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Please read first if you plan to submit a puppy application:
• All Quail Chase dogs/puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC)
• Quail Chase puppies are family pets ONLY and are not permitted to be bred
• We only discuss litter details with potential new owners after submitting an application
• We do screen and chat with applicants before confirming a litter reservation
• Order of puppy selection is based on order of deposit received
• Puppies are sold with comprehensive health guarantees and current health records including: microchip, hip dysplasia guarantee, AKC Registration, 3 generation pedigree, sales contract and receipt
The methods, beliefs and routines described below are practices we truly use every day! Our dogs are living proof the following can improve not only your dogs behavior but their quality of life and your relationship with them...
Puppy's First Week Home
Your puppy has just been taken from its family and introduced to a brand new home with completely new smells, sights and sounds. Give it a chance to overcome the stress and uncertainty it's probably feeling. Do not expose it to too much activity for the first few days until its confidence increases. The idea is to gradually transition your puppy from the schedule and environment it's been while at Quail Chase to its new schedule at your home. The best scenario for any change is to be gradual and well thought out . Drastic changes can be stressful to a puppy and stress can show itself in many ways, some harmful if not recognized (diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite emotional reactions and so on). Puppies do not understand English nor do they think and feel with humanistic responses. They may show signs of obvious intelligence, love and affection but keep in mind; they are babies and they only understand love, repetition, tone of voice and consistency. Our home and kennel is geared towards a consistent, workable environment between family and kennel. The first 8-9 weeks of your puppy's life has been spent in a calm, quiet environment with as much exposure to human and canine interaction as possible. We do recommend keeping the following things on hand in case of an emergency.
• Yogurt - Calms upset stomachs, replaces good bacteria lost during Diarrhea (one tablespoon per meal)
• Pedialyte – It's like puppy "Gatorade" in case of Diarrhea and dehydration (Dehydration is lethal to puppies)
• Mineral Oil – will help pass foreign objects (1 teaspoon a day until issue is resolved)
Families with small children: Children must be prepared and instructed how to act, interact and treat a new puppy. Loud noises, screaming, chasing, tugging, even too much affection can cause your new puppy to react negatively or in fear. As with children, the first few weeks are major building blocks in a puppy's life so the training and treatments your puppy is exposed to during this crucial time is worth your time, consideration and planning.
Families who already have a dog(s): Your new puppy will come to you with its first of 3 vaccinations and at least 2 series of d-worming. But its immune system is still very susceptible to many things until its 6 months rabies vaccination. It is a great idea to have your current dog checked for parasites, worms and current vaccinations. Keep in mind, your adult dog might be or seem healthy, but its adult immune system can fight off many things that are problematic, even lethal to a puppy. A good idea is to clean or spray all the surfaces your puppy will be living and playing in at your home with a 10-90% mix or bleach to water. This includes the grass and patio areas (this solution won't kill the grass).
Feeding Schedule at Quail Chase
• 6:00 AM - Puppies wake up, will need to go potty immediately
• BY 6 weeks old our puppies are eating 2 cups per meal 2 X's a day
• 6:30-7:00 AM Breakfast - We give food first then water in the same bowl
• Potty within 10-30 minutes after eating (Their systems are consistent)
• 6:45-7:45 - They play hard for an hour then back to sleep
• Water between meals
• 5:30-6:00PM - Dinner – Same as above, same potty schedule, same play schedule
• 10:00PM - Bedtime! We pull their water several hours before bedtime to minimize accidents during the night
Feeding Amount @ 8-9 weeks old
• 2 cups 2 x's per day: Add a little warm water to make gravy in bowl. Each puppy has a unique metabolism and different energy needs. A good rule is to add or subtract amounts of daily food based your Labradors "waist line" and how you want him/her to look. The ideal build Labrador body is a somewhere between an hour glass and a sausage ;) While a fat puppy is adorable, excess weight is bad for joint development
• Water after feedings: As much as they care to drink (water intake in crucial to a healthy puppy)
• Take up their water at least 2 hours before bed time (this will significantly lower late night accidents)
• For the entire 1st week at home, add 1 tablespoon of plain or Vanilla yogurt with each meal. (Activia brand or ones with added probiotics or bacteria are too strong)
• This will help any upset stomach from the transition and the good bacteria in yogurt will help fight off bad bacteria the puppy might pick up from new surfaces or grass.
