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552 of 562 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2000
My husband agreed to a Dalmation for my wedding present in spite of all the misgivings he had about the breed. I purchased many books on dog training to ensure that our dog would be a welcome member of the household all its years. In each of them, I felt that there were holes in the philosophy, problem solving that might cause injury to my dog. I wanted a well thought out, cohesive plan that addressed daily training, submission, and problem behaviour within a philosophical framework. This was the book that became our bible. It was sane, safe for both the dog & us, and it showed immediate results. We got our puppy at 8 weeks, by 12 weeks she would sit, lie down and stay on command for up to 15 minutes whether we were in sight or not. The techniques in the book were so effective that we were able to implement them easily, with just a little time set aside every day. When we began puppy classes at 6 mos., we were immediately promoted to the advanced obedience class and worked with dogs that were showing successfully in obedience with two of the top trainers. They owned and showed the #1 and #2 obedience dogs in the country. Our dog is now 7 yrs old, because of how good she is, we can take her everywhere. She is welcome at our friends, neighborhood children come to play with her, there are even restaurants that insist she come in. Our dog owes the fact that her life is full and happy to this book. She has never had to be tied up, left behind or locked in a room. The quality of her life is so much better,because these monks shared their knowledge in this book. People always ask how we trained her, we go to your website, print out the page and give it to them, because we do not want them to think any training book will do. Ideally, people would read this book before choosing a puppy and then be completely prepared for the sustained effort needed in raising and training a dog.
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207 of 218 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 1999
The breeder we bought our german shepherd puppy from recommended this book to us. I am amazed at the work the Monks of New Skete are doing for the german shepherd breed. My hope is that all breeders would use the New Skete method with their litters. If this were done, then maybe so-called "dangerous breeds" would lose their bad rap. Surely there would be less dogs in animal shelters and pet shops.

I can not stress enough the importance of early human socialization, and the Monks of New Skete seem to agree. If you are planning on breeding a litter, I urge you to pick up this book an heed the authors advice.

This book also stresses humane training methods, and the importance of positive reinforcement. Using this method has helped with my dominant GSD pup. Constant scolding will get you nowhere. A quick pop on the lead when bad and copious amounts of praise when good makes training a happy occasion for both dog and master.

I would recommend the three tape training set "Raising Your Dog With The Monks of New Skete" along with this book. The tapes show the New Skete method from the puppy birth, to training the adult dog, and brings the information together nicely.
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427 of 481 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2003
When someone walks in to the dog training center I work at and says I'm reading this great book by the Monks of New Skete, I pause and then find some tactful way to say, remember, if something seems like it might not be right for you and your dog, it isn't right for you and your dog. Then an instructor who also is very involved in "black-spotted dog" rescue will walk by and say "Whatever you do, promise me you'll never do an alpha roll. You wouldn't believe how many dogs I see because of the alpha roll."
The alpha roll is a technique espoused by the Monks, although I hear the main author of these books no longer recommonds the roll. It is to teach the dog that you are dominant. Basically you roll the dog over and hold it on its back until it quits struggling. Problem is instead of learning that you are dominant, many dogs learn that you are scary. And a fearful dog can grow up to become an aggressive dog. If you want to read a harrowing tale about what the alpha roll can do to a dog, pick up Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash.
Some of this book is helpful. I particularly like the interview with Maurice Sendak (whose dogs have clearly unlearned some of the Monks' training.) The food/potty training schedule is very helpful. That's what people rave about when they come into the center. Up to about chapter 11, I don't see anything majorly wrong with the book. The chapters on early development and socialization provide a lot of useful information. If the "Who should have a dog" chapter persuades one person that they aren't ready to provide the environment needed for the type of dog they are thinking about, I have to applaud it.
But, their main methods of training don't feel right to me. Enough said already about the alpha roll. No food? I understand their point that you want the dog to work for you, not a bribe. But I have seen several dogs I.Q go up significantly when the reward is changed from kibble to cheese. Treats go an awful long way towards getting your dog to focus on you, and getting your dog to figure out what you want it to do. We teach sit by putting a piece of food by the dog's nose and moving it up. They catch on pretty quick! Once they've figured it out, then we start backing off on the "bribes."
