It seems like only yesterday you brought home your tiny Golden Retriever pup, so it’s hard to believe that they’re now 7 months old, and well in their teenager stage!
During this stage, Golden Retrievers either have one of two looks: they either get what people refer to as the “puppy uglies” where their limbs are too long or too short for the rest of their body, their puppy teeth are falling out, and their adult coat is growing in patches; or they’ll start to resemble a taller, more coordinated, elegant, nearly adult version of themselves and there’s really no in-between!
Much like human teenagers, canine adolescents typically display some behavioral issues and moodiness, which can be trying not just for them but for anyone who interacts with them for a few months. Being a teenager is hard, and so is parenting them!
But don’t worry, we’ll give you all the information you need to navigate these trying times more effectively. In this article you’ll learn:
- How much a 7-month-old Golden Retriever should weigh
- How much a 7-month-old Golden Retriever puppy should sleep
- How much exercise your 7-month-old Golden Retriever should get
- Typical behavioral issues with 7-month-old Golden Retrievers
- How to deal with behavioral issues when they arise
How Big Is A 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever
You’re going to notice that your pup is growing pretty rapidly. During their teenager phase (roughly between 6 months and 16 months) they’ll grow to their adult height and weight.
Your pooch will likely develop legs, ears, and a nose that grow faster than the rest of their body. This is completely normal. Your pup is just in their awkward teenage phase, which usually results in a gangly appearance.
At 7 months old, a Golden Retriever should be somewhere in the 16’’- 25’’ range. However, your pup could be smaller or taller than that based on its genetics and the type of golden.
7-month-old Golden Retrievers are typically around 32lbs (14.5 kg) and 75 lbs (34 kg). If your dog weighs more or less than this and you’re concerned about their weight, you should consult your veterinarian. They’ll let you know what you can do to help your pooch maintain a healthy weight.
How Much Sleep a 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Needs
Your 7-month-old Golden Retriever is going to be growing rapidly over the next few months, so they need lots of sleep because sleep is crucial for growth and development.
Most puppies sleep between 18- 20 hours, but older pups will eventually sleep for 12- 14 hours per day. Your golden will likely fall somewhere in between the two. Don’t be surprised if your golden needs more sleep some days and less on others.
It’s important that you ensure your pup gets enough sleep so that they don’t exhibit as many behavioral issues. An overly-sleepy puppy is not only moody but quite wild.
Around every 3 hours or so of play, you should let your dog out to go potty and then attempt to get them to take a nap. Puppies aren’t the best at going to sleep on their own, so you might need to help them a bit. It’s like helping a toddler go down for nap time.
It helps if you give them a quiet, comfortable space to sleep. Crates and pens work well for this. Make sure that there aren’t lots of noises coming from other rooms to distract them, and if you’re using a crate you can cover it with blankets or towels to block out light and other distractions. And the last element of nap time should be a soft chew toy. Puppies chew and hold things in their mouths to soothe themselves to sleep.
How Much to Feed A 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever
Your golden is definitely eating more than they did when you first brought them home!
A 7-month-old Golden Retriever should be eating 3-4 cups of food per day, which you should split up into 3 separate meals.
It’s really important that you feed your pup quality puppy food at this time. They’re growing and developing quickly, which can cause brittle bones, joints, and other issues all on its own, let alone the additional issues that can come from poor nutrition.
Although your puppy won’t die from eating adult food once, that doesn’t mean you should feed it to them on a regular basis. Adult dog food doesn’t have the nutritional value that your pup needs to grow and develop properly.
Not only do you need quality puppy food, but it also needs to be a puppy food designed for large breed dogs. You should also ensure that it has DHA in it, as this is an ingredient that’s important for brain development, and Golden Retrievers are so smart that they definitely need the extra brain food!
You’ll need to walk a fine line between ensuring that your golden has enough food to grow and develop properly, and over-feeding your pup. Golden Retrievers are prone to over-eating and many of them are overweight as a result. Food makes them happy, so they’re not going to turn it down. It’s up to you to make sure they maintain a healthy weight. If you have any doubts about your Golden’s weight, consult your veterinarian to find out what steps you can take.
How Much Exercise Does a 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Need?
You’ll definitely know if your golden puppy isn’t getting enough exercise. They’ll not only be moody and destructive, but they’ll likely be overweight. So, it’s important to get your puppy out and about to run off those extra calories and maintain optimum energy levels.
The general guideline is that your pup should exercise 5 minutes every month of life. So since your pup is 7 months old, they should receive around 35 minutes of exercise per day. This is good news for lots of people who have been waiting to go on long walks with their Golden Retriever pup!
When I was a kid, we got a 6-month-old Golden Retriever named Bear. My dad adopted him from an elderly couple who had purchased him as a farm dog, but basically because he was golden and they were old, they couldn’t handle him so they rehomed him. I have no earthly idea why they named him Bear. He wasn’t the right color, and he definitely wasn’t aggressive, so I took to calling him “Teddy” because he was such a cuddly pup.