99% of all dog food available in grocery stores is pure garbage. Your dogs will love it because of the sugar and fillers manufacturers use to entice the dogs to eat. In reality, food of that quality would be like a human eating McDonald's for every meal...it tastes great but it wouldn't take long to become obese, and/or unhealthy. Normal physical activity would become difficult and the compounding issues mean more frequent visits to the vet. Standard rule manufacturers won't tell you: the first 4-6 ingredients on a dog food label make up 95% of the food within. Use common sense, just like us they are what they eat!
If you're feeding a good quality food you will NOT need to provide any vitamins or supplements. Furthermore, we do not recommend supplements for puppys under a year old because a puppy's cycle is designed to accelerate at natures pace. This is especially true regarding Calcium in Labradors . Calcium speeds and assists the growth and solidification of bone structure. Common sense might merit adding calcium to a puppy's diet to ensure healthy bone growth but in truth, moderate or less calcium allows natural growth and bone hardening to occur. Too much calcium can lead to arthritis, Osteoporosis and even Dysplasia. After a few weeks, remove the water from the food mix but allow as much cold water as the pup wants to drink. Don't worry if your puppy's appetite is minimal for the first few days. It's just left its family and may take a little to feel comfortable with its new home. That said, Labs are notorious eaters. Please don't over feed your pup either. Fit-not-Fat is a good rule to keep your pup from excessive growth and obesity which can cause hip Dysplasia as it grows. Do not feed human food! Their stomachs cannot handle it and it can cause problems.
Human interaction while a dog is feeding: A puppy that has been stroked, petted even sat with during meals is far less likely to be dominant over its food bowl which will greatly reduce the risk of an accidental bite near the food bowl. This same theory applies to bones and chew toys.
Five fundamentals to the well trained puppy
3) Tone of voice
4) Praise good behavior
5) Do not reprimand unless you "catch them in the act"
There are no bad dogs, just bad owners that don't realize dogs can't read minds and they don't understand English. The only know consistency, tone of voice and repetition. Your habits, good and bad, will be reflected in your dogs behavior so be patient and think through what you're goals are before you begin teaching. These fundamentals will get you started:
• Labradors love to train and be under command, especially if it can sense you're pleased with its actions. You are its teacher so it will learn everything from including bad habits if you're not careful. Praise at the proper time is far more affective than scolding and be careful when you reprimand your dog not to break its spirit. A broken dog is not the same as an obedient dog.
• Avoid tug of war : Tug of war may seem fun but as powerful as Labradors are, they can hurt a child or adult without meaning to. Plus is teaches destructive behavior.
• Avoid Chase games : If you chase your dog, you'll ingrain a fleeing habit it sees as fun and appropriate. This can only lead to frustration and potential disaster. It will love the running and excitement, but it teaches a pursuit and pounce instinct you do not want in a family pet. A dog the size of a Labrador can inflict serious injury especially to children without meaning to because you trained it to play chase.
• The “come” call . This is the most crucial skill to teach your dog and should be done within its first few weeks at home. It can keep them from dangerous situations in public or near busy roads or in new surroundings. If your pup does not come when called, DON'T chase him. This will seem like a game that enforces stubbornness. Call them once and go and get them if they do not come. Over praise them when come and soon they'll associate coming to your call is a good thing.
• Playing rough : You are the pack leader and your dog will take on your habits. Playing rough with a puppy will only lead to disaster when it's full grown.
• Striking a dog: Quail Chase Labradors strongly discourages the use of force in dog training. Though it sometimes takes lots of patience and consistency, praise will always get you more than force. Teach your dog to please you and you'll have a buddy for life. If you must strike a dog to stop or avoid a problem, only strike it under the chin with an open palm. NEVER strike it with an overhead motion in the head or hips. This will cause a dog to cower and possible cause serious injury.
The above suggestions are just basic training ideas and philosophies we recommend. For a more thorough breakdown of training techniques we use, contact use about purchasing the Canine Good Citizen Training Handbook or the Puppy Kindergarten by Miriam Fields Babineau (available through Quail Chase Labradors. These books are basis of our preferred style of training and the precursor for many advance training techniques.
