Our Litter Of Golden Retriever Pups – Week 8

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On November 9th, 2016 Raven gave birth to 6 beautiful Golden Retriever puppies.

Happy Birthday, Berlin, Koru Bear, Buster, Patriot, Spirit, and Gunner!


YAY! We’ve finally reached the finale! Week 8 with our litter of Golden Retriever puppies!

If this is your first time visiting our series about our litter of Golden Retriever puppies then first start by checking out week 1 with our Golden Retriever pups.

Our litter of Golden Retriever pups - Week 8
Our litter of Golden Retriever pups – Week 8

There were some big milestones during week 8 including:

  1. Temperament Testing.
  2. We had to make our final decision on which 3 puppies we’d raise as service dogs.
  3. It was time to send our puppies to their new homes. 🙁

Without further adieu let’s get on with week 8 of Golden cuteness!

Want to know what you should do during your first week home with a new puppy? Check out our post on what to expect from your 8-week-old puppy.

Golden Retriever Pups Week 8

We decided to bring home a litter of stuffed Golden Retriever puppies from IKEA. That makes 12 puppies in this litter!

QUICK TIP: One thing we always do is get the scent of the litter mates on a plush toy and send it home with new owners. This way puppy’s will have a similar smell when they get to their new home. Our favorite toy for getting the scent of the litter is the Calmeroos Puppy w/ heartbeat and heat pack. While it can’t replace a littermate it’s the next closest thing.

I love the little guy in the bottom right corner 🙂

Golden puppy pile x2 - Can you tell which are real?
Golden puppy pile x2 – Can you tell which are real?

Everyone continues to grow at an accelerated rate.

To get an idea of how big these puppies will be when full grown, Mommy Raven weighed about 70 lbs and Daddy weighed about 90 lbs.

PuppyShave MarkColorWeight (Day 50)
Liberty (Berlin)Right Back LegGreen10 lb 15 oz
Tank (Bear)Left Back LegBlack12 lb 12 oz
Trooper (Buster)Right ShoulderRed11 lb 1 oz
PatriotLeft ShoulderBlue13 lb 9 oz
SpiritLower BackPink11 lb 11 oz
GunnerUpper BackBrown12 lb 4 oz

Half of our Golden Retriever puppies went home on day 54.

Two days shy of their 8-week birthday.

Here’s their final weight the day our 3 little guys and gal went home:

  1. Liberty (Berlin): 12.6 lbs
  2. Tank (Bear): 14.5 lbs
  3. Trooper (Buster): 12.4 lbs
  4. Patriot: 15.5 lbs
  5. Spirit: 13.3 lbs
  6. Gunner: 13.9 lbs

Golden Puppies Week #8 Highlights

Day 53 – Temperament Testing

Let’s start with temperament testing.

We took each puppy individually and did a rigorous (eh, not really) test to find out which puppies would be best suited to do service dog work.

We already had a general idea of each puppy’s temperament based on observation over the past 8 weeks.

Overall there wasn’t a lot of variance between our Golden puppies on the ten temperament tests we performed.

However, there were two tests that stood out:

  1. The Retrieve Test – We crumpled up a piece of paper next to our puppy to get his attention. When we got our puppy’s attention we threw the paper about 5 feet from the puppy and then observed his reaction.
  2. The Umbrella Stability Test – We took an umbrella, opened it about 5 feet away from the puppy, placed it on the ground then observed the puppy’s reaction.

I mentioned we performed 10 tests, but the results of the above two ended up determining which puppies would be our next service dog puppies in training.

Puppy temperament testing is tiring!
Puppy temperament testing is tiring!

Day 54 – Choosing Our Service Dog Puppies In Training

And the next service dog puppies in training are:

1. Liberty (Berlin) – While she performed about the same as all the other pups on every other test, Liberty stood out during the Umbrella Stability Test. She was the only puppy to enthusiastically approach the Umbrella. We knew from day 1 that Liberty was a confident puppy and had a good feeling that she would have no problem with the Umbrella. She lived up to our expectations boldly and playfully engaging the umbrella.

2. Tank (Bear) – One of the larger puppies in the litter, Bear was our little cuddly buddy. He did not do well on the Umbrella Stability Test and neither did three of his siblings. However, Bear was a standout when it came to the Retrieve Test. Bear was the only puppy to run out, pick up, and bring back the crumpled-up piece of paper. Not only was he the only one to do it once he did it several times! I’ve read that Guide Dog Trainers have great faith in the Retrieve Test as it shows a willingness to work for the owners.

