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Hi everyone! :wave:

I am a new member here. I've been reading TONS of the threads and I must say that they have been very helpful! Now, I decided to ask my own questions :help!:! Prepare for an essay!

Let me give you a little background on why I'm here. My name is Kayla, I'm a young teen living in Cali, and I've fallen in love with goldens (sound the alarms!!)! The great temperament, the beautiful smile, everything. However, I know that getting a golden to be like that is a lot of work and dedication. I am going to get a golden (most likely not until later in the year, I want to devote as much time as possible), so I want to know everything! It hurts my heart to see kids my age who want a dog/golden soooo bad, but when they get it they don't know how to train it, and it causes terror and the poor thing ends up being given up. My worst nightmare, honestly, is getting a golden and not treating it right. In my opinion, a "bad" golden is not the result of bad behavior/the dog being a bad furbaby, but of the owner's faults! I have never owned a dog before, and I want to make sure no matter if it's my first or 100th, I give it the best life. I'm wondering about the pros and cons of a golden. I know that they shed A LOT, but that's not a problem with me. Please be honest and share your "cons"! I've seen a lot of replies on other threads where they say "There are no cons!". And honestly, while that's probably true, I would still like some honest advice. Second, I would love some tips! I would like to know how you prevent bloat (I know its very prevalent, and goldens love to eat so when I get mine I'm going to get a slow feeder), advice on getting through the landshark phase (I met a Weimaraner puppy a couple of months ago, and while I know they are WAYY different then goldens, the crazy, painful biting and nipping made me realize what I was really getting into. The pup wasn't trained very well though!), etc! I know that every dog is different, and from reading many posts on this forum that has been made very clear, but I would love to know the general "landshark" beginning and ending. I've seen some furbaby-parents say that they were able to stop their dog's nipping and troublemaking in two months (very desirable for me, if this is the case with you PLEASE tell me what you did lol) while I've seen others who say that theirs still is in the phase and causing trouble at 3 years old! Lastly (I told you this would be long!), I would LOVE to know training tips. I am most definitely going to take mine to obedience, but I would still love to know some tips, and maybe step-by-steps, on how to train goldens! I know this is a lot, but I also know it will be worth it knowing all this info when I get my furbaby. I want to know everything I can, and I'm VERY thankful for your replies!

Thank you soooo much! My future Golden Retriever doggo will thank you. <3
 

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(P.S.: Yes, I have already done tons of research on goldens themselves along with training! However, I think that advice from people I know ACTUALLY own goldens is much more reliable. Thanks!)
 

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Hello! Golden retrievers are all around wonderful, but there are a few cons. Goldens, like other purebreds, are prone to a number of fairly serious health problems. Choosing a puppy with tested, healthy parents is a great step up, but mixed breeds do tend to be more robust. Mixed breeds and some smaller dogs do tend to live longer, in general. I mention these things not to scare you, but to be realistic.

It is also important to understand a golden is an energetic, large dog. They will eat more, need more exercise, and take up more space in your car than other dogs. Finally, they tend to be sensitive, people loving spirits. I think this is a great plus, but it does mean they need the right human who will nurture that. Goldens are so not cats - lol.

We are just coming out of the puppy “landshark phase” with our current golden, and she is four months. (I haven’t gotten any fresh wounds on my hands and arms in days!) You know the commericals that say “Individuals results may vary”? That is so true of golden puppies. She was quite nippy at first, and the demands of housebreaking are challenging, but the sweet girl whose personality is blooming every day is worth all of it - even the days I plopped down and cried. Puppy school is a great idea. Goldens are eager to please and, for that reason, easy to train.
 

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Hello! Golden retrievers are all around wonderful, but there are a few cons. Goldens, like other purebreds, are prone to a number of fairly serious health problems. Choosing a puppy with tested, healthy parents is a great step up, but mixed breeds do tend to be more robust. Mixed breeds and some smaller dogs do tend to live longer, in general. I mention these things not to scare you, but to be realistic.

It is also important to understand a golden is an energetic, large dog. They will eat more, need more exercise, and take up more space in your car than other dogs. Finally, they tend to be sensitive, people loving spirits. I think this is a great plus, but it does mean they need the right human who will nurture that. Goldens are so not cats - lol.

