Choosing Golden Retriever Puppies

If you’ve ever seen a commercial that features an adorable puffy puppy that looks like the dog version of a lion cub, then you know how sweet Golden Retriever puppies look. However, just because all puppies are sweet, doesn’t mean they’ll grow up to be an adult Golden with all of the breed’s favorable characteristics. Thus, the following is a look at the breed standard to give you an idea of what to look for when selecting Golden Retriever puppies.

Goldens have a broad skull and a large head that is well defined. The muzzle, which is strong, deep and wide, should smoothly blend into the head of the Golden puppy.

The ears are a medium size, and should be just above the eyes and fold comfortably to rest closely to the cheek. Check inside the ears of your Golden puppy. Healthy ears will have a pale pink appearance and have no foul odor.

The eyes of Golden Retriever puppies are a deep brown and are set well apart. The rims of their eyes should be black. The eyes should be clear and have an intelligent and friendly look. The Golden’s sclera should be white not yellow, and there shouldn’t be any discharge or fluid coming from the eye.

A Golden should have a wide black nose with well developed nostrils. The nose should be clean and have no discharge coming from it.

The Golden Retriever has strong Jaws and a perfect scissor bite. Their upper teeth closely overlap the bottom and are set square to the jaw. Teeth should be white. Golden Retriever puppies have about 18 fewer teeth then adults, which they will lose when their permanent teeth grow in. Their cheeks are slim.

The Golden Retriever has a strong build that gives him an attractive appearance as an adult. Their chest is strong and they have deep ribs that are well sprung. Goldens have very balanced bodies (although they may not appear to be very balanced as puppies). Their back is strong and level from the withers to the backend.
The tail of a Golden Retriever is carried level with the back or is slightly upturned. It should not curl at the tip or hang downwards. The tail is well feathered when the Golden is an adult, and is one of its dominant features.

The forelegs are straight and are designed with a good bone structure. The elbows are close fitting and the legs are placed well under the body. The hind legs have plenty of muscle and the stifles are well bent. The hind legs should look straight when you view the dog from behind.

The feet of a Golden are very round, compact and well knuckled. They have thick pads to serve them well both on land and in water. The paws of a Golden Retriever puppy are one of their most distinguishing features, as they are often compared to lion cub paws.

Golden Retrievers have a long, balanced stride that is carefree. Before you settle on a puppy, observe his walk. While his walk may not be perfectly balanced due to his youth and growing state, the purpose is to see if he is favoring a leg or any of his paws.

The coat of a Golden Retriever is not course, nor is it silky. The coat of an adult is moderately long and lies close to the body. It is either straight or has a slight wave. The coat is not curly, and is resilient, water resistant, and firm. A healthy coat will appear glossy and will not have any missing patches of hair, look spotted or soiled.

The coloring of a Golden Retriever is his trademark. Goldens are available in different shades of gold. Golden Retriever puppies tend to have light coats that appear tan or almost white in color. Their coats will darken with age.

Golden Retriever Training Tips

It is true that Golden Retrievers are incredibly loyal, social and friendly. However, if you want to make the most of these qualities you need to provide your dog with Golden Retriever Training. Training is essential to the development and wellbeing of any dog breed. Without training, a dog will be left to his own devices. It would be like letting a kid run wild without any discipline…not a pretty picture.

There are many things you will need to teach your Golden to do and not to do. For instance, while you’ll want to housebreak him, you will also want to teach him not to jump up on people.

There is a right and a wrong way to train a dog. The best way to learn proper training is to enroll your Golden in an obedience class. Find out the age requirement of your local obedience school and sign him up as soon as he meets it.

However, before you take your dog to obedience training, there are certain basic Golden Retriever training commands you can teach your puppy. One such command is “Stay”.

Here are the guidelines you can follow to effectively teach your Golden Retriever to stay.

Training Your Golden To Stay

Before you begin the lesson, take your Golden puppy to a quiet room where no one else is present and there are no distractions. Make sure you have plenty of treats ready.

1. Have your dog sit and hold a treat in your hand, so your dog knows you have it. As your Golden reaches for the treat, close your hand. As soon as he pulls his head slightly back, immediately praise him and give him the treat. Timing is everything at this point of the lesson. Continue to repeat this session, until your dog instantly pulls back when he sees the treat, instead of reaching for it.
Once you are successful, take a short break, and have a play time with your pup. Remember, your puppy has a short attention span. Therefore, it is important you break up Golden Retriever training sessions, so you don’t bore your puppy and your training remains effective.

2. Once you have taken a break, start training again by repeating the first lesson. Except this time, wait for two seconds after your Golden pulls back before you praise him and give him a treat. Make sure your dog is sitting when you give him a treat. If he stands, take a few steps away from your dog and try again. You will want to repeat this exercise until your Golden is sitting for 5 seconds before you give him a treat. Don’t move away from the dog during this time. Make sure you stay by his side during these lessons.

One of the biggest problems owners have when teaching the “stay” command is they try to leave their dogs too quickly. Think about it: if your Golden won’t stay when you’re right beside him, he’s not going to stay when you move away. Take a break after the second lesson.

3. Repeat the second lesson, but this time when you show your dog the treat, tell your dog in a firm voice to “stay”. When you give your dog the treat say something like “OK”. This is a release word which will eventually tell your Golden that he’s permitted to move for the stay position. Repeat this lesson, and each time increase the number of seconds you wait before giving your dog the treat. Your goal is to have your dog sit for 30 seconds without moving.

If your Golden moves before you want him to, say “uh-uh” quietly and try the lesson again. Your goal is to teach your dog that “uh-uh” means no treat.
If you Golden is moving too quickly, you will want to lower the number of seconds he has to wait. For instance if you were trying for 15, but he is moving, go back and try 10 seconds for a few times before going back to 15. If your dog is continuously making mistakes more than 1 or 2 times in a row, you are moving to fast. Take a break and when going back to the lesson take it slow.

4. Repeat the third lesson, but this time as your dog is sitting, move away from him slightly. Take a single step back then return to your initial position. Then take one step to the side and then the other. Continue to repeat this movement until you can complete an entire circle around your dog without him getting up. Should he move, say “uh-uh” and try again. Just remember to take it slow.

5. Once you can successfully move a full circle around your dog, you will want to further the distance between you and your dog. Take 5 steps away from your Golden. Repeat this lesson until your Golden will stay for 30 seconds.

6. As soon as your Golden Retriever is staying for thirty seconds in the room with no distractions, try the “stay” command in other areas of the house. When practicing in this new area, go back to short stays and stay with your dog. Repeat the entire process until your Golden is staying for the 30 seconds, and you can move 5 steps away.

7. As your Golden becomes more and more successful with the “stay” command, you will want to lengthen the distance you are away from him, and the amount of time you make your dog stay. Your ultimate goal is to have 30 ft. between you and your dog, and have your dog stay for 1 minute.

All Golden Retriever training needs to be taken slow and must be consistent. You need to have patience and determination to effectively train your dog.