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Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog Hardcover – Illustrated, April 29, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1577314557
- ISBN-13 : 978-1577314554
- Product Dimensions : 6.36 x 0.81 x 9.28 inches
- Publisher : New World Library; Illustrated edition (April 29, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My takeaway from the book is that his way is the ONLY way to raise a pup. Otherwise I will end up ruining him, and he will probably be euthanized in a shelter because I'll abandon him in a shelter once his behavior problems get too much. The first line of the introduction - "Sadly, the majority of puppies fail to live long enough to enjoy their second birthday. Instead they develop a number of utterly predictable behavior, training, and termperament problems and are surrendered to animal shelters to play lotto with their lives."
I don't have my puppy yet, so I can't speak to his training techniques. I'll let the other reviews do that. And I fully understand the importance of puppy training, and don't deny that Dr. Dunbar speaks the truth. However, I feel like the tone of the book was anything but positive, and trying to terrify newbie puppy parents is not the best tactic. At least with me.
I get Dr. Dunbar's sarcastic tone and empathize with his frustration with some ( not all ) dog owners who just don't have or use common sense. Keep in mind that this is a Veterinary Behaviorist who was a pioneer in this work and is the reason that many of us in the same profession are successful at our craft. Dr. Dunbar is much older now and I would be cranky too ! Dr. Dunbar has so much experience and is such a valuable resource to many Animal Behaviorists.
I agree that the black and white pictures in the book are dated and should be replaced. I agree that their is some repetition in the book as well. I also agree that Dunbar can make the reader feel as though they have already messed their dog up if they have not done certain things. Life is not perfect so I tell clients to forge ahead. What choice do we have ?
I think of the book as a textbook rather than a novel. Just use the book for the excellant information and knowledge that Dunbar imparts. Another thing that I tell my clients about this book is that these are best suggestions. For instance, if your puppy has not met 100 people, especially men and children by the time it is 3 months, just move on ! You can still have a great dog. Remember that the book is giving you the best case scenarios for optimum results and most dog owners will not have that opportunity if they have an adult dog or older dog.
My recommendation as an Animal Behavior Specialist is to take what you can from this book and try not to be too sensitive about the tone. Remember that you are reading the book to gain knowledge. Good luck with your pet !
Top reviews from other countries
More importantly, the tone of the book is quite bizarre: while you might reasonably assume that someone buying a book about getting a puppy is acting with the best intentions and is interested in their puppy's welfare, Ian Dunbar seems to assume no such thing and from the very beginning spends a lot of time barracking the reader with sarcasm and patronising language (at one point he literally uses "Duh?!" to make a point).
An example of his writing:
"Puppy owners are often surprised when their new puppy bites, barks, chews, digs and decorates the floors with urine and feces. Yet this is what dogs do. How did you expect your dog to speak? To moo? To meow? And what did you expect your dog to do to pass the time of day? Housework? To mop and clean floors and dust the furniture? Or to amuse herself reading books, watching television, or doing macramé?"
There are plenty of other books that have a much more positive approach (despite this book's title) and get straight to the point without drowning you in nonsense like this. Avoid this one like the plague.
BUT some of the reviews on here that have low stars are right in that the book can be a bit too serious, but we stuck to the basic principles and we have been delighted with the progress.
When the author says DO NOT LET YOUR DOG WEE INSIDE AS THIS IS A DISASTER! we read it more as, try to avoid accidents and if you have one, be a bit stricter. And it worked a treat.
We definitely didn’t do 100 introductions in tHe first month, but we did introduce to as many people as possible (probably about 30/40) and had trips to the pub etc and it has made a huge difference on our pup’s nature.
His techniques and principles for sleep training, house training, bite training are all fantastic, just don’t let him worry you; a few mistakes here and there aren’t the end of the world. Just stick with the principles, be straight, stick to your rota and you’ll have a lovely natured pup in no time.
Well worth a read for any new puppy owner.
I also got The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey, which I thought was also very useful - the two books complement each other really well, as they have similar methods, but slightly different information given - e.g. Gwen Bailey sets out a puppy routine, whereas I think Ian Dunbar's book provides a more general and comprehensive overview.