Since Goldens are such a popular breed you’ll probably find Golden Retriever puppies in many pet stores in your area. But I would strongly advice you against buying Golden Retriver pups there for several reasons. Many people do not realize that most of the puppies there come from puppy mills. This means that they were bred for money purpose only without proper selection and breeding conditions. The dogs there are often over bred, in poor health and are kept in cages for lifetime. Genetic diseases and immunity problems are fairly common in such puppies.
Another reason to look for a reputable breeder rather than going to the pet store is to see the puppies’ parents. A calm, friendly and intelligent dog is likely to produce friendly and intelligent heir, while the offspring of an aggressive dog is more likely to be that way as well when they grow up.
Now that you’ve decided to find a breeder (be sure to find a good one) it’s time to give him or her a visit and see the puppies. While choosing a puppy be sure to spend some time with the whole litter. This way you’ll see how each pup communicates with the others. Also ask the breeder to see each puppy separately and spend some time with the pup one on one.
The puppies are good to be taken home when they are at least 8 to 10 weeks old. While introducing your Golden to his new home try not to scare him and not to excite him too much. If you were planning to invite some people over, better postpone the visit by the time he gets comfortable with the new place. Be sure to “puppy proof” your home, meaning no wires or chemicals should be available within his reach. Those things can be not only dangerous but potentially fatal to your new friend.
Remember, that all Goldens love to chew, especially as puppies (actually they preserve this habit through the entire life), so if you don’t want to find that your favorite shoes are one mate short or that your chair now has only tree legs instead of four you should provide your Golden with appropriate chewing toys.
Keep your Golden busy. These intelligent dogs get bored quite easily, and a bored puppy can cause more destruction then a tornado in your room. It’s also time to start training him. Using positive reinforcement and Golden’s love for food you can teach him some tricks during short training sessions. Placing your pup in the obedience class is also a wise choice. Goldens are always willing to please their master but sometimes need some additional direction. Give your Golden a bit of time and soon he’ll gladly obey your commands just to hear a word of praise.
As your little Golden grows, he needs to exercise to develop strong and healthy buddy, so be sure give him such and opportunity. He’ll gladly play all sorts of dog games with you, your children or even other pets. It’s a real pride and joy watching your pup growing and becoming the best dog you’ve ever had!