Puppy Basics
Understanding your Puppy
Start Now!
Puppy's First Year
Socializing your Dog
Lesson of the Day


Start Now!
There are some very important things you should do with your puppy from the time he is very young. Read on!


Start early with your new pup!

While your pup is young, he will let you do things with him because he is a baby, and because you are older and stronger. He will accept things because you are in charge. The activities below are sometimes difficult for older dogs and owners, but if you start now, you will not have any trouble.

Bathing your dog.
Brushing your dog.
Trimming your dog's toenails.

Brushing your dog's teeth.
Putting a leash on your dog.
Leaving your dog alone.

Having control of your dog while he is eating.
Having a well-adjusted dog in public.

Read below for suggestions on making these activities easier.


 How to Make a Dog Bath Fun

Build up to bathing your puppy a little at a time. The first few times you might not even wash him. Just coax him into the tub without water, give him a treat, hug him and tell him he is a good boy. Then let him out to go play. Do this each day for two or three days before actually getting him wet. People and animals learn better sometimes if they do it in very small steps.

Do you have a sprinkler? Turn it on and run through it with your dog to get him used to the water. It's fun!

A few extra days of kind, gentle, and patient teaching will be well worth it if in return you get ten to fifteen years of happy baths in your dog's lifetime.

Click here for more information on bathing your dog.


Brushing your dog is the best thing you can learn to help your dog stay healthy. Teach your puppy to enjoy brushing by using a very soft brush at first. Brush him only a few minutes at a time and be sure to reward him with praise or treats. Touching and petting your dog as much as you can will help him to enjoy activities like brushing.

Click here for more information about brushing.

Brush my hair!


Clip my toenails!
Your dog will need his toenails clipped during his entire life. For now, you can get your pup ready for toenail clipping by playing with his feet. Just touch them, tickle them, pet them, and be sure to tell your puppy he is a good dog.


Teaching your Puppy to Wear a Leash:

  • Start by attaching a lightweight leash to your puppy's collar.
  • Drop the leash and let the puppy drag it around.
  • Call your puppy, tell her "good girl", hug her, and pet her...whatever feels good to both of you.
  • Leave the leash on for only a few minutes and never leave it on her when you are not with her.
  • Do this several times over a few days and pretty soon your pup won't even notice the leash.
Click here for more information.


How to Leave Your Dog Alone

Your puppy can learn to stay alone at a very young age. Start leaving him in a confined area for very short amounts of time like 1 or 2 minutes. Leave the room or yard. Come back and praise him while he is in his area. You might give him a treat. Then let him out.

Practice this a couple of times a day. After a week or two you might be able to leave your dog alone for 30 minutes. Don't leave him for a long time too quickly. Practice for small amounts of time. If you are patient, you will soon have a dog who is comfortable staying by himself when you and your family leave the house.

Leaving your dog alone is easy.


Brushing your Dog's Teeth
Here's how you can get your dog ready to have his teeth brushed:

Begin when your dog is very young. Don't be too serious - make it fun.

1. Don't use a toothbrush at first. Dip your finger in something good like soup and then rub your finger along his teeth. Rub it against his gums. Only do this for a minute or two. Then stop and praise your dog.

2. Do this every day or two until your pup is comfortable with you touching his mouth and teeth.

3. Later, you can wrap a piece of gauze around your finger to make it feel a little different and rub that against his teeth. After awhile, you will feel comfortable enough to put a toothbrush into your dog's mouth.

Click here for more information.

Brush those baby teeth.


Having Control of your Dog While He is Eating
Brush my teeth!

It's important that your pup allow you to be near him while he eats. A dog should NEVER become possessive or aggressive while he is eating. So you need to be in charge.

First, before you feed your puppy, have him sit or shake hands. Then after he starts eating, pet him on the back and tell him he is a good dog. Later, pick up his dish while there is still food in it. Hold it for just a second or two, tell him he is a good dog, and then give him back his bowl. You don't need to do all of these things at every meal, but do one or two of them at each meal to get your dog comfortable being near people while he is eating. You should also do these things while he is chewing on toys and bones.

NEVER do this with an older dog who you do not know. This is only for your own young puppy.


How to have a Well-Adjusted Dog in Public

When your dog is4-6 months old, he is old enough to start getting out in the world. He should have had all of his shots so he will be protected from illness.

Just as you go on field trips at school to learn about the world, your puppy needs to go out to learn about things as well. There are experiences you will want to share with your dog so he becomes comfortable with strange people, places, sounds, and things. Your dog will be better behaved if you start now.
Click here! Red Ball


Start NOW for great behavior!

corgi pup


These are great books that would be helpful for you and your puppy:


ASPCA Pet Care Guides for Kids: Puppy, by Mark Evans, Dorling Kindersley 1992

Puppy is designed to help young animal owners learn about and care for their pets. Illustrated on every page with full-color photography, Puppy is packed with practical information on every aspect of canine care. Published in association with the ASPCA, this book engages and informs readers ages 7 and up.

Puppy Training

Puppy Training for Kids, by Sarah Whitehead, Barrons Juveniles 2001
This book has easy-to-understand instructions for children on puppy training and care. With an emphasis on fun. Learn what to feed puppies and how much to give them, and how to play games that are safe and enjoyable. They also learn basics of puppy handling, grooming, giving commands, teaching obedience, tricks, and much more. There are great full-color photos throughout the book. For ages 9-12, or 4-8 with parents' guidance. Excellent Book!

Kids Training Puppies

Kids Training Puppies in Five Minutes, by JoAnn Dahan, Cork Hill Press; (February 5, 2004)
From an Amazon.com reader: My name is Christi, I am 7 years old. I just got a new lab puppy from my Mom and Dad her name is Ginny. Before I could have Ginny I had to promised I would care for her and train her. This book is so great, it is very easy to read and the pictures of the lab puppies and kids are so cute. I taught Ginny to sit and lie down really fast. I think every kid with a puppy should have this book. Ages 5-8

Your Puppy Your Dog

Your Puppy, Your Dog, by Pat Storer, Storey Publishing; 1997
From the Back Cover
What a dog needs most is love -- and loving a dog means providing everything it needs to be happy and healthy. With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of illustrations, this book tells you just how to care for and understand your dog. Ages 9-12
* How to select the puppy or dog that is best for you
* What and how to feed your dog
* How to train and exercise your dog
* How to play with your dog or puppy
* How to keep your dog in the best of health
* Where and how to show your dog
* How to make items...


A lot to remember? Try this!

Lesson of the Day!




Puppy Basics
Understanding your Puppy
Start Now!
Puppy's First Year
Socializing your Dog
Lesson of the Day




to Puppy's First Year

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

Search this Site | Site Map



Read our Privacy Policy
How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
Copyright ©1998 - 2009 by Janet Wall and Rick Wall
May be reproduced for individual or classroom use only.
Photographs, graphics, and backgrounds may not

be reproduced to other websites or for any other purpose.