Shelter is a broad term as far as a puppy is concerned. Where you house your dog is a personal preference- inside dog, outside dog, or a combination. A new puppy needs protection from the weather as well as a place of security, this is his shelter. It is important for your new puppy to feel secure in their area. If keeping the puppy outside, this starts with the dog house and extends to the pen, fence, or barrier. If the puppy is kept in the house, it will start with the crate and extend to the parts of the house where the puppy is allowed. The best part of the 'shelter' is the puppy will take ownership of these areas and will later become a protector of his area and the companions that care for him. When taking your dog with you on errands or trips, his shelter will move and he will become a protector of his companions. Proper shelter is important for a new puppy in establishing trust with a new owner.
Water is important basic need for your new puppy. Fresh water is essential for proper growth and digestion in all dogs and especially the case for a puppy. Dogs need about 10 ounces of water for every 10 pounds of body weight. It is best to keep 2 water dishes available, especially for a young dog. Labradors love to play in the water and will have a tendency to dump over an unsecure dish. Summer heat can have drastic consequences on a dog with no water. I add a small kiddie pool or a larger container for the dogs to play in during the summer months. Never underestimate the power of clean water for your dog ---- and you.
Feeding the hungry puppy is one of the three basic needs for your new companion (food, water, shelter). It is necessary to feed a quality puppy food as long as he is still growing. This will usually continue through the first year. There are many good quality foods available on the market. Find a food that is high in protein, fat, and nutritionally complete. We advise feeding your puppy 2-3 times a day with as much as he will clean up in a 20 minute time period. This is usually about 1 to 2 cups per feeding. Finding the right puppy food can be a formidable task but one that is important for proper growth and health of a new puppy.
Sometimes scouting for turkeys can turn into a productive evening real quick. That was the case for my brother and myself. After stringing barbed wire for a new fence project, we headed out to check the new turkey hunting location. Time was short that evening so I was only going to grab my binoculars. Second thought, maybe I should throw in my shotgun and my turkey calls... just in case… We did not take the time to put on camo and hurried out before sunset took away our daylight. While driving by the property, I spotted two gobblers and a hen in an open pasture near a pond. We parked the truck and sneaked in behind the pond dam and set up next to a tree. This would be all the camo we needed. I hit my old reliable box call and the big birds answered. Within minutes they were coming into view and I knew we had to close the deal. The first bird moved in with the caution of an old wise gobbler as his partner showed off his majestic full strut. Their feathers glistened like gold in the setting sun as the distance closed. I softly touched the call one more time and as the a thundering gobbles woke up the evening air the birds moved within 20 yards. My brother claimed his first turkey, an 11” inch paint brush beard with 1” inch spurs. I harvested the second bird who also had 1” spurs to go with his 9” beard. I will always remember the first turkey I shot and it was fun to be with my brother when he shot his first turkey in his blue overalls.
Taking home a new puppy is an exciting time. The training of the new family member really starts before you even pick up the puppy. Decisions must be made and boundaries set before the puppy gets home. This will let the new puppy know who is in the master and where he fits in. A few questions that should be answered: What will you allow and not allow him to do? Jump on the couch or not? Jump on me or not jump on me? Inside dog or outside dog? All important questions that should be thought about before picking up the puppy. Your Labrador puppy is very intelligent and trainable. A pup will need 3 basic things in order to be a happy puppy: food, water, & shelter. I will discuss each one of these basic needs in the next Bar A Blogs. Until next time-- Have a day!
It is always fun to watch a new puppy venture into new ground. Some are very cautious and hesitate with each step while others are full steam ahead and embrace the new opportunities. This is new ground for me as I start the Bar A Blog. I hope this blog will be helpful to other people as I tell about my experiences. You will read stories about dogs, puppies, training, hunting, and the most important thing in my life - my family. Stay tuned and I hope you enjoy.