Raising Litter Mates



The weather is starting to cool down, and the rain has showed itself. Unfortunately for me, these puppies don't care if it's raining or not! My niece is coming over for a few days this weekend, and we are pretty sure there will be a lot of excitement and jumping going on. This will be a good time to test, train and ingrain the idea that jumping equals nothing!

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Friday, September 10, 2010
Long Weekend with Black Labrador Puppies and My Niece.

We were ecstatic to have my niece come stay with us a few days over the long weekend. We weren't sure what the puppies were going to act like since this is the first time anybody would be staying with us for a few days since we brought them home in April. The weather called for some sun and some clouds, we were going to play it by ear instead of planning it all out. Our adventure begins here :

Our black labrador litter mates were excited to see my niece. They were jumping up and doing everything they were not supposed to do!! After some discipline they began to settle down. This was a good opportunity to teach my niece which behaviours are acceptable and what to do when they misbehave.

Stephen had given my niece a crash course in training the puppies. He had her work the puppies with some basic commands using our method of training to keep it consistent. She did a wonderful job and the puppies responded to her well. I think it helped them understand their place.

Our puppies are allowed on our couches. I know some people may not agree with this, and I can understand why, but we have allowed them to do so. They usually sit with us while we watch TV or play video games, so they were a little out of sort when there was another body on the couch and they had no room. Taro barked and threw a fit for a few minutes, but soon after realized that he had to suck it up. Although we have allowed them on the couch, we want them to realize that if it is occupied, they stay on the floor. Their kennels remain open to them during the day and they know they can sleep in there if they want to.

My niece enjoyed training them and we all enjoyed her company. My mom and dad were over as well, so the puppies were overly excited to have all these people around. The jumping continued, the discipline followed and nobody got hurt!

The weekend was full of walks and swimming and general fun. It was a great experience for the puppies to be around a little person for a few days (my niece is twelve). Sure they jumped up, and did naughty little things, but it was a good time for our puppies to practice manners.

They walked well on a leash for my niece, she was trained on how to walk them properly and how to discipline them on leash - they responded well to her authority.

Steps I Have Taken to Help Deter Jumping

I have made it a rule that our puppies are not to be pet when jumping up or nipping. Even the people we meet on the street are not allowed to pet the puppies if they are rowdy or jumping up. I make an effort to have them either sit or down and be settled before anybody can give them attention.

They are about six and a half months now and weighing about 55-60 pounds. They are not small puppies anymore, and if they were to jump up on a small child they would knock him down for sure. We don't want this to happen - ever - so I am trying my best to ingrain the "off" command.

Taro is more likely to jump than Kratos is. Having said that, when Kratos sees his brother jumping up, he too wants to join in on the action. I try to anticipate when Taro will jump and either redirect his attention, or make him "sit". Sometimes I am too late, or he tricks me, leading me to believe he won't jump then suddenly leaps up! This is the point it becomes difficult to get him to settle again. We are working on it daily.

How to Stop your Puppy from Jumping

Do not give your puppy attention when he is jumping. Simply turn around (back toward the puppy) and wait until he stops. All four paws should be on the ground before giving him any attention.

You can try stepping into a jumping dog. Stepping away from the puppy may increase the jumping, whereas stepping into them throws them off balance and in theory gets all four paws back on the floor. Once he is settled he can be pet.

Don't make it a habit to be overly excited when you get home to your puppy. The more excited you are, the more excited the puppy can become leading him to jump. Stay calm, ignore your puppy for a few minutes, and as long as he remains calm with all four paws planted on the floor, give him some affection.

If your puppy is kenneled, do not let him out if he is not calm. Ignore him until he settles down then walk over to let him out. Make sure all four paws are on the floor before giving attention. He will soon learn that being calm and quiet will get him the affection he rightfully deserves.

We are fighting the jumping battle daily. The most important thing to remember is consistency for EVERYONE who comes into contact with your puppy. You may run into people who don't mind being jumped on, but just remember that your labrador puppy (who will grow up to be a big heavy dog) can't differentiate between those who like it and those who don't. It is better to teach your puppy that jumping isn't acceptable from an early age.

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