Getting a new puppy is one of the most exciting experiences that any dog lover can have. In many ways, it is often an adventure with new opportunities and activities to explore as your puppy continues to grow.
As always, there’s a lot to learn as your dog is growing, and this is especially true as you continue bonding with your three months old Golden retriever puppy. For some general insight as to what you can expect during this experience and how to make every day equally exciting for your pup, the following tips are highly recommended among most Goldie owners.
How to Care for Your 3 Months Old Golden Retriever Puppy
As you might expect, Golden retriever puppies are full of boundless energy and require significant attention throughout this important developmental stage in their lives. Caring for a puppy presents several situations and goals that are unique compared to when your Goldie transitions into adulthood. If you want to ensure that you’re optimally prepared, you will need to address each of the following anticipated needs early into your relationship with your Goldie.
Perhaps one of the most immediate needs you’ll have to address is how to housetrain your puppy. Getting your Goldie familiar with where and when it’s appropriate to relieve themselves is something you will want to take care of sooner than later.
While you can’t expect your puppy to become housetrained overnight, and much of this will be an experience of trial and error, establishing good habits and guidelines early into your relationship is crucial. There are several ways to housetrain a puppy. Some of them may initially seem less intuitive to your pooch than others, so remember to be patient and provide corrections that are both supportive and instructive.
As a general tip, most puppies do fairly well with housetraining if you allow them to pick a spot outside; afterward, you can return to that spot for any additional bathroom breaks. This will help your puppy become more comfortable with going outside and will be especially helpful if you are planning on mainly housetraining them without puppy pads. They will now recognize that they have their designated area to relieve themselves.
As your puppy grows older, they will become more comfortable with venturing to other areas of your yard, but this initial interaction with smaller spaces is a good introduction. For the best results, take your puppy to the designated area while on their leash so that they can start understanding the importance of obedience and establish basic skills for leash training.
Generally speaking, you can start leash training your puppy as early as two months old, but you’ll notice more defined habits and results around the three-months mark. Your goal in leash training your puppy is to ensure that they don’t pull or drag you around on the leash. While this isn’t much of a concern while your Goldie is small, you’ll be glad you established more obedient behavior when your furry buddy reaches adulthood.
Long before you take your Goldie outside on the leash, you can introduce the general concept to them by allowing them to wear their collar or any necessary harnesses while indoors. This is important, especially since some puppies won’t like to wear a collar initially or may be picky about the type of fit necessary for them to continue wearing their color for prolonged periods without discomfort.
Your additional goal in leash training is that your puppy should become disciplined enough to understand when to stay still or when to come to you when needed. You can reinforce these concepts by providing rewards such as praise or treats when your puppy is obedient.
Likewise, your puppy should learn to only move around on the leash while you are walking together. Ideally, you should be able to drop the leash and establish that your dog will not move any further when it realizes you aren’t moving, but this can take time to achieve when working with younger pups.
Although many new Goldie owners don’t anticipate this, puppies often need some additional support regarding socializing due to their young age. Your Golden retriever may be very outgoing and playful with you, but may be less outgoing around other puppies and could easily become shy or fearful.
Similar circumstances can apply when your puppy is interacting with new people or spending time in different settings throughout your household. Compared to older Goldies, a three months old Golden retriever puppy will not be familiar with most sounds, settings, people, or other animals. It will be your responsibility to help them get accustomed to knowing what’s safe and what’s not.
If you have other pets in your household, you should introduce them to your puppy very gradually. This process can vary depending on the type of pets that you have, such as if it’s another dog or if you have a cat. Every animal interacts differently with a puppy and an adult dog during introductions, so the best way to be mindful of this is to reach out to your veterinarian for general guidance.
For example, in some households where cats are present, new puppies shouldn’t be introduced to the cat until at least a week has passed, and both animals should be kept in separate rooms. If you don’t have any other pets in your household, but there are other people, you can ease into introducing everyone on a gradual basis so that your puppy doesn’t become overstimulated.
Deworming and Vaccines
In most cases, your puppy was probably already dewormed when you first met. However, depending on how the puppy was dewormed and how curious they tend to be in general, you may need to deworm them later on. Sometimes when you invest in a three months old Golden retriever puppy from a breeder, they may have already dewormed the dog.
Ideally, this should be done by a veterinarian, but some breeders will opt to deworm at home instead. If you notice any signs that your dog may need to be dewormed, it is highly recommended that you take care of it as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, although it should be fairly safe for your puppy to go outside in the backyard or even your front yard, they shouldn’t be exposed to dog parks or any larger social areas until they are at least four months old. This is due to the wide range of bacteria and potential threats to their immune system.
Further, most Goldies have completed their necessary vaccinations by four months old, and the chances are that you might even be currently involved with a vaccine cycle at the point of three months old. Until your puppy has received all of the necessary vaccines, you shouldn’t take them on any open walks outside of your yard or backyard.
By the age of three months old, you may have already established a feeding schedule for your puppy. If not, you can start considering what a feeding schedule should look like based on your schedule and how often your dog needs to eat. If you have been free-feeding before this point, it’s a good time to transition away from that method and introduce more structure. It’s normal to feed your puppy three to four times a day during this stage of their life.
You should also factor in additional time for snacks and how many snacks you’re willing to provide per day in addition to the recommended daily intake of dog food. If you have any questions about this, your Goldie’s veterinarian can provide you with plenty of tips and best practices for developing a feeding schedule that will adjust with your puppy’s growth.
Although training your puppy and adhering to a vaccine schedule can be challenging, there are many resources available to take the guesswork out of the experience. If you struggle with training your pup, or it seems that they aren’t consistently obeying, you can always ask for some additional help and guidance from a trainer.
When your puppy can interact with other dogs and leave your yard, you can also look into introducing them into group training sessions with other dogs. Above all, remember to be patient and supportive of your pooch throughout the training process. Certain skills will not develop overnight, but they will most certainly prove to be mastered over extended time spent nurturing and caring for your pup!