We are just coming out of the puppy “landshark phase” with our current golden, and she is four months. (I haven’t gotten any fresh wounds on my hands and arms in days!) You know the commericals that say “Individuals results may vary”? That is so true of golden puppies. She was quite nippy at first, and the demands of housebreaking are challenging, but the sweet girl whose personality is blooming every day is worth all of it - even the days I plopped down and cried. Puppy school is a great idea. Goldens are eager to please and, for that reason, easy to train.
Thank you sooo much! This really helps. And trust me, I'm not the harsh type when it comes to teaching! I'm the complete opposite of my uncle, who's the type to go with more negative and harsh training and the type to shove his dog's face in his poo if he poops on the carpet :(... I'm assuming the golden puppy below what you replied is yours, she's beautiful! What a sweet pup. Again, thanks a lot!
 

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Bella is 7 months, I am near 70years old. Some days I think this dog will be the death of me, and cannot keep up with her energy. She loves everyone but lunges at them as if she would like to eat them. People all love goldens and say, oh it’s ok which doesn’t help when I ask them please to let me get her under control before they pet her. Then they have 60pounds of love and the “golden handshake” where she ever so gently puts her open, slobbery mouth on your arm... not something people who don’t know goldens usually appreciate!

I cannot add up what I have spent on food, toys, crates, collars and classes because I am sure the amount would shock me.

She is my light in the morning and my pillow at night, and has brought more joy than I ever could have imagined. I read with horror the stories of folks who have lost their goldens at 6, or 7, or 8 since I plan to have this sweetie around for the next 10 or 15 years but the health issues of goldens are very real. I tried by getting the best parentage I could afford, with all the health clearances in place, and that too might be a consideration in your decision.

You are smart to join the forum and read all you can, I did the same thing and knowledge is always good. My search for the perfect golden took two years ... just a word of warning if you intend to have your sweet puppy anytime soon.
 

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One other thought. You are a young teen. What will happen if you are at school all day? Or if you need to get a part time job to pay for your doggy upkeep, Vet bills and such? What will happen if you decide to go to college in another city?

I say this because I have a cat that my son absolutely had to have until he was unable to find an apartment that would take cats in his price range. Lots of my friends have “inherited “ dogs and cats when their kids went off to college. My favorite story is a dear friend who got stuck with her son’s snake and has to buy ,.. ughhhh ... live mice to feed it.

Much as you would love a dog right now, keep in mind that your dog will bond to you and might influence any life choices you make for the next 10 or 15 years

(And I know a weimerana and her shark stage was nothing compared to my Bella’s shark little teeth! I nearly had a party the day her last baby tooth fell out! Goldens are very mouthy!)
 

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Kate
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I'm a young teen living in Cali, and I've fallen in love with goldens (sound the alarms!!)! The great temperament, the beautiful smile, everything. However, I know that getting a golden to be like that is a lot of work and dedication. I am going to get a golden (most likely not until later in the year, I want to devote as much time as possible), so I want to know everything! It hurts my heart to see kids my age who want a dog/golden soooo bad, but when they get it they don't know how to train it, and it causes terror and the poor thing ends up being given up.
I think there's 2 different things that come to mind as far as failed homes...

People want very sweet, adorable, lovable, fluffy, beautiful, etc puppies. And golden retriever puppies are all of that, no matter where they come from. So people spend a good chunk of time anticipating the puppies. When they visit the breeders, it's visiting the puppies. When looking online at pictures and videos, it's puppies.

That's nice, except golden retrievers are a fast growing breed. They are in that cute/fluffy/soft stage of their life for only 2-4 weeks before they go through their first big growth and in some cases begin going through both the uglies AND the shark phase as well.

The other thing is the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What this means is that it's very easy at the onset to plan for everything and really cover all your bases. But no matter what - in general, the first puppy you raise is going to be a learning project. You learn from each dog you own. And that first dog is the one that teaches you the most.

Some people flunk because all the stuff they learn from that first dog is all negative - including the fact that they don't really like dogs or can't afford them.

