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10 Essential Tips for Raising a White Labrador or English Cream Golden Retriever Puppy

Welcoming a White Labrador or English Cream Golden Retriever puppy into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it also comes with its challenges. In this resource, we’ll explore ten essential tips to help you navigate the puppy-raising journey with confidence. From socialization and training to nutrition and healthcare, these tips will ensure that your puppy grows into a happy, healthy, and well-behaved adult dog.

Welcoming Your Puppy Home

Welcoming your new puppy home is an exciting and important moment for both you and your furry friend. Here’s how to properly welcome your puppy home:

Prepare the Environment

Before bringing your puppy home, ensure that your house is puppy-proofed. Remove any potential hazards, such as toxic plants, electrical cords, small objects, and sharp edges. Set up a designated area for your puppy with their bed, toys, food and water bowls, and a crate or playpen.

Introduce Them Gently

When you arrive home with your puppy, keep introductions calm and low-key. Allow your puppy to explore their new surroundings at their own pace on leash. Avoid overwhelming them with too much attention or too many new people all at once.

Provide Comfort and Reassurance

Your puppy may be feeling anxious or unsure in their new surroundings. Provide comfort and reassurance by spending time with them, offering gentle pets and cuddles, and speaking to them in a soothing voice. Let them know they’re safe and loved.

Allow Time to Adjust

Understand that it may take some time for your puppy to fully adjust to their new home. Be patient and give them the space and time they need to acclimate. Provide plenty of love, attention, and positive experiences to help them feel comfortable and secure.

Early Socialization

Early socialization is crucial for White Labradors and English Cream Golden Retrievers to grow into well-adjusted and confident adults. Introduce your puppy to various people, animals, environments, and experiences in a positive and controlled manner. This helps prevent fearfulness later in life.

Some Ideas for Socialization:


Expose your puppy to a variety of people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, and appearances. Encourage positive interactions with strangers by rewarding calm and friendly behavior.

Other Dogs

Allow your puppy to interact with well-behaved and vaccinated dogs in safe environments such as puppy socialization classes or supervised playdates. Monitor their interactions to ensure they are positive and appropriate.


Introduce your puppy to other animals they may encounter in their environment, such as cats, birds, or small mammals. Always supervise these interactions to ensure the safety of all animals involved.


Expose your puppy to different sounds, including traffic noises, sirens, vacuum cleaners, doorbells, and children playing. Start with low-intensity sounds and gradually increase the volume as your puppy becomes more comfortable.


Allow your puppy to walk on various surfaces such as grass, concrete, sand, gravel, wood, and carpet. This helps them become accustomed to different textures and builds confidence in navigating different environments.


Gently handle your puppy’s paws, ears, tail, and mouth to help them become comfortable with being touched and examined. This will make grooming, veterinary visits, and other forms of handling less stressful for your puppy in the future.


Take your puppy to different places such as parks, beaches, pet stores, cafes with outdoor seating, and busy streets. Exposing them to new environments helps them become adaptable and confident in different settings.

Basic Training & More

Begin training your puppy as soon as you bring them home. Focus on basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior and establish a strong bond with your puppy. If your puppy has already been through some basic obedience training you can try some trick training or some more advanced training to keep your puppy challenged mentally and physically.

Some More Advanced Training:

  1. Fetch: Teach your dog to fetch specific items by name or from different locations, building on the basic retrieve command.
  2. Shake Hands/Paw: Train your dog to offer their paw on command and saying hi to all your friends.
  3. Roll Over: Teach your dog to roll their entire body on their back, its also just cute to watch.
  4. Play Dead: Train your dog to show off your handling skills by playing dead for family and friends!
  5. Find It/Scent Work: Engage your dog’s scenting abilities by hiding treats or toys around the house and encouraging them to search, gradually increasing difficulty.

Establishing a Routine

Establishing a routine for your puppy is crucial as it provides structure, consistency, and predictability, which are essential for their physical and mental well-being. A routine helps puppies feel secure, reduces anxiety, and facilitates faster learning. 

Examples of routines include consistent feeding times, regular potty breaks, daily walks or play sessions, and scheduled training sessions, all of which help your puppy develop good habits, bond with you, and thrive in their environment.

