Cover image for Dogs for dummies
Dogs for dummies
Spadafori, Gina.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Foster City, CA : IDG Books Worldwide, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 380 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF426 .S63 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



These days, people's dogs have become bona fide members of thefamily. Moving from the kennel to the couch, they share our beds,family rooms, and holidays; and they are recipients of our kindestand utmost concern. A pet partnership is a lifetime commitment. Doit right, and your dog will become an important and valuable partof the family for many years. Do it wrong, and you've broken asacred covenant between humankind and another living being.

Dogs For Dummies, 2nd Edition, is for you if you arelooking to adopt a dog, trying to improve the relationship with theone you have, or attempting to come up with fun things to do withyour canine companion. This book is also for people who want to

Choose the right veterinarian Explore the dog-breeding business Find breed-rescue groups Identify canine health problems Look for a purebred

It's a "doggy-dog" world, and this easy-to-use guide will helpyou navigate it. Improve your chances at pet success by knowing howto raise and live with your dog properly. Discover which breed bestsuits your lifestyle, and if a puppy or adult dog is best for you. Dogs For Dummies, 2nd Edition, also covers the followingtopics and more:

Caring for an aging dog Choosing collars, harnesses, halters, and leashes Considering euthanasia Feeding Fido the right way House training puppies and adult dogs Keeping up appearances with good grooming Participating in canine competitions Preparing your dog for a disaster Traveling with your dog

Award-winning author Gina Spadafori says the lack of accurateinformation -- not the lack of effort or concern-- is often the reason for doomed people-pet pairings. Withher help, you can avoid the agony. Dogs For Dummies, 2ndEdition, is full of useful tips, how-to advice, illustrations,and photographs (both color and black-and-white). You deserve ahealthy, happy, and well-mannered canine companion; and you'll bethe owner every pet wants and deserves --informed,responsible, and loving.

