8-Week-Old Golden Retrievers: Training, Sleeping, Eating & Behaviors

Is there anything cuter than a two-month-old Golden Retriever puppy?

At eight weeks old, they are absolutely, impossibly, unbearably adorable!

Around two months of age is when many owners will bring their new companion home, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect beyond the fact that your phone will be full of photos of your fluffy new pup.

When you’re prepared, you can actually enjoy your puppy at this stage even more.

And although it can feel overwhelming being responsible for a puppy’s wellbeing, it’s actually not that bad, and more rewarding than you could ever imagine.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you will learn in this article:

  • What to expect from a two-month-old Golden Retriever puppy
  • How big a two-month-old Golden is
  • How much sleep a puppy of this age needs
  • What kind of exercise a two-month-old Golden Retriever needs
  • How to train your two-month-old pup
  • How much a two-month-old Golden Retriever should eat
  • How to deal with puppy biting

8-Week-Old Golden Retrievers: Baby Genius!

8 week old golden retriever puppy

At two months old, a Golden Retriever is ready to leave their mother and littermates to join their new family.

Some breeders will keep a puppy for a couple more weeks before sending them home, but eight weeks is very typical. 

Puppies at this age are usually playful and curious, with brains like little sponges.

When you first bring home a two-month-old Golden, they might be a little shy or sleepy at first as it’s a big transition to your home.

This usually only lasts a day or two, and then their true personality will shine through!

They are in the prime socialization window here, which is the time between three and sixteen weeks when puppies are most open to learning about the world.

It’s important for them to be properly socialized at this age.

Socialization doesn’t mean just letting your puppy meet people and other dogs.

It’s about creating positive experiences to the things, sights, sounds, etc. that your pup will experience as an adult dog.

Proper socialization can help you buffer against potential behavior issues as your pup matures, and teaches them how to feel and act in different situations and environments.

It helps them feel confident and self-assured.

A two-month-old Golden Retriever puppy is constantly learning!

Make sure your puppy is learning that they are safe and that they can trust you both at home and out in the world.

This age can also coincide with a puppy’s first fear period.

A fear period is a temporary span of time where a puppy may be more sensitive to things like strange people, strange dogs, inanimate objects, sounds, etc.

It usually lasts about a week and you may notice your puppy showing signs of fear such as cowering, running away, growling, or barking.

It can be a little scary as the owner of a puppy to see them acting this way.

Especially if your puppy’s fear period has them feeling suspicious toward people and dogs, as Golden Retrievers are known for being such social, sweet dogs.

The good thing is that a fear period is short-lived and will pass.

You don’t need to shelter your puppy and keep them indoors at all times during their fear period, but you also want to respect their feelings.

If they are concerned about something or someone, help them get more distance so they can observe the thing while feeling safe.

Remember that a two-month-old Golden Retriever is a baby animal that doesn’t speak your language.

They don’t inherently know that chewing the rug is a no-no and that poop and pee happens outside, not inside.

They have a lot of needs and are totally dependent on you to meet those needs.

Be patient as you help them learn how to live in our human world, and you can develop a strong, positive bond with your new companion.

P.S. Getting a golden retriever puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!

8-Week-Old Golden Retriever Puppy Size

Eight-week-old Goldens will weigh between 8 and 15 pounds, though it’s possible for some to be a bit smaller or larger.

This is heavily influenced by genetics, but is not always the best indicator of their adult weight.

It’s not uncommon for the smallest puppy in a litter to catch up to its littermates, or even end up as the largest of the group.

Likewise, if your puppy is the biggest in their litter, it doesn’t always mean they will be bigger than their siblings as adults.

Golden Retrievers as a breed can vary a lot in size, but if you know the size of your puppy’s parents and relatives, that can give you information about how large your puppy will grow.

Some lines of Goldens are bigger or smaller than average, so puppy size will reflect that.

Your vet can help you make sure that your puppy is at an appropriate weight if you have any concerns.

Just remember this — puppies this age will be easy to pick up and carry, which won’t last long, so enjoy it while you can!

