Service dog handler lobby

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Might be worthwhile to look into some indoor gates or fences instead to give the puppy area to roam free and to give you space too. They'll chew through leashes when bored - pretty fast too. They'll break teeth on chains. A leash is good when actively training the dog but if you need to do other things a fenced in area can be helpful. It is a means to take breaks without tying up/crating. You may not care about your furniture but any vet can tell you destruction of furniture can become a safety issue for the puppy.
Oh yes, forgot to mention that. I do plan on getting an xpen and training the dog to stay in it.


Toys that may be ok for other breeds becomes a risk for stomach surgery with labs. We had a lab puppy once given to an agency, excellent training, behavior, health, temperament on exam. We would eventually find out the folks who had it before allowed it to have a variety of not-lab friendly toys and a week after I got it, the puppy became sick. They had to do surgery, and it turned out the puppy had eaten the toys weeks prior, bits stuck in the belly, and it was now making himself very sick. I had never seen the toy parts the vet pulled out of the pupper's belly but the prior folks confirmed it was their toy. It was a common brand of toy designed for "heavy chewers." :/
Having a pitbull, I am VERY familiar with chewing and strong chewing. Anything indestructible is then usually asked, "yeah, but is it pitbull proof"? I am used to only leaving out a black Kong and antlers that he can't actually bite in half or anything but picking up those toys that can't be destroyed. It's already a habit. I am also familiar of what kind of toys that will actually last or that can and can't be destroyed easily.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
THANK YOU for clarifying that you have lab puppy experience @lostforgottensoul because I was gonna strongly second Justmehere's concerns and hinted at my concerns about raising a puppy, and a lab puppy that is, for someone who has PTSD and mobility issues in my previous post. Great that you do have a plan!

And YES, the emotional and energy costs of raising a retriever (aka labs and goldens) puppy are extremely underestimated by most everyone who's never had one before. Because you'll only ever hear the cute and success stories. I've been that person who broke down crying and genuinely considered rehoming because it was just too much when we had our first puppy. A golden that was supposedly be "easy" because of their friendly nature and "high will too please". I've never been so wrong in my life. Destroyed wallpaper, destroyed carpet, an unlimited number of uneaten socks, an entire back of FROZEN dinner rolls eaten from the counter within mere seconds of turning our backs, ... our second golden pulled out my driver's license from my wallet from my closed bag in my closed room (yep, she taught herself to open doors within months old).

They chew and destroy absolutely anything. And while also true for goldens, it's definitely even more exacerbated for labs that they're literally never full.

A retriever puppy absolutely is not for the faint of heart and most definitely not for anyone without a rock solid plan and/or a good trainer at hand from day 1. (and even that part didn't help us back in the day).

Most retrievers don't mellow down until at least age 2, some never.

I've been a long-term member of a large retriever community in my country and from everything I've read over the years I know I personally would never get a lab.

Hence why it's also so important to go with a reputable breeder because they at least have some insight into temperament and can look for the more mellow puppy - which is still no guarantee, of course, but at least a slightly better chance.

@price: most reputable breeders actually ask more for a yearling than a 8-weeks old puppy for precisely the reason that a dog at that age is already house-broken, has gone through at least some training, has had more vaccinations etc.

I think you made a good decision sticking with the first breeder. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an older puppy for you from her or a breeder friend, but even if you end up getting a puppy, I think she's the right choice. Connecting with your breeder is super important and you should really go with your gut. It still irks me that she's not AKC and I also couldn't find her in k9data; maybe ask her about that, there might be valid reasons because everything I've read on that website and what you've told us about her sounds like your standard reputable AKC breeder and she does say on her website she has dogs coming from AKC lines.

I know it's hard to be patient (who am I kidding, struggling with this myself), but November really isn't that far off all things considered and the few more months are worth the wait to get a well-tempered and healthy dog from someone who obviously cares about their dogs but also their buyers and will most likely continue to offer support if needed later on.

Getting excited for you :)

(PS: no antlers for retrievers. At least never never ever unsupervised. And that means even if you're home/in the same room. Between the retriever community I mentioned and actually being close friends with a vet, you've really heard every story possible...)
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
yep, she taught herself to open doors within months old).
I'm actually planning on teaching door opening and picking up things from day one for this reason. I have Chopper pick up shit all the time I don't need. Why? It keeps his mind busy. If a puppy wants to open a door for me or pick up shit I don't need, and that keeps them happy, then cool.


