I've been reading and researching and trying to find out as much as I can before our little girl comes home in a couple weeks.
I thought it would be handy to have all the advice in one convenient location so I thought I'd ask you to share the MOST IMPORTANT piece of advice you have for new puppy owners. What is the one thing you wish you had known, you've learned along the way, or you find essential for all new owners to have?
Thanks in advance!!
Bitter apple spray. The first week I didn't have it and I was constantly saying NO and re-directing this tiny little guy. Bought the spray and it was so much better, I just sprayed the things he was most interested in chewing on and it stopped him without me saying a word.
I also used it on my hands and feet when he was being a landshark.
BROKEN CRAYONS STILL COLOR
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We rehomed a puppy a bit last minute, literally went to look and we brought him home. I wish we had puppy proofed the house! Spent the first few days frantically removing objects that could we swallowed, chewed, bitten etc! Cables and carpets where his fav objects. After we had him a few days we got a crate, this was a life saver! a safe little den for him to snuggle in and we knew he was safe and night etc.
above all enjoy your puppy
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Socialize him/her! After your vet says it's safe, get puppy out and give him/her plenty of safe, positive experiences with people, dogs, cats, etc.
I have a 6 year old rescue Golden who is very dog-reactive probably because his first family didn't socialize him at the critical times. This has seriously limited the types of activity we can do with him
Good luck with your new puppy and good for you to prepare so well!
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Teach "Off" from day 1! Its a lot more difficult to teach the pup when he/she's a bit bigger (which only takes a few months!) that jumping is bad, especially when he/she was rewarded for it beforehand.
"Nothing can bring more happiness than a Golden Retriever"
Rushmore's Oliver's Wild CGC (9/7/12) and Bernard (7/5/12)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OBandCompany
My Blog: http://goldenretrievertales.blogspot.com/
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Also, we've always taken a very long weekend when we get a pup or even a week off if possible and we would take them out every 2 hrs. or so and praise alot when they go and give a small treat. If you don't take out evey 2 hrs. for sure take them out right after they eat and after a nap! They may need to go out in the middle of the night, too, at 2 or 3 in the morning!
Tucker, Tonka, and Karen
SNOBEAR at the Bridge
Dec. 23, 1999-March 27, 2010
SMOOCH at the Bridge.
Feb. 14, 1999-Dec. 7, 2010
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Remember that the puppy doesn't speak English.
I know that sounds stupid, but when it clicked to me that Max had no idea what those sounds coming out of my mouth meant, things got a whole lot easier!
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Actually theres a list of things but if here's a few I've found of high importance.
Get a crate, one big enough for her to grow into with the movable divider panel and train her to use it. If you've never used a crate before there are tutorials on the net, yes there is a right and a wrong way to use one.
Toys, toys and more toys. Keep some out and rotate them every few days or so to keep her interested.
As suggested earlier Bitter Apple, they are voracious chewers and the toys along with the Bitter Apple, lots of attention and consistent corrections will minimize any destructive behavior.
Again, socialize, socialize, socialize, with anything and everything. This can be difficult as their immune systems are not fully up to snuff until the shot series is done at 4 months or so. It's doable with diligence and caution. More great dogs are given up due to improper socialization than for any other reason.
Obedience classes as soon as possible after her shot series. Bailey is my first Golden, they are incredibly intelligent and she is by far the smartest dog I've ever owned but she didn't learn by osmosis. She was in obedience at 4 1/2 months and passed her CGC at 8 months.
Time, a great deal of time. This goes along with the before mentioned items. It takes a huge amount of your time to make a great dog, even with Goldens as smart and loving as they are they need your time.
A book I found useful is the Golden Retriever by Eve Adamson.
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The first night you have your puppy home and in her crate, expect to hear sounds and whines you didn't know a puppy could make. The first couple nights are a little rough but then it gets better.
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