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What Ann Johnson brings to the discussion in this book are very personal ways of caring for Golden Retriever puppies based on her experience, knowledge, and background in Biology. Her natural ability to listen to all points of view and her extensive background in science as an educator and researcher have proven invaluable in helping to create the best and most harmonious life for each of her Golden puppies and for each puppy s family. Explaining the growth phases of a Golden puppy during his first year of life, Ann separates these periods into stages of development, describing the major changes that take place: Seven Weeks through Four Months Five Months through Eight Months Nine Months through Twelve Months In the comprehensive middle section of the book, she deals with health concerns: Vaccinations Feeding and Nutrition Common Health Problems Parasites Neutering and Spaying Finally, she addresses specific topics for new owners (and breeders) including a chapter about a puppy s first visit to the vet (written by Jean H. Cunningham, VMD). This book is basically a compilation of responses to questions owners of new puppies have asked her over the course of three decades working with owners and their families. In addition, she discusses matters she finds interesting or fascinating and does not avoid discussing areas controversial in the breed: Not everything is known about so-called genetic defects, she says. For breeders and owners to focus exclusively on the genetic component and not take into consideration environmental influences ignores a major component of what goes into producing a healthy Golden. Most amazing of all is Ann s devotion to her own canines and to the welfare of the breed. She is not only clearly fascinated with the lives of these wonderful creatures, but she is as closely connected to their world as she is to ours.
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