Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog Reviews

August 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Puppy Training Reference

Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog

Combining two popular titles in one value-priced edition, Before and After Getting Your Puppy is a simple, practical guide for anyone bringing a new puppy into the home. In clear steps, with helpful photos and easy-to-follow training deadlines, Dr. Ian Dunbar, who pioneered puppy classes and a loving style of dog training in the 1970s, presents a structured yet playful and humorous plan for raising a wonderful dog. The guide is based on six developmental deadlines: completing owner education and

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3 Responses to “Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog Reviews”
  1. Patricia R. Boswell says:
    78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Essential Help for You and Your New Puppy, May 29, 2007
    Patricia R. Boswell (Los Gatos, CA) –

    This review is from: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (Hardcover)

    I bought this book after reviewing some of the articles on the […]website, which offers a preview of some of the key points of the book. I did read many of the reviews here and felt that the negative comments were somewhat over-reactive.

    From my perspective, the book not only makes sense about how to raise a puppy, but also about how to raise a child! Why waste time trying to teach kids or dogs what is wrong, until they eventually figure out what is right? That seems really inefficient, now that I know the “lure-reward” technique. This technique lets you use the essential nature of the dog to train it to do what you want it to do: pee, chew, and poop where you want it to, for instance. Walk calmly on leash, for another. The trick is to not fall into the trap of thinking that a few weeks of short and long-term confinement is somehow cruel to the dog. Like children, dogs respond quickly to a consistent routine. It DOES require YOU to be consistent and to have discipline, and I definitely figured out where I was being lazy and too lax, and whenever I went back to the tighter crate schedule, things improved immediately. I realized that I confused a few days of successful potty events with “success” in overall training and went from confinement to total lack of restraint, so I referred to the book again and made some corrections.

    Here are a couple of tips that helped make this book so useful for me. First, I had a consultation with a pet dog trainer who knew about (and recommended) Dunbar’s technique. This really helped me when addressing the issues that I felt were not explained in the book (more on that later). Secondly, while I took Dunbar’s stern advice as the kind of advice someone gives to people who might not pay attention…that is, I didn’t take him quite so seriously. So, when he says that your dog needs to meet over 100 people in his first month (or whatever), I took that as the general message: socialize your dog as much as you possibly can. We have a really small house and we aren’t hugely social, but I was surprised to find that I could make a list of 100 people pretty easily. They haven’t all been over to my house, but I’ve been out and about and exposed my pup to a lot of different people, and I could see the change in about 2 weeks! And, I realized too that this socialization has to continue through adolescence, the difficult stage (again, think of children). I also found that “training” your dog to be OK when you are not around was particularly practical and helpful. It not only reduced my dog’s anxiety, but mine as well, since it gave me a method to work with the dog to gradually introduce him to “alone” time, which will definitely be a part of his life. It also helped me to be aware of where I might be inadvertently feeding into the dog’s anxious attitude when I returned home (or got him out of his crate).

    The sit, lay down trick is a snap and I even successfully tried it on an adult pitbull that wouldn’t lay down for its owner!

    What I also found interesting was that the tips I learned in the book and shared with my other dog-owning friends helped them when it came to their adult dogs! I think that the Cesar Milan method can be quite effective, but it is based solely on dominance, and the lure-reward method can work wonderfully too in many situations (such as getting your dog to be calm when going on leash and learning to happily sit when greeting people).

    Now, for some things that come to mind that I found lacking in the book. First, I happen to have a toy poodle who is bizarrely un-food motivated, and Dunbar doesn’t mention that at all. I did learn from other poodle owners that this breed isn’t the most food motivated one. I wish he would cover that situation in the book. So, for instance, Dunbar recommends putting all of the dog’s kibble in Kong toys, yet if I put all of Buck’s food in his bowl, he *still* wouldn’t eat even half of it. So, if the open dish doesn’t work, the Kong toy is like locking it away! And, freeze dried liver didn’t work for Buck either. Advice: get those beef jerky sticks for dogs. Or try cheese. And strangely: Wheat Thins (even my cat loves them). Small bits of hot dog too. (I use this for the poop reward). Even so, all of these favorite items stuffed into a Kong toy won’t work for my dog. Maybe when he gets a little older/bigger and I can try it out again, but for now I’m mystified about turning him into a chew-toy-aholic.

