6-month-old golden retrievers are so cute!
They’re little gangly, furry teenagers who love to play and have fun.
But they can also be a handful!
They’re boisterous, rebellious, have tons of energy, and haven’t quite yet learned wrong from right.
To help you understand and appreciate your 6-month old golden retriever, and to set them (and you) up for success, we brought Steffi Trott in to help.
She’s a professional dog trainer at Spirit Dog Training and currently has an 8-month-old golden retriever, so these days are fresh in her mind!
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to train your 6-month old golden retriever
- How much they should weigh (and how much they should be eating)
- How much exercise 6-month-old goldens need (and what types of exercise you should be doing with them)
- How to handle the puppy biting
- 2 ways to stop bad habits and behaviors
- And much more
6-Month-Old Goldens: Halfway Between Puppyhood & Adulthood
A golden retriever’s “good family dog” reputation is based on the breed’s many positive characteristics.
They are wonderful companions who bond closely with their human families.
Goldens are also extremely tolerant of children, and they make great playmates for adventurous youngsters.
At the other end of the growth spectrum, you’ll find eight-week-old golden retriever puppies.
These irresistible balls of fluff love to play, chew, explore, get into trouble, and generally grab life by the horns.
Although they’re incredibly charming, they require constant supervision, as they haven’t yet learned right from wrong.
Six-month-old golden retrievers fall in the middle of the pack.
They’re phasing out of puppyhood, but their adult bodies and minds haven’t fully developed.
The growing dogs’ eating, exercise, and mental stimulation needs are also evolving.
From a young golden retriever’s perspective, life is a grand adventure with experiences to be enjoyed and boundaries to be tested.
Is your golden retriever puppy a perfectly behaved angel? If not, check out Steffi’s Ultimate Puppy Program!
6-Month-Old Golden Retriever Size
Six-month-old golden retrievers usually weigh between 35 to 50 pounds.
During the three-to-six-month period, they’ll grow very rapidly.
At the six-month milestone, however, your puppy’s growth slows down.
At that point, they’ve reached about two-thirds of their adult dog weight, which is 65 to 75 pounds for males and 55 to 65 pounds for females.
Adult male goldens typically stand 23 to 24 inches tall, while adult female goldens typically weigh between 55 to 65 pounds.
By the time they mark their first birthday, they’ve usually achieved their mature dog height.
A golden retriever’s weight growth timeline is less well defined.
When golden retrievers are about 18 months old, they have generally grown to their full weight.
When they reach that milestone, their body structure will also have filled out accordingly.
In other words, your dog’s body has finally caught up with his adult-sized paws.
6-Month-Old Golden Retriever Eating Habits
Every growing golden retriever has slightly different nutritional needs.
On average, however, a six-month-old puppy will happily eat three cups of food daily.
With male goldens’ larger body structure and heavier weight, they require more daily calories, and may consume up to four or five cups of food every day.
When a puppy reaches that six-month milestone, they should begin to eat two meals each day: a morning meal and an evening meal.
A developing golden puppy should be given top-quality food that’s formulated for his age.
Feeding him the proper type and amount of food will help him to get the required nutrients.
Although he’d gladly scarf down human foods and table scraps, greatly limit (or ban) these foods.
Over time, he could easily become obese from consuming the extra calories.
6-Month-Old Golden Retriever Exercise Needs
A very young golden retriever puppy’s exercise needs are different from those of a more physically developed six-month-old dog.
Both sets of dogs should get light to moderate exercise for an hour or two each day.
However, veterinarians have different exercise recommendations based on a dog’s age.
Very young puppies should get their exercise from vigorous play sessions plus a short daily walk or two.
On the other hand, a healthy six-month-old golden can likely handle longer walks and even a short jog on occasion.
Take your golden for fun, energetic walks on wooded trails, grass, concrete, and other surfaces.
Factor obedience classes into the mix, and you’ll be on the way to both getting their energy out and teaching them how to be a well-behaved dog.
Also, remember that puppies love to chase things, romp and roll on the ground, and play tug of war.
Provide extra physical and mental stimulation by introducing puzzle games and fun new chew toys.
Avoid high-energy agility classes or extended hikes over challenging terrain.
These activities can damage a young golden retriever’s growing bones.
Overly strenuous exercise can eventually lead to bouts of lameness and even improperly formed bones.
