The Golden Retriever Puppy Timeline [11 Milestones & Stages]

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As a new Golden Retriever puppy owner, you may be wondering about when important puppy milestones happen, such as:

When do they lose their puppy teeth?

When do they stop growing?

When do they (finally) stop biting?

When do they sleep through the night?

It’s a roller coaster ride when raising a Golden pup, so we put together this timeline to help explain things for you.

These puppy behavior stages and developmental milestones will differ from individual to individual, but this timeline can give you a general understanding of what to expect with your puppy.


Puppy Milestones

Day 1: Puppy is born

You could also call this the best day ever.

After carrying the pups for about 9 weeks, mom is ready to give birth!

The average litter size for Golden Retrievers is 8.

2 weeks: Eyes open

golden retriever puppy eyes open

Golden Retriever puppies usually open their eyes at around 2 weeks old.

Their eyesight is very limited, and their soon-to-be-brown eyes are sometimes blue when they first open them.

3 weeks: Starting to walk

At about 2-3 weeks, Golden Retriever puppies go from the army crawl to waddling, to walking.

3-4 weeks: Teeth come in and they start to eat solid food

golden retriever puppies eating

Puppy teeth (called “milk teeth”) come in around three weeks. And as you know (or will soon find out), they are very sharp.

They also start to eat “solid” food around this time.

The puppy kibble is soaked in water, mashed up, and introduced to the pups.

They work up to eating solid food about four times per day while still nursing from their mother.

Once they have fully weaned off of their mother’s milk, they usually eat three times per day.

8-12 weeks: Time to go home with you!

golden retriever puppy goes home at 8-12 weeks

Because puppies need to complete weaning, most breeders wait until the puppies are 8 weeks to 12 weeks old before they send their pups home with their new owners.

You can also start training them at this age (the best way to stop bad habits is to not let them start!).

4 months: Sleeping through the night

Most puppies can sleep through the night at around 4 months old, although like all of these milestones, this can vary (our pup took a few months longer!).

4 months: Losing the puppy teeth (and stop biting so much!)

golden retriever puppy teething

The biting phase is one of the toughest behavior stages for puppy owners.

Puppies bite for several reasons:

  • They explore the world through their mouth
  • They were originally bred to use their mouths to retrieve game
  • It’s part of how they play
  • While they’re teething, it helps relieve the pain and pressure in their mouths.

Golden Retriever puppies lose their baby teeth at around 4 months of age.

Once their adult teeth come in at around 4 months, you’ll notice that they bite and chew less than they used to.

Most people do not find many puppy teeth, however, we saw many of Oliver’s teeth lying on the floor.

Sometimes he would be chewing and then start to play with something on the floor.

Most of the time when that would happen we would find a tooth laying there.

golden retriever puppy teeth

1-2 years: Getting spayed or neutered

Most vets and breeders recommend waiting to spay or neuter your dog until about one year to 2 years old. This depends on the gender and your individual dog.

And this is definitely a conversation to have with your vet, as spaying or neutering your Golden Retriever too young can have adverse health effects.

1 year: Full height

golden retriever adult height

At about a year old, Golden Retrievers reach their full height.

However, they still may look like a lanky teen, since they likely haven’t reached their full weight or developed their full coat yet.

Females are typically 20-22 inches tall, while males are 22-24 inches tall.

1.5 years: Full coat

Goldens actually don’t shed their puppy fur, like other dogs.

It becomes their undercoat.

At a few months old, you’ll start to see longer hair start growing on their legs and tail, which is called their feathers.

At one and a half years old, Goldens have typically grown out their full coat.

Related article:

2 years: Full weight

golden retriever adult weight

At two years old, Golden Retrievers have reached their full weight.

Females typically weigh between 55-65 pounds, while males typically weigh 65-75 pounds.

Raising A Golden Retriever Puppy

If you have a Golden Retriever puppy or are planning on getting one, make sure to take lots of pictures and videos because they grow up so fast!

Do you have a Golden Retriever pup?

What stage are they at?

Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re getting a puppy, then grab the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook here.

And if you liked this article, then read the complete guide to raising a Golden Retriever puppy next.

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32 thoughts on “The Golden Retriever Puppy Timeline [11 Milestones & Stages]”

  1. I’m having trouble finding a suitable dog food for my 10 month old English Golden Retriever. He weighs around 45lbs. He throws up about 2-3xs a month. Vet says he is fine. Recently had him neutered. He just don’t eat very much. Any suggestions?

  2. Ollie, our 5.5 month old golden retriever, battles with my wife over who is the “top” dog. She swats his hind end when he misbehaves and he turns and bites her hand. I, on the other hand, walk him with no problem and I do not swat. How can I reverse his behavior? Yet, in the house he is a nice dog who loves to play with all the stuffed animals found in a laundry basket. My wife is torn between returning Ollie to the breeder or try to find a dog trainer.

    • Goldens live to please their owners. You should NEVER EVER hit a dog, that is called abuse:-( Maybe you should return Ollie if hitting him is your way of “training”. There is a reason there are people called trainers. Goldens love to learn new things, and teaching them is such a pleasure. If your wife truly loves Ollie, and wants to have a nicely trained dog-she needs to spend the time, have the patience, and speak firmly, but lovingly to Ollie. Also, A puppy who is only 5 1/2 months old is not perfect, and should be expected to have slip ups in their training. Does a 5 1/2 month old baby come totally trained? No.

  3. I would like to adopt a female Golden, age 9 mo. to 1 yr. old. They are usually housebroken and spayed by then. Any suggestions where to go for this? Should I look into a breeder? Do they have many rescues for them in that age group? I live in Lincoln Park, NJ. Thanks, Maureen

  4. My 4-month-old golden pup does not like walks. He is stubborn, wants the leash in his mouth, and attempts to walk home by himself. He does stop and wait for me to catch up to him. He likes to stay in the front or back, but walking is

  5. We have a 1 year old English Cream Golden Retriever. We got her at 9 months old from a family that didn’t have time for her and did not train her at all. She is great except for one issue, she sometimes bites too hard when we grab her collar to get her off furniture or when she jumps on our bed. We took her to a six week obedience training and she did great. How do we stop the too forceful biting ? Thanks

    • Thanks for reaching out Greg! Biting is a tricky issue so I’d definitely consult a professional in your area to work with your golden personally.

  6. I’ve had 3 goldens. The first two were great. My current one, JoJo, age 4, is amazing. The internet, which wasn’t around for the first two, and websites like yours ,has made me a much better and informed pet parent. Strangers routinely come up to us and remark how beautiful, calm , sweet and exceptionally well behaved she is. I’ve even trained her to be my service dog.. We just moved to the country on the Northern California coast near both the ocean and a small, pristine river. She swims every day and along with twice daily off leash walks she,is In much better shape for it. My first two died of cancer at ages 12 and 10. I’m doing whatever I can to keep JoJo with me for as long as possible. The only issue that I respectfully disagree with you is spaying. A 2013 study of female goldens from the UC Davis University Veterinary School, found that spayed female were five time more likely to develop cancer than intact ones.


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