And no food, just corrections and verbal praise, might work on German Shepherds but forget it on Basset Hounds. And I wouldn't expect it to work well with labs, chessies, basenjis, many spaniels etc etc. As for corrections, doing things such as holding a dogs forefeet up when they jump on you until they squirm is unnecessary. And that makes me cringe when I think about the still-growing hips of a young dog. Most dogs eventually get it if they get no attention when they jump but lots of attention when all four feet are on the ground. It takes patience to train this way, but withdrawing attention works wonders if a dog has learned that your attention is good (that is, attention doesn't mean an alpha roll).
I could go on, but oh well. I'll say it again, if something doesn't feel right for you and your dog, it isn't right. You have to be the judge. And as for "The Art of Raising a Puppy" take the good out of it and erase the bad from your brain cells. If you are in need of a basic Puppy Primer, everyone I asked when I was getting my first puppy said to get "How to Raise a Puppy you can Live With" and I agree. "How to Raise a Puppy You can Live With" is one of the best places you could start.
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105 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2000
My husband and I are new to "puppyhood" and wanted some help. I did some research and was swayed by the reviews of the New Skete Monks' book. I am very glad I purchased this book. It offered us insight into dog behavior, specifically in regards to living in a pack. We have had our Shepherd/Chow mix puppy for one month and she is wonderful. She's 10-12 weeks old (we're not sure) and can sit, lay and roll over on command. We just got her an eight week old playmate on 1-29-00 who is also a Shepherd mix of some kind. We are implementing the techniques we learned from The Art of Raising A Puppy with her as well. I was very nervous about the Chow in our first dog since I was attacked by my brother's 12 years ago. However, the info on the owner establishing yourself as pack leader was indispensable. I feel more confident in training our dogs and am less fearful of their aggressive behavior when it occurs. I am now going to purchase the New Skete Monks book on How to be Your Dog's Best Friend. Highly recommend this book.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
This book has been invaluable during the first two weeks we've had our little Luna (we got her at 8 wks). Following the techniques I learned in this book, Luna has been progressing wonderfully. She is almost fully housebroken (in two weeks!!), she plays really well with children (we went to a kid's birthday party), and with other dogs (we took her to a puppy socialization group). Everyone from the vet to the leader of the puppy group to friends and family have commented on how well she behaves.

This book is really well-written, clear, engaging, and generally a good informational read. I have so much patience with Luna because I have a better understanding of what's going on with her at any given time. It's also easier to train her because I know why she's misbehaving and I can address her needs with the appropriate response. Those monks really know what they're talking about.
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85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2011
This book not only teaches how to raise a puppy, it teaches you that it takes patience, time and commitment to raise a great dog. Dogs typically aren't full grown until they are around one year old. Using this book, you won't be spending months of teeth grinding frustration and people will compliment you on your dogs good "manners". Because let's face it, dog are only fun to be with if they are not chewing on your shoes, jumping up on people, and don't respond to the most basic of commands. And don't worry, we didn't get our pup until it was three months old and I was able to still learn so much and now have the best dog I've ever owned. I love this book and recommend it to friends and even strangers! No dog wants to be "difficult". It just needs understanding, consistency and love while it learns what you have to teach it. Also the book is very readable and interesting in and of itself. It is NOT pretentious or read like a textbook. If you buy one book, buy this one. You won't regret it.
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68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2011
Quite a few people suggested I get this book when I adopted my now 16 week old Malty Poo, Chloe. The book describes how the monks raise their dogs to become the great companions they become for the people that end up adopting them.
With that said, I quickly realized that this book is not really what I was looking for in terms of a guide on how to raise a puppy. This book has some best practices and I definitely picked up some tricks which I will be using but overall I will either buy their companion book "How to be your dogs best friend" which they suggest in the book contains more of the details and meat on how to raise a puppy.
