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The Art of Raising a Puppy

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,238 ratings  ·  337 reviews
The Monks of New Skete THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY The authors of the classic guide How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend now tell you everything you need to know about the crucial first months of your puppy's life. From the decision to adopt a pup through the practical steps of choosing the right breed, preparing your home, caring for your new charge, and practicing basic obedi ...more
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published March 20th 1991 by Little, Brown and Company (first published March 20th 1990)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,238 ratings  ·  337 reviews

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Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was my first reading of the updated version of this book.

I was first introduced to the Monks of New Skete 20 or so years ago. I had a dog at the time, but not a puppy, so I'm not sure why I read this book then (other than the fact I devoured any and all dog books as a child). And now I remember why they had such a profound impact on my relationships with dogs.

Unlike the conditioning training so popular today (positive methods rely on positive and negative conditioning) the Monks of New Sket
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: animal-vet-books
A wonderful book for talking about puppy behavior in the neonatal stages before owners generally get their pups and talking about the importance of an early upbringing. Excellent book also for some basic training information.

I am wary of some of their dominance-based suggestions for training however. Some of the specific suggestions they recommend including giving breeds such as German Shepherds or Dobermans a "cuff" to the chin if they growl at guests could be dangerous. As a veterinarian we kn
Jun 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to raise a dog
Shelves: animal_behavior
This is my best reference for raising my dogs. The monks have aptly and appropriately emphasized the importance of both reading canine behavior and using praise and corrections that 'speak their language.'

For example, dog mothers do not correct their puppies by saying, "Now Spot, that was not a nice thing to do. I don't like it when you do that so you'll have to stop that, you hear?" This is something I've seen done way too often between human owners and their dogs.

Usually the offending pup (i
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I bought a dog! And everyone says this is THE book! And I bought a dog! And it's true this book is really great! And I bought a dog!

I'm a little excited.

The monks of New Skete are, like, dog GODS, and they raise German Shepherd puppies at their monastery. My dog is a toy poodle, which is very much like a German Sheperd but more wolf-like. (Never thought I'd be a purse dog person. But I live in 700 square feet! What am I gonna get, a malamute?)

So when I bring little Archy home from the breeder at
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. Even if you're not super into the Monks' training methods, there is SO much good information to glean from this about the stages of puppy development, the importance of starting out with a good foundational relationship with your pup to head off behavioral problems down the line, etc. I really like the emphasis on the fact that even when you're not actively training your dog, you're teaching him/her all the time, so you had better make sure you're teaching and encouragi ...more
Sep 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: dogbooks
While I am okay with anecdotal evidence when training dogs, i found this book difficult to apply to what i need to do with my pup. My biggest pet peeve is doing an alpha roll on a puppy. Sure the dog may respect you, but it will be out of fear and resentment.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Enjoyed understanding how The Monks of New Skete raise puppies. The respect they have for nature and setting the best foundation for puppies is just remarkable. They take raising/breeding a puppy very serious and make the reader stop and think about, why they want a puppy/dog? Do you want companionship? Do you want only protection? Please just get an alarm system. Because a dog is so much more than that.The key is trust through play, discipline and time. There really is nothing as fulfilling as
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Monks of New Skete breed, train, and raise German Shepherds. This book gives insights on raising a puppy from their perspective, which is interesting but their advice is incomplete and unrealistic for most of us living in the real world, and not in a monastery full of adults who know how to interact with dogs. If you live alone or do not have children, then this book might be helpful to you. The respect and reverance they show for the dog-human relationship is an important focus of the book. ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great information
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Okay, if you're going to get a puppy---get this book first. Don't bother to read it from cover to cover but jump around. Of course, it does help to actually have read the whole book, but the order isn't important. Whether you begin with the case studies or open the book at the page where they give a house-training schedule (p. 117)---it doesn't matter. It's all good stuff.
The Monks breed and raise German Shepherds (for companion dogs) and have spent a lot of time observing dogs and raising puppi
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, nook
I have very mixed feelings about this book. After being initially enthralled with the Monks approach, I started to think they were not as sweet-natured, Zen-like in their approach as I had hoped. They are more heavy-handed in their approach, with emphasis on choke collars, and Alpha dominance.

However, I did find some of their advice quite helpful, including the idea of using confinement and crate training for puppies, and their house-training schedule using the crate, being taken out, eating an
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the philosophy of this book. Other reviewers have noted the alpha dominance and the discipline methods in this book. I appreciate both. Dogs aren't human. With our first Weim, now 11, we toed the line between dominance and gentleness. The result is a dog more socialized to humans than dogs, and whose intelligence makes her question dominance and commands. She is a wonderful dog. Over the years I've made it a point to be the pack leader, to borrow from Cesar Milan. I do think the scruff ...more
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: living-well
Since I have read many books on dog care and training over the years, I feel qualified to say that this is the best book ever on this topic. The monks of New Skete write really well, giving step-by-step instructions on the how to. Then what sets this book apart from all others is the inspiring focus and expression of the spiritual bonding that occurs between a dog and a loving owner. This companionship is what I seek and enjoy with my dogs. This book can show anyone how to develop this deep conn ...more
May 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I either want a German Shepherd pup or a Monk of New Skete. These guys know their dogs! This book is a great review for those who know dogs and a thorough start for newbies. Although some techniques seem a little outdated, I was really impressed by the endearing approach the Monks take with dog training. This book helped me a lot with Mingus. (More than my uptight Doggie Kindergarten!)
Jul 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a thorough book about puppy growth. I enjoyed reading before we got the puppy. But trying to read it during the puppy raising was too much. I would be reading about different stages than the puppy was actually in. I did not grasp the training system. We have since switched to a more praise based training.
Twila Newey
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like these Monks and their philosophy. This pup of ours is proving to be a loving, adorable, challenge. I'm not sure everything in this book will work for him, but we're going to give it our best shot.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Outdated and unnecessarily harsh methods of training. Time to move onto gentler and more effective practices, monks! My full review here:
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Read this before I knew better, meaning before I knew about positive reinforcement. For its time this was an okay book but even the monks realized it needed to updated.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
My new baby Harriet will be coming home from the breeder in two weeks. As a result, I’m reading five books on positive reinforcement-based puppy training and comparing them for anyone trying to decide which of the most popular puppy books to read. Links are below.

