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How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  2,774 ratings  ·  320 reviews
From the bestselling author and star of National Geographic Channel's Dog Whisperer, the only resource you’ll need for raising a happy, healthy dog.

For the millions of people every year who consider bringing a puppy into their lives–as well as those who have already brought a dog home–Cesar Millan, the preeminent dog behavior expert, says, "Yes, you can raise the perfect
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2009)
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Brenna Gorbatov
After I got a puppy in May, and started training her, all I could think about is "how can I raise the perfect dog?" That's when I started reading lots of books about dogs and watching the Dog Whisperer. I love Cesar's show. I found his work on the show to be so inspiring that I was compelled to get his book. Cesar believes in communicating with your dog on their level; to respect the fact that they are a pack animal and that they are first animal, then dog, then breed. He has a meditative approa ...more
Eileen Kerrigan
Mar 14, 2013 Eileen Kerrigan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!!
Please, please, PLEASE -- if you love your dog, do NOT buy this book!!,

You need look no further than the disclaimer at the front of this book to realize that that Cesar Millan has no business pretending to be a dog trainer:

"The author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects that may result from the use or application of the information contained in this book."

Hm, now what could you possibly do to your dog that might result in "adverse effects" (dog-speak for "get
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Sarah
I love Cesar Milan - and I love his show. This book didn't seem to be as in depth as I would like regarding actually raising and training your dog. It seemed to be more of an overview, and it certainly didn't tackle some of the more common behaviors as I would have expected. This also would be a good book to read before you actually add a dog to your family as Cesar spends a good deal of time talking about how to pick out a dog that would be appropriate for your family's energy level. I was most ...more
Jdaniels
When my mother-in-law got her first Bassett Hound puppy, she decided she needed all the help she could get, and purchased this book. (Unfortunately, she only got half-way through it before the puppy ate it - True story) She then recommended the book to me.

Let me start by saying that I grew up in a house full of dogs (when I graduated college, my parents had 4 indoor Shelties), and am currently a dog owner. As such, I can thoroughly appreciate Milan's television show, and have applied some of the
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Tim Weakley
I'm suffering a little of the zeal of the converted. With a new puppy in the house, and this book as a first treatise on proper dog rearing I believe Millan has saved me a lot of grief with his clear and concise explanations of what you should expect from a dog, and what they should expect from you. As I read along, and implemented his ideas I was able to watch how the new puppy reacted and behaved. In every case I was able to see the desired behaviour come through. It made for a very easy and r ...more
Brenda Christiansen
There were lots of words in this book. Words that I didn't want to read. What I mean by that is I was hoping for some succinct step-by-step advice on training my puppy but instead I got a lot of talk about how puppies grow in their first few weeks of life and how to select a breed and breeder. I didn't need any of that since I've already brought my new puppy home. I skipped a lot of those pesky words...but the parts that I did read were helpful.
Jennifer Baum
I picked up this book three days before our new puppy. I was able to read about 90% of it before she entered our new home. Because of this book, I was able to get both my excited little girls and my unsure husband on the same (calm, assertive) page. The techniques in this book are simple, humane, and common sense. Our little pup is doing wonderfully and I expect her to one day be the perfect dog!
Penelope
I found some of the general advice in this book helpful. However, it wasn't quite what I expected. The idea of following actual dogs through their puppyhood is a great idea and seems promising--until you find out that all the puppies are from top-notch breeders and perfectly fit Millan's "calm-submissive" ideal. I know MY puppy certainly does not meet that ideal, nor is she from any sort of top-notch breeder, so it made a lot of the puppy-specific stories kind of useless. This book would be more ...more
Lauren
This book is pretty good and helps you think of dog training in a way you may not have before. It really focuses on your energy and how your dog perceives you. It has some helpful tips on how to get your dogs attention, which is nice, but it doesn't tell you what to do once that stops working...! The book doesn't offer a lot of correction techniques. A lot of the solutions are "have a calm mature adult dog to help walk the puppy"- well, we don't have one of those! Or "don't use a leash to walk- ...more
Mandy
This book is probably 95% anecdotes and 5% how to actually train a dog. Granted, some knowledge can be gained from the anecdotes, but only very little. Knowing that the husband would hate this, I marked the pertinent parts of the book for him to read. I ended up just a few pages. There’s really little training in this book at all. For example, he states that you’re to make the dog sit after it jumps on you, but he never tells you how to make your dog sit.

