Cheat Sheet

Puppies For Dummies

From Puppies For Dummies, 3rd Edition by Sarah Hodgson

Owning a puppy is definitely fun, but it’s also a huge responsibility. You’re essentially caring for a new four-legged member of the family. You need to keep your puppy safe and healthy, and you also need to instill good manners and habits so that other folks enjoy your puppy as much as you do.

Puppy First-Aid Kit Essentials

Here’s a first-aid kit you can put together for your pup. Set these items aside in a safe place or take them with you when you travel with your puppy:

  • Strips of cloth to use as a muzzle or to tie around a bleeding wound

  • Gauze pads

  • A sheet or towel that can be used to carry your puppy in a supine position

  • A tourniquet rod (use only in severe emergencies)

  • Hydrogen peroxide/betadine solution

  • The poison hotline number and a list of all poisonous plants

  • Bacitracin

  • Ice packs

  • Snakebite kit, if you’re in snake country

  • Towels to wet in case of heatstroke

  • Rectal thermometer

  • Towel and water jug (to be kept in your car) in case you get stranded

Note: Be sure to update the kit regularly, replacing any expired products.

Teaching Commands for Puppy Obedience

To train your puppy, pair the following command words with each specific action and use them consistently. Give positive reinforcement with treats and attention, and start early: The younger your puppy is when you start, the more attentive she will be to directions and ideas.

  • “Follow”: This command says, “I’m the leader, so follow me!” Say it whenever you’re leading your puppy on leash.

  • “Sit”: This direction is the human equivalent of “Say please.” Direct your puppy to sit before giving her anything positive, from meals and treats to toys, or when greeting strangers or friends.

  • “Down”: Directing “Down” helps your puppy calm down whenever you’re going to be stationary for a while.

  • “Stay”: This direction instills good impulse control. Direct your puppy to stay whenever you want her to be still.

  • “Wait”: Use this direction for sudden stops or at curbs. It says, “Stop and focus on me before proceeding.”

  • No”: This direction is the human equivalent of “That’s a bad idea” instead of “You’re bad.” Use it if you catch your puppy thinking about misbehaving.

  • Everyday instructions: Assign a command to everyday actions like going upstairs, going outside, coming inside, getting in the car, and so on.

Sample Housetraining Schedule for Puppies

This housetraining schedule is based on the needs of a healthy four-month-old puppy. Vary the schedule according to your schedule and the age needs of your pup. If you can’t take care of all your pup’s needs due to your work schedule or other conflicts, consider hiring a helper.

Period of Day/Time Action
Wake up (7:00 a.m.) Go to potty area (outside or papers) immediately and only for a potty break.
Breakfast (7:30 a.m.) Fill the bowl and encourage your puppy to sit before placing it down.
Morning walk (8:00 a.m.) Play after breakfast and/or take a walk.
Late-morning walk (11:00 a.m.) Play, potty, and/or take a walk.
Lunch (11:15 a.m.) Young puppies must eat and then go to their potty area. Fill the bowl and encourage your puppy to sit before placing it down.
After-lunch outing (11:45 a.m.) Potty break.
Midafternoon walk (2:30 p.m.) Play, potty, and/or take a walk.
Pre-dinner outing Potty break.
Dinnertime (4:30 p.m.) Fill the bowl and encourage your puppy to sit before placing it down.
After-dinner outing (5 p.m.) Play, potty, and/or take a walk.
Evening (7:30 p.m.) Remove water.
Late evening (8:30 p.m.) Potty break.
Before bed (11:00 p.m.) Potty break.
Middle of the night Potty break if necessary.
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