Today, I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our clan: Otto, our German Shorthair Pointer. In just a few days, we will be bringing this little pup home. He will be our very first pet (unless you count the three carnival fish Albert won for me this past summer, but promptly floated belly-up) and we are super excited.
This past weekend, the breeder kindly allowed us to visit our little buddy and see how he has grown…..and grown he has! Last time we saw him he could barely walk and now he was scampering around the lawn like he owned the place.
So, needless to say, we are in preparation mode. Reading, gathering information, and making the necessary purchases before he arrives. After our puppy visit, we picked up a little bed for him, nail clippers, a brush and some treats to begin his training process. Now all we need is him!
In the past years, as we have discussed the idea of getting a dog, good training has always been part of the plan. With life, work commitments, and the various activities that we love to do (backpacking, hiking), we have to consider how a dog would fit into all of that. Training is a wonderful tool that allows your dog to take part in more of your life. Not to mention, everyday existence is much more enjoyable with any pet that is well-behaved, as opposed to one that is not. So once we finally decided to move forward with getting a dog (after months/years of thinking about it), we were on the hunt for a good training manual.
On the recommendation of a good friend, we have just about finished reading “The Art of Raising a Puppy”by The Monks of New Skete. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a young pup or is about to get one. The Monks of New Skete breed and train German Shepherds for a living and do a fantastic job of it. They have also written the best selling book, “How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend”
- specific age stages of a puppy and how they develop as they mature
- a chronicle of a specific dog and the pups in her litter
- advice for selecting a breed
- where to get your dog (adoption or breeder)
- specifics on the first ride home, the first night’s sleep, first trip to the vet
- obedience exercises and house-training
- how to read your dog
- information on why your dog does what he does, examples from how a wolf would operate in a pack
- basic puppy training
- dealing with common puppy problems
- how to properly care for your dog’s physical needs (feeding, grooming, excercise)
I really appreciated the approach in this book, as it truly helps you understand how your dog works/thinks so as to best train him. It also teaches how to use his natural instincts to help him along the training process. Their approach is humane and they kindly enforce good behavior in their dogs. They strive to help the reader create a wonderful lifelong relationship with their dog that is pleasant for both dog and owner alike.
I must give the disclaimer that we have not tried any of the methods in the book and cannot say whether it truly works for us and Otto yet…but after some time, I will have to revise this post and share how the information aided us along with the process.
So we have a new journey ahead! And in this journey I hope to do my best to care for Otto in a simple, yet natural way. Soon I will be able to share with you frugal tips and tricks on how to care for your dog! Maybe some puppy treat recipes or a little doggie shampoo is in order! Stay tuned…