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Puppies For Dummies, 4th Edition


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 2

Conventions Used in This Book 2

Optional Reading 2

Foolish Assumptions 3

How This Book is Organized 3

Part 1: Choosing a Dog to Love for a Lifetime 3

Part 2: Living and Loving Your Puppy: The Early Days 4

Part 3: Training with a Positive Spin 4

Part 4: Conditioning Good Manners in Your Puppy 5

Part 5: Creating a Wellness Plan 5

Part 6: The Part of Tens 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Beyond the Book 6

Where to Go from Here 6

Part 1: Choosing a Dog to Love for a Lifetime 7

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Puppy Love Club: Here’s All You Need to Know! 9

Looking at All Your Options 10

Helping Your Puppy Jump into the Family Groove 12

Understanding your puppy’s point of view 12

Raising a puppy in the modern world 13

Positively overdoing bonding and socialization 13

Tackling Training Throughout Your Puppy’s Growth Phases 14

Teaching words your puppy should learn and love 15

Picking a consistent approach 15

Handling Day-to-Day Frustrations — and More Serious Problems 16

Ensuring a Clean Bill of Health 17

Chapter 2: Finding the Puppy That’s Right for You 19

Living Your Dream: Pinpointing What You Really Want 20

Getting in the right mindset 20

Considering yourself before you choose your puppy 21

Interpreting your answers 24

Deciding on the age to bring your puppy home 27

Considering Your Household 28

Me and my shadow 28

Just the two of us — plus pup 29

A family with young kids 30

A family with older children 31

A whole menagerie (other pets) 31

Other dogs 32

Chapter 3: Browsing Breeds and Rescues: Choosing One That’s Right for You 35

Figuring Out Whether You Want a Purebred, Mixed-Breed, or Designer Dog 36

Choosing the breeder route versus the rescue route 37

Deciding on a purebred dog 38

Opting for a random-mix puppy 39

Designing fancy (and expensive) mixed breeds 39

Choosing the Type of Dog That’s Right for You 41

Different Breeds for Different Folks 42

The Sporting group 43

The Hound group 43

The Working group 44

The Herding group 44

The Terrier group 45

The Toy group 45

The Non-Sporting group 46

Chapter 4: Deciding Where to Go to Get Your Puppy 47

Searching High and Low for Your Puppy 48

Finding puppy love on the Internet 49

Adopting a pup from a shelter or a rescue organization 51

Buying a puppy from a professional breeder 54

Checking out a home breeder 56

Avoiding puppy brokers, puppy mills, and pet stores 57

Meeting and Assessing Puppies 59

Finding out what to expect when visiting puppies 59

Profiling puppy personalities 60

Testing a puppy’s temperament 62

Going for an Older Puppy 67

Considering the source 68

Testing older pups 70

Chapter 5: Shopping for Your New Baby and Looking to the Months Ahead 73

Shopping for the Early Days with Your Puppy 74

Your puppy’s safe place 74

Rewards, toys, and self-soothing activities 79

Freedom lines (indoor and out), collars, and early leash skills 82

Exploring Future Needs, Modern Gadgets, and Training Tools 86

Compassion wear (also known as walking restraint) 86

Leash training 89

Clicking and targeting tools to simplify learning 91

Bringing Puppy into the Digital Age 92

Two-way camera 92

Automatic feeder and water fountain 93

Treat dispenser 93

Tracking collar 93

Automatic poop-picker-upper 93

Treadmill and hamster wheel 93

Mechanized brush, hair remover, and bathing apparatus 93

Bluetooth music cube 94

Light-up leash and collar 94

Activity monitor 94

Part 2: Living and Loving Your Puppy: The Early Days 95

Chapter 6: Bonding with Your Puppy Using the Science of Modern Dog Parenting 97

Domesticated Wolves or Little Children? 98

Brain science 99

What the nose knows 100

Master emotions 101

Your Puppy is Talking — Are You “Listening?” 103

Posture 103

Eyes: blinking, social gazing 105

Tail talk 106

Ears 107

Mouth: Grin or grumble, stress panting, play panting, yawning 108

Vocalizing 108

Fur 110

Understanding Your Puppy’s Basic Needs 110

Sleeping 111

Eating 112

Drinking 112

Going to the bathroom 113

Playing 113

Chapter 7: Establishing Good Habits from the Start 115

Preparing for Your Puppy’s Arrival 116

Puppy-proofing a free-play zone 116

Setting up a food and water station 117

Establishing your puppy’s sleeping area 118

Sleep training 118

Crate training 119

Establishing a route to the bathroom area 121

Bringing Puppy Home 122

Introducing Puppy to Your Household 123

Forming a welcome circle 123

Calming the kids 123

Saving your friends for another day 124

Managing resident dogs, cats, and other animals 125

Planning Out the First Days and Weeks 130

Surviving the first 24 hours 130

