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Golden Retriever Puppy Growth Week By Week Pictures

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This was the first time we had a chance to chart puppies from birth until 8 weeks old.

We tried to take as many pictures as possible so we could have a journal of our Golden Retriever puppy growth week by week.

When raising guide and service dog puppies we usually bring home our puppies at around 7-8 weeks old.

On occasion, we are allowed to see puppies before 8 weeks of age, but they need to stay with their mother and siblings during those important early weeks to get milk and antibodies from mama and learn how to interact properly with siblings, learning important behaviors like bite inhibition.

One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppies
One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppies

Our experience with puppies from birth to 8 weeks old was limited at best.

During our days as a foster we raised two litters of puppies, but both were already 3-4 weeks old by the time we got them home.

More recently we had the opportunity to meet Archer’s litter when they were 4 weeks old and then again at 6 weeks to do temperament testing.

Unless you get the opportunity to raise a litter of puppies it’s unlikely you will get to see much of the early stages of puppyhood.

The good news is I’m going to share my pics and experiences with Raven’s Litter from birth until 8 weeks old.

QUICK TIP: If you’re raising a litter of puppies check out Puppy Culture DVD which has tons of great tips for raising a litter of puppies. We actually own the Puppy Culture DVD and Workbook which includes charts, lists, worksheets, and other great information for raising your litter.

If you’re raising a litter of puppies don’t limit yourself to just the information in the Puppy Culture DVD and Workbook (or any single source). We (and so should you) gleaned information from DVDs, YouTube Videos, White Papers, Websites, Mentors, Trainers, and Personal Experiences.

Keep your eyes and ears open and absorb it all like a sponge!

Golden Retriever Puppy Growth Week By Week Pics

Our litter of Golden Retriever Puppies Week One
Our litter of Golden Retriever Puppies Week One

I’d love to make this one long post chronicling our Golden Retriever puppy’s growth week by week for all 8 weeks, but it would probably amount to over 50 pics and a very slow-loading page so instead I’m breaking this into 8 blog posts (one post for each week) that will include my notes and 3-5 pics from that week.

Birth To 1 Week Old

Guess what? This was the first litter we ever whelped!? We got a lot of advice, but we were largely on our own.

UPDATE: We’ve now raised two Golden Retriever litters, a German Shepherd Mix litter, and a Chihuahua litter for a total of 23 puppies!

At some point in time I’ll put together a quick guide on whelping a litter of Golden puppies, but until then let me tell you a few quick items we purchased and built:

  • Whelping Kit for 8 Puppies – this kit came in super handy. I wasn’t sure how many puppies we’d have so I ordered the 8-puppy kit.
  • Large Puppy Dish  – great for feeding the puppies when they move to solid food.
  • Whelping Mats – we ordered 2 of these mats and washed them several times a day.
  • Whelping Box – We have a homemade whelping box built by my father-in-law, but if we continue raising litters I plan on purchasing an EZWhelp Whelping Box. Our homemade box lasted three litters. We ended up purchasing the Magnabox which was hella expensive but if you plan on raising multiple litters we highly recommend it. If you’re looking for an alternative that’s slightly less expensive then check out the Pupez whelping box. While we haven’t personally used this box it was on our shortlist.

UPDATE: Guess what guys and gals? We recently put together a whelping checklist with all the supplies we gathered together to help out with our second litter of Golden Retriever puppies. Check out our whelping supplies checklist here.

One Week Old Golden Puppy - Keeping his head warm
One Week Old Golden Puppy – Keeping his head warm

Puppy Weight Chart:


  • Largest Puppy: 1 lb .5 ounces
  • Smallest Puppy: 1 lb

When these guys were born they were tiny!  However, none were overly huge and none were extra small.  No runts and no beasts.

Day 1 – The Umbilical Cord

One week old Golden Retriever puppy and her umbilical cord
One week-old Golden Retriever puppy and her umbilical cord

One of my jobs when helping deliver Raven’s litter was to make sure she didn’t chew down the umbilical cord too far.  It was my understanding that when the cord was chewed down to the base of the belly it was sometimes difficult to get it to stop bleeding.

I took the hemostat and pinched the umbilical cord about 2 inches from the base of the pup’s belly then cut the cord rather than let Raven chew it off.

I kept the hemostat on the cord for about 2 minutes to let the blood clot.  The umbilical cord dries up quickly and then within a day or two it falls off.

Day 3 – Mama And Puppies Need Rest

Mama and Golden Retriever Puppy face to face.
Mama and Golden Retriever Puppy face to face.

Life of a 3-day old puppy: Sleep, Eat, Pee/Poop.  Repeat.  Raven was a good mama and took care of her poops.

She stayed in the whelping box almost the entire first week only taking breaks to pee/poop and eat her own meals.

Puppy eyes and ears are closed at this stage and puppies army crawl around the whelping box looking for a teat to suckle.