Remember, variety and consistency are key to a positive outcome.
A well-planned exercise regimen will help to keep your dog’s attention, and will also help to decrease his or her repetitive injury risks.
6-Month-Old Golden Retriever Puppy Biting
Golden retrievers were bred to retrieve gunned down birds in the mid 1800s in Scotland.
Because of that, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that because it’s in their genes to use their mouths, they may bite a little more than some other breeds.
The good news is that they have soft mouths, so it’s not exactly painful biting, but more just them putting their mouths on you.
Their adult teeth come in around four months old, so the biting will slow down by the time they’re six months old, but could still prevalent.
Be sure to give them lots of exercise and mental games to tire them out so they don’t have excess energy to bite, plus lots of chew toys and plush toys for them to keep in their mouths, instead of your hands.
Behaviors: Evolution and Expectations
Newly minted golden retriever puppies are both charming and challenging.
Although they’re highly adorable, it will take consistent effort to acclimate and potty-train them.
Then, it’s time to begin the obedience training that will turn them into well-behaved adult dogs.
The next phase of the young goldens’ development will likely include some
behavioral bumps in the road.
Consistent reinforcement of puppy obedience training will help you and your dog to come through this challenging period together.
2-6 Months: Begin Obedience Training and Build Trust
A two-month-old golden puppy is ready for group-focused Puppy Classes and the first steps of obedience training.
At this stage, these delightful little creatures really want to please their owners.
Acquiring good basic obedience skills will provide a needed behavioral framework for your dog.
And, having this behavioral structure in place will be quite valuable in his next stage of development.
Group obedience classes also provide plenty of opportunities to socialize with other dogs of roughly the same age.
And, consistent obedience work enables you to develop a sense of trust and a stronger bond with your dog.
You want to establish the most important manners and behaviors for daily life in your dog now, including:
- Coming when called
- Waiting in front of doorways
- Standing still while you reach for the collar and attach a leash
- Walking nicely next to you
- Being patient while you brush their coat
6-18 Months: Fight Undesirable Behaviors with 2 Tactics
Six-month-old golden retrievers are like distracted, moody teenagers.
They frequently become focused on their surroundings, and often tend to ignore familiar commands.
This previously outgoing puppy may also seem shy and reclusive on occasion.
When your good-natured, cooperative puppy reaches that six-month mark, he could also become irritable and unpredictable.
Simply put, this fidgety young golden retriever may be bored and restless.
True to his breed standard, this energetic dog is ready to race through fields and marshes to retrieve fallen birds for his owner.
But because most goldens don’t use those talents, he needs a constructive outlet for his pent-up energy.
Exercise and Companionship Are Key
Several rounds of daily exercise and training may make a notable difference in your dog’s demeanor and actions.
And, regular workouts will help to prevent him from putting on unwanted pounds.
This feisty young dog also needs some compatible playmates.
Once he finds them, the best buddies will likely enjoy wrestling and racing around.
Always make sure to balance physical exercise with mental challenges as
This can actually tire him out even more than purely physical exercise!
Taking your golden on sniffaries – meaning slow walks on which he can sniff to his heart’s content – will give him a mentally stimulating outlet.
Although this growing dog’s behavior may be frustrating at times, patience and positive training will help this distracted canine family member get back on the right track.
Eventually, he’ll grow into that calm, settled adult golden retriever who’s a joy to have in the family.
If you currently (or are about to) have a six-month-old golden, you’re one lucky dog parent!
They’re adorable and full of joy and happiness,
Of course, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.
They’re figuring out the world and may have a little rebellious streak, so be patient with them and use the tactics mentioned here to help curb some of those unwanted behaviors.
And a big thank you to Steffi Trott from Spirit Dog Training for this article.
If you want to learn more about her, you can check out her website SpiritDogTraining.com, and her puppy training course, Ultimate Puppy Program, which she filmed with her own golden retriever puppy.
You can also see my review of her SpiritDog Training courses here.
Have any questions about 6-month-old golden retrievers?
Let us know down in the comments!
Read the rest of our Golden Retriever puppy series here:
- 8-Week-Old Golden Retriever Puppies
- 3-Month-Old Golden Retriever Puppies
- 4-Month-Old Golden Retriever Puppies
And if you’re about to bring home your new Golden, then check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!