How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond


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From the bestselling author and star of National Geographic Channel's Dog Whisperer, the only resource you’ll need for raising a happy, healthy dog.

For the millions of people every year who consider bringing a puppy into their lives–as well as those who have already brought a dog home–Cesar Millan, the preeminent dog behavior expert, says, "Yes, you can raise the perfect dog!" It all starts with the proper foundation in the early years. Here, Cesar tells you everything you need to know to create the best environment for a well-balanced dog in order to avoid behavior issues in the future, and shows you how to correct the most common behavior issues for young dogs.

Based on Cesar’s own detailed experiences raising individual puppies from some of the most popular breeds, How to Raise the Perfect Dog is like having Cesar right beside you, as your own personal expert, coaching you and your dog from the first day of your life together.

Packed with new information aimed specifically at the particular needs of puppies and adolescents, and written in Cesar's friendly, accessible style, How to Raise the Perfect Dog answers all the most commonly asked questions and guides you towards a loving, satisfying life-long relationship with your best friend.

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Cesar Millan shows you how to raise the perfect dog and prevent behavior issues before they start, including:
• what to expect from each stage of your puppy's development
• quick and easy housebreaking
• the essentials of proper nutrition
• the importance of vaccinating–and of not over-vaccinating
• creating perfect obedience from day one through rules, boundaries, and calm-assertive leadership
• how to avoid the most common mistakes owners make raising puppies and young dogs
• how to correct any issue before it becomes a problem
• unique exercises and play to bring out the best in every breed

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307461308
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 09/14/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 26,102
Product dimensions: 8.28(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Founder of the Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, CESAR MILLAN is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cesar’s Way, Be the Pack Leader, and A Member of the Family. He is the star of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, the National Geographic Channel’s top-rated show. In addition to his educational seminars and work with unstable dogs, Cesar and his wife have founded the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping shelters and rescue groups.

MELISSA JO PELTIER, an executive producer and writer of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, has been honored for her film and television writing and directing with an Emmy, a Peabody, and more than fifty other awards. She lives in Nyack, New York, with her husband, writer-director John Gray, and stepdaughter, Caitlin.


Los Angeles, CA

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Culiacan, Mexico

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "How to Raise the Perfect Dog"
by .
Copyright © 2010 Cesar Millan.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Meet the Puppies

Junior, Blizzard, Angel, Mr. President 7

Chapter 2 Perfect Match

Choosing the Perfect Puppy 31

Chapter 3 Mother Knows Best

Learning from the Pros 67

Chapter 4 Puppy Comes Home

Easing the Transition from Litter to Family 91

Chapter 5 Your Healthy Puppy

Health Care Basics 139

Chapter 6 Connecting, Communicating, and Conditioning: How Your Dog Learns 161

Chapter 7 The Social Puppy

Getting Along with Both Dogs and Humans 209

Chapter 8 Problem-Free Puppies 229

Chapter 9 Smells Like Teen Spirit

Adolescent Challenges 253

Chapter 10 Epilogue

The Puppies Grow Up 273

Appendix Resource Guide 283

Notes 287

Illustration Credits 291

Index 293

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Millan’s wizardlike facility with dogs–the calm he brings to them, the confident way he handles them–is mind-blowing.”

“[Millan] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.”
—Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