How Much Sleep Do 8-Week-Old Golden Retrievers Need?

2 month old golden retriever puppies

Eight-week-old Golden Retrievers need around 18 hours of sleep each day.

Good sleep helps your puppy’s brain and body develop properly.

Oftentimes, a puppy that is wild and bitey is in fact overly tired and in need of a nap.

It may seem like they need more exercise to drain that crazy energy, but they actually need sleep.

Using crates and pens can help ensure that your puppy is getting enough sleep at night and throughout the day.

Many two-month-old Goldens are not good at putting themselves down for a nap, even when they really need it.

So, you may need to step in and help your puppy settle in for some sleep.

Make sure that their crate or pen is nice and comfy before you put them in for a nap, so they are more able to relax and fall asleep.

Every puppy is different, so yours may prefer a nice cushy bed, or they may actually like laying on the bare floor.

You can take note of what kinds of surfaces your puppy lays on around the house and then recreate that in the crate or pen.

Covering the crate or pen with a blanket can also help make sleep easier for a two-month-old puppy, as it cuts down on the visual stimulation.

Products like Adaptil spray or diffuser, and the Snuggle Puppy toy can also help a puppy settle in for sleep.

When you see your puppy plopping down for a nap, or if they’ve been up for a while and it’s time for rest, gently pick them up and put them in their pen or crate.

Chewing and licking are naturally calming behaviors for puppies, so it can also help if you offer something like a stuffed kong, which can assist in transitioning the puppy from awake to asleep.

Playing Classical music can also help a puppy feel more calm and able to sleep.

At this age, most two-month-old puppies are ready for sleep after about an hour of awake time, so by following these tips, you can help make sure your puppy is getting enough quality rest.

How Much Exercise Do 8-Week-Old Golden Retrievers Need?

An eight-week-old Golden Retriever puppy’s body needs to determine how much exercise they need.

For example, if your puppy plops down after five minutes of walking on a leash in your neighborhood, then you shouldn’t force them to continue walking.

Instead, you can give them a break and see if they choose to get up, or simply scoop them up and walk home.

Intense, repetitive exercise should be avoided at this age because their joints and growth plates are still under construction and you don’t want to cause damage to their bodies.

It can be fun to watch your puppy play with another puppy or dog, and while there’s nothing wrong with a nice playtime, you want to step in and give your puppy some breaks so they don’t go too hard.

Goldens are often great at fetch, but it’s best to keep games of fetch very short at this age, as the sudden stopping to grab the ball can be too strenuous on their bones.

Sometimes people get a Golden Retriever to be a running or biking companion, which can be a great thing when the pup is a fully grown adult, but is too much exercise for a young puppy.

Playing with toys in the house or in the yard can be a great way for young pups to burn some of that puppy energy.

If you have a yard, letting your pup safely explore and run around outside can also be a nice way to get in some exercise.

Leashed walks can also be a good outlet for exercise, so long as the distance and duration isn’t more than what the puppy can handle.

At two months of age, most puppies don’t have much stamina, so it won’t take much to wear them out. 

You may also find that your puppy needs more sleep on some days, and on other days, they need more playtime and exercise.

That’s normal as they are undergoing so much growth at this development stage.

Golden Retrievers as a breed can also vary a lot in terms of exercise needs.

Some are pretty laid back and chill and others are up for anything and want to go hard.

These differences can be reflected in how much energy your puppy has, as well as in what kind and how much exercise your puppy needs.

Training an 8-Week-Old Golden Retriever

A two-month-old Golden is at the perfect age to start training.

Golden Retrievers thrive with positive reinforcement training and it’s best to avoid harsh, punishment-based training.

Training is an excellent way to build a positive bond with your puppy and create a way to communicate with each other.

Group puppy classes can be a good option for getting started with training, as the trainer will help you learn how to train your pup.

You can also hire a certified, professional trainer to come to your home and provide personalized training guidance for you and your puppy.

Before you sign up with any trainer, be sure to ask them what kind of training methods and tools they use, to avoid causing any physical or mental distress for your puppy.

Potty training is definitely a top priority for two-month-old puppies.

