Below, we review ten of the most-sought-after books penned by some of the best dog trainers on the planet. These will give accurate, hands-on solutions to dog training problems time and again. This is an updated list. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Get it now on Amazon. Marty Becker, a resident veterinarian on The Dr. It gives a detailed walk-through of how to potty train, socialize and offer your little canine friend with life skills. Plus, it has everything you need to know to raise a well-behaved dog. It also teaches you how to have fun with your puppy at his tender age.
Sophia Yin, the author, has crafted Perfect Puppy in 7 Days in a way that will help create a strong bond with your pup from day one. Think of it as the right recipe to give you the knowledge you need to communicate with your puppy. And while this book uses the seven-day approach, your Chihuahua will learn more in a week than many dogs learn in months.
No more puppy nips jump or potty accidents! In short, this book will help you raise a friendly, happy companion, fast. Authored by Brandon McMillan, a celebrity dog trainer and an award-winning hero of the CBS show Lucky Dog, this book contains nothing but good stuff any dog owner will love to read. Undoubtedly one of the best dog obedience training books, it teaches you how to earn your dogs trust and build lasting friendship.
Also, Lucky Dog Lessons offers solutions to common problems such as house training, bad behaviors, barking, chewing and door dashing as well as mealtime misbehaviors. You may also want to know that McMillan has based this book on success stories of his three dogs; Apollo, Grover, and Jemma. Put differently; Lucky Dog Lessons shares practical tips with proven ability to get the job done.
Available in Kindle and paperback, it teaches you how on rely on trust and treats to create a strong relationship with your dog. In other words, it seeks to help you move away from collars and leashes. And the beauty of it that each session takes 10 to 20 minutes of practice every day. The authors use a detailed step by step guides on how to crate-feed and potty train your dog.
It talks about water safety and the basic come here, sit, and stay cues. It also covers complex lessons including leash pulling, barking, and jumping. The book has a 4. Her training techniques are still popular today. Her book has a 4. He explains the difference between discipline and punishment, and how pack instincts can be used to improve your relationship with your dog.
He also details some of the anecdotes from his clients, including celebrities. His book has a 4. Her book details positive reinforcement techniques rather than reprimands or punishments. The five-week program relies on ten- to minute sessions each day for both puppies and adult dogs. It goes over basic training, hand feeding, crate and potty training, and correcting or avoiding behavioral issues. The book also explains how to make your dog comfortable with vet visits and strangers. If your dog is really smart and eager to learn new things, this is a perfect way to step up your game and teach tricks that will impress all of your friends.
It is not uncommon for puppy owners to have misconceptions about early growth. To help prepare yourself for the proper reception and intelligent raising of a new puppy, you must take the time to examine the growth process in detail, thus gaining some necessary insight into an otherwise obscure period. The birth of a litter signals a new opportunity to observe ever more deeply a remarkable series of events—those moments that mark the passage of a totally dependent puppy into a fully mature dog, capable of true companionship.
If you have the good fortune of such companionship, you will no doubt understand how life-enhancing it is. The development of a puppy is not an automatic process that occurs precisely the same way in each dog. Rather, it is a dynamic unfolding of life that, while following general patterns, reflects the subtle and ultimately mysterious interaction of three factors: type of breed, genetic makeup, and environmental influences.
The results of this blending produce a wide variety of canine personalities. This is why raising puppies defies routine: each puppy is unique; each is an individual. This insight is at the heart of what has become one of the most authoritative studies on dog behavior, Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog, by John L. Fuller and John Paul Scott. When these men began their research in Bar Harbor, Maine, on the effects of heredity on human behavior, they chose the dog as the subject of their work precisely because, like human beings, dogs show a high level of individuality.
The researchers believed that by studying the parallel development of dogs they could make valuable observations for child rearing, thus allowing for psychologically better-adjusted, healthier members of society. Their study helped distinguish the important relationships among genetics, early experience, and adult behavior. In the process, it illuminated how a dog becomes an individual, unique creature, and provided a more comprehensive and accurate view of canine behavior than had existed previously. The complete results of the research, exhaustive and quite technical, go well beyond the scope of this book.
Yet one finding in particular is important to single out because of its profound effect on our understanding of development and on the way conscientious breeders raise their puppies. It also provides a helpful framework in understanding how a pup grows. Over the course of the seventeen-year study, Scott and Fuller followed in detail the development of litter after litter of pups. In analyzing their data, they discovered that puppies pass through four clearly identifiable stages on the way to their full adult personalities.
Taking into account the slight variations present from individual to individual, Scott and Fuller noted the following stages: the neonatal period, from birth until the opening of the eyes at about thirteen days; the transitional period, from the time the eyes open until the opening of the ears at twenty days; the socialization period, which extends from approximately three to twelve weeks; and the juvenile period, lasting from this point until sexual maturity, which may occur from six months to a year or more.