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How to Raise the Perfect Dog 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 281 reviews.
CJAnderson More than 1 year ago
Hi I am a 55 year old dog loving, college professor who has been using Cesar's way to save over 40 last chance problem dogs since shortly after the show started. I also have an over 3100 member yahoo email list where dog owners help each other learn to apply his techniques safely and correctly. (List has open archives and another 20,000 have come in solved problems and moved on from that high volume list). I had an amazing experience with his new book, just after it came out. ******************************************* "Dallas" was bought from a breeder at age two months, by a chronically ill woman as a "companion". 65 days later, this once cute, now "too much" puppy, was to be abandoned to the second largest animal control in the United States (57,000/year), IF no foster was found in hours. Even knowing that I ONLY work with problem dogs who are 18 months to 3 years, a fellow independent volunteer rescuer called me as the very last chance before the owner would take this now "energetic demon puppy" to a place where it would be lost in a sea of a thousand faces, (all other rescues being over full). Having just picked up Cesar Millan's new puppy book "How to Raise the Perfect Dog, from Puppyhood & Beyond" a scant 15 minutes earlier, I realized from the book's detailed index that I would be able to find answers quickly, to teach me how puppies are different from adult dogs in behavior and socialization needs. TWO DAYS LATER, a new foster was found who was willing to continue Dallas's behavior modifications, which have ALREADY resulted in: .Proven socialization with other dogs, .Calm feeding ritual, .NOT charging out open doors, .Using doggy door within 2 hours, .Zero accidents during visit, .traveling quietly in car, seat-belted in, .Responds to disapproval "sound" to quit unwanted behavior, .Elimination of whining, barking, howling, .Comes when called, unleashed, .Walking behind on leash loosely, not pulling, .Staying in "sit" & "down" positions for extended times, quietly and on loose leash. Dallas is now a highly desirable, well-behaved 5 month old adolescent. When done with his neutering, he will be quickly snapped up by waiting adopters! I KNOW that this information is going to make a HUGE difference to rescues who will be more willing to take on puppies because they can show fosters how to prevent the problems which so often creates problems that dogs are then (re) abandoned for! Thousands of dogs are being saved by thousands of people using Cesar's way safely and effectively. Now thanks to the book and this show's episodes, a greater understanding of how to prevent the problems that create abandonment has been made available for volunteers like my self to step up and save even more dogs not only by solving problems more quickly, but stopping problems before they begin, based on my own experience in rescue and rehab! Besides the Books recommended below, do consider adding either the "Dog Whisperer Show" Seasons, 1,2 and or 3 (use the epsiode guide to pick your favorites OR select from the mini "themed" Dog Whisperer DVDs which are 3 epsiodes based on a designated topic. Truly a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words!
Angie_Mitchell More than 1 year ago
Whether you are getting ready to bring home your first puppy or you have owned dogs for years, this book will provide you with a whole new set of tools. Cesar's methods are not only effective and humane, they are completely natural for dogs. He truly brings to life the inner workings of the pack and how dogs learn from other dogs. He articulates this information to the reader in a way that makes it easy for the reader to start using these methods. He uses concise instructions, several examples, and even includes troubleshooting problems. Cesar can turn anyone into the pack leader, which will result in the perfect dog, regardless of breed or age. Each chapter is filled with useful information, entertaining stories of his own experiences, and charming canines that will steal your heart through the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cesar Millan's How to Raise the Perfect Dog is a godsend for puppy owners. His instructions are common sense, easy to implement and rewarding for both the puppy and its owner. As a professional dog trainer who utilizes only positive training methods, I was delighted to discover Mr. Millan's training methods were exclusively positive in nature. In addition to the basics of house training and the very most basic of obedience work, he has included an informative section dealing with the most commons misbehaviors such as mouthing (which is also called biting if it's YOUR hand!). If you are a Dog Whisperer watcher and have wondered how he accomplishes communicating wordlessly with dogs, you will find an explanation of exactly how to use body language to communicate with your puppy. I have recommended this book to my clients and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone is considering raising a puppy. Reading the book before selecting a puppy will supply a wealth of valuable information to help select a puppy of a breed and energy level which will be compatible with the owner. The concise, yet detailed, instructions are easy to understand. The methods included in Mr. Millan's book provide the new owner with a head start toward raising the "dream dog" everyone is looking for.
dogloverjv More than 1 year ago
