|Exercise & Play
Your Labrador puppy needs a great deal of exercise. The best way to contain the destructiveness in a Labrador puppy is to keep them active. If a Labrador’s needs for activity and exercise are not met they will become chewers, diggers, and wanderers if they are not contained.
It is very important to spend a lot of time handling your new puppy. You can not handle them too much. You need to hold them on their backs and rub their stomachs. Your will not be able to do this for long as they will grow large and heavy very quickly so it is important to do this while still possible. You need to handle their feet, ears, and tail. All of these things will make a closer bond, let the puppy know who is in charge, and make them a better companion as they age. It is even better if you can find a puppy who has been handled like this from the very beginning.
Socialization of your puppy is critical. Your puppy needs to be taken out often and with many different people. This needs to be started at a young age and continued throughout their life. Community fairs and carnivals are wonderful for this. Let people love your puppy.
If you do not have children in your home you need to find children to love your puppy so they are exposed them. It’s also important if there is no man in your home to find a man to love your puppy and the same thing applies if there is no woman. Some dogs are afraid of things they have not encountered so it is important to expose them to as much as possible at this young age.
Photo courtesy of Endless Mountain Labradors
Children and Labrador puppies belong together. Children do need to understand that a puppy should never be dragged around, smacked, or hit. Labradors are usually very passive with children and rarely aggressive however every dog will defend itself if hurt.
You must make sure that your puppy gets all shots, worming, heart worm medication, and flea and tick medication that are necessary. As soon as you get your puppy you will need to schedule a visit to the veterinarian and make sure your puppy’s health is protected.
Your Lab puppy weight is very important. A Labrador puppy grows at an amazing rate so it is very important to feed them the best puppy food that you can afford. It is more critical to feed them the better foods when they are growing and if necessary a less expense food can be purchased after they are a year old.
When you get your puppy at about 8 weeks of age it should weigh approximately 13-14 lbs. As the puppy gets older the accepted lab puppy weight is 2 lbs for each week of age. Therefore, your lab puppy weight at 12 weeks should be about 24 lbs.
Remember that female Labradors generally weigh less than male Labradors. If your female puppy at 12 weeks weighs 22 lbs., that is acceptable.
If your Lab puppy weight is more than the two lbs. per week of age you will need to cut back on the amount you are feeding them. This ideal Lab puppy weight gauge is only good until the age of 10 months.
Your puppy should be fed in two equal daily feedings. I have suggested the proper amount to feed your puppy but this amount needs to be adjusted to stay within the ideal Lab puppy weight.
8 weeks – 2.5 cups
9 weeks – 3.0 cups
10weeks – 3.5 cups
11 weeks and older 4.0 cups
I can’t stress enough the importance of the ideal lab puppy weight. Obesity is common in older dogs and greatly shortens their life. The eating habits that are founded at any early age will impact your dog’s quality of life.
I have never fed my labs more than 4 cups per day and as a lab gets older and less active this will need to be continually cut back.