Example Daily Routine for a Puppy:

  • Morning (7:00 AM):
    • Take the puppy outside for a potty break.
    • Provide breakfast in a designated feeding area.
    • Spend 10-15 minutes on basic training commands like sit, stay, and come.
  • Late Morning (10:00 AM):
    • Short play session with toys to engage mental and physical stimulation.
  • Midday (12:00 PM):
    • Take the puppy outside for another potty break.
  • Afternoon (3:00 PM):
    • Nap time or quiet rest period in their crate or designated sleeping area.
  • Late Afternoon (5:00 PM):
    • Another short play session or walk for exercise and bonding time.
  • Early Evening (7:00 PM):
    • Dinner time in the designated feeding area.
    • Followed by another brief training session focusing on one or two commands.
  • Evening (9:00 PM):
    • Final potty break before bedtime.
    • Provide a chew toy or puzzle feeder for mental stimulation before settling down for the night.

Consistency is Key

Consistency for a new puppy involves maintaining clear rules and boundaries in various aspects of their life, including interactions with people, behaviors at home, and outings in public settings. Here’s how consistency applies:

Home Rules and Boundaries

Consistency at home means enforcing the same rules and boundaries consistently. For example, if you’ve designated certain areas of the house as off-limits, such as bedrooms or the kitchen, ensure that everyone in the household adheres to this rule. Consistent reinforcement helps your puppy understand what behavior is expected of them and reduces confusion.

Behavioral Expectations

Establish consistent behavioral expectations for your puppy, such as not jumping on furniture, not begging at the table, and not chewing on household items. Enforce these expectations consistently by redirecting unwanted behaviors and rewarding desired behaviors. Consistency helps your puppy understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Interactions with Visitors

Consistency also applies to how your puppy interacts with visitors to your home. Communicate your puppy’s rules and boundaries to guests, such as not allowing them to feed your puppy from the table or allowing jumping up for attention. Consistent reinforcement from both family members and visitors helps your puppy learn appropriate behavior in different social situations.

Outings and Public Settings

When out and about with your puppy, consistency is key to ensuring their safety and well-being. Maintain consistent rules and expectations for behavior in public settings, such as walking politely on a leash, not approaching strangers without permission, and following basic obedience commands. Consistently reinforcing these behaviors helps your puppy become a well-behaved and reliable companion in various environments.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your White Labrador or English Cream Golden Retriever puppy a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding schedule and nutritional requirements for your puppy’s growth and development.

Ensuring Sufficient Exercise

White Labrador Retrievers and English Cream Golden Retrievers are typically friendly, active, and energetic breeds that require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Here’s how to ensure proper exercise for a White Labrador/English Cream Golden Retriever:

  1. Walks: Take your White Lab/English Cream Golden Retriever for short exploration walks, about 10-15 minutes in a new place. These walks provide mental stimulation, opportunities for socialization, and help fulfill their instinctual need to explore.
  2. Active Play Sessions: Engage your puppy in active play sessions multiple times a day. Use toys like balls, frisbees, or ropes for games of fetch, tug-of-war, or chase. These activities not only burn off excess energy but also strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. 
  3. Swimming: Take advantage of their natural love for water by introducing them to swimming. Supervised swimming sessions are excellent low-impact exercises that provide a full-body workout and are especially beneficial for joint health.
  4. Interactive Toys and Puzzle Games: Use interactive toys and puzzle games to provide mental stimulation and keep your puppy entertained. These activities challenge their problem-solving skills and prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors.
  5. Training Sessions: Incorporate training sessions into your puppy’s daily routine, 10-15 minutes will do so much! Training not only stimulates their mind but also helps reinforce obedience and good behavior. 
  6. Dog Sports and Activities: Consider participating in dog sports or activities like agility, obedience trials, or dock diving. These activities provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation while allowing your puppy to showcase their natural abilities and talents.
  7. Supervised Play with Other Dogs: Arrange playdates with other friendly dogs for supervised play sessions. Socializing with other dogs provides valuable exercise and helps develop important social skills, such as appropriate play behavior and canine communication.
  8. Monitor Energy Levels: Pay attention to your puppy’s energy levels and adjust their exercise routine accordingly. While they are energetic and playful, they also need adequate rest and downtime to prevent overexertion and exhaustion, which is where kennel training comes in handy!