This is a reason to go with a good breeder and go in with open eyes and open hearts. Be ready to return the pup to the breeder if you find that you really hate having a dog. And I honestly think some people don't adequately consider the impact a dog will have on their life. Especially a very doggy dog.

And golden retrievers might be gorgeous dogs, but they are not frou frou dogs. They are strong, smart, and can even be pretty willful. And even when they get up in age, they might still have that streak which basically would be bad in any home besides the one that loves them to the moon and back.

The types of things which new homes may struggle with the most:

1. Poop. Get used to picking up poop or stepping in poop and even poop happening in the house.

- funny thing to note here, our first golden - we were all constantly stepping in poop even when we were looking out for it. And it was sticky, horribly smelly, huge mounds, and kinds of stuff that did not easily wash off shoes.

2. Dog smell. You likely notice this already, but before you bring a dog home you can probably tell when you are visiting somebody who owns a dog. That stink in the house is something that can get in your mouth and can be pretty bad. All the worse if the dog spends extra time outside. Golden retrievers have the types of coat which picks up that "outdoor smell" in addition to their own natural musk smell. That musk smell, fwiw, isn't always really bad - but probably depends on your dog, his diet, where he sleeps, etc. You get used to the smell and don't smell it anymore after a few years, but people visiting your home can smell it.

3. Dog hair. It is everywhere. Even if you vacuum nonstop and groom your dog neurotically. You'll find that when you brush your hair in the morning, you have more dog hair on the brush than your own loose hair, you can't wear dark colors and especially the deadly combination of dark colors and certain types of material.

4. Mouthing isn't all just teething or correctable circumstances. Imagine owning a puppy who expresses joy/happiness/excitement with mouthing? So you clap your hands and praise a pup - and have him react by mouthing on your arms and legs? That's something that's difficult to correct because the dog isn't doing it because he's "bad". It's just he interacts with his world using his mouth. And you don't want to discourage or dampen that puppy joy. And it takes him a while to learn that he can get all excited and happy without using his mouth.

- I'm referring to my experience with my Jacks who was actually the most ideal retriever and still is as far as having that really strong desire to have everything in his mouth and want to retrieve as a reward (vs demanding rewards for retrieving). I had bruises on my arms and legs from his mouthing until he was about 5 years old. That was the point I brought my youngest home. Jacks still mouths while playing - but he mouths the other dog.

5. Bloat - is not as common in golden retrievers as it in in other breeds (deep chested and very high tucked up waist). But there are common sense things. Feed small meals (1-2 cup meals vs 3-4 cup meals) and multiple meals. No exercise after mealtime. Don't feed your dog if he's huffing or blowing from heavy exercise.

Some people feed the dogs using bowls with objects in them which force the dogs to really work in order to eat a full meal. Some people also don't ever feed normal meals, but feed bits of kibble throughout the day as rewards while training. <= Quite honestly, I'd rather my dog eat his food and be done so I can pick up the bowls and put them away and go off and do something else. I have one dog who will blow off his food to chase after me if I leave the room and go somewhere else in the house. He leaves his food and the other dog eats the second bowl of food.

6. Furbaby - is a misleading term. Basically, dogs are our babies... but we all must remember they are dogs - which are domesticated animals we own and take special care of. Responsibility of ownership includes providing a good home, quality care, feeding, and seeing to the medical and physical needs of the dog. This includes making practical though painful decisions when the time comes. Among else, it isn't always worth extending a dog's life if he's in pain and his quality of life is very poor. Privileges and perks of ownership means getting to do stuff with your dogs which they excel at.

Dog ownership is not just caring for a dog the same way you would care for a human child and regarding the dog the same way. It's not the devotion and love which is an issue. It's the part where some people feel they cannot bring themselves to make hard decisions when they have to.

7. Obedience training is time consuming, must be constant and consistent, and both takes a lot of money + takes years.

If you are a young teenager right now - it means that your parents likely will be pitching in and paying for classes for you for the time being. Many obedience sessions for puppies will cost between $100 and $200 just for 6 weeks of training.

What typically happens is you get a few weeks off before beginning the next session after that.

