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You’re getting a new puppy! So exciting. Good for you!

Being a good, conscientious person, you’ve probably gotten everything ready—crate, vet, food, a spot in puppy kindergarten. You’ve read every word of puppy-rearing advice you could find.

Now, you have nothing left to do but sit back, take a deep breath, and …

Let the worrying begin.

Think about it! You’re going to be responsible for every facet of this new little life. If you’ve been glued to that great glowing mother-in-law known as the Web, you’ve probably learned that even the tiniest, innocent thing—a thimble full of cottage cheese, for example—can turn your ball of fluff into a deformed, demented, flesh-eating monster. Look! Just a handful of mistakes and you’ll have this on your conscience, forever:

Terror #1: Food Fright

Dogs have been eating all kinds of stuff, including garbage, since the beginning of time. Who knew it was so complicated? Just look at a couple of ingredients:


Too little, you’ll get this:

Too much, this … (Watch those cheese treats)


Excess can turn the one with the waggedy tail into a werewolf or something. Or worse.


Terror #2: Housetraining?

No way will she ever learn how to “hold it” until she gets outside.


Terror #3: Coprophagia

That’s a fancy way of saying he’ll eat his own, you know.


Terror #4: Social Delinquent

Experts say there is a very narrow window—like a few weeks—where you must expose your puppy to every single thing she may meet in her lifetime. Miss it, and her little puppy brain cells will scramble, and you could be trapped with a fear-crazed monster, and you’ll never escape. NEVER!


It’s all too much, too difficult. You’re ready to say, “This whole puppy thing is too much for me.”

But wait a minute, think about it. Dogs have been living with people for centuries. Most of them have turned out just fine, no matter who was at the other end of the leash.


You’re a good person, you’ll try hard, there are lots of good resources (like the AKC GoodDog! Helpline) to call upon. Even if you make some mistakes, everything most likely is going to turn out fine. The puppy will grow up to be your best friend, and the joy of your life.

Take another deep breath.

New puppy. Bring it on!