Canines are pack animals and the pack has a clear hierarchy from the top dog (alpha) to the second, third and so on. The idea is to introduce the puppy while maintaining your current dog's hierarchy in the home and family. Regardless of how loving or well trained your current dog(s) is, surprising an adult dog with a puppy might send it an instinctual pack mode to dominate or submit. It can also cause a puppy to submit or react in fear. Your goal is for a calm, happy introduction where the curiosity of both animals is peaked without fear. For best results, the puppy should be introduced while still in its crate, sometimes for hours or days until the reaction from both animals is what you are comfortable with. In cases with in-tact or dominant dogs, introductions should be separated by closed doors at first and then to the crate introductions mentioned above. By no means should introductions or the first few times together be unsupervised. If you don't see the initial response in introductions that you want, don't panic and DO NOT reprimand the current dog(s) or the new puppy. Reprimands at this stage will make the dog(s) associate its new family member with a negative response from its owners. Stay calm and think it through. Remember, YOU are the pack leader of all the dogs. Take the time to sort out the best way for all the animals to fit into YOUR PACK.
Dogs don't feel human emotions nor do they understand English. They understand love, repetition, consistency and tone of voice. You and your family are its new pack. I'm not suggesting you start acting like a dog but don't ruin your dog by humanizing it or treating it like a baby. What I mean to say is: There are no bad dogs, just bad owners that don't realize dogs can't read minds and they can't tell you what they want. Over time, your habits will be reflected in your dog so be patient and think through what you're goals are before you begin teaching. Discuss with your family the commands you want your new puppy to learn and rules it will live by and as a family, stay consistent. This is the golden rule to having a well trained happy pet, especially in families with young children.
Moods & Tone of Voice
Dogs don't understand English but they do understand your moods and tone of voice. They can even feel your stress through the leash when you walk them. As you get to know your dog you'll be able to see if it “senses” your emotions so do not confuse it by playing sarcastically. If you're happy your dog will learn than tone. If you're sad or upset, it will try to comfort you or make you happy as it would do to the pack leader. Be very aware that your sadness or anger is not directed at your pet when it's trying to comfort you. That's confusing to a dog as it would be confusing to a child. Your tone in these situations is key and it's a primary reason dogs respond differently to male and female voices. The lower “baritone” in a males voice makes a dog think it's the dominant pack member. The higher pitch in a woman's voice makes a dog think it's happier and more playful. To a dog, dad is the rule giver and mom is the softy which is why most women have more trouble gaining a dog's respect and thus a harder time training a dog. Ladies don't despair and don't take it personally. Dogs are instinctual not rational. You'll have to work harder to stay consistent but in time, your dog will understand repetition and consistency from the entire family, even children.
We highly recommend crate training your puppy. Not only is it a simple and quick method of potty training it will also become a place of comfort and security throughout your dog's life. Crate your puppy at night, during naps and whenever you cannot be with or supervise him/her. It is best to purchase a crate large enough to house your puppy after it becomes an adult but section off the crate while your puppy is still young and growing providing only enough room to be comfortable. It is a natural instinct for a dog to not mess in its den. Sectioning the crate will enforce this instinct and help teach the pup to HOLD its bladder while it's in the crate. Make sure the first place he/she is allowed to go after opening the crate is outside to potty. Only after it goes potty where YOU decide it can go, praise the puppy and make it a good experience. It will learn going potty outside makes you happy and instinctually want to repeat the habit to please you. This simple habit can help potty train your pup in a matter of days.
Begging, whining, or pawing under the table should never be acceptable behavior for your dog. You may think its cute now for your puppy to jump up to greet you or to want to join you at dinnertime but it won't be cute when company comes or when your puppy's full-grown. So it's smart to teach your puppy good manners now. Here are a few pointers:
• Don't Jump Up . If your puppy jumps up, walk backwards or turn around and say "off." Reward him only when all four paws are on the ground. If more control is needed, put a leash on him whenever you're expecting company and praise him only when he stays down.
• If your puppy has mastered the "sit" command, have him sit when greeting newcomers. Have a friend help by coming to the door again and again. Instruct your dog to sit each time the friend enters. Reward him for correct behavior or better yet, have your friend provide the reward. Repeating this exercise will reinforce it and will make having visitors a more routine experience for your puppy.
A simple way to teach your puppy how to notify you it has to go potty is to hang a small bell or chime on the handle of the door leading to the place it will go potty. Hang it from a strong string low enough so the puppy can nudge it with its nose. The simple act of opening the door and closing the door will consistently remind the puppy that the “noise” means “I can go outside to potty”. Eventually, you'll hear the bell and find your puppy waiting to go potty. If this happens, praise it and you'll have a door trained puppy.
