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Bringing Puppy Home

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE YOUR PUPPY COMES HOME.

Registration Name:
CKC requires that names be a maximum of 30 characters including spaces. Since Ace Labradors is a Registered Kennel Name, all pups produced from our kennel will be named 'Acelabradors ________________'. You get to choose what goes in the blank. I will contact everyone about 2 weeks after pups have gone home to get your chosen name(s) - so please be ready as the pups are not registered until I have the names for the whole litter. 

Feeding:
Please keep your puppy on Kirkland Signature PUPPYFOOD (found at Costco) until he/she is at least 12 months of age, or a high quality Large Breed Puppyfood. With the many foods out there, every person you talk to will have a different favorite or opinion. My best suggestion is to compare labels. Meat/meat meal should be the first ingredient(s), and wheat/corn/by-products are bad. I have compared quite a few labels and was surprised that the Kirkland Puppyfood from Costco had the best ingredients (of the labels I had on hand) AND was the best price. I would also recommend Acana and Oreijen as very good quality dog foods.

Your puppy should be fed 2 times a day. You can look for the proper amount on the bag of puppyfood you choose (adult weight for females will be about 65lbs, and males about 80lbs). He/she should also have access to fresh water all day, or until a couple hours before bed if an indoor dog to reduce the need to urinate through the night. If any food remains uneaten, I would take it away at this time as well. 

When you take your puppy home I will give you about a weeks worth of the Kirkland kibble he/she is on. If you choose to change to another formula, please use this to slowly transition to the new kind by gradually mixing the two. Start with about 1/3rd new food to 2/3rds old, then two days later 1/2 & 1/2, and so forth. This will help prevent diarrhea. It is a good idea to pay attention to your puppy's stools so that you will know what is normal for your pup. Being a small pup, it is quite common to have pretty soft stools. Be watchful for severe diarrhea though (watery squirts) since this can very quickly lead to dehydration - which is a matter of urgency. Seek veterinarian attention immediately if your puppy is unable to retain fluids!

Other Tips for You and Your Puppy:
The First 48 hours This can be very difficult for your puppy. He is away from his family for the first time and is very frightened. He will need company and reassurance. The best place for your puppy to be is in a kennel or room where people can be seen. Within a day or two his old family will be replaced with the new one. Once he is comfortable with the new family you can then move him to the permanent place that he will be living in.
Socialization - The second stage of development in a puppy is called socialization. Without proper socialization pups would typically be fearful of unfamiliar objects and generally prefer to withdraw rather than investigate. Quoting Ms. Battaglia, "Regular trips to the park, shopping centers and obedience and agility classes serve as good examples of enrichment activities. Chasing and retrieving a ball on the surface seems to be enriching because it provides exercise and includes rewards. While repeated attempts to retrieve a ball provide much physical activity, it should not be confused with enrichment exercises. Such playful activities should be used ofr exercise and play or as a reward after returning from a trip or training session. Road work and chasing balls are not substirtutes for trips to the shopping mall, outings or obedience classess most of which provide many opportunities for interaction and investigation."
HousebreakingPick a spot in your yard that is to be his lavatory. Always take him to this spot first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after waking from naps, after exciting play time, when he sniffs the floor and whines, and anytime you feel that he is trying to tell you something. It will not take long to learn his signals if you stay in the same room as the puppy. Because puppies do not like to relieve themselves close to their bedding or food, it is best to confine him to a small area when he is sleeping. Collect all of his accidents, including any rags that were used to wipe up his urine and put them in this spot outside. Scold him for mistakes, but LAVISH PRAISE and give treats initially for achievements. He is small and so is his bladder, but both will mature quicker than you think!
Chewing Your puppy must chew to get rid of baby teeth and to induce the growth of new teeth. He will also chew out of curiosity and boredom. Always provide plenty of toys for this purpose. When you see the puppy pick up an object to play with that is not his, remove it from his mouth and sharply command ‘No’, then replace it with one of his own toys. My personal favorite dog toy are size appropriate ‘Kongs’ since they are virtually indestructible, and therefore your puppy won’t choke on broken bits. ‘Kongs’ also come in varying designs for easy throwing, water retrieval, and for ‘hiding’ treats for your dog to work at getting. Rawhides are also useful. The pups seem to really like stuff toys too - just don't expect them to last very long! Empty plastic milk jugs or pop bottles are fun for them to push/chase around and can be replaced a couple days later once they are starting to get chewed up (just don't leave them long enough to start loosing bits of plastic).
CollarsYour pup will grow very fast! Be sure to check his collar every week so that it doesn’t get too tight.  TrainingTake the time and effort now to train your puppy and you will reap great rewards of a well-behaved, obedient dog that you will be proud of. Start with getting your dog to sit before a meal or biscuit is given and he will begin to realize that a reward is forthcoming when a command is obeyed. Labs will do anything for food so use this to your advantage. Once commands are established, the food reward can be removed (use lots of praise though!). When doing something wrong, use a sharp ‘No’.
  
