Going to a New Home

Litter anxiety causes whining

The best thing you can do is sit the puppy on your lap. Your new puppy has been in a litter for 8 weeks. By the time you arrive,the pups have been weaned and have had restricted access to their mother. Its not their mother that they are missing. Keep your new pup in close proximity to you for the first week. These first few days with you provides a wonderful bonding experience. However, during this time, you can expect that there will be some crying and whining from every 8 week old pup. Each pup is different in its response to change. Some will seem depressed and clingy for the first few days. Others will be fine for the first day and night but, on the second night, when they realize that they are not going back to their litter mates, they may lose their appetite or get the runs. Make them feel at home and secure. Give your pup lots of physical affection, comfort and attention. Provide their own place, in a crate where they can go to be alone when they want. Routine and consistency in a secure environment will help them to settle in. 

Keeping warm

An 8 week old Labrador pup does not yet have the capability of keeping itself warm for extended periods. Plan to have your 8 week old puppy live in the house until 16 weeks. House-train your pup before it goes to an outdoor kennel. This will give you the flexibility of bringing them inside anytime.  

Pups at 8 weeks of age are very cute

Your new pup should settle in quickly. They will be comforted by the routine and the companionship of their new family. As you will soon find out, they are very active and playful. Why not get down on the floor and play with them? When you play with them, always leave them wanting more rather than getting bored. Your pup will enjoy exploring their new home. I suggest that you expose them to lots of situations. If you plan on driving a lot, take them in your car with you for trips, but do not to leave them in a car alone. Encourage them to haul their toys around. If it is warm enough, allow your pup to walk through puddles. It will be very entertaining as you watch them learn about their world. Puppies grow up very quickly so be sure to enjoy every stage of their growth! 

An 8 week old puppy is a baby

Keep in mind that an 8 week old puppy is still a baby. They have only just learned how to pick up objects and carry them around. At eight weeks, they do not have complete bladder control. They are used to having litter mates. They will be scared and insecure because their whole life is changing. The breeder will have done as much socialisation as they can, but nothing will ever be as difficult for your pup as their transition from their birth place to the new home. 

Learn how to read their signals

An owner of a new puppy must accept early toileting accidents but learn how to read their pup's signals. You will soon be able to anticipate when they need to go to the toilet. This is not as obvious as it seems. If you catch them going, indicate your disapproval. I do not use 'no....no....no'. Dogs respond to tones and frequencies. I use a 'Bah / Grr / Ahhh sound to simulate their mothers disapproving growl. 'No' can be quite confusing for a pup. If your new pup 'offends', pick them up and carry them outside. Leave a bit of their droppings in the area you want them to use. The smell will encourage them to go there again. Do not punish your pup, even if they just went on your carpet! Yelling only confuses the puppy because elimination is a necessity. They just have to go. Schedules will prove very helpful About 10 minutes after eating they will have to go to the toilet. An 8 week old pups does not have bladder control. It comes with maturation and patient training on your part. If you confine the pup to a play area that is easy to clean then this will make accidents much less of an inconvenience for you. After he has been outside, exercised, and you have seen him toilet, you can take them to other areas of the house for short periods of time without accidents. 


I suggest that you puppy proof your house. It will save you a lot of frustration. A Labrador doesn't get his adult teeth until about 6 months of age so provide lots of chew toys. Pups are very oral so everything goes into the mouth. Show them the toys they can chew on and let them chew on their favourite objects. Set limits for them. Don't let your pup chew on furniture and especially your shoes and clothes even though they are teething. you find him chewing on something they should not, demonstrate your disapproval and walk away. Then return and give them an appropriate toy. At 8 weeks a pup won't be able to break large pieces off and swallow them. Once your Labrador is old enough to tear things, you will need to be careful that objects don't get a caught in the throat and choke them. 

An indoor dog

The best thing you can do is make your pup an indoor dog. A dog will become a member of your family 'pack'. Pack order and behaviour is instinctive to all dogs. Living in the house provides them the opportunity for socialisation and they learn to respond to your commands. Dogs learn by habit and in context. This means that their learning is not immediately transferable from one context to another. An outdoor dog will become used to being alone and become the alpha dog. You will have a much more rewarding relationship if you keep the Lab pup inside for least for the first 4 months. 

Their sleeping place

Identify their sleeping area. Whenever you take the pup out of their box, take them outside and praise them when they toilet like they are the only pup in the world who has ever done such a thing! Your pup will naturally try not to eliminate where it sleeps. Give them plenty of toys. They will entertain themselves. If they are busy with their toys then they will not be unhappy and start barking or whining. It will become their safe place away from the kids and other distractions. Their new sleeping place won't be immediately obvious. They have been sleeping on a soft pile of littermates. 

Pups learn to come for a treat

Pups learn quickly to come for a treat or snack so carry a few chewable treats in your pocket, then call your pup and reward them for coming. This way it learns that every time you call him it is not just to put him away, but often for fun things. Hold a treat slightly backwards past his nose, toward his eyes and this will encourage them to lift their head and sit. Then, give the command 'sit'. Release the treat while the pup is sitting. Give lots of praise and you will soon find your puppy sitting for just the praise. 

Jumping up may seem cute

Jumping up may be cute right now, but you don't want to encourage this. A full grown Labrador will be too powerful when it jumps on a person. Settle them down and provide lots of praise when they get it right. Exuberant praise will teach your pup what you want from them. 

Toilet Training

After introducing your puppy to the house. Offer him food, preferably the same type used by the breeder or shelter where you adopted him. When he’s finished eating, head straight to the potty area and wait for him to eliminate. If nothing happens in ten minutes or so, take him back inside. If he does go, give him lots of praise.