So I recently received a blog comment (YIPPPEEE!) asking me how we keep our dogs, AKA the THREE STOOGES, so well behaved and this got me thinking…how did we get to where we are?? Because if you would of asked me this in December 2008 after the grape incident (they ate an entire bag of grapes, which is more toxic than anti-freeze!!) I would of said, ‘okay, maybe in a few years they’ll get there’ but after the candles on Christmas Eve 2009, the car accident March 2010, and all the foot injuries to boot, I started to say ‘not in a million years are they ever going to get out of their puppy stage.’
But its true!! We’re finally reaching that point in our pups lives. We’re very cautious and have learned a lot. So, I thought we’d share what some of our favorite products are. We’ve learned these through trial and error and I hope that you may learn from our experience, and maybe, save you some of the headache.
The thoughts and experiences are of my own and my own opinion/advice. Well Mr. P’s and the THREE STOOGES too. We assume no responsibility because these are our sole experiences; use your judgment wisely because each dog is different. Do not leave your pet alone unsupervised with any object. Each one of these products we’ve tested personally with our three. We find them safe to use around our labs and they approve the quality too! And, in no way were we paid or compensated for this post. Just thought you would like to know. 🙂
KONG products only! Any and all toys we get are made by KONG! The rubber on those things are chew proof and therefore swallow-proof. A key ingredient to owning a lab. They will eat anything and everything. This is why pictures of labs are everywhere in a Vet or Emergency Vet’s office. SERIOUSLY! If they have a list of most common swallowed items, its because a LAB has eaten it.
Fabric collars = bad idea. Get chain! If you own more than one lab puppy at any time, do not get the fabric collars. Again, becomes another toy. We almost lost Phoenix because of this situation. Cent and Phoenix were playing with each other and Cent got his jaw caught in the collar itself; the section where you’re able to tighten and loosen the collar to fit the neck properly. Well, Cent pulled, Phoenix pulled back, and therefore, became a tugging war. Luckily Mr. P was inside washing the dishes, looked outside and saw Phoenix’s eyes bulging out. At this time, Mizar instinct had kicked in and went after Phoenix because he was the one causing the struggle with Cent and therefore instinct kicked-in and decided to ‘save’ the one who’s alive, and finish off the one who isn’t. At this time, Mr. P was outside pulling Mizar off, unhooking Cent, and inspecting Phoenix. There all safe and sound, but definitely do not get the fabric collars. So, what collars do we have? CHAIN!! We bough chain at Homie D’s, linked them together, and put them on the dogs. They have left each other alone since. If Kong made collars, we’d purchase that in a heart beat! Until then, CHAIN all the way.
Harness – invest in a harness!! We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the brand ‘Premier Easy Walk Dog Harness’ available at PetSmart. You can see it on the second picture from the JBR photos here; its the red harness. He actually likes it! We love it because it gives us more control, comfort, and guidance. It guides them where you want them to go at the chest. The only thing I hate is that the size we want for ours is never, ever available.
Leashes – We don’t use the retractable kind because of our three. The tangled mess is a nightmare, and we’ve found we don’t have control. We like the thick braided type leashes. If said dog gets a hold of one, it will take them a little while to destroy, if said dog pulls it wont snap, and its thick enough to go around our waist.
Leash around your waist – what in the world? I know, I thought Mr. P had gone crazy too. But seriously, we loop the leash into itself, slip ourselves in, and make a tight ring around our hips and secure the clip part to said dog. We do this because we have more control over said dog(s)! Having a 60-70 pound dog pulling at you is exhausting, and quite frankly, hurts the hands. This has saved us numerous flares from walking our pups, and it allows our dog to align himself with us, therefore we are ‘walking the dog’ and not letting the dog ‘walk us.’
‘Walking the dog’ and not letting the dog ‘walk us.’ Meaning that your dog is by your side and not pulling/leading in the front. Don’t worry, he’s still able to enjoy his walk, but you have control of where he enjoys his fun. The park near our house has a pond, and therefore ducks. You do not want your dog eating the duck’s feces. Not only is it dangerous to your pup, its disgusting.
Mission Dog – Phoenix, on the other hand, is more of a ‘mission’ dog. He likes a sense of purpose to go on a walk. So, the back-pack is the perfect companion. It focuses him and you can put your keys, phone, and poop bags in the pockets (just don’t do it all together!). Oh, and put this in a SAFE place! Meaning put it far, far away, and up high. Otherwise, it becomes another toy.
Treats – any kind of treat is a must! We still carry some whenever we’re out and about with our three. Treats always equal good behavior, a must when good behavior is required.
Seat Cover – I can’t recommend this enough. This has saved my car numerous times from wet dog, muddy feet, and HAIR. O.M.Gosh the HAIR. EWWW!!! We got the ‘Top Paw™ Rear Seat Cover’ at Petsmart and LOVE IT!! We’ve had it for 3 years and we have yet to have a single rip in it. Bonus, super easy to take on, off, and wash.
Well, I think that’s about it. Phew! If you want to know more about what we keep in our Doggie Emergency Box, read this post. I HIGLY RECOMMEND IT!! Why? Because if you adopted an adorable dog, they will come back and hit you hard with karma. Usually 9 out of 10 times always injured or sick on a Saturday night, knowing that the vet is not open on Sunday. ALWAYS HAPPENS. Never fails, period.
And remember, you can always teach a dog a new trick, it just takes the right mentality of the trainer, ie YOU! 🙂
Have questions? Honestly…if you need help or have questions or want to ask me whatever, please do. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to help you in any way I can! I know its really nice having someone who is going through it (or went through it) and knows how hard it is.
If you’re a newbie here, welcome!