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How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live with

Before and  After You Get Your Puppy

Sirius Puppy Training (video)




Crates: A crate that is 36 or 42 inches long, 23-26 inches wide and 24 –28 inches high is suitable for an adult Golden. You will need to divide it for a puppy. You may want to purchase a smaller airline type carrier for puppies first few months. A size 100 or 200 will work fine. Good prices for crates can be found at

Collar: Buy something inexpensive, as puppy will outgrow it quickly. When your dog is full grown, a Premier Breakaway collar is safest if he or she will be wearing a collar around the house.

Bowls: Stainless steel bowls are best. You’ll need one for food and one for water.

Toys: I DO NOT give my dogs pig’s ears, cow hooves or bully sticks. The best chew toys are:

Kongs, which can be stuffed with treats Red Kongs

Marrow bones, you can buy these at the grocery store, just remove the marrow for a puppy. I give them raw but if you have sensitive stomachs, you should probably remove most of the marrow first or lightly brown them in the oven. And make sure you either give them outside or protect rugs and furniture. Marrow stinks!

Nylabones and Galileo bones are good but avoid gumabones and the chooz flavored bones – anything that can be eaten rather than chewed on is a no-no.

Woobies – those soft fuzzy dog toys are much loved by Goldens although some are “Woobie Killers” and like to disembowel their toys to kill the evil squeaker inside.

Tennis balls are great for playing fetch but should not be left out as they can wear down teeth if chewed for any length of time


Blinking Fetch & Flash Bone Jr.

The Fetch and Flash bone (Sergeants) around $9.00 at Walmart. This toy consists of three hard rubber balls joined together with tubes that flash different colors for 20 seconds whenever they are bounced or jostled. We have three of these and they have held up really well. The dogs love them. Our crew gives them the coveted 4 Paws Up award.

Good Cuz and Bad Cuz Dog Toys

Another big favorite are the Good and Bad Cuz balls. If you do an internet search on these, you’ll probably see a picture and think, “So?” and I’d agree with you. They are hard balls with horns and feet and a heavy-duty squeaker. They don’t look like anything special but at our house these are treasures. My girls have been known to skip bedtime treats in order to not have to drop the Cuz ball and risk losing it.  The squeak might drive you nuts (it sounds like a dying warthog), but the dogs will love it. Of course, “the Mouth” has managed to chew off a couple toes but that’s after weeks of effort and so this would probably be considered indestructible in most homes. I think we have the medium size but there is also a large. These are available at PetSmart.

Petstages<sup>TM</sup> Orka Jack with Rope Chew Toy 


We also have an Orka Jack (on left above). This looks like a jack toy made of hollow blue plastic. It’s advertised for heavy-duty play but Bee has shortened each of the sides by at least an inch. It’s also awkward to carry so the “must have something in my mouth at all times and especially when you come in the door so I can wiggle all over and roo-roo” crowd doesn’t really care for this one. I avoid all toys with ropes because they have a tendency to unravel and can get caught in intestines and cause real problems. Orka toys are also available at PetSmart but get only 2 Paws up.

Two other oldies but goodies are the Buster Cube and the Kong. There are now many knockoffs of the Buster Cube, a square toy with a hole in the center that dispenses treats when rolled. Some dogs get it right away and spend hours working the magic cube. Others can’t be bothered. And a few enterprising pups have learned to follow the dog doing all the work and leap first on the kibble that pops out.

The Hurl-a-Squirrel, Toss-a-Trout and soft toys made from fire hose material all get the paws down award from Bee. She can disembowel them in an afternoon. Other dogs, however, have loved them and they have lasted quite awhile. We also tried stuffed toys made from Kevlar, the material used for bulletproof vests. These were guaranteed indestructible. Bee laughs at that term. They did hold up for a week or so and the company replaced them once but the replacements came with a letter saying they had changed their guarantee and would no longer be providing replacements for “aggressive chewers”!

The Groove Thing  The Chuckle      3 sizes of Treat-N-Treat

One of my puppy buyers is the training director for Premier Pet products so we’ve been able to sample the Premier line of toys. The Groove Thing (left) didn’t really last all that long. It has grooves that you can slide treats into but the dogs can get the treats out quickly and then they chew off the grooves. The Chuckle (center) is a dumb bell that makes a chuckling noise when you shake it. This gets some play every few months and has no marks after three years, but some people might worry that it gives working obedience dogs permission to chew a dumbbell, so I wouldn’t use it for dogs who will be doing formal obedience. The Twist and Treat (right) can be opened to put treats in, but these have not been real popular with my dogs either. I think it’s because they are an awkward shape to carry. You can see more Premier products on their website: We’d give these 2 Paws.


Another perennial favorite is the tug toy. In our house the braided fleece versions are history after a day, but I once found triple sewed embroidery fabric braided tug toys that held up for years. If I can ever find more, I’m buying the whole stock!