In this way, by the time your pup is a year old, he will have gone through about 3 training sessions. And that's not enough to bring up a very well trained and well socialized dog. I'd suggest doing another 3-4 sessions before retiring or steering off into another sport. This not only well establishes your dog in obedience foundation and even gets you prepared for competing with your dog and putting titles on him (if you want to do that). It gets your dog through all of the major and minor fear and developmental stages of his life.

By the time your dog is about 3 years old, he's well established and set in his ways as far as being the dog you've created through training and socialization. It's rewarding from the perspective that by that time, you should have a bomb proofed and excelling dog no matter where you go from there.

There's nothing better than having a well trained and socially confident and well behaved golden retriever. A lot of people assume many of the behavioral traits and hallmarks of the breed are things the dogs are born with, but in reality they are instilled in the dog by the owner.

Bottom line is don't let anyone pressure you into doing "Family classes" or telling you that you are too young to be responsible for your dog. If you are older than 10 years old, you should be able to do everything with the dog with your parents financing. I've watched kids put a lot of time training for sports and it's all energy and determination and ambition which their parents lack.

Don't be afraid to do dog sport related classes and get involved with doing everything you can with your dog. It's expensive - but to see the lightbulb go on and have your dog do something you shaped from scratch (using the tools you already trained) - is pretty exciting with or without titles to boot.

A good example is I was sitting in our living room doing work on my computer while eating lunch. My brother was sitting across the room watching a ball game.

Using a very fundamental foundation exercise taught to my dog back when he was 9 weeks old (go touch), I shaped that into something new-ish in about 5 minutes. This was sending my dog across the room to go stand up on his hind legs in front of the TV to block it to tease my brother. :) I was also working on getting him to go across the room and turn the tv off on command (I'm still working on that because the buttons are small and difficult for him to find with his nose).

My point is that continued training beyond walking your dog in a circle and sitting and downing on command - both is about showing your work by competing in dog sports with him. It's also building foundation work that goes into developing all different kinds of tricks and behaviors which are just fun to teach or serve a real purpose.

Directed retrieves, scent article training, tracking, teaching stays, learning how to shape behaviors = these are all things which go into training your dog to actually do things around the house or assist in different ways.

I have a weak knee, for example and have both my dogs trained so either of them know to come on command and help me get up off the ground. This is a shaped behavior which I begin teaching very early. The dogs think they are getting attention and affection, and don't realize they are "working". :)

Likewise, if they take toys or shoes outside. They can be sent out to find those things no matter where they left them outside and bring them back.

In my dogs case, they are also trained to find me and find each other. This is because I take them hiking off leash in tall grassy areas. I want them to know to keep tabs on me and back track to find me if they don't see me. I also want to be able to use one dog to find the other if we get separated.

There's a lot of things to train dogs - and continued obedience training is the key to unlocking that door.
 

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One other thought. You are a young teen. What will happen if you are at school all day? Or if you need to get a part time job to pay for your doggy upkeep, Vet bills and such? What will happen if you decide to go to college in another city?

I say this because I have a cat that my son absolutely had to have until he was unable to find an apartment that would take cats in his price range. Lots of my friends have “inherited “ dogs and cats when their kids went off to college. My favorite story is a dear friend who got stuck with her son’s snake and has to buy ,.. ughhhh ... live mice to feed it.

Much as you would love a dog right now, keep in mind that your dog will bond to you and might influence any life choices you make for the next 10 or 15 years

(And I know a weimerana and her shark stage was nothing compared to my Bella’s shark little teeth! I nearly had a party the day her last baby tooth fell out! Goldens are very mouthy!)
Haha, I knew I would get asked about the age thing! I am actually homeschooled. I do all of my work on a computer! I am home 24/7, unless I come with my mom to pick up food. Admitted, I am quite smart, so I'm able to finish 5 subjects in a couple of hours. TBH, they don't give me a lot of homework. Also, since my summer break is 2 months or so, I would most likely get my dog after school ends (not saying I'm going to get it this year). That way, I have 2 whole months with just me and the dog to socialize, go to obedience classes, training, etc, and pretty much a lot of extra time too after it ends. And college is definitely something I've considered. Honestly, my parents do not mind if I'm the type that joins college a bit late. Besides, the dog will be my top priority and I would give it the best life before going to college. The worst thing to do would be to abandon it for college! Thankfully, my parents are well off to the extent where they can afford a dog. I didn't want it to be the type of situation where I really want a dog and the parents aren't on board too. Both of them are okay with paying for expenses, however I never shy away from paying for something as well so while a part-time job isn't necessary, I could definitely do it in the future! By the time I would ideally start working a job/part-time job is about 5/4 years from now. I'm not saying "The dog will be 4/5 so it'll be fine for me to leave it!" though! Trust me, I have considered everything I know should be considered when it comes to the environment the dog will be in/college/moving etc. If I truly knew that the poor thing would be abandoned/given off to my parents in the future, then I would most definitely not get a dog. I have wanted a dog ever since I was little, and I have waited many years until I was sure I'm ready! If anything comes up then you can trust me to wait longer. Thank you very much for your wise words. Best wishes to your sweet golden, thanks for the advice! <3
 

