Life With A Labrador Puppy: The Real Deal

Happy Friday! I wish you a wonderful weekend and hopefully the weather will be nice and warm so we can enjoy this beautiful Autumn a little longer. However, I am not able to spend as much time outside as I would like because I am in a puppy-bed-bound situation (yes, that's a thing now).

So, in case you missed my life update post, as soon as we moved back to Romania we got a Labrador puppy named Arlo. He is a wild puppy that became sick last week and we took him to the vet only to find out that he had swallowed a nail. So Arlo had surgery and now he is in our constant care and I thought the best thing to do in the meantime is to share with you everything that I learned about having a baby Labrador.

Swipe for a puppy timeline

To add a little context, Arlo is not our first dog as both Paul and I had other puppies and we were ready to deal with potty training, crazy energy levels and sleepless nights, but having a Lab is completely different.

For instance, my other dog, Jackie, a Bichon, was pretty much an angel as a puppy: I was able to leave him in my room while I was at school and besides cleaning after him, everything else was untouched. In the afternoon I was taking him to Starbucks to meet with my friends and he would sleep the entire time and it was generally just low maintenance.

But Arlo, on the other hand, cannot be left by himself at all. In his first week home he chewed our MacBook cable while it was charging, stole a shoe and ate a whole lace, we left him in the garden with plenty of toys and other distractions to go food shopping and within one hour we found him on the driveway waiting for us as he dug underneath the fence to get out and he also ate a nail God knows where from. The point is, they are very smart and easily bored and they will eat anything. Labradors are different from other dogs and you need to be prepared to deal with it in case you want to get one.

Therefore, before bringing a Labrador home you need to puppy-proof the entire house. Look for any small objects, paper or cardboard that are on their level and remove them as they will definitely be chewed on or swallowed, get ready to clean a lot of pee (they also do it when you don't let them do something out of annoyance) and you will also need to have the patience of a saint. Labradors don't get scared easily and if you shout or try to hit them when they misbehave, they will take it as play and bite even harder. The only way to make a Labrador stop doing something is by removing yourself and not giving them any attention. And when they behave, make sure to have loads of treats on you to reward good behaviour.

Swipe for Arlo's sleeping positions

Of course, not everything about them is negative. They are super cute and as soon as you give them a little bit of attention they will love you forever. Also, they are very food motivated which means that with a few snacks and 10 minutes of daily exercises, you can teach them pretty much anything even at a young age. Arlo is 2 months and a half now and he knows 'sit', 'paw', 'fetch' and a little bit of 'wait'. They are also very friendly and attached to people - hence their job as guide dogs, being very faithful and lovely towards their family. And called the dogs with the waggiest tails in the world, I would pick a Lab over other dogs a thousand times, even knowing how crazy they are.

PS: Arlo is not the only 'crazy' Labrador. Here is a very funny list of what other foodie Labs have eaten: