Puppy Care

Check out the ‘almost everything’ guide to puppy training our team created below!

If you don’t train them, don’t blame them!

Obedience is a way to communicate with your dog, helping them to understand what you are asking. With proper training, you learn how to communicate with your dog clearly and be consistent, allowing you to gain respect, control, and build trust. In the world of dogs, if it may be working dogs, service dogs, or the family pet, without respect, trust, and control, you can never truly have a strong bond or complete unity. We believe in educating and training the client, not just the dog, and providing a foundation on which the client can build upon with their dog.

We have collected multiple resources on various topics for training and helping your puppy. Please check out the topics below!

Please note that all puppies will have a heartworm test done at ten months of age. We will send a reminder. BE SURE TO START YOUR PUPPY ON HEARTWORM PREVENTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Click here to learn more about parasites and parasite prevention.

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

– Roger Caras

Our Puppy Training Guide

We have gathered information to make your life a little easier during your puppy’s learning period. This guide includes topics on housetraining, crate training, destructive chewing, socializing, and other basic tips. It is an overview of everything you need to know and contains a lot of useful information from various reputable sources. Please click here to read!

Housetraining Your Puppy

There are multiple sources and different ways to housetrain your puppy. You may choose to have them urinate and defecate outside, or possibly use a litter box or paper box if they are small. We have gathered a few guides to help you figure out what methods are best for you and your puppy.

Click here to view the Cedar Way Veterinary Clinic guide with 12 tips to train your puppy to urinate and defecate outside, as well as 6 tips for training your cat to use a litter box.

Click here for “10 Easy Steps to Housetrain Your Dog” written by Dr. Valerie V. Tynes.

Crate Training Your Puppy

We have including a thorough guide specifically about what crate training is and how to find the right crate and properly crate train your puppy. Please click here to view the client handout on crate training.

Body Language of Fear in Dogs

Dogs can say a lot about how they are feeling from their body language. For any dog owner, it is important to know what your dog is trying to tell you, whether they are happy, scared, or anxious. This can be incredibly useful when your dog is in an unfamiliar situation or meeting another dog or person for the first time. Click here to view a fun and informative illustrated guide about the body language of your dog.

Raising Children and Dogs Together

Your children probably treat your dog like another sibling – they sleep together, play together, and even disagree sometimes. But dogs deserve proper handling from all of your family members, so it is your job to teach your children and your dog how to treat each other. Before you adopt a dog, find out which breeds do best with children and discuss the decision to get a pet with your children. They’re more likely to accept some responsibility for the pet if you lay the groundwork and they feel involved.

Training Your Child

Most dogs—and especially larger breeds—are tolerant of small children. For example, setters, retrievers, and standard poodles all tend to be kid-friendly choices. Still, your kids need to learn to be gentle and never to bully your pet. Here are some rules to teach your children about pet handling:

  • Don’t bother your pet at mealtimes or during his afternoon nap.
  • When you hold your dog, place your right hand under their chest, cradling their bottom with your left hand and carrying them close to your body while you support their feet. (Never let a young child walk around holding a puppy. A puppy can easily squirm out of a child’s hands and hurt himself or the child.)
  • Play gently. Rowdy play confuses and overstimulates your dog.

Supervise your children when they play with the dog for the first few weeks, and don’t let children out of your sight when there’s a dog around. Infants and toddlers don’t understand the difference between their stuffed dog and your live pet, and an angry exchange between child and dog can flare in an instant—and be devastating.

Also, don’t be surprised if the new dog frightens your young children. From their perspectives, they are a large, barking, drooling beast. Over time, they’ll get used to having a pet around, and you can ease your children’s fears if they participate in training your dog and learn the commands to make your dog obey.

Training Your Dog

Dogs and children can be such good friends that sometimes your dog forgets your child is not one of their littermates. For example, rowdy puppy play can cause a pup to nip their brother or sister, and childish exuberance can get the same reaction.

Teach your child to correct your dog if they nip and to cry like a puppy if the dog plays too rough. This will send your pup the message in a language they understand. Even better, encourage your children to play quieter games with the puppy to prevent this behavior entirely.

