How Are Black Lab Puppies Different From Other Lab Puppies?
Newborn chocolate lab puppies behave the same way as lab puppies of any other color. These are not different breeds, only different colors within the same breed. There are some small differences between labs of different colors but they do not affect how you raise your puppy.
One could argue that chocolate labs are more energetic. Possibly, silver labs are more gentle than labs of some other colors. Silver, yellow, and white labs might be gentler, red and chocolate labs might be more energetic.
1. Newborn Puppies Need a Safe Area
A newborn puppy needs to be kept away from small children (they may hurt the dog accidentally by handling it too enthusiastically) and from other animals. They are very delicate and need to be kept safe.
2. Keep Your Puppies Warm
If your newborn puppies are not with their mother, you have to keep them alive and healthy. Their box needs to be kept at the right temperature (between 90 and 95 degrees) at least for the first week and their milk needs to be warmed up to 98 degrees. Reduce the temperature gradually until they can tolerate a normal room temperature after about five weeks.
You also have to help your new puppies go to the bathroom. Very young puppies need a lot of care and need to be watched all the time. Don't pick up your puppies often for the first two weeks, only pick them up if you are feeding or cleaning them.
3. Don't Feed Your Dog Too Much At Once
Before a lab is four weeks old, it needs liquid food. After four weeks, it can have kibble soaked in canine milk formula. The youngest puppies should be fed once every two hours if they are not with their mothers.
Puppies have tiny sensitive stomachs and can't eat too much at once. If you give your puppy a whole day's worth of food (or milk formula) at once, you will give it indigestion.
Lab puppies do not know how to control their appetite and will eat/drink too much if you give them too much food or formula. A young lab puppy should eat at least four times a day, and more than that if very young.
4. Puppies Need New Experiences
You also need to make sure your puppy gets some experience being outdoors, being around other people, and being around other dogs very early in life. It is easy for the dog to learn to be calm around other people when it is a puppy, but harder for it to learn that later on.
This is a very important stage, so you can end up with a poorly socialized dog if you do it improperly. If your dog does not encounter machinery, strangers, other dogs, or unfamiliar objects/situations in the first 14 weeks of life, it may be afraid of these things forever. Socialization should start in the first few weeks, and not only in the first 14.
One danger of taking a young puppy out of the house and exposing it to new things is that it may get an illness it is not yet vaccinated against. It is much less likely to get a dangerous infection if you carry it in your arms or in a shoulder bag.
5. Train Your Dog With Rewards
You should train your young puppy by giving it praise, pats, and treats for behaving properly. Use positive reinforcement (rewards for good behavior) first and negative reinforcement (any kind of punishment) much less often.
Don't do whatever you think your dog wants you to do. If you give your dog a pat or a treat every time it barks and howls, it will learn to bark and howl often for attention or treats.
6. Leave Your Dog Alone
Being alone can be scary for a young puppy. However, as long as you introduce them to this gently, it is ok to train your puppy to be alone. At first, only leave them alone for a very short time - walk out of the room and then walk back in again.
Sometimes, a dog that is left alone will worry that it has been abandoned. It needs to learn that its family cares about it and will always return.
This can all start in the first week of your puppy's life. You do not have to wait until your puppy is over a certain age to start training it to be alone. The puppy will learn that you will always return.
7. Your Dog Should Follow You Without a Leash
When your dog is a puppy, it will always want to stay close to you, not go off on its own. It wants to stay close to you because it is vulnerable and wants to feel safe. If you teach your dog to follow you very young, it will continue to do this as an adult.
8. Remember That the First Few Months Are Crucial
The first 14 weeks of your dog's life are known as the socialization phase. This is when it is easiest for your dog to learn how to behave properly with you, with your friends, with strangers, and with other dogs.
The first few weeks and not just the first 14 weeks are important. The earlier you start, the better. A dog cannot always learn to behave properly after the socialization phase is over.
9. Keep the Environment Calm
A new puppy should not be exposed to too much excitement too often. If young children are excited by your puppy, the dog will pick up the excitement from them. This is ok sometimes, but new puppies mostly need tranquility.
10. Buy Everything in Advance
Some people get a lab and then realize they have to buy several more things they need for their dog. It is better to have everything you need in your home right from the start. What you need is:
- Healthy food
- Canine milk formula
- Heating pads
- A food bowl and water bowl
- Leash and collar
- Bones and treats
- Dog tags
- Crate/cage and dog bed
- Teething toys
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson