Friday, February 17, 2012

If I Were Getting a Dog... Part 1- Books

We over here at DogInTheDesert have a few friends thinking of becoming dog owners.  This inspired me to write some posts about what I would make sure to have if I was getting a dog for the first time.  Hindsight is 20/20 after all.

In the first part of this series we will be covering...


We read a lot of books before we got Copley and they were extremely helpful.  I see a lot of new dog owners do a lot of nutty things and reading a bit about dogs can really help you avoid screwing the dog up totally in your first few desperate weeks of owning them.  I have gotten my list of must reads down to a manageable three books and here they are-
  • For the Love of A Dog, by Patricia McConnell.  While the title makes it sound like a mushy book about loving dogs it actually is a fascinating book full of facts about dogs and the way they experience life.  The most vital part about this book in my opinion is it's in depth look at canine body language.  So many dog-human issues are caused by people being blind to the signals their dogs are sending them.  After reading this book you will never be blind to your dog's emotions again (ok, that was an exaggeration, they are confusing sometimes, but it will help).  If you are really feeling like some reading Patricia McConnell has a few other books and all of them are great.
  • Cesars Way, by Cesar Millan.  Be careful with this one, because for some reason dog people seem to hate Cesar Milan with a fiery passion.  I really don't get it.  Just like every other book I read it has some great info and some not so great info.  Understanding how your energy effects your dog and how picking a dog of the proper energy level really makes a lot of sense to me.  His emphasis on exercise and calm leadership seem like great ideas.  Until one of the people out there shouting "Cesar Millan is evil" can tell me something horrible about his training style that is actually in one of his books I will continue to recommend them. Maybe the hate comes from things he does on his TV show.  I wouldn't know, I don't have cable.
  • Feed Your Pet Right by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim.  This book has great info on dog nutrition.  It talks about everything from reading labels on commercial dog food to cooking your dog a well balanced diet.  No matter what you plan to feed this is a must read.  If you are fascinated by the pet food industry and don't mind a long rather complicated read you can pick up Nestle's other book Pet Food Politics.  If you make it to the end of that one and would like to be scared to ever eat anything ever again unless you grew it yourself then feel free to round out the series with Nestle's book on people food, Food Politics (this book actually came before the pet ones).
 Isn't is great how I wrote a whole post about dog advise without actually giving any?  Sometimes it is best to leave these things up to the professionals, so get to reading their books and hopefully I will have written the next post in this series by the time you get back.

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