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your puppy’s health and vaccinations. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for parasite prevention, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. Additionally, maintain good grooming practices, including regular baths, brushing, and nail trims.

Vaccination Schedule for a Puppy:

  1. 6-8 Weeks:
    • Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus (DHPP) combination vaccine
    • Canine Parvovirus (CPV) vaccine
    • Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) vaccine
    • Canine Parainfluenza (CPi) vaccine
    • Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine (kennel cough)
    • Canine Coronavirus (CCV) vaccine (optional, depending on risk factors)
    • First deworming treatment
  2. 10-12 Weeks:
    • DHPP combination vaccine booster
    • Rabies vaccine
    • Second deworming treatment
  3. 14-16 Weeks:
    • DHPP combination vaccine booster
    • Lyme disease vaccine (optional, depending on risk factors)
    • Leptospirosis vaccine (optional, depending on risk factors)
    • Fourth deworming treatment
  4. 12-16 Months:
    • DHPP combination vaccine booster
    • Rabies vaccine booster

Veterinary Care after Puppyhood:

  1. Annual Wellness Exams: Schedule annual check-ups with your veterinarian to assess your dog’s overall health, monitor for any developing issues, and discuss preventative care.
  2. Vaccination Boosters: Follow up with booster shots for core vaccinations as recommended by your veterinarian. Booster requirements may vary depending on factors such as your dog’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.
  3. Parasite Prevention: Continue year-round parasite prevention, including flea and tick control, heartworm prevention, and regular deworming as recommended by your veterinarian.
  4. Dental Care: Implement a regular dental care routine, including tooth brushing and dental chews, to maintain your dog’s oral health and prevent dental disease.
  5. Senior Wellness Exams: As your dog ages, consider scheduling bi-annual wellness exams to monitor for age-related issues such as arthritis, dental disease, and cognitive decline.

Crate Training

Use crate training as a positive tool to keep your puppy safe in your absence, help with house training, and a place to go if you cannot have your eyes on them. Gradually introduce your puppy to the crate and make it a comfortable and inviting space.

  1. Choose the Right Crate: Select a crate that is appropriately sized for your puppy, allowing them to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Opt for a sturdy crate made of materials that are safe for your puppy, such as plastic or metal wire.
  2. Introduce the Crate Gradually: Begin by introducing your puppy to the crate in a positive and gradual manner. Place the crate in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home and leave the door open. Encourage your puppy to explore the crate by placing treats, toys, or their favorite blanket inside.
  3. Create a Positive Association: Make the crate a comfortable and inviting space for your puppy by providing chew proof bedding, familiar toys, and a few treats or safe chews. 
  4. Use Crate Time Wisely: Initially, keep crate time short and gradually increase the duration as your puppy becomes more comfortable. Use the crate for short periods when you’re unable to supervise your puppy, such as during naps, when you’re away from home, or even meal time!
  5. Provide Safe Chew Toys: Offer a variety of safe and durable chew toys to keep your puppy occupied while in the crate. Choose toys that are appropriate for your puppy’s age, size, and chewing habits, such as rubber toys, nylon bones, or puzzle toys filled with treats.
  6. Avoid Using the Crate for Punishment: Never use the crate as a form of punishment or confinement. The crate should be a safe and comfortable space for your puppy, not associated with negative experiences.

Cherish The Moments

Embracing the journey of puppyhood is a rollercoaster of experiences, from the joys of watching them learn new tricks to the challenges of housebreaking. Celebrate every milestone, whether it’s the first successful potty outside or mastering a command. Cherish the special moments, like cuddles on the couch or playful zoomies in the yard. Through it all, the bond you form with your puppy during this formative period will endure, evolving into a deep and lasting connection that enriches both of your lives for years to come.

Raising a White Labrador or English Cream Golden Retriever puppy is a rewarding journey that requires careful planning, patience, and commitment. By following these ten essential tips, you’ll set the stage for a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult dog. Enjoy every moment of puppyhood, and cherish the lifelong bond you’ll share with your furry companion.

Are you thinking about getting a White Lab puppy? Come visit Snowy Pines White Labs at our Ozark home or view our puppy live stream to see healthy dogs in action.

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About the Author


Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.


Calm Tempered, AKC Purebred, and Certified Genetics.