Teething & Chewing
Your pup is and will remain teething for up to a year. It's teeth will grow, fall out and are replace with permanent teeth. We are happy to say at Quail Chase, we have never lost a shoe or a remote control in all our years of lab ownership. This is because of three simple rules;
• When they attempt to chew something you do not want them to chew, DO NOT SCOLD THEM. Simply tell them NO, take it from them and replace it with something them can chew and praise them for chewing the proper item. This is positive reinforcement which encourages a dog without breaking his/her spirit. Over time, this simple habit will save countless items from your dog's mouth for one reason; it doesn't see those items as toys. When you praise it for chewing something you permit, it only sees that item as a toy. Our remotes and shoes have never been destroyed so we're living proof this works.
• Have a variety of toys for them to choose from. As with kids, dogs get attached to certain things but need variety to stay interested. One toy they may sleep with, another they will shake around like a rag doll, another they may only play with outside. Who cares! Let them discover their personality and you'll learn as much as you can about your new family member. A little observation will go a long way to enjoying your pup.
• Choose your dogs chew toys as carefully as you would toys for your child. Nothing with eyes, buttons, or weak stitching. Labs are powerful chewers and need a good stout material to keep them busy. Our dog toy bin has Frisbees, canvas stuffed animals, tons of tennis balls, thick rubber toys and so on. Watch your dog's habits and you'll learn their likes and dislikes. *Hint* Avoid rawhide until their at least six months old. Their stomachs cannot process it. Nyla Bones or chewable items specialized for puppy digestion are perfectly fine.
Veterinarian Care & Vaccinations
Quail Chase puppies are wormed and vaccinated before he/she went home (schedule below). Your vet will likely check stool samples during its first visit and inform you of the inoculation schedule they like to follow. It is standard that Rabies shots be given between 5-6 months of age. If you have any concern or inconsistencies with the care your dog or puppy is receiving, don't be afraid to get a second opinion.
Grooming Bathing & Nails
Two of the biggest misnomers regarding grooming Labradors are:
• Labradors don't need much grooming because their coats are so short
• The more you bath them the cleaner they and your home will stay
Grooming: While Labradors don't need much grooming, they do need routine grooming to maintain the oils and moisture in their coats. Routine grooming with a medium to soft brush with rounded or blunt bristles will handle 99% of your grooming needs accept during shed. When our dogs shed, we rely one on one tool more than any other, "The Furminator", it's the best! But don't over use the Furminator, it's like a rake on the skin so be gentle and watch your dogs tolerance during grooming. Also, grooming is a huge bonding opportunity with your dog where if used properly can easily implement simple commands.
Bathing: 1 bath per month is all a Labrador coat can handle. The oils and moisture in a dogs coat repel dirt and water so over bathing strips the oils and moisture from the coat and can cause hair loss, thinning, flaking and sub-dermal skin infections. Additionally, some dogs smell worse after bathing because their body is replenishing the lost oils. The key is: if a Labrador must be cleaned more than once a month, rinse don't bath. (This is especially important to dogs that swim in chlorinated pools. Rinse them after every swim, chlorine will ruin their coats and skin like it does human swimmers). When you do bath, don't be fooled by smelly, medicated or fancy dog shampoos. A dog balanced cleaning shampoo is fine. The conditioner is more crucial. A good balanced conditioner, human or animal grade, works great. We've always have success with oatmeal based conditioners but all the fancy or medicated conditioners don't work.
Nails: If your puppy does not spend enough time outside or on rough surface that maintain it's nails naturally, they must be trimmed. How short to trim nails depends on their daily needs, dogs spending more time outdoors need grip, indoor dogs needs less so they don't slip on smooth surfaces. We are happy to show you how as will your veterinarian.
Two biggest hints: 1) make it a fun experience for your dog with treats and toys. If you stress or try to control them, they will fight back and accidents can occur, especially if they're on their backs, a naturally submissive position most dogs hate. 2) Cut only the tips and/or file them to a smooth edge. Inside the nail is a vein called the "quik" that over time it will retract with routine grooming virtually eliminating bleeding. If you over trim and see blood, DON'T PANIC! keep the dog calm or interested in treats while you find a towel and clotting agent. If you don't have NikStop or another store bought clotting agent, use flour and mild pressure where the cut occurred. Before they're permitted back outside or on surfaces that might cause more damage or bleeding, try a little super glue to maintain the seal.