Before and After Getting Your Pupppy by Ian Dunbar

The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller

How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days by Shirlee Kalstone

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution by Zak George


The most wordy of the five pu
Emily Labows
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Lots of wonderful information about raising a pup in this book. I especially liked the history and theory given about wolf and dog behavior. I felt encouraged to develop a positive relationship with my dog as I try to guide him to good behavior. The descriptions of training exercises are detailed and understandable. The photos help tremendously. However, I was often disappointed with the constant referral to full breed dogs and the superiority of having a dog that you know the complete bloodline ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dog Lovers, German Shepherd owners, and anyone geting a puppy.
Recommended to Julie by: Amazon
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a must read book if you want to understand your puppy and grown dog which makes it easier to choose and train a puppy. Most info is regarding German Shepherds. It was very informative and has helped me train my German Shepherd. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
this is invaluable for new dog owners and I learned so much, but advice is very traditional and not all of it will be suitable for all families.
Christine Nazario
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked that this book helped me get into the mind of my puppy before I took him home, in terms of socialization and clear cut rules. This isn't a step by step guide though.
Rob Gray
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This book has some good information, and I appreciated a lot of the early stages puppy information, but I’m not a big fan of the harsher correction methods they advocate. Leash popping and the like are far harsher methods than needed, especially on young, developing puppies.
Nadav Halali
Nov 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
First time raising a pupp? cheers! THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU. it does provide good information about the development stages of dogs, but all things here about actually raising a puppy are just old-fashioned, there are a lot of great books (listed below) that teach POSITIVE TRAINING, a method that has proved to be much more succesful, fun, and effective.

In the begging of my procces with training my precious little Zoe, this seemed like the go-to-book, better then any article online.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This book does a great job of exposing you to all aspects of puppyhood - from finding a good breeder to all of the training that needs to take place. The book offers a lot of good stories that resonate with the reader as well as quite a few tips of how to introduce your puppy to basic commands. It provides a nice list of exercises throughout that you can do with your puppy to build up trust and ensure you and your puppy are safe.

Unfortunately, while the book offers a lot of great advice througho
Beth Lind
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
After I got over the fact that this book wouldn't teach my dog to read, I really enjoyed it. The first half of the book is all about how a puppy is born and develops. There were several 'aha' moments as I read about each stage. Since I do not know anything about the first several months of my puppy's beginnings, it helped me to understand why Clementine has some of the socialization issues she has. It really isn't her fault. The last half of the book gave some great ways to train my dog, and mor ...more
Mar 01, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting and informative. This books takes you through the whelping process and the first few months of puppy life. W/r/t specific training practices, however, it's not my favorite approach -- the monks don't believe in using treats as motivation, and although their tactics are generally kind and nonviolent, they do employ some "corrections" (such as giving a puppy a "shakedown" by the scruff of its neck) that I'm not totally comfortable with. After reading Paul Owens, I tend to agree with hi ...more
Alexandria Godina
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, non-fic
So we got a beagle puppy and we named her Olive but right now the name Spaz' seems more fitting. This book was recommended to me and although some parts were really great and helpful i don't think the average dog owner could use the same techniques given here. This books also points to the importance of knowing the breeder of the dog and why rescuing a dog isn't a good idea- which i can understand- and Olive is proof why this isn't a good idea- but i also just don't agree with promoting that mes ...more
John O'connor
Sep 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook and I did not enjoy it or find it particularly useful. Maybe this type of book is better in physical print? There was a general slant towards purebred dogs being superior, and while the author sort of danced around this a bit it rubbed me the wrong way. The training techniques may be good or bad, I haven’t used them yet, but I will definitely look into other training manuals before I start training a new puppy. I gave this one star, and that may be a bit harsh, but b ...more
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“Learning the value of silence is learning to listen to, instead of screaming at, reality: opening your mind enough to find what the end of someone else’s sentence sounds like, or listening to a dog until you discover what is needed instead of imposing yourself in the name of training.” 2 likes
“What of ourselves? In actuality the monk’s journey is everyone’s journey, though in our frenetic world of activity and distraction we often miss the fact that we are also desert wanderers. Who or what leads us? In this day and age, we are dangerously out of touch with the nonhuman world around us, leaving our hearts dulled and our vision blurred. Nothing impresses us anymore, and we travel farther into a disharmonious cavern of individualism, with ourselves as guides. We arrogantly “process” reality through preconceived notions that are sterile and cold. Our world is stripped of a profound and compelling mystery.” 1 likes
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