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Dogs For Dummies Paperback – September 6, 1996

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Product Details

  • Series: For Dummies
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (September 6, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568848617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568848617
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,441,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Dogs for Dummies should be required reading for anyone considering purchasing or adopting a dog. In this comprehensive, yet concise and entertaining book, author Gina Spadafori, pet care columnist for Universal Press Syndicate and host of AOL's "Gina Spadafori's Pet Connection," makes a strong case for researching breeds and considering how certain types of dogs will or won't fit an owner's lifestyle. She doesn't pull any punches in describing the fate of dogs who have been wrongly chosen by well-intentioned owners, then given up for possible adoption, but probable euthanasia, because they are too active, too aggressive, poorly trained, or, appallingly, because they don't fit in with the owner's décor.

For readers considering a purebred dog, Spadafori provides extensive information on selecting a breed that will fit an owner's lifestyle, including sources of possible breeders such as magazines, Internet sites, and AKC breed clubs, and tips for screening breeders to weed out the unscrupulous or the ignorant. She strongly encourages adoption of shelter animals, though, pointing out that many of the dogs who wind up in shelters are healthy, young, and lovable animals who would make excellent pets for the right people. She recommends proceeding with caution when shopping pet stores for puppies due to the high percentage of pet store puppies that come from puppy mills where animals are bred indiscriminately and often kept in horrifying conditions. Likewise, she discourages purchasing puppies from "backyard breeders" believing that this only encourages irresponsible pet ownership by giving owners a reason to keep breeding their pets rather than altering them.

Once a breed or type of dog has been selected, Dogs for Dummies moves on to the practical aspects of ownership, including bringing home a puppy or adult dog, feeding and grooming, veterinary care from puppyhood to old age, training and dealing with behavioral problems, and traveling with pets. One of the most interesting chapters of the book debunks common myths about dogs--that a barking dog won't bite, for instance. Spadafori even includes a chapter on silly tricks to teach your dog and another on "must-see" dog sites on the World Wide Web.

From Library Journal

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.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The text is very clear and straight forward.
Everything from choosing the right breed, to more of the detailed physical care every puppy/dog needs.
As expected this is a good book for new dog owner's.
gary B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Rahl on February 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
As the local coordinator for Great Dane rescue and the person in my neighborhood that people come to with their dog questions this is THE book I recommend.
So much good information on dog pack behavior and adopting an older dog I recommend it to everyone thinking about adding a new dog to their family.
Especially good for people considering a second dog and how to integrate it into their home.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I fully agree with the first sentence in's review: "Dogs for Dummies should be required reading for anyone considering purchasing or adopting a dog." Although at first glance it looks more like a reference for people who already have a dog (and it is great for this purpose), I found it even more useful as planning material BEFORE we adopted our dog. Reading through this book gave me a good, realistic idea of what I'd be getting into by adopting a dog. On their own, most people (including me) wouldn't realize or think of all the miscellaneous but necessary tasks that go along with dog ownership (teeth brushing, nail clipping, socializing, picking up dog poop during walks, etc.). The book helped me prepare the house, buy essential supplies, etc. beforehand. For example, I knew to have a crate ("safe space") already set up in the house before bringing the dog home, which helped tremendously in establishing a routine from the start. This book doesn't say much about characteristics of individual breeds, but there are dozens of other dog books out there that do. This book fills the neglected niche of "all-purpose dog owner's manual." I'd even recommend this book to those of you who already have a dog. You might learn something!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Richards on October 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a cat person. I love cats. I know so much about cats, that vets think I am a former vet tech.

Dogs? I know a few things like wagging, the play bow, and "sit!". I am contemplating getting a dog, partially to keep my cats humble (a joke! OK?) and mostly to keep me company while I walk. I love to walk, so I figured a dog would be a great co-conspirator. We'll see if I do get one.

However, if I do get a dog, I understand now what is involved in keeping one. There's a discussion on breeds, which points to more sources of information on more obscure breeds. (An obscure dog might work better for me than the Dog in That Movie I Saw Last Week.) There is a lot of discussion about the work involved in raising a puppy and the aggravation of a "teenaged" dog being rambunctious and the mystery of the adult adoptee and the glorious karmic gift of taking in a senior dog.

There is not one, but two veterinary chapters. One is for puppies and one is for dogs in general. This is a good idea. As someone who has adopted adult cats and kittens, I can tell you that baby animals are a different, um, animal, medically than an adult.

There is a lot of coverage on behavior and discipline. You do have to be bossy with dogs. This is reiterated throughout the book.

One thing I was not aware of at all was the issue of grooming requirements. Anal sacs? Yeesh! Toenails? Gee, my cats have scythes and I don't care, but doggies need pedicures. Folks have told me they don't like to wash their dogs. It was a relief to read that you can wash your dog pretty frequently. I don't like smelly dogs. I do love freshly bathed dogs. Their fur is so yummy when they are clean.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ginger on August 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
Our new puppy would be joining our family soon, and I needed a few reminders. I had forgotten a few things since our 8-year-old dog was a pup! I was also interested in advice regarding introducing the "new kid in town" to our older dog.
Although I never cared for the "For Dummies" titles of these books, I ignored that and purchased it anyway. I found this book to be a wonderful reference whether this is your first dog or tenth!
The text is very clear and straight forward. Great tips and practical information. Abundant topics, answers every question you can imagine.
F.Y.I. - We found our puppy at a shelter listed on the [related website]. Check out the dogs in the shelters before going to a breeder. (Please don't even consider a pet shop or puppy mill). This little guy is a wonderful dog and a happy addition to our family!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Good Brother Cadfael on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you check my other reviews, you'll see I also gave high marks to _How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend_, mentioning that I would be consulting it often once again because we were hoping for a new mastiff puppy to be a companion to our older English mastiff. Well, the breeder's female had a false pregnancy and we decided to go with a rescue mastiff when we found that there was a sweet older female nearby that needed a new home. We adopted Molly last week and, boy, are we glad we have the _Dummies_ book!

_Friends_, while very helpful in many regards, does not spend much time on the situation of two dogs together, particularly the introduction of a new adult dog into a household with another one (not to mention five cats!). The monks encourage owners to start with a puppy of the proper breed from a reputable breeder. That was our experience in the first situation, but not with Molly.

_Dummies_ actively encourages you to adopt a shelter/rescue dog and gives you tips on how to do so successfully. Thanks, Gina! And she thinks it's cool to adopt an older dog, too!

Of course, we also found this book to be excellent for helping with our first dog. One reviewer said it would be easy to go online to find the sort of information offered in _Dummies_. I disagree: there is no substitute for a comprehensive book like this from an author with excellent credentials, an understanding heart (whether in regards to people or pets) and the ability to present (in a fun and logical way) an overwhelming amount of information to someone who knows little about dogs but wants to learn.

From pests to travel tips, from canine sports competitions to how to brush your dog's teeth, it's all here.
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