How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

| February 6, 2014 | 1 Comment
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millan-cesar-how-to-raise-the-perfect-dogBefore I was offered the wonderful opportunity to work for Retriever Life I was a graduating college student hankering for her very own dog. As my senior year came to a close I had been on my parent’s case about getting a dog. Since my childhood dog Chance, a yellow Labrador, had passed away our house had remained vacant of canine energy for several years and I felt that the time had come to for us to let another dog warm our lives. At this point though I knew nothing about finding let alone raising a puppy and I had a good education in horse training but not in dog training. Also, at this point I had no connections to the dog world and no means of references to point me in the right direction. I was left wondering ‘How do you find the “right” dog? How do you train your dog the “right” way?’. So to help prepare and educate myself and my family for the puppy that was to come I took to the books.

I knew that before I started the mad search for the right breeder I wanted to do some puppy reading. I had already heard and seen enough puppy and dog horror stories of naughty and destructive dogs. I swore to myself that my puppy would be a “normal” puppy. So in my pursuit for the a well behaved companion I looked to none other than the Dog Whisperer. I read Caesar Milan’s How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and BeyondThis book was one of the best investments I made as far as broadening my canine knowledge and overall understanding of human and dog psychology, it was incredibly beneficial.

A key factor that I found to be so helpful was Caesar’s reasoning that the human’s behavior is both a catalyst and promoter for much of the puppies behavior, continuing into adulthood, as they learn from us– much like infants and toddlers. We are their example and their moderator’s. The book is wonderful at illustrating logical reactions and reasons to puppy behavior and how to react and redirect unwanted behavior to stop bad habits from coming to fruition. The book follows the process of responsibly searching for a puppy either through a breeder, rescue, or shelter and how to pick the right dog for you. The issue of taking time to find a responsible breeder is also stressed along with risk and lack of ethics accompanied with puppy mills.

Another thing that I thought was beneficial is how Caesar implores to his readers the importance of picking a dog with the right energy for your life style. It’s important to pick your potential dog as opposed to being of the mentality of “He picked me”. Illustrating to the reader how to find the right dog is followed with how to prepare and bring home your furry companion in a way that makes a smooth transition for both you and the dog. The book is full of constructive activities and habits both owner and dog may participate in together to forge trust and a compassionate and functional relationship. To appeal to a variety of dog lovers the book includes the stories of four different kinds of dogs: a lab, miniature schnauzer, bull dog, and pit bull. This makes the book versatile to an array of breed tendencies and individual dog preferences.

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After reading this book I took a whole new approach in finding a puppy. I took Caesar’s advice and went to a dog show and the rest is history! I was really fortunate to get connected with some great people who gave me some good advice and tips to compound what I had already read. My journey with my puppy, Indy, has been seamless in a sense. Our journey together did not require yelling, rolled up newspapers, or spray bottles. I just never gave Indy the opportunities or excuses to be destructive. He is the right energy level for me and I make sure he is challenged and rewarded for his successes and good behavior. I would not have known how to do this though if I had not read this book and taken the necessary time to educate myself. For the experienced dog owner or breeder this book may be common sense but for my family and I it was eye opening!

It’s a quick read and I made my whole family read it. My Dad, who can spend six months on a book, read it in a month, which is really saying something. This book may be bought online for under $10  at Amazon and I highly recommend it if you are considering a puppy or are already a proud owner and looking for some guidance or tips.

Category : Blog, Book Reviews

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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  1. Liz says:

    My husband and I did the exact same thing before choosing our puppy and I am SO glad we took the time to read that book. A lot of it was “common sense” that I personally already knew, but my husband has never had dogs and has always been a cat person – it was so, so, so helpful for him and it provided us with the consistency we needed in choosing and raising our first puppy together. Totally recommend!

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