In addition, in trying to determine why some dogs matured into happy, sociable pets while others did not, the researchers found that the timing of early experiences played a vital role in the development and shaping of behavior. Through correct socializing at the critical period, puppies could be conditioned naturally to behave as friendly, people-oriented pets. Critics argue that it is too absolute and seems to rule out the possibility of rehabilitating the animal who is the unfortunate victim of abuse and neglect during infancy.
Instead, they prefer the term sensitive period as a clearer expression of reality. If we look at it this way, we see that timing and quality of experience, though undoubtedly important factors in influencing behavior, are not straitjackets that frustrate any future attempts to modify behavior. Development is much more complex than that.
These periods simply approximate the time when a pup is most naturally susceptible to socializing influences. This does not change the main point: early experience plays an important role in the development of personality. So if you are serious about purchasing a puppy, you should try to get as clear an idea as possible of the sort of background he comes from. There are limits to what science can teach us about our dogs.
Ultimately, we must leave room for mystery.
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In discerning the way a dog develops, we must recognize that our knowledge reflects general patterns and not absolute rules. We can never understand fully why a dog is the way he is. Thus, in every stage, though the process of growth is basically the same, the particular way it manifests itself varies from pup to pup. This is why littermates raised under the same conditions develop differently. The very nature and chaos of life disposes them to behave and grow in individual ways.
This diversity is not without purpose. The dog, like his chief ancestor, the wolf, is a pack animal.
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While each dog has his own individual personality, he also has a pack identity that is manifest at a very young age, while he is still within the litter. These personality differences are important, for they highlight the fact that a pack is dependent upon mutual cooperation for its survival. Each member has his own role and importance; each is worthy of respect. This is seen most clearly with wolves.
Continual infighting and challenging for control would make pack unity impossible. Conversely, were all members submissive types, the pack would lack the leadership necessary for effective hunting. In both cases, survival would be jeopardized. What gives the pack its strength are the different personalities that exist within it. These individual traits are linked directly with the experience of puppyhood. This insight is vital to understanding the domestic dog. As we return to Anka and her puppies, we now have a general framework for discussing puppy growth and various related issues.
Yet it is important to remember here that we are dealing with a litter of German shepherd pups. For example, toy breeds such as the Chihuahua tend to mature sexually at around six months and reach adulthood at about a year. Larger, more slowly developing breeds such as the Irish wolfhound and mastiff do not reach sexual maturity until about a year and a half and reach adulthood from two to three years.
Every breed has a natural growth rate you should be aware of when you obtain your puppy. Rather, it is to provide a real-life background for our discussion and to help you better understand the early development of your own pup. Ordinarily, it is not our practice to give proper names to nursing puppies, but we have done so here for the sake of clarity. We named the first two males Sunny and Kairos, the two females Oka and Yola, and the last male, who at birth was the smallest puppy in the litter, Kipper. They are two days old. A heat lamp glares down over Anka, ensuring that the room temperature is kept warm and constant.
She is lying with her underside fully exposed, and the puppies are lined up next to one another in an orderly fashion, each on a teat, each kneading gently with his or her paws to stimulate the milk flow.
They look like little sausages attached to her side, their smooth black coats giving off a sheen under the light. Anka pants heavily as they suckle; she is unconcerned by our presence, her gaze fixed on a solid white wall that borders the nest. Finally the calm is broken as Anka shifts herself and stands up. As the pups lose their hold on her teats, they roll off to the side, helplessly landing on their backs, squealing at the sudden disruption.
This lasts for only a moment. Quickly they right themselves, and after a few seconds of crawling, they fall fast asleep next to one another.
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Anka, meanwhile, lies down on the opposite end of the nest and looks up at us. After the excitement of her whelping only two days before, the quietness of the following days might easily lull us into overlooking the critical importance of this time, when the principal activity of the litter is the alternating rhythm of sleep and nursing. In this quiet, however, a great deal occurs that will provide the essential foundation for the future development of the litter.
Entering a world they can neither see nor hear, newborn pups exist in a sensory desert, necessarily well insulated from harsh disturbances. They are entirely dependent on their mother; without her or the equivalent care by humans the pups will die. Anka knows this. During the first days she is continuously in the nest, leaving it only to eliminate.
It is a vulnerability that she is prepared to defend with her life. An example: While the puppies are asleep, Anka remains awake in the nest, occupying herself with a rawhide bone. Suddenly her ears stand erect and she begins to growl tentatively. Strange voices drift into the kennel from outside. At once, she is out of the nest and flying through the kennel hatch into her outdoor pen, ferociously barking out her alarm. As she paces back and forth, her hackles are fully raised and her tail stands straight up. She appears, through this natural illusion, substantially larger-than-life to the strangers, tourists who have inadvertently wandered too close to the kennel building.
Quickly they hurry off in the other direction, convinced of her seriousness. Anka, however, continues the warning, her bark echoing throughout the monastery grounds for several minutes. It is only when she is satisfied that the danger has passed that she returns to the nest and the sleeping pups huddled in the corner, oblivious to all the commotion. The fact that the puppies lie clustered together should not be interpreted as evidence of neonatal sociability. It is simply a way to conserve heat. Newborn pups have poor control over their body temperature, so they tend to gravitate to the warmest area of the nest.
