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  • Writer's pictureDebi Little

Puppy Raising 101: Caring for your puppy after Gotcha! Day


Golden Retriever Puppies Outdoors

This is certainly not all inclusive, but I hope will help new puppy parents understand the transition from the breeder that includes Mamma and siblings to their new life with you.


These puppies are lovingly and carefully bred, raised, socialized and trained here at Royal Goldens. So much effort goes into sending home a healthy, well-adjusted young life. We will have exposed them to MANY experiences, sights, sounds, smells, textures, etc. Now YOU are responsible for their continuing education. Please take your job as seriously as we did to get you to this point. It truly is only the beginning of a great adventure that requires diligence, patience and a lot of love! Your great puppy can only become a great dog if you do all the things necessary to support that growth. It’s all up to you now!


Always keep in mind, this little puppy has just been uprooted from the only life it has known. Suddenly no more Mom, no more siblings, the silly gray-haired lady that feeds them is gone. Now we have all new smells, new places to go potty, new food bowls, and new people to love. It’s a lot for a little brain to process. You must anticipate some stumbling, some crying, and some mistakes (from you and your puppy). There are tons of resources, books, videos, training classes and of course Royal Goldens to help you on your journey. Please reach out and ask for support at any time!!!


The first days of the puppy’s new life:

Your puppy will need a little time to adjust to the new routine, smells, textures, people, other pets, where to go potty, where to eat and most importantly where to sleep. Young puppies are like babies, they need lots of naps in a quiet and safe environment. We highly recommend a small crate that can be in a quiet area for naps. Keeping them in that safe crate is also your pathway to successful potty training. Use a small crate, if you are using a larger one put a divider in it, so they only have access to a small area. This will bring comfort to the pup who used to a small space with litter mates piled on top. We also HIGHLY recommend a snuggle buddy for them to cuddle with at night.


The first weeks of the puppy’s new life:

Try to keep them in a routine for mealtime, potty time, nap time and play time. It won’t have to be this way forever but too much freedom too soon and you will have behavior issues that you don’t want! They are so cute and adventurous, but you’ll be sorry if you don’t make a routine and create boundaries! Use playpens or baby gates to keep their world small. It’s probably the #1 mistake new puppy owners fall victim to making all components take much longer and add a great deal of frustration that doesn’t need to happen. Also MAKE SURE to get the vaccines current before you let them out into the world.


The first months of puppy’s new life:

They will be adjusting to you, your family, routine and what you want from them. You should be able to open up their space some as potty training should be fairly solid….not fool proof but they should certainly have a good grasp on where they should go and how to ask you. Continue to positively reinforce all good behavior and redirect what you don’t want them to do. Biting, chewing the furniture, all are normal puppy behavior and it’s 100% up to you to redirect into something positive. Every person and every dog is different so you have to listen to your pup and give solid direction. Make sure everyone in your household is on the same page with your plan: on the furniture (or not), same command words for sit, stay, down, keep it simple and consistent. Make sure everyone knows the boundaries and expectations. And ALWAYS be patient and calm…..hard sometimes but that will get you to your end goal. Great puppies take time and effort to become great dogs.


My first golden was soooo cute and sweet, she loved to wrap her paws around my leg and let me drag her around the room. My husband’s comment was: you may regret that when she weighs 70 lbs. Turns out, he was right. Keep in mind that cute little 20 pounder jumping in your lap won’t be so cute after they are grown and muddy. But they don’t know its’ bad if you didn’t teach them!


Puppy Raising Support & Resources

Get help!! There are a ton of resources, join golden retriever puppy groups on FB, get enrolled in puppy training classes, and as always, my support is only a phone call away!


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