Nine Week Old Labrador Puppy FAQ


At nine weeks old, most Labrador puppies are settling in to their new homes.

If you have a nine week old, you’ve probably had your little one home for a week or so.

And his initial reserve, if he had any, will have worn off.

This a point at which new owners often have a lot of questions.

We’ll take a look at them one by one.

How long should my 9 week old lab puppy sleep?

Some people worry that their puppy is not sleeping enough –  or that he is sleeping too much!

Most puppies are still sleeping a lot at this age.  Eighteen to twenty hours a day is not unusual.

Puppies don’t normally need to be shut away to have a  nap, they’ll drop off to sleep quite happily in a basket or crate while family life goes on all around them.

There are situations however, where you may need to help your puppy sleep.

If you have young children for example, or another young dog, you may have to step in from time to time, to make sure your puppy can nap when he needs to.

When will my puppy sleep through the night?

Sleep is very precious,  and however adorable your little chap is,  you probably don’t want to play with him at 3am.

Many puppies are sleeping through the night at nine weeks,  at least from midnight to around 6am,  which I do appreciate is still night time to some of you.

However, many pups are not quite there yet.

Hang on in there,  it will come.

Probably in the next few days.

You can help by keeping night time trips to the garden very brief, and very businesslike.  No playing, no chatting, keep the lights dimmed. Out, wee, back to bed.

How much should my 9 week old puppy weigh?

Puppy weights vary quite considerably between the two different types of Labrador (field and show) and even between individuals from the same litter.

But as a rough guide, many 9 week old puppies will weigh between 18-20lbs or a couple of pounds either side of this.  Your best guide to whether or not your puppy is growing properly is how he behaves and feels, rather than what the scales say.

Check out our puppy growth FAQ for more information

Why is my puppy still weeing everywhere?

You are taking your Labrador puppy outside every hour,  after every meal, and every time he wakes up,  but he is still making puddles all over the house.

So what is going on?

Nine week old pups have very poor bladder control, and short memories.9 week labrador faqHe is still very much a baby and will need your help in this department for some time to come.

You role is to restrict his access to areas where mistakes are most likely to happen, through the use of baby gates or some other kind of temporary barrier.

You will also need to take him outside before his bladder is over flowing (which might be every twenty minutes at certain times of the day) and to generally ensure that every wee goes in the right place.

Check out our complete guide to housetraining for more information

My puppy is being aggressive, how can I stop this?

This is such a common concern, and often arises at about nine weeks of age.  The puppy is settled in his new home,  his confidence is back, and he is ready for some fun.

Concerns arise, simply because most people do not realise just how ferocious Labrador puppies seem when they play.

Puppies bite hard and make a lot of noise.  Check out this article to reassure yourself that you have not bought a viscious wild animal into your home.

My puppy doesn’t like his food, shall I change it?

Many labrador puppies are very greedy and wolf down every morsel you provide for them.  But not all.

Some puppies are quite picky, and this will get worse if you indulge them.

If your puppy normally eats heartily and suddenly goes off his food,  all food,  then he may be ill.  Check out our When to call the vet article.  But if he is quite happy to eat an alternative menu,  he is simply exercising his right to an opinion.

I strongly recommend you ignore this, and simply take his bowl away. You can offer the same meal later when the puppy is more hungry.

My puppy won’t walk on his lead

So you had his first walk all planned.  The collar and leash is on,  but the puppy won’t budge!

He just sits there resolutely on his bottom and refuses to move.  What are you to do?

Well, fortunately this is not a problem at all, because a nine week old puppy does not need a walk.   In fact, he won’t need a walk for several months.  What he needs is space to trot about and play.  And your garden is suitable for this.

In addition, you can’t yet put your puppy down on the ground outside your home, because he is not fully immunised.

So, you have all the time in the world, in which to introduce your puppy to his collar and lead.

Let him wear a collar for a short while each day.  Clip the lead on from time to time and let it trail.  Distract him with food and cuddles.  Occasionally pick up the end and encourage him to follow you.  Make it ‘no big deal’  and he will too.

You can find more information on puppy exercise here.  And on puppy training here.

How about you?

Do you have a nine week old Labrador puppy?

Let us know what your concerns are.  And don’t forget to have fun,  this stage passes all too quickly,  and he will soon be too big to sit on your lap and carry around in your arms!

More information on puppies

Happy-Puppy-jacket-image1-195x300Check out our Labrador Puppies section for more help and advice on surviving the early days of puppyhood.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

The Happy Puppy Handbook covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

The book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialisation and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website