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Hi we are the happy new owners of a chocolate Labrador getting used to his ways and when he wants to play he now lets us know when he needs to go out to do his business he sleeps on average about 8 hours at night and then wakes and wants out right away he goes round to the back garden to relieve himself
 

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Hi Julie, so much depends on how you intend to go about this. Many breeders supply a little of the food they have been using. Check with the breeder and if not they find out what they have been feeding and try to get some, so that puppy will have something it’s familiar with. Also if a dry complete I would advise soaking it before feeding.

Are you intending using a crate for nights and when you are not around? If so I always fed in the crate and also give treats to the pup while in there, so the crate becomes a nice place to be. The size of a crate is very important, and these days they are so cheap! I always start with a 24 inch crate. It wont last long before a pup will grow out of it, but you are only looking at £20 or so on Ebay these days, so they are dirt cheap. I then move on to a 36 inch for my bitches, although with a dog you will probably be needing a 42 inch. I normally use a crate for the first year, then they go up into the loft to store until pup arrives. (I’ve used the same crates for the last 3 pups!) I like to use “Vetbed” type fleece for the pup to lay on. Say 3 pieces will allow you to wash and tumble dry before needing again. Some people just use the full size crate, putting a partition in to restrict the size, but the crates are so cheap these days.

At night I find covering the crate with an old towel to keep it dark, and leaving a radio on very quiet on a talking program such as the world service. (Voices sounds as if people are around and pup is not on it’s own.) I also find an old stone hot water bottle with water around body heat, (Remember with a babies bath water how you tested the temperature by dipping your elbow in it?) wrapped in a thick sweater can help. One which you have worn so your scent is on it. Puppy can snuggle up to it and it will remind him/her of sleeping with it’s litter mates.

I personally don’t get up if my pup cries. I find it best to leave them to get use to it. Others will disagree, but I don’t want the puppy to think that she only needs to cry and I’ll come running. I do however get up at intervals throughout the night. The sooner I can build up to my pup lasting all night the better! I usually go to bed at around 11pm, taking puppy out immediately before. I then get up at 2am, 4am and arise at 6am. If I find the pup is still clean between these points I’ll stretch it a bit and the next night just get up at 3am and 6am. (Amy was clean all night within 3 days and Chloe in 5 days, so it really does pay to make the effort. Though I must say, some pups can be a real trial!)

It’s usual to give 4 feeds per day until 12 weeks old, 3 feeds to 6 months then down to 2 feeds. Dont be surprised if the pup’s motions are a bit loose for the first few weeks. Young pups grow so fast and need so much food, in comparison with their tiny tummies, that much passes through only partly processed. First vaccination is usually around 8 weeks old, depending on the vaccine used, so have a chat to your vet and find what their protocol is.
 

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As John has said the breeder when we got Kato gave us a 15 kilo bag of the puppy food that she had been feeding the puppies on which allowed us to stick to the food he was used to and we now just order through Amazon ad get it delivered me is now at 3 meals a day and thriving on it he is just about to finish on the puppy food and go on to the junior version of the food
 

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