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The other thing is the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What this means is that it's very easy at the onset to plan for everything and really cover all your bases. But no matter what - in general, the first puppy you raise is going to be a learning project. You learn from each dog you own. And that first dog is the one that teaches you the most.

Some people flunk because all the stuff they learn from that first dog is all negative - including the fact that they don't really like dogs or can't afford them.

This is a reason to go with a good breeder and go in with open eyes and open hearts. Be ready to return the pup to the breeder if you find that you really hate having a dog. And I honestly think some people don't adequately consider the impact a dog will have on their life. Especially a very doggy dog.

And golden retrievers might be gorgeous dogs, but they are not frou frou dogs. They are strong, smart, and can even be pretty willful. And even when they get up in age, they might still have that streak which basically would be bad in any home besides the one that loves them to the moon and back.

There's nothing better than having a well trained and socially confident and well behaved golden retriever. A lot of people assume many of the behavioral traits and hallmarks of the breed are things the dogs are born with, but in reality they are instilled in the dog by the owner.

Bottom line is don't let anyone pressure you into doing "Family classes" or telling you that you are too young to be responsible for your dog. If you are older than 10 years old, you should be able to do everything with the dog with your parents financing. I've watched kids put a lot of time training for sports and it's all energy and determination and ambition which their parents lack.

Don't be afraid to do dog sport related classes and get involved with doing everything you can with your dog. It's expensive - but to see the lightbulb go on and have your dog do something you shaped from scratch (using the tools you already trained) - is pretty exciting with or without titles to boot.
Thank you so so much for all this info. I've seen you around the forum a lot, so I'm very happy to have advice from a known "professional"! Sorry, enough with being star-struck. I'll admit that sometimes I get into La-La-Land and I think that as long as I have all the information I need/have read every golden article under the sun, it'll be fine. And thank you for talking about the age thing! That is something I have been worried about. I'll make sure to keep this all in mind. If you don't mind, I was wondering: I've noticed some people say that their puppies were very easy to train, get out of the landshark phase, and are very good and well behaved dogs. Do you actually believe that there are dogs like that? While I know every dog/golden is different, I feel like that's kind of an unrealistic expectation.

I didn't really know goldens could be strong-willed (First time for everything! Every dog can be strong-willed when I think about it.) so that was something good to know. Again, thank you so much!
 

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All good points... but not sure anyone spoke about the cost. I'm guessing in your area the cost of a well bred golden will be close to $3000. Are your parents ready for this? Then there will be the vet visits, crate, xpen, leashes, toys, training classes (this is a must) and of course getting you to those classes, cost of food, spaying/neutering at 2yrs.. this could be in the hundreds, SOOOO much time housebreaking a puppy that usually takes about 4 months, and that's only if you stick with it, all day.. every day. Goldens are not the easiest puppies and will need your undivided attention and a level of patience that will surprise you.
Of course it may seem like a lifetime away but at some point soon in your life there will be movies with friends, hanging at the mall, school dances and of course dating.
I am one of those mom's that inherited a few "gotta have" / "I can do this mom" dogs. Just make sure your family is on board as getting a golden, rescue or puppy is a serious investment in both time and MONEY.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
 

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Kate
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If you don't mind, I was wondering: I've noticed some people say that their puppies were very easy to train, get out of the landshark phase, and are very good and well behaved dogs. Do you actually believe that there are dogs like that? While I know every dog/golden is different, I feel like that's kind of an unrealistic expectation.
It depends on your expectations and the type of pup you get.

