strands from the rope toys. Both of these things
are very dangerous to the puppy as they can tangle in
their digestive tract. Some things you have to watch out
for are buying "contaminated-products". The leading pet
supply stores that allow pets in the building, can lead to
the spread of the deadly puppy virus known as Parvo. If
you would like to purchase your new puppy chew toys ,
you can do couple of different things.
1. Purchase from an online store
2. You can sterilize the products you purchase with a 15%
bleach solution.

Obedience Training - There are a couple of routes to take
here. You can take or send them to obedience school, or
train them yourselves. You can train them as a gun dog
for serious hunting, or as a family pet with a few simple
commands. Or you can do both. There is a great book
called
WATER DOG by Richard A. Wolters.
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