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Caring for a new Puppy

Once you have bought your puppy, the first hurdle is the journey home. The puppy may be sick but this is not unexpected. The period of change from the security and familiarity of the breeder to your home is very traumatic for a puppy, and this initial time with his/her new family is very important. Please don't have too many visitors for a couple of days, allow the puppy to get used to its new environment and its new family. You should have a diet sheet among the many papers you received from your breeder. Please, please stick with the diet your breeder has suggested. The puppy will have been very carefully raised on this feeding regime. Consult the breeder if you have any problems.

The first few months of a puppy's life are very special. This is the time when his or her temperament, character and fears are formed. For the first two weeks the puppy should feel warm, secure and loved in their new environment. Please do not have too many people or children in to see the puppy, and ensure the puppy is left to sleep when it chooses.

It is advantageous to have the first inoculation as soon as possible. Once this is done, take your puppy out and about, not walking yet, but out in the car for short journeys. Even if you go shopping take him with you. Walk down to the school or local shop with him in your arms, let him get used to traffic noise, but from the safety of your arms or your car. Sit at the front gate with him, let him meet the postman or the dustman. The more things you can get your puppy used to in these early months, the less likelihood of him being nervous or frightened. Let people make a fuss of him. This is NOT a guarding breed, and should be friendly to all.

Exercise Play at regular intervals provides much of the exercise your puppy needs, but long walks should be avoided too soon. Having been fed, a little walk outside to relieve itself and then back to sleep. Jumping up and down stairs, onto and off chairs, is not to be encouraged. This can do untold harm to young bones.
Worming Your breeder will have told you of the worming regime the puppy has been started on. It is important to continue worming the puppy, consult your breeder or vet for advice.
Grooming This should be done every few days, this way one keeps an eye on the puppy's skin and any minor ailments can be dealt with before they become major ones. Make the puppy used to being handled, touch his feet, wipe his eyes if necessary, clean his ears with cotton buds, check for knots in the coat, especially in the long fur on the neck and back legs. This can save a lot of fuss at the Vets while being examined. Make your grooming period a special time.
Innoculations Contact your Vet right away, as Vets vary on the age to start the course of inoculations and also the amount they give. Start the initial course as soon as possible.
Toys Do give your puppy some sensible toys to play with that can be chewed, this will save any furniture or treasures you do not want your puppy to have, from being chewed by those sharp needle like teeth.
Retrieving Not surprisingly the retrieving instinct in the breed is quite incredible. The worst thing you can do is try to break the puppy of it. Your puppy will almost certainly greet you with a favoured toy or any article it can grab quickly, flannels, and socks are favourites. Please, please do not scold for this, just take from him with the command you have chosen (see bones section) and praise him. DO NOT play tug with him as he will not understand the difference between playing tug with his toy and your slipper, sock or whatever. It will also make him very hard mouthed, which is not typical of the breed.
Bones Raw beef marrow bones or sterilised bones ONLY. It is a good suggestion that you teach your puppy to give up its bone on demand. This can be achieved by giving the puppy the bone, letting it take it off for a minute or so and then gently taking it away. Once the puppy has let you take the bone without growling (which may happen the first time, and MUST be scolded for) give it back with lots of praise and leave him in peace to enjoy it. If it is a raw bone, plunge it into boiling water before giving it to the puppy. This will kill any bacteria on the bone.

This particular piece of training is most important and MUST be started early, you never know when your puppy is going to pick up things you do not want it to have, and want to take away. Use one command for this and stick to it. e.g., Give, Drop or Dead. Always praise your pup when it has done what you want it to.


House Training House training starts instantly. The puppy will not soil its bed, but cannot be expected to be clean all through the night. It is helpful to put some newspaper down, but during the day, the puppy must learn to 'make puddles' outside. It is easy to toilet train, if you can put the time to this and this alone in the first week. As soon as you see your puppy stir from sleep, take them outside and as soon as they go, give lots and lots of praise. If you wish, it sometimes helps to use a word for the puppy to associate with going to the toilet. All sorts of words can be used puddles, pennies, some people use the word quickly. This will entice him to perform when you use the word. However as with all learning much repetition is needed.

The puppy should also be placed outside as soon as a meal has been finished. You will usually notice when a puppy wants to relieve itself, it will become very busy and often agitated. Take them to the door, and make a big fuss about how clever they have been.

If the puppy has made a puddle in the house, and you have not noticed DON'T tell him off, it is too late, he will not know why you are cross, but if you catch them in the act, tell them off by using a deep voice.

Training Training starts the moment you get home! Where the puppy is allowed to go and where not. Whether they are allowed on the furniture or not. Consistency is the key. Do not confuse the puppy by allowing something one moment, and not the next. Formal training should be started as soon as he can go out. Find a training class near you that will take puppies early. DO NOT WAIT until he is six months old before you start. Bad habits are hard to break. Training classes are fun and believe me you will find dogs there which are much naughtier than yours!

Some useful books

A Dog Owner's Guide to Golden Retrievers (Dog Owner's Guide Series) 'A Dog Owner's Guide to Golden Retrievers'

Author: Marigold Timson

ISBN: 0861014324

Publisher: Salamander Books

Golden Retriever (Dog Breed Handbooks) 'Golden Retriever'

Author: Bruce Fogle

ISBN: 0789410664

Publisher: DK Publishing Inc

Sherley's dog book: Being their famous hints to dog owners: a manual for the daily use of dog owners, breeders, fanciers, exhibitors, kennelmen and others in the care and treatment of dogs 'Sherley's Dog Book'

Author: A.F Sherley Co. Ltd


Publisher: Sherley