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Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog Hardcover – April 29, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (April 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577314557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577314554
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The star of the British television show Dogs with Dunbar has been teaching pet owners to train their dogs humanely and thoroughly for over 30 years. In this compassionate and honest volume, the veterinarian shares his definitive opinions about the way dogs should be trained. This is a great tool that anyone who wants to get a dog should peruse before they bring their pup home because, as the author points out, owning a dog is a big responsibility, and "millions of dogs are euthanized each year simply because their owners did not know how to housetrain or chewtoy-train them." Dunbar includes information that prospective dog owners should know before they select a puppy, and he also explains how to meet his proscribed series of important Developmental Deadlines (two of which come up even before the dog reaches its new home!). In addition to a step-by-step guide to every stage of puppyhood, the book includes practical services, such as a pre-puppy shopping list and lists of the best dog training books and videos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


this edition belongs... alongside such classics as Dog Training in 10 Minutes and The Power of Positive Dog Training. -- Library Journal, Spring 2004

More About the Author

Consulting Editor Ian Dunbar, Ph.D., MRCVS, is the founder and an ongoing member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Consulting Editor Pamela Leis Higdon, an aviculturist of long standing, was an associate editor for Bird Talk magazine and the first managing editor of Birds USA.

Customer Reviews

So... if your dog doesn't, which happens, you're SOL.
I really love the training methods and you can really get a perfect dog with this book if you have the time and will do it right and follow what he says.
ALL new puppy owners should be required to read this book before taking their puppy home.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reviewing some of the articles on the [...]website, which offers a preview of some of the key points of the book. I did read many of the reviews here and felt that the negative comments were somewhat over-reactive.

From my perspective, the book not only makes sense about how to raise a puppy, but also about how to raise a child! Why waste time trying to teach kids or dogs what is wrong, until they eventually figure out what is right? That seems really inefficient, now that I know the "lure-reward" technique. This technique lets you use the essential nature of the dog to train it to do what you want it to do: pee, chew, and poop where you want it to, for instance. Walk calmly on leash, for another. The trick is to not fall into the trap of thinking that a few weeks of short and long-term confinement is somehow cruel to the dog. Like children, dogs respond quickly to a consistent routine. It DOES require YOU to be consistent and to have discipline, and I definitely figured out where I was being lazy and too lax, and whenever I went back to the tighter crate schedule, things improved immediately. I realized that I confused a few days of successful potty events with "success" in overall training and went from confinement to total lack of restraint, so I referred to the book again and made some corrections.

Here are a couple of tips that helped make this book so useful for me. First, I had a consultation with a pet dog trainer who knew about (and recommended) Dunbar's technique. This really helped me when addressing the issues that I felt were not explained in the book (more on that later). Secondly, while I took Dunbar's stern advice as the kind of advice someone gives to people who might not pay attention...
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By rpcvmom on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'd recommend this to anyone who has a pup already (get it quickly!) as well as anyone thinking about adding a dog - also, get it quickly- before the dog, since you can. The "Before" part is a small fraction of the book, but valuable. Reading it before getting Fido would help you better understand the particular (and commmonly unknown)challenges training a dog entails, and help you choose a desirable breeder.

Reading the WHOLE book before getting a puppy would really help you prepare to become its owner and trainer.

Some have said the book scared them, or that it was unrealistic...and if making a mistake scares you, don't buy the book. However, if you can recover, and vow to try to do better, and realize your mistakes or inadequacies do impact others (or your pet), but realize and accept that you can still make things up- just with extra work- get this book. Dunbar doesn't try to scare folks, he just points out that mistakes can create bad/wrong impressions (in people or dogs) and these require extra work to correct...(in people or dogs).

He lays out developmental "deadlines" -just as children have sensitive periods so do dogs, and training in certain areas takes "best" during this period.

He provides non-traditional, positive, somewhat demanding methods for training your dog. By "Demanding" I mean he asks you to do thing at the start that are some work for order to have a lower-maintenance dog later. Inviting (many different) people over to meet your dog to socilalize it is a lot of work, but if it means your dog doesn't bite the meter man or the neighbor's child, and does behave more like Lassie than the neighborhood stray, isn't it worth it to try? Your choice, of course.
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful By F.Faulkner on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've read every dog training and behavior book out there since 1982. And I've raised six puppies as my own pets over the years. When I found myself in a bind with a challenging, rambunctious new challenge, I read everything looking for help- CESAR MILAN, GOOD OWNERS/GREAT DOGS by Kilcommons, PERFECT PUPPY Gwen Bailey , MOTHER KNOWS BEST by Carol Lea Benjamin, HOW TO RAISE A PUPPY YOU CAN LIVE WITH, SARAH HODGSON, THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, Jan Fennel'S DOG LISTENER, UNCLE MATTY.... you name it. I'd spend hours reading looking for suggestions. Far and away the #1 book that helped me the most and offered me the most practical advice was IAN DUNBAR'S BEFORE & AFTER YOU GET YOUR PUPPY- mostly the 'after' part! The book contains short and sweet, easy to read and apply how to's for raising a well-behaved, well-adjusted puppy. You know the kind that goes potty outside, is quiet through the night, will go into her crate and stay quietly without whining. After all these years, I thought I knew it all. I didn't. When I needed help, IAN DUNBAR provided it. The best advice ever, 1-2-3 housetraining, confinement, rules, restrictions, 'sssshhh', etc.

ONE (1) complaint: my puppy can't get the stuffing out of the Kong - any size - and whines terribly over it in frustration.

Also recommended: MOTHER KNOWS BEST, Carol Lea Benjamin/ THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, Monks of New Skete/ NO BAD DOGS Barbara Woodhouse/ TV Show: Cesar Milan's DOG WHISPERER on National Geographic.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Todd S. on June 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm usually not that motivated to write a review but in this case I am. I'm glad I read the book however it's about 200 pages and organized and indexed very poorly. It is also extremely wordy and repetitive and found at least one spelling error. It can be condsensed into a 46 page bullet chart!

The advice is good but a lot of it way over the top and it gives you the sense that if you don't follow the advice completely your puppy will be unmanageable inevitably wind up in a shelter where no one will want to adopt it. And frankly some of the advice is really overdoing it. For example, having the puppy parties and making all your guests wash their hands and take off their shoes prior to working with the puppy. While you really decrease your chances of the dog becoming ill that way, it really harps on the need to do it when it could spend more pages addressing the issue of what to do when the puppy doesn't want the chewtoys.

It also tells you to avoid breeders who don't teach the puppy basic commands and sorry to say that most breeders don't do this. Its just not a realistic expectation especially if its a rare breed or there was a waiting list which was the case for my dog.

It doesn't tell you what to do in many common scenarios such as the puppy not eating right and it doesn't discuss whining and crying through the night and that was the information that I found myself needing the most and it wasn't in the book.

I also found that it takes time to get the puppy to want to play with chew toys. Mine was not immediately drawn to them and still doesn't have much interest in them apparently. And again, it does not say what to do in that instance.

When I read that the goal is to have zero accidents I was excited and thought I could do it.
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