New Puppy Instructions

We have had many new puppies over the years and we have some methods that have worked well for us. There are lots of ways to train, to keep puppies contented and to make house breaking easier, these are our favorites.

The first nights home

The little puppy you have just brought home has been with the litter ever since his first day of life. These first nights home are very very hard and stressful on this little pup. Since dogs are pack animals, they have an innate ability and desire to blend with their new family. In no time at all he will fit right in. We have always found that putting the crate next to our bed at night allowed the little one to hear us breath and smell his new pack near by. Some people put a cuddle toy near him as well, we will send you a fabric toy that is washable which has the scent of the litter and Mom to help keep a familiar smell near by, just to help the transition.

So, right before bedtime, we let the pup out. We go to bed, place the pup in a crate by the bed and include the sent article from the litter. Since we know that he has already gone potty, we will shush him if he cries and cover the crate with a sheet if needed. Soon he is fast asleep. If he cries hours later, we take him out to potty, and repeat. Often, if we have played a lot with the pup before bed, he will sleep very well, most often just once wanting to go out during the night. The cover over the crate helps to remove any stimuli from the surroundings, this works during the day too, in cases you wish to crate him and he is fussing to get out.

You will need to decide about having or not having a soft object on the floor of the crate. The object lining his crate, something warm and thick and soft will absorb urine and he will tinkle in the cage and not be bothered by it. If he has to choose between feeling that his sleeping quarters are wet or crying to go out, it will make him want to cry to go out. This is because even at this young age, he hates the thought of soiling his sleeping area. Advantage: he will not wake you up at night on the soft surface. Disadvantage of the soft floor: It will take him longer to housebreak.

House training

When you first come into the house with your new puppy, walk over to the door with your puppy in your arms and say"Gotta go out??" in a happy voice. The continue to use that same door and repeat your sentence to prompt the puppy to go to that door. Take him out to get busy, say the words "good busy" or what every term you want. Once his business has been accomplished, bring him back in rather than letting him play at that time. If you play outside on this trip, he will start going to the door for play. This is a great way to make sure that when he goes to the door, you will see the behavior and keep him from soiling in the house. If you don't, he will have potentially a habit of making you let him out every time he wants to chase leaves. 

So while your puppy is very little he will need to be carried to the door that leads to his yard outside. He will need to go out often, every few hours at first while awake. Once he can run and follow you to the door, he will re enforce his going to the correct door, which one is the out door. Whenever you witness him going potty in the correct place, say “Get Busy” or what ever term you like, and then lavish him with praise. This will teach him to go on command. You will love this when you are traveling together or you need him to take a potty break in a certain place or in a time crunch.

Hold water after mid evening to help his bladder be more empty.

One reminder of puppy bladder habits Pups always have to go to the bathroom:

1) When they wake up.

2)After they eat.

3)After they play

Otherwise just every two hours when they are little and longer as they grow up.

Preventing UTI

It is not rare for a puppy, especially a little girl pup to get a UTI, or urinary tract infection. Females get UTI's more commonly due to the shorter urethra and the immaturity of her anatomy. The puppy's immune system is developing. The likelihood resolves after they have their first season and the urinary tract has fully matured.
These recommendations might help. Here are some practices to prevent a UTI or to treat one.

~A cranberry juice extract pill, (you can buy them at any pharmacy) one caplet in the food daily. This helps to prevent a UTI and if one does occur, it helps the antibiotic work.

~Three weeks of Clovamox is what your vet will often recommend to treat it well. Your vet would discuss this with you, only if a puppy gets a UTI.

~Trim the hairs at the vulva, not short, because they do act to help the urine drip away from the vulva. But not allowing them to grow so long that they can wick bacteria up from the ground to contaminate her vulva.

~Keep her vulva clean. It is common for prepubescent puppy bitches to have a bit of mucous there which can hold bacteria and allow a overgrowth of bacteria.

Please let us know if you have such a problem.

Crate Training

In your home, it will be a good idea to leave open the crate door, and to praise and treat the puppy when he goes in, say “kennel” (or your favorite term) and praise. Or to convince him to go in, throw in the treat and say “kennel, GOOOOOD boy/girl!!" Before you can believe it, he will go into the crate when you tell him. It is so nice to have a well trained dog! Never let him out while he is fussing, wait just a moment in-between sounds. Otherwise you will teach him that you can be trained to let him out by crying!

Puppy Biting

Most puppies do a lot of biting, they chew on one another in the litter and if they are biting down enough to cause discomfort, the puppy being chewed on says “OUUUU” and the chewer releases immediately. This teaches bite inhibition and works well when we give the same loud response. If it keeps up, stop playing and give a chew toy. If he comes back for more chewing, then try throwing the toy a few feet to get him into a fetching game. If he is in an especially bitie mood, then throw a nice treat into the crate and say "Kennel" to end the play session for now. Just don't let the puppy biting get to you. It is natural as he does everything with his mouth at this point and will be teething until age six months.


