Getting Ready For A Puppy!
 Updated 1/29/2008

Ok so now you have screened the breeder, you have also been screened so what's next? What are you going to do for the next 8 weeks to maybe even 6 months? And what should you expect of your breeder? What should the breeder expect of you?


First lets talk about what you should expect from your breeder and what you are going to be doing till puppy comes home. This is beyond meeting the dogs seeing pedigrees clearances pre-approving the contract, understanding just what the breeder expects of you as a responsible dog owner, and what they are going to warrantee. All that jazz should have been covered during the screening process.


You should be given a task list which should include suggesting reading, puppy proofing, and general dog care.

~See below~


You should be kept updated on progress of the pregnancy or the puppies if they are already born. Some breeders will:


1. keep you posted via email with mass mailings to everyone on the waiting list.


2. form a list serve for interaction between individuals on the waiting list and post announcements.


3. some my even build a web-page just for the litter.


4. some will make phone calls.


But bottom line, there should be some contact initiated by the breeder or you should be instructed to please check in. Even if it's just to say we are still waiting and we are still here!


Now what should the breeder expect of you?


1. Patience, responsible breeders are often busy people and while they do have your best interests in mind sometimes just like everyone else they get busy. Dog people are often away on the weekends at dog shows and are rarely available to have visitors to their homes much before noon as dog people have dogs and dogs mean chores. In some cases they have house sitters or family members caring for mom and pup's and often it's not possible to reach the breeder or even the house sitter while breeders are away.


2. More patience, it's common for breeders to not allow visitors for the first 3 to 4 weeks. This is for the dam's comfort and in the litters best interest. Some breeders will post visitation schedules around their activities and you should plan in advance to be able to accommodate their schedule.


3. More patience yet, as you know most breeders do not allow their families to choose which puppy is going to be theirs. This is often a task that breeder and potential new owner do together to some degree but the breeder should have the last word and applying pressure will only serve to strain the relationship sometimes.


A. It's ok to express a desire or to share you are smitten with a particular puppy but do not get your hopes up. Remember as breeders we are breeding first and foremost to produce show dogs or dogs who will compete and prove our breeding programs.


Please visit: Puppy Notes For Go Home Instructions

Additional Reading and Tasks:

Dog Owner's Guide is a collection of articles for dog owners, pet and show.

Check this site frequently for updates:


How-to-Love-Your-Dog: is a fun and interactive website for kids. The focus is on kindness, commitment, and responsible dog care.

Check this site frequently for updates:


Ian Dunbar "Before You Get Your Puppy"

this is an on-line book first link is complete with pictures (34 MB). Second link is without pictures (.57 MB):

Books & Video

Breed Books:

The Golden Retriever by: Jeffrey Pepper

The New Golden Retriever by: Marcia Schler

The Golden Retriever Puppy Book by: Joan Tudor

All That Glitters Is Gold by Julie Carins


Training Books:

The Art of Raising A Puppy by: The Monks of New Skete

How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With by: David H. Neil

Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog by: Carol Lea Benjamin


Competition Training:

Show Training:

Dog Showing For Beginners by Lynn Hall

The Winning Edge: Show Ring Secrets by George Alston and Connie Vanacore

How to Show Your Dog and Win by: Kirt Unkelbach


For kids:

Junior Showmanship from Hand to Lead: The Complete Handbook For Junior Handlers by Mary A Miller

Junior Handling: The complete Guide on How to Show Your Dog by: Felix Cosme


Obedience, Field, Tracking and Agility

Dual Ring Dog/Successful Training For Both Conformation and Obedience Competition by: Amy Amen and Jacqueline Fraser

Beyond Basic Dog Training By Diane Bauman


There is also an excellent vide, and book, on puppy training called Sirius Puppy Training, by Dr. Ian Dunbar (a prominent dog psychologist.) It is an excellent visual aid! The above books and video may be ordered from several sources and are sometimes available at bookstores and super pet stores. Another great source is


Household Do's and Don'ts


Puppy proofing a must:

Puppies are very oral and anything that they can they will put in their mouth. Take the time to go around your house including the areas you think will be off limits and check things out.


1. Electrical cords, cables wires. Pick these up tie wrap hide do what ever but get them out of reach.


2. Plants are a fav of puppies make sure even if the plants you have are not poisons you pick them up. Chewing on your plants is not something you want your puppy to get in a habit of.


3. Cupboards, great hiding places as well great toys inside, NOT make sure that if you have cupboards that don't close well you get these fixed. A good thing to use is the child proof latches.


4. Carpets, some older carpets have snags in door ways etc, look for these and try to fix if possible. I promise you if you don't your puppy will find these voids and exploit them. Simple fix is to throw a rug over the spot. Also on carpets, good idea to have some order remover handy just in case you muff up. ;-) a good brand is Natures Miracle found at most pet stores or in catalogs and on line shopping centers.


Outdoor Do's and Don'ts

1. Absolutely do not use snail and slug bait. Two things you can do to combat these pests that are safe for your puppy are: beer in a shallow pan the snails and slugs are attracted to it and drown. If you puppy drinks it oh well, an extra nap maybe... Second this works well too, is sprinkle good old fashioned clay cat litter in your beds, this is also attractive to slugs and snails. They eat it and it dries them up.


2. If you must use chemicals on your yard make sure you allow the area to dry completely before allowing your puppy in the area. If possible do 1/2 the yard at a time. As well try to shop for pet safe products but don't believe everything you read. Still use caution there.


3. Automotive leakage, please check to make sure your car doesn't lean anti freeze... One drop can kill a full grown dog. There are pet safe products on the market and these are truly pet safe.


4. Walk your fence lines if there is any dip hole fill it up. Once puppy finds it he's libel to keep going back. Walk the yard well for small toys left behind, other debris such as wrappers.


5. pad lock all your gates. make sure you notify meter readers of this and supply key if need be. They will usually supply you with a combo lock box to put the key in.


Out Buildings: Garages

Simple common sense will tell you if your out building is a safe place for your puppy but do look around and make sure all chemicals are out of reach. No automotive spills. No sharp things at ground level.


So there you have it, this should keep you busy for a while...


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