The Perfect Puppy How to Choose Your Dog by Its BehaviorBook Review

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The Perfect Puppy How to Choose Your Dog by Its BehaviorBook Review

by Joy Cagil

To me, all puppies are perfect, but sometimes, a puppy may prove to be a square peg in a round hole only because he is in the wrong home environment. The suitability of a puppy changes according to the conditions of a home and the circumstances of the dog owner.

If I could have a wish list, a puppy or a kitten would head the list, but since we travel a lot and go away for long periods of time, it would be so wrong for me to get a pet. At this time in my life, therefore, I am not an appropriate owner for any puppy.

If I could get a puppy, however, I would research extensively, even though I would probably adopt a mixed breed. For such a research, one of the books is "The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior" written by a team of experienced veterinarians Benjamin L. Hart and Lynette A. Hart.

In the first part of the book, general pointers are given such as: the best age for adoption is six to eight weeks, because the critical period of the puppy's adaptation period is three to twelve weeks; family composition; home size that is big yard or not; puppy's projected adult body size; and grooming requirements.

The second part of the book concentrates on the thirteen behavioral characteristics used in ranking breeds: excitability, general activity, snapping at children, excessive barking, playfulness, obedience training, watchdog barking, aggression toward other dogs, dominance over owner, territorial defense, demand for affection, destructiveness, ease of housebreaking. The book gives the readers pointers by defining each trait, and that may be very helpful for any novice dog owner.

The third part, as the authors claim, is the heart of the book. Here fifty-six different breeds from the American Kennel Club are profiled. Should anybody liken it to any unpopular profiling, the writers warn the readers in the beginning of the third part by saying: "Remember that there can be a great deal of variation among individual dogs within a breed and that these profiles are generalizations by authorities who presumably have seen many dogs from each breed." Each breed is given a page of explanation with a very helpful bar graph showing reactivity, aggression, trainability, investigation, plus the dogs drawing and physical description

"The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior" (ISBN: 0716718294) is easy to read in 182 pages, with contents and preface in the beginning, and references, general index, and breed index at the end.

The two authors of the book work and teach in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California. Benjamin Hart, D.V.M., has just retired in 2006 as a veterinary professor for the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis, while Lynette Hart is the director of the Human-Animal Program at the same institution. Both have written and taught extensively on veterinary medicine and animal behavior.

Although "The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior" can be supplemented with other more detailed material before choosing a puppy, it is a good, concise reference book for any prospective dog owner.

This article has been submitted by Joy Cagil in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com which is a site for Pets. Joy Cagil is an author in

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