- Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Alpha; 1st edition (August 26, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0028642848
- ISBN-13: 978-0028642840
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog Paperback – September 1, 2002
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-- A comprehensive guide to acquiring, living with, and caring for a dog, from puppyhood through old age. -- In clear, concise, and fun-to-read language, it tells readers everything they need to know, including how to select and acquire a dog, set up house, deal with health care, nutrition, exercise, grooming, breeding (or not), basic and more advanced training, and more. According to the Info Please Almanac, dogs are the most popular pets in the U.S. The market for dog owners, and potential dog owners, is huge. The Complete Idiot's Guide "RM" to Getting and Owning a Dog provides a clear, concise, and fun-to-read reference on everything readers need to know, including how to select and acquire a dog; set up house; deal with health care; provide good nutrition, exercise, training, and grooming; handle breeding; and more. This book will also help readers answer questions concerning pedigrees, games, dog etiquette and social rules, traveling, and dealing with the death of a beloved pet.
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This new book by Sheila Webster Boneham is an especially good one for those who have never owned a dog before, or who may have had a dog, but who didn't explore all the facets of dog ownership. She offers a lot of suggestions about what to consider before getting a dog.
She covers everything from selecting a breed that fits your lifestyle, to what supplies you need to get when you bring your pet home. In a chapter on "Size and Other Big Decisions," she asks the important question, "What do you want from your dog?" Many people don't consider this before they bring that cute puppy home, yet the answers will determine whether you have a dog you love, but don't like, or have the perfect canine soul mate.
Boneham handles potentially controversial topics -- like vaccinations and feeding methods -- fairly and objectively. So new owners are aware of the pros and cons, and more importantly where and how to get more information.
Her chapter on "What Every Dog Should Know" has good advice on training and reinforcement. She urges her readers to take their dogs to at least one good obedience class. There is a helpful list suggesting how to tell if an instructor is qualified to teach the class. One suggestion is to not be shy about asking the instructor what her credentials are. As an obedience instructor, I would love to have someone ask me this, because it gives me a chance to brag about my dogs, and the dogs of former students.
A special gem of information is in a section on "Living with more than one dog."
"If you try to apply human ideas about equality and fairness to your family of dogs, you create confusion. For instance, if you try to treat the dogs equally and you alternate who gets a treat first 'to be fair' you undermine the dominant or alpha dog's position. In a pack, the alpha eats first, gets the best bed and controls the resources. If your alpha dog is hogging the chewy toys and you take them from him and divvy them up, you again undermine his position."
So many people do not understand this concept, so it is especially valuable to have it explained in this book for new dog owners.
There's also a nice chapter on canine medical emergencies, including what to include in a first aid kit.
The jacket notes indicate that Boneham competes in a variety of dog sports with her dogs, and does dog-assisted therapy as well. This experience comes through in her well-written book.
All in all, this is a terrific book, at a great price, and one I can heartily recommend to new dog and puppy owners.