Cover image for Solutions : for your dog-- and you
Solutions : for your dog-- and you
Siegal, Mordecai.
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Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2001]

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271 pages ; 23 cm
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SF433 .S575 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
SF433 .S575 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
SF433 .S575 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Trainer Matthew Uncle Matty Margolis and established author Mordecai Siegal team up to tackle a pet dog's most common problems. They explain how to relate to a dog, how to figure out what he's really like, and how to take care of his needs. A proactive guide that will transform an unruly puppy into the neighborhood's role model.

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Publisher's Weekly Review

Loving, Learning About and Losing Animals Understanding how much our actions impact a dog's behavior is the key to enjoying a long and loving life together, according to Mordecai Siegal, an award-winning author of 26 books, and Matthew Margolis, expert trainer and host of PBS's Woof, It's a Dog's Life. In their warm, instructive and well-organized guide, Solutions: For Your DogÄand You, they explain everything from preparing to adopt a dog, to dog training, to saving a dog who has stopped breathing. Agent, Mel Berger. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One Love for Sale (Getting a Dog) Getting a dog is easier than ordering movie tickets on the Internet. All you have to do is walk past a pet shop or pull a telephone tag off a notice in the supermarket. There are always neighbors over the back fence trying to sell you or give you a puppy. And then there are the shelters and rescue organizations and newspaper ads all with tempting offers. You can just sit back and let it happen, or you can be smart and learn how to do it properly. If you want to live with a dog successfully you should try to learn all you can about dogs, especially those breeds in which you are most interested, before you bring a dog home. It is essential that you choose the right dog -- a completely individual matter. No one can tell you which is the best kind of dog for you or which one will make you happy. That is a decision only you can make. The two most important factors to consider are the dog's health and temperament. Obviously, you want a dog with no health problems and a dog that will not bite you or those around you. If the person selling you a dog says, "It's just business, nothing personal," walk away. Your choice is nothing but personal. The best dog for you Since you are about to make a twelve- to fifteen-year commitment you need to be sure you make the right choice. Here are some important questions you need to consider for yourself: Gender: Do you want a male or a female? Size: Do you want a large, medium, or small dog? Age: Do you want a puppy, adolescent, or adult dog? Where you live: Do you need a dog that is best for the city or the country? Time available: Do you leave the house to go to work or do you stay home? Your expectations: Do you want a pet for companionship or a pet that protects you? Activity level: Do you want an athletic dog or a couch potato? Getting a dog is a very personal choice. Consult a dog book that illustrates all the different breeds, delves into their histories, and enlightens you about what they were bred to do. Go to dog shows to see the breeds up close and determine if one of these is going to be the new member of the family. Talk to breeders and exhibitors at dog shows or at their kennels to get an experienced point of view. Talk to a professional dog trainer. Ask a veterinarian about potential medical problems inherent in your chosen breed. Visit local rescue shelters and dog pounds and consider one of their dogs. You will be saving his life. Do your homework before taking a dog into your life so that you make the right choice. Remember that this is for the entire life of the dog and for a large part of your own life. The most important rule of thumb for selecting a dog is: Do not select the puppy, but the dog you think he will grow into. All puppies are cute and adorable, but within a year they become adult dogs. Think about that. Getting one dog or a pair of dogs at the same time If your heart is set on having two dogs, you should consider getting them one at a time. That will give you the opportunity to get to know each dog individually and prevent them from bonding with each other instead of with you. Even though your puppies may be from the same litter, they will still have personality and, possibly, gender differences. Most dogfights occur between dogs of the same sex. For that reason, get dogs of the opposite sex to avoid problems of that type as they mature. Bear in mind that raising two puppies at the same time is a lot of work. Getting a dog from a breeder, a shelter, a rescue organization, or from a pet shop There are different reasons to go to each of the above places. Eliminate going to a pet store because of the source of the dogs and the quality of the animals. If you want a purebred dog or if you are interested in showing dogs, select a dog from a reputable breeder. Many breeds have their own rescue organizations that are involved with finding good homes for unwanted dogs of their specific breed. Be sure to get information on the dog's background and past history, especially as it pertains to health and temperament issues. There are some great dogs in shelters, and you just need to learn how to pick out the best dog for you. It is important to find out as much of any dog's background as possible to determine if the dog has any specific behavioral problems. HOW TO SELECT A REPUTABLE BREEDER Seek out a vet for recommendations. Contact the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club for referrals to a breeder. HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK A BREEDER How long have you been breeding dogs? Are your puppies socialized to people and familiar noises? May I meet the puppy's parents? Does the breed have any health issues? How healthy is the puppy? His parents? Is there a guarantee for health or behavioral defects? A good breeder will ask you many questions to be sure you will provide a good home for his or her puppy. YOU SHOULD VISIT THE BREEDER AND INVESTIGATE Is the kennel clean? Are the puppies perky and friendly? Use common sense. If the breeder doesn't seem like a good choice, chances