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Each new puppy will go home with a Puppy Care Basket, designed to make the adjustment to your new home go as smoothly as possible. We will include: a blanket with mom's scent, familiar potty pads and holder, familiar feed for the first few days, collar and leash, cow ear, bully chew, bone, soft toy, medical record keeper, Puppy Directions 101, AKC Information Hand-outs, copy of the Contract, and more.... It is our intent to help you through Puppy's New Home transition, and be available to you for guidance, as long as you need it.



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If you are interested in a GOLDEN FRIEND for your family, fill out a PUPPY QUESTIONNAIRE to join our PUPPY LIST! We are planning new litters of GOLDENS for July  2024.

"Golden Retriever Puppies 101", or in other words, “Puppy Directions”

Revised Jan. 2021

(These same directions will be/were given at Puppy Pick-up.)

First days:

Hold, cuddle, pet, love! Get your pup used to your scent, voice and feel. So much is new; you have a very young dog. Use the plans/procedures that you plan to use for his/her entire life. Feed and crate at a consistent time. Use the familiar blanket and toys for bedtime. Expect some whining. Do NOT let your pup talk you into being a bedtime partner! Bad habits are hard to break. Potty often; pay attention to his/her body language as to when he/she needs to go out. The leash will be new. Be patient. Reward often. Speak softly. Keep stimulation and visitors to a minimum at first. Enjoy your new family member!


Your puppy has been started on Canidae All Life Stages, Multi-Protein Formula feed. (During his/her early development. He/She eats about 1/3 cup of dry Canidae, moistened in water, 3 times a day. (This will soak up to a measure of ½ cup.) I put my measured feed in water to almost cover, and then let it soak. (Use the Clarksville water just for water dish.)

First feeding has been at 6:00 am, 2nd at 12:00 and 3rd about 6:30. Add an extra tablespoon every few days. If stools become puddles, cut back again.

Gradually increase the morning and evening meals until by about 6 mons. you are at two feedings, approximately 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. This is not in stone; your dog will have to fit into your schedule. Strive for consistency. Don’t feed too late in the evening or he/she will not be able to wait until morning to potty. Puppy should have a poop between supper and bedtime.

Puppies act like fiends when they are fed; they finish their meal in less than 60 seconds flat! They are not starving! Resist the urge to dramatically increase feed. Weight will tell you when you need to increase feed. A trim Golden is a healthy dog; an obese Golden is in danger of health problems and a shorter life span.

If puppy's stool becomes soupy, you are feeding too much. Increase gradually over the months, until he/she is eating about 2 ½-3 cups a day, at one year. Watch the waist. You want to see an indentation at the waist, but not feel ribs easily. You may need to cut back; Genesis and Max only eat about 2 cups a day-Liberty and Poppet eat about 3 cups a day.

(If you notice soupy stools, not related to dietary changes, take a fresh stool sample to the vet for analysis. Your dog might have picked up a "bug".)

Weigh your pup every week, holding it in your arms on a scale and then subtracting your weight (or going to a local vet/pet store to use the scale). Write it down on the calendar and keep track of weekly gains. You will notice about one-pound average gain per week, until age one. Golden females usually run 55-65 lbs., males 60-70 lbs.

If you wish to switch feeds (not suggested), please do this gradually by adding a little to each feeding for a few days, change the balance slowly or you will have a pup with stomach issues. Rule of thumb: change 1/4 the first week, 1/2 the second, 3/4 the third, and 100% the fourth week.

Take your pup out to potty immediately after feeding and walk a bit. If he/she doesn’t go, crate him/her or make the potty pad available.

Your puppy will NOT need any extra supplements, vitamins, etc. The food is complete. The only "extra" added to our adult dog's diet is FortiFlora, a probiotic. This can be found at

For future reference if needed: a tablespoon of plain, active yogurt can cure/avoid yeast infections (a few times a week), a tablespoon of crushed pineapple will deter a dog of eating their own/other dog’s feces.

