This page contains links for information related to puppy rearing. Related information can be found under Training and under Dog Care.
You might also want to read topics under Problems, because problem prevention protocols are often a much simpler version of the equivalent one for problem solving.
Before you get a puppy, After you get a puppy, As puppy gets a bit older, Puppy fun (photos and verse)
BEFORE you get a puppy
things to know before you look for a puppy
(including puppy vs more mature dog, good breeder vs bad breeder vs other sources of puppies)
- the story of Hazel, a backyard puppy mill breeding bitch abandoned by her owner and rescued (4/13/06) by BCNC. Warning : this story is not a pretty one !! But it illustrates loud an clear why you should avoid buying dogs from a backyard puppy mill or a large scale puppy mill.
- What can we do about Backyard Breeders ? , " Backyard Breeders, Puppy Millers and Rescue", by BCNC Rescue Chair.
- Backyard Breeders' Excuse List (excuses for bad breeding practices compiled by Denna Pace)
- How to Read an Ad , a guide to reading newspaper and web ads for puppies or dogs for sale, emphsizing the clues that tell you that the advertiser is likley to be a good responsible breeder or some kind of large scale or small scale puppy mill. Including a "Pop Quiz" of 7 more internet ads for you to analyze and then see my own analysis. .
- How to Respond to Ads , an article about conversations with breeders and rescue people. What are the questions you should ask to determine if you want to get a puppy or dog from this person. What are the "red flags" that indicate a breeder you should avoid like the Black Death ? What are the questions that you should expect to be asked.
- What is a Good Breeder ?, discussing the qualities and practices that I think characterize responsible breeders, distinguishing them from those from whom one should avoid getting a dog.
- Who Cares ? "just pets", guest article about breeders who think that a litter that is intended to be "just pets" doesn't have to be as responsibily bred as would a more seriously intended litter.
- guest article "Designer Dogs : super mixes or mixed blessings ?" by Deborah Wood, reprinted with author's permission.
- To those who want to adopt a young puppy from Rescue. Includes reasons why you might be better off with a more mature dog adn includes a short discussion of how to distinguish a responsible breeder from a less responsible one.
- How Responsible Breeders Can Ensure Spaying and Neutering of Puppies. If your breeder is not utilizing one or more of these mechanisms to ensure spaying or neutering of every puppy sold as a pet, ie as family companion rather than as a potential breeding candidate, then you are probably not dealing with someone who has the best interests of the dog in mind as their top priority.
- Control of Canine Genetic Diseases George Padgett, DVM , ISBN 0-87605-004-6 An absolute MUST READ for all breeders. An encylopedia of genetically caused health problems. Also a MUST READ for anyone considering getting a dog of any particular breed or identifiable breed cross. By knowing what the major problems are in a given breed , you may decide that this breed would be a bad choice for you. Once you have chosen a breed or breeds, if you are seeking a puppy, you will also be able to spot those ignorant or dishonest "breeders" who either do not know what the problems are in their own breed or else do know but will not be candid with you ; these are the breeders you want to avoid like the Plague.
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AFTER you get a puppy
things to know while rearing a puppy
(of course you should read these before you decide to get a puppy)
- general puppy rearing : puppy rearing books, with links to my reviews
- How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks, by Ian Dunbar DVM. (book review) ISBN 1-880477-06-2 This is a MUST READ for everyone !!! In my opinion this is the single best book currently available about puppy rearing. (and some of the methods can be helpful with older dogs too). Do not confuse with the similarly named "How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks" , which is about trick training. (think "puppy" equals "new dog".)
- My Smart Puppy (book with DVD) by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson.. This is a terrific book on puppy training (also applicable to an adult dog). I finally wrote the review. This is a MUST read book for everyone ! This book and Dunbar's How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks complement one another : you MUST read both of them.
- Train Your Dog the Lazy Way , by Andrea Arden (book on puppy raising for busy people)
- The Culture Clash (book review) an excelent book on puppy rearing and on use of positive reinforcement training techniques.
- Mother Knows Best Carol Lea Benjamin, ISBN 0-87605-666-4 Excellent, a classic. Highly recommended to everyone !! A very dog-smart non-gimicky approach to training and living with dogs, and rearing of puppies.
- Before You Get Your Puppy Ian Dunbar, DVM ISBN 1-888047-00-3 MUST READ. Downloadable for free from <www.siriuspup.com> and <www.openpaw.org> , or buy "Before and After You get Your Puppy" which includes this. Wonderful book, though I prefer his "How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks" as being even better (more enjoyable to read and less dogmatic). Read both of them BEFORE you get any dog ! A lot of the techniques can also be helpful for adult dogs.
- The Art of Raising a Puppy Monks of New Skete, ISBN 0-316-57839-8 A very good book. Includes details of what the breeder should have done to give the pup a good start.
- particular puppy rearing topics : my own analyses and techniques
- Bringing Your New Dog Home, advice on the initial entry of your newly adopted dog (or puppy) into your home and introduction to the dogs you already have. advice for the first few days.
- Raising Your First Bouvier Puppy, an article I wrote in 1985 plus a number of update notes, emphasizing raising the dog to be a companion and helpmate. This is pretty much how I did raise Keya, Chelsea, and Bones.
- What is Housebreaking ? (detailed discussion of everything the puppy or dog needs to learn and everything the human must do. )
- Housebreaking when no one is home (article proposing a method for use when human supervision is not available for periods exceeding a puppy's "hold it" ability)
- New Puppy : for an easier trip home and first night. simple things breeders can do.
- Two Books on Housetraining (book review)
- Dog Doors, huge advantage for house-breaking, but not suitable for some situations ; article on advantages and disadvantages.
- How to create a "pee post", with illustration of a fire hydrant fountain.
- "Mouth, Mouth, Mouth" article on training and manageing the puppy to prevent problems with biting, chewing , and barking
- "Toy Story", photo and description of some of my dogs' favorite dog toys for chewing and throwing, with advice and cautions on their use. Puppies need plenty of legal toys and need to be encouraged to play with their legal toys and taught not to play with anything else. Actually anything else that is dangerous to the puppy or valuable to yourself should be kept totally out of reach of the puppy unless you are vigilantly supervising and can interrupt and re-direct to a legal toy.
- Playing Tug : discussion of how to play tug with a dog, using the game to teach the dog to let go on cue, plus a short movie clip of me playing tug with Bouvier Grover, just for his enjoyment.
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As puppy gets a bit older
heading into adolescence
- Why Your Bitch Should be Spayed
- Why Your Male Dog Should be Neutered
- (coming attraction : I will be adding material on pediatric spay / neuter.)
- Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence Carol Lea Benjamin, ISBN 0-87605-742-3 Excellent ; the sequel to Mother Knows Best. Could have been called "Mother STILL Knows Best, Even Though You are a Smart Ass Teenager Puppy."
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photos and verse about puppies
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