The monks of New Skete have been breeding and training dogs at their New York monastery for more than 20 years. Their philosophy of raising dogs accentuates the essential human-canine bond, whereby owners must learn to understand a dog's instincts, needs, and behavior. Understanding a dog, the monks say, is the key to successfully training him. They first published this philosophy in their 1978 classic guide "How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Now the monks concentrate on the first three months of a puppy's life in "The Art of Raising a Puppy."
The book observes a litter of monastery puppies from birth to 12 weeks. Tender photographs and dialogue reflect these precious first few weeks of life. Even at this time, the human-canine link is vital; the monks stress the importance of gentle touch to help forge this connection. Basic puppy training techniques are explored and executed, all of which puppy owners should find easy to implement. Virtually all types of dog problems and dog training are examined in the book, always in compassionate and easily comprehensible language. The monks also look well beyond surface training techniques to analyze the roots of dogs' problems and explain how training can help. Owners are taught how to gently assert dominance over their dog, which will make for a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. Beautiful black-and-white photographs of monastery puppies will pull at every heartstring.