Book Title: How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny
Category: Adult Non Fiction, 139 pages
Genre: Pets & Animal Care
Publisher: Authors Unite
Release date: October 2016
Format available for review: print and ebook (PDF)
Will send print books for review to: USA & Canada
Content Rating: G
Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?
Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.
Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.
How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.
Dixie Tenny is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior. During her 30+ years spent working with people and their pets, she has seen again and again how mismatches between dog and owner can create “behavior problems” that never would have happened if the right dog had been matched to the right owner in the first place. She wrote this book to help puppy buyers and dog adopters start out on the best possible foot with their new pet dogs, and stay on that path for years to come.
Dixie’s professional credentials include trainer certifications from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. Dixie formed her own business, Human-Animal Learning Opportunities, LLC (HALO) in 2013. HALO hosts continuing education seminars for dog trainers.
Dixie has lived with a wide range of dogs over the years including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, Welsh and Cairn terriers, and more. While in Seattle, Dixie raised a labrador puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI). Currently Dixie lives with a Beauceron and an elderly Papillon, as well as four cats. When not doing things related to animals, she reads widely, enjoys the company of her three grown children, follows baseball and English Premier League football, and travels the world.
Six Ways to Spice Up Your Dog’s Toybox
- Provide a variety of toys and chew objects. Even if your dog has a clear favorite, that doesn’t mean he wants that and only that every day. Consider trying hard rubber toys (Kongs, GoughNuts Dog Chew Toy), balls and discs (Orbee balls, Chewber Tug and Toss), squeakies (Wubba, Kyjen Invincibles), giant toys (Jolly Balls, Mammoth TireBiter Rubber Tire Chew Toys), stuffing-less stuffed toys (Squeaker Mat, Tuffy Mega Dogtoys), and toys-within-toys (ZippyPaws Burrow toys, Outward Hound Kyjen Egg Babies).
- Rotate your dog’s toys. Have you ever heard a child with a room full of toys whine “I’m bored, I don’t have anything to do!” Like us, dogs love novelty. If you divide up their toys into groups of three or four and rotate groups each day, old toys become new - and interesting - again.
- Add some toys that hold treats. There are loads of these available now and they are wonderful for dogs who love food. Try the Treat Stick, the Busy Buddy toys, or the Kong Genius toys. Don’t forget to make the treats inside worth working for! Virtually all dogs love freeze-dried liver, and other freeze-dried meat treats.
- Go a step further and feed your dog his entire meal from a puzzle toy. This takes longer than just wolfing food from a bowl, which is healthier for a dog’s digestion. It also adds an element of “foraging” which is fun for dogs too! Some examples of whole-meal enrichment toys are the Outward Hound Slow Feeders, the PAW5 Rock 'N Bowl Puzzle Feeder Dog Bowl, and the Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball.
- Don’t forget the “chewies.” Rawhide can be dangerous for dogs for several reasons; skip it, and look for Bully Sticks instead. These long-lasting, natural chews are fully digestible (unlike rawhide), taste delicious to dogs, and come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. They can be pricey at pet supply stores; once you’re sure your dog loves them, consider buying in bulk (I use BestBullySticks.com). Hint: if you buy these for indoor use, get the odor-free variety. These are real protein from real animals and can smell like it, too!
- Collect some toys that only come out when you and your dog are going to play together. The discs and balls can fall into this category, as well as tug toys, such as Kong Tugger Knots toys or sturdy braided rope toys, and my favorite dog toy of all, the flirt pole or “whippit”. Check out the Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole or the Outward Hound Kyjen Tail Teaser. Your dog will thank you!
I have to say that I believe that How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny is a book that all first time dog owners should have to read before they can adopt their first dog. I agree completely with Dixie Tenny that way to many people adopt a dog without knowing what type is best for them.
The going to the shelter and picking out the first cute one is a fine approach for seasoned dog owners who know their hard limits or those who have the property size and energy levels to handle any dog type. However that approach should never be used for a first time dog owner. I really liked how Dixie Tenny explained the steps to take before adoption to ensure a good match for the human and the dog.
Overall, I was very happy to read this book and I feel like it is a valuable research for anyone considering getting their first dog. This book will help you to ensure you get a dog breed and type that is right for you (and your family).