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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello agony aunts & uncles!

I'm new to this whole forum-scene so please bare with me! About a month ago, we brought a lovely fox-red lab puppy into our home. Other than the normal characteristics of a puppy, i.e. chewing which came of no suprise, he has just started growling, I was just wondering what it is that makes him do this? He tends to do it when me and my partner are both eating or if I'm on the laptop etc., is he growling as he's after attention or should I be weary of this? Obviously I don't want to ignore it to find out he will actually bite! I've started to give him a 'time-out', putting him in our hallway and locking him in there until he's calmed down, is this a good idea?

Also, with regards to potty training, me and my partner decided against crate training, he currently sleeps in our kitchen and settles fine, but sometimes leaves us 'presents' for the morning, despite taking him out before he goes to bed? Any advice on what we can do to stop this?

Another question, (I promise I'll stop), my partner has started to feed the puppy scraps, i.e. CUSTARD and BAKED BEANS! I've told him to stop as I'm pretty sure it's made his growling worse, and his bum extra stinky! Does feeding him those sort of scraps impose any health issues for the pup or..?

And last question, (hurrah!), we feed Charlie, our puppy, twice a day, we water down his food that was recommendedby his breeder. He had his second lot of jabs two weeks ago and the vet said to continue watering down his food. With regards to water, we were advised to constantly leave the bowl there, but he just seems to be drinking and drinking and weeing constantly! We have started taking it away at night, and sometimes in the day but I feel as though he's going to die of thirst!

Any help would be greatfully received as starting to become cautious of doing the wrong thing!
 

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How old is he? With young pups, the advice is to let them out at least once during the night, so set your alarm and let him out to see if he goes to the loo, and then pop him back to bed whether he has or hasn't. I crate my youngsters overnight, it keeps them safe and stops them from making a big mess. If they do have an accident, it's contained to the crate.

When he growls, is he growling at you? It could be that he's trying to provoke a response because you've got something he wants, pups/dogs can make noises that sound like a grrrrrrr as an invitation to play.

Pups need to be on four meals a day until 12 weeks of age, and then 3 meals until six months of age. Mine are raw fed and get all sorts of scraps, it doesn't generally affect them, but they have to wait until I've finished eating, not as a dominance thing, but simply because if you start giving them food while you're eating, they will learn to pester you throughout your meal. Mine are rewarded for sitting and waiting nicely. I've got three Labs and a flatcoat btw.
 

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It's difficult to say without knowing what he is doing when he is growling. Bess willowy growl when I'm not giving her attention, and this will be companies by tugging my slippers or something. If its a snarling growl with bared teeth that's different - a stern 'no' when he does and a time out ( only for a minute at most) should work.

I wouldn't feed him your scraps. He will be trying to get them from you as you are eating. For now keep his and your food separate else you'll have a begging dog. Baked beans produce killer farts!

I used a crate for the first time with Bess, and she loves it still. It's her refuge when something scary happens like the vacuum cleaner! We covered it with a blanket so it was her den. She was clean at night within 4 days of using it. I would really recommend it. With a young pup you will need to make sure that you get up two or three times a night to take him outside. If you don't housetraining will take longer as he won't be learning where he's supposed to 'go'. A crate does train them faster, as dogs don't like to mess in their den.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What size crate shall I get for him? He's 12 and a half weeks now, the vets have pre-warned that he's going to be a big dog! Ha.

With the growling, for example, when playing fetch, I'll hold the toy, ask him to sit and instead of sitting he'll start to growl. Personally, I think he thinks he has boss on me as he will always try to walk through doors first etc. I've tried to nip this in the bud the past week, as they say, cruel to be kind, but he's so cute! Lol.

With regards to crate training, is he okay to stay in it when I'm out or would you not advise this?

Feel better already!
 

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I've no idea about crate size, mine are huge, and I also have a pen. The largest crate easily fits an adult Labrador and flatcoat in there:



I crate some of mine overnight, and when I am out at work, but as I work from home part of the time, they get a lot of time out of their crates. The longest I've left them is five hours, and that's unintentionally but getting held up out on site, if I know I'm not going to be back to let them out after four hours, normally I book the dog walker to come and take them for a walk for me.