I would recommend reading this book to gain some familiarity around various puppy stages and leave with some best practices but if you are looking for a more thorough detailed book then I suggest you keep looking.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2001
My dog is now 2 1/2 years old and people always ask me how we trained her to be so loyal, obedient, loving and playful - my answer is "I read this book called The Art Of Raising A Puppy written by some monks in New York and started using it when she was 8 weeks old". I have recommended this book to other friends who have raised their puppies with the monk's philosophies and their dogs are the same - loyal, loving, obedient, and playful.
The book stresses the importance of understanding why your dog does things so you can help train/correct them the best way. When you use the methods in the book it seems your puppy obeys earlier and needs to be corrected less than others who do not. Good luck with your training - I hope your relationship with your dog is as rewarding as ours has been.
By the way I do a lot of work with the local humane society and they are big on "clicker training" - I have seen many animals trained with this method and they don't have near the bond with their trainers as those I've seen trained with the monks methods. Just wanted to mention that.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
The only thing I regret about reading this book is the fact that I didn't buy it and read it sooner. It dips a little (actually a lot) into every essential aspect of properly training a dog from day one. Some of the best parts are the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test in the Appendix and the extensive bibliography in the back. So if you find something that wasn't covered to your expectations of completion, then you have an easy resource to locate more information on the the subject. To be honest with you, I haven't found anything in the book that wasn't necessary or covered enough. The only reason I sought more information was out of couriosity rather than need. Needless to say, the book was well written, informative and ultimately intriguing. Their methods are proven no matter how old they are. They have done their research and it shows. I am a believer for many reasons. For one, when you read the book (if you already own a dog) there are several occasions where you think to yourself and say, "so that's why..." The other reasons are because of all the times I have practiced their methods on one thing or another, the expetations of results are consistantly detailed in the book.
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86 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2000
In July 1997 I wrote the following review for this book in our breed club magazine. It is probably worth repeating it. My thoughts have not changed.
Some books are more special to me than others. On my shelves I have many books on dog behaviour, obedience, psychology etc. but there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes right down to the nitty gritty of raising puppies, and that is the most sensitive of books, "The Art of Raising a Puppy".
Back in 1978 The Monks of New Skete published a book entitled "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" and told how the Monks obtained their first German shepherd in 1966 and how "Training dogs grew organically out of our experiences with our own dogs". Their careful breeding and training of their German shepherds and the training of visiting dogs became the means of financing the running of their community. "The Art of Raising a Puppy, published in 1991 is a quantum leap forward in sensitivity; I loved it from the moment I read the first few pages and was gently lead through Anka's gentle birthing of her puppies. It matters not a jot that these are all German Shepherds; we can easily relate everything to our Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The affinity these monks have developed with their dogs almost sends a shiver down one's spine. As I read on I felt myself agreeing wholeheartedly with what they were saying...and wishing that I could have been the one to say it! They have managed to convey all the minutiae of canine behaviour that only constant and vigilant observation teaches and then convey it to the reader. I could not find a single area of puppy upbringing that was not covered; from the initial decision to purchase a puppy, finding a breeder, aptitude testing, general care, basic training for puppies, lessons from the pack, discipline and common puppy problems, and much, much more: a veritable wealth of knowledge all in one book. For instance there is a chapter entitled "Reading your Dog" (one of my favourite hobbies) with subtitles, Canine Communication, Vocal Communication, Visual Communication, Olfactory Communication, Pack Dymanics and Training the the Pack. And throughout the book there are excellent photos, some of which give you a puppy's eye view of the world, also their adaptions of the classic illustrations of canine facial expressions and body language. This magic book will certainly enlighten those who misread the messages that out canine friends give. In "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend" they speak of "inseeing" and its importance in your relationship with your dog ..."Inseeing is standing inside your dog's psyche, putting yourself at her centre, where she is a unique, individual creature, and understanding her from that perspective", and they again reintroduce this concept in "The Art of Raising a Puppy" The closing chapter reminds us that "When you take the time and energy necessary to raise a puppy correctly, wonderful things happen. The dog becomes a friend.
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