3. Trooper (Buster) – Our smallest puppy by over 3 lbs. Trooper was our mini-mite. Even though he was the smallest he may have been the mightiest as he was the first of only 2 puppies (Liberty was the other) to climb out of the whelping box. While not exhibiting the enthusiasm of Liberty during the Umbrella Stability test Trooper had a more curious attitude towards the opened Umbrella as he approached, sniffed, and explored showing a more calm demeanor than Liberty. While Liberty showed exuberant confidence, Trooper showed a more a quiet, calm confidence and that’s what I was looking for in a potential service dog puppy in training 🙂

Patriot, Spirit, and Gunner went home with the breeder and she found them homes as loving family pets.

*For your information:

  • The response of the other puppies on the Retrieve Test ranged from ignoring to grabbing and running off to play with the paper.
  • The response of the other puppies on the Umbrella Stability Test ranged from slowly moving away from the umbrella to cowering and running away from the umbrella.
The Golden Bear Puppy - Checking out different surfaces.
The Golden Bear Puppy – Checking out different surfaces.

Day 56 – Puppy Names

Since the beginning of this series, you may have noticed I listed 2 names for some of these puppies.

After choosing our 3 service dog candidates we allowed the puppy raisers to rename the puppies with names starting with the letter “B” since these would be our “B” litter pups (Archer was our “A” litter puppy).

Read more about how we name guide/service dog puppies.

After 8 weeks with these adorable puppies, they finally got to meet their puppy raisers.

Bear stayed with us while Buster and Berlin went to new homes.

Awww...Cuddly Golden Retriever puppies!
Awww…Cuddly Golden Retriever puppies! – Bear and Buster!

Our Golden Retriever “B” Litter – One Year Update

Where are they now?

1. Berlin – Our former first lady (she was first born), Liberty first went to a puppy raiser home until she was 16 weeks old. Unfortunately, I did not have a puppy raiser to work with her for the full 18 months. As luck would have it the breeder we partnered with for this Golden litter was looking for a female puppy as a potential breeding dog. She already knew Berlin’s lineage (obviously) and took her in as a future breeder.

2. Buster – Our former little “Trooper” went to his puppy raiser until he was 18 weeks old and after a falling out with the puppy raisers (these things happen) we decided it was best to re-home him. Again, we did not have a puppy raiser to train him and we looked to a service dog organization we volunteered with in the past. We contacted Tender Loving Canine Assistance Dogs and set up a meeting to have Buster tested, and he passed with flying colors. They fell in love with Buster on the spot and adopted him into their POOCH program where he is being trained at a prison to be a service dog.

3. Koru Bear – AKA “Bear”.  AKA “Tank”. We kept our Lil Bear to train as a service dog. From the beginning, we knew he was a little softy, but he passed the retrieval test with flying colors so we had high hopes for him.

We started taking him on outings to the book store, grocery stores, and shopping malls.

He never showed the confidence we hoped and while he would eventually adapt to places after several visits he was always hesitant in new situations.

We continued to work on building Bear’s confidence by taking him on socialization outings and enrolling him in basic obedience classes.

He continued to progress and we were hopeful his confidence would grow as we exposed him to new environments and worked on his training.

At the same time, an opportunity arose and we had to make a decision with Bear.

Our friends had recently lost their long-time Golden Retriever, Sugar, and also tragically lost a puppy they had adopted.

If Bear wasn’t going to make it as a service dog I’d have to find a home for him.

While I didn’t want to make this decision before his first birthday I also thought this could be the perfect home for him if he wasn’t meant to be a service dog.

After discussing with my wife we decided to see if our friends were interested in adopting Bear.

They said YES! And the rest is history.

You can follow Koru Bear’s adventures on his blog, Facebook page, and Instagram.

Heck, he has a huge following cheering for him every step of the way!

Puppy Crate Training 101?
Puppy Crate Training 101?

Once again, Happy Birthday to our Golden Litter!

That concludes our 8-week journey with our Golden puppies!

Just in case you missed any of the other blog posts in the series:

  • Week 1 – Six Golden Retriever puppies are born!
  • Week 2 – Pups’ 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 – This is Week 8!