I would forget about dominance theories and walking through doors first etc, concentrate on rewarding good behaviour and ignoring the bad stuff. If he growls at you or gets a bit boisterous, then the game ends. It's difficult to say without seeing him, as my lot growl and make noises when they are playing, the flatcoat makes some rather extraordinary noises!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do I need to buy a crate that he will grow into? Ideally I would prefer him to sleep in the living room if he was to have a crate, as this is where we'd like him to sleep once he's settled. He's settled into the kitchen but as the living room has a lot more space (& leads etc.) I'm reluctant to put him in there incase he causes havoc! So should I buy a crate and put it in the room I want him to sleep in?

Having never owning my own dog before I think it's quick and easy to look up on forums and assume every bit of advice you read regarding dominance theories is gospel! Apologies if I sound an obvious amateur!
 

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To be honest, it's something I would have expected the breeder of your pup should have gone over with you before hand. Did you get a puppy pack at all? I can send you a copy of mine if you didn't get one, it's got basic advice about crate training and all sorts of other things in there. If you email me at [email protected] I'll email it over for you. Obviously the pedigree information will relate to my dogs not yours.
 

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My Irish Setter has a 30 inch crate if that's any use. You could ask advice in pet shops which sell the crates.

Mine sleeps in it overnight with the door open now. Mind you, she had a couple of accidents at night last week (despite being clean since 8 1/2 weeks (she's 8 months now). I just closed the crate door for a couple of nights and now she's clean again.

I don't leave her in it whilst I'm out, but find she's gone and put herself in it anyway. As I said - it's her security zone. :)
 

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Will wait for your email before I go back to dreaded report writing, I think my coffee break is well and truly over, I've dragged it out as long as possible, lol!

Edited to add I'll include info on health tests available for Labradors as well, you haven't said if he's from health tested parents but any info might be useful for you.
 

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Puppies should always have access to water - as frustrating as it can be for housetraining.

As for scraps, you need to be careful as some foods we eat are toxic to dogs and like you say, may upset their tummy. If you do feeds scraps as a treat try to make it plain meat or veg rather than baked beans! And perhaps finish your meal, then put the scraps in the dogs bowl so they get used to waiting for you to finish eating.

As for the growling, I'd ignore the puppy. It's likely that they just want attention so don't even give them negative attention. Ignore and reward when quiet.
 

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A crate should be big enough for the dog to lie down in and stand up and turn around easily in but not to big or you get my problem of my puppy going to the toilet in her crate all the time as she uses one side as a bed and wees on the other :rolleyes:

The growling is probably to get you to pay him attention, my puppy does this is she wants me to play with her.

I currently get up once or twice a night to let her out to the toilet and she is 17 weeks old.

We have the rule of its fine to want to give the dogs something off your plate but instead of doing it while were eating we leave it to one side then it goes in their bowls when we are done, this stops the dogs begging the kids for their dinner!

I put Tails in her crate when i go out (start this slowly though but getting them used to the crate then leaving them for a min, then gradually make the time your away longer) Tails is left for 45 mins in the morning for the school run, then 45 mins in the afternoon to take my boy to nursery, then 45 later in the afternoon to pick the kids up, then on a tues and thurs evening for 2 hours while we take the kids to kung fu. She is put in there for night time and while we eat at the moment until she masters leave properly.

I always leave her with a kong or a bone etc when im leaving her in her crate to give her something to do.

I was advised while potty training to limit the amount she drinks before bed (or if i need to leave her) i always have a bowl of water down for my older dog and when i take Tails out to the toilet i take her to the water bowl so she doesnt always have access to it but is taken to it roughly every 45 mins when we have a toilet break
 

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Gwen Baileys The Perfect Puppy may be a book you'd find useful. I've never read it myself (I seem to keep getting adolescent dogs rather than pups) but I've seen a lot of people recommend it. Forget the dominance theories, about being "alpha" and all that, at best it's unnecessary, at worst it can cause serious issues.

I crate my 18 month old Lab when I'm out as he can be destructive. Keeps him safe as he can't chew anything dangerous and keeps my belongings safe from being chewed. I have the biggest crate I could find and there's plenty of room for Spencer to stretch out, sit or stand and change position.

Excuse the lack of bedding, he refuses to have anything more than that mat and either removes it from the crate completely or if shut in with bedding piles it all up at one end and lies at the other :rolleyes: He's not in there overnight as he sleeps in the bedroom with us but I see no harm leaving him in there for a few hours while I go out somewhere. If I were going to be out more than 4 hours I'd get someone in to walk him.
 
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