Not all goldens are very mouthy or oral.

Some dogs are very easy - but some of that has to do with either lowered expectations OR experience of the owner. As I said, each pup you bring home and raise teaches you something to do better the next time.

If you are homeschooled, you do have an advantage over other young teenagers in that you will have more "together" time with your pup. Breaks between work gives you the opportunity to go outside with that pup and do more hands on stuff with him.

Taking obedience classes + getting into 4H and/or obedience/agility competition as well is an extra-curricular thing to get involved with outside the home.

I'd suggest checking Junior Showmanship as well. It will get you out with other kids your age.
 

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All good points... but not sure anyone spoke about the cost. I'm guessing in your area the cost of a well bred golden will be close to $3000. Are your parents ready for this? Then there will be the vet visits, crate, xpen, leashes, toys, training classes (this is a must) and of course getting you to those classes, cost of food, spaying/neutering at 2yrs.. this could be in the hundreds, SOOOO much time housebreaking a puppy that usually takes about 4 months, and that's only if you stick with it, all day.. every day. Goldens are not the easiest puppies and will need your undivided attention and a level of patience that will surprise you.
Of course it may seem like a lifetime away but at some point soon in your life there will be movies with friends, hanging at the mall, school dances and of course dating.
I am one of those mom's that inherited a few "gotta have" / "I can do this mom" dogs. Just make sure your family is on board as getting a golden, rescue or puppy is a serious investment in both time and MONEY.
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
Thank you for the advice! I am aware of the cost. My parents are financially ready, and I have calculated the total cost in a year many times to make sure me, and my parents, know how much it costs per year and the commitment! I will make sure to be consistent with housebreaking as well as other training. Your advice and wise words are very appreciated. And I know that "point" may come up! Thankfully, I have no friends (jokes aside, not very fun to be honest) so all my attention would be towards the dog. I don't go to dances or anything like that either :T... Again, thank you for the wise words and advice, I will take it all into consideration!
 

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It depends on your expectations and the type of pup you get.

Not all goldens are very mouthy or oral.

Some dogs are very easy - but some of that has to do with either lowered expectations OR experience of the owner. As I said, each pup you bring home and raise teaches you something to do better the next time.

If you are homeschooled, you do have an advantage over other young teenagers in that you will have more "together" time with your pup. Breaks between work gives you the opportunity to go outside with that pup and do more hands on stuff with him.

Taking obedience classes + getting into 4H and/or obedience/agility competition as well is an extra-curricular thing to get involved with outside the home.

I'd suggest checking Junior Showmanship as well. It will get you out with other kids your age.
Thank you! I searched up Junior Showmanship and it looks like so much fun! Ever since I considered getting a dog, I've always been interested in agility. So I will make sure to check that out as well. Thanks for answering my questions and the good advice (as always)! <3
 

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Hi! I'm a teenager, too. Give me a second to type out my long list of things to say lol

ETA: there are a lot of things I want to say (be warned that there are varying levels of relevancy. sometimes i get carried away).
 

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I brought home my puppy as an 8 week old three years ago when I was almost 15 and just about to start my sophomore year at a new high school. I am now almost 18 and today was my last day of school as a senior. The last three years have gone by both very quickly and very slowly. It feels like Kaizer was a puppy a million years ago, but also feels like he was a puppy just yesterday. It's a weird state of being.

I can't guarantee I'll say something that has not already been said, but I figured I'd jump in as someone who has done puppy raising as a teenager recently.