I definitely recommend reading this book before bringing a new puppy into your life. There are so many puppies out there waiting for adoption. The problem is, they're so cute and hard to resist that when we bring them home we feel sorry for them, don't want to be "hard on them" so we let them get away with murder. Well....that cuteness doesn't last long when that puppy grows up and develops bad habits. That's right about the time people give up and many times wind up dropping their "new puppy" off at the shelter. This step can be prevented if we know how and this book gives us the knowledge. How to Raise the Perfect Dog teaches us which puppy is best for our energy level and what to do from the minute we bring it home in order to become the proper leader. It teaches us how to breed respect within the family (pack) so that new puppy feels secure and confident. It is our responsibility to give our dog the best life from beginning to end. This is just one of several of Cesar's books that tells us how to do just that. Once again, Cesar and Melissa Jo make a great team!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank Heavens for Cesar! He breaks down all the different stages of "Puppyhood" and defines them, along with their potential pitfalls clearly and concisely. He writes in easy to understand sentences and makes the very sometimes stressful decision to bring a dog home seem not quite so daunting. Having successfully used his techniques on another beloved dog, Cesar was my "Go To Guy" when we decided to rescue another dog. Great read and great advice from a great man. Thanks, Cesar!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My family got a book and it taught my dog Charlie,how to behave
P_and_W More than 1 year ago
Cesar's book, "How to Raise the Perfect Dog," was, to me, fantastic and my dog is four years old! I first heard about Cesar when my pup was eight months old and I was shocked at what he said. I admit that I'm a dog book junkie, so I wasn't expecting too much, but Cesar's Way was like a tsunami for me! I learned how my energy affects my dog. It's not an easy concept, but something had to change. I had to change. I've read all Cesar's book and watched the Dog Whisperer DVDs several times. Once again, here comes a puppy book that I was, frankly, thinking this won't relate to my situation. But it does. I enjoyed it from the standpoint of thinking back to how cute was my Standard Schnauzer puppy. Then there was the reminder level of what to do about energy at the "animal/species" level. Then there's the layer about finding things to fulfill the breed. If you watch the Dog Whisperer, there are episodes in which Cesar is dealing with dogs that are aggressive to the point of what he calls the "red zone." For several of them, the owners say they have been told that the dog should be put down, so Cesar is the dog's "last hope." That's not my dog, but he does have his aggressive moments when he sees a cat or a rabbit, so even those episodes have helped me stay calm-assertive and get my dog under control. Looking back, if I'd had this puppy book, I may have prevented or lessened his strong prey drive by not freaking out when he killed his first rabbit and by channeling this drive into other activities. But it's never to late to, as Cesar says, "Live in the moment." My dog's no longer a puppy, but I am going to fill in the cracks of our life together by taking to heart what Cesar writes and move forward. No, my dog's no longer a puppy. Yes, IMO, this book is worth reading, puppy - or dog of any age!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Penny was a bad dog when she was younger and was still bad when she got older an I need some edves so I got this book and when I used the edves it worked and now shes better now Choclate was scared of lots of things and when I took this books edves it worked and Choclate is not scared of anything and I don't have to stay out there with him I just watch him from my bedroom window while I'm doing my homework Now my 7 week old puppy shes a niper and biter I could not stop she she was a theff also. When I got the book I used it on her and it took me two weeks to make her stop but now shes 9 weeks old and is not biting and I love her Even thow I am a kid it is my job to take care of Penny shes nine Choclate hes eight and little Mis. Tessa. I love my dogs and its fun to have them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great for anyone looking to bring a new puppy home.
mikemoore More than 1 year ago
When I purchased a book entitled "How to Raise the Perfect Dog" I expected a lot practical advice about, I don't know ... maybe how to raise a a good dog? (I wasn't looking for "perfect.") Instead, this book is dog psychology book, and it does indeed provide a lot of insight into how a dog views the world and its owner. Unfortunately, there is almost zero advice on the practical day to day training problems. Let me sum it up and save you some money: be your dog's pack leader and if you can't be a "dog whisperer" then you and your dog are out of luck.
Jackolan More than 1 year ago
From how to select a puppy by matching your energy level to that of the puppy to surviving a puppy's prolonged adolescence, Cesar Millan's latest book provides a wealth of good advice illustrated with his own (and his friends') experiences with puppies of various breeds. From pit bulls to miniature schnauzers, Millan covers a lot of territory. Priceless episodes include the labrador puppy who didn't like water and the bulldog puppy who learned to use his nose. Although Millan believes that canines are dog first, then breed, in raising a puppy, he demonstrates the importance of bringing out the best aspects of a dog's breed. Easy to read and understand, organized primarily by topic and covering a lot of ground, this is an excellent book for a first-time puppy owner and applies to owners of purebred dogs as well as shelter pups. Millan also makes a plea for puppy seekers to avoid puppy mill/pet shop puppies when selecting a purebred dog and encourages visiting shelters. (His choice of purebreeds came about due to his desire to explore the differences in various types of dogs -- retrievers, terriers, etc.) Millan and co-author Melissa Jo Peltier are a winning combination and I look forward to more forays into the world of dog behavior from this dynamic duo!