Time for bed 131

Adjusting, week one 131

Bonding with Your Puppy: The First Month 132

Handling fears 133

Knowing when to pick them up — and when not to 134

Handling the heart hold 134

Chapter 8: Including Everyone in Team Puppy 135

Welcoming the Help of Family and Friends 136

Encouraging Positive Interactions between Kids and Pups 136

Short, fun lessons and groovy games 137

When rowdy play ends the fun 138

Getting Help with Shaping Good Manners from Day One 139

Following early steps for house-training 139

Redirecting jumping 140

Instilling good chewing habits 140

Displaying mealtime manners 141

Discouraging nipping 141

Enlisting Outside Help 142

Your veterinarian 142

Dog walker 143

Puppy trainer 143

Ways to Get Help 144

Group Training 144

Private trainer 145

Digital puppy trainer 146

Groomer 146

Doggie daycare 147

Dog park 147

Living in a Neighborhood 148

Chapter 9: Socializing Puppy 151

Recognizing the Critical Stages of Your Puppy’s Social Calendar 152

Birth to seven weeks 153

Seven weeks to 16 weeks 153

Sixteen weeks to six months 154

Six months to one year 154

Maturity 154

Focusing on Your Puppy 154

Your puppy’s personality 155

Setting your socialization goals 156

Choosing your words wisely 157

Remembering the three T’s: Tips, tools, and techniques 159

Socializing Your Puppy, No Matter Their Age or Experiences 160

Settling your excitable puppy 160

Coping with a fearful reaction 161

Chilling out a defensive reaction 163

Adapting to Life Changes 163

Moving to a new home 163

And baby makes three: Expanding your family 165

Traveling with Your Puppy 168

Taking your puppy on a plane 169

Road trip! Traveling by car 170

Part 3: Training with a Positive Spin 173

Chapter 10: Taking Baby Steps: 8 Weeks to 14 Weeks 175

Understanding Your Puppy’s Mindset 176

Taking Care of Your Puppy’s Basic Needs 176

Making Learning Fun 178

Teaching the Find It game 178

Saying your puppy’s name 178

Learning Sit 179

Learning Come 179

Give 180

Associating words to everyday routines 181

Helping your puppy learn the 4-paw rule 182

Walking the stairs 182

Helping your puppy identify their place 182

Teaching your puppy to ring a bell 182

Leash and collar associations 183

Conditioning Your Puppy to Be Handled 184

Playing doggie-doctor 184

Touching paws 184

Remembering the Importance of Early Socialization 184

When You’re Feeling Frustrated 185

Chapter 11: Teaching Your Preadolescent Puppy: 14 Weeks to 6 Months 187

Understanding Your Puppy’s Mindset 187

Conditioning good habits 188

Practicing your lessons 188

Taking Care of Your Puppy’s Basic Needs 189

Making Learning Fun 189

Play training 190

Helping your puppy slow down 190

Teaching your puppy Stop, Look, and Listen (also known as Wait) 195

The Sequencing Method 196

Sit-Down-Stand 197

Follow-Wait-Find-It 198

Come-Sit-Lean-In or Belly Up 199

Over-Under-Through 200

Instilling Household Manners 200

Leading daily walkabouts 201

Establishing a special place in the rooms you share 201

Mealtime manners 203

Handling Run-Throughs 204

Chapter 12: Surviving Puberty: 6 to 9 Months 207

Understanding Your Puppy’s Mindset at This Age 208

Conditioning Good Habits 208

Dealing with canine backtalk 209

Teaching your puppy the concept of No 210

Taking Care of Your Puppy’s Basic Needs 211

Sleeping out of the crate 211

Phasing out the midday meal 211

Learning to hold it 211

Making Learning Fun 212

Stay, continued 212

Cooperative leash skills 215

Distance control 218

Socializing in the World Beyond 223

Off-leash dog play 223

Interactive words 224

Chapter 13: Striving for Off-Lead Control: 9 Months to 1 Year 225

Understanding Your Puppy’s Mindset at This Age 226

Training the Off-Lead Dog 226

Getting mentally prepared for off-lead control 226

Buying the Right Equipment — and Using It Correctly 228

A retractable leash 230

An indoor freedom line 231

A short lead 231

The Tether-n-Train 231

A freedom line 232

Gauging Your Pup’s Reactions 233

Training an excitable explorer 234

Guiding a more timid pup 234

Getting the Emergency “Down” Down Pat 235

Knowing When to Trust Your Pup and Other FAQs about Off-Lead Training 236

Out and About 238

Following five key rules 239

Under and back: Helpful commands when you’re out and about 239

Introducing Your Pup to People 240

Introducing the wild one 241

Introducing the scaredy-cat 241

Entering Buildings Peacefully 241

Making Friends: Introducing Your Pup to Other Dogs 242

Gaining control when encountering other dogs 242

Enjoying puppy play dates 243

Part 4: Conditioning Good Manners in Your Puppy 245

Chapter 14: House-Training for Success 247

Picking Your Puppy’s Potty Place 248

Establishing a Routine 249

Following general guidelines 250

Getting on a potty-time schedule 251

