The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson

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The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson

Category: Pets
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Probably the best guide to preparing for a puppy and emerging unscathed from the first twelve months that I've seen. Heavy on pictures but very readable.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Ebury Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0091957261

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Unfortunately far too many people acquire puppies because of the aww... factor. They look gorgeous, cuddly, cute - rather like an animated soft toy - and there are people who have to have one. Now. The reality is that bringing a puppy into your home - into your life - requires about the same level of planning as moving home and the best guide which I've seen to preparing for a puppy and the early stages of living with one is Pippa Mattinson's The Happy Puppy Handbook. Do get it well in advance. If you're only thinking about getting a puppy it might even put you off - but then it will be well worth the cover price if it saves you a great deal of expense and even more heartache.

Part one (the page numbers are handily tagged in different colours for the various sections) covers the preparations for the new puppy, from understanding how puppies learn, through the food which he'll require, the changes you'll need to make in the home and the paperwork which has to be worked through. Don't skip that last part as it can be very important. If you've worked through this section methodically then you should be ready for when the pup comes home with you.

There's a lot to do when your new regime starts. I've always maintained that the first year with a pup requires a lot of input, but that it pays dividends in the following years when you and your well-trained dog can enjoy each other. Mattinson takes you through the basics of getting the pup to sleep through the night, be house-trained and start to respond to the recall. Her instructions are clear and easy to follow and they're based on what works. They're kind to the dog too, building on how a dog learns rather than establishing that you're stronger and can - to some extent - force the dog to do what you want.

The final section deals with problem solving - and every dog has its quirks. Throughout the book Pippa deals with the question of how you should feed your puppy. She's an advocate of a raw diet but accepts that it's not for everyone and gives a balanced argument as to why you might prefer kibble. In many ways it's like the breastfeeding debate - but Mattinson at least manages to allow people to make a decision without feeling guilty.

The book is perhaps a little heavy on pictures for my taste - but that's a very minor quibble about what's otherwise an exceptional book. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

My bible was The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell. I'd taken on an older rescue dog and this helped me to bring sanity back into our lives. We've also enjoyed The Dog Whisperer by Graeme Sims. Our book-to-go-to for health problems is RSPCA Complete Dog Care Manual by Dr Bruce Fogle.

Buy The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Happy Puppy Handbook: Your Definitive Guide to Puppy Care and Early Training by Pippa Mattinson at Amazon.com.


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