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English Golden Retrievers Puppies Northern California

Raising your English Cream Golden Retriever



Whether you are raising a wonderful family pet or an amazing star studded champion, it doesn't get much better then having an adorable golden retriever puppy around the house.  Every day we are learning new things about this breed and will continue to update on what we have found that works best for putting your puppy on the best road to happiness and health.  Here are some tips, advice and links we would like to share.


First and foremost make sure your lifestyle and schedule are conducive to raising a puppy. Puppies are a lot of work and will require a lot of effort on your part and your families to raise them correctly. It really is a 24 hour job, a lot like a newborn baby.  If you don't have children yet, raising a puppy will be a great introduction.  Puppies can also be costly.  Make sure you can provide quality food, medical services, treats, toys, and TIME for your dog.






From the very beginning we are watching and monitoring puppies for temperament and personalities to fit our puppy parents with the best match possible.  We will also expect you to tell us as much as possible about your lifestyle to best match you with the right puppy.


The age of three to six weeks is perhaps the most crucial in the puppies development.  The web site “puppy prodigies” ( states that during this time the fear factor is not in place.  Fear is not imprinted until 8 weeks of age. This critical time provides an excellent opportunity to introduce the puppy to various experiences (stimuli) while they are perceived as positive or neutral. Our goal is to provide the new puppy owner with a socially secure and mentally acute English golden retriever puppy. 


The Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test as well as others like it, are conducted at six weeks of age before puppy selection.  Areas analyzed during the test include: social interaction, following, restraint, social dominance, elevation dominance, retrieving, touch sensitivity, sound sensitivity, sight sensitivity, and structure.  More details regarding the way puppies are personality tested is available on our website and puppy contract as well as during an Open House at our facility.  This is all included at no additional cost to our new puppy owners.



Our puppies are ready to go to their new homes starting at 10 weeks of age. Our  puppies adjust well to their new homes.  Consistently we receive requests for another puppy from an upcoming litter.  Happy owners refer us to their friends and relatives.  This is the highest compliment we can be paid.     


Puppy Selection:  Naturally, our new puppy owners are anxious to know which puppy is theirs. After their health exam, the person with first pick boy will look at the males that we have set aside dependant on what you are looking for in a dog to determine which one they would like (same process for girl picks). Of course, this is a guided choice with help from the breeder, our trainers and assistants. Br elder always has first pick however, if she is looking for a puppy to continue on with our program or for service work, etc.  Our goal is to have completely satisfied/elated puppy owners.


On-site visits:  Most of our new puppy owners make their selection by on-site selection and/or video and pictures. We welcome on-site visits during our offered Open House days or pre made appointments, but take necessary precautions to protect the health of the puppies. For specific details, contact us by phone or e-mail. 





1. High Quality Puppy & Dog Food.

We feed our dogs and puppies a blended balanced raw food diet.  Research we have been doing recently has shown that dry and wet dog food is not as nutritionally beneficial and high quality enough for our tastes and for our dogs.   We ask that you purchase at least two weeks of our raw food blend to take home with you and your new puppy.


2. Water and Food Bowls. 

Your puppy should have their own bowls that are used just for them.  All bowls should be stainless steel.


3. Kennel/Crate

Ideally, your dog will do best if provided their own space to sleep at night and stay when you are not home. Purchase a crate that they can grow into but not so big that they have room to sleep and relieve themselves. You will need to purchase up to two different sizes as they grow. It should be just large enough for your pup to stand up in and turn around in. Some crates let you adjust the size as they grow. The wire crates are best. If your puppy needs privacy just hang a blanket around the top and sides to create that. Be sure to put a blanket or crate bed inside for a soft spot, however you may find that your puppy prefers the cool floor of the crate and tends to push the blanket/bed out of the way. If this happens you may want to remove bed as puppy may treat bed as a chew toy.

4. Collar, Harness, and Leash

Your puppy will come home with a collar and leash that will correspond with the color they have had since birth, eventually they will grow out of this. We recommend a front clip harness be used with your puppy for at least the first few months as they become used to walking on a leash and to limit pulling. Some dogs do better on harnesses through adulthood.

5.Toys...Buy a LOT!

Teething toys are perfect, like Kong binkies, Nylabones, durable fabric toys that squeak  and our personal favorite, N-Bone puppy teething rings-Natural Chew Treat.  These can be purchased on for a great price. They last a long time and the puppies love them. You will be provided with a sample to take home with you and try.

Make sure that whatever you purchase is not too small or something your puppy could ingest.

6. Puppy Brush

The best brushes have soft or Boar bristles that take loose fur but do not upset the undercoat.  Most brushes work well for their fur, so you should not need anything too expensive.

7. Carpet Cleaner

Accidents WILL happen!! Be prepared!! We recommend Nature's Miracle Stain and Odor remover, it works the best. Works great on any kind of floor or carpet.

8. Pick a Vet

You should have already found a Veterinarian that you like. Ask around, friends and family are best for this. They will be helpful in pointing you in the right direction. You will need to have your puppy's well check within a week of him joining your family.


9. Prepare your home and yard

Be sure to remove any toxic plants from your backyard and home. The ASPCA has a site with a list of plants you should review.  Puppies can and will get into everything, it is better to be overly safe than sorry. If you have foxtails in your yard you will want to do what you can to cut them down. They will get stuck in puppies fur, ears, eyes and will cost you a trip to the vet to be removed. Puppies like to and will chew everything. Keep things out of reach that you don't want chewed.  The first couple of days with your pet are very important,  the pup will be alone and away from his pack for the first time and will most likely be scared.  Your pup could cry-alot! But, don't worry, this will stop after a few days.



You are welcome to contact our veterinarian at any time for a reference for our dogs and puppies or for information for yourself and your dog.  


Willow Creek Veterinary,

Folsom, CA.

Dr. Petra Tavano



The above recommendations are in no way guarantees. This is what works for us. Please consult your veterinarian about any questions you may have related to these recommendations.


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