. It still irks me that she's not AKC and I also couldn't find her in k9data; maybe ask her about that,
I will. I didn't go off the AKC as there are so many horrible backyard breeders that are AKC registered but I will surely ask about it.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I do plan on getting an xpen and training the dog to stay in it.
Some of these pens you can pull apart the individual sides, which allows you to section off part of your apartment rather than just use the pen.

The kitchen is often a great space for doing this with a puppy while you're out. Partly because the benches are still too high to be a problem and it's easy to remove any electrical cords from the floor. But also because the floor of a kitchen is watertight and super easy to clean in comparison to carpet. Huge bonus with young pups that have teeny tiny bladders.

Fwiw? I trained my pup on a puppy toilet (fake grass over a puppy pad with plastic catcher underneath) which was 2 weeks of hell but we finally got there. The problem is that the fake grass mat, the puppy pee pad, and the plastic casing were all wonderous things for him to explore and chew on in his early months. So word to the wise? Careful what you put down for them to pee on if you're leaving it in there.

In my case, a shih-tzu pup is no match for fake grass, no matter how much he got stuck into it. But I have known plenty of other pups who just plain start eating puppy pads. If you get a girl, she'll likely hold her bladder as long as possible, but they're usually at least 6-8 months before they can hold their bladder for a full 8 hours, hence the kitchen floor being a great chill out space while you're at work.

The lab we had used to eat our sprinkler system, our tv cables, poisonous plants, never mind the furniture! But there's a reason they use labs so widely as working dogs. It pays off in the long run.

I'm excited for you Lost. Definitely reckon you'll have a hard time going back to work after your month off having crazy, hair-pulling, adorable fun with your new pup. Hope your workplace can make accommodations for her the moment she's ready to go to work with you:)
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Some of these pens you can pull apart the individual sides, which allows you to section off part of your apartment rather than just use the pen.
Yeah, I thought about that too. I have two openings to the kitchen but have 3 baby gates. Had to place one on top the other have hurricane Irma took out our power and I was trying to keep cats in (now deceased) with the doors open. I haven't used them sense but they can come into use.

My entire house is hard floor though except for the bedrooms so that makes things easier. I have been looking at cord protectors as well.


Fwiw? I trained my pup on a puppy toilet (fake grass over a puppy pad with plastic catcher underneath) which was 2 weeks of hell but we finally got there. The problem is that the fake grass mat, the puppy pee pad, and the plastic casing were all wonderous things for him to explore and chew on in his early months. So word to the wise? Careful what you put down for them to pee on if you're leaving it in there.
I have heard horrible things with puppy pads and honestly between being off of work to take the puppy out enough, the right sized crate, and the right schedule, I don't think we will need things like that. But, thanks for the heads up on it.


But there's a reason they use labs so widely as working dogs. It pays off in the long run.
Indeed just wish the English line would be more available then they are in American in America. They just are bigger and more robust and work better for mobility assistance.


Hope your workplace can make accommodations for her the moment she's ready to go to work with you:)
Me too!
 

Sideways

Moderator
I have two openings to the kitchen but have 3 baby gates.
Baby gates are perfect. I reckon you may be able to save yourself the cost of the xpen if you already have that. Invest that money in a wider range of toys to leave her with each day so you can rotate through them each day. Some of the stuff they're selling these days (smacks head!)
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
have heard horrible things with puppy pads and honestly between being off of work to take the puppy out enough, the right sized crate, and the right schedule, I don't think we will need things like that. But, thanks for the heads up on it.

Yeah, not a big fan of puppy pads either, particularly with a lab pup. In my home country no one uses puppy pads and you have enough experience and a plan layed out, so I'm confident you can make it work. Maybe if you have go back to work before pupper can hold its bladder for a solid 8-9h, consider someone stopping by during the day to let him/her out. That's what we did back when.

Another thing to not leave pup alone with is any sort of bedding. A friend's 6 months old golden recently destroyed her puppy bed and ate the stuffing ... took two days of them on high alert hoping to avert surgery.

And yep, zero access to cables. And remotes (that too we learned the hard way).

Also, if you need to be gone for extended periods of time before you'll be able to take him/her to work, I recommend an indoor camera you can check in real time for the area pup will be staying in (though I'm personally in favor of crating when you're actually physically gone, until you can absolutely 100% trust pup - which won't be for months; but even with a crate I'd have visual check-ins during the day).
 

lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Also, if you need to be gone for extended periods of time before you'll be able to take him/her to work, I recommend an indoor camera you can check in real time for the area pup will be staying in (though I'm personally in favor of crating when you're actually physically gone, until you can absolutely 100% trust pup - which won't be for months; but even with a crate I'd have visual check-ins during the day
Oh yes! I was going to buy one for Chopper but never needed it but got a few in my wish list on Amazon to look at. Will certainly have that and set up before the pup comes home.
 