By the way, did you know I had to increase Raven’s food by 3-4 times during the nursing period?

Day 5 – The Puppy Piles

A Golden Retriever Puppy Pile!
A Golden Retriever Puppy Pile!

Puppies cannot regulate their own body temperatures and it’s important to make sure they stay warm.

We did everything we could to make sure our pups stayed warm by adding a 150 watt heat lamp to the whelping box and a portable heating unit in the puppy room.

As I mentioned Raven stayed in the whelping box most of week 1 and of course…the puppy piles!

A few other notes from week 1:

  • Something to note about pee/poop.  Raven had to lick her puppies’ butt/genital areas to stimulate her pups to pee and poop.  One thing I learned is if I had a puppy on my lap then do not let Raven lick those areas or be prepared for a little accident on your lap.
  • As well as stimulating the puppies to pee/poop, Mama Raven cleaned all the green gunk off of the pups when they were born and was diligent about keeping the whelping box clean by licking up any area soiled by her newborn puppies.
  • While caring for Raven and her litter Raven was really blowing out her coat that first week, but as time went on it slowed down.  I heard from other friends this is common and that Raven blew out her coat much less than other mama dogs.
  • UPDATE: After raising our second litter I learned the importance of Probiotics. We got Probiotics for Raven before her first litter but forgot to order them for her second litter. After an upset stomach for the first week or so, we realized our mistake, got Probiotics, and no more upset tummy. 🙂
One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy Butts
One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppy Butts

So week 1 of our series on Golden Retriever pups is in the books!  Check out our other Golden Retriever puppy growth week-by-week blog posts:

  • Week 1 – This is Week 1!
  • Week 2 – Puppy eyes are opening and starting to waddle.
  • Week 3 – First bark! Good or Bad…Adorable 🙂
  • Week 4 – Little guys are starting to eat solid foods.
  • Week 5 – Puppies love car rides…in the laundry basket 🙂
  • Week 6 – Fluffy, cute, adorable…that’s a 6-week-old puppy!
  • Week 7 – The great puppy escape artists!
  • Week 8 – Our golden puppies head to their new homes.

Have you ever had a litter of Golden Retriever puppies?

Tell us about your experiences with puppies in the comment section below.

Are you about to raise a litter of puppies? We highly suggest Puppy Culture DVD and Workbook to get you started.

Not raising a litter, but getting ready to bring home your first Golden Retriever puppy? Puppies for Dummies will give you the basics on how to raise and train your new puppy.

UPDATE: I was recently asked when we start weaning and what we feed our puppies. Check out Week 4 when you have a moment…hint: we start feeding our puppies Wellness Core Puppy Formula mixed with warm water for about 10 minutes at around 4 weeks old 🙂

One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppies Growth Stages and Pictures
One Week Old Golden Retriever Puppies Growth Stages

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

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  1. My job as a breeder keeper is to take care of the litter. We are partnered with a breeder that updates all health certifications, chooses studs, and handles the insemination. From what I’ve read and experienced smaller breeds tend to have smaller litters, but you should consult your veterinarian to get more information. When I worked in rescue I had a Chihuahua mix litter that had only 1 puppy. I also had a German Shepherd mix litter with 7 puppies. I’ve also raised 3 Golden Retriever litters with 6, 8, and 10 puppies.

  2. I’m so grateful to have found your blog.
    We are seriously considering breeding Poppy and have a suitable fella named Phoenix. My concern is the actual conception process. Do you have some insight or information you could share?
    Does the size of the female (Poppy is petite) effect the litter size ?

  3. Yes I have 7 puppies. And they are 17 days old. Please tell me what the wait of the puppies. How many times I feed them. Thank you.

  4. I’m planning on getting more information out on our Golden litter including a growth chart. I should have more together over the next week. We’re in the U.S. and our scale is by pounds and ounces, but off first glance your puppy range looks heavier then our pups. How big are mom and dad?

    *We had fluctuation in our litter, but most of the way the heaviest was usually the heaviest and the lightest was usually the lightest. Our main concern was making sure each puppy gained weight each day.

    *We didn’t do anything about adjusting where they were feeding. Since we only had 6 in our litter there seemed to be an ample amount of milk.

    *We let Raven and the puppies determine when it was time to eat. Raven was a great mom and anytime she heard the puppies start crying for food she’d come running over to feed them.

    *We started serving up mush (kibble soaked in warm water for about 10 minutes and then mashed up with a spoon) on Day 27.

    *We fed the puppies mush all 8 weeks and recommended soaked kibble for the first week or so home with new families.