Consider taking your dog to training classes. Many training facilities let kids participate, so you, your dog, and your children can learn the rules of behavior together.

Your dog needs to feel like they are a part of the pack, so introduce your pet to all of your family members and welcome them into your family.

Training and Obedience

Obedience training can be one of the hardest kinds of training for both you and your puppy. It requires a lot of constant reinforcement on the part of the owner. We frequently recommend obedience and training classes for puppies, at least at the beginning, so you and your puppy get the proper foundation for further training down the line.

Click here for a guide on how to leash train your puppy – how to get them to stop pulling or lunging.

Here is a list of training and obedience locations and classes we recommend:

Rush’N Around Training Center
27432 South Route 45
Manhattan IL 60442

K9 Tailshakers
9204 Gulfstream Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-TAIL (8245)

BJ Dog Training
For Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Dog Obedience, Beginner Agility, Private Sessions with Bev Jurinek

Training with Christine Surma – offering online and in-person training and behavior consultation

Francis Field Dog Obedience School
801 East Francis Road
New Lenox, IL 60451

We have also had good luck with PetSmart and PetCo classes! Check out your local store for more information.

Car Rides and Drooling Puppies

If your puppy drools during car rides, they could be experiencing motion sickness. Salivation is a sign of motion sickness in dogs. This drooling often leads to throwing up. Reduced activity is another key sign of motion sickness in dogs. Although mature dogs can experience motion sickness, it occurs more frequently in youngsters. Thankfully, puppies often cease experiencing it once they reach roughly one year of age.

Your puppy’s drooling in the car could also be the result of pure excitement and enthusiasm — nothing more complex than that. Being in the car, after all, can be a fun event for canines, full of strange and thrilling sights, smells, and sounds. When dogs go in cars, their saliva levels increase along with their panting. It can create quite a spectacle.


If you have a puppy or a new dog, spend some time teaching them to enjoy being in the car. Place a comfortable bed on the seat so that your dog doesn’t slip and slide on the upholstery. Feed your dog their meals in the car while you sit in the driveway and run the engine. Give your dog plenty of tasty treats in the car without ever driving anywhere. You can even give them a tasty bone or stuffed KONG® toy to work on while relaxing in your parked car.

When you introduce car movement, start with short rides and gradually build up your dog’s tolerance for riding in the car. For example, the first time, just start your car, back out of the driveway, drive back into the driveway and turn off the ignition. Repeat this sequence for a couple of days, once or twice a day, always giving your dog a few tasty treats during their time in the car. Then try a quick trip around the block. After a day or two of doing that, try a five-minute drive around your neighborhood. As long as your dog doesn’t show signs of anxiety—such as panting, trembling, whining, cowering, or drooling—you can continue to slowly increase the amount of time they spends riding in the car over the next couple of weeks.

After practicing each of the steps above for a few days, progress to the next step as long as your dog seems completely relaxed at the current step. Dog body language can be subtle, so it’s sometimes difficult to tell how a dog feels at any given moment. To determine what your dog looks like when they is relaxed, take note of what their body, ears, eyes, and tail do when you know they in a situation they find pleasant. For example, notice what your dog looks like when you’re both relaxing together on the couch or taking a leisurely walk.

Signs that a dog feels calm and content are relaxed posture (muscles relaxed, not tensed), normal breathing or slight panting, eating at a normal pace, wagging, and wiggling. If your dog doesn’t seem relaxed, don’t move on to the next step until they do. If they show signs of anxiety, such as panting, trembling, whining, cowering, or drooling, you might have progressed too quickly. Go back a step or two and stay at that level until your dog seems relaxed again.

The over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medication diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a safe and effective motion sickness treatment for dogs and cats that become nauseated on trips, just as it is for humans. As an added benefit (or not), Benadryl can cause drowsiness, calming pets made anxious by travel. Non-drowsy Dramamine can also be used. Please call us for the appropriate amount to give. This is usually given about 45 – 60 minutes before traveling.