At the end of the book, there’s a sectio
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Loy Machedo

Loy Machedo’s Book Review - How to Raise The Perfect Dog by Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier


Having 2 cute dogs at home, along with a sweet-loving-wife who watches ‘The Dog Whisperer’ almost everyday with total excitement and yes, a full-blast volume (with me covering my ears thanks to my over-priced ear-phones while on my PC), I just had to read a few instructions from the world’s best and most famous Dog Trainer – Cesar Millan.

About Cesar Millan
For those of you who do not know, Cesar Mill
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Donovan
Having a dog as a child made me supremely overconfident in buying a puppy as an adult. Our half-beagle/half mystery mut, Mr. Tumnus, was revealing new and deeper levels of rage in me when he would steal toys from my kids, tear into the trash can, and pee on every cushion in our house. I only watched a couple episodes of "the Dog Whisperer" before deciding this guy might have the right idea. I was right. Cesar doesn't preach that dogs are people too, he doesn't coddle or humanize pets. In fact, h ...more
Jennifer Palmer
Eh. This was ok, I suppose, though I felt as though the first half of the book really should be titled "How to Choose the Perfect Dog". He spends an inordinate amount of time describing his process for selecting the four puppies he was going to raise as he wrote this book, and, while somewhat interesting, not everyone is starting with the (expensive!) purebred, perfect-temperament puppy.

The second half of the book had some more practical advice, but I found it too general. He states things in a
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Susan Melcher
Dec 23, 2013 Susan Melcher rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Prospective and current puppy owners
Recommended to Susan by: Amazon.com search
Things I liked about this book: The way they integrated the stories of raising the different puppies. It made it very interesting and relatable. I also loved the way they used examples to show how appropriate attitude from the human can make the process so much smoother and easier.

Things I felt were missing: I felt like the book didn't 'finish' very well. Like, the puppies began to reach adolescence and suddenly they stopped. I also wish that there had been more suggestions on how to play in app
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Courtney Lindwall
Jun 13, 2012 Courtney Lindwall rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal Lovers, New Puppy Owners
This book makes me want to get a puppy so badly. Like, so so badly. I'm hoping to move into a pet-friendly apartment next year and maybe get a dog that I can take on hikes with me.

Cesar Milan's love for dogs is obvious and infectious. My favorite part about his books and tv show in general is that his skill and confidence makes me feel confident, as well. There are definitely a lot of tips in this book, although most of his advice boils down more to overall mantras and less to step-by-step guid
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Jodi
Reading this book reminded me that there is often a large gap between "good enough" and "do it right" when pursuing anything. We evaluate tasks or projects with the tradeoffs in mind, of how much effort something will be against the projected returns. Raising a puppy is no different. In this book, Cesar shows us how much work you have to do to get a dog like Daddy or Junior. There is so much more to think about than I ever imagined! But I also know what it's like to be around dogs who aren't bal ...more
yoli
If half star ratings were allowed, I’d probably give this book 2.5 stars, because for me it fell somewhere between “it was ok” and “I kinda liked it”. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a horrible book or anything, but personally I don’t feel that I gleaned all that much helpful information on rearing the “perfect pup.” In this book, Cesar chronicles his experiences raising a few select pups, and sharing his experiences while interjecting his insights and tips. As a result, much of this book is ess ...more
Michele
As a brand new dog owner, this had some helpful information, but was mostly a frustrating read. While I did receive some tips and strategies, some of the other major themes were that you need to start with a seven week-old puppy for any of this to be effective (not helpful!) and that we just need to show the right energy toward the dog to have them follow our every command (seriously, what does that even mean?) While I believe most of what he says, I think that people who are not adopting well-a ...more
Ashley
I don't like the title of this book, but I wanted to get some different opinions on puppy raising, so I checked a few books out from the library to compare. Fortunately, I saw a lot of overlap with this book and the one by the Monks of New Skete. That led me to believe that these are well-accepted methods.

There was a lot of repetition in this book, and I didn't quite agree with his ideas of dogs reading our "energy", though I do agree that body language is very important. I got a few cool ideas
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Alicia
I've always been a big fan of Cesar so I was excited to read this book. It didn't dissappoint. I loved it! It's simple and straight forward and I learned so much about dogs -- especially puppies and how to achieve the best out of your dog by properly acclimating them to your home. In addition, Cesar provides great information about the different phases of a dog's life and what to expect from each one. There's also a great section at the back of common problems and how to correct them. A great re ...more
Mike
For a book about raising the perfect dog I felt like there was a lot missing. The first four chapters of the book were discussing how Cesar picked out the four puppies he would be training. In these chapters, he talks a lot about the "feeling" the dogs give him - which seems to be a theme through the book. The book tries to teach or explain these feelings but they still seem pretty vague and magical to me. Perhaps this has to do with the fact I've never owned a dog before - but it was my hope th ...more
Christine
While this book had some helpful tidbits, I was hoping it would be more like an instruction manual. Instead, this book is basically a journal of what Cesar did to raise his 4 chosen puppies. This was not helpful to people who will be raising one family dog and do not have the luxury of living down the street from a dog psychology center that houses a pack of dogs.

