Peacegal's Reviews > Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog

Before and After Getting Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar
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Apr 07, 10

bookshelves: owned-books
Read from April 05 to 06, 2010

I have good and bad news about this book.

The good is that this is my favorite puppy book I’ve read so far. The author advocates gentle and intelligent ways of handling Puppy’s misbehavior, rather than the painful or frightening correction methods advocated by other authors. He explains exactly why you should use certain training methods rather than simply taking a “because-I’m-the-expert” stance. The result should be a happy, well-behaved, confident dog companion. I was especially thankful for his copious information on bite inhibition and developing a soft mouth. Since we have three cats, this is of vital importance to me.

The bad news is that if you are a nervous pet parent, Dunbar won’t do much to reassure you. He is big on the “developmental deadlines,” the idea that a puppy must learn this and that by age such-and-such or else he could be scarred for life. Needless to say, that made this first timer’s teeth chatter! He also is a strong believer in errorless housetraining…yikes. It would seem to me that if Puppy were pacified with all of those food-stuffed Kong toys, it would be harder to anticipate when he has to “go.” Dunbar also suggests that your puppy meet 100 new people in your home in order for him to become socialized—a nice idea in theory, perhaps, but I don’t know ten people I’d feel comfortable inviting into my house, let alone 100!

Clearly, I’ve got to start researching puppy kindergartens in my area (an idea also boosted by Dunbar).
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