    Secondly, I would have appreciated more information on the puppy interaction when you have a really small dog, or a really large dog. I think the problems you encounter as a dog owner do vary when you have a “non-average” sized breed. How do you keep your little dog from being completely frightened of huge dogs (and then later turning into one of those yappy jerks)? How do you keep your rambunctious, lovey Great Dane from bowling over the chihuaha…

    Read more

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  2. rpcvmom says:
    33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Even worth it AFTER you already have your pup, January 29, 2006
    rpcvmom (Austin) –

    This review is from: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (Hardcover)

    I’d recommend this to anyone who has a pup already (get it quickly!) as well as anyone thinking about adding a dog – also, get it quickly- before the dog, since you can. The “Before” part is a small fraction of the book, but valuable. Reading it before getting Fido would help you better understand the particular (and commmonly unknown)challenges training a dog entails, and help you choose a desirable breeder.

    Reading the WHOLE book before getting a puppy would really help you prepare to become its owner and trainer.

    Some have said the book scared them, or that it was unrealistic…and if making a mistake scares you, don’t buy the book. However, if you can recover, and vow to try to do better, and realize your mistakes or inadequacies do impact others (or your pet), but realize and accept that you can still make things up- just with extra work- get this book. Dunbar doesn’t try to scare folks, he just points out that mistakes can create bad/wrong impressions (in people or dogs) and these require extra work to correct…(in people or dogs).

    He lays out developmental “deadlines” -just as children have sensitive periods so do dogs, and training in certain areas takes “best” during this period.

    He provides non-traditional, positive, somewhat demanding methods for training your dog. By “Demanding” I mean he asks you to do thing at the start that are some work for you….in order to have a lower-maintenance dog later. Inviting (many different) people over to meet your dog to socilalize it is a lot of work, but if it means your dog doesn’t bite the meter man or the neighbor’s child, and does behave more like Lassie than the neighborhood stray, isn’t it worth it to try? Your choice, of course. But he does warn you that you have a special opportunity when the dog is young that doesn’t really come again. Take advantage of it!

    Essential reading in my mind is the chapter on Bite Inhibition. This could save you much anguish if your dog is ever accidentally hurt…and help ensure that your sweet dog won’t wound anyone in her anguish. Paying $20 for this one lesson would be worth the cost of the book in my mind.

    Teaching appropriate chewing (from day one) is another literally “valuable” chapter. Our dear and well intentioned dog chewed through over $300 of merchandise as a pup. I thought Kongs were too expensive to buy at $8 each. I bought one, but didn’t see any results. Little did I know that if used correctly (as the only accessible chewing object)they could have saved me a lot of $ and annoyance.

    Dunbar’s techniques work. We used a different trainer, and learned much, but I now see some things (besides the chewing)we missed, that I’ll try to make up now using his techniques.

    If you get easily stressed if things don’t go perfectly a puppy might not really be a good idea. Dunbar suggests finding a mostly trained dog at a shelter could be a lot less stress for you. Some things still wouldn’t be perfect, and you’d still have to do work, but but you wouldn’t have so many fronts to work on in such a short time as one has with a puppy. Overally just remember, Dogs don’t know what you want them to do just because you tell them. They don’t speak English.

    We teach them that they get treats or affection for certain behaviors so they learn to look for those opportunities.

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  3. F.Faulkner "F.F." says:
    52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One of the BEST puppy books ever!, April 22, 2006
    F.Faulkner “F.F.” (Hartford, CT USA) –

    This review is from: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (Hardcover)

    I’ve read every dog training and behavior book out there since 1982. And I’ve raised six puppies as my own pets over the years. When I found myself in a bind with a challenging, rambunctious new challenge, I read everything looking for help- CESAR MILAN, GOOD OWNERS/GREAT DOGS by Kilcommons, PERFECT PUPPY Gwen Bailey , MOTHER KNOWS BEST by Carol Lea Benjamin, HOW TO RAISE A PUPPY YOU CAN LIVE WITH, SARAH HODGSON, THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, Jan Fennel’S DOG LISTENER, UNCLE MATTY…. you name it. I’d spend hours reading looking for suggestions. Far and away the #1 book that helped me the most and offered me the most practical advice was IAN DUNBAR’S BEFORE & AFTER YOU GET YOUR PUPPY- mostly the ‘after’ part! The book contains short and sweet, easy to read and apply how to’s for raising a well-behaved, well-adjusted puppy. You know the kind that goes potty outside, is quiet through the night, will go into her crate and stay quietly without whining. After all these years, I thought I knew it all. I didn’t. When I needed help, IAN DUNBAR provided it. The best advice ever, 1-2-3 housetraining, confinement, rules, restrictions, ‘sssshhh’, etc.

    ONE (1) complaint: my puppy can’t get the stuffing out of the Kong – any size – and whines terribly over it in frustration.

    Also recommended: MOTHER KNOWS BEST, Carol Lea Benjamin/ THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, Monks of New Skete/ NO BAD DOGS Barbara Woodhouse/ TV Show: Cesar Milan’s DOG WHISPERER on National Geographic.

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