Is this the Puppy Bible?
Raising a puppy is one of the single toughest tasks you’ll do – besides raising children. But, kids and puppies raise very different issues, so having a book to guide you through every step, seems like a fantastic idea to me, and something I really wish I’d had before I’d gotten Indie! God only knows, I made mistakes, we all do! But having a reference text that I could dog ear, note on, and use time and time again? Would have been a life saver in raising my pup.
I’m always looking out for training videos, guides, infographics or similar to share with my customers when they first get a puppy, but there’s nothing encompassing. So when I knew this book had been released, I was very keen to get my muddy paws on it!
Steve Mann is the head of the IMDT (The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers) and has a wealth of knowledge under his proverbial belt. He is probably currently the largest name in positive reinforcement training in the UK, and has provided some genuinely huge training results – he’s definitely an author who I can respect.
This book claims to be a “simple step-by-step guide to raising and training a happy puppy or dog”. But is it so simple?
It comes in three formats, Kindle, Audio and Paperback. I elected for the Audio so that I could listen to what’s said (I engage more audibly than I do simply reading, it’s my preferred way of learning), so picking up an audible account seemed like an easy solution in order to hear the author himself read it to me – super lazy, huh?
Why do I need it?
The book covers a number of topics, from your puppy’s first night at home, walks you through toilet training, body language, sitting, mouthing, socialisation, jumping up, response to name, loose lead walking, recall, ‘touch’, and ‘leave’ (in a way) along with how to pick a puppy trainer and an alternative to a normal walk, known as a ‘backpack walk’. All content that you and your puppy are really going to benefit from.
I love that it covers everything. There’s literally not a subject I can think of that it doesn’t cover, or touch upon in some way. The author even gives you some great case studies from his career as a trainer with some famous names you may well know! And it does it all with levity and humour that I can really appreciate. The tone is certainly something that a stressed puppy owner would appreciate also.
Now, Indie isn’t a puppy any more, not really (Though God only knows, he acts like it most of the time, the little goof!) but it’s actually given me a ton of ideas to further Indie’s training – you may well see us going back to basics and trying the elongated ‘touch’ command – or on a backpack walk! There’s always room for us to learn and I’ll also be going over the counter conditioning and desensitisation parts again also, so I can apply these to Indie’s learning to positively associate with meeting new dogs.
Is it just for puppies?
This book is labelled for ‘puppies’ – but it’s really not. This is a fantastic book that can help most people. There may be some application of principles learnt to alternative situations, but there is advice in there for everyone. This book will not just create good dogs but good owners. It is there to enhance your bond with your dog, to eliminate negative methods and show people the way. Something to genuinely become a beacon of training for the future.
Something I loved about this book was that it didn’t just tell you “Do X, then Y, Then Z and Presto! Perfect puppy”, no, it tells you why you should do it in a certain way, and even gives you examples of the problems it may create if you don’t! It’s a fantastic insight into the mind of your dog.
Other than the wealth of knowledge, I have to say one of my favourite things is the humour in this book. It’s easy to write a basic training book, but this genuinely had me laughing! Which is great, who doesn’t need a laugh?
Oh – and I genuinely love Steve Mann’s Malinois’ name – Carlos Fandangos of the West – Brilliant stuff! Maybe I’ll take suggestions for Indie in a similar vein, Indie Savage of the Thames, Indie Reverent of the Woods… any ideas? Suggestions in the comments please!
The only thing I think could be improved is adding a little more on diet – Steve does cover it briefly, and he is certainly not wrong in saying it could be its’ own book – it certainly could – but I feel it was covered a little too lightly for new puppy owners to make good decisions about choosing a food. Though, it is a minefield to be honest!
So, in all, I must say I genuinely love this book. It’s something I wish I had had for Indie, something that I will be recommending to all my customers most strongly! It is for all owners and dogs, not just puppies, and it will (hopefully!) start opening some eyes about positive training methods.
Think it’s for you? It’s available on Amazon! Or… maybe in a giveaway soon…!