Before You Get Your Puppy

Before You Get Your Puppy

BEFORE You Get Your Puppy is dedicated to
all truly exceptional dog breeders, who care
as much (if not more) about their dogs’
physical and mental health as they do about
their dogs’ coat color and conformation.
To all knowledgeable veterinarians, who
understand the crucially important role of
early socialization and training for the
prevention of predictable behavior and
temperament problems.
To all caring and responsible puppy
owners, who did their very best to choose,
raise, and train their puppies to be good-
natured and well-mannered companions.
And to all overworked pet dog trainers,
shelter staff and volunteers, and animal
rescue organizations, who try their best to
solve the many problems created by other
dog breeders, veterinarians, and dog owners
who failed to grasp the big picture.

S
adly, the majority of puppies fail to live long enough to
enjoy their second birthday. They suffer from the
terminal illness of being unwanted—failing to live up to
the promise and expectation of the Lassie–Benji–Eddie dream.
Instead they develop a number of utterly predictable behavior,
training, and temperament problems and are surrendered to
animal shelters to play lotto with their lives. Many people
blame irresponsible ownership for this tragic situation. I would
cite lack of know-how. Most prospective puppy owners are
simply unaware of the problems that lie ahead and
unfortunately, they have little idea how to prevent or resolve
them. Ironically, the demise of many dogs stems from novice
owners following misleading, erroneous, and in some cases
downright bad advice from out-of-date training books.
Dog owners’ lack of know-how has to be the responsibility
of all doggy professionals, including dog breeders, trainers,
veterinarians, animal control officers, and shelter personnel. It
is the fault of dog professionals like myself, who have failed to
adequately advertise the much easier, quicker, gentler, and
altogether more effective and efficient way of raising and
training puppies.
This booklet will outline common, predictable puppy
problems, provide a timetable for their development, and
suggest a variety of dog-friendly preventative measures and
solutions, emphasizing the overwhelming importance of early
socialization, confinement, prevention, and lure/reward
training techniques.