Author Notes

Gina Spadafori is an award-winning pet care columnist for the Universal Press Syndicate whose articles have appeared in newspapers across the country. She is coauthor of Cats For Dummies and has written for several national magazines, including the AKC Gazette, the official magazine of the American Kennel Club. Gina currently has her own section in the Pet Care Forum of America Online called "Gina Spadafori's Pet Connection."
Her love for animals keeps her active on the board of directors for the Dog Writers Association of America. The DWAA twice awarded her with Best Newspaper Column honors and named Dogs For Dummies as the best general reference of 1996.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Dog owners of the world, rejoice! Whether you are a dog owner wannabe or a seasoned veteran, there is something useful, interesting, or entertaining for you in this handy reference of practical canine information. For those purchasing a dog, the first chapters present the important factors to consider. Readers with Internet access will appreciate the references to helpful listservs, newsgroups, and web sites. For those who already have a dog, valuable chapters cover the necessary equipment and supplies, early puppy training, veterinary care, house training, grooming, and more advanced basic training. The author, a syndicated pet-care columnist and host of "Gina Spadafori's Pet Connection" on America Online, offers sound advice on breeding, caring for aged animals, and traveling with Fido and provides a thumbnail sketch of various competitions. The "Dummies" icons make particularly useful information easy to locate. Highly recommended; public libraries will want to have more than one copy‘it's sure to be popular.‘Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xxiv
Introductionp. 1
We Love Dogs!p. 1
We Love Dogs ... to Death, Sometimesp. 2
How Do Dog Disasters Happen?p. 2
The awwwwwww factorp. 3
Puppy love is fleetingp. 4
A Preventive Approachp. 4
Improving the Dog You Havep. 4
Why You Need This Bookp. 5
Becoming an Informed Consumerp. 5
How This Book Is Organizedp. 6
Icons Used in This Bookp. 7
Some Additional Notesp. 8
Part I Starting to Think Dogp. 9
Chapter 1 Considering Canine Possibilitiesp. 11
Considering Canine Packagingp. 12
Letting Go of "Love at First Sight"p. 14
Starting from Scratchp. 15
Sizing up a breed typep. 15
Keeping up with your pupp. 17
Facing up to furp. 19
Factoring in intelligencep. 20
Surfing Canine Cyberspacep. 21
Chapter 2 Narrowing the Fieldp. 25
Playing Favoritesp. 26
Mixed Breedsp. 27
Evaluating Breedsp. 29
Remember -- no dog is perfectp. 30
The sporting groupp. 30
The hound groupp. 33
The working groupp. 35
The terrier groupp. 38
The toy groupp. 40
The non-sporting groupp. 42
The herding groupp. 45
A world of other breedsp. 47
Decisions, Decisionsp. 48
Puppy or grown dog?p. 49
Male or female?p. 50
Cost considerationsp. 51
Chapter 3 Finding Out about Breeders, Shelters, and Other Sourcesp. 53
Welcome to the '90sp. 53
A different worldp. 54
Different dogsp. 56
Purebred Puppies: Going to the Sourcep. 57
Breeders: The good, the ignorant, the unscrupulousp. 58
Pet stores: Proceed with cautionp. 66
The Poop on Papersp. 67
Expanding the Possibilitiesp. 69
Shelters: A good choice and a good deedp. 70
Breed-rescue groups: A first-rate source for purebredsp. 74
Other Possibilitiesp. 75
"Career change" dogsp. 75
Private partiesp. 76
Chapter 4 All the Right Stuffp. 77
Canine Cuisinep. 78
The daily dietp. 79
Treat 'em goodp. 83
Give 'Em Shelterp. 86
Barriersp. 87
Dog housesp. 89
Crates and bedsp. 89
Bowls and Waterersp. 92
Collars and Leashesp. 94
The everyday collarp. 95
Training collarsp. 96
Leashesp. 99
Lookin' Goodp. 100
Combs and brushesp. 101
Nail trimmersp. 102
Shampoos and conditionersp. 103
Toysp. 103
Chewiesp. 104
Squeakiesp. 104
Fetchiesp. 105
More Great Gearp. 106
