The Perfect Puppy Recipe

I recently read the quote, “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face” (Bern Williams). I couldn’t agree with that sentiment more! Like most people I adore puppies, but raising them is a different story! It can drive you crazy, especially, if you are unprepared, or unsure how to do it.

There is so much to know and do with these active little fur bundles and all the conflicting information available today compounds the confusion. New owners find it difficult to sort it all out, much less do it right. It is enough to make a new puppy owner cry.

But the truth is, that it is relatively simple to raise a perfect puppy. After 10 years of teaching hundreds of puppy kindergarten classes, guiding thousands of new puppy owners, raising my own puppies and fostering, I have boiled it down to a few simple things. I have found a special recipe that involves a delicate balance of five ingredients to create the ‘Perfect Puppy’! The five ingredients are:


Physical exercise;

Training/mental stimulation;

Alone time/crate training; and

Creating a reinforcement rich environment.

Each one of these ingredients is incredibly important to your puppy’s development and emotional well-being. They will also play a role in what kind of a dog your puppy will grow into and what type of relationship you will have.

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing installments on each of these ingredients. Follow along! In the meantime, check out the following books: Raising a Behaviorally Healthy Dog, by Dr. Suzanne Hetts and Dr. Dan Estep; After You Get Your Puppy, by Dr. Ian Dunbar and Raising Puppies and Kids Together, by Pia Silvani.