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Hello! I am new here!
My name is Karen, and next week I am bringing home my new Lab! I currently have a gorgeous 9 1/2 year old Chocolate male, and have wanted a second Lab for about four years now! Well, my husband finally gave in (he actually gave me a pink leash for Valentines day, as his way of saying "yes", and "I want a female"), and I think I have found the perfect dog for us. I was hesitant to get a young puppy, as I work full time. I found a breeder (whose website I have been "stalking" for two years now!) who had two 5 month old pups available, one male and one female. They are beautiful. She had been holding them back for breeding (they are not littermates), but decided she had enough Chocolates.
So, my new baby will be almost 6 months old when we get her.
It's been so long since I had a puppy, I can't even remember where they are in development at 6 months? I am hoping it will be a bit easier to housebreak her (she is crate trained, but not housebroken), as she should be able to "hold it" a bit longer than a 3 month old.
Can anyone give me any suggestions, or let me know where their pup is at 6 months old?
Also, the breeder has given her a name, but we (hubby and my three boys) want to change it. I am hoping she is still young enough to learn a new name! I think she will be fine, but again, anyone with experience please feel free to chime in!
One more question... since my long term goal is to have her certified for therapy (I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and would have the ability to bring her to work with me at some point!), I would like to start training as soon as possible. There is a class nearby that has a session starting only one week after we get her. Is that too soon to start, given that she will only have been living with us for a week?

Well, I welcome all thoughts or suggestions! I will be sure to post a picture of her as soon as I can!
Thanks.
Karen

PS: my new baby is coming from FourSeasons Labradors in NY. Anyone have one of their doggies??
 

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First of all, welcome!

I'm not an expert, so I can only tell you my experience. Our chocolate boy at 6 months old was a bit of a wild-child (chewing especially) in spite of my having worked with him since he was 8 weeks old. Our (rescue) yellow female has always been far mellower and better behaved. We got our female when she was about 3 months old, not potty trained, and it was more difficult than with the male whom we'd had since he was younger, but then again at three months she couldn't hold it as long as a six month pup can. Housebreaking is also very individual.

OTOH, I volunteer for rescue, and our young adults and older pups we foster without any sense of history and occasionally place without necessarily full housebreaking do seem to learn really fast. They're also very ready to adapt to new names, so that shouldn't be a worry at all. Especially if there's food involved!

Good luck and I'm looking forward to pictures!
 

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Changing the name should be no problem at all. I got my Chocolate at 6 months and he was on his 3rd name already. Associate the name with food and she will learn it in no time at all.

A 6 month old should be able to hold it for 8 hours without an issue. Housetraining varies a lot from dog to dog. Mine was also not housebroken and was difficult to get reliable. I used a plug in pheremone which helped a lot towards the end of training him.
 
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