Puppy 101: The Ultimate Guide To Raising A Puppy

A puppy waits for her new parents to take her home.

Getting a dog is a big responsibility but getting a puppy is an even bigger one! Why? Because puppies have to learn how to do everything, and you’re the one who has to teach them how to do it.

Although puppies can be a lot of work, it will all be worth it in the end because you’ll have a trained, balanced, adorable life-long companion for plenty of wonderful experiences and adventures.

But you have to get through the hard stuff first. Luckily, that stuff can be made easier with some patience and the following Puppy 101 step-by-step guide, which will help you to deal with several of the most common puppy issues and point you to our articles that deal with them in-depth.

Helpful Hints

Adopt, Don’t Shop

If you’re considering getting a dog or adding a new member to the pack, read this article about how to avoid puppy mills and why adopting or rescuing a dog is a better alternative.

Head to the Vet

The first thing you should do upon getting a puppy (or any pet) is take them to the vet for a thorough examination, proper vaccinations, de-worming, information on their nutritional needs, and specific health instructions. If your pup was not spayed or neutered before you adopted, this is also the time to schedule for that based on your vet’s recommendations. Once you know your pup is healthy, then you can get started on everything else. If you don’t have a vet yet, then you’ll need to find one.

Puppy Schedule

Establishing a daily schedule for your new puppy is essential to having a well-behaved, balanced dog. This article will help you set up a routine for your pup.

Potty Training

Housebreaking a dog is one of the most important things you will teach him. It requires consistency, but soon enough your puppy will learn when and where to eliminate.

Puppy Growth

This article will help you understand the stages of puppy growth and what to expect at each stage.

Must-have Products for Puppies

A new puppy needs a bunch of new things! Make sure you have these must-have products ready for your puppy.

Crate Training

Crate training can be a great way to get your pup started on potty training, and to make sure she understands the house rules.

Obedience Training

Training your puppy to be obedient and to listen to your commands is necessary if you want to have control over him. Check out this article on how to get started.

Walking on a Leash

Your dog may not take to walking on a leash right away, so you’ll probably have to start by simply introducing it and building from there.

Puppy Biting

Puppies can be biters, especially when they’re teething. But you don’t want this behavior to continue once her teeth have come in. So learn how to nip “nipping” in the bud here.

Puppy Chewing

Puppies can be known for chewing up your favorite pair of shoes or even the legs of a table. By identifying why your puppy is chewing, though, you can work to eliminate this behavior.

Puppy Feeding

Feeding puppies is important. You want them to be strong and healthy, but there are also so many questions. When should you feed them? How many times a day? What should they be eating? Get those questions answered here. Also learn which common fruits and vegetables can be fatal to your dog.

Puppy Sleeping Arrangements

Where your dog sleeps as a puppy could be indicative of where he will sleep when he’s an adult dog. Think about what kind of sleeping arrangements you want and how to best prepare for them.


There are a number of unsafe things in your house that you might need to puppy-proof, including electrical cords and holes in the fence. See what hazards you might be forgetting here, and don’t forget to check for dangerous common household items.

Having a new puppy can be a fun and exciting time, but dealing with him can also feel overwhelming. Don’t stress, though! Pack leadership is a learning process, and with calm, assertive energy and consistency, it can easily be mastered.

For more information on avoiding common mistakes, you might want to check out our articles on common mistakes of first time dog owners and odd things your puppy might do.

Have you ever adopted a young puppy? Tell us about your experiences, good and bad, in mastering the basics in the comments.

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