FAQ

Please Read and Consider PRIOR to RESERVING a Puppy:

There is a common misconception that golden retrievers are perfect and require little training.  While we believe goldens are the perfect breed for individual companionship, families, therapy and service work,  this in no way suggests that golden pups don’t require a lot of work or will arrive “perfect”.  Training is an absolutely necessary part of integrating a puppy into your life and preventing problems.  Puppies have normal puppy behaviours that are far from perfect.  Early and consistent training prevents these normal puppy behaviours from becoming problematic.  Training a puppy is a long process and it’s impossible to implement a quick fix, unless you’re going to compromise your pup’s trust, temperament and emotional well being.  We want our puppies to join families who are invested in the long-haul, not wanting a quick fix when issues arise.  

I have put together a very comprehensive resource package and it’s emailed as soon as pups are born and we have confirmed with families.   Each family will have 2 months to read the material and prepare for puppy’s arrival.   Please understand that we put our time, energy and training into our puppies the entire time they are with us, plus provide our families with valuable suggestions, tips, and resources, so each family is set up optimally for their puppy’s homecoming.  However, this doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for you.  Raising a puppy is hard work, it’s tiring, and completely time consuming. And creating your “perfect golden” involves more than accomplishing sleeping happily in the crate and peeing outside consistently.  You will want to create a puppy who doesn’t jump up people, doesn’t steal food off your counters, doesn’t nip when something is taken from them, doesn’t pull the leash when you walk,  doesn’t guard it’s food dish, tolerates children, people and other dogs of all ages, etc etc.  And this needs to start the day the puppy arrives home.  Your days and nights are going to change completely.  It gets easier as time goes on, but this is still a living being and not something you can take the batteries out of and turn off or put away when you want time to yourself.  

Some pups have easier personalities and intelligence, which makes training easier and more straightforward, but all of them require training and life-long consistency.  Sometimes normal puppy behaviour is difficult to fix, and you will need a different approach.  If/when this happens it might be necessary to step up your own knowledge or work with a trainer to help out.  I need all of our families to be aware of this and prepared to do what it takes if the need arises.  Just like children, they all learn differently and it’s our jobs to work with them so they learn with strategies and a pace necessary for them.  On the topic of children … your puppy can never be left alone with a young child, EVER.  Puppies and children are unpredictable and move fast.  Please consider this if you have young children and ask yourself if you have the time to devote to constant supervision and positive attention to your very important children + a puppy in your life.  Raising a puppy is as much work, or harder than raising a toddler.  Do you have the time and patience and raise both at the same time?

The assessments we do while the puppies are with us tell us the puppy’s learning style and how best to work with the puppy – like a blueprint or instruction manual – but not a decision on who is best for which family or what the puppy will develop into.  We use these assessments to make recommendations to our service families, but the family always makes the decision. Once the puppies leave our home, we have zero influence on the training methods, consistency, or the amount of love and attention the puppies get.  We hope and pray that our families will take our advice given in the report cards for how best to work with their puppies,  but it’s completely out of our control and therefore impossible to predict what your puppy will grow into.  We give them an optimal beginning, but you are your puppy’s destiny.  

Factors to consider when deciding if you are truly ready and able for puppy raising:

-frequent interruptions to your day (going outside for potty breaks every 10-15 mins when puppy is awake)

-constant supervision of the puppy during awake times

-willing to accept some long/sleepless nights initially

-listening to crying/barking while puppy is crate training

-several short sessions of formal training EVERY day, plus being creative with implementing training into regular play and routines.

-willingness to take puppy for car rides when you’re going on short outings

-willingness to take puppy with you on weekend trips or a reliable person to puppy sit

-willingness to be ok with being “tied down” to a puppy

-lots of time to devote to puppy raising

-what are distractions in your home that will increase the stress of puppy training? (A few to consider are young children, home business, work at home)

-physical ability to get up and down ALOT, get down on floor to play, move quickly for potty breaks

-ability to get outside easily for potty breaks (ie. do you have other pets or young children who can’t be left alone inside, or do you live on the 10th floor of an apartment building)

-weather- are you ok with standing in the rain, dark, hot sun, snow, etc multiple times a day/night for potty time

-are you realistic that even if you have children/teenagers, chances are it’ll be the parents in the house doing the bulk of the work?

-do you have upcoming surgeries or procedures that could interfere with you being able to raise the puppy?

-willingness to play outdoors, no matter the weather

-willingness to go for daily walks, regardless of how busy/tired you are

-you understand that puppies are active and get into things ALOT, picture perfect periods of sitting on your lap and snuggling are often few and far between in the early months

How much does the average Golden Retriever weigh?

  • Males typically weigh between 75-80 lbs, and females are slightly smaller at 60-65 lbs.

What are their coats like?

  • One of the most admired physical appearances of the Golden Retriever is their multi-length coat.  During colder months they have a thick undercoat and a longer, water repellent outer coat with beautiful feathering on the chest, tail, back of thighs and forelegs.  Goldens can vary from a very light cream to dark gold, to even a red coat.  All variations are considered normal and equally desirable, it is completely up to individual preference.

