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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I just wanted to check in to get some opinions because we just picked up our first Golden Retriever and had our first vet visit. We had never met this vet before today and he gave us some tips that seemed contradictory to what we have read in other places.

1. He said that the puppy should not go to puppy kindergarten or socialization classes because she is yet to be fully vaccinated. He said that Goldens are naturally social and that he'd be more concerned about diseases.

2. He also said that the puppy should receive all the food and water she can consume within a 15 minute time frame three times a day. We had been feeding 1/2 cup three times a day. He said we would go to measuring by cups for meals when she turns 5/6 months.

3. He said don't start crate training by closing the crate door until older. He said to allow the puppy to sleep in a crate/pen and place a pee pad that is accessible at night. We will still be taking the puppy out for house training during the day after meals/play/naps, however, he said it was not necessary to do so at night.

Any suggestions, help, or thoughts on these recommendations would be great!!
 

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I totally agree with waiting until your puppy is totally vaccinated before exposing to other dogs and areas where other dogs have been.
I can’t comment on crate training since we’ve never done it and it’s been 9 years since we had a puppy so I really don’t remember much about feeding (I’m old with “sometimer’s” disease - sometimes I remember and sometimes I don’t 🤪).
 

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I tend to disagree with most of that.

1. I put both my dogs in puppy classes before they were done with initial vaccines. Kaizer was 12 weeks old and Eden was just over 8 weeks. Unless you’re not careful or unless you live in a parvo-endemic area, there’s nothing wrong with starting puppy classes early. I’m of the opinion that you can do way more long-term damage by isolating your puppy initially. Don’t forget that weeks 8-16 are a pretty crucial socialization period, and most (if not all) of the puppy vaccine series falls in that timeframe.

2. I just don’t love the idea of feeding a puppy however much it wants for 15 minutes at a time. I imagine there’d be some serious stomach aches. I also don’t love the idea of restricting water access that much. I know it would make potty training easier, but water is a basic need and that’s pretty restricted. I did not restrict water access for either of my dogs as puppies (water got picked up at 10pm when they weren’t potty trained though).

3. I’m a little iffy on this one, it’s not for me but I know people have used that idea successfully. I think pee pads are an extra, unnecessary step to introduce during potty training (cause then you also have to go from pee pads to outside). At night, listen to your dog. If they’re whining, let them out for 5 minutes and see if they have to potty. Then they go back in their crate. The nighttime potty breaks don’t last forever.
 

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The first day I brought Beckett home he finished his recommended 1/4 cup of kibble soaked in water in, not even kidding, less than 45 seconds. Competing with 10 other littermates turned him into a madman and I have no doubt that if I let him eat unrestricted for 15 minutes, he would have ate himself sick. Some dogs are not super into their food, or are not as good motivated, or never had to fight for food, and may do OK on that plan, but like mentioned above, I see some serious potential for stomachaches or bloat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tend to disagree with most of that.

1. I put both my dogs in puppy classes before they were done with initial vaccines. Kaizer was 12 weeks old and Eden was just over 8 weeks. Unless you’re not careful or unless you live in a parvo-endemic area, there’s nothing wrong with starting puppy classes early. I’m of the opinion that you can do way more long-term damage by isolating your puppy initially. Don’t forget that weeks 8-16 are a pretty crucial socialization period, and most (if not all) of the puppy vaccine series falls in that timeframe.

2. I just don’t love the idea of feeding a puppy however much it wants for 15 minutes at a time. I imagine there’d be some serious stomach aches. I also don’t love the idea of restricting water access that much. I know it would make potty training easier, but water is a basic need and that’s pretty restricted. I did not restrict water access for either of my dogs as puppies (water got picked up at 10pm when they weren’t potty trained though).

3. I’m a little iffy on this one, it’s not for me but I know people have used that idea successfully. I think pee pads are an extra, unnecessary step to introduce during potty training (cause then you also have to go from pee pads to outside). At night, listen to your dog. If they’re whining, let them out for 5 minutes and see if they have to potty. Then they go back in their crate. The nighttime potty breaks don’t last forever.
Thank you!! We didn’t really vibe with this guy so we are probably going to change vets.
 

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Hoosiers91, Welcome and Congratulations on your new little one.
Feel free to share pictures, we always enjoy seeing pics of pups/dogs.

I moved your thread into the Puppy up to 1 yr. section so you would have more views and replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hoosiers91, Welcome and Congratulations on your new little one.
Feel free to share pictures, we always enjoy seeing pics of pups/dogs.

I moved your thread into the Puppy up to 1 yr. section so you would have more views and replies.
Thank you! This is Lucy! She is 8 weeks old and very loving! We picked her up from Wochica Goldens on Saturday!