As soon as the first pup, Sunny, awakes, he begins a restless search for a nipple by inconsiderately piling over the others, ignoring their presence. The scene confirms that the pups have no direct awareness of one another; their behavior is confined largely to reflex actions that they have been equipped with at birth, such as sucking, crawling, attraction to warmth, and distress vocalizations arising from pain, hunger, or cold. Conventional wisdom, reflected most authoritatively by Scott and Fuller, portrays the newborn as an essentially tactile creature, incapable of any real learning, and relying exclusively on the sense of touch for getting nourishment.
Other astute observers, however, such as author and veterinarian Michael Fox, have demonstrated that this view needs to be broadened in several respects. First, it has been shown that a newborn puppy also possesses a well-developed sense of smell. Twenty-four hours later these pups would crawl toward a Q-tip dipped in aniseed oil and held close to their noses.
Other pups who had not received this previous exposure while nursing recoiled sharply from the odor. In addition, neonatal behavior reveals a capacity for the simple learning necessary for survival. A newborn puppy will instinctively begin a burrowing motion with her muzzle when she first contacts something warm.
In watching Yola behave this way shortly after she was born, and then again several days later, we see that there is quite a difference. While at first she was awkward and clumsy, after three days she is quite adept at it. Proficiency clearly improves with time. Over several days she also develops strength and assurance in nursing. It is interesting to feel the difference in sucking ability of a pup shortly after birth and then again after many days.
We did this with Yola by letting her nurse briefly on our fingers. Initially, after birth, the pressure was a little weak, unsure. When we repeated the exercise a few days later, the pressure was surprisingly strong and forceful. This is evidence of an elementary learning that will form the basis for later, more complex learning. The pups exist in a naturally protected environment where they possess only the basic abilities necessary for their survival. None of the behavior we most commonly associate with dogs is present: no barking, tail wagging, walking, or playing.
In fact, the most dominant impression we receive of newborn pups is their need for sleep. During the neonatal period puppies spend about 90 percent of their time sleeping, waking only to nurse or to be cleansed by their mother. This abundance of sleep is an absolute requirement. It is vital to the development of the central nervous system and the brain. This indicates how immature the brain is at this period. In particular, the reticular formation—the section of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness—has not yet developed sufficiently to keep the puppy awake for any significant amount of time.
It is only after the third week that a marked change begins to register on the EEG, showing a clear differentiation between wakefulness and sleep, and only after four weeks that pups are able to stay awake for any sustained period. Early in this initial phase, it is the quietness of sleep, combined with regular nourishment, warmth, and elementary movement, that establishes the proper climate wherein the brain and central nervous system may mature.
The shepherd pups born to Anka bear no resemblance at all to the familiar image we possess of a noble German shepherd. At six to eight inches from their pug noses to the tips of their tails, they have rounded, oversize heads, barrel-shaped chests, and short, stumpy legs. Their ears are quite small and seem stuck to the sides of their heads. Their eyes are closed tight. If you did not know better, you could easily mistake them for members of a different species! Even the ability to eliminate is a reflex completely controlled by the mother, since newborn pups are unable to urinate or defecate on their own.
This keeps the nest completely clean and guards against the serious health risk of waste buildup. Such behavior may have another important function. Wildlife biologist L. David Mech, in his study on the wolf, points out that this activity may also establish the postural and psychological beginnings of submission in a pup. Although Mech was speaking specifically of the wolf, we have observed the importance of this in our own shepherds.
Living as they do in a semi—pack environment, younger, more submissive dogs often assume the identical posture of a pup when submitting to an older, more dominant pack member. They roll over on their backs and expose their undersides while the other dog proceeds to investigate and sniff the anal-genital region. This posture defuses the threat perceived by the submissive dog and establishes pack hierarchy. All of these details form the background for the later growth of each pup. It is a simple fact: life is growth. And even now, so early in life, the individuality we spoke of begins to show through.
In keeping daily records of weight gain, we notice that Sunny and Oka are putting on the most weight and appear to nurse the most vigorously. In the nest they are the two who consistently manage to nose out the others when competing for a teat. These are preliminary signs of dominance that we will pay attention to throughout their puppyhood. It is a gentle way of trying to level the playing field a bit. Daily weighing also gives us a chance to note which puppies are more reactive and more vocal when being handled. When we place her on the cold scale, she cries more loudly than the other pups, who are not so alarmed by this experience.
The presence of this type of behavior in Yola raises an important issue about puppy development. Though some breeders and scientists claim that physical handling has no effect on a puppy during the first three weeks of life, our experience suggests otherwise. Over the years we have found it beneficial to introduce the pups to moderate amounts of human handling throughout the course of puppyhood, not simply during the period of socialization.