Gift books for new dog owners

They can help build a lifelong bond with a canine companion

Books make a wonderful gift for new puppy owners and for those considering purchase of a puppy or adult dog in the future. These are a few all-around books for understanding and training a new family member and getting involved in dog-and-owner activities.

How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With

If you get a puppy for Christmas ó or even a promise of a puppy for Christmas ó take a look at this book by Colorado dog trainer Clarice Rutherford and veterinarian David H. Neil. These two experienced authors have improved on the early printings of their book with this third edition that updates their previous work. Rutherford and Neil address breed and breeder selection; the social and mental stages of puppy devlopment; how to raise a puppy when the family is gone all day; and preventing or correcting problem behaviors.

Cost in paperback is about $10. How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With

Second Hand Dog and The Chosen Puppy

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These two paperback books by Carol Lea Benjamin are classics for those adopting a puppy or adult dog from a shelter or rescue and are almost as necessary for a family buying a new puppy from a breeder.

Both books are whimisically illustrated and full of easy-to-follow common sense suggestions for understanding dog behavior, coping with normal but frustrating behaviors, and teaching good canine manners.

Cost in paperback is about $8 each.
   Second Hand Dog : How to Turn Yours into a First-Rate Pet
   The Chosen Puppy : How to Select and Raise a Great Puppy from an Animal Shelter

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I Just Got a Puppy; What Do I Do?

This little book by Mordecai Siegal and Matthew Margolis (Uncle Matty on PBS television and the pet expert on Good Morning America) is a winner.The chapter on bonding with the puppy is worth the price of the book, but there's plenty of other good info in here as well. The writers also provide info about canine behavior, some quick-fix training tips, housetraining tips, and more to give families a boatload of help in choosing and training a puppy. It includes a puppy personality test to help you figure out the best training method for your new family member, and chapters on tools for training, and quick-fix problem solving, dog behavior, and housetraining.

Cost in paperback is about $12. I Just Got a Puppy : What Do I Do?

Dogs+Kids = Fun; Great Activities Your Kids and Dogs Can Do Together

A hardcover by Jacqueline OíNeil, this book is chock full of activities kids and dogs can do together.

The first part of the book is for parents and kids together to help assess the level of interest in training the dog and participating in the activites. The second part of the book describes various activities and tells how to get involved. Covered are 4-H, obedience competition, animal-assisted therapy, agility, tracking, raising puppies for a service dog organization, junior showmanship, hunt tests, herding, lure coursing, and go-to-ground tests and trials.

The book finishes with a reading list and a list of organizations that coordinate the events.

Cost is about $20. Dogs+Kids = Fun; Great Activities Your Kids and Dogs Can Do Together

Dogs for Dummies

This book isnít really for dummies, itís for anyone who wants to better understand his dog and learn to train and care for this valuable member of the family.

Written by Gina Spadafori, a syndicated pet care columnist, it is an immensely readable volume that covers dogs from soup to nuts.

Cost is about $20.

Dogs for Dummies (For Dummies)
Gina Spadafori/Paperback/1996

Childproofing Your Dog

Got a dog and a new baby? A toddler? A grandchild? You need this book!

This small paperback selling for under $10 is a must for a family with children at home or children who visit.

From the opening sentence of the introduction - "From personal experience, we both know the richness and wonder animals add to childhood." - through chapters on choosing a dog, teaching Fido good manners before the baby arrives, bringing baby home, family dog and toddlers, family dog and young children, and dog-proofing your child, Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson cover all the bases. The final chapter on the warning signs of aggression should be read over and over by members of any household where dogs and kids interact.

Childproofing Your Dog : A Complete Guide to Preparing Your Dog for the Children in Your Life
Brian Kilcommons, Sarah Wilson/Paperback/1994

Help for Your Shy Dog

Shy dogs have been given short shrift in training books, so anyone with a shy dog will want to add this book to their library without delay. The first part of this book by Deborah Wood deals with socialization, that catch-all term that includes everything from taking walks in new places and trying new experiences to interacting with other dogs and with people. Socialization is important for all dogs but especially for shy dogs so they can relax and enjoy life and spend more time with their owners.

Training builds confidence, but shy dogs need management, coaxing and positive reinforcement with a minimum of correction. Wood describes these methods in an understandable manner and includes case histories so readers can see how they work. The book also includes tips on dealing with "real world" situations and coping with canine phobias and other behaviors common to shy and nervous dogs.

Help for Your Shy Dog is a paperback bargain.

Help for Your Shy Dog : Turning Your Terrified Dog into a Terrific Pet Deborah Wood/Paperback/1999


Norma Bennett Woolf

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