Choosing a Golden Retriever Puppy
When it comes to choosing a Golden Retriever puppy, there are several factors to keep in mind. You’re looking for a dog that’s healthy in both mind and body. Let’s see how we can help you pick that perfect pup.
Time To Buy a Puppy!
It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for. Golden Retriever PuppyYou finally get to visit that new litter of cute Golden Retriever puppies and make your selection.
The ideal time to do that is when the puppies are around five weeks of age. That’s when they’re beginning to explore their world and love being around people. You won’t be able to take the pup home for awhile. But at least you can figure out how to pick a puppy at your leisure.
Do You Want a Boy or a Girl?
The first question you need to ask yourself is, would you rather have a boy or a girl? There are some minor differences in size and temperament between male and female Goldens. But it really boils down to your personal preference.
If you’re positive you want to buy a female puppy, for instance, ask the breeder to take the males out of the bunch for now. If you’re dead set on buying a Henrietta, you don’t want to lose your heart to a Henry.
How Golden Do You Want Him To Be?
Golden Retriever Puppy With ChewieIn most Golden litters, the coat colors usually vary between shades of cream and gold.
If you’re choosing a Golden Retriever puppy for his color, check out the ears.
A puppy’s ear color is the best indicator of the color of his future adult coat. His ears are often slightly to moderately darker than the rest of his coat at this tender age.
That Precious Puppy Look and Smell
Golden Retriever puppies should be sturdy and nicely plump, but not too plump. Distended stomachs could indicate a problem with worms.
When you pick up one of those cute Golden Retriever puppies, he should smell nice. It’s a “newborn thing,” just like with human babies. And when you stroke him, his coat should be clean and plush, with no signs of fleas or other parasites.
You’re also checking to make sure there’s no evidence of scabs under the coat on the skin. His eyes and ears should be clear, with no runny discharges from either place. His nose should be jet black.
At this stage, a Golden Retriever puppy’s eyes will be gray, but they’ll gradually change to a permanent dark brown. Your prospective pup shouldn’t have any bald spots or apparent sores. You should not see any evidence of adverse reactions to recent puppy shots.
Are you choosing a Golden Retriever puppy to show him in the ring? Then you need to make sure there are no obvious markings or conformation problems that would disqualify him.
Healthy Parents Produce Healthy Pups
Golden Retriever Mom & PupsThe parents of the Golden Retriever puppies you inspect should have certifications for their hips and eyes, and ideally, their hearts, too. But health and soundness is more than just clearances.
Golden Retrievers are often known for skin problems, and the parents in question should be trouble free with no apparent allergies or susceptibility to hot spots.
You should ask the breeder about the overall health of the parents, and how long ancestors in the first two or three generations have lived. The answers could indicate the quality of life your new pup can expect throughout his life, and how long you might be blessed with his friendship.
Consider Personality When Choosing a Golden Retriever Puppy
Sarah Cuddles PuppiesWhen you first see the litter together, they should mob you, absolutely thrilled at the sight of people–and new people at that! Peaches’s puppies always enjoyed their play time with my daughter, Sarah (seen here).
Every puppy has an individual personality, and each litter contains a range of personalities. It’s up to you to match your family’s needs with your perfect pup’s personality when selecting a Golden Retriever puppy.
You can do this with the help of puppy temperament testing. It’s not as complicated as it might sound, and it will help you when it comes to choosing a Golden Retriever puppy that’s perfect for your family.
Are You Looking For a Good Hunter?
Golden Retriever PuppyIf you’re choosing a Golden Retriever puppy to take hunting, bring a duck wing or pheasant tail with you when you visit the litter, and tease the puppies with it. Some pups will immediately be fixated on the feather and chase it around constantly, even picking it up when you toss it.
Other pups won’t care one way or the other what’s tickling their nose. Look for the pups that like to hold things in their mouths or carry them around.
All Golden Retrievers have a natural retrieving instinct, but some have practically a compulsion to have something in their mouths at all times. There’s your hunter pup.
“When Am I Old Enough to Leave Home?”
Once you’ve taken the time to pick the right puppy, you’ll have to wait a couple more weeks to take the new family member home. Now is the time to buy puppy supplies, make the veterinary appointments, check back with the breeder to make sure the puppy is up to date with his vaccinations, and spend time puppy-proofing your home in preparation for the canine invasion.
In general, puppies should stay with their mother until sometime between the eighth and tenth weeks. By this time, the puppies have learned critical canine socialization skills from their mother and littermates.
They’re also weaned off their mother’s milk, are eating puppy food, and are old enough to pass Beginning Housebreaking 101 with flying colors.
Did You Pick the Right Puppy?
Golden Retriever Puppy & BoyHere’s the bottom line when it comes to choosing a Golden Retriever puppy:
The puppy who lets you play with him, who lets you pick him up without struggling too much, and who seems happy, healthy, and clean is most likely going to be typical of the Golden Retriever breed.
That means you’ve been blessed with a wonderful new best friend who will give you many years of unlimited, unconditional love. What more could any mere mortal want?