14 Tips for raising a golden retriever

Getting a new dog can be the best time of your life but also the most stressful when you bring them home and you have no clue of what to do next. At least that’s certainly how it went for me. That’s why today I’m going to share the most essential tips with you on how to raise a golden retriever.

If you stay til then end Ill also share some resources that I have that can help you in taking the right steps with your dog to ensure they are well behaved and open to new leaning.


This proved to be a lifesaver for me in the early days as I quickly found my dog getting out . of control when I never took the right steps. Lucky for you I got all that covered, but first, let’s talk about your new dog!

1. How to prepare your home

Make sure everything is clean and tidy, welcoming and anything expensive is out of the way. Yeah! some of your stuff is going to get damaged…Also, make sure that there are no small objects left around too as its far to easy for a puppy to get hold of something that you thought was harmless, only to find out that it’s been swallowed and stuck.

To avoid all of that drama and time, I suggest that you make sure everything is neat and tidy in your home so that you can provide them the best start in life.


2. The trip home

Its a terrifying experience for a pup to be taken away from their parents to go off with a new owner that will replace that position in their life. Because of that, it is your job to make sure that they are comfortable and calm at all times.

Before bringing your pup home it is important to allow them to go to the bathroom first and then make sure to bring them home in a nice spacious crate on the way home. Once you have them home safe and sound, then its time to move onto the next steps…

3. Home sweet home

When you first arrive home you should try to get your pup familiar with their new environment. A great way is to simply take them for a walk corner to corner around your home so that they can familiarise themselves with the new scent and smell.

ALWAYS make sure that your house is quiet and peaceful when bringing them home on the first trip. As it could be very traumatic to have a huge amount of people talking and laughing whilst coming into a new place. Once your pup has been around a few times you can then move on to set some boundaries.


4. Blocking off designated areas

You may find that you need to block certain areas of your house to prevent your puppy from escaping out of rooms or falling down stairs. This can be a great way for your pup to get familiar with their set locations and it won’t be long before they make themselves comfortable.

You may already have a name for your pup, but for me, this wasn’t the case so I did a little digging to give you a little help with choosing a name if you haven’t already.

5. Choosing a name

Choosing a name is a full-time job. Firstly because you are not sure what names suits which puppy and whether you’re being silly with the name or too scared to name them what you want. Either way, it can be a very frustrating experience and so to save you the time, I have linked below to a list of names that you can choose from.

Every name on the list has been specifically selected for golden retrievers, so I’m sure that you’ll easily find one that suits yours. Heres the link to the list of names for golden retrievers: https://thehappypuppysite.com/golden-retriever-names/. Now that you have a name for your new pup, its time to move onto taking your puppy out and meeting new people, and dogs too.

socialising-withyour-dog-1 (1)

6. Socializing outdoors

It’s said that puppies need to be exposed to new objects before 13 weeks old, otherwise you may have a difficult experience introducing them to certain things later. Whether that statement is true or not, I certainly know that things are better done sooner than later. If you are planning on taking her to a certain location or place or to meet new people, then do it!

It’s also a great way to prevent any aggressive behavior towards other dogs as this will reduce the feeling of anxiousness or fear later on in their life when meeting others. After you have made your trip out t, then its time to start setting up your golden puppy with some potty training…


7. Potty training

There are 3 main ways that you can pity train your puppy which include:

  • Crate training
  • Paper training
  • Or frequent trips outdoors (old-school)

If your old school then make a trip outside is great, but I would bank on your pup waiting for you to do so. Don’t be surprised if you find a present that came early waiting for you the next time you arrive. If you prefer a safer option, then paper and crate training may be a little more appealing to you.

Crate training is a great idea for getting your pup prepared for trips to the vets, traveling and much more…Dogs like to like in cave-like environments os they will eventually find a spot similar to a crate if you don’t have one. Make sure to get yourself a crate from as early as possible.

8. Puppy pads and paper training

This kind of training is a little different to what I’m familiar with, so I found a useful tutorial that you can watch here that will explain everything on paper training too!

Schedule & Routines

The only way you are going to avoid any unwanted accident is by setting everything into a routine. Yes, there might be some off days, but I can assure you that you will be heavily reducing them by having a set schedule.

A good estimate for how long a pup can hold it is 4 hours. So make sure you are staying on top of everything by monitoring everything carefully in the first few weeks. It’s also a great way for your puppy to also start taking on new life skills and to get them into the mode of taking on new information and applying it.

How long does this take

Potty training a puppy can vary in time, as some can be in tune with everything in just a few days whilst other puppies can take a few months before they finally get comfortable with it. Only time will tell but the best thing you can do is get started now. So once you are done with crate training then its time to move onto obedience training as behavior is everything when it comes to puppies.


9. Obedience training your puppy

Hands down, this is the most important thing you can do for any puppy. And it will save you so much of your time and money in the future. Obedience training is something that you should start right from the day that your puppy comes home. This is the art of teaching them to follow instructions, take part in tasks and activities and respond to commands.

I didn’t listen to my own advice when I first brought home my dog home. So I paid for it big time, as she used to misbehave and chew up everything in the house.