Friday

Moderator
And they replied today that they are asking $1,200. For a 1 yr old dog. It's what that breeder charges for a yellow puppy. Trying to get all of your money back much? Screams scam anyway!
That’s fairly normal / low end for labs. Because of the hip dysplasia gene. You might find one for 5-600 with a guaranteed take-back if they start showing signs of hip dysplasia (meanin there’s enough genetics in the history to make it possible... which is 90%+ of labs, but the last few generations it’s been a rare occurrence).

1yo-3yo trained dogs run in the 10k to 25k range, depending on what they’ve been trained for. Hunting or Service

Lawn Ornament lab puppies & “labs” (ie mixed mostly labs) sell for less than $1,000... but they’re usually going to test positive for hip dysplasia... which rules them out as any kind of mobility support.


Indeed just wish the English line would be more available then they are in American in America. They just are bigger and more robust and work better for mobility assistance
There are hundreds of breeders up north... but English labs don’t tolerate heat, they’re cold weather dogs like huskies...bred for swimming in ice flows off of NewFoundland. Double coated, brown fat lined, heat machines. They tolerate English & North American temperate weather, but they’ll shed year round like it’s summer 24/7/365, still “hot” in 50 degree weather. Field labs are what one finds south of the Mason Dixon, where 70 degrees is “cold” and it ain’t hot till it’s hit triple digits. Single coated & svelte, they can handle the heat, no worries. Whilst hey can manage the snow, and love swimming, they’re not equipped to live in sub-freezing temps. Hence English up north, Field down south.
 
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lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
There are hundreds of breeders up north... but English labs don’t tolerate heat, they’re cold weather dogs like huskies.
I'm not worried in the least. The breeder is in Florida. They live in Florida. The parents live in Florida and plenty of owners of English labs live in Florida. Plenty of Huskies owners in Florida and all around me. The dog will be inside. The only hot part of my life is the car and will be buying an SUV with back AC. I have sun shades for the window as well as hot weather gear like a cool down harness and a vest that is the size of a normal dog harness. The breeder also did not indicate that there would be an issue with the puppy living in Florida.
 

Justmehere

Sponsor
Having a pitbull, I am VERY familiar with chewing and strong chewing.
Glad you have some good experience under your belt! Something to keep in mind, lab chewing isn't the same as pits. They are long distance hunting bird dogs. Bred to do things with their mouths. Pits have strong jaws, but not the same drive drive drive to chew everything in sight. Vets don't have endless horrors stories about all the things pits swallow to the degree they do retrievers. It's not just strength of chew. They'll chew and swallow whatever they can. Doors, walls, flooring, leases, gates, fences...
I'm actually planning on teaching door opening and picking up things from day one for this reason. I have Chopper pick up shit all the time I don't need. Why? It keeps his mind busy. If a puppy wants to open a door for me or pick up shit I don't need, and that keeps them happy, then cool.....The dog will be inside. The only hot part of my life is the car and will be buy
As a heads up, decades of experience with this breed and I can confirm Labradors don't generally stay healthy just walking around indoors picking up stuff. Especially not 1 to 8 year old labs. Labs *will* gain weight unless they get gentle robust exercise. Many advise no running as the base form of exercise the first year because it can cause joint issues to come on extra early but they still need to get distance under their feet after a few months old, and especially after a year old. These are hunting bird dogs trained to go out for miles and miles and miles with men often on horses, and bred to keep up with them.
Here's a site with great info on the amount of walking adult labradors need to be healthy:
If he just walks alongside you, then you probably need to walk for a good hour and a half a day. Not necessarily all in one go. A brisk one hour walk takes most of us about three miles. Dog Exercise: How To Exercise Your Labrador
Might be worth considering finding some good places for the dog to swim, help getting walks and etc. In summer months we always got up super early for the long lab walks before work to avoid them overheating - and they overheat fairly fast. being swimmers the coat is short but thick.

There are other large breed dogs that are much more suited for a stay indoors / not walk much lifestyle. Great Danes are one example. Newfoundland and Mastifs as well - but they are very much cold weather dogs. Not really suited for FL summer heat.

I hope you find the best solution for your needs! How is Chopper doing these days?
 
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