Golden retrievers are among the top three most popular dog breeds in America. The breed is infamously known for its beautiful golden coat. On average golden retrievers are classed as medium-sized dogs and can weigh anywhere between 50 and 80 pounds when fully grown. (1) Golden retrievers make great additions to the families they join, as they are playful, obedient, trustworthy, and easy to train. Golden retrievers are known as a people-loving breed and are especially great with children. If you’re just bringing you new golden retriever puppy home, you may have lots of questions for proper care.
It’s important to recognize that like many other breeds, proper maintenance is essential for a healthy lifespan for a golden retriever. From socializing, potty training, and overall care, what is the proper way to care for your golden retriever puppy?
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Golden Retriever Puppy Proofing
Like most dogs, golden retriever puppies are no exception when it comes to their desire to explore. They are highly intelligent and can get themselves into handfuls of trouble if you aren’t careful! Your puppy probably doesn’t know how to swim just yet. For this reason, it’s important to be sure to fence off any swimming pools or larger bodies of water they may have access to in your yard.
Be aware of the flowers and plants you have in your garden or yard, as some plants like daffodils and lily of the valley can be fatal to your dog. (3) Researching the plants and flowers that can be toxic to your dog is important for those times when they are left unsupervised when they’re older.
Puppies love to gnaw on almost anything they can sink their teeth into. Make sure any electrical cables that are exposed are hidden. Dogs can easily choke on small items, which is why it’s important to not leave anything of value, scraps, or small hazardous items lying around.
Socializing Your Golden Retriever Puppy
For first-time, and even current puppy owners, understanding the importance of puppy socialization is crucial. The first three months of a puppy’s life are critical when priming them for socialization. Puppy socialization requires exposing your puppy to new people and experiences. This is to ensure that they don’t become shy or develop fear with strangers, new objects, or loud sounds. (2) Exposing your puppy to children, other dogs, loud noises, and much more can also prevent your dog from becoming aggressive and increases the retention rate of puppies in their homes.
Potty Training Your Golden Retriever Puppy
Golden retriever puppies have no shame in peeing on the first spot they lay their eyes on. Protecting carpeted areas until your puppy has been successfully potty trained will likely be to your favor. A helpful tip is to utilize baby gates to separate your puppy from easily washable flooring. You may even consider purchasing potty pads to train your dog to go on a specific indoor spot away from carpet.
During the first few weeks of your puppies potty training, make sure you take your puppy outside at consistent frequented intervals. Stay outside with them until they’ve completely emptied their bladder. The most important times to get your dog into a routine of going out to the bathroom is after naps, meals, and even after over excited play sessions. (4) Once your puppy grows older, they can go for several hours without any accidents. At this stage, there should be a developed understanding of where it’s deemed acceptable to go to the bathroom.
Feeding Your Golden Retriever Puppy
When it comes to puppies, their nutritional requirement varies from those of an active adult dog. How often you feed your golden retriever depends on his age. Younger puppies are fed more often than adults. Small puppies require frequent smaller meals. We recommend the raw food diet to make sure your pooch gets the highest quality ingredients available with none of the unnecessary filler.
Puppies 8 to 10 weeks old: feed four times per day.
Puppies 3 to 6 months old: feed three times per day.
Puppies 6-months to 1-year-old: feed 2 times per day.
Be sure that your golden retriever puppy always has access to fresh clean water. Change the water at least once per day. You may prefer to use stainless steel bowls over plastic or ceramic as stainless steel is more durable and prevents bacteria build up. (5)
Golden Retriever Puppy Exercise
Golden retrievers are highly energetic dogs and require regular exercise. One of the best ways to give your golden their much-needed exercise is by taking them for 20-30 minute walk at least twice per day. Allowing them to get their energy out in a play session in the yard or by giving them stimulating toys are also great ways to give your dog the exercise they need.
Grooming Your Golden Retriever Puppy
The long, beautiful coats of golden retrievers are what gave them their name! They are known as dogs that shed and, therefore, regular grooming of golden retrievers will be required maintenance. Brushing daily is ideal, but be sure to not brush your dog less than every three days. This will prevent matting, remove dirt and debris, and help control shedding.