Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but where do you start if you’ve never owned a dog before?
Mon 19 Dec 2016
Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but where do you start if you’ve never owned a dog before? Although plenty of dog related health and training information is available on the internet, nothing beats having good solid and reliable advice at your fingertips in the form of a book. Although The Total Dog Manual is written with the complete novice dog owner in mind, the depth and diversity of information covered means even the most experienced dog owner is guaranteed to discover much more about their dog.
The Total Dog Manual spans 260 pages and is illustrated with 700 colour photographs and drawings. The book is broken down into four sections, Basics, Behaviour, Training and Care, which are all written in an easy-to- digest format, and allow you to dip in and find the exact information you are looking for quickly and easily.
The Basics section offers practical advice on selecting the right dog for your lifestyle, and also includes advice on where to find your new canine companion. For families with small children, there's suggestions for typically family friendly dog breeds, as well as possible dog breeds that may be suitable for allergy sufferers. The book prepares you for all the essential accessories your new dog will need upon its arrival to your home, such as such as bedding, collars and feeding bowls. The book explains the importance of microchipping your dog, ideas for choosing a suitable name and how to settle your pet into its new home.
The first few months of your dog’s life is essentially the time when its personality traits and habits are developing, and time should invested in regular training and socialisation to promote good behaviour. The Behaviour section explains how to read the behaviour and body language of your dog. The book offers constructive advice on dealing with common dog behavioural issues such as excessive barking, chasing vehicles and joggers, separation anxiety, jumping up and licking.
There's also an in-depth look at the different character traits of the different dog breed categories, and even a list of the best dogs to go jogging with. However, in our opinion the highlight of this chapter is the excellent guide to teaching children how to behave around dogs.
Regular training from an early age is vital to bring out the very best in your dog. For the novice dog owner, training can be a daunting prospect. However, The Total Dog Manual takes all the stress and worry out of teaching the basics to your dog. The training sections begins by explaining how to use dog treats to reward good behaviour. The section then offers simple and easy-to-follow instructions on teaching your dog the basic commands, including the ‘sit’command, the ‘lie' command and the 'stay' command. Advanced training tips such as the ‘roll over’ and the ‘beg’command are also covered, for the more adventurous dog and owner. The chapter also deals with toilet training and common behavioural issues such as pulling on the lead.
The care section provides a wealth of advice on preparing for your new puppy’s arrival, with tips on making your home and garden safe and secure for your dog. There’s valuable tips on vaccinations, pet insurance and detailed advice on diet and nutrition. The grooming section covers all aspect of dog hygiene with instructions on bathing, trimming nails and cleaning teeth. There’s even specific advice on caring for the different types of coat, and how to spot and treat fleas and other common pet parasites. The book also covers travelling with your dog, and how to deal with common ailments, such as insect stings and dog bites.
The Total Dog Manual really is a complete one-stop book for potential dog owners, with all areas of dog ownership covered in great detail. You really do sense a genuine love of dogs from the author of this book, with care and consideration for the needs of dogs emphasised throughout the manual. Highly recommended.
The Total Dog Manual by David Mayer, Abbie Moore and Pia Salk is published by Quiller and costs £18.95