Truck Reviews HPC Best Books of the Month Men's slip on sneakers nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Weekly One Fire TV Stick Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon Find a new favorite show Find a new favorite show Find a new favorite show  Echo Dot Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite Find a new favorite show Find a new favorite show Find a new favorite show Shop now STL18_GNO



Top Contributor: Petson January 9, 2017
SO helpful for crate training, potty training, and getting my dog on a consistent schedule. Information on puppy socialization (meeting 100 people of all ages, genders, and physical attributes), puppy milestones, and exposing your puppy to various sounds, textures, obstacles, moving objects, etc. Also helpful for some basic commands such as sit, down, puppy push-ups, stay, etc. I read this book and Good Owners, Great Dogs before I got my puppy and prior to starting puppy kindergarten. Dr. Dunbar is funny, has a great attitude about dogs and dog misbehavior (it is always the human's fault!), and though many parts of this book are repetitive, repetition aids retention. Highly recommended!
8 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on May 15, 2018
I got this book for my kindle and just finished reading it. I think this book has some good tips, but the tone of it is condescending. It always sounds like he's angry at me and assumes I'm a terrible dog owner and will eventually send my dog to the pound. If I'm bothering to read books about puppy ownership, don't you think I care at least a little about raising a good dog? His language is very aggressive throughout the ENTIRE book and it is not a fun read. You feel like you're being lectured and the aggressive language really make it seem like the author is over it, over helping you try to raise a good puppy. I do not recommend this book to any new puppy owners.
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on February 4, 2018
Great book very helpful for that new puppy in your home, he believes in feeder ball toys not letting your dog inhale their food.I took on the challenge of two puppies, two months apart, and they are wonderful friends and were very easy to potty train following his advice. Buy the book you'll be glad you did!
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on June 26, 2015
A classic description of what to expect in the puppy process. The book is loaded with great advice on how responsible owners should prepare for bringing puppy home and important milestones as puppy grows up. Some of the language used might make a pet owner feel like the consequences of not following the advice will lead to an unruly dog that will be given away, but I feel like that is only the author's attempt to remind the reader that socialization is of critical importance along with instruction on good manners.

Dr. Dunbar is a well-respected behaviorist and his understanding of operant conditioning pairs fantastically with his views on how to improve the owner-dog relationship through frequent training and bonding sessions. I would recommend this book to any current or future puppy owner, but in particular this text is suitable for those who are more interested in dog psychology and behaviorism. This is definitely a manual on how to raise an attentive, obedient dog and is not necessarily the best for owners who do not want to modify their puppy's behavior or who don't want to integrate training into a lifestyle.
5 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on June 8, 2015
Ian Dunbar is one of the foremost dog behavior experts. His approach is based on science: what techniques for raising puppies have been proven effective. His approach is also designed for those of us who are utterly human: our timing is imperfect and we are not 100% consistent -- there are no "don't try this at home" warnings here. With decades of experience as a behaviorist and trainer and informed with a veterinary degree, Dunbar has distilled experience and scientific research into a book that is easy and entertaining. Raise your dog according to the book and you will create what he calls a "bomb-proof" dog. My last two dogs have been raised strictly according to the book. No damage was done to my house (chewing, house-soiling, etc.) by them in their puppy-hood and I have phased out the crate for one (but not the other because she demands to go in it when she wants to relax -- very ideal). Both dogs live with senior dogs that are trained to eliminate on toilet sheets. Despite this, neither dog pees indoors - not at home nor in doggy day care even though many other dogs do so. Please see his website dogstairdaily.com for additional resources. And by the way, he's serious when he cautions training doesn't end at puppy hood, especially not classical conditioning: always reward your dog for polite interactions with people and other dogs for the lifetime of the dog.
6 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on November 17, 2017
Best book ever for when you get a new puppy. This is my fourth new puppy, but I always reread this book because you forget how a puppy's mind works and how much guidance they need!
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on June 9, 2016
Gives a lot of good info for first time puppy owners. I think the sections on how to potty train and crate train could be expanded. He gives good instructions for how to start both, but it's not realistic to keep taking my dog out every hour after the first couple weeks. How do you continue training (both potty and crate) as the puppy ages? I've found myself having to do additional research via google. :/
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on October 16, 2012
Dr. Ian Dunbar writes with the voice of authority because he truly is the authority. Read this book and learn from the source because most of the more current dog training guidance you will find elsewhere is following Dr. Dunbar's lead (or it is 40 years behind).

The content presented in this book and the expertise of the author deserve more than a five star rating and easily outweigh any shortcomings of this book. I think I understand why the information is presented in the book in the way that it is, but it may not lend itself to easy reading and easy acceptance by some people.

I read a little bit about dog training from several sources before deciding to get my first new puppy in 16 years. I came away a bit confused by the various approaches many of which were not at all consistent with successes I have had on my own with many dogs over the past 40 years. Then I read this book and all of the successes and failures I've had on my own suddenly made perfect sense.

Initially this book may be a bit difficult for some people to digest. It seems overly rigid at first, but the specific procedures that are described are offered as an ideal approach for the most typical scenario. Don't let that prevent you from reading on. The sense of humor may not be easy for some to grasp and the degree of emphasis that is placed on the urgency and importance of some aspects of training may put off some people. However, if you hang in there and read the whole book, I think you will come away with a very solid sense of what you need to do, when you need to do it, and why you need to do it even if you don't do it in the exact manner suggested in the book.

I am convinced that Dr. Dunbar genuinely wants to get his readers to succeed at training great dogs and avoid the creation of troubled dogs first and foremost. He points out that 75% of dogs that end up at a shelter because of behavior problems will never be adopted and will instead be euthanize ("put to sleep"). And, of the 25% that do get adopted, half will end up back at the shelter very soon after adoption and will likewise to be put to death. If he started the book with those statistics, the emphasis he puts on the importance of getting it right from the start might seem more immediately justified.

I read the small number of bad reviews of this book before I bought it and I'm glad they did not dissuade me. Anyone who has not read this whole book does not have the full perspective on it. Those who don't value a scientific approach to dog behavior and dog training may not be persuaded by it. Most who believe they already know the best way to train a dog probably will never read it.

I think some people will be a bit put off by the heavy sense of responsibility Dr. Dunbar throws on the readers head very early on in the book. Those people probably shouldn't own dogs.
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on May 25, 2016
This book was useful for training, but most of what Dr. Dunbar says is review for people who already know about raising puppies and training dogs. Additionally, the author does tend to take things over the top and over exaggerate to a disturbing extent (there are a lot of cases of "if you don't teach your dog this, he will be bad, and you will hate him, so he'll end up homeless and die"). The sections on socialization are especially useful (and slightly daunting).
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on June 19, 2012
This was a good primer for raising a puppy, with good positive reinforcement training techniques. Dunbar is a well-respected trainer and seems to really understand dogs and how they think. However, I was irritated that Dunbar really never offerred any advice for what you should do if your dog does't respond the way his theoretical dog did. For example, he would say "hold the treat above his head and say 'Puppy, sit'. Your puppy will sit his butt down on the floor to get a better look at the treat." Which my dog (and I'm assuming most dogs did just fine) but what if he doesn't? Then what?

There were many instances of this, where the author would tell you what to do, then tell you what your dog would do in response, and then how you should respond to that response. But no attention was paid to the fact that not every dog is necessarily going to make the expected response, so he doesn't provide any guidance in that scenario. Still a very useful book, but it lost a star for that because it was less useful than it could have been.
3 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse