This authoritative and accessible book provides an easy-to-understand explanation of the life stages of a puppy, showing how young dogs developmentally mature and what their ever-changing needs are, and offering advice useful to every puppy owner. Author and dog trainer Kim Campbell Thornton explains that dogs may be known as man's best friend, but they don't come ready-made to take on this role. Kim provides an incredible amount of information: *How to unlock the key to the human-dog bond *Advice about planning social outings for the puppy so that he is ever-expanding his social graces and comfort level with strangers and the not-so-scary-after-all unknown *Excellent guidance on introducing a dog to a new baby *Introducing an adopted dog into an established multipet household *And more! A term used by canine behaviorists and trainers, socialization is a fancy five-syllable word for "getting friendly," which doesn't come naturally to all dogs. New puppy buyers must be aware of the importance of the breeder's role in socializing a litter of puppies, a critical process of introducing each pup to people, other dogs, and common everyday noises, during its critical developmental stages. Puppies raised without socialization (typically in a commercial breeding establishment, sometimes called a puppy mill) have a decided disadvantage and may never develop into normal, well-adjusted dogs.