I wanted to post a note to say hello... I apologize if this is in the wrong place, but it covers a number of topics and I've learned from similar types of forums about other hobbies/topics/etc that threads get read the most in the main forum, so I figured I'd put this here.
We are picking up a female yellow lab pup next week. She will be about nine weeks at that point. She's our first puppy... we have a golden retriever who's approximately 10 years old that we picked up at a shelter a couple of years ago.
As of the day we pick her up, my wife will be done school for the summer (she's a teacher), so we will have two solid months of spending every day with her until the next school year starts up. I've been reading up on puppy raising techniques and I think we have a pretty good plan in place. We are going to start her on a Gentle Leader for walks and such, try a few different types of chew toys and start working on basic commands right away.
At this point my biggest question is about food, and I'm sure this has been asked multiple times before on this board - I'm just having trouble finding an adequate answer to my specific concerns so I wanted to put it out there. Her litter is currently on Beneful, which I want to get away from. I've bought just enough to use to switch her to something else, but of course with the seemingly thousands of choices out there, I'm not sure what to use.
I have visited dogfoodreviews.com, which seems like an excellent review site, but I do have two concerns - one is that unless I'm mis-reading what this means, all of the reviews seem to be based on just one review - but I'm not sure if that's the site administrator doing the reviews or not. The other one is that a lot of the five-star and six-star foods seem to have high protein content, which I understand I want to use eventually, but I've also read on here in my searches that I don't want her to grow too fast because of the potential for hip problems.
So to that end, I'm looking for some recommendations. I have seen the Diamond Natural brand mentioned, as well as its Costco equivalent - I do not live near a Costco, so I would have to avoid that. Are there any other suggestions? I'm not looking for something to take as gospel, but rather looking to narrow my choices from 1000 to less than ten, if I can.
I'd also welcome any suggestions/pros/cons about the Gentle Leader or any of the other things I've mentioned. I have three young children under eight so I'll be training them as much as we're training the puppy.
Thanks in advance!
I loved the gentle leader for my Lab X when I had him. When I took him to training school at the time, (10 yrs ago), that was the way they did the puppy kindergarten class. Without he was horrible to walk with. When I got my new Labrador 3yrs ago, I had misplaced my gentle leader, and never actually got to use it with my current labrador.
There are a lot of great foods out there. Just want to stay away from foods who use a lot of fillers, like corn and such as their main ingredients. I know a lot here use Proplan. My breeder used Timberwolf, and that is what I had stuck with through the years with my lab. He has done well with it.
I will be picking up a new yellow lab myself this weekend. Ours will be close in age. Looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of the puppy world.
Welcome to the board, and congratulations!
Since the Costco food is what I feed and you don't have one available, that's out.
Several of the breeders here, all well respected, feed Purina Pro Plan. If I didn't have a Costco, that is what I would feed because I believe these breeders know what they are doing.
I used a gentle leader on HK, but not right off the bat. All dogs do not pull. I believe it is a useful tool to correct a puller if you end up with one. Another technique is to have a good supply of small treats in your pocket all the time to encourage the dog to stay at your side.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Hi and welcome. I can't wait for pics!
Welcome! Can't wait to see pics of your two furkids
~Veronica and Nikki~
Sweet Emma, 16th of February 1996~26th of November 2010
Always in my heart and soul. Together forever, my love....
Nikki 6 months
These are the only two photos I have right now of the puppy, Gracie - these are at about four or five weeks.
And this is the only one I seem to have on my computer of our Golden, named Toby - from the apocalyptic snow of this past winter:
I'll get some more of both soon. Thanks for all the advice so far.
Oh My, can you just smell the puppy breath! *waves to Toby*
There's a very sharp split on JL about what is the best food for a Lab puppy.
There is a group of people, mainly some of the Lab breeders, that recommend feeding puppies an adult food (primarily Pro-Plan).
There is another JL group (which also includes some breeders) that recommends feeding a Lab puppy a feed formulated for Large Breed Puppies (LBP). I belong to this group because all of the scientific canine nutritional studies I've seen, about 10 or so, strongly recommends feeding to puppies a formula with a certain low level of Calcium and Phosphorus which will reach a weight at adulthood of 50 pounds or more. These studies show feeding a LBP to these puppies significantly reduces the number of joint problems that Labs and other large and giant breed dogs are particularly likely to have (about 1 in 3 Labs).
Kirkland (sold at Costco which I feed my Puff) does not have a LBP formula but the company that makes Kirkland for Costco (Schell & Kampeter) also makes Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover, and a variety of other brands (including Taste of the Wild).
While Diamond has a LBP, it's lower cost and has a lot of grain fillers.
Diamond Naturals is sold at many places (& prices vary from store to store) and has no corn or wheat in it. Their Chicken Soup line may also have a LBP formula. I'll ETA the DN store locator and maybe some other links.
Pet Nutrition Retailers for Diamond Pet Foods
Which Puppy Food is Best for My Large Breed Puppy?
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul : Products : Puppies : Dry Food : Large Breed Puppy Formula
Oh, and re: Gentle Leaders. You might wait on that until you see your Lab's behavior. There are 2 types -- one has an over the muzzle strap that maybe 30% of dogs detest so much they won't walk but spend all their time trying to get it off. Maybe 40% detest it but will tolerate it. And maybe 30% don't mind it. I bought one and although I came to an agreement with Puff that I would leave that strap loose and only slip it over her muzzle when she disobeyed, it still took the color out of her fur (you can see it in my pix). So we went to the GL "Easy Walk" and that has fine acceptance and performance. The only problem with it is that for a puppy, you'd need to keep buying different sizes.
Last edited by Bob Pr.; 06-08-2010 at 07:53 PM. Reason: include opinion on Gentle Leader
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Hi & welcome to the board. Gracie & Toby are sweet. Can't wait for more pictures. We feed ProPlan Selects chicken & brown rice to our girls but you will have to feed what works for your puppy. Kate is just transitiong off Enhance puppy to the Selects. Our breeder had Kate on that & she did well so wwe kept her on it. Hopes she does well on the Selects because it will be nice having all three on one food....but we will see. Good luck.
Hi and welcome! great pics and Gracie is one beautiful little girl! I never used the gentle leader on either Tal or Barney, but did use a pinch collar once we enrolled in obed class at about 6 months. Neither of them pull too badly, even when I walk them together. I think waiting a bit before deciding to use a training aid is a good idea. Gracie may not pull and until you get her you really won;t know for sure.
When I picked Tal up at 7 weeks, his breeder had him on Iams. He was doing ok on it and I transitioned him to Pro Plan for large breed dogs once he reached a year old. The reason was that puppy digestive systems are a little more delicate than adult dogs and from my research no need in risking an upset tummy. Alot of folks do with no problems; it was just a personal choice for us.
I got Barney at 9 weeks from a rescue and as we discussed his transition, she went ahead and transitioned him to Pro Plan puppy food. Tal will be 4 in July and Barney is 2. I homecook their food now. I personally don't think you can go wrong with Pro Plan, but like others, I just happen to prefer it for them if I fed dry food.
There are alot of good foods out there and any of the recommendations so far would work so it would boil down to which food Gracie does best on!
Good luck and wlecome again.