BUYING A PUPPY IS EASY - RAISING ONE ISN'T
Why did I write a book on puppy training?
Because after 35 years of training dogs and 30 odd years training people to train their own puppies it was abundantly obvious that someone had to write a comprehensive one. All the books already on the market started the narrative far too late. For instance, none discussed whether you should get a puppy in the first place, what breed of puppy is best suited to your family circumstances and lifestyle, and how and where to source a well-bred, healthy puppy.
As a result of this missing information, people often go into puppy ownership without a clear idea of the true cost of owning a puppy in the first year and throughout its life. The financial outlay is significant and goes way beyond feeding and vet bills...the investment in time is even more significant.
There are many popular books on raising a puppy which are heavy in colour pictures and are happy to provide you with a lot of general information, but are incredibly light in providing any detailed information.
Who is Alice?
Alice is my female Malinois, or to give her full name and titles; Threenines Misspoken, CDEx, UDEx, WDEx.
Educating Alice is the only puppy book available, certainly in the UK that is based on the actual training of a real puppy. All the others I’ve read are based on an invented, composite puppy. Alice is real, and the success in raising her is evident even more in her daily life than in the qualifications earned and the trophies won. The Education of Alice was founded on the lessons learned during training of thousands of puppies over many years.
Why is it called Educating Alice?
Probably because I believe, based upon many years of hands-on experience that a puppy must be educated, rather than simply trained, if he is to enjoy a fulfilled life with the family who purchased him from the breeder. “Obedience” training is just part of a bigger picture if you wish to raise a happy, confident and well-trained puppy who will grow into the dog you want him, or her, to be.
The bigger picture involves preparing your puppy for every aspect of family and/or working life. Every week I deal with adult dogs who are completely unequipped to deal with life in the big, wide world; “He’s a great dog, he can sit and give a paw and lie down, unfortunately he also wants to kill every other dog/cat/person (delete as applicable) that we meet.” - Personally, I’d happily forgo the handshake and settle for walking past another dog, cat or person in the street without having a meltdown through fear or over-excitement. I think most people agree with this point of view, as I have never been contacted to resolve the issue of a dog not giving a paw!
How is Educating Alice set out?
I have divided the book into easy to follow sections which take you through each step to prepare your puppy for life, sets them out in a logical order, provides precise details on exactly how to teach the important things. Part 1 deals with preparing for puppy parenthood, Parts 2 and 3 deal with training for life-skills and training for obedience. Finally Part 4 tells you in great detail, how to train the skills that you and your puppy learned in Parts 2 and 3 in real life situations. It’s the only puppy training manual on the market that does these things.
When should I buy Educating Alice?
The book is a valuable resource at any point in your journey through puppy and indeed dog ownership.
But, the best time to buy the book is when you first consider getting a puppy. The book will help you make the right decision and choosing NOT to get a puppy might be the right decision!
One breeder in Scotland, gives a copy to her prospective puppy parents for them to read before they commit to a puppy. She had her actions and judgement questioned by her husband, “Have you actually read this book? The first 25 pages are enough to put anyone off buying a puppy!”
“Exactly!” she replied, “And when they have read it and confirm they want to reserve one, I know they are fully aware of the commitment required to raise one of my precious pups!”
Educating Alice has received many great reviews, but that was just about the best.
Can I just buy Educating Alice and not bother with training classes?
I wouldn't advise that. Educating Alice gives you all the necessary information to train your puppy, but joining a reputable training class, run by a skilled, experienced trainer is an essential part of developing a well-balanced, confident happy pup. And you’ve guessed, this book sets out the pros and cons of different training schemes and training establishments. It also explains the points to be considered when selecting a trainer. Yet more things no other puppy book does.
Why should I buy Educating Alice rather than a different book?
I won’t claim that you only need one book to give you a good knowledge of raising a puppy; in fact I would advise against it. Buying two or three books and reading them thoroughly is the sensible thing to do. At then end of your reading I am confident that Educating Alice will give you a vast amount of important information that the others don’t even mention and will be the book that you regularly refer to whilst educating your own puppy.
What makes qualified to write a puppy training book?
An excellent question. Perhaps this should have been at the top of the page!
37 years dog training experience as a professional handler/trainer - 30 training owners and their puppies in classes - 20 years dealing with behavioural problems in dogs (almost all of which could have been avoided by educating the puppy!) - 17 years training puppies in the KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme - A degree in Canine Behaviour and Training - Setting up and heading the UK Defence Animal Centre's Military Working Dog Puppy Development Programme. I think these things testify to a reasonable level of expertise.
But please, before purchasing any puppy book, research the author’s credentials and their experience training puppies. Then check when they last did any hands-on training with puppies. My most recent experience was gained two hours ago with the last of 50 puppies trained this week.
The choice is yours. Choose wisely; there’s a great deal at stake.
Fitz and Alice