I will have five-days-worth+ of Canidae for you at Pick-up.


If possible, have clean, fresh water available all day, until about 2 hours before bedtime. Don’t assume he/she is drinking, keep track of water consumed. Puppies get so busy playing and exploring their new world, that they sometimes forget to drink! Your pup should be urinating several times a day. They will probably potty every time they are on grass.


Your puppy is used to using the Puppy Pad indoors, and the grass outside. You want to change him/her over to total outside potty practices. Take him/her outside EVERYTIME he/she wakes up from a nap, starts looking for a “spot”, finishes eating or drinking, or if he/she has not been outside for 2-3 wakeful hours. Walk around with him/her, but do not initiate play!

A pup can be expected to “hold” for as many hours as his/her age. For example, 2 mons. -2 hours, 3 mons. -3 hours, etc.

Indoors, when he/she is loose in the house, keep the puppy pad available. After the first soiling of the pad, let some of the scent remain. This will let the pup know where the “OK spot” is.

If you must crate beyond your pup’s time capabilities, let him/her have the full crate and put the potty pad inside. Afterwards, resume the smaller space and regular trips outside.

I suggest that you do NOT give the puppy the run of the house at first; wait until he/she is dependably potty trained. A kitchen area or non-carpeted room will do well.

If your pup does have an accident, clean it up promptly with a strong-smelling cleaner. You want to eliminate any urine/waste smell so that the pup will not go back to this spot again. I use Arm and Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator or Resolve Carpet Cleaner, on carpeted areas. Windex works well on tile or linoleum.

I will have a familiar potty pad for you, as well as a few pads, 24" x 23".


Stick to his/her regular kibble for treats, crunchy and hard, subtracted from his/her total food intake. If you wish to use other treats, remember, they add calories; adjust your feed accordingly. Use dried liver and/or very bland, simple puppy sized biscuits, broken in two. I use Mother Hubbard Puppy Biscuits. Bully sticks, calf hooves and beef bones, prepared for pets, are great, as are calf ears. Avoid rawhide and antlers/horns; they can bind tummies or break teeth. Monitor your pup when he/she is enjoying these treats. Throw away sharp or splintered treats and toys.

Avoid treats with lots of color and fancy flavoring. NEVER feed table/people food. An overweight Golden is an unhealthy Golden. Keep him/her trim! A begging puppy is not a good dinner companion.

Teach your pup to take a treat nicely by using the command “Leave it!” until you want him/her to take it gently out of your hand.


Other than puppy-initiated activity, do not begin a strenuous walking, running or jumping program with a puppy! Their bones, muscles and joints are growing and developing. Growth plates will not close until around a year. Follow an Exercise Plan to GRADUALLY institute an exercise program if you wish. No jumping over obstacles, jumping up for Frisbee, etc., until development can support it. AKC suggests limiting “performance events” to dogs 15 months and older. Build up to walking on concrete or asphalt. Check the temperature. Pavement that is too hot can cause blisters/tears. A torn pad takes a lot of time and effort to heal!

Puppies SLEEP ALOT! And then they recharge. Make sure your pup has uninterrupted sleep time during the day, as well as at night. Too much stimuli, all at once, is not good for the pup. Regulate playtime, especially with children.

Your pup should not need anything other than a regular collar and leash. It will take time, patience and consistency to teach a “loose leash”. Your Obedience Class will help you. Do NOT use a retractable leash. Using one, your pup will only be training YOU!


Whatever a puppy can touch, he/she will try to eat! Whatever a puppy can see, he/she will try to chase! Whatever is in puppy’s way, he/she will try to climb! Etc., etc., etc.! Be watchful of your new pup! You have a baby in your house; keep him/her safe! Think of food, plants, cleaners, small toys, pills, etc. that will be interesting to your new pet. Your puppy does not KNOW what he/she is supposed to eat, chew,etc., or what not to. DO NOT PUNISH a puppy for an accident or chewing up a favorite item! It is YOUR FAULT for not reading signals and keeping unacceptable items away from puppy.