Pooper scoopersp. 106
Smell and stain removersp. 106
Silly stuffp. 107
Part II Bringing a Puppy or an Adult Dog into Your Lifep. 109
Chapter 5 Choosing and Bringing Home Your Puppyp. 111
Puppy Preparationsp. 112
Puppy-proofingp. 112
Puppy gearp. 112
Puppy Pickingp. 113
Working with a breederp. 115
Puppy testingp. 116
Puppy Comes Homep. 120
The name gamep. 122
Puppy's first nightp. 123
Chapter 6 Early Puppy Trainingp. 125
Shaping Good Behaviorp. 126
Bondingp. 126
Socializingp. 127
Consistencyp. 129
Praise -- and correctionp. 131
Teaching What Every Puppy Should Knowp. 134
Getting used to a collar and leashp. 134
Groomingp. 135
Sit for what you wantp. 136
Fixing the Things That Drive Puppy Owners Crazyp. 138
Chewingp. 138
Improper greetings: sniffing and jumpingp. 139
Barkingp. 139
Nipping and bitingp. 140
Working through the Rough Spotsp. 141
Chapter 7 Puppy Veterinary Carep. 143
Developing a Healthy Relationshipp. 143
Puppy's First Veterinary Examp. 144
Well-Puppy Carep. 145
Puppy shots?p. 145
Rabies preventionp. 146
Parasite controlp. 147
Elective Proceduresp. 147
Tail docks and dewclaw removalsp. 148
Ear cropsp. 148
The Birds, the Bees, and Your Puppyp. 149
Chapter 8 House-Training Puppies (And Dogs)p. 151
A Positive Approachp. 152
A Puppy Potty Strategyp. 154
House-Training the Adult Dogp. 157
Chapter 9 Adopting an Adult Dogp. 161
The Adult Dog Definedp. 162
The canine adolescentp. 163
Young adultsp. 164
"Senior" dogsp. 164
New Dog Comes Homep. 165
Introductionsp. 167
Establish a routinep. 168
Part III Living with Your Dogp. 173
Chapter 10 Maintaining a Happy, Healthy Dogp. 175
Keeping Up Appearancesp. 176
Brushing and combingp. 176
Giving a bathp. 178
Trimming toenailsp. 181
Controlling fleasp. 182
Controlling ticksp. 185
Working with Your Veterinarianp. 186
Choosing a veterinarianp. 188
Preventing illnessp. 189
Recognizing signs of illnessp. 190
Giving medicationp. 191
Chapter 11 Basic Trainingp. 195
A Few Words about Aggressionp. 196
Developing the Right Attitude toward Trainingp. 197
Keys to Successp. 199
Be on the same teamp. 200
Be positivep. 200
Be fair with correctionsp. 200
Be consistentp. 201
Build on your successesp. 202
Tools for Teachingp. 203
Getting your dog's attentionp. 204
Giving praisep. 205
Maintaining control and giving correctionp. 206
Using a release wordp. 206
Basic Things Every Dog Should Knowp. 208
Sitp. 208
Downp. 208
Stayp. 209
Heelp. 210
Comep. 212
Great Things They Don't Teach in Obedience Classp. 213
Waitp. 213
Go to your bedp. 213
Paws upp. 214
Offp. 214
Don't touch or leave itp. 214
Getting Helpp. 215
Chapter 12 Problem-Solvingp. 217
Problems from the Inside Outp. 219
Recipe for Fixing Behavior Problemsp. 220
Ensure good health, inside and outp. 221
Minimize mischief opportunitiesp. 224
Substitute other behaviorsp. 225
Let the situation teach the dogp. 225
Problems That Often Put Dogs in the Shelter (and Their Solutions)p. 226
Barkingp. 227
Diggingp. 229
Destructiveness when left alonep. 229
"Disobedient"p. 231
New baby worriesp. 231
Chapter 13 To Breed or Not To Breedp. 233
A Case Against Breedingp. 234
Health and behaviorp. 234
Time and moneyp. 235
A Dog-Breeding Primerp. 237
Mating, gestation, and whelpingp. 238
Raising Good Puppies -- and Finding Good Homesp. 241
Birth to 3 weeksp. 242
3 to 5 weeksp. 243
5 to 7 weeksp. 244
Finding proper homesp. 244
Chapter 14 Caring for an Aging Dogp. 247
Special Care for Seniorsp. 248
Nutritionp. 249
Exercisep. 249
Dentistryp. 250
Some Common Problemsp. 252
Reasonable Accommodationsp. 254
Knowing When It's "Time"p. 255
What if You Go First?p. 257
Part IV Finding Cool Things to Do with Your Dogp. 259
Chapter 15 Traveling with Your Dogp. 261
Should Your Dog Travel?p. 262
Health concernsp. 262
Travel mannersp. 263
What to Do if Your Dog Can't Go with Youp. 264
Prepare for emergenciesp. 265
Consider pet sittersp. 265
Boarding kennelsp. 267