cls253 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed How to Raise the Perfect Dog. I've gotten very valuable information from each one of Cesar's books. This is PERFECT if you are considering getting a puppy, or are a first time pet parent. It WILL require a change in lifestyle, and Cesar lets you know what you need to be prepared for, as in time, commitment, and energy. It's a very good health guide for when and what to vaccinate for and why, and other health concerns. CM talks about the different stages of puppyhood and why it's important to expose them to certain things and has good information on conditioning them to things like leashes, vet clinics, etc. He also lets us know how common human behaviors can be setting up the pups for behaviors that we don't want from our dogs, so you will know not to do them. I'd say it covers every aspect you can think of in order to be the best pet parent you can be and have a happy and healthy dog. Many things we don't realize that we really do need to know. Personally, I'm very big on rescue (and the mom of a puppy mill survivor), so I'm glad Cesar goes into the details of the plight of puppy mills and what to avoid so you don't buy into them - and we need to put a stop to puppy mills! Two thumbs up.
flashallen13 More than 1 year ago
What a great read-I finished it in 5 days and have started to re-read it already. Cesar presents a well laid out plan for raising the perfect dog, which we all want! While his general plan covers everything from how to pick a puppy, bringing pup home, how to transition pup into your home as far as sleeping, feeding, rules, play time, exercise, etc. he has comments from actual 'cases' such as the 4 puppies he raised, a couple of breeders and trainers and one of his employess who adopted a puppy. These examples help you see just how much flexibility there is for each situation but how each situation comes back to the same basic plan-raising a puppy in a natural way, a way that will teach your pup how to be a happy, relaxed dog!
GWPLady More than 1 year ago
A very good book for a new puppy home. Learn the hows and whys, and focus on teaching them right from the start. A guide for everyone, this book is a must for those getting s puppy or better yet, for those considering a puppy! A great Holiday Gift!
bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dogs begin learning about your authority from the first moment that they meet you. In this book, Cesar walks people through the process of preparing for your puppy, picking out a dog, introducing your new puppy to your home and setting boundaries. Cesar recommends picking a dog with the lower energy level than you have, so you¿ll always be able to give your dog enough time and attention. You also need to make sure your home and life is ready for a dog before you commit to raising one. I would highly recommend reading this BEFORE you get a dog. There are so many important tips that I would have liked to know before we brought out dog home. It turns out we did most things right, but there are some things we would have done differently. The book is incredibly helpful no matter what stage you are in with your dog, but would be most beneficial for soon-to-be owners.
epkwrsmith on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My dream is of a world where there are fewer dogs accidentally biting children, fewer dog altercations, and no more fatal dog attacks. By socializing your puppy to dogs and people when she is young and making sure her manners are in order with both species, you are not only shaping a better life for the both of you, you are also contributing to the pro-dog society that I am committed to helping build. p. 228The quote above is just about as Cesar Milan as a person can get. When I was looking for puppy books, I kept finding the same thing over and over again. When I hit Cesar's books, I found the motherload. He intertwines that puppy stuff with Cesar...he takes you into the wolf pack to see how dogs have evolved and WHY certain training techniques work better than others. This makes so much sense to me and is a peaceful, gentle way to train a puppy.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is very insightful. Cesar looks at nearly all aspects of having a young puppy enter your life. He attempts to equip you for the experience.Our younger sons and I began watching the first season of his television series as I began reading this book. I have now finished watching the first season, along with having finished this book. It is our hope that we will use much of Cesar's wisdom to mold our young pup into a well-adjusted, happy, well-behaved family pet. I am finding that I am a much better pet owner this time; better at caring for the pet, as well as better at guiding it toward proper and acceptable behaviour. My husband has commented that out of all seven people in our family, that I am doing the best and not sending any mixed messages to our young whelp.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome book right here he has a great book and show do double that awsome! He knows how to handile dogs,so when i get a dog i'm going to read his book again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As entertaining as it was informative, I enjoyed every bit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sam needs you at res one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE his show! But, I onley get to see it on saturdays.:'(. I wonder how he dose it? Anywsy... I LOVE puppies!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MakeupByOne More than 1 year ago
I love Cesar Millan I´d love to have this book!!!! =)
Polly94 More than 1 year ago
I am in the process of reading this and although the advice is good, this book is only geared toward pet owners who got their pets from a breeder. It says very little about shelther puppies and what is does say, comes off as negative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book. Really helped with my training of my puppy. I am still working on training, so it is nice to look up stuff and review.