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Thread: Help and advice for a first time Labrador owner please

  1. #21
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    Aug 2012
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    Victoria
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    Booma is doing so well today! his bloated tummy went down all the way down over night and we handled breakfast much better!! I gave him a wash in flea shampoo today as he needed a wash any way, he didnt have a very big case if them so i hope this does the job as well as treating his bedding and all the other animals!

    He's ears aren't much darker than him at all, they have a bit of colour around their edging and he has a slighly darker line down his back, i think he is going to be a very handsome young man no matter what :P

  2. #22
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    Sep 2010
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    Gippsland, Victoria
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nev Allen View Post
    Congrats on your pup. One thing I strongly recommend with all my students is to teach the dog its name so that you get instant focus as soon as you call him. This is priority 1 so that if he gets off leash you can call him and get him to come straight back.
    Be careful with this. I suggest using your dogs name to get attention, but teaching recall (ie returning to you) with a separate command. Imagine this hypothetical situation;

    You are out with your dog and he is off leash. Something dangerous comes between you and your dog (snake, busy road, out of control car- whatever). The most likely thing you will do is call out your dog's name. If his name means "Come back to me" this means he will run right through the danger to get to you!

    I train focus or attention linked with the dog's name. ie- you say the name and when your dog looks at you reward. I start this off in close proximity, making the distance between you progressively larger. So it looks like this:

    You say: "Fido!"
    Fido looks at you
    You say "Goooooooood" (initially you have said "goooooood" and given a treat when in close proximity to charge the word "gooooood" as a reinforcer. Then when you progress to further distance, your dog knows "goooooooood" means he's doing the right thing.)

    THEN you work at your recall:
    You say: "Fido!"
    Fodo looks at you
    You say "Gooooooooood"
    You then say "Come" (or whatever word you have chosen) and this is the command to stop looking and move his feet in your direction.

    If there were that hypothetical danger:
    You say: "Fido!"
    Fido looks at you
    You say: "Goooooooood"
    You say: "Sit" (or drop, or stay or whatever) and then go to your dog

    So you need to split the name off from the command a) so you dont always have to say the dogs name before the command, b) so the command does not become "Fidosit" "Fidodrop" etc etc AND c) so that the dog's name becomes the command to give focus and nothing else until you say what it is you want done.

  3. #23
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    Aug 2009
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    Something dangerous comes between you and your dog (snake, busy road, out of control car- whatever). The most likely thing you will do is call out your dog's name.
    What I yell is either ARRGGGHHH or NOOOOO - neither of which means anything to my dog. But I know if I run towards her, she will most likely run away, and if I run away from her she will most likely chase me.

    Doesn't help when she rolls in bird poo on the top of a sand dune, I yell NOOOO (before she drops her shoulder) - which she ignores and then rolls off the top of the dune, falls and lands on her head. We were lucky that time. She wasn't hurt at all - just very surprised.

    I really need to work on drops at a distance though. We're pretty good but not emergency good.

  4. #24
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    Aug 2012
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    I am pretty happy with the obedience of my Foxie she is amazingly obedient, we dp need to learn more tricks though, after booma's puppy classes i am going to look for classes for them both to attend with the whole family, i think that would be great fun!!!

  5. #25
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    Hilarious story about the sand dunes by the way Hyacinth! i am glad you girl was ok! i bet it was funny once u made sure hse was just startled and not hurt! we go to some amazing sand dunes all the time! 30 minutes away and they are awesome! both out daughter and Foxie love them! i bet Booma will to!!

  6. #26
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    Jan 2012
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    you never let a pup eat until they're full you risk bloat particularly when older. What kind of vet deals out advice like that? You moderate the dogs food intake, your pup does not look too thin, I keep all my pups a bit ribby while growing, as long as there is good muscle tone they will be fine and it's healthier for them in the long run. Dont let him jump or fall off things while he's growing, and no big long walks, let him self moderate in play. Start walking him for longer walks at 12 months if you're into the whole pavement pounding thing. Hips and Elbows you cannot really do much about except keep him lean his whole life and hope he doesnt carry bad genetics for dysplasias.

    As for the blue eyes, in the photos they look more green. A yellow lab will have paler features but they're definitely not 'blue'.

  7. #27
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    Nekhbet you could be a little less blunt when you talk to people. i appreciate advice but i dont appreciate being made to feel stupid just becasue i said my dogs eyes seem blue to me. Or being told to ignore the advice of my vet. im sure he has Booma's best interest in heart and knows a least a little of what he is doing, he is a vet afer all. obviously the bloating made Booms feel sick yesterday i dont think the vet was prepared for him to be so crazy about eating he ate past when he was full he didnt stop when he was full, this was a learning curb and im sure not the last, i heva modified his feeding again today into more frequent smaller meals, perhaps still a little too big, i shall modify again tomorrow.

    like i said i appreciate your advice i just prefer when people sound a bit more kind and nice in the way they present their advice. I may be new to owning a lab but am not new to owning animals and i am not stupid, cruel, ignorant or uncaring.

  8. #28
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    I was Watching Booma play this afternoon and every now and then his feet would turn out and he would look a bit nocky kneed, is this normal? it has been so long since our foxie was a pup!

  9. #29
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    Keu13

    There is a disease in dogs called bloat - and it's extremely horrible.
    Bloat in Dogs

    So do be careful about exercise and feeding. Nekhbet might be a bit blunt - but she has your dog's best interests at heart (and probably not yours because you can take care of yourself).

    Sometimes vets are wrong. Sometimes they assume you know lots more than you do about how to look after a dog. Sometimes they just don't provide information unless you ask a very specific question - most of the vets I see are like this, so i write a list of questions and take them wtih me. Like about puppy being knock kneed - put that on your list of questions to ask at the next vax. Also get your vet to do a basic all round check up and joint feel to make sure they feel ok.

    Checking for hip displasia involves getting xrays under general anaesthetic. So this might be a good thing to ask the vet to do when you get Booma desexed. But as Nekhbet said - knowing about it just helps you manage it - there's not a lot of options for fixing it in bigger dogs. You can ask your vet about that too and approximate costs for getting treatment by a specialist.

    Meanwhile - keep exercise gentle. Do not let puppy run up sand hills and jump off the top until he's much older like agility dogs are not allowed to start stuff like that until they are 12 to 18 months older and for a heavier set dog like a lab - I'd wait till 18 months. Puppies can break their legs - just jumping off a bed. Which then means weeks of quiet time in a crate. It's well worth doing what you can to reduce the chance of that happening. General rule of thumb - did I say this already - 5 minutes exercise per month of age. This helps the joints grow properly without being prematurely worn out. I know an orthopaedic surgeon - who believes this applies to human children too - ie they can exercise too much too young and be completely decrepid by 25.

  10. #30
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    Absolutely i understand she was just trying to help out booma. its just that help is better received when it sounds like help and not like condescension or rude demands. i please welcome her very much to keep posting on my threads and giving her experiences and advice

    Booma is being treated just like a new puppy should be, very small walks for lead awareness and education and socialisation, we play with him when every he decides he is in a playful mood, he is left to sleep when ever he wants to or just sit around and chew a toy or bone. I have been watching his front feet and im not sure if it is a problem or if it is just puppy joints being a bit un coordinated.. i will definitely be asking the vet at our next appointment. there is nothing at this point in the house or yard that he can climb up on and jump off no concerns untill he gets a bit bigger, which will be very soon im sure

    I am about to research bloat so i know exactly what every one is talking about there..

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