Service dog handler lobby

Sideways

Sponsor
Some of this stuff you'll totally have nailed, Lost. Yeah, cold climate labs shed a tonne of hair (who cares, am I right!?) and will prefer to lie around in the cool on hot days. There are some fantastic undercoat rakes on the market now though that can help with both these issues if you do a quick comb over the coat in the mornings.

Undercoat rakes vary a lot. Took me a few goes to find the right one for my dog's coat: But they're not very expensive, easy to use, and help a lot if you find this becoming a problem as puppy grows up.

Although a lab pup is going to explore a lot with its mouth, all pups do. You had Chopper as a pup I think? Pit bull breeds are strong chewers. It's a safe bet that anything he can't destroy? Will also be safe for a lab pup. There's always a risk with chewing, but the toys available are getting a lot better with their labelling for softies (like my fella) and strong chewers who risk swallowing any bits that fall off.

While we don't have American Pit Bulls here, we certainly have super similar breeds. They're a high energy dog that need a lot of exercise and a lot of socialising. So I reckon you'll be all over it with a lab. As far as fostering puppies go, we're certainly more confident handing over a lab pup than many other breeds to inexperienced foster carers, and you'd be considered an experienced carer given your history not just with Chopper but also working with rescue organisations. Yes, they're very different to pit bulls, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're harder than a pit bull pup - the issues are just different.

Super excited for you. There's nothing like having a puppy bouncing around the house to bring a smile to someone's face. I'd put my hand up for fostering guide dog puppies for sure (their state's head office is in my suburb - what are the odds!?) if my fella was even mildly more suitable as a littermate! The lady next door to us fosters black lab pups for the guide dogs, and yeah, they're a handful. But so worth it!

The climate here isn't all that different to Florida's and if you have a good A/C in the back and tinted windows (surprisingly cheap - looked into here anyways) your dog will be fine in the car with you. Personally I prefer cranking up the A/C for doggo rather than switching between his cooling vest and working jacket. He stays perfectly dry, cool, and it's much less hassle.
 
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lostforgottensoul

MyPTSD Pro
Personally I prefer cranking up the A/C for doggo rather than switching between his cooling vest and working jacket. He stays perfectly dry, cool, and it's much less hassle.
Yeah, I have found that to be true too personally. I have a cooling vest but don't use it. In my current car I don't have a back AC but putting a battery powered fan in the consol worked to get the AC back there and yeah, in my new car that I'm saving up for I will tent the windows as I have found the "baby sun shades" that are removable are also dangerous. Though I use them.

I think that holding off for over 2 yrs and researching every possible breed as much as I can and coming up with a plan for every possible thing like I have and waiting until I was physically and financially ready is the right way to do this. I'm getting an English lab. I'm set on that. No other breed check marks all boxes and fits as well as the English lab. Be it this November or next or if the breeder emails me about an adult that needs to be rehomed, it will be an English lab. And honestly, I'm hoping for a puppy and have 4 weeks of vacation time waiting for it. I have all the supplies waiting for it. I want to start from scratch this time honestly. It takes so much longer and so much more effort to train out things from a dog's background. And that helps to reduce the chance of a wash out.


You had Chopper as a pup I think?
He was a year old when I got him but do have experience with lab puppies in general. Just the American lines but still labs. I'm sure there will be challenges but I think the important part is I'm researched on those and ready for them and have solid plans for them. That's more then most, I'd say!
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I'm sure there will be challenges
Totally. The person who assumes that everything will go perfectly is kidding themselves. They're not robots, after all. There will be those times when something happens that no amount of preparation could have predicted. But that happens with every puppy.

It's definitely true that you can kinda statistically guess what those unpredictable issues will be with some breeds. Like if you were getting a toy poodle? You know that at some point, some kid is gonna launch themselves at your dog from nowhere screaming "Cute Puppy!" and wanting to scoop them up.

With a lab? There's a good chance that moment will be you're out walking for exercise and some odd thing hidden in the grass is suddenly being swallowed down into your dog's tummy and you're left wondering "Wtf was that and was it poisonous!?"

Life is unpredictable. But you're as prepared as you can be, you've trained a dog before, you have experience with a range of breeds, you've got a safe space ready at home, you've planned and planned and planned some more.

So, you got this. I think you've made a great choice with the breed, you've educated yourself, bought the necessary gear, and you're gonna love the lil thing to bits. It's hard to ask much more than that:)
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
Just trying again in case it was missed by y'all last time 😇

Trying to get away from following single individuals on IG ...

Can any of you recommend good SD groups on FB?

I realize you might not be willing to share because it could potentially impact your anonymity. And I'd totally understand. But no harm in asking, right? :)

(When looking for social media groups, I'm usually overwhelmed with all the various choices - particularly if there's like a gazillion of groups - and I prefer to go through recommendations rather than potentially ending up in crappy ones)
 
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