Families, children, and dogs

Small children (5 years and under) and small dogs don’t always mix and is one of the top reasons dogs are surrendered to kill and no-kill shelters in the United States. As a result, Pet Savers does not typically adopt dogs to families with very young children unless the circumstances are fitting.


  • icon_specialneeds1 Special Needs
  • icon_needs_fixin_dog1 Needs to be spayed or neutered
  • icon_needs_yard1 Needs a yard
  • icon_paired1 Pair-bonded
  • icon_specialrate1 Special Rate
  • icon_utd0 May not be up-to-date on vaccinations
  • icon_utd1 Up-to-date on vaccinations
  • Heart Worm Positive

Pet Care: Puppies

Puppy Advice

You will be greatly rewarded with a wonderful dog if you take the time to learn about puppy behavior and show patience and love toward your puppy.

Establish a vet!

Your puppy will need vet care for the rest of her life, establish a vet within 2 weeks of adoption.

  • Get any shots your vet recommends
  • Have your dog neutered or spayed at 6 months

Behavior suggestions


Puppies will chew almost anything until they get their second teeth. When she nips you, say: ” No!” sharply and shake the scruff of her neck then ignore her. If she chews something you don’t want her to, put a product called “Bitter Apple” on it. Also give her a substitution, like a rawhide bone or a Kong Toy stuffed with dog food that you’ve put in the freezer overnight.

Sometimes it also help to put your fist into the puppy’s mouth when she nips because their natural response is to to lick you when you pull back. Then reward the lick with praise.

Crate training

For the first 6 months we recommend crate training your puppy. If you need specific advice on how to crate train, any library, pet store or bookstore will have book on puppy care that will help you determine a schedule. After a year you may not need the crate but your dog might like it as her own quiet spot.

Contain your puppy in the crate for no longer than 4 hours at a time. If you work outside the home all day, arrange for someone to let the puppy out during the workday. Gradually you can extend the time but to no more than 7 hours.

When your puppy is first confined she may cry. Ignore her. Then when she’s quiet, go in and reward her for being quiet. Do not give her attention when she cries.

Establish a consistent morning routine. For example: puppy goes out, eats, goes out again, has some play time, goes out a last time, then gets confined. Give her a treat when you confine her and say something like “I’ll be back!” and walk away. You might leave a radio on for her.

Never reprimand your puppy if she soils in the crate. She’s still a baby and doesn’t have complete control yet.


Discourage your puppy from jumping on you by turning your back and ignoring her. When she’s stopped, give her attention.


Your puppy is used to being with her litter or other dogs. So keep her with you whenever you can, in areas you can easily clean when she’s in the house. Establish where she will sleep and stick to it.

Puppies also need socialization with other dogs from the time they’re about 8 weeks old. So enroll your puppy in Puppy Kindergarten soon and then progress to Obedience Classes.


Keep your puppy off slippery surfaces, which can cause hip and joint problems later in his life.

Be very careful of your puppy around children and don’t leave him unsupervised around children. Children can unintentionally harm a puppy and puppies have a tendency to nip and scratch.


Many vets recommend keeping your puppy on Vitamin C. Begin with 500 units and then over a period of 2 weeks increase to 1000 units gradually decreasing again to 500 units for the rest of his life.

Some vets also recommend giving Vitamin E to puppies for muscular development. Discuss these options with your vet.