Use “Bitter Apple” spray on any surfaces that tempts your pup. It is very distasteful and works well to repel chewing. It will not be harmful to your puppy in any way. A pup needs to be observed when not crated unless he is in a place were he cannot hurt anything or himself.


As you know, these pups have been raised on Premium quality Dog food, moistened with a little warm water. Puppies eat a lot more that adult dogs and so need to be fed three times per day until about five months of age to make sure they do not take too great a volume at one time. At about 5 months, you can change to twice per day. Puppies need increasing amounts of food as they grow. They should be slim but ribs should not be showing thru the coat, but should be palpable with your finger tips. More on that below.

Since the first meal they have eaten, we have whistled every time we set down their food. Now, anytime we whistle, they come running!!! This is very handy indeed. We strongly recommend you continue this. If you are unable to whistle, you can use a whistle, or any two tone high pitched singing sound will work well. Your puppy will come tearing toward you any time, any place.

If you are changing to another premium quality dog food, remember, NO puppy food, unless it is “large breed puppy food” This will prevent bone rapid growth which is KNOWN to cause hip dysplasia. Also, no corn! Goldens are famous for hot spots and ear infections and corn can often be a trigger. We know from experience. Corn, wheat and other cheap fillers can cause allergies in Goldens, as well as over immunizing.

If you would like to chat with us about any other food you would like to try, we can give you more information about it once we read the label. Slowly add the new food to the former food, 1/4 C more per feeding of the new food. If the puppy gets loose stool, change to lean meat (boiled and washed hamburger or chicken and white rice, slowly add back in the dog food after the stools firm up. It may take 9 days or so to slowly convert to a new food. Sweet potato backed in the oven or the microwave is an amazing food to add if the dog's stool becomes too soft. And often with increase in volumn of food, the stool can become soft.


Don't ever let your puppy or adult dog become overweight. It is the leading cause of multiple health problems and has been proven to shorten the dogs life. An obese dog lives, on average, TWO years less than a lean dog. You should always be able to feel some ribs as you rub the dogs side with the tips of your fingers. However, you should not be able to feel the ribs with the palm of your hand. Also, the waist line should slightly indent, giving your dog an “hour glass” figure. The adult weight of you girl will likely be 55-65 pounds, and the boys 65-75 pounds. This is the standard weight of the Golden Retriever.


If you call your puppy to you with any word, always have a treat when he arrives, and if you do this for three months straight, he will never ignore you when you call him. Hopefully you plan to bring him to at least one or two levels of obedience. You will never regret any time you put into training this puppy! He will very likely excel in obedience training. These pups have a pedigree of not only beautiful show dogs but also have some dogs who have been titled `for obedience and field work. If you ever thought about training for obedience titles, this little pup would likely excel in this work, as well as field training or agility, tracking or therapy work. If you become interested in showing in the conformation ring, please talk with us about this prior to having the pup altered.


Golden Retrievers have many outstanding qualities, but one that really can take some skill and consistency is caring for their gorgeous golden coat. We have some grooming tips that will go a long way for your coat care and grooming. Start as a puppy!! Up high on a picnic table or the washing machine on a non slip rug will pay off if you plan on using a groomer. Otherwise the big adult dog could be panicked being up so high and will have a hard time cooperating with the groomer. We groom Goldens and we both have to hold dogs when afraid. It will be much better for your dog's life.

1) Comb often! You can us an undercoat rake, or a comb, but mist the coat first with water or a coat conditioner, deluded with water, this will keep the coat from breaking, especially during the dry winter months. Keep the undercoat raked out, especially during shedding and your pup's skin will stay in top condition, and will be comfortable. The dead hair will be pulled out and will not need to be vacuumed from the floors! A quick combing prior to a swim will keep that coat from matting too.

2)Keep the nails trimmed, if they grow too long he will develop malformation of the foot bones! No kidding, this is an area that so many people let go and it is serious! These pups are used to having the nails Dremeled. But clippers work well too. If you are afraid, call and we will help you work thru this. This will save your wood floors too.

3) Brush the teeth as often as you can, daily is the best. Tooth decay leads to early death in dogs, not to mention much pain that they have no way to communicate to you, and so they suffer silently. It keeps the breath fresh too. You will be glad if you start as a puppy.

4) Ears need to be cleaned weekly. Your vet will sell you an nice ear cleaner, or see our recipe on our "A few of our favorite things" page on the web site. Use a cotton ball or pad and check them weekly or more often during the damp season and during swimming season.

For two great links on grooming the Golden go to
And then to the drop down links to the grooming topics.

Please see our favorite grooming products on A few of Our Favorite Things page


Please read info on when to alter the pup


Please call us with any questions you have, any concerns, any problems and any stories you want to share. We will always be here for you and the puppy and feel that he/she is a responsibility that we have for his lifetime. If you ever need anything , please let us know.


Lee and Elizabeth Painting