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The Art of Raising a Puppy

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  5,265 ratings  ·  414 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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Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge.”
— Abbot Xanthios, ancient Christian mystic

It’s been a while since I’ve had a “new” puppy in the house, and when I got Halle, she wasn’t exactly pre-trained by a person, but she was already trained in all the important ways of life. To me, anyway. Having lost two dogs almost back to back (one the end of May and one about a month later – six plus years ago) when I brought her home, she was as mellow as my Golden Retriever had (
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
Cyndie Courtney
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
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, 2020-read
This was a re-read as I first read it almost 30 years ago. Getting a new puppy soon and wanted to refresh my memory. My last "puppy" was in the '70s; I've had rescue dogs since then with the last one passing 26 years ago. So it has been a long time since I've had this responsibility.

The Monks base their training on the natural instincts of the wolf. Interesting information and worth remembering while raising a dog. I prefer a more exuberant style of training with measured out treats, while the M
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
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nook, ebook
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
Amy | Foxy Blogs
While browsing Hoopla I saw The Art of Raising a Puppy and I decided to reread it as a refresher. The first go-around was in 2007. Interesting how some techniques are still prevalent today.
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.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful introduction to the way a puppy matures and the ways in which you can relate to them. If you are trying to raise a dog, read this book!

I was referred to this book after we adopted a puppy on a whim and was feeling like it was going to ruin me. This book gave me a lot of wonderful understanding of how dogs mature but also a lot of practical tips on how to establish great routines with them. I now have the confidence to raise this animal in an educated way as I previously did
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 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.
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: ...more
Victoria Murata
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good book for the new dog/puppy owner. I was intrigued about the authors, the monks of New Skete in New York. They have another book, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend. They're longtime breeders of German Shepherds, and they train dogs of all breeds. The book is written in an easy style, and it outlines everything the new puppy owner needs to know including the stages of development, training techniques, problem solving and the importance of play. The version I read was updated and revi ...more
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
Andrea Thogmartin
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful first book to read in learning about understanding and training a puppy! Very practical advice without being dry. I plan to read again and take notes to separate out training stages and techniques for quick reference. I’m really glad I read this book!
Annie Kostell
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had the patience to follow the strict training advice in this book - maybe my German Shepherd puppy wouldn’t be such a small, fluffy, cute brat
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
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
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.
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.
Sai Geetha
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must read for anyone who have the wonderful opportunity of raising a puppy. Monks are the best, when it comes to engaging in life and living it to the fullest. This books covers everything you need to know and expect while raising a pupper - general care, basic necessities, becoming leader of the pack, reading and communicating with your dog and all the training principles that revolve around positive reinforcement theory. All these are essential in setting up your puppy for success and enjoying ...more
Debbie Mcnulty
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It has been a very long time since I’ve read any books on raising a puppy. I picked this one up because we are about to bring a puppy into our home. I wanted a refresher on puppy training. What I got was so much more. This book is comprehensive and it has heart. Dogs are seen as dogs and also with understanding and compassion. I fully recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand dogs better and to anyone wanting to raise a more balanced dog.
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
Sonja Tyson
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
I forgot to add this book to my list! I guess I was too busy with our new puppy. I enjoyed the book. I found the advise practical and doable. I have a greater appreciation for how important that first puppy year is.
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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
“Sample House-training Schedule for a Young Puppy 6:30 a.m. Rise.
Walk pup briefly. 7:00 a.m. Feed pup and offer a drink of water.
Walk puppy.
Return home and play briefly with pup.
Pup stays in crate. Midmorning Walk pup.
After walk, pup stays with owner fifteen minutes.
Pup returns to crate. Noon–1:00 p.m Feed pup second meal and offer water.
Walk puppy.
Return home and play with pup.
Pup returns to crate. Midafternoon Offer pup water.
Walk puppy.
Pup returns to crate. 5:00 p.m. Feed pup third meal and offer water.
Walk puppy.
Allow pup to play in kitchen while dinner is being prepared. 7:00 p.m. Walk pup briefly.
Return home and play with puppy.
Pup returns to create Before bed Walk pup.
Puppy sleeps in crate or on a tether (preferably with metal chain) in your bedroom.”
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