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Hello everyone!

I was watching puppy videos on youtube and I stumbled across one called "What I Wish I Knew Before I Got A Puppy". This got me thinking about what others wished they knew before they got a golden retriever puppy. What did you wish you knew?
 

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It is so. Much. Work.

Puppy Blues is very real and common. You may seriously wonder what in the world you were thinking for bringing a puppy home and you might even regret it. Don’t worry; it gets better with time and is well worth it in the end.
 

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I'm fairly new to this myself (I have a 16 week old puppy right now), but one thing I wish I knew before I brought Robin home was that puppies being overtired/overstimulated is a real thing. I remember there were days during the first week where we didn't stick to a rigid schedule with him - we just sort of took him out of his crate whenever he woke up, and played with him whenever we felt like he wanted to play. Then, we would try to put him to sleep at night, and he would scream and cry endlessly, and we were confused - we had played with him so much, how was he not tired? We grew really frustrated with him - it felt like we spent our whole day playing with him, so one night, we put him in and just ignored his antics, and within 10 or 15 minutes, he had settled down and fallen right asleep. He slept for many hours.

I think the moral of that story is that puppies are like newborns - keeping them on a very rigid schedule during the day will be better for them and for you. Now, we have a schedule that looks something like this:
  • 9 AM - 11 AM: breakfast, followed by playtime, followed by a short 30 minute walk around the neighborhood
  • 11 AM - 1 PM: crate
  • 1PM - 2:30 PM: lunch, followed by playtime
  • 2:30 - 4 PM: crate
  • 4 - 4:45 PM: walk around the neighborhood
  • 4:45 - 6 PM: crate
  • 6 PM - 7 PM: dinner, followed by playtime
  • 7 PM - 9 PM: crate
  • 9 PM - 10 PM: final playtime
  • 10 PM - 9 AM: sleep
 

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i'm also a new, first-time owner (our girl is 16 weeks), and i wish we had:

- had our pup go potty outside right when we got home, before bringing her inside. it was nighttime and we were anxious to feed her, but i think it threw things off for her to not establish a 'potty place' outdoors right away.

- made her initial indoor area much smaller than we did. i knew we would have some rooms of the house blocked off, but the space that we gave her (kitchen + foyer + dining room) was way too hard for her to navigate for potty training. at the advice of this forum we cut this down to just the entry foyer, and she stopped having accidents almost immediately.

- similarly, taken out/not bothered with soft items or surfaces when she first came home. blankets, towels, or beds on our hardwood floors didn't function as comfort/traction for the pup - they were just really tempting areas to pee on!

- gotten clearer information about crate placement - it seems like most people's set up involves two crates. i saw advice to a) put the crate in a small, contained zone close to your outdoor access point for potty training, and b) have the crate in your bedroom so that they aren't getting too anxious lonely. this was very confusing for me! that being said, we had just one crate near the back door, and she slept there without any issues - it just meant we'd set alarms to check on her overnight vs. waiting to be woken up if she needed to go out. it would be too stressful for me to constantly listen for noise from her or worry that i would sleep through something!

- it was also very helpful to consider just how hot fluffy golden puppies can run - our girl still prefers to sleep on the cool floor vs. her dog beds. when we first got her, we'd put a damp t shirt in at night with her, and crack windows so that her area of the house was quite a bit cooler than ours. (i wonder if this is why a lot of golden pups aren't perceived as being very cuddly - they simply get too warm to be held for longer periods of time!)
 

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I wish I'd known that it takes a good year or so of time and training to turn a cute puppy into a dog who is a friend and companion.
Puppy Blues is very real and common.
puppies being overtired/overstimulated is a real thing. I remember there were days during the first week where we didn't stick to a rigid schedule with him - we just sort of took him out of his crate whenever he woke up, and played with him whenever we felt like he wanted to play. Then, we would try to put him to sleep at night, and he would scream and cry endlessly, and we were confused - we had played with him so much, how was he not tired?
Agree with all of the above! Sometimes a hyper puppy is a tired/overstimulated puppy and needs a nap/timeout. Expect in advance to have a period of puppy blues. And those beautiful well behaved calm adult Goldens you see out and about and in commercials? Don't expect that until your dog is 1-3 years old, assuming you are putting in all of the necessary work and training.

Would also add - vet bills can add up fast in the event of an illness or injury. Personally I want to be able to spend as much as I need to on the best care for my dog, rather than worrying about finances. Have a big chunk of money set aside, and/or good pet insurance.

Keep in mind your puppy is just a baby pulled away from his family, and be patient with him/her when biting or barking. A forum member had recently posted this excellent article - highly recommend that all potential puppy owners read. Kidnapped from Planet Dog
 

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I wish I known what socialization is NOT for my first puppy. It is NOT saying hi to everyone and anyone. It IS teaching puppy to behave in new scenarios, introducing to new surfaces, places, noises and teaching the pup to not be stressed and to pay attention to you.

I also wish I had known that most so called “purely positive” pet (meaning not competitive) trainers are totally full of crap and many have never trained a dog before getting their “certifications.” It’s OK to correct a puppy for being an a$$hole. And trust me, they will be a$$holes. Cute, sweet, wonderful, cuddly a$$holes.
 

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Goose & Merlin
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Hello everyone!

I was watching puppy videos on youtube and I stumbled across one called "What I Wish I Knew Before I Got A Puppy". This got me thinking about what others wished they knew before they got a golden retriever puppy. What did you wish you knew?
I wish I knew how often you really have to take them out at first. And how much time they require you to watch them because they get into anything and everything. I also wish someone would have told me how much it would be worth it because the puppy phase does pass with time and eventually you are left with a wonderful well rounded dog. Seemingly in a blink of an eye.
 
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