Being consistent 253

Helping Your Pup Communicate Their Need to Go 254

Quick Tips for Handling and Avoiding Accidents 256

Chapter 15: Conquering Common Frustrations 259

Understanding What Shapes Your Puppy’s Routines 259

Shaping and Redirecting Behavior 260

Talking the talk 260

Stopping the chewing frenzy 262

Grabbing, tugging and chasing, oh my! 268

Grounding the joyous jumper 269

I want to see what’s on the counter, too! 272

That couch sure looks comfy 273

Controlling Mouthing and Nipping 275

Mouthing 275

Nipping 276

Chapter 16: Addressing Extreme Reactions — On and Off the Leash 279

Recognizing What Aggression is and What It Isn’t 280

Dominant aggression 280

Resource guarding aggression (object guarding) 281

Territorial aggression 282

Protective aggression 284

Predatory aggression 284

Fear-induced aggression 285

Dog-to-dog aggression 286

Idiopathic aggression 287

Silencing Your Barking (or Whining) Puppy 289

Conditioning your puppy to everyday sounds 290

Socializing your puppy early on 291

Busy puppy, quiet puppy 291

Developing your puppy’s Off switch 292

Barking at e-v-e-r-y-thing 292

Barking for attention or protest 293

Discouraging Mounting 294

Getting Control of the Digging 295

Remedying Leash Resistance 296

The lunge-and-drag 296

Mule wannabes 298

Redirecting Your Little Grazer 298

Surviving Isolation Stress and Separation Anxiety 299

Isolation anxiety 299

Isolation distress 300

Separation anxiety 300

Helping a puppy with isolation issues 301

Knowing how long is too long 303

Dealing with a Stimulated Tinkler 303

Part 5: Creating a Wellness Plan 305

Chapter 17: Maintaining Healthy Habits 307

Puppy Nutrition 101: Your Puppy’s Changing Dietary Needs 308

Comparing different types of food 308

Looking at your puppy’s food options 309

Evaluating essential ingredients 310

Interpreting food labels to get more bang for your buck 315

Understanding Food Allergies and Special Needs 316

Pinpointing allergies to your food and theirs 316

Accommodating special nutritional situations 317

Keeping Your Puppy Looking and Feeling Tip-Top 317

DIY: Making bath time lots of fun 318

Brushing made easy 319

Performing daily care and spot-checks 320

Taking Your Pup for Regular Checkups 326

Identifying and Remedying Allergies 327

Spaying or Neutering Your Puppy 329

Playing for Fun and Fitness 331

Chapter 18: Identifying and Preventing Common Ailments 333

Controlling Diseases with Vaccines 334

Core vaccines 334

Noncore vaccines 335

Day-to-Day Health Concerns 337

Teething 338

Coughing 338

Lethargy 338

Diarrhea 339

Dry skin 339

Constipation 339

Vomiting 339

Gas 340

Bloat 341

Compacted anal glands 341

Limping 342

Bugging Out: External Parasites 342

Fleas 342

Ticks 343

Ringworm 346

Mites and mange 346

Getting Below the Surface: Internal Parasites 347

Heartworms 347

Other internal critters 348

Chapter 19: Preventing Accidents and Knowing What to Do in an Emergency 351

Accidents Happen: Preventing and Preparing Before They Do 352

Puppy first aid kit 352

Playing puppy doctor 353

Fences Help 354

Evaluating fence types 354

Training your puppy to concentrate their attention 355

When Accidents Happen 355

Restraining a hurt pup 355

Transporting a hurt pup 356

Helping a choking pup 356

Performing artificial respiration (mouth-to-nose resuscitation) and CPR 357

Stopping your pup’s bleeding 358

Treating bug bites and stings 359

Treating snakebites 359

Treating burns 360

Treating and preventing heatstroke 360

Hunting for household dangers 360

Taking care of small indigestibles 361

Part 6: The Part of Tens 363

Chapter 20: Ten (Or So) Fun Games 365

Find It 366

Tug 366

Give (Or Drop) 367

Tug Tug Give 368

Wiggle Giggle Freeze 368

Two-Toy Toss 369

Fishing for Fido 370

Swing Toss — Can’t Catch Me 370

Toy Along, Tag Along (also known as The Squeak-Toy Shuffle) 371

Hide-and-Seek 371

Superball Soccer 373

Chapter 21: Ten (or So) Crowd-Pleasing Tricks 375

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Wag Your Tail 376

Give a Kiss 376

Stylish Greeting Tricks 377

Go Get Your Toy 377

Belly Up 377

Spin 378

Paw 378

High-Five 379

Bump It 379

Take a Bow 380

Go to Sleep, or Time for Bed 381

Roll Over 381

Ask Nicely 382

Over 383

Through the Hoop 384

Index 387

About the Author

Sarah Hodgson is a dog and puppy behavior expert and the author of many bestselling books on dog training. Her positive techniques help dogs become well-behaved family members. She writes for the Huffington Post, and collaborates on articles for Parenthood, Prevention, and Country Living magazines as well as The New York Times. and has appeared on Animal Planet. Connect with her at SarahSaysPets.com!

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