Puppy Help

Remember when you bring home a new golden retriever puppy, you are bringing home a new baby. This baby has had its mother and littermates available for the past eight weeks. Now it may feel as if it has arrived on another planet. Try to make the transition to your new home as smooth as possible. Try to think like you are a new puppy coming to this home for the first time. How would you feel? Here are some tips for making a smooth transition.

Crate Training Help


I highly recommend crate training and I have posted an article on my blog which will be beneficial if you have not crate trained before. 

This is the recommended way to housetrain your pet. Avoiding accidents from the start will have you removing your puppy from his crate and taking him quickly to the potty area you have set aside. A newspaper bed/ or potty pads laid on some waterproof linoleum will protect your flooring. Try to do this the same way each time to avoid confusion. Keeping a little scent on the pad or papers helps your pet use his nose to find the right spot. Use the same words each time, for example “Go Potty.” Follow the act of elimination with verbal praise and treats. You may also remove from crate and take straight to the grass outside. Again, a chosen spot for elimination is going to help you later on. Please instruct the family on how this is being done so all members can help with this important task. Puppies should not be punished for accidents, it isn’t their fault if no one took them out or got them to their spot fast enough. Positive, positive, positive!

I find crate training helps keep your new baby safe and secure when you can’t directly supervise.  This becomes your dog’s safe refuge and a place to sleep, just like a little den would be. Most dogs who have been crate trained love to be in their crates when there are parties, etc.  It gives them their own personal space.

The crate size I have at home is the Life Stages by Midwest 42L x 28W x 31 H #1642DD.  This one comes with a crate divider so you can make the space smaller for your puppy but will later be the right size for a full sized dog. 

My favorite size wire crate for taking everywhere and easy to move is the  36L X 24 W X 27 H.  I like the MidWest brand because they are constructed well and the wire is of good quality.  If you don’ have room for the large crate, get this one.

I do not recommend a canvas crate until later because an upset puppy can topple it and create a dangerous situation.  These are mainly for hotel sleep or obedience trials where your puppy is directly supervised and a puppy cannot be left unattended in a canvas crate. 

If your puppy seems uncomfortable in his or her wire crate, try draping a blanket over it to give privacy and if you still have fussing put a fan on low where it can provide a noise and a breeze.  Some puppies “sleep hot” and need a breeze to fall asleep. If you must leave your puppy longer than normal, you can leave on soft music or a television show like Animal Planet. Usually, this is soothing to your puppy.

Add an indestructable crate mat. You can try a cozy one but make sure your baby is not eating it. A tough canvas one is great and less to worry about.

Here is a good article on Crate Training from Humane Society. Click Here

Also, please refer to the book Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar. Please make sure that you have read this book several times. This book will help you have your home ready for your new family member and also help with house training, chew toy training, and the basics of raising a happy, healthy, well trained pup!!!!

Puppy Resources

The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete is also a favorite full of great ideas for training.

Exercise for your Puppy

Many new puppy owners wonder how to make sure that their puppies are getting adequate exercise. One needs to approach this subject with caution as puppies will not know how much is too much. They will need their owners to monitor and manage the amounts of exercise and make sure that it is safe for their pup’s growing body. Your veterinarian is a great resource for questions concerning activities appropriate for your puppy.

Owners must take into account that their golden retriever puppy is a developing large breed dog. Large breed puppies’ bodies are growing at a fast pace and it is very easy for them to hurt their developing joints and growth plates by too much exercise, too much stop and start play, overly aggressive play, hard surfaces, and jumping up and down onto high surfaces. Stairclimbing, mountain trails, excessive climbing should be avoided as well as jogging or running a puppy. Please do not let your puppy jump off of any high surfaces.

A good rule of thumb is to take short walks , think five minutes per month old as a guideline. For example: A four month old puppy should get five minutes x 4 months equals about a 20 minute walk. Puppies will enjoy short walks and will also still need lengthy nap times to rest . Use your puppy walk time to bond with your puppy, work on leash skills, learn how to sit when distractions present themselves.

Playing in the yard on a soft surface is a great place for exercise and some running is certainly to be expected, but pay attention to your pup and his or her aggressiveness in play. They can become overexcited and they don’t know how to monitor this for themselves as they are still babies. Consider the following for exercise:

  • Five minutes per month old for walking and play periods
  • Soft surfaces for play and walks rather than hard
  • Monitoring play with other dogs, matching size and energy of dog, amount of time, and stopping play if it is too rough
  • Limiting too much stop and start until growth plates are fully developed
  • Training in a class, in the yard, or with family members in the house is also a great form of exercise and satisfies your puppy’s need for mental stimulation
  • Set up stations for training in the yard as a form of exercise
  • Don’t expect to get your full adult exercise with your puppy, they are still babies and aren’t ready to do what human adults and or other adult dogs do
  • Spend time taking your puppy to lots of new places where he or she can learn social skills and face fears
  • 100 new experiences in 100 days will help your puppy to become socialized and well rounded
  • Get your puppy checked out by your vet if you suspect an injury
  • Make sure your puppy is on a large breed puppy formula dog food
  • Don’t give your growing puppy any additional supplements until growth plates are fully developed and closed and without running it by your vet

I am going to post an article that I have found helpful here. Your veterinarian is a great resource for keeping your puppy healthy and safe. Hope you find the article below helpful.

CLICK HERE for article from Ready to Go Vet Rehab ( Note: this website is having a security issue “connection not secure” so please be aware of that before clicking)