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How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  6,743 ratings  ·  577 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
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Crown Archetype
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Eileen Kerrigan
Mar 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
3,5 Stars!
An easy, informative and actually helpful How To book exclusively for puppy parents. I have to admit that i was a bit skeptical after reading another book of his that had a few concepts in i wasn't very fond of.

But this one is great mostly for new parents. Filled with important things that someone who never cared for a puppy needs to be aware of and some interesting general ideas. I still don't like the idea of the "perfect dog" though.

All in all it's a good guideline, with a few sou
Brenna Gorbatov
Jun 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
May 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
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
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
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
Sheyla ✎
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
So after putting my baby to sleep who was part of my family for thirteen years, we decided to adopt a new puppy. She's a rescue and I wanted help getting to establish good behavior and socialization early on. Since I love reading, I went and bought a bunch of books including this one.

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond by Cesar Millan it has some cool anecdotes and I do believe it has some helpful insight into vaccines, puppy behavior, and intervening early on when a pupp
Apr 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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!
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Puppies are fun, loving, mischievous, wild, mouthy, and energetic and have bladders the size of thimbles. Put in the work and in a year or so you will have a great dog. Caesar’s methods have been ideal for my last two dogs, so I am brushing up on training tools so the new one is a well-balanced, well behaved dog.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Mrs. Europaea
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I was expecting more. In How to Raise the Perfect Dog, Millan describes his success raising 4 puppies he hand picked- 3 from high priced breeders and 1 from a rescue, and he only chose dogs with an energy level he desired.

He doesn't go into great detail about what to do with a high energy puppy beside trying to get him into a calm-attentive state. While this is a reasonable suggestion, I would have liked to see more how to's than to read the wordy paragraphs about the background of breeders a
Brenda Christiansen
May 05, 2010 rated it liked it
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. ...more
Donna R
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bang on info!

What a great resource! I wanted to understand more about what my puppy is reading from what I am trying to communicate. Training is one thing, but understanding how puppies tick is invaluable. Perfect book for someone who wants a deeper look into their pet.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This would have been more useful before I became a puppy owner, not after. Some good tips in here, but I hoped for more; the concept of the book isn’t particularly effective and there’s a lot of filler I skimmed over. That said, I wasn’t expecting it to be brilliant, I just wanted some solid advice.
Loy Machedo
Jul 17, 2012 rated it liked it

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 Millan –
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
There is no way for me to fairly rate this as far as accuracy goes, so this rating is based on readability and interest created and sustained.

While parts of this book did sound like one massive advert for specific puppy breeders, as a whole I found it interesting. Don't get me wrong. I love my four-legged kids, but when next time happens and I go and get myself another pup, I will do things differently. Cesar does have a few really good points about what to look for etc. (Although I will still g
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is a perfectly mediocre puppy reference book. If any prospective puppy owner read it cover to cover, they'd run for the hills and never get a dog. I've raised a number of fine puppies in my years, and I think this book does contain good advice and insight. That being said, however, many times throughout the book I thought the recommendations (especially surrounding adopting through a reputable breeder) were over the top and inauthentic. I've adopted four *human* children and each adoption p ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: from-collection
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.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Basic info to finding your puppy, tips, and anecdotes. I found it was helpful in some respects but every dog and every human is different. I think the part that must be stressed here and also is touched upon in the book is to seek professional trainers.

I'm a big fan of Cesar Milan. I like his story of coming to America to follow his dream in his last book. I did find a couple of things off putting in this book, almost boujie in its delivery, like, potty/house training in which Cesar and a breed
The Sapphic Nerd
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
If you've watched Dog Whisperer before, there won't be much that's new. The main point is using calm-assertive energy to affect your dog's mental state, and by extension, its behaviour. Do this consistently and things should work out and you'll end up with a balanced dog. There are long examples, but I was hoping for more specifics on various types of problem behaviour prevention. Overall, it's good, but not impressive. ...more
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have a 3 year old chihuahua and a 9 week old mini schnauzer and I started using his techniques slowly as I was reading the book. His leash techniques have already made a huge difference in our walks with our chihuahua! Within 2 days she was needing very little correction to stay by our side and not pull. And our puppy is already showing improvement in nipping and using the leash around the yard and house. Now to just get him house trained!
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: I skimmed through most of this book. The title is deceptive, as other posters have noted. The book concerns Cesar Millan's quest to raise several perfect puppies, which he hand-picks from various breeds and breeders, selecting only what he considers the "perfect" puppy of the litter. There is little practical information that can be applied to anybody raising any type of dog. ...more
Robert Cox
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Less a manual, more of a soap box, laced together with an unnecessarily long anecdotal stories about three puppies being trained.

It lacks many training specifics that would be useful for a first time dog owner, and certainly isn’t structured in a way that it could be usefully used as a reference.

Watch like three episodes of Dog Whisperer and buy yourself a real training book
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is mostly common knowledge, puppy raising book. There are a few insights to how a puppy or a dog thinks but no real tips here to help you if your get stuck along the way. If you've watched the TV show you know what to expect from this book. ...more
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
well structured, informative & encouraging
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cesar-millan
The best inspirational and helpful informations you can get to start with a new puppy. Thank you Cesar Millan for writing this book
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This truly did help me raise the perfect dog, along with episodes of his show.
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Cesar Millan is a best-selling author, public speaker, and the internationally acclaimed star of “Cesar 911,” as well as the original, Emmy-nominated host of the “Dog Whisperer” program. With “Cesar 911,” he brings more than 25 years of dog experience and his status as the most recognized and sought-after authority in the field of dog care and rehabilitation directly to communities terrorized by u ...more

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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