House Breaking Kenneled Pup???
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Thread: House Breaking Kenneled Pup???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Irishwhistler's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Default House Breaking Kenneled Pup???

    I am considering the purchase of a Lab pup that will be retained at the breeder's kennel until age 16 weeks as part of a "headstart program". Every Lab pup I have owned was brought home with me at agees 7 to 8 weeks. House breaking these young pups was accomplished quickly approximately 1-2 weeks. The "headstart labs" are kept in a kennel situation at the breeders and are not house broken when received at age 16 weeks. Is a pup like this harder to house break due to hacing been kenneled to an older age? If so, what might I be looking at time wise?

    My preference for the "headstart pup" is that they go through a program of exposure to a wide array of environmental factors and bolding processes prior to delivery to a new owner, with emphasis on socialization to people, other dogs, ATV's, boats, light gunfire, birds, etc. the timing would also be advantageous in being able to expidite the pup toward OB and gundog related training.

    I am retired and plan to spend a lot of time with this pup / gundog prospect. I am experienced in bringing a pup along to an advanced level performing gundog. I have never started a with a pup beyond 8 weeks old. Will house breaking likely be problematic due to eneeling to age 16 weeks? All of my Labs have lived in our home and we prefer to have their companionship within the home environment as opposed to kenneling a dog outdoors.

    Any replies will be appreciated deeply.


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  3. #2
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    May 2013
    Longview Texas


    IMHO the pup could learn a heck of a lot more with you in your home at that age than they ever could learn in a kennel at the breeders. I would be more worried about socialization than introductions to the things that you mentioned at that age. It seems like it should be the other way around. Pup should come home with you and go back for head start. Again, JMO.

    And to answer your question, it depends. If this is a scam, research has shown that puppies with no human socialization until the age of 16 weeks were borderline untrainable. Food for thought.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Howard N's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Anchorage, AK


    Irish, I like your old way better than what you're planning for this new pup.

    IMO, he should be with you at 8 weeks learning about your life, places, other dogs and people, and all that will go into making him a good citizen in your house. Send him off for more training at 7 months or so but let him be a puppy from 8 weeks to 26 weeks.

    BTW, after a couple weeks learning about your household, that would be a great time to do the Hillman puppy stuff.

    It's probably just my prejudices but I dislike the institutional life for puppies. They should be in a home getting love, affection and puppy training.
    Last edited by Howard N; 09-24-2013 at 01:30 AM.
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  6. #4
    Senior Member Don Lietzau's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Chugiak, Alaska


    Guess I was under a rock. I have never heard of the "Head Start" program. I will not comment on the positives or negatives of such a program but I will say I would not be interested. I can and do socialize my dogs myself to everything the world has to throw at them in life. Don

  7. #5


    IMO --- get the pup home at 7 to 8 weeks of age.
    You and your family need to be with the pup. It is not going to get house-broken in a kennel setting.
    Nor can they give it the amount of socialization and good citizen learning that you can do at home with your family. ( as Howard mentioned above)
    Just go pick the pup up . Never heard of this approach before as it goes against everything that anyone recommends for raising a pup.
    Some of the very old books recommended kenneling a pup and never even letting your spouse feed it ---but that went out of use several decades ago.

    I seldom make posts but thought that in this case --- one was necessary since it could start a pup wrong. Write me personally at email below if you have any questions about what I said. Go pick up the pup before its ninth week begins and make it a part of your family . It sounds like you have done that successfully before.


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  8. #6
    Member brandon a's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Austin/Victoria TX


    Where are you getting this pup?

  9. #7
    Senior Member weathered's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Near Eufaula, Alabama


    If you are retired and have lots of time and experience socializing pups, I would bring the pup home at 8 weeks. You can do all the stuff they will do in the Head Start program and begin house training. I once got an older pup, 14 weeks, not properly socialized but house training was very easy with her. I wish I had the opportunity to get her at 8 weeks because of the socialization issues. The puppy head start programs I've seen all included house training, so I find it odd this one doesn't.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Sep 2010


    IMO house breaking is pretty much the same, sometimes even easier with an older pup-dog, than a young puppy. Simply because your training a more mature dog, who already interacts and picks-up concepts easier, rather than a puppy to which everything is new. I've seen kenneled-started dogs go home ~16weeks to 1.5yr. none ever had any problem adapting to house-training. An older dog from a kennel-training scenario, is also usually more predictable, they can hold body functions longer, and they usually already come with an airing am/pm routine, (trainers don't like to constantly clean boxes-kennels either ). So you just need to adapt that routine to the house. Owners usually train them in a kennel in the house first, then expand that to the entire house, everything else sort've falls into place, quickly. Just my experience.

    I've kept a couple pups, for upwards to 6 months, they were out with the big dogs, and interacting everyday, I'm not sure this would be called "head-start; but they got way more exposure to the field, water, gun-fire etc. than they would've with most owners. All adapted fine to their new homes. The only thing I'd be concerned about with the waiting til 16week, is I'd want to ensure my pup was separated from his siblings @ 8wk, When-ever I keep pups in that type of scenario they usually get farmed out to training buddies, for a bit to ensure, that they start developing independence from their litter mates.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 09-24-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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  11. #9
    Senior Member Billie's Avatar
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    I think the answer will depend on how they do it. If that pup is pacing in a kennel run all day, that pup will learn to poop wherever he is. Any pups Ive gotten in for training who were raised in a kennel run like that were total slobs. If the breeder will keep pup in a yard area, in the home, and crate train, your odds are better to having a clean pup.
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  12. #10
    Senior Member crackerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilyn Fender View Post
    Just go pick the pup up . Never heard of this approach before as it goes against everything that anyone recommends for raising a pup.
    Some of the very old books recommended kenneling a pup and never even letting your spouse feed it ---but that went out of use several decades ago.

    I seldom make posts but thought that in this case --- one was necessary since it could start a pup wrong.
    "Headstart pup" = a pitch from one of our favourite British marketeers.


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