The Golden Retriever Puppy Timeline [11 Milestones] – Golden Hearts
golden retriever puppy sleeping

The Golden Retriever Puppy Timeline [11 Milestones]

As a new or soon-to-be golden retriever puppy owner, you may be wondering about when important puppy milestones happen.

We’ve put together this little timeline to help explain things for you.

These behavioral and developmental milestones will differ from individual to individual, but this 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 about 8.

2 weeks: Eyes open

golden retriever puppy eyes open

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

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 4 times per day, while still nursing from their mother.

Once they have fully weaned off of their mother’s milk, they eat 3 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 8-12 weeks before they send their pups home.

You can also start training them now (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, although like all of these milestones, this can vary (ours took a few months longer!).

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

golden retriever puppy teething

Puppies bite for several reasons: they explore the world through their mouth, its part of how they play, and while they’re teething, it helps relieve the pain and pressure in their mouths.

Once their adult teeth come in at around 4 months, you’ll notice that they bite 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 on the floor.

golden retriever puppy teeth

10 months-2 years: Getting spayed or neutered

Most vets and breeders recommend waiting to spay or neuter your dog until about 10 months to 2 years old. This depends on the gender and your individual dog.

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 20-23 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 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 55-70 pounds, while males typically weigh 60-80 pounds.


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!

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13 thoughts on “The Golden Retriever Puppy Timeline [11 Milestones]”

  1. 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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