Dogs are wonderful to be around and make fantastic pets! I’m particularly familiar with Labrador Retrievers, as I’ve lived with them nearly all of my life. Some of them have been mixed with other breeds, so their personalities and behavior are not as predictable as they grow up, but they were all still great dogs!
Within the past month, I was lucky to bring home the newest member of the family – Katsu! He’s an English Labrador Retriever, and is EXTREMELY smart! (Too much for his own good :P) It’s been almost 14 years since since I’ve last had a puppy, so I needed to brush up on a lot!
Here are some of the items I made sure I was prepared with prior to bringing him home:
- Puppy food (check to see what the puppy is currently being fed)
- Puppy treats/snacks (optional)
- Puppy pads
- A couple of toys – including one that’s good for puppies who are teething
- Bowls (2 would be helpful so that one could be used for food, and the other for water)
- Puppy shampoo
- Crate/exercise pen/some kind of barrier if you are keeping your puppy in a specific area of your home
Puppies need a lot of attention and care. Sometimes even more than what new owners are aware of! There may be nights with little sleep and you may feel that you just brought home a new baby – which is pretty much the case! Puppies go to the bathroom frequently, and if you are housebreaking a puppy and would prefer that they go outside to do their business, you may end up outside at all hours of the day! An owner is responsible for taking the new puppy outside frequently to ensure less indoor accidents. Some may decide to use newspaper or puppy training pads, but in my case, Katsu refused to use those things as a bathroom and would rather play and rip them to shreds!
Monitor your puppy whenever they are outside or in a new environment. It is recommended that a new puppy be on a leash, so that you can make sure you are aware of where they are at all times. This also helps make it easy to pull them away from areas that they should not get into. Make sure that you remove any small items that the puppy shouldn’t chew on or may choke on if it were swallowed. When I first brought Katsu home, I followed him around EVERYWHERE, to make sure that if he picked up something he shouldn’t have in his mouth that I could get it out of his mouth. I gradually gave him a little more freedom after observing that he wasn’t necessarily eating everything off of the ground, but just picking it up to chew on.
I’m still working out some kinks with his housebreaking and crate training. (Any input or suggestions here, is welcome!) Always remember that these things take time, be patient with your puppy! Even the smartest breeds can’t learn everything over night!
Follow Katsu on Instagram to watch him as he grows up! @katsu_the_lab