are he or she is not a good choice. GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING A DOG FROM A SHELTER Before you leave home, discuss and write down the type of dog you would like to have in your family (size, age, and whatever else is important to you). Walk slowly and look carefully at each dog. Make a second pass as you begin to narrow down the choices. Write down all the dogs that you have selected. Walk through a third time and concentrate on the dogs that you wrote down. Ask the shelter attendant about the dogs you have selected. Ask as many questions as you can think of about their history, why they are there, housebreaking, personality, training, if any. Spend some time with each of your choices. The final step in the process is to have your new dog examined by a veterinarian, although many shelters have all of their dogs examined before letting them go. However, if your own vet finds a serious health problem with your new dog it is not unreasonable to return the dog. What to look for when getting an older dog Get as much background and history as you can. Has the dog had any formal training? Depending upon where you purchase him, a private home or a shelter, it may be difficult to get any background information. Try to determine the dog's personality. Is he shy, aggressive, stubborn, timid, even-tempered? Ask important questions, such as whether or not he has lived with children. What is the reason he is up for adoption? You must make sure that he is going to fit into your home and your life. Why not have him evaluated by a professional dog trainer to be sure he is the right dog for you. That is what you would do before buying a car or a new home. Why not a dog? Most dogs are loving and affectionate, so you must not confuse an excitable dog with a bad dog. It's just a matter of obedience training. Some dogs are shy or aggressive. It is very important for you to determine which is okay for you and your family. Shy dogs can make wonderful pets; they just need a lot of loving and a gentle touch. There are different types of aggressive behavior in dogs, and it is very important to have such a dog evaluated by a dog trainer or behaviorist to see if he is a good dog for you. Choosing a male or a female This is a matter of personal preference. Male dogs are usually larger than females and eat more. They often require more effort to train, or at least require firmer handling. Male dogs are more likely to wander off, especially if there is a female in heat in the area. They are more prone to getting into fights with other male dogs. Males are usually friskier and more difficult to handle. Female dogs are, as a rule, smaller in size than males and a bit more compliant and less excitable. They are almost always easier to handle and train. Female dogs go into heat twice a year, for approximately three weeks. During this time the animal secretes an odorous fluid intended to attract male dogs for the purpose of mating. Of course, all of these sexual characteristics, in both males and females, can be eliminated entirely by having your male or female neutered, which is highly recommended. Male dogs are castrated and female dogs are spayed. These procedures prevent unwanted mating, pregnancy, and the resulting puppies. It also calms most dogs and solves some behavioral problems such as aggression, wandering, or inappropriate sexual conduct. If you plan to have your dog neutered, choosing a male or female dog is simply a matter of personal preference. Puppies versus older dogs If you like babies and want all the cuteness, sweet smells, and the licking that a baby dog gives, and if you want to be the first owner, then puppies are for you. It is probably best to get a puppy at the same time you have a baby so they can grow up together, if you can handle all the work involved. The down side is that puppies require a lot of care, time, and effort. It's like having a new baby in the house, and you must be able to fit this into your life-style. A puppy is a twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week responsibility, for at least the first ten months. Getting an older dog offers many advantages, depending on how you live. In most cases an older dog is already trained, and all the annoying puppy behaviors such as teething, chewing, nipping, and all the rest are gone. You can see what the dog is going to look like as an adult, because he is already fully grown. An older dog will not necessarily need constant attention, as a puppy would. It is a myth that you can't bond with an older dog. Older dogs are just as lovable as puppies and bond just like puppies. With either, though, you are guaranteed a loving and affectionate companion for the life of the dog. THE BEST AGE TO BRING HOME A PUPPY The best age for a puppy to go to a new home is between eight and twelve weeks. By then he has been with his mother and siblings long enough to develop the skills that he needs to help him in the big world. If he remains with the litter past that time, he begins to accept his rank in the social order and may become too submissive or too aggressive. At eight weeks he is old enough to adapt to a new home and a new family. He is also highly trainable for the basics at this age. THE SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT YOU NEED TO BUY BEFORE BRINGING A NEW PUPPY HOME a book on puppy care a dog crate and a dog bed two puppy collars (a flat nylon collar and a training collar) one six-foot leather leash an identification tag water and food bowls stain remover and scent remover chew toys, preferably made of synthetic materials premium dog food, formulated for puppies a natural bristle brush and a medium-fine comb Excerpted from Solutions by Mordecai Siegal Matthew Margolis. Copyright © 2001 by Mordecai Siegal and Matthew Margolis. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Table of Contents

1 Love for Sale (Getting a Dog)
2 How to Get Your Dog to Love You (Bonding)
3 Where Do I Start? (Choosing a Training Method)
4 He Won't Listen to Me/He Won't Do What I Tell Him to Do (Training Your Dog Yourself)
5 Myths of Dog Ownership
6 Bones of Contention
7 Housebreaking
8 The Family Dog
9 Children and Dogs
10 The Dog Indoors
11 The Dog Outdoors
12 Getting Along with Other Animals
13 Playing Around (Toys)
14 Groom with a View
15 Your Dog's Health
16 Pests and Parasites
17 How to Save Your Dog's Life (First Aid)
18 On the Road with Rover
19 To Board or Not to Board, That Is the Question
20 He's Driving Me Crazy (Behavior Problems)
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