Any good websites out there that offer great information on all that puppy needs, or anyone with advice here? Like house-training, socializing, leash training, obedience training, etc.? This pup is a black lab/shepherd mix and is our first big dog. My specific concerns are:
1. Ummm, house-training. I don't even know where to start.
2. Socializing: It is very important to us that the pup be used to both people and other dogs. But is there a "too young" to socialize? As in, taking a puppy out in public is sure to get tons of attention, will that be helpful or make the puppy fearful? Is there a too young to go to the dog park?
3. We have small children (not small-small, 5yo and 7yo). Our current little dog likes to rough-house on the bed before bedtime, and it involves come minor teeth play. This obviously is not good for a dog that will be who-know-what-size in the future. How to you teach that hands are not to be bitten? Redirect with a chew toy or what?
4. Chewing. All puppies chew. I get that. But what do we do to help ensure that we don't eventually have a 3yo dog who chews?
5. Do you try to start with obedience right from the start, or just begin with teaching basic manners?
6. Is there a way to avoid the emergence of food aggression, or other aggressive behaviors?
7. And finally...everything else under the sun.
We had been looking at various rescue groups and shelters and have seen many larger dogs with very bad habits. One dog looked so excellent on paper, but when we met him...well, just imagine a LARGE 9mo old dog with absolutely NO training, and NO manners. He jumped incessantly, played with teeth, would not take a leash, chewed everything...ugh. Yet he was happy to the point of goofiness, intelligent, and playful, and seemed eager to please. But we just couldn't take the chance of him injuring the children by accident (as it was, we all left the foster home with scrapes from his nails or teeth). This breaks my heart because people have failed this dog over and over again. I want to make sure that we do everything we need to do from the very start for our puppy (who is part of an accidental litter, but the way, not a puppy-mill dog) so that everyone is happy, healthy, and safe. That's not too much to ask, is it? LOL
Hey, and while I'm at it...DH is in charge of picking the name, but wants suggestions from me too. He is really liking Faulkner right now, so I think he is leaning toward historical and literary names LOL. Suggestions?