Be Prepared For What Youre Getting Into
Nothing makes my blood boil more than those stories about families who adopt puppies only to drop them at the humane society a week later because, They peed all over the house and were too much work. It just didnt work with our lifestyle. Remember, when you bring a 7-week old puppy home you are basically welcoming a baby into your house. Do you expect children to be potty-trained and well-behaved straight out of the womb? Of course not. It takes timeand training. So before you even make the choice to bring a puppy home, ask if you can handle it at this point in life. Are you prepared for the work it takes to raise a puppy? Will you freak out if the puppy has accidents inside? Has your family had a real discussion on the responsibilities for caring for the puppy? If you cant handle a puppy, consider adopting an older and calmer dog. There are so many in need of homes.
I remember thinking on quite a few occasions with Zoey, Oh my godwhat have I done? I totally forgot that it was this hard. Can I do this? Will I ever love her as much as Sullie? These are normal thoughts. Stay the course. You can do this and its worth it.
Golden Retriever Puppy Growth
As a medium to large breed, Golden Retriever puppies carry on growing up to and beyond their first birthday. In fact growth isnt complete until the middle of the second year.
However, those last few months are mainly about filling out and your Golden puppy will have reached close to their maximum height at between 9 and 12 months of age.
You can read all about puppy development stages and puppy growth in our guide:
Its full of fascinating puppy growth facts!
Feeding Schedules And Guides
Small puppies need small and frequent meals. As a rough guide:
- Four meals a day until three months
- Three meals a day until six months
- Two meals a day until one year
Many people worry a lot about getting food quantities and schedules exactly right and want to know how many ounces or grams of puppy food to give their Goldie pup at each stage of their lives.
You can find all this and more in our guide:
Try not to worry too much it isnt an exact science!
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Where To Get Help And Advice
Puppies are great fun, but they can also be hard work. At times youll benefit greatly from the support of other new puppy parents.
We used to be able to help new puppy parents by answering questions in the comments on this website. But there are now so many that we needed a better way.
Do check out our support forum. Youre welcome to simply browse and read the answers to other peoples questions. Or you can join in and ask your own.
Its free and wed love to see you there!
Teach Your Puppy Their Name
Just like with people, its important that our puppies know their name. Kind of awkward if they dont.
Lucky for you teaching them their name is easy peasy.
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Golden Retriever Crate Training
Training a Golden Retriever puppy as well as an adult dog to love using a crate is one of the best and most beneficial things you can do for both you and your dog.
With this in mind, Ive written the following articles to detail why its so important and take you step by step from the absolute beginner to a successfully crate trained dog.
Golden Retriever Puppy Zoomies
At first, it might not seem like zoomies should be anything to worry about. But all puppy owners can tell you just how destructive these random bursts of energy can be.
Especially with a relatively large breed like the Golden Retriever.
In fact, it can lead to broken ornaments, ripped fabric, muddy pawprints all over the house, and knocked over children. It can be quite distressing for new puppy parents!
Running after your puppy can often make this worse as it seems like a fun game to your puppy.
Instead, encourage calm behavior by rewarding your puppy when theyre relaxing peacefully.
You wont be able to avoid the zoomies altogether, but you can try to minimise them by ignoring this behavior and rewarding calmness.
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Running With A Puppy On Leash Should Be Avoided
Many people have plans to run with their dog, but running on a leash can be harmful to a puppys growing joints, growth plates, and soft tissue. Wait until your puppys growth plates have closed, which can be anywhere from 18-24 months. Similarly running on a treadmill or any other types of forced running are not appropriate forms of exercise for a golden retriever puppy.
How To Socialize Your Puppy
Dr. Pachel, whos a veterinary behaviorist, has a very simple way of socializing your puppy.
Every day, separate out five special treats for your puppy.
Youll give them one of these treats in a new situation.
For example, you might let your neighbor give your puppy a treat, or maybe you take your puppy to a bus stop and when the bus goes by you give them a treat, or maybe you introduce them to a cow and give them a treat.
The treat helps them have a positive experience with these new things and people, plus it helps you easily remember to expose them to lots of these new things.
Do this for the first four weeks of their life and before you know it, your puppy will have been exposed to 140 new dogs, people, things, or environments, and will be well on their well to becoming a well-adjusted adult dog.
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Golden Retriever Training Tools
You can use a to help your dog identify what they are doing right. It offers more precision.