Also, monitor small children with your new pet. He/She doesn’t know how rough to be or not be. Loud squeals sound like his/her brothers and sisters at play. Children must be taught how to play with pets, for their safety and that of the pet!

Remember, not everyone that your pet meets knows how to handle a puppy; give instruction as needed. You are your pet’s advocate. You do not want someone playing “slap hands”, tug-a-war or “jump on me” games, etc., with your pet. He/She will learn lessons quickly...good ones as well as bad.


I suggest a potty time just before bedtime; if successful, crate immediately. Your pup’s last outing should be between 10:00-11:00 each evening, if you want to sleep through the night uninteruptedly. You may need to cover the crate with a sheet to let the pup know that playtime is over. Be strict on the bedtime routine. He/She will cry a bit, that’s OK! If you hear a cry or whine in a few hours, take him/her outside again. Do NOT make this PLAYTIME or you will be teaching him/her to call you every time he/she wants to play or is bored.

Training/Obedience Classes:

The words: “Puppy Come” should be the key to bringing a wiggly puppy to your feet. Reward with a piece of kibble. Teach “Catch Me!” to use in case you cannot get your pup. Chasing a four-footed pup will NOT work in most cases. Work on “Watch Me” for focus.

Avoid petting your puppy when he/she jumps up on you. Use the command “Off!”, catch his/her collar and gently put him/her back on the floor for petting. Shun a pup that continually jumps up by turning your back, do not acknowledge. A quick knee up jerk may send a pup into a tumble, but he/she will learn the lesson. What is cute at 10 lbs., will NOT be cute at 50 lbs.!

NEVER play tug with a dog that you want to stay gentle and sweet! Tug-a-war is a game of competition/aggression. He/She should always see you as the ALPHA.

You will be attending mandatory training classes with your pup. You may wish to skip Puppy Kindergarten and begin with Basic Obedience. Check with your instructor. (The STAR Puppy/Puppy Kindergarten does NOT TAKE THE PLACE of a BASIC OBEDIENCE CLASS.) Consistency is the key. It will be best to have ONE person in charge of the training and have everyone else in the household follow their lead. Use the same words and signals; treat and reward in the same way.

Send proof of Class Graduation or a handler/dog earned CGC Title/Certificate to redeem your $100.00 Training Rebate; this is due within the first year.

I hope you enjoy your class so much, that you continue into more advanced classwork. Goldens need a job! Classes in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Field Word, Trick Dog, Therapy Work, etc. make excellent choices!

Problem Behaviors:

Your pup WILL dig! It is natural. You may want to assign a small portion of your yard for this activity. To deter a dog from digging in a specific spot, bury small gauge chicken wire placed flat, just under the surface. The wire will hurt when the pup tries to dig there and he/she will go elsewhere.

Your pup WILL chew whatever is available. When chewing something “off limits”, firmly tell the pup “NO!" and offer an acceptable substitute. This includes fingers, hands, etc.! Do not allow your puppy to put teeth on skin.

We have worked hard to teach your pup "No bite!" You will need to reinforce this rule. If a stern "No bite!" command does not deter the nipping behavior, a sharp rap of two fingers on the snout should work. Do not turn this into a game; make sure you have another hand on the pup if you administer this.


Your pup has had his/her basic shots at 6 weeks, and 9 weeks. See their Medical Record. The next round is due at 12 weeks and then at 15 weeks. He/She has been wormed with Panacur at 5 weeks, 7 weeks, and 9 weeks. He/She will need continued worming throughout his/her life. As we have Coccidia in our area/woods, we administer Albon 10 days before Puppy Pick-up as a precaution. Your pup tested negative for this at their 9-week check.

Ask your vet about pest control. We use Frontline Gold on our adult dogs. It is a topical that keeps them safe from fleas and ticks for a month at a time. Heartguard is also used with all of our adult dogs.