It took a while for me to finally sort out it out, but when I did it was through an online dog obedience program that I took after voicing the problem to a few friends. They recommended the course to me, an after trying it out the rest was history.

The best program to start training with

This course was the best investment I’ve made in a long time. It breaks down how to train your puppy right from the earliest of stages and also gives you access to a professional trainer (Adrienne Faracelli).

I can’t guarantee it will work for you, but if it worked for me when I had no previous background in dog training, then it will work for you. You can get it now for under 50 bucks too which makes it well worth the risk of trying out.

After you go through the course I can almost guarantee you will be able to handle any situation that you get into with your dog. It’s reasonably priced too at just under $50, I would highly recommend you get training of some sort. But if you are looking to get hold of this then you can check out my review.

Next, its time to talk about vaccinations and healthcare for your pup. As this could be a big grey area for many parents out there. With all the training working up an appetite, then it may be time to look at what foods you may need.


10. What to feed your puppy

By the time your puppy gets to around 8 weeks old, you can start to introduce some solid foods. A good guideline to go by is to feed them around 3 times per day with a ½ cup of puppy food.  Its gonna be a slow process, but with patience and a commitment to make things work, you’ll have no problem at all.

Heres a link to a great article I found from Cesear the dog trainer on feeding: https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/nutrition/puppy-feeding-guidelines

11. Vaccinations and healthcare for puppies

There should be a few shots that your puppy should have had before you even picked them up from their previous owner. These would include distemper & measles. But if they haven’t already had those jabs, then so be it. As you can go and get it done yourself.

If you are by any chance unsure of the exact shots that your new puppy will need. Then head over to AKC.org where you can find out more information. Here is a screenshot of the guide that they have with the information on jabs for puppies:


Source page: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-shots-complete-guide/. After your puppy has had all his/her shots, it’s the time to go home for a nice sleep.


12. Bedtime with your puppy

As you remember from earlier, I referred to crate training as being a great option for familiarising a new puppy with their new environment. What I failed to mention was that this can also be a great way to help them to sleep to.

But it may not be as easy as just placing them inside to sleep in the crate. So I have a few tips for you here that will dramatically help you.

How to get your puppy ready for bed

Just before your puppy goes off for the night, it might be a wise idea to take them for a quick run in the backyard or down the street to wind down. Not only will this tire them out but it will also help them to relax too so that putting them to bed is a little bit easier.


Make sure that the bedding you will be using for your new puppy has already been laid out and ready for your golden to lay on. By doing so you can allow them to familiarise themselves throughout the day which can then better prepare them for the same place in the evening.

Familiar objects

If possible try to get an object of some sort from your puppies previous owner with a scent on it. This will make the change not so sudden, which will help you in putting your puppy to sleep.


Midnight potty breaks

Just as you finally get off to sleep you may hear a loud whining noise coming from your puppies crate. Its usually because he/she wants to get out for a bathroom stop before going back off to sleep. If you find this to be a constant problem, the pee pads are the way to go. By lining your puppies crate with a pee pad then you’ll be good to sleep through most of the night.

Night time rules

Always remember that if you need to take your puppy out of their crate at any time during the night, to remain calm and neutral at all times. You will notice that every time you take your pup out of the crate, they will immediately think that it’s playtime.

It’s your job to keep the situation under control and remain in a calm manner at all times to ensure they do too. There is a great resource that you can read more about this on over at https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/your-new-puppy-ultimate-sleep-guide.

After a good night’s sleep, its now time to have some breakfast and groom yourself for the day. Well, you now have a new friend that would like the same treatment too!


13. How to groom you’re golden retriever puppy

So this is where you learn how to groom your new golden puppy. The good part is that you haven’t yet experienced the heavy shedding YET! And I say yet for a reason as this will be one of the most difficult things to manage with a golden.

But whilst your golden is still a pup, you can start to groom them from around 10 to 12 weeks old. Not too long after he/she has had a second round of vaccinations. The intent of this post is to give you a brief overview of the timeline for how to raise a golden retriever right from the point of bringing them home.

As that was the main focus I have decided to include grooming in a second post for you in depth. This is because this will need a whole post for itself to properly explain how you should groom your dog.

There, you will find a complete guide on how to groom along with all the recommended tools that you will need too. Talking of tools, in the next section I will share a few accessories that you may want to purchase for a new pup.


14. Accessories for a new puppy

Whether you have just bought your pup home or you are planning on purchasing a new pup. Then it’s super important to have the right equipment for them when they arrive. To help you out, I have listed out a few accessories below that you will need for a new pup:

  • Collar & Leash
  • Puppy Crate
  • Dog Bed
  • Food and water bowls
  • Food & treats
  • Grooming supplies
  • Identification
  • Toys

That’s about it for the absolute essentials. To better help you with finding all of these products. I have completed a list on Amazon that has all of my best recommend products as a starter pack for you and your new friend.


Raising a golden retriever isn’t easy but with the right training tips and tools, you’ll have no problem at all. Start off with some good dog obedience training to get your pup in the groove of things first. Then move on to more advanced stuff as she gets older. I’ll tell you for free! this stuff saved my life and my marriage too.

Picture of Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

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