Take a look at Harlow being a good girl while her owner uses clicker training to teach her:
Shock collars shouldnt be used because theyre cruel and unnecessary. If your dog is being difficult during training or is exhibiting unwanted behavior, divert her attention to something she prefers.
Does she keep chewing on your shoe? Give her a chew toy instead. Maybe shes bored and has pent up energy, so take her out on a short walk.
Why You Should Exercise Your Golden Retriever
Like us, goldens need exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Goldens who donât receive enough exercise may become bored and destructive.
Even adult goldens may chew the wrong items like your furniture and dig in your garden when under-exercised.
Or they may bark excessively, jump on counters or people even when trained not to, or be mouthy.
Also, he may gain too much weight. This can lead to heart disease, risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and damage to hips and elbows.
A dog who receives enough exercise has toned muscles. Exercise also keeps his body and metabolic system functioning properly and engages his mind.
According to the ASPCA, one out of four dogs in the USA is obese!
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Start With Indoor Training
For indoor training, we have potty training trays/pads that pups can use before they learn to go outside. Select one that is absorbent and easy to clean. Some trays consist of a mesh that is fixed onto a holding pan, so the waste goes right through. They should never get soggy, as this will just give the puppy more reason to avoid it. You can also find trays/pads that have a surface resembling grass, or even consisting of real grass so that the puppy will relate grass with the need to potty before finally being able to go outside.
Let the puppies sit, stand, and sniff around the new pad, so they can know its a safe place to be. Have a command that you repeat every time theyre on the potty. You can simply say potty. The shorter the command, the faster he gets it. We mentioned earlier that your puppys age gives you a reasonably accurate idea of the frequency of potty breaks. For instance, if you have two-month-old puppies, theyll likely need to potty every three hours, so take them to the pad accordingly. Repeat the potty command gently yet firmly. They may not go every time, but theyll learn the purpose of the potty pad.
Be Consistent And Develop A Routine
Golden Retriever puppies need structure in their lives. They thrive when they’re on a routine. You should establish a schedule as soon as possible to help your puppy succeed. This applies not only to training but every other activity they do.
Provide them with their meals at the same times every single day. If you take walks around the block, try to do so at a predetermined time.
This structure gives them something to look forward to and helps to establish what is expected of them. Once they’re house trained, they’ll have a good idea of when they get to go out. This can ultimately reduce behavioral problems in the long run.
When it comes to consistency, you need to do things the same way each and every time. While slight discrepancies won’t have a drastic effect on their overall progress, big changes will.
For example, if you started out with voice commands and suddenly decided to adopt whistle training techniques, your puppy will have no idea of what you want from them. Be consistent in your training and everyday lives to ensure that your pup can be successful.
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Will You Buy A New Puppy Or Rescue One
It can be a tough decision, choosing between a puppy from a breeder, or Golden Retriever puppy rescue.
Hopefully, the points we briefly discussed above will make the decision a little easier.
If you still arent sure, take a look at our guide to puppies vs dogs.
You can find a list of Golden Retriever puppy rescue centers on our main breed information page.
But, for now, lets take a closer look at puppies from breeders.
Are Golden Retrievers Easy To Train
These guys respond best to positive training methods and if you can master them, youll master training the Golden. They respond well to praise, treats, and playtime as rewards.
They have a strong work ethic that was likely bred into them for their excellence in retrieving game birds. Their soft, sweet demeanor was also thanks to these genetics that kept them a soft-mouthed dog, for the most part.
A hunter doesnt want his bird to be brought back all chewed to pieces so a retriever with a very soft-mouthed style is preferred. This is likely part of what keeps them sweet and congenial.
As puppies, they are sponges that will absorb anything you are willing to teach them. In fact, their brain craves new things to learn and this is why they are so prized for so many working positions around the world. They like to learn and they are people-pleasers at heart.
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Offer A Variety Of Appropriate Things For Your Puppy To Chew
Puppies are going to chew, period and the end. Its important to give them lots of options for appropriate things to chew so that theyre not chewing your furniture. Every dog is different so offer different textures, shapes and sizes and be sure to follow the age guidelines listed by the manufacturer. Related to the idea of loving them from day one if you want a cuddler, if you want a dog that loves to play with toys and balls, offer them early so they get in the habit.
Ill do another post about our favorite toys, bones, accessories, etc.