To glean the helpful bits, start at Chapter 3 Heading "Binky's First Litter" if you are interested in dog reproductive cycles. Otherwi
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Cyndie
Oct 26, 2014 Cyndie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: own
Cesar Millan and his books drive me absolutely insane. I can NOT recommend them.

I read them so I can talk to people who come into my practice who are using his advice. It helps me discuss what I agree with and what I don't agree with.

What frustrates me so much about this book is that it's not devoid of good advice - he just taints it with lots of really bad advice that makes it dangerous.

He has some great descriptions of how to teach pet's non-compatible behaviors and give positive reinforceme
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Kat
I know there is a fair amount of criticism of Cesar Millan and his training methods so I wasn't sure what to find in this book, the first of his I have read.

My main criticism is that it's a lot of non-training information. I simply wanted to find out about bringing up a puppy and was not interested in the many, many boring stories about his dogs; however, that is his way of writing his books. His large ego also comes through loud and clear.

Chapters are simply full of text. Text text text – for
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Nikki
I LOVE Cesar Millan. He is such a great humanitarian and helps dogs and humans alike. I love that he doesn't hold the welfare of dogs (or any animal) above any human being, but teaches that pets are in our care and we are responsible to help them be fulfilled as the creatures they are. He has a kind heart and is able to help many people heal through their dogs. I believe this is why having pets whenever possible can be such a strong and positive reinforcement in the development of children.
Kendra
I rated it a'3' because it had some great advice about training a puppy and we just got one and are highly motivated to do this well....But....I found a couple things that he said to be on the more hoaky end. Perhaps I'm just not a true animal lover;) I think pets are just that - pets. And I am very uncomfortable with the idea of paying 'whatever it takes' for a dog's health when there are people starving and suffering in this world.

When talking about his 12 year old dog that was just diagnosed
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Kylene
I love Cesar Millan and love his show. Sadly, I don't think this book is going to help me much with my new puppy. The book talks about how to raise a puppy based on Cesar's experiences with raising 4 different puppies. He doesn't ever explain HOW to do his techniques, he just says to do it. For example, he talks about how important the no touch, no talk, no eye contact technique is but he doesn't go into detail as to how to do that successfully.

I also think this book would have been better titl
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Daniel
Too wordy by far. Wanted some practical, solid advice. Instead got a story about how Mr Milan raised some dogs, along with a lot of other meandering self-congratulatory odds and ends.

Read Good Owners Great Dogs instead. Same approach, much more practical and without Mr Milan's gigantic ego.
Katie
Started skimming towards the end, but full of useful information for a dog-newbie like myself. In the end we did not get a puppy, we got a 1 and 1/2 yr old rescue going through heartworm treatment, but we were still able to apply some of the things we have learned reading this and watching episodes of his show. :)
Pattianne
For the millions of people every year who consider bringing a puppy into their lives–as well as those who have already brought a dog home–Cesar Millan, the preeminent dog behavior expert, says, "Yes, you can raise the perfect dog!" It all starts with the proper foundation in the early years. Here, Cesar tells you everything you need to know to create the best environment for a well-balanced dog in order to avoid behavior issues in the future, and shows you how to correct the most common behavior ...more
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Cesar Millan is a Mexican-American self-taught, professional dog trainer widely known for his television series The Dog Whisperer, now in its sixth season and broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, Chile, Macedonia, Italy and the UK.

Prior to The Dog Whisperer series, Millan had focused on rehabilitating especially aggressive dogs and had foun
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More about Cesar Millan...
Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog... and Your Life A Member of the Family Cesar's Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog Cesar Millan's Short Guide to a Happy Dog: 98 Essential Tips and Techniques

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“All dogs are predators, but over thousands of generations, we’ve created sporting breeds to be exceptionally focused predators. All dogs like to dig and chase small prey, but terriers are superdriven to dig and find rodents. All dogs love to run, but greyhounds can run up to forty miles an hour, and huskies can run for hours and hours on end. All dogs have the natural ability to fight or wrestle with one another, but the bully breeds have been genetically engineered to fight to the death. The more pure the bloodline, the more that genetic “boost” will probably play a part in your dog’s behavior. That’s why some owners claim that their “mutts” make mellower pets, because, they theorize, their DNA has been somewhat diluted, and their breed-related drives diffused as a result.” 0 likes
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