    Thanks for all of your information. As I said I’ll have some more detailed information in upcoming blog posts. Let me know if you have any questions or answers 🙂

  5. Hi..I have been looking around for data of golden retriever puppies’ weekly weight to compare with my GR’s (her name’s Gerde) litter, and I couldn’t find one. She has 8 healthy pups, 4 males and 4 females. I have been weighing them every week since they were born (April 13, 2017). Here’s how they weighed so far (and I hope these are the “standard” weight for GR pups):

    Week No. / Heaviest / Lightest
    Week 1: 0.86 kgs. 0.68 kgs.
    Week 2: 1.20 kgs. 1.02 kgs.
    Week 3: 1.51 kgs. 1.35 kgs.
    Week 4: 1.94 kgs. 1.75 kgs.
    Week 5: 2.65 kgs. 2.29 kgs.

    *Consistently, the heaviest puppy (puppy #7) is a Male and the lightest is a Female (puppy #4)

    *Their weight ranking changes every week except for puppy #7 and puppy #4

    *We let the lighter pups nurse on the lower breasts were there’s a lot of milk and sometimes interchange them so as to have equal sharing of milk

    *Their nursing time schedule was every 2 hours when they were born up until Week 3 and gradually changed into every 3 hours, because they spend more time sleeping and playing around. And their mom sometimes won’t let them nurse because their teeth are out and hurt her.

    *We introduced feeding them mush by Week 3 and it was a disaster and funny.

    *We are now giving them soaked kibbles in milk and will soon feed them dry dog food

    Compared with the 1st litter, these puppies are way much bigger and heavier. Maybe it’s because of the genes. The 1st litter had a different father. He was small, probably a runt of the litter. He sired 12 puppies but 4 of them did not survive: 2 puppies died because the mom accidentally crushed them when she laid down to sleep, one was a stillborn which came out the following day, and one was the runt of the litter and lasted for 2 weeks only.

    I hope this info helps and that we are raising them right. We are giving them a good dog food and puppy milk replacement.

  6. We have a 13 year olden Golden Retriever whom we adore and a 3 year old mini Aussie (who isn’t very ‘mini’ and has just recently outgrown the “puppy stage.” We are braving it once more and are eagerly awaiting our newest family member. We are bringing home another Golden Retriever puppy in 2 weeks! I have been reminded of several things and also learned some new stuff from your website as well. Thanks for posting and I loved the pics of the newborn Goldens!! I’m sure we will be returning to your pages several times in the following months!

  7. What an awesome idea for a post series! I have a Golden Retriever mix that ended up growing to be 90 lbs, I wish I had a photo journal of his growth from birth.

  8. The largest puppy in our litter was almost twice the size of your Lab/Golden mix at 8 weeks old! Did your puppy come from a large litter? Raven, the mom is only about 65 pounds so I imagine our pups won’t be too big. We kept three of the puppies to raise as service dogs so we’ll get to see how big they actually get.

  9. Golden puppies are super cute…although the early pics not so much. By week 3 they are adorable. Stay tuned!

  10. Yeah, it was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I was nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect. Thank goodness Raven knew what she was doing. Yeah, they’re not the cutest little things when they are born, but they get progressively cuter as they get older.

  11. These are some amazing photos! I’ve only been around puppies after they were 8 weeks old, so it’s great to see this. I love the photo with mama.

    I’ll be curious how your Golden Retriever grows. I once had a Lab/Golden mix. When I got her at 8 weeks she was 8 lb. And, ever time I took her to the vets she doubled in size. I was beginning to think I’d been given a Clifford the Big Red Dog. She topped out at 75 lbs.

    My Jack Russell was just under 2 lbs when I got her at 8 weeks. She stopped at 8 lbs, which is what my Lab/Golden weighed when I got her.

    Can’t wait to see the week by week development!

  12. Such a nice post you wrote!!! Golden Retriever are my most favorite puppies!!! Can’t wait to read more about them. Thanks for sharing:)

  13. So cool that you got to do this!! I’m excited to see what week 2 will bring! Kinda weird that the puppies don’t really look like puppies when they are just born.

  14. I think I got peed/pooped on 5 times. I don’t think I had an accident on me after the puppies were 4 weeks old. When we went to see Archer and his litter at 4 weeks old all they did was sleep in the laundry basket. At 6 weeks old we got to play with them individually and do our temperament testing. Raising a litter from birth was definitely a different experience, but a lot of fun.

    That’s cool you got to meet Missy and Buzz before you brought them home. By the way, one thing I have to mention about puppy breath is to be careful if you’re meeting a litter. Sometimes the puppies help mom cleanup the whelping box if you know what I mean.

  15. What a great idea to bring us the puppies’ 8 first weeks! I hope you didn’t have too many accidents on your lap 😉 Missy & Buzz joined us at 8 weeks of age, but we did visit them several times before then, so we got to experience a little puppy action. “Action” of course being used very loosely, lol…there was a lot of sleeping, peeing, pooping, and drinking from their very patient mom Jolene. As far as I remember, one of my shoes got peed on once. Happy puppy breath-ing!! I do miss that.

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