"The work of art is already within the block of marble. I just chop off what isn't needed."
Getting the puppy of your dreams requires work on your part. You are getting a high quality block of marble with a wonderful dog inside it, but you will have to do the chiseling. We need to learn the techniques for training our pups and also use our creativity to adapt our training to that individual, unique, dog in front of us. Unlike people, who are complex and complicated and often very frustrating, there are no surprises with a dog: what you put in, you get out. A loved and well trained dog is a guaranteed source of joy.
Dr. Ian Dunbar's book is free and a really good introduction to training your puppy. Click on the picture and you can start learning right now!
" If you have your heart set on raising and training a puppy, do make sure you train yourself beforehand. Remember, it takes only a few days to ruin an otherwise perfect puppy. Without a doubt, the most important developmental deadline comes before you even think of getting your puppy—your education about puppy education!"
Dr. Ian Dunbar
The Puppy Primer is a great manual for the first few weeks when you bring your puppy home.
"Lassies are made, not born. Your dog didn't come into the world with the ability to understand English or to know the social conventions of our culture. By the same token, you were not born instinctively knowing how to train a dog. Dog training involves skills that anyone can learn, if they are willing to invest time and energy."
Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
The Monks of New Skete give practical advice and training strategies, but also approach training from a philosophical, or psychological, point of view. I highly recommend it.
"We are most successful at adopting and raising a puppy when we build on a clear-sighted respect for the kind of creature a dog is; then we can understand and accept the responsibilities of caring for one properly. Such an attitude flies in the face of the me mentality, a one-dimensional mind-set that fails to respect a dog in its integrity as a dog and instead sees it only in the terms of one's own wants and desires."
The Monks of New Skete