Are Golden Retrievers smart and easy to train?

Goldens not only make unsurpassable family companions, but are also specially trained as guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for those who require assistance or support, therapy dogs for comfort , are superb hunting dogs, and excel in the show rings.

Training is crucial to success and for enjoyment of your puppy – whether as a family companion or a service provider. Early training prevents normal puppy behaviours from becoming problems. Just because you are bringing home a golden retriever, doesn’t mean he/she will naturally be an easy pet, they still require lots of training and consistency to bring out the calm, gentle and loving personality traits that goldens are known for. You cannot expect to do very little training or time spent with your puppy and have the pup develop naturally into a perfect family pet. It just doesn’t work that way. When you contact us in hopes of reserving one of our pups, you can expect we will ask lots of questions to ensure you are ready, mentally and physically for the commitment required of puppy ownership. There are no quick fixes, training is on-going and can’t be skipped due to cold weather, a long day at work, young children in the home, etc. We will help you consider the factors in your life and if a puppy fits in with your realistic plans at this time.

boat.jpg

What kind of training is best for Goldens?

  • Taking part in positive obedience classes either as a group or private professional training with your pup as well as on-going socialization with other dogs, animals and people is extremely important. Please remember that puppy training requires dedication and consistency and will not be perfected in a short amount of time.  Sending consistent messaging and making sure everyone in the family is on-board with sticking to rules is absolutely necessary and treats make all the difference! The rewards of a well trained, good mannered dog are definitely worth all the hard work, but it’s important to consider all the time and energy that basic training will take.  Most of the resources we send home with our puppy families come from Norma Jeanne Laurette & Greg Cici. You can contact them through the following website: Become A Dog Trainer Online (dogtrainingcareers.com) We also refer many families who are local to the St. Thomas, ON area (or willing to travel or learn virtually) to The Phoenix Canine Initiative The Phoenix Canine Initiative | Facebook Brad and Sara are very experienced in dog training, have a peer-led therapy dog program, and train for service dog (certification and accessibility). We are pleased to have several of our puppies in their therapy and service training programs. Another fabulous, positive and experienced trainer we fully recommend is Puppy Power Puppy Power Dog Training Services at Puppy Power range from board & train puppy imprinting, obedience classes and day care.

Will our puppy come with a health guarantee? 

  • YES.  Our dogs are our family and their health is our priority.  We also want their new families to rest assured that we are providing them with a happy, healthy new family member.  We have a very strict protocol for cleaning and disinfection of the areas the puppies and all our goldens live in, we keep our yard clean of dog feces and dispose of it appropriately, we follow a parasite control program, and have regular conversations with our veterinarian on the best harm reduction we can provide. We provide a 2 year health guarantee for specific genetic diseases.

Can we visit our puppy while we’re waiting for him to come home with us? 

  • We understand that it’s exciting to learn you’re getting a new puppy and the wait can be very long, however, it’s also very important that we keep our puppies healthy and with their mom as much as possible during the first weeks.  We offer one visit to meet the puppies. This is to ensure the best health for our pups.  Our dogs are our family and visitors come into our home to meet everyone, so following health protocols is very important.   Thanks to digital technology at our finger tips, we are able to provide pictures and videos frequently. 

What do we need to purchase for our new puppy? 

  • We recommend a crate, collar, leash, bed, treats and quality chew toys and natural chews.  For a complete least of items we suggest you have ready for your new pup, please see our Prep for Puppy menu. Since your puppy is going to grow quickly don’t bother buying a small crate, you can place a divider in it to make it smaller and continue to move it to accommodate your growing pup.  Most of the supplies we recommend can be ordered from amazon.ca. Visit our Preparing For Puppy Page to see a complete list and links. We also recommend a good quality food and supplements.  We use Royal Canine for all our goldens and send our puppies home with information on joining their autoship program.

What About Vitamins and Supplements? 

  • All our dogs take NuVet vitamins and supplements daily.  Learn more about @NuvetLabsOfficial products at https://www.nuvet.com/45049.  If you want to order now, please use our breeder code #45049. We give all our puppies a probiotic supplement daily and our older pups and adults receive salmon oil daily as well.

Will our puppy be provided with any training before coming to live with us?  

  • YES! Check out our Enhanced Training Program Early brain connections, stimulation and development are very important to dogs.  Our reputation is built around providing families with a socialized, stimulated puppy with a solid foundation of neurological pathways and development. Pups are handled and cuddled daily, increasing time as they age and their mom permits. As they mature, they will be provided with tactile items, toys and new experiences to explore daily.  The pups are socialized with new people and taken for car rides to lessen the stress of the ride home.  Puppies are fully weaned from their mom and given the experience of sleeping in a crate in the days leading up to their arrival at their new home. They become accustomed to litter in their play area very early in life, which makes the transition to outdoor potty much simpler. The optimal and most crucial learning period for brain development is in the first 16 weeks. Since we spend at least 1/2 of that period with the puppy, we recognize how important our time with them is and are dedicated to making the most of that time so families will receive a puppy with the optimal foundation for learning and life!