- Virginia Johnson
Is there a puppy in your future? A puppy is a cuddly ball of warmth, a flurry of fun with a bounce and a spring when you come through the door after school, and a pal for when you're feeling down. It's true that a dog doesn't care if you're wearing mismatched socks or forgot your homework. In fact, he can give you the classic excuse for not having it. While we can't guarantee that the teacher will believe your story, it's a good bet that you and your new canine friend will have some great times together.
All through the year, from trick-or-treating fun to snowball fights to spring puddle-jumping in showers of warm rain to summer kite-flying, your doggie will be there for you. But friendship is a two-way street, and, as a human, you must be more than just your dog's friend. As his owner, you have to give him not only love, but also food, shelter, exercise, and lessons in manners. For example, your little buddy doesn't know that shoes are off-limits as chew toys until you tell him so. Jumping up on people can be another problem. It's so cute when they are small, but they do grow, and hardly anyone, especially little kids, likes a dog who does this. Unless you teach him otherwise, your dog may not walk beside you on a leash but instead yank you at full speed down the block!
If you love your puppy, you must teach him to be a good canine citizen. The books on our Teach Your Puppy Well list can help you choose the right kind of dog to match you and your family and give tips on training your dog so he can be the best dog he can.
Thinking about rescuing a puppy or a wise, old dog? Petfinder links to animal shelters across the country. You will find pictures and information on animals that are waiting for homes right now.
Your Puppy's First Day
A puppy's first day with his adopted family is so exciting! Read about ways to make this special time safe and comfortable for your new friend.