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Pet supply
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Fence Toy
 

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She’s precious! Enjoy your cute little bundle!
Good call on changing vets sooner rather than later. Besides the obvious that you’ll be seeing them every year and paying them hard earned money for your pup, it’s better to find someone you vibe with BEFORE you need them in an emergency - pet emergencies are stressful enough, and adding a vet that you aren’t on the same page with, or don’t trust, can add to the already stressful situation. But of course paws crossed you never have that problem!
 

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Hi all, I just wanted to check in to get some opinions because we just picked up our first Golden Retriever and had our first vet visit. We had never met this vet before today and he gave us some tips that seemed contradictory to what we have read in other places.

1. He said that the puppy should not go to puppy kindergarten or socialization classes because she is yet to be fully vaccinated. He said that Goldens are naturally social and that he'd be more concerned about diseases.

2. He also said that the puppy should receive all the food and water she can consume within a 15 minute time frame three times a day. We had been feeding 1/2 cup three times a day. He said we would go to measuring by cups for meals when she turns 5/6 months.

3. He said don't start crate training by closing the crate door until older. He said to allow the puppy to sleep in a crate/pen and place a pee pad that is accessible at night. We will still be taking the puppy out for house training during the day after meals/play/naps, however, he said it was not necessary to do so at night.

Any suggestions, help, or thoughts on these recommendations would be great!!
As others have said, unless Parvo is rampant in your area, the general consensus, according to my vet, was that socialization is more important for their health than keeping them in a bubble. https://avsab.org/wp-content/upload...ion_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf. My vet told me only to avoid dog parks or other areas where there are a lot of adult dogs who may not be vaccinated. So other than dog parks and pet stores, I took my puppy EVERYWHERE with me and its paid off not just in friendly manners but in confidence.
 

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First of all, Lucy is adorable!
As for your post, our Archie is 9-months old, so we're a bit farther down the road. This is what we did in regards to your questions.
1. We did take Archie to Puppy Pre-K. All the pups in class were in the same "not fully vaccinated" boat. We asked our vet and she said that it would be fine and the training facility was very strict with their Pre-K protocol. The vet did not want us to put his "feet on the ground" anywhere else (besides our backyard) before he was fully vaccinated, so we carried him around a whole lot in those 1st couple of months!
2. Oh my goodness, just like Coastal Pup's Beckett, Archie would have eaten 4x his weight in 15 minutes. I have never seen a dog eat so fast and so voraciously! We've actually spent a small fortune on slow feeders and puzzles to slow him down. At your Lucy's age, I fed Archie 3x per day the recommended amount of kibble soaked in warm water.
3. Archie came home already exposed to a crate. His breeder said that out of all the pups in the litter she would find Archie asleep in the crate. When we brought him home, we continued with the crate. Of course, being in a new situation there was a bit of whining the 1st couple of nights, but other than that he has always found security in the crate.

- Another thing I did, per our trainer's recommendation, was to make sure Archie had "enforced" naps in his crate in a quiet room. She said that like children, puppies need a couple of deep-sleep naps every day. She said that sleeping in the corner of the room, with life going on around him, is really just dozing and not the deep, restorative sleep a wee puppy needs. For us, this worked really well and Archie was rarely over threshold since he wasn't utterly exhausted. It's funny, because now at 9-months he doesn't take enforced crate naps, but many times, I will find him in his crate, in the spare room, sound asleep!

- One last thing, I would recommend that you listen to your gut when it comes to your feelings about your vet. I did feel a need to change vets for many reasons during the 1st month and it was the best decision I made for Archie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First of all, Lucy is adorable!
As for your post, our Archie is 9-months old, so we're a bit farther down the road. This is what we did in regards to your questions.
1. We did take Archie to Puppy Pre-K. All the pups in class were in the same "not fully vaccinated" boat. We asked our vet and she said that it would be fine and the training facility was very strict with their Pre-K protocol. The vet did not want us to put his "feet on the ground" anywhere else (besides our backyard) before he was fully vaccinated, so we carried him around a whole lot in those 1st couple of months!
2. Oh my goodness, just like Coastal Pup's Beckett, Archie would have eaten 4x his weight in 15 minutes. I have never seen a dog eat so fast and so voraciously! We've actually spent a small fortune on slow feeders and puzzles to slow him down. At your Lucy's age, I fed Archie 3x per day the recommended amount of kibble soaked in warm water.
3. Archie came home already exposed to a crate. His breeder said that out of all the pups in the litter she would find Archie asleep in the crate. When we brought him home, we continued with the crate. Of course, being in a new situation there was a bit of whining the 1st couple of nights, but other than that he has always found security in the crate.