Training is a must-have and expect it to be something you repeat for the duration of your dog's life. Training classes are especially important during puppyhood. When Kaizer was a puppy, we did two 8 week courses by the time he was a nearly a year old (we started at 12 weeks, then the next class did not come around for a couple weeks). At the same time, we were taking a couple 6 week long online courses. He'll be three in 1.5 weeks, and to date, we've taken nine 8 week long in-person classes and over ten 6 week long online classes. The most important thing is to practice everything you learn in as many different settings as you can. No amount of training at home will make the behavior appear in the park. Expect to spend an hour in the class, and then spend five minutes a couple times a day going over what you learned. Since you're homeschooled, you can sprinkle training sessions throughout the day which is nice. Also, don't be afraid to get into something other than basic obedience with your dog. Training is a lot of fun and it's great bonding time with your dog. Maybe experiment a little and take an agility fundamentals class, a beginners rally class, or a tricks class, or try dockdiving somewhere if it's nearby, etc. You might get hooked! Also find a training facility well before you get your puppy and go there and scope the place out. How do the classes work/how are they structured? How do the instructors interact with their clients, the clients dog, their own dog? Is the building clean? How do the dogs behave? Do the instructors have any experience - have they titled their own dogs? Do they have any schooling - who did they study under? How old do puppies have to be? How often do classes come around? All that kind of fun stuff. You want to be comfortable with the people who are going to be teaching you how to teach your dog. They have to be approachable.

I will say that my dog still does take up most of my time, even if it's not because he's unmanageable. He is so easy to live with, he mostly just sleeps around the house or chews on a bone, but I do a lot with him too. When he was a puppy, I'd be up with him at 6am, we'd play a little bit then I'd do a little training, then we just hung out for a little until I had to get ready for school. I don't do that anymore mainly because I can't find it in me to get up that early (he no longer wakes up at that godawful time, although I'm sure he would not be opposed). Now, I come home straight from school and depending on the day, we either go straight to my training place or we go to local park where we can hike. He usually comes to my training place with me 2-3x a week, he's either participating in a class or demo-dogging. I recently (like a month ago) got a job and my boss likes to schedule me from 4-9pm on weekdays and all day on the weekends, so he really hasn't gotten that much exercise in the past month. He's been coping well (he still sleeps all day) but he's much more wound up when we go to class. My family helps out in a lot of areas, but exercise is not one of them. He is a fairly low-key golden as far as exercise needs go which is what I wanted when I was looking for a puppy. He's quiet and relaxed when we're not doing anything, but as soon as it's time for us to do something, he's up and ready. Be warned that even though he is low-key and easy, he still gets at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day (although the quality is varied - sometimes it's just fetch down a hall at 10pm at night).

Re: money. I'm lucky that my parents are willing to pay for my dog, and have not yet asked me to take on his bills. I try my best to make decisions that are in the best interest of my dog and their wallet and i try to be mindful of where their money is going. They paid for the initial three in-person classes I took - the rest I paid myself or worked for (the owner of my training facility let me do work for her in exchange for classes. she is now one of my friends). I mostly buy toys with my own money (until recently, that meant birthday money) or on major sale days. I have not yet bought him a dog bed, but he has three crates he loves (one they bought at full price, one we got during a sale, and the last we got for free) so I figure that's good enough lol. I now work at a pet store, so I get everything 10% off. For my birthday or Christmas, I ask for dog stuff I'm too poor or cheap to buy myself lol. They do pay for his vet bills and food though. I guess my advice is, just be careful of what you spend your parents' money on. See where you can (responsibly) save money for them without cutting corners.

College can be super expensive and obviously takes a lot of time out of your day, but you can do it while having a dog. I would recommend you get a dog at least two years before you go to college though, I can't imagine having a young puppy right as you start college. I'm personally going to my state's university, which is like 10 minutes away from my house. I'm also living at my own home instead of a dorm. By staying within my state and living at home versus on campus, I saved my parents a ridiculous amount of money (over 15k). I also got a scholarship and some federal merit-based aid, so my parents are only paying something like 7k a year for me to go to college at a good school. So this was an easy decision for me, although I'm not sure what I'm gonna do when I get to grad school. My dream school is on the west coast lol and I am not okay with potentially leaving my dog for four years. But I have four years to figure that out, and maybe I'll change my mind. I have no idea what my college schedule is gonna look like yet, so I can't tell you how I'm gonna handle all of my responsibilities, but I'm hoping it won't be too much. I make my schedule on June 19th, so we'll see then I guess.