They have small bladders and bowels and will need frequent trips outside to help them learn appropriate potty behavior.

Crate training can also be started at this age, as learning how to be okay with confinement is an important life skill.

You’ll also want to teach your two-month-old puppy to respond to their name and come when called.

Other basic skills you can begin with puppies at this age include:

  • Standing nicely while you put on their harness and leash
  • Walking by your side
  • Settling on a mat or bed
  • Remaining relaxed while being groomed
  • Giving you eye contact

When puppies are this young, the biggest lesson you can teach them is that you’re a fun, safe person to be around.

Sit, down and stay will come with time, but teaching them that you’re a cool human who is worth their time and attention is a great thing to focus on right now.

You’ll be needing lots of treats as you train your new companion, so check out this article to help you choose the best training treats for Golden Retriever puppies.

How Much Should an 8-Week-Old Golden Retriever Eat?

8 week old golden retriever puppy eat

Eight-week-old Golden Retriever puppies eat about a half cup of food three times per day.

However, this can vary depending on the type of food and your puppy’s activity, so let your breeder and vet help guide you.

There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to feeding your two-month-old Golden.

Puppies at this age need more frequent meals than adult Goldens, so three meals a day is recommended.

Because two-month-old Goldens are undergoing so much growth at this stage, feed them high-quality food that can support them as they mature.

Most Goldens have big appetites and will happily gobble down their meals when you serve them.

Using slow feeder bowls (like this bowl on Amazon), or other food dispensing toys, such as the Planet Dog Snoop, can help slow down their eating and provide them some mental stimulation while they eat.

How to Deal with Puppy Biting in 8-Week-Old Golden Retrievers

Nipping and biting is very normal behavior for eight-week-old Golden Retrievers.

Puppies like to put things in their mouth as a way to learn and play.

Unfortunately, it can be pretty painful for humans, as those puppy teeth are needle-sharp!

As you go through this stage, remember that your puppy isn’t trying to cause you pain, they’re just being a puppy.

There are, however, some things you can do to minimize and deal with the biting.

First, ensure that your two-month-old Golden is getting enough sleep.

Overly tired puppies tend to get super bitey and frenzied, so naps are key to preventing your puppy from turning into a piranha.

Second, keep toys and chew items around the house so you can easily redirect your puppy’s mouth away from your skin or clothes and onto something more appropriate.

Your floor might look a little cluttered, but it helps to keep toys within reach for a quick redirection.

Third, you can simply give the puppy a break if they are on a biting spree.

You could step on the other side of a baby gate or put them in their pen to calm down a bit, and then resume the play.

This communicates to the puppy that when they bite, they lose access to you and the fun stops.

A common piece of advice when dealing with puppy biting is to yelp in response to their nip, as if you were another dog.

This is actually not a good way to handle puppy biting and can actually make it worse.

Some puppies will be scared by the sound, and at this tender age, you really don’t want to be stressing your puppy out.

You want to build a positive, trusting relationship with your pup and if you’re scaring them, they may not want to come near you.

Other puppies will be further excited by the yelp sound and come at you with even more intensity, resulting in harder bites.

Even though puppy biting can be frustrating, it is normal behavior and it’s more about managing it than trying to make it stop.

Good Beginnings

2 month old golden retriever

Bringing a two-month-old Golden Retriever home is a very exciting thing.

It can also feel pretty overwhelming as you figure out how to care for and train them.

You might be sleep-deprived and have a couple scratches on your hand from those sharp puppy teeth, but try to keep in mind that this is the beginning of a special relationship with an incredible animal.

Focus on bonding with your puppy, teaching them about the world, and creating good habits from the start.

Have any questions about raising eight-week-old golden retrievers?

Let me know down in the comments!

If you’re about to bring home your new Golden, then check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!

And if you want to read more about Golden Retriever puppies, check out these articles next:

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About the author:

Alisa Healy is a professional dog trainer in the Chicago suburbs, with a wide range of training experience from shelters to in-home training to dog sports. She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and is passionate about helping people and dogs live fulfilling, harmonious lives together.

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