First Time Home
When every puppy makes their first trip home it is normal for them to show signs of separation anxiety. This could include: whining, vomiting, diarrhea, and not eating for the first few days. The puppy should settle in within the first few days at home, some quicker than others. Being around the puppy a lot the first few days is very important to help the puppy get more comfortable with you and its new environment.
It is very important to consider other animals you may already have in your home before getting a new puppy. When bringing a puppy home for the first time it can be very afraid and unsure of a lot, so you want to make sure you are there with them every step of getting acquainted with your home. If you already have dogs or cats make sure to introduce the puppy to them in a neutral environment. A neutral environment would be an environment that the dog or cat already in the home does not entirely claim as theirs. No toys are to be around at first then in time you can begin to introduce them. You should allow them to sniff each other and get a feel for each other. Paying close attention to body language is very important during a first introduction.
Potty/Crate Training Tips
When welcoming your new puppy into your home you will need to consider where the puppies places will be in the home. We prefer to have our dogs crate trained when they are potty training. Find a nice quite place for the crate to be. You want this to be kind of a “den” for your puppy with their toys and things to chew on are. Having a crate gives the dog a safe place to be and they can feel more secure at times.
To get your puppy used to the crate simply lure the puppy in with a treat and allow them to walk in by themselves. Do not push or shove your puppy in the crate. If they need a little help with going in you may gently pick them up and place them inside the door of the crate then give them a treat. You in no way want to relate the crate to punishment or anything negative because then the puppy will not want to go even around the crate. Always have plenty for a puppy to chew on inside the crate to keep them occupied and help as they are teething.
Potty training can come easy at times but sometimes can be hard. The most important thing to take them out on a regular basis. I recommend starting out when they are 8 weeks old at least every hour during the day when they are awake. You should also take them out 15 minutes after any playtime, meals, or drinking water. If an accident happens (and they will happen) you should clean it up with some sort of pet odor eliminator. You will notice that your puppy will have a normal schedule on when they typically have to go. Click below to access a printable potty chart to help with potty training!
Mouthing (Biting) Tips
This is a common behavior for Golden Retrievers since they are a sporting. Especially as puppies, Golden Retrievers are known to be very mouthy dogs. This means they chew and bite everything including their owners. Mouthing is a way for a puppy to explore its world, but sometimes we don’t want them testing everything. With mouthing the owner must set boundaries on what they would and would not like their puppy/dog to chew on.
Sometimes you have to get creative with how you set boundaries about chewing certain things, but here are a few things I have found to work on my dogs. Use bitter apple spray on any object that in inappropriate to be chewed on. This spray is clear, scent free, and alcohol free. It is a taste deterrent that many dogs don’t like. People can also taste this nasty flavor so be careful when you spray and wash your hands. It can be sprayed on anything: carpet, shoes, windows, blinds, clothing, and more. If the dog ends up not minding the bitter apple spray you can also try their other flavor of bitter cherry.
Since I would not recommend the taste deterrent on skin, there are other ways you can try to stop your puppy from biting on your arms, hands, and other parts of you. You can try keeping a toy around and placing that in the puppy/dogs mouth when it goes to grab your arm or hand. This shows the dog the appropriate thing to chew on. I have heard (but it has not worked for me) that if you squeal like a puppy when bit they will stop. My dogs thought I was playing more when I squealed and came back harder.
I also use carrots that are refrigerated or frozen to help puppies when they are teething. All my dogs love carrots! You could also place a carrot in the puppies mouth when they try to chew on you or something inappropriate. They do tend to leave little shreds of carrot when eating so be prepared to possibly have to clean up a little mess. There are lots of fruits and vegetables that are good for dogs, but please do your research before giving your puppy/dog anything new to make sure it can’t hurt them in any way.
If you are having any more issues with mouthing and these solutions aren’t working please feel free to contact me!