Make sure you can socialize your puppy with no issues. I don't know how old you are, but I'm getting the vibe that you're a couple grades below me. Can you drive yet? When Kaizer was a puppy, my mom had just gotten a huge project at her work that took up all of her time. She was working into 7-8-9 at night where she used to get off at 5. I couldn't drive (I wasn't even 15 yet), so Kaizer lost out on some socialization he could have benefitted from. To be clear, it wasn't like he was stuck at home or anything, but we could have done more. It was also hard to exercise him at some point because walks stopped being enough. It's not something I really thought about prior to getting Kaizer, but it is important. Make sure you have a ride.

When Kaizer was a puppy, I'd wake up at 6am with him. I'd take him out, then he'd get on the bed with me for 30 minutes (sometimes he'd fall asleep, other times he'd be a pain in the butt and would bite at the blankets and tug on them and pull on them). Then I'd feed him and train a little, get ready for school, play with him a little, take him to the bathroom one last time before I left, then I'd leave. When I came home from school, I'd be with him from 3-9pm. When he was a small puppy, he'd pass out for an hour on end during which I did all my internet/netflix time, but if he was awake, I was actively engaging with him. I'd only do homework after 9pm when we retired for the night. I did absolutely no extracurriculars that first year (and only two the second year) and I rarely hung out with friends.

Now my schedule is much busier. Between my training facility stuff and my job, I have one free night a week. That, unfortunately, does not make a lot of room for Kaizer. We make do though, and it's infinitely easier now that school has ended. Every day, I leave the house at 8am, come home briefly at 3pm, change my clothes and grab Kaizer (depending on the day), then I leave again and don't come back until 9pm. During the school year, that's the point I'd start homework (or decide to skip it). Now that school has ended, my manager has bumped me up to the day shift on weekdays, which frees up my evenings (which I prefer, I think). The downside is that I have to wake up early everyday, but the upside is that now I actually have time. But still my life basically revolves around my dog lol. I haven't slept properly in awhile, but I'm still waking up at 8:00am tomorrow morning to go hiking because I know he hasn't gotten enough exercise in awhile, despite the fact that I don't have work or any prior engagements until 1:00 (which means I can sleep until 12:30). <--- to me, that's dog ownership. Doing things in the best interest of your dog even if it inconveniences you. He totally would live and deal if I didn't take him hiking tomorrow - especially since he played fetch today for an hour and we went hiking yesterday for a short period of time, but I also know that *he* loves to be outside and loves to hike.

This is already a novel, so I'm gonna end it here. Also, sorry if I got super off topic at some points, I tend to do that (I also tend to write really long rambling paragraphs). If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask! Good luck with your future puppy!
 

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Golden puppies are easy to train. A big con is golden puppies are a very hard breed to manage when it comes to biting. They are called land sharks for a reason. Expect that to go on for at least until it is 4 or five months old. Golden puppies don’t just come with that great temperament. Everyone sees a adult golden and they think a golden puppy is like that. They are not. They don’t grow up for a long time.
 

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This is already a novel, so I'm gonna end it here. Also, sorry if I got super off topic at some points, I tend to do that (I also tend to write really long rambling paragraphs). If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask! Good luck with your future puppy!
Wow, thanks so much! I hope I can be like you when I get older, haha! No, I cannot drive yet. I'm 13! However, a lot of people say I'm a lot wiser then an "average" 13 year old, so that's nice. And don't worry, I didn't see anything off topic! All of it was really helpful info. You're an awesome teen. Kaiser is super cute too, what a good boy! Quick question: was Kaiser your first dog? Just wondering, since with everything you've done for him and how experienced you sound I'm thinking he might not be. I'm going to try and be like you when I get my puppy in the future~ Again, thank you so much for all of this! I wasn't expecting this much feedback in the thread. You're awesome, thanks! <3
 

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Also dont expect to get a golden from a reputable breeder right away. Expect a wait list of 6 months to a year. Unless you get very lucky. Know what your to look for as far as a good breeder and clearances ect.
 

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By taking the time with your puppy yes they do grow up to be good dogs eventually. Just don’t have high expectations in the beginning. At 3 mine is very fun and energetic when she can be or we want her to be. But around the house when we need her to be calm she is. She isnT destructive at all and has not been gated when we leave since six months. One of the biggest things to remember in the beginning is to not give your puppy to much freedom. When you canT supervise 100% they should be behind a gate or crated. Do not let bad habits start.
 
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