Hello all.

I suppose it's not a surprise that I'm new here and looking for some support and advice. I have a new yellow Lab puppy, Finnegan. He's 6 months old today, actually, and I've had him since he was 8 weeks old. We have weathered the teething-biting. He's mostly potty trained, although he still has accidents occasionally. Those are usually my fault, though. He's crate trained, fully vaccinated, and has started "how to be a good puppy" school. He can sit, take a treat nicely, stay with mild distractions, come when called, and a few other things. We're pretty bonded, and he seems to like to be by my side most of the time. So, when I have my head in the game, I realize that we are doing fine.

I'm not totally new to Labs. I had a black Lab, Shamrock, who died just before his third birthday last December from osteosarcoma. I love all dogs, really, but Shamrock was one of the special ones. His loss was hard, and I swore that I would not get another dog. Clearly, I am not trustworthy on this point!

So, I don't know if Finn's wildness is just his age. Or perhaps I'm unfairly comparing him to Shamrock. Or perhaps I'm doing something wrong. But I read the guidelines about cautiously exercising such a young puppy, and I certainly don't want to hurt him or put him at any risk. And then I look at THIS puppy, and I think "have they MET lab puppies???" If Finnegan is under-exercised, he is a holy menace. I had to get off the phone once because he was eating the wall. Not the trim or a corner, which would be easy. He ate a hole out of the middle of the wall. He can spend an hour at the dog park, running most of the time, and the only nap we get is the 10 minutes in the car that it takes to get home. He does sleep nicely at night, though.

So, whew.... there it is. I'm just looking for people who understand my woes. Should I live through this (!), I will be happy to return the favor!

--andrea