Plan to get your pup Micro-chipped as soon as the Vet allows. Put my name and number down as a 2nd contact; send me the ID Chip number, needed for the AKC Registration. A Bordetella/Kennel Cough Vaccine is recommended, especially if he/she will be around other dogs.

Remember....your pup MUST go to the Vet within 3 business days of your pick-up, for a check-up. Most Vets will give you a first visit free of charge, in anticipation of future services. Please let me know the results of the visit within the three day window!.

Your pup has already had dew claws removed, 2 rounds of shots, and initial exams by my Vets (Eastview Animal Clinic, Clarksville, Tn.-- 931-648-8111-- Dr. Loxley and Dr. Crowe). He/She was given a “Clean Bill of Health” at all three vet visits.


Whatever toys you use, make sure you check them periodically for wear. Avoid soft plastic and rubber toys that will be easily chewed, and thereby swallowed. Good choices include a few soft, stuffed or "stuffless" cuddlies, cotton-knotted ropes, and tennis balls.


Always use a dog harness or a secured hard crate (not wire) to transport. Use one EVERY time you transport. Both you and your dog are safer. Stop every few hours for a potty break and stretch. You MUST have a way to secure your new pet when you come for your puppy pick-up. I will help you adjust any harness at that time if you wish. I will have a starter collar and leash for your pup.


At this early point, your pup will only need a quick brush from the soft, rubber curry. Use this to clean dried mud, etc. Do not bathe unless you have to! Bathing dries out the natural oils in his/her skin and creates dry, itchy skin. Spot wash paws, head, etc., if truly necessary.

When you do bathe, about every 3-4 weeks (or less), use only a 1/8 cup or less, of mild shampoo in a gallon of water, (1/4 cup or less as an adult). We use Crown Royale #2, found on Amazon. Sponge the pup with the shampoo mix and hose/rinse off. Towel dry. Do NOT use human blow driers on a hot setting! These will dry out the coat/skin. I recommend using a pet/groomer dryer (Bear Dryers are inexpensive and work well for a single dog.) If you can still smell the shampoo strongly, you have used too much!

In addition to bathing, your pup will need his/her ears cleaned before each bath. Use a 1/2-1/2 mixture of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Dip a towel in the mixture and clean out the ear with a gentle rub. Do NOT pour any solutions into the pup’s ear. Make sure to cleanse away the solution with clear water on a towel and then towel dry the ear.

Your pup will need his/her toenails trimmed every 2 weeks or more. Make this a fun chore; reward with kibble. Use dog clippers as a pup. For adult dogs, you will need a Dremel. Goldens have VERY hard nails. Trim just below the quick (dark line inside the nail). If you are regular about this trimming, it will be an easy task. Skip it for a month or will have a problem. Holding a large, squirming puppy is a difficult task.

In regards to hair trimming: use sharp scissors and trim feet: remove from the bottom of the upturned foot. Trim out all of the long hair to keep a neat appearance and keep dirt and debris from causing foot problems. Trim around the toes from the top. Trim out the long hair in the ears. This will prevent ear problems due to excess moisture.

NEVER SHAVE A GOLDEN! NEVER SHAVE A GOLDEN! NEVER SHAVE A GOLDEN! If you have a real problem with matting, take him/her to a groomer or bring him/her to me. DO NOT LET A GROOMER SHAVE YOUR GOLDEN! A Golden’s coat offers protection from both cold, sun, and heat; Goldens do get sunburned.


Set up the crate in a low traffic area if possible. Give him/her only a small space for sleeping. Too large of a space will allow him/her to sleep in one part and potty in the other. Dogs do not like to soil their sleeping space! When he/she whines, take him/her outside! At first, PICK UP the pup and carry him/her to the expected spot; or you will have a puddle 2 feet from the crate! Take him/her all the way to the place where you want him/her to go potty. If he/she does not “go”, bring him/her back inside and crate again. Try going outside again in 15 minutes or when he/she whines. It will not go smoothly at first! Expect accidents and be pleasantly surprised the times that it works. Be consistent! It will take a few weeks or more.

