McNeil Labradors


Grooming and Handling

One of the nicest things about a Labrador is that he requires very little grooming.  Bathe only when necessary, using a shampoo formulated for dogs.  Brush to remove burrs and to hasten the seasonal shedding process.  Keep the puppy free of ticks, fleas, etc.  Ask your veterinarian about proper precautions and treatment for fleas and ticks.  Keep the puppy’s nails trimmed.  Cut the tips off each week with nail clippers made for the dog’s nails.  This is not only a cosmetic thing.  If the nails are not short, the puppy throws his weight to the back of the foot and makes corresponding adjustments all the way up the leg, affecting other joints as well.

Keep your puppy’s teeth clean.  Brushes made especially for brushing your puppy’s teeth are available or a small soft bristle toothbrush works well.  Brush weekly and praise lavishly. 

Accustom your puppy to being handled and examined.  Look in his mouth, keep his ears clean with a little baby oil on a cotton ball, keep his nails trimmed and check his feet for burrs, stones, etc.  Run your hands over him periodically.  All these things will make him easier for your veterinarian to examine and treat and will help you recognize problems early.  If you plan to show your puppy, this is good preparation for the judge’s examination too.

Young puppies are rarely conditioned to a leash and this will take you at least several days.  Encourage the puppy to walk on his own whenever possible.  Unfamiliar experiences such as walking up stairs may require some help initially.  Never pick up your puppy by the front legs, as this can cause injuries (dislocated shoulder).  Never pick him up by the scruff of the neck, this could be traumatizing.  Instead, use both hands to support him--one under the chest, the other under the rump.  This insures that he is perfectly balanced and not able to wiggle free. 

Puppies may solicit attention by approaching you and whining to be picked up.  This is an excellent opportunity to pick up the puppy, cuddle him, and pet him briefly, while making eye contact.  This reinforces your positive dominance and is a very effective way to bond and have your puppy key into you.


McNeil Labradors
Statesville, NC 28677

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Last Updated:  January 29, 2008

© Copyright 2001 - 2008 by Margo Carter, McNeil Labradors, All Rights Reserved.
Page Created By:  Margo Carter, McNeil Labradors

  Thought For The Day:

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can
spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's
the best deal man has ever made." - M. Facklam