Golden Retrievers are a very popular breed of dogs, very cute and intelligent, originally developed in Scotland to be gun dogs, in order to retrieve game during hunting season and while on shooting events. Golden’s are also very friendly and appreciative of human companionship and leadership, making them a fairly easy breed to train. Golden retriever puppy training is probably one of the most fun and rewarding experiences owners have with their puppies and many choose to have this pleasure then selfs, with or without a professional trainer help.
Choosing Your Puppy
Before going into golden retriever puppy training, choosing your puppy is always a key part that will reflect on your training efforts and on your puppy’s life and wellbeing, become of this you should consider a few things:
- Health: Before bringing any dog or other pet into your house, you should consider any health problem house occupants may have, that could be aggravated by introducing such pet. Besides that, Golden Retrievers have a number of health problems common to many dog breeds, these are: cancer, hip dysplasia, heart problems, Von Willebrand’s disease, congenital eye defects, and skin allergies are common and often require veterinary care, they also gain weight easily, so your advised not to overfeed and exercise the dog regularly.
- Children: Golden Retrievers are well tempered and offer high tolerance to children, however you might want to consider choosing a more submissive puppy, specially if you have small children only a few months old. Another option is keeping a close eye on both whenever they are together, and educate them both so they will get along and respect each other.
- Free time: This is an important factor to consider not only when choosing your puppy, but right when choosing a dog of this breed for that matter, because Golden Retrievers require some free time for care and daily exercise.
- Living conditions: Golden’s are a reasonably energetic breed who require daily exercise, this is better accomplished if you happen to own a medium sized yard, live in the country side, or happen to have lots of free time to go out to the local park with your dog. Furthermore they are more happy and healthy if they have a fairly reasonable space where to spend the day and play. Case you happen not to have either, you should consider looking for a less active puppy, one who won’t be so energetic as most of his breed, however this does not excuse you from exercising the dog regularly. They usually do fine in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.
- Grooming: They have a smooth, medium haired double coat that is quite easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and pay particular attention to the dense undercoat. Dry shampoo regularly, but bathe only when necessary. Note that this breed sheds an fair amount of hair.
- Your personality: Are you and your family always looking for new adventures, if so, you will probably want a more dominant puppy. A more dominant puppy will be more eager and energetic to join the fun.
Golden Retriever Puppy Training
A Golden retriever puppy should start with basic training, if the puppy is 8 weeks old or more, while it is still adjusting to it’s new environment and companions.
Due to their natural appreciation of human companionship, full grown dogs and pups in special, learn best with plenty of affection. Praise and petting are the best incentive a owner can give to his Golden retriever puppy, food treats also work well enough, however they should be avoided as a common incentive, first it helps cutting down the pup begging for food, and second, this breed gains weight more easily than others so, treats only from time to time.
When it comes to golden retriever puppy training, puppies can learn many things at the same time, you will be amazed at how quickly they learn things.
Your pup will go through the jumping, chewing and biting stages at the same time, so you will have to start addressing this with simple training. First you must remind that these stages are natural and good for the muscular development and in keeping their teeth and gums healthy.
Start by teaching to sit right from the first day on your home, and don’t forget to work on the chewing and biting instincts, as their sharp teeth can quickly damage or injure someone or something, you can also go ahead and start teaching to fetch the ball. The words you choose for each command, it’s important they remain the same, and used not only by you, but by anyone who lives with you. This will make it easier for you pup to recognize and understand what you want and don’t want.
For example, if you don’t want him on the furniture, then you will have to do decide which word you will use to order him out of the furniture. Whatever word you decide, stick with it and never use it to order something else, as this will cause confusion. In this case most people often use the word “off” to command the pup off the furniture, others use “down”, but I don’t think it is such a good idea to use this last word. Personally I advise to use the “off” word to command your pup of the furniture or couch, and the “down” word to lay down. I believe these words are more straight forward and shouldn’t cause confusion to you or him.
Consistent training, praise, petting and fun are very important in your pup training, if you aren’t consistent he won’t be either. Giving him lots of petting and praise will make the training a lot easier and will motivate him to keep learning, and both will enjoy the fun together, soon you will see their famous smile.
Many owners don’t spend the time necessary training their new puppy, this will only cause problems that will be compound year after year. The dog in most cases ends up ill-mannered and problematic. At this point the owners blame the dog, the breed, the breeders or the dog parents, but rarely themselves. Honestly most adult dogs who misbehave and cause all sort of problems, could have been prevent from doing so if they had the proper training when they were puppies, and that was the only time owners would have to trouble themselves with training, afterwards the pup would remember the training for years to come, and all sort of problems could have been avoided.
Start golden retriever puppy training with basic things like: sit, off, down and fetching if your pups is learning quickly, after your pup has mastered that you can move to more advanced commands and training. Training takes time and patience, but it is very rewarding and fun for everyone. You, your Golden retriever, and everyone else will be rewarded with a lifetime of fun and funny moments.