I use a wire Mid-west Collapse-able Crate (30“ x 32“ x 42“-this is on the large size as I use it for two females when showing.)

A dog will learn to LIKE his/her crate and see it as his/her SAFE SPOT. When the household is very busy or stressful for your pup, crate him/her.

Puppy Shopping!!

As tempting as it is, please DO NOT go overboard buying new items for your pup, until you have had your baby for a few days. I will have the items you need to get through the initial transition for you.

Other dogs:

Until your pup has had all 4 parts of their basic shots, it is best to keep your pup AWAY from other dogs. Do not take puppy into a Pet Store until he/she has had all 4 rounds of shots. It is a petri dish of canine germs! Safe trips might include Home Depot, Lowes, Hobby Lobby, Tractor Supple, Rural King, etc. Watch for rat poison under shelving units! Keep puppy beside you!

If you must take your pup to a “dog area” (PetSmart, Petco, Vet’s Office for initial check, etc.), carry him/her. The floors are full of germs, etc. Your pup will not be fully protected until they have all of the necessary vaccinations. (You will need to get shots at 12 wks. and 15 wks.) When seeking a “potty stop” with your puppy, choose a spot not frequented by other dogs.

Other people’s advice:

Listen to other’s advice. Ask your Vet. BUT, make decisions based on your own pup and his/her situation, as well as your family. If you have any questions, give me a call:

931-237-0800. I will be glad to help if I can.

Always get a second opinion for any serious procedures or concerns.


Read the latest info. on spaying/neutering time frames. Listen to your Vet. My advice is to wait close to a year or until the pup is mature. Spaying should NOT be performed before a first heat cycle (approximately 9-11 months.). Neutering should take place between 12 to 18 months. (If you are having a problem with a male puppy being “fresh”, give me a call.)

Send me the proof of the spay/neuter/vasectomy procedure. I will, in turn, send you your AKC Registration Paperwork, as per Contract. Remember, spaying or neutering/vasectomizing, micro-chipping, and passing an accepted Obedience Class with you dog, are required for AKC Registration Transfer.


Find a Boarding Facility that you trust. Better yet, have a friend or relative stay at your home with the pup. If you cannot find an available solution/facility, give me a call. I can temporarily board in a pinch, especially a young pup. Boarding a young puppy can be very traumatic for the pup. Pet sitters, neighbors and/or family members and friends can be wonderful helpers. If you are away for the day, I suggest asking someone to come and feed, play with, and potty your pup during that time.

Lost dog/catching a loose dog:

Teach “Catch Me!” Run from you pup calling “Catch me!”. Let him/her catch you and reward. This is the surest way to get your pup when you really need him/her in a hurry. Do not try to chase a puppy; you will lose the race. The pup will not only learn a game of running from you, but could also put him-/herself in danger!


Relax and have fun with your dog during storms. Do not show fear of a storm or baby him/her during a storm. EXPECT YOUR DOG TO BEHAVE, and he/she will!

Encourage barking for the Smoke Alarm. Reward this! May come in handy someday.

Teach the “Leave it!” Command. It could save your pup’s life if pills or a glass are dropped on the floor.


A tablespoon of Hydrogen Peroxide will stimulate regurgitation if your pup swallows something he/she shouldn’t. Call Poison Control. Remedy can be repeated 3 x until results.



Feed: (Free shipping over $50.00.)

Supplies: or

I use: Crown Royale Biovite OB Shampoo, #2-bought on Amazon.

I will give you a hard-copy of this at Puppy Pick-up. Please read through everything and write down any questions that you have. We can discuss them when we meet. Puppy Pick-up will take about 2 hours. Your final payment will be due at that time. You may use a check, cash, or money order.

Let me know what information is missing, so that I may add it..............looking forward to seeing you soon!


(No part of these directions may be used without permission.) Contact Lori at:

931-237-0800 or 931-648-8364

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