Being a fur parent is not an easy task. It takes more than just purchasing some cute clothes or accessories, numerous toys to play with, or a warm soft bed. It’s beyond birthday parties and weekly baths and massage. This also comes with the betrayal of car rides when you promised you’d go to the beach or the dog park but ending up in the veterinary clinic. And you’ll see the look in their eyes when they realize this isn’t the way to their playmates.
It’s the worrisome visits to the vet when they’re sick. Not to mention that the cost can also be very expensive so if you’re not financially ready, put owning a dog to a pause because this isn’t gonna be a free ride.
Being a fur parent just like a parent to his/her kid requires understanding and discipline and this isn’t gonna be easy. But thanks to the plethora of resources online, fur parenting has become a lot more manageable. They offer advice, step-by-step training methods, and bonus tricks that you can apply with your dog. Some even share a more in-depth perspective on dogs by offering a more psychological take for you to understand your fur baby.
So here are our top three recommendations of dog training books that every fur parent like you should own (or well, at least read!).
#1 Basic Essential: The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete
This book was published in 1991 which makes it almost thirty years old! A good old classic book that has always stayed on the top shelf of dog training recommended books.
First off, since it’s quite an old book and many developments have already happened and practices have already evolved from that time to today, you would expect some traditional techniques which are now frowned upon. Though they label the techniques as helpful leash correction, one can easily decipher that these are dominance-based training. In their book, they recommend “popping the leash to correct dogs, clamping their muzzles, and physically dominating them “if necessary.”” Today, this style has died down and those who practice it are labeled as ‘dog abusers’.
Nevertheless, it’s on the list because even though they have outdated practices, the book tackles a holistic approach to raising a puppy. The Monks of New Skete are renowned as seasoned breeders and trainers who mainly work on German Shepherds.
Here are some interesting takes in the book. First, they discussed the concept of obedience as a two-way street. Obedience, as much as it is something we expect and train our puppies, should also be something owners should do. Be focused on your pups and adapt to their needs by being truly obedient to them.
They also introduced the idea of greater self-awareness which most dog owners do not realize as a benefit of the whole process. And lastly is the puppy aptitude test which they use and apply before putting puppies to their new owners.
It’s a good book to read before getting a puppy for yourself so you would be acquainted in theory with them and as an “expecting” fur parent, you will be able to adeptly prepare their needs before they walk down the door.
#2 Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship by Colleen Pelar
If you’re a family adopting your first puppy, it’s good to familiarize the kids before the new kid comes in. Since the book is designed for kids, it’s very easy to read and understand. Even adults will enjoy reading this book while getting a grasp on how to raise a puppy from insights to its behavior to training and play tips. There’s also a section for do’s and don’ts as well as tricks you could teach your puppy.
Like “The Art of Raising a Puppy”, this book gives a holistic approach to puppies by better understanding them, the responsibilities that come with having one or two or many of them, and how to train them in a language that both kids and adults will enjoy and understand.
It’s very informational and will allow first-time fur parents to know what to anticipate and to make being a fur parent a lot easier.
#3 Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
Every dog owner who had a hand at this book all fell in love with the revolutionary take of Zak George in dog training which is a force-free kind of training. In an era of training associated with authoritarian and rules, Zak debunks them all in one book. And we suggest that you put this on your “required” reading list, fur parent or not. Maybe this book will give you just enough push to take on a new challenge of being a fur parent.
What made this book easy to read is that Zak makes his readers feel heard, understood, appreciated, and above all those things: not judged. He relates to them on a level that all fur parents only want what’s best for their babies to some point beyond belief. His tone was “clear, direct, kind, sympathetic, and fun” which is something you wouldn’t expect out of a dog training book.
One of the many interesting points that Zak had written was preventing a behavior rather than correcting it. Many dog training programs tackle the many ways of correcting unwanted behavior but Zak veers away from the traditional by expressing the importance of preventing bad behaviors before they are there.
He also reassures readers that mistakes will be part of the process and simply tells them to learn from it.
We all need these kind words in a world full of people demeaning efforts and putting down other people because of mistakes. Being a fur parent in itself is already challenging!
Lastly, he emphasized the importance of bonds.
“Building a bond is essential to your relationship and you mustn’t do anything to compromise it. Why? Because ”bonding is also a matter of letting your dog know that she can trust you and depend on you.”
Zak takes you off the high road of dog raising and revolutionizes the concept by taking down the barrier that has long been standing there between a human owner and the pet dog. Just like what The Monks of Skete said about greater self-awareness. Zak George also urges his readers to look at the mirror and see that becoming emotionally attached to the process of training a dog is not weakness rather it’s what makes YOU become a better fur parent.
The Bottom Line
The art of raising a dog is not easy and it always draws a parallel in human-to-human relationships like raising a kid. It takes the same amount of understanding to raise them and what you think can hurt your child in the process of your discipline can cut the same way to your dog.
Before you get one, make sure that you are emotionally and financially ready because it’s not like you’re just getting a live toy. They need love, care, and support.
And when you finally get one, treat them like a family member and love them with all of your heart. They’re not just there to protect you but to also pour out all the love. To you, he/she might just be one dog in a course of your lifetime, but in theirs, you are the only one.
And let me just add: ADOPT! DON’T SHOP! Many dogs live in shelters along with many other homeless dogs without a family to share their love with. Let’s open our hearts to these very adorable creatures and we hope you open your home to one.