The Ultimate Puppy

ult pup

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Terry Ryan has been an obedience instructor since 1968 and has held seminars and lectures all around the world while Theresa Shipp has 8 years experience training, having run her own dog school for the past 5 (at the time of publishing), specialising in puppies and gundogs. She is also a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APBT), which was founded by the late John Fisher and is one of few recognised dog trainers' organisation whereby members must abide by a strict code of conduct and have gained academic and practical qualifications. To learn more about the APDT click here.

In addition to their own input, the editors also draw on the experience and specialist skills of five experts from varying backgrounds within the dog world, including training, veterinary medicine, dog psychology, grooming and breed experts.

From the visual aspect, this book is all but irresistible! It is sheer indulgence for all dog lovers, lavishly illustrated with so many beautiful photographs that they actually distracted from the text; from the textual content aspect, I found this book very easy to read, so long as I could stop myself flicking back to look at my favourite pictures!

In all honesty, from cover to cover, I absolutely loved this book. Of all the puppy books I have read, this one has been the one that covers the most ground in not only the greatest detail but I also especially loved the little extras, for example in the chapter 'The Perfect Companion', not only does this book mention some of the things you can do with your dog should you have classes available locally, but it also shows you and gives you basic instructions on how to get started yourself at home.

My one criticism might be in that they could have provided a little more in the way of where to obtain further information for those who are in the research stage of buying a puppy, the people at whom this book is aimed. As an example, a good selection of basic breed profiles are covered but they would not be enough to help someone really understand the breed specific character of each. A web site addresses, where applicable, to breed clubs and forums, or at very least telephone numbers of the breed secretaries would help the reader to gain quick and easy access to the information that they would need to meet owners and breeders before making their final choice. At the same time, I appreciate that this book is aimed at an international market and that web sites and telephone numbers may change over the course of a few years. For a selection of breed specific web sites and forums, click here.

If you were in any way considering buying a loved one a puppy for Christmas, please don't. Buy this book instead, so that if your loved one really wants a pup, they can learn what to expect, about the joys and responsibilities involved, and the puppy will have the best start in life.

Review by Diana Attwood.