- Another thing I did, per our trainer's recommendation, was to make sure Archie had "enforced" naps in his crate in a quiet room. She said that like children, puppies need a couple of deep-sleep naps every day. She said that sleeping in the corner of the room, with life going on around him, is really just dozing and not the deep, restorative sleep a wee puppy needs. For us, this worked really well and Archie was rarely over threshold since he wasn't utterly exhausted. It's funny, because now at 9-months he doesn't take enforced crate naps, but many times, I will find him in his crate, in the spare room, sound asleep!

- One last thing, I would recommend that you listen to your gut when it comes to your feelings about your vet. I did feel a need to change vets for many reasons during the 1st month and it was the best decision I made for Archie.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As others have said, unless Parvo is rampant in your area, the general consensus, according to my vet, was that socialization is more important for their health than keeping them in a bubble. https://avsab.org/wp-content/upload...ion_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf. My vet told me only to avoid dog parks or other areas where there are a lot of adult dogs who may not be vaccinated. So other than dog parks and pet stores, I took my puppy EVERYWHERE with me and its paid off not just in friendly manners but in confidence.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
She’s precious! Enjoy your cute little bundle!
Good call on changing vets sooner rather than later. Besides the obvious that you’ll be seeing them every year and paying them hard earned money for your pup, it’s better to find someone you vibe with BEFORE you need them in an emergency - pet emergencies are stressful enough, and adding a vet that you aren’t on the same page with, or don’t trust, can add to the already stressful situation. But of course paws crossed you never have that problem!
I definitely agree!
 

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We didn’t really vibe with this guy so we are probably going to change vets.
Wise decision IMO.
I do agree on avoiding the puppy kindergarten classes but for different reasons. There is a reason they are seperated from the litter at 7 -8 weeks. You need to bond with your puppy and become the most important part of her life. The only benefit from puppy classes goes to whoever you have to write the check to.
Take your puppy for walks in places where she can safely explore off leash. This will build her confidence and increase the bond between you. As she explores new things, which is everything, you become the safe place she returns to. It is also very entertaining to watch a young pup and the simple things that captivate their attention.
 

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I don't like 2 or 3.

I fully agree with 1. No classes or public outings until vaccinated.

As for 2, no way. We followed the slow growth plan. (The links to the science of why are at the bottom of the page FYI) https://cvgrc.org/wp-content/upload...K0qE_SlK8eOcbhnon1-6H-imEXvEmBOAm5GNV4XmODW3U

With 3, I don't agree, BUT you need to be careful with how you teach them about the crate so it's not a "punishment" type of feeling for the puppy. I would not use potty pads. That just slows potty training down IMO.
 

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I disagree strongly with all the recommendations from your vet. Especially with #1. In case you didn’t read the link that Obieobie gave, here it is again. https://avsab.org/wp-content/upload...ion_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf

Now, of course, some of the socialization decisions will be based on where you live. My choices in rural New Hampshire (where every puppy I’ve ever owned was in puppy class by the age of 8-10 weeks) may be different if you’re living in a city. I suggest asking your vet (or another vet, since I don’t agree with any of the recommendations your current vet gave you), how prevalent parvovirus and distemper are in your area. Even if the cases are high, there should still be relatively safe places and ways to socialize your puppy. Find a puppy class that sanitizes its facility before puppy classes. Take your puppy to dog friendly stores and put him on a bed or mat in the shopping cart. Drive your puppy to a playground and sit with him the car while he watches the kids play. There are all sorts of options that will allow you to “socialize” your puppy with minimal risk.

 

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I would trust your instincts. Its never a bad idea to get a second opinion.

I'm personally a little iffy about #1. I waited a bit with Piper. But, a friend of mine had a puppy who had recently died of parvovirus, and my vet was not super enthusiastic about it so I felt nervous. Now--I might do things differently, but only if the facility had a cohort of pre-fully vaxed puppies, (but makes sure vaccines have been administered).

However, training and socialization of your dog starts as soon as you bring them home and puppy classes are only a small part of that. Goldens need to be socialized like every dog. Mine didn't play with any adult dogs before full vaccines, but before those classes she met a ton of people and saw a lot of different things in those first several weeks I had her. She came to grocery stores, lots of car trips, etc, . But she was afraid of everything, including big dogs, so there was a lot to introduce her to and I'm glad I had time to build trust with her first. She was not ready for puppy classes. But, she wasn't my first dog and I felt very comfortable with training her the basics and socializing her myself. The only reason we went to those classes was to socialize her with puppies. I do think there is value in that (and providing a distracting place to work on commands).

Re: 2 and 3--I did not do these things. I've always fed my puppies a set amount of food and increased as they needed, and I give free access to water when uncrated except for after 8pm in preparation for bed time. I also crate trained my last exclusively (my city apartment was small, so an X-pen felt not really necessary)--so she was either out with me, or crated. In the case of the former, I took her out every 1.5-2hrs (plus after meals/naps/hard play sessions).
 
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