NameStand two people about 20 feet apart. The first person calls the pup to come to them. When he arrives,
   give lots of praise and a small treat. Then the second person does the same thing. Repeat this many times.

   JumpingA puppy jumping up on you may be cute now but it won’t be in six months on a rainy day when your dog weighs 70lbs! Teach him to sit first before you lavish attention and love on him. Turn and ignore him when he jumps on you until he obeys the ‘sit’ command.
  
Fetch & Tug-o-War Your dog will learn to fetch easily and will love playing this game. It is also a great way to exercise your dog with little exertion on your part. Always make your dog drop or give you the item, NEVER play tug-o-war! This can cause a dog to snap at hands and faces!
GroomingVery little attention is needed to maintain a Labrador’s coat. Brushing can help in keeping the coat clean from particles and helps to speed shedding. Bathing is seldom required since it destroys the natural oil in their coats that keeps the coat waterproof and their skin healthy. When bathing be very careful not to get water in the dog’s ears since it can not easy drain from them. Ears should be clean and light pink inside. Scratching at ears or ears being a dark pink color can be signs of an infection. Please consult your vet which can give you a cleaning solution and teach you how to properly clean your dog’s ears.
 

SwimmingAs your dog gets older he will love to swim in any open body of water! You can play fetch into the water, and is a great cool-down in hot weather.

DewormingsYour puppy has been dewormed a few times already and in my opinion should be wormed again at 16wks of age, and then every 6 months afterwards. Worms are fairly common in dogs and can slowly deteriorate the dog physically if not treated regularly. Worms can also easily spread to humans so proper hand washing after handling the dog is very helpful, especially in children. Please keep up-to-date with treatments/vaccinations and see your vet for any further recommendations.


A Letter From Your Puppy:
I am your puppy, and I will love you until the end of the earth, but please know a few things about me. I am a puppy; this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child. I am a puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.

I am a puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than a couple hours. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after eating, sleeping, playing, drinking and around every 2-3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8 pm. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and I will avoid you being mad at me. I am a puppy, accidents will happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.

I am a puppy and I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzz balls, other pets, and small kids. It is play, it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you should consider an older dog. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities, like chasing a rolling ball or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in 'dog talk', by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few minutes, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy. I am a puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit or strike, kick, or beat a 6 month old infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say 'no chew!' and hand me a toy I can chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you don't want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.

I am a puppy; and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am not a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.

I am a puppy; and I am not perfect. I know you are not either, and I will love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training me, puppy behaviors and caring for me from the breeder where you got me, books on dog care, our vet, and research on your computer. Take me to puppy class and obedience training so we both can learn together. We will have a lot of fun and I will get to play with others like me.

I am a puppy and I want more than anything to love you, be with you and please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, and rejection; but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants, and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog; hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.

Love,
Your puppy
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