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This book is great--very informative, positive, and practical. I would recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about getting a puppy. As an experienced animal handler, I feel that this book is a great guide for the beginner and experienced alike. Among the things that I find particularly useful are the careful, step-by-step instructions, specific examples from puppies that Millan raised while working on this book, discussions from experienced breeders and dog trainers, and an extensive appendix of suggestions for further reading. The only thing not in the book that I would have loved would be a more thorough discussion of integrating the new puppy into a home that has older dogs already. While there is some discussion of this, it is not enough to provide the guidance I really would like.
While some dog trainers will denounce Millan's methods as archaic and harsh, I would encourage readers to keep an open mind. While Millan does not employ a positive-reinforcement-only approach--which is what many of his detractors prefer--his methods are gentle and concerned only with the well-being of the dog. His methods have made a huge difference in my life and in my dog's life. She is happier and more balanced when I follow Millan's formula. Everyone who meets her comments on how well-behaved she is and takes great pleasure in petting and playing with her--even people who are typically frightened of dogs or just uncomfortable around them. As a high-energy, alpha-type dog, I don't believe that would be the case if I had not followed Millan's methods; for my strong-willed dog, positive reinforcement is only sometimes a strong enough motivation to encourage the behaviors I want, but discipline coupled with positive reinforcement is exactly what she needs.
Years ago I found the Monks of New Skete's books and videos. I also read as many dog training books as I could find. In every book, I learned something new and even moved on to teach dog obedience training. When I found Cesar for the first time, his concepts about energy, claiming, "nose-eyes-ears," and pack leadership filled in the gaps of my dog knowledge. I wish I'd know this in the past with my other dogs, but as Cesar says, "Live in the moment." Luckily I found about him when my Standard Schnauzer was abut eight moths old. Cesar has changed my life with my dogs.
This new book about puppies is not too late for me even though my Schnauzer is now four years. It gave me a nice reminiscence of my dog as a puppy and reminded me to rehabilitate him as a dog, but also to find things to do that he will enjoy because of his breed.
IMO, if owners use Cesar's new book along with the Monks of New Skete's "The Art of Raising a Puppy," there will be fewer surrenders to shelters during their dog's adolescent stage. They're a dynamic duo! Peggy Rochester, NY
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I read some of the negative reviews before I purchased three of Cesar Millan's books at the same time and I thought: this is the dog whisperer! He knows dogs and I watch his shows which are fantastic so it must be just disgruntled book/dog owners for some reason, maybe because he is unorthodox from conventional dog trainers. After buying three of Cesar's books and keeping a very open mind and trying really, really hard to get "Zen" with his whole "energy" concept I found myself extremely frustrated and extremely p-ed off, not because I wasted the money on the books but because I have never read so much BS in a book. For example, Potty training: Cesar proceeds to relate a couple stories from breeders who essentially disparage the rest of us mere idiots on house training. "What's all the fuss he writes comes from one breeder?" I can house train any dog in three days he boasts. Then he goes on to say he has a puppy mill dog that still messes years later (what happened to any dog I ask?) He then goes on to say that older dogs in his "pack" really do all the house training by example. If everyone had an older dog doing all the training then we wouldn't need to buy the book! The same is true for the professional breeders who boast about how great they are and how stupid the rest of us are, they just happen to have the parent around to do the potty training. The books are filled with so many contradictions it is ridiculous. Too many to write about all of them! In one part he disparages veterinarians and canine health professionals (which I am not) and describes how they don't let nature run its course and nature knows best and he and his breeder pals outsmart all the canine doctors.Read more ›
I bought this book hoping it would be a good instruction / how-to guide. Unfortunately the book is not really laid out for this purpose. It's very heavy on personal reflection, anecdotes and story telling. This may be good for fans of the show or people that prefer learning through stories. It gets the book to 320 pages, but that's quite a bit to wade through. I am now looking for a more traditional how-to style book....