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on January 15, 2007
At first I thought this new-age "doggie" duty might be a bit ... out there, especially penned my monks, but I can admit when I am wrong, as I was in this case.

This is THE best book for anyone who owns a dog and wants to understand their canine companion. It is very easy to read and completely understandable. The monks' philosophy makes perfect sense. I feel a bit guily about ways we trained the family dog when I was a kid, but times have changed and these are reflected in this book.

As an adult about to embark on getting my dog, I researched ... a lot ... until a friend suggested this book. This is the first book I recommend to people. It provides clear information, offered in step by step stages of a dog that kept me fascinated while I waited for my puppy. I was well prepared to meet the demands of my seven week old puppy when she arrived.

If you only buy one book on raising dogs, this should be it!
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on July 7, 2004
The Monks compile a great deal of knowledge into one very informative, very well-written, hard-to-put-down book. This book focuses on the development, both physiological and psychological, of puppies: from the dams pregnancy and whelping on. They address what to do, what to avoid, nutrition, etc., for each phase. I strongly suggest that you also read "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend". In the latter book (their first) they make it very clear that you should read not only their book, but many others on the training and evolution of dogs and a variety of other related subjects and provide a recommended reading list. Having read both books (and many others), I felt that they had no pretensions (as some do) to be the utmost authority on the subject. Nonetheless, as for puppy books, this is my number one pick, my guidebook.
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on January 30, 2000
This book is well written and deals specifically with puppies. It gives some ideas and techniques for picking a puppy and even a few tests to determine how dominate or submissive the pup might become. There are good descriptions of the phases a puppy goes through and it really helped me understand why my puppy acted one way then suddenly changed his behavior. The book also explains the benefits of a crate, prevention of bad habits, as well as solutions to common problems. I probably got the most from the section on preliminary obedience training. Instead of just playing with my puppy I used the book as a guide to develop exercises designed to prepare him for formal training. My dog and I now attend obedience classes and he is way ahead of the other dogs because of this.
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on November 14, 2011
This book is an excellent source for anyone thinking of buying a dog (especially a puppy). The monks are knowledgeable in their work and stress the importance of having the time and patience to raise a puppy properly. While they specialize in German Shepherd dogs, many of their principles can and should be applied to any breed. This book is a must for potential puppy owners.
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on July 23, 2001
I have looked at many books on how to train puppies, and this is the one that I keep going back to, in fact it is the only one I continuously used after we got our pup, a Great Dane. It explains how a puppy matures and when is the best time to get your puppy in order for the puppy to become a part of your "family pack". I have followed this book in it's advice for training a puppy, which means starting from the very beginning. At the age of 12 weeks Buck, our puppy, will sit, lay down, come, walk nicely on a leash, and will sit-stay and down-stay for short periods of time. He also will shake your hand, which isn't in the book, but using their methods of praise for behavior you like, this was easily taught!! The house-breaking went unbelievably well and this too was due to the advice of the Monks. This book is an excellent choice for first timers and also for those who have had dogs before. This book helps you to understand things from a puppy's viewpoint and how to use this understanding to help your puppy mature into a wonderful part of your family. If you are someone who thinks that dogs belong outside of your house, away from the family, hopefully this book can change your mind. The most important information that I got from this book was this, don't let your pup do things as a pup that you don't want him doing as a big dog. This book is indispensable!!!
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on November 24, 2001
My dog is now 2 1/2 years old and people always ask me how we trained her to be so loyal, obedient, loving and playful - my answer is "I read this book called The Art Of Raising A Puppy written by some monks in New York and started using it when she was 8 weeks old". I have recommended this book to other friends who have raised their puppies with the monk's philosophies and their dogs are the same - loyal, loving, obedient, and playful.
The book stresses the importance of understanding why your dog does things so you can help train/correct them the best way. When you use the methods in the book it seems your puppy obeys earlier and needs to be corrected less than others who do not. Good luck with your training - I hope your relationship with your dog is as rewarding as ours has been.
