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Book Blog #1: Puppies and Teenagers

For my first book blog of the year, I’ve chosen two books about puppies and a third book about adolescence in many species.

The Year of the Puppy by Alexandra Horowitz

In her latest book, scholar of all things canine cognition Alexandra Horowitz chronicles her puppy’s first year of life, from birth in a foster home to her first birthday with her forever family. Horowitz, who lives near enough to the foster parent to visit regularly, traces the puppies' development week by week until bringing home Quiddity (Quid for short). With her we watch the puppies change from tiny potatoes dependent on their mother for everything into seeing, hearing, pooping, playing puppies. Between details of the puppies' lives, Horowitz discusses aspects of dog development, including what can go well and what can go wrong during critical developmental periods. She also reflects on how adolescence affects dogs as Quid enters her “teen years” around six months.

Horowitz's compelling book provides wonderful information about puppy and dog development and addresses the specific challenges of adopting a puppy during a global pandemic.

Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program by Leslie McDevitt

In Leslie McDevitt’s two books, Control Unleashed: Creating a Focus and Confident Dog and Control Unleashed: Reactive to Relaxed, she details a training program she originally designed to help reactive dogs focus during agility classes. McDevitt’s many wonderful training exercises have now been used by trainers the world over (including me). In the puppy book, she teaches readers how to use her program to prevent behavior issues like reactivity from developing later in their dog's life.

Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers

As their title suggests, Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers explore adolescence across a number of species, focusing specifically on the journeys of four animals: Ursula, a king penguin, Salt, a humpback whale, Shrink, a hyena, and Slavc, a wolf. The authors chart similarities in adolescent development, especially across four categories: staying safe, negotiating status, navigating sexuality, and cultivating self-reliance as they move through that fraught space between babyhood and adulthood.

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