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I am a first time dog owner. I am picking up a ~2 year old german shepherd mix from a rescue/foster home that is shipping him up from Tennessee to the Northeast. We will be picking him up on June 18.

I'd love some advice on:

What kind of food to feed him? (I was thinking of making my own at some point after we get comfortable with each other).

Where to get inexpensive pet supplies (crate, toys, food, bed, etc)?

What to watch out for specifically during the first few weeks of picking him up?

From the foster's description, he seems like a fairly easy to take care of dog. His only behavioral problems are having issues eating around other dogs (he is protective of his food), and difficulty getting in his crate (although he is fine once he gets in).

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Congratulations! As you can see from my sig, I had a shepherd mix, too. He was a fantastic dog. (and lucky you, Muggsy was a nightmare from 11 months to 2 years old. You're skipping that!)

As for food, go to dogfoodadvisor.com and pick out a 4 or 5 star food. A lot of members here feed Wellness, Taste of the Wild, Blue, Kirklands, Chicken Soup 4 the Dog Lover's Soul to name a few. Don't be put off by the price. For one thing, you feed less of a high quality food because they are filler free, for another, you will save on vet bills by keeping your dog healthy. You should also check out threads on raw feeding. Many members here feed their dogs raw. The benefits are enormous. (I can't get to a butcher regularly, so I don't. I'd like to, though.)

I comparison shop on the internet for supplies. If I run out, I go to PetSmart, which isn't too bad pricewise. It could be worse. Just check out online reviews of anything you're looking at buying. People don't mind complaining when they've had a bad experience, so if a product/company is bad, you can find out pretty easily.

Rescues take a while to show their true colours. Usually you start seeing the "real" dog at around 6 weeks, though it can take months in some cases. I'm not saying the dog will go from nice to evil in a month and a half, just that it takes a while for them to really relax and be comfortable playing and such. You just need to be patient.

If your dog has resource guarding issues, search "resource guarding", we have many good threads on that. Also search "crate games" to help him with the crate.

Good luck!
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