By the way I do a lot of work with the local humane society and they are big on "clicker training" - I have seen many animals trained with this method and they don't have near the bond with their trainers as those I've seen trained with the monks methods. Just wanted to mention that.
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on September 29, 2006
I picked up this book, determined to be a better pet owner. And I'm grateful to the Monks of New Skete for preparing such a thoughtful, educational text for people like me. This is a wonderful book that taught me a lot about my dog, why she acts the way she does, and what I can do about unwanted behavior. From the birth of these loyal, precious animals to testing for temperament, then moving toward training, I've developed a much better understanding of what it means to work with a puppy. Or rather, to train myself. This text is highly recommended for all dog owners, regardless of age, for it contains a wealth of information that should be shared with everyone before bringing home a loving pet such as a dog. Another great book for dog owners that I recommend is "Cesar's Way" by Cesar Millan, and for the cat lovers -- "Cats are Rascals" by Nowiki
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on June 17, 2001
A must if you are going to pickup your GSD either from a reputable breeder or even the kennel. If will help you pick up that little puppy and when I gave my latest puppy the tests here, agareed with the breeder of what was the pick puppy. I have been quite happy with Napoleon & wish I had used this previously with a different GSD -- it would have wanred me of her, unfortunately, improper breeding and later fatal tendency towards sickness; yes the brothers can spot weakness in a puppy and for that I am totally impressed.
The book goes thru the developmental stages of a GSD puppy and emphaizes puppy testing. i have had other breeds and the book does not work so well with them (Lab Ret & Yorkies), so I can honestly only recommend for the GSD group. If you fit in, then it's a must buy. If you are not sure if the GSD is for you, buy this book as you will learn what is so special about the breed.
If you are not thinking of getting a GSD or one of thw working breeds, ACDs, AS, Collies etc. then pass it by. It really does not work with the Sporting or Toys breeds- wnich is only failing but then no book is perfect for everyone.
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on June 1, 2001
This is still a very good training manual providing much sound and good advice ...
From the previous reviews, this book appears to have been drawn into the debate (or is it battle?) between the proponents of newer training styles and trainers who still use slip collars and scruff shakes ...
For sure this book makes no mention of 'clickers' but neither does it advocate harsh punishment ... It is perhaps important to remember that the Monks are training German Shepherds, a strong and powerful breed. Even at 16 weeks, a GSD if not taught to curb aggression or dominant tendencies can prove to be more than a handful for any owner ... The Monks should not be faulted for being firm with their GSD from a young age, ... they are firm but invariably fair ... they obvious love their dogs, and their training methods (if a little dated) reflect that love and care ...
We have a yellow Lab, and have never ever had to discipline her with anything more than a frown ... she is so mellow and loveable that training is more fun & games than anything else, the 'clicker' works wonderfully well ... But we also have a Beagle, and that little lady is both independent and wilful ... we adore her but have also come to realise that she needs us to be very consistent and firm ... and this book has helped us and our Beagle immensely ...
Maybe the Monks will bring out a new edition soon ...
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on December 21, 2000
There are scads of books on how to raise puppies out there, and most of them range from fairly informative to extremely useful. This one is not only useful, but a step beyond the others. It takes on the total relationship between puppy and trainer, delving into the nature of the dog-human bonding experience. Further, this book presents a spiritual perspective on that experience without succumbing to flippancy or cutesiness.
Even if you don't plan to obtain a puppy soon, you will enjoy the way this book creates a sense of wonder over the sometimes trying, often rewarding relationship that humans forge with their canine friends. The first chapter alone is quite inspirational, explaining the miraculous event of a German Shepherd giving birth. Little details are carefully pointed out in such a way that they all contribute to a growing sense of reverance for dogs and their place in the grand scheme of nature. Yet the book is loaded with sound, workable, and tested advice that every dog owner should appreciate. If you have a friend who likes non-commercialized, non-sectarian spiritual philosophy... and likes dogs ... and is thinking of getting a puppy -- this IS the PERFECT gift! Should be on the bookshelf of every dog-lover.
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