Crate Training Suitable For Training Golden Retriever Puppies
Dogs are descendants of wolves and these animals are creatures that live in a den. Golden Retrievers need their own personal space and training them to stay in there is crucial to the success of your dog training. They naturally feel safe in a confined environment so you need to put in a little investment when buying a crate. Crate training Golden Retriever puppies can help to prevent them from turning your house into shambles when you are away! However do not abuse the crate as a form of punishment. The crate should be a place your puppy loves.
Difficulty Walking On Leash
Some Goldens either never really got the hang of leash training, werent ever trained, or have regressed due to poor reinforcement. Either way, its important to correct this behavior as soon as possible. While on a walk, if your pup goes wild, stop.
Wait until your pup calms down. Once they do, continue the walk. You will literally repeat this repeatedly. Granted, youll need ample amounts of time to make this successful. Try walking three times a day this way for a few weeks to see if the behavior improves.
Things To Get Before You Bring Your New Puppy Home
When you bring your puppy home, the last thing you want to do is wait for Amazon to deliver something that you need right away, like poop bags or pee cleaner.
Its best to get these things before you bring your puppy home.
Heres what youll need, as well as links for where to get them:
To learn more about these products, like why we chose these specific ones, or why theyre necessary, check out our article about golden retriever puppy supplies.
Next up is another thing to do before you bring your puppy home
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Know The Breeds Behaviors And Channel Them Nondestructively
While many love the gentle, sweet side of the golden retriever, its easy to overlook the higher-energy, active side thats just as characteristic of the breed. Traditionally, golden retrievers were bred to carry waterfowl in their mouths. Although most goldens arent hunting nowadays, they still need a lot of activity and have a tendency to get quite mouthy, especially as puppies.
To discourage your golden retriever from biting, chewing, or being otherwise destructive, encourage her to channel her energy toward an item thats supposed to be chewed . Let her burn energy frisking with her four-legged friends or bring her on your run to keep her active.
What Are The Biggest Worries And Concerns When Training A Golden Retriever
1. Golden Retrievers Can Be MischievousGolden retriever pups have a real mischievous side, so it is important to stay on top of their behavior. Golden retrievers are so intelligent but can become easily bored especially if there is not enough mental stimulation. Typically a Golden Retriever needs up to two hours of exercise every day, and which includes mental exercises.
2. Golden Retrievers Have A Short Attention SpanRather than long training sessions once a week, your Golden Retriever will respond much better to daily short training sessions 10 minutes at a time. It is important to provide a variety of activities to burn off that Golden Retriever energy.
3. Golden Retrievers Are Social DogsAlong with the one-to-one training, your Golden Retriever must also be socialized well, with people and animals outside of the immediate family. A puppy kindergarten class is an amazing way to start socialization while making training fun.
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Meeting Another Dog: How To Introduce Your Puppy To A New Dog
Its important to socialise puppies when theyre still young to really make sure theyre at their friendliest and kindest with other dogs as adults. In humans or dogs worlds, everybody likes a friendly guy.
A good way to do this is by organising a visit from one of your friends dogs.
PRO TIP: The other dog should be friendly with puppies, and up to date with their vaccinations!
How to do it
We know that all you may want is to let loose in some off lead play. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, keep the adult dog on lead for now there will be plenty of time to play later on. Dont worry youre not being a Debbie Downer, youre just making sure your puppy is safe, and is able to go one step at a time!
How Long & How Often To Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy
Life is hectic with a new puppy, but heres the good news: you can have a well-behaved puppy and train them in as little as five minutes a day.
Puppies dont have long attention spans, so its actually unproductive to try to train them for more than five or ten minutes at a time.
In fact, when your puppy is young, its better to keep training sessions as short as two to five minutes.
This way, your puppy has fun the entire time and keeps a positive association with training sessions.
As far as how often to train them, having three to five of these short training sessions is recommended.
Now, you might be thinking, how am I going to train this wild puppy with such little training time?
Well, in reality, every moment with them is a teaching moment.
You spend the formal training sessions teaching them the basics, and then take advantage of little moments here and there to practice.
For example, lets say youre taking your puppy on a walk and youve been working on come and sit.
When you walk up the door you can ask your puppy to come, and then before you put the leash on, ask them to sit.
Then, when you get back inside, you ask them to sit while you take the leash off.
This isnt adding any real extra training time, but practicing behaviors as part of your everyday routine will help your puppy learn fast.
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