Pets
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puppy time!

So my fiancé and I just put a deposit down for an English Golden Retriever, we are super excited!  I grew up with dogs, but was pretty young when they were puppies.  I've been reading stuff online about what to get before they come, but I thought I would post here and see what suggestions everyone had.  

What did you do to prepare for your first pet and/or what do you wish you would have done?


Re: puppy time!

  • we got a crate (we crate trained), a leash, collar, food bowls, food & treats, and some toys.  we decided where we were going to put the crate, we talked about and researched obedience training. We have an italian mastiff so it is alot of dog and i wanted to take classes. We started training with him right away and started the classes as soon as he was able to age/vet shot wise. It was a great idea for both us. thats all i can think of at the moment, Good luck!
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  • Make your first vet appointment and schedule your puppy class before you pick the pup up. (I waited to schedule my class and couldn't join part way through so it was kind of silly. Our class was actually at the vet office and now he loves to go to the vet so there is that. The trainer told me to bring "soft treats" with me to class and I brought store bought stuff the first week and then after that cut up bits of cooked chicken and used that like everyone else in my class, bring water for them too. We have a little pop up bowl that clips onto his leash that I use far more often than I would have thought). 
    Buy some of the food the breeder uses so you're not changing everything when the pup comes to your house. Socialize them with people as much as you can. Be careful wary about dog parks etc until they're fully vaccinated.
    Crate training worked really well for me. You'll need a larger crate later and most of them come with dividers so you can split it until the puppy gets a bit bigger. We have a Kong one and it's served me well. Folds up easily to transport. He has his own blankie in with him and we put music on. He gets a kong with pb every time he gets crated and thus loves to go to his crate.
    Prepare your house. I have a friend who continued to leave her shoes and kids toys lying around the house when they got a new puppy and was *shocked* when he chewed on those things.
    We do the NILF.
    Good luck! Puppies are the best :)
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  • I sincerely hope you are buying your pup through a reputable breeder who both shows their dogs and performs OFA health testing on both parents to ensure they are not perpetuating known breed health issues (for Goldens, that means no hip dysplasia for starters). If this isn't the case, I'd seriously try to get your deposit back, or else cut your losses and walk away. Goldens are SO overbred; there are always puppies, young dogs, and adults in rescues and shelters waiting to find homes.

    Of course, at this stage, I realize things may be too late and can only help to educate for future pets. 

    We, like others, got a crate for our pup and immediately started crate training when she came home. We bought high quality treats to use in training her (you will be giving a LOT of treats during training, so find a really good brand, preferably something made in the US and not sourced from China); you can also cook up some chicken, liver, etc to use for treats.

    Ditto on getting a small bag of whatever the breeder is feeding and slowly introducing whatever food you plan to feed. Talk to someone in a local pet store to find a high quality kibble; it costs more than the junk at the grocery store, but it contains fewer fillers, and so you actually feed less of it because it's more nutrient dense.

    Get a few toys, but not too many, since you don't really know yet what your pup is going to enjoy playing with.

    Get a Kong and some chew-appropriate toys, like Nylabones. Do NOT get rawhide; that stuff is dangerous and it's made using formaldehyde! Yuck!

    Most importantly, check out the FAQs sticky thread for TONS of great information on training and bringing home a new pup. I used this resource when we brought our dog home 2+years ago, and it provided me loads of great information that resulted in a very happy and well-trained pup!
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  • Thank you for all the comments and information!  I never thought to schedule the vet and puppy class before we bring her home - excellent idea!  

    We have found a reputable breeder, all pups meet AKC standards and both parents have OFA clearance.  We have a friend on the east coast and contacted their breeder who recommended someone closer to where we live.  We went to her house, met the mom and her other dogs and made sure we were comfortable before we gave her any money.  Plus she is really close, so we can visit the pups after 4 weeks!  
    LuckyAngel07
  • Congrats. We have an English Creme Golden that is 6 months old. We have other dogs so not much new except golden specific behavior (our others are shelties). Goldens like a towel to roll on after a bath. She loves to play in her water dish and will dump it over - so we had to get a watering bowl used for livestock for outside to make sure our dogs always have a supply of water. The vet wanted us to play with her mouth to get her used to having the vet inspect the gums. She wasn't too thrilled when the vet did this. We started leash training right away. She was better at 6 weeks than 14 when she started to exert her preferences and pull. Her favorite toy is a deer antler to chew on. She was a quick learner for sit, down, shake... I did obedience class at a pet store but the vet recommended she not go in the store area until she was fully vaccinated. I carried her in the store for the classes that were in a segregated area. There were no other dogs in the class so no socialization there - only with neighbor dogs.
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