I hope you enjoyed our pics and insights into raising a Golden Retriever litter.

Raising a litter of puppies is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Definitely not for the faint at heart.

As our Golden puppies head to their new homes we wanted to give their new families a few tips by sharing one of our favorite articles on how to handle a puppy’s first night home. Best of luck to Raven’s first litter of lil’ Goldens.

If you have any questions or comments please leave us a note in the comment section below.

Are you about to bring home an 8-week-old Golden Retriever puppy? If so,  Puppies for Dummies is a good starting point for learning the basics of how to raise and train a puppy.

Our litter of Golden Retriever puppies week 8. Time to say goodbye to some of our lovely puppies. We trained these guys to be service dogs, but they won’t all make the cut. One of our last items on our list was temperament testing the litter. #temperamenttest #goldenpuppies #goldenretriever #litterofpuppies #servicedogintraining #puppyintraining
Our litter of Golden Retriever puppies – week 8

Top Picks For Our Puppies

  1. BEST PUPPY TOY
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
  2. BEST DOG CHEW
    We Like: Bones & Chews Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
  3. BEST DOG TREATS
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
  4. BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
    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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15 Comments

  1. I used to be a Tanker (11E) during The Vietnam Era in (then West Germany) ….. I have noted the names of the puppies. I also have a Golden; second one and I guess a third is on the way. They are easy to house break, lovable, and like water (easy to clean)
    Best Regards
    Freddy Ramm
    Formerly of 1st Battalion 35th Armor, 4th and 1st AD

    1. Thank you for your service! We love our Golden Retrievers. Our goal is to train our puppies to work as service dogs. One of the dogs we trained to work as a guide dog ended up career changing to a PTSD service dog and now works with a veteran in Oklahoma.

  2. Dog owner gets right way when he is owning and taking care of pregnant dogs at the time of delivery. Mental support of a dog owner helps a dog to gain maximum energy with full motivation of delivering a pup normally.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the series of posts. We are actually raising our second litter of service dog hopefuls as we speak. They’re 3 weeks old right now and we’ve been working on some early training with them already. We’ll try to get some more pics and blog posts up as soon as possible. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. How does one apply for one of your pups that didn’t make the service cut? We have a 6 year old grandson that my husband and I adopted after our daughter {his mommy} passed away. He is doing absolutely wonderful but he wants a dog for “his own” and we promised him we would start looking. We have always owned dogs and horses and cats and one rabbit. We recently moved to Annapolis MD and have a large beautiful home with a big fenced in yard. I am a stay at home Grammie so he/she would be around us constantly. Thank you for your help.

    1. We just lost our beloved Golden Retriever-11 y.o. Baxter (descendent Ski Patrol/Avalanche Dog) Never had kids, so he was our ev thg! Your dogs look so much like him – he had a wonderful life – we teach skiing @ Squaw Valley (Calif) & Baxter loved the snow & outdoors – he grew up w/ a retired Guide dog For the Blind (Picasso) we adopted, so you training service dogs is so appreciated! -I know you get asked a lot, but how can we apply to get one of your puppies who doesn’t become a service dog – We would raise this dog w/ so much love- lots of socialization w/ people who come to Squaw from all ov world – Lots of adventure w/ with hiking, swimming, waterfalls, fun in snow – never left alone. I am a retired Podiatrist & my husband is a retired Businessman – We take our dogs to UC Davis Vet & feed them the Best Food & Lots of ❤️ – I am a Sansei🐾

  4. Great job to all! Amazing! I wish one of you could come and live with us and our 9 week old German Shepherd! She’s doing fairly well but she has has has her moments. 😳

    1. Thank you! Congratulations on your new puppy! When we were volunteering as fosters we raised a litter of 7 German Shepherd mixed puppies from around 3 weeks old until they were all adopted at around 12 weeks old. Good luck with your puppy!

  5. How cool!! I LOOOOVE the picture of the stuffed animals and the puppies!! Glad to hear that all the puppies went to good homes and it’s nice to see the updates on what they are doing now! What about an update for Raven? How is she doing?

    1. It was fun putting all the stuffed puppies in with the real Goldens! Just in case your looking for a stuffed Golden check out IKEA Gosig Golden, Soft Toy Golden Retriever.

      Raven is doing great! We’ll put together a blog update dedicated to our puppy mama, Raven in the near future.

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