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Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta

If you are new to Golden Retriever ownership and you have just adopted your very first one......Congrats! You might be wondering what to expect now as your new Golden best friend goes through the important stages of life.

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First, for those that do not know, the Golden Retriever breed is not ideal for those who want to pat their dogs on the head in the morning and then leave them alone most all of the day.

Goldens are "people dogs". It's in their DNA ---- meaning that they are very sociable and do not like to be left on their own for long periods of time. They have a great deal of enthusiasm and energy. That is why it is important for this breed in particular to get plenty of exercise and social interaction to be a good, well-behaved dog.

Many people have their own ideas on the age of a dog's maturation. In all honesty, there are differing levels of energy that your Golden Retriever will go through during its life. And from the age of about 10-weeks-old to 5-years-old, the energy level can remain quite high.

Here are the basic stages of a dog's life and what you can expect on average with your new Golden Retriever ---

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Stage 1: Newborn – At this stage, there isn’t a lot of energy as the puppy just wants to eat and sleep. And then eat and sleep again!

Stage 2: Toddler – This stage starts around 8-10 weeks old and goes until about 5-months-old. The energy level is quite high at this time as the Golden puppy is learning all it can about the world as well as go through many biological changes. It tests its environment with its mouth and as it gets towards the end of this stage, it begins to chew on everything it can to try and get relief from teething. This is when the puppy starts to lose its puppy teeth and the newer ---- and larger ---- adult teeth start breaking through.

Stage 3: Adolescent – This is a tough stage and starts around 5- months-old and go anywhere up to a year depending on the dog. Some would call it the "terrible twos" because all of a sudden your sweet Golden baby has forgotten everything you have taught it and has the manners now of any teenager around! Sure ---- they know not to go on the couch, but they will test you again and again making sure you meant it. This is when you need to reinforce all your training because if you let them get away with it now, it is much harder to break them of it later.

Stage 4: Maturing – Usually this starts around a year old and goes until the 5-year-old stage. The level of energy is still high and is equal to a young twenty-something adult. They don’t have a care in the world and have great amounts of energy, but have slowed down just a bit. They get more comfortable with their surroundings and take a little more time to enjoy life and the company of their owner and family. This is an incredibly enjoyable time with your family Golden.

Stage 5: Senior – Around 5-years-old and up, the little puppy you once knew with all the energy level of the Energizer Bunny is there in spirit, but the body is slowing down more. They still have a good amount of energy, but nothing compared to stages 2 and 3. Life is simply good, quiet, and comfortable. Just keep them as healthy and pain-free as possible during this stage.

Generally, each dog is different. But the true key here is to be able to learn how to cope throughout the different stages of your Golden's life and focus your time and attention to accommodate your new best friend's needs. And you will find that your Golden will be a happy, safe, and well-behaved dog.

Do you have any helpful tips you can share with us regarding raising a Golden Retriever that has worked in the past for you and your family? Please let us know at GRRA. We'd love to hear from you. Have a Good Golden day, everyone!

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