Travel Preparationsp. 268
The well-equipped travel dogp. 269
The well-prepared dog loverp. 270
Travel by Carp. 271
Making car rides saferp. 271
Uneasy ridersp. 272
Travel by Airp. 273
Dog-Friendly Vacationsp. 275
Getting Past "No Dogs" -- It's Possible!p. 277
Keeping the World Safe for Canine Travelersp. 279
Chapter 16 Canine Competitionsp. 281
The Benefits of Organized Activitiesp. 282
Making Sense of It Allp. 283
Dog Showsp. 284
Obedience Trialsp. 286
Working Eventsp. 288
Field trialsp. 288
Sled dog eventsp. 289
Protection dog eventsp. 289
Herding dog eventsp. 289
New Sports for the '90s -- and Beyondp. 289
Agilityp. 290
Flyballp. 290
Freestyle obediencep. 291
Flying disk competitionsp. 291
Getting Startedp. 291
Choose a sportp. 291
Take a class, join a clubp. 293
Making the connectionsp. 293
Keeping Things in Perspectivep. 294
Part V The Part of Tensp. 295
Chapter 17 Ten Dog Myths -- Debunked!p. 297
One Dog Year Is Equal to Seven Human Yearsp. 297
A Hot, Dry Nose Means a Feverp. 299
A Dog Should Go through One Season before Being Spayedp. 299
Spaying and Neutering Makes Dogs Fatp. 299
If a Dog Scoots on His Rear, He Has Wormsp. 300
A Dog's Mouth Is Cleaner than a Human'sp. 300
Dogs Eat Grass When Their Stomachs Are Upsetp. 301
Adding Oil to a Dog's Diet Solves Skin Problemsp. 301
Brewer's Yeast and Garlic Control Fleasp. 302
A Barking Dog Won't Bitep. 302
Chapter 18 Ten Ways to Have Both a Dog and a Nice Yardp. 305
Give Your Dog Lots of Exercisep. 305
Give Your Dog Mental Stimulationp. 306
Keep Potty Areas Separate from Ornamental Gardensp. 307
Don't Leave Dogs Unsupervised in the Yardp. 307
Put Special Plants in Safer Placesp. 308
Discourage Diggingp. 308
Teach the Wait Commandp. 309
Give Your Dog Space of His Ownp. 310
Work with the Patterns in Your Yardp. 311
Keep Things in Perspectivep. 311
Chapter 19 Ten Things You Need to Know to Prepare Your Dog for a Disasterp. 313
Have a Planp. 314
Know What Your Veterinarian's Plans Arep. 314
Maintain Your Pet's Permanent and Temporary IDp. 315
Keep Vaccinations -- and Records -- Currentp. 315
Have Restraints Readyp. 315
Rotate a Supply of Food, Water, and Medicationsp. 316
Keep First Aid Supplies on Hand -- with Directionsp. 316
Know the Locations of Other Veterinary Hospitals -- and Animal Sheltersp. 317
Keep a "Lost Dog" Kit Readyp. 317
Be Prepared to Help Othersp. 317
Chapter 20 Ten Silly Tricks to Teach Your Dogp. 319
Shake Handsp. 320
Roll Overp. 320
Begp. 321
Jump Through (Or Over)p. 321
Carry and Fetchp. 322
Speakp. 324
Findp. 325
Spinp. 326
Dancep. 326
Say Your Prayersp. 326
Chapter 21 Ten Questions to Ask When Buying a Purebred Puppyp. 327
How Long Have You Been in This Breed, and What Others Have You Bred?p. 328
What Are the Congenital Defects in This Breed?p. 328
What Steps Have You Taken to Decrease Congenital Defects in Your Dogs?p. 328
Do You Have the Parents on Site? May I See Them?p. 329
What Are the Good and Bad Points of the Parents, and What Titles Do They Have? Will You Explain Their Pedigrees?p. 329
Where Were These Puppies Raised?p. 330
How Have You Socialized These Puppies?p. 330
How Have You Evaluated These Puppies?p. 330
What Guarantees Do You Provide?p. 331
When Can I Take My Puppy Home?p. 331
Chapter 22 Ten Must-See Dog Sites on the World Wide Webp. 333
Blue Dog Can Countp. 333
Dog Term Glossaryp. 334
Dave's and Other Dog Listsp. 335
She Ate What?p. 336
The Mother of All Canine Web Sitesp. 336
Cutting-Edge Net Vetsp. 337
For Purebreds Only ... Mostlyp. 338
And Now a Word from a Shelterp. 339
Good Dog (-e-zine)!p. 340
Bully!p. 340
Oh, What an Exciting Web We Weavep. 340
Appendix Additional Resourcesp. 341
Breed Registriesp. 341
United States and Canadap. 341
Other countriesp. 341
International Organizationsp. 341
General-Interest Canine Publicationsp. 342
Annualsp. 342
Magazines and newspapersp. 342
Pet-Supply Sourcesp. 342
Indexp. 345