At any rate, when he first came to us, he was full of enough energy to power the small village we lived in. (Not seriously. We haven’t harnessed puppy energy yet!) Some of the stuff we dealt with early on in the first couple of months we had him included jumping upon us (and anyone else he came in contact with), him being mouthy and chewing on things, and being destructive. If you get a dog while it’s going through canine adolescence, I can tell you from personal experience that you’re going to have your hands full!
Luckily, my dad was always good at training dogs. He was a true dog- lover, and he loved that dog. And my brother and I were young enough that we had the energy to spare, too. We ran all over our acre of property with Bear from the time we got home from school until it was time to go to bed every day, and went on countless adventures with him.
Dealing with canine adolescence and the over-abundance of energy that Golden Retrievers often have is a LOT to deal with, but if you stick to it and see it through, the reward is well worth it! Bear was one of the best dogs we ever had.
For more information about exercise, check out our article about How Much Exercise Golden Retrievers Actually Need (Puppies, Adults, Seniors).
Typical Behavioral Issues of 7-Month-Old Golden Retrievers
Okay, so I’ve pretty much hammered in the point that Golden Retrievers going through puberty act up. But I haven’t really told you how they might frustrate you. Here are some of the more common behavioral issues with 7-month-old Golden Retriever:
It can seem like someone flipped a switch and now suddenly your puppy is interested in everything in the world around him- except you and your commands. It’s hard not to get jealous and frustrated, but rather than feeling bad about it, you should instead recognize that this is natural for your pup and take it as a challenge to become more interesting to your pup. Switch things up. Play new games with your pup, and give them new treats and rewards. Rather than simply handing over a treat when they’re especially good, take them to the park for good behavior.
Your pup is going to basically go randomly forget everything (maybe even their own name!) during this time. Even commands that they could once easily perform will be forgotten. This sort of regression and forgetfulness is a natural part of development, even for pups who are stellar students. You’ll need to be patient with your pup and give them some training refresher courses to help them out.
The most common complaint of teenaged golden owners is the destruction. Just when you think you’re done with their chewing phase, it comes back with a vengeance, along with other destructive activities. They’ll chew up furniture, shoes, etc., dig holes, start barking, jumping on people, steal food, and more. You need to practice extreme patience during this time. Just continue training your pup and reward them for good behaviors. Goldens respond to reward-based positive enforcement, rather than punishment.
How to Deal With 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Behavioral Problems
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy solution to behavior problems. As much as we’d like to wave a magic wand over our pups and make this stage go away, it doesn’t work that way.
However, consistency does work to rectify behavioral issues. Here are some of the ways you can deal with your pup’s behavioral issues:
A lot of the behavioral issues displayed by adolescent Golden Retrievers stem from pent-up energy. They have an abundance of energy, and it’s difficult to meet their exercise requirements. But if you take your pooch out for long walks or jogs, play fetch with them, let them play with other dogs, allow them to go swimming, or participate in agility training, you’ll notice a major difference. After all, it’s hard for them to act up when they’re tired!
Obedience training is your lifeline during these trying times. It basically works to stop problem activities in their tracks or solve problems while they’re developing.
Another source of problem behaviors is boredom. A bored golden puppy with loads of energy is a bad combination! Some of the best ways to combat this problem are puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys, as well as playing games with your pup. Keep your pup mentally engaged so that they’re less likely to get bored and act up.
Structure and Routine
Just as with human children, young Golden Retrievers need structure and routine. What’s more, if you break their routine it’s likely that they’ll act up and get fussy. You’ll need to make it a habit to feed your dog at the same times every day, let them out or walk them at the same times, give them special attention every day, and set a daily nap time.
Your Golden Retriever has entered a new developmental phase, which is exciting! In a little more than a year, your pup will be fully grown! That’s a heartbreaking thought for most pet owners, but it’s important that you cherish the months that lead up to their adulthood because you won’t get them back! Even though adolescence can be difficult to deal with at times, the bond you create with your golden is priceless.
Here are the other articles in this series in case you missed them:
- Golden Retriever Puppy Growth Chart Month by Month
- 6 Week Old Golden Retriever: Developmental Milestones to Expect and Mistakes to Avoid
- 8 Week Old Golden Retriever: Growth, Developmental and Behavioral Expectations
- 3 Month Old Golden Retriever: Training, Feeding, Sleeping
- 4 Month Old Golden Retriever: Training, Feeding, and Behaviors
- 5 Month Old Golden Retriever: Behaviors, Feeding, and Training
- 6 Month Old Golden Retriever: What to Expect from Canine Adolescence
- 8-Month-old Golden Retriever Puppy: Behavior, Training and Development
- 1-year-old Golden Retriever Puppy: A Journey into Adulthood
- 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever: Full-Grown, Adulthood, Playful
- Senior Golden Retriever: Signs of Aging and How to Care for Your Old Dog
- How Big Is A 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever
- How Much Sleep a 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Needs
- How Much to Feed A 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever
- How Much Exercise Does a 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Need?
- Typical Behavioral Issues of 7-Month-Old Golden Retrievers
- How to Deal With 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever Behavioral Problems