Friday, August 2, 2013

DVD Reviews: Pet Video Library Breed DVDs (golden retriever, labrador retriever)

Pet Video Library - “Books on Video”

The long wait is over for pet families! Pet Video Library ( has finally come out with informative basic DVDs (dogs, cats, turtles, fish, birds, and small animals - rabbits, hamsters and ferrets). Unfortunately, the dog videos are not the best. Many of our readers are interested in Labs and Goldens so those DVDs comprise the following review.

Breed DVDs

The breed DVDs cover history and development (who really cares?), exercise and nutrition, characteristics and temperament, everyday grooming, health and aging, and helpful training tips as well as a bonus section on training.(Other DVDs in the dog series cover fundamentals, entertainment, and training and sound interesting.)

Value of contents?

I like to know how many minutes of video are on the DVD I am purchasing – I couldn’t find that information anywhere on the product box so I felt I was taking a chance with my 15$ each (they turn out to have more than 20 minutes of content plus the bonus interactive (?) training section). The back of the DVD box does describe the bonus section of live obedience instruction by renowned canine behaviorist Shannon Holstein (why is a canine behaviorist needed for training a dog rather than a dog trainer?), someone neither I nor any of my dog training colleagues have ever heard of.

Identical scripts?

The two DVDs I purchased had almost identical scripts all the way through (not necessarily a bad idea, though) but the announcer was quite good. He spoke v-e-r-y slowly and used constant facial expressions to make his points. 

Good, but. . . . 

These are good first books or videos on breeds and show a lot of great puppy photography that you will want to see again and again (although there is a frequent disconnect between the script and the photography). And while you are viewing and reviewing, more of the information will sink in. For example, at age 2, your dog is a teenager; at 3, an adult; at 7, a senior (for some breeds, however).


An excellent vaccination chart is part of the health section but if you follow it, you will be taking your dog to the vet 7 times from 6 weeks to 20-24 weeks old (and more, counting deworming)!

Viewers will hear many good ideas, including the advice to take your dog to the vet twice a year and to never hit your dog (do we really need to be told that today?). You will generally feed your best friend a pound of dog food a day which amounts to about 25-30 pounds a month at a cost of about 30$ for premium dog food on a monthly basis.


A couple of things to warn new dog families about in this DVD – too many small children are shown hugging their dogs, a practice good dog trainers never recommend because even most good dogs only tolerate a miniscule amount of hugging. 

And, secondly, the ever-present pups were shown chewing the bark of trees, a strange practice that I don’t recommend – chew toys are abundant.

Training a smart border collie

The bonus training section covered Sit, Down, Stand, Come and Stay – all the basic skills. Unfortunately, both videos demonstrated with the same dog, a border collie, rather than a golden or a lab, so I suspect that all the breed videos have the exact same bonus section. That is not bad, unless you expect to see goldens on the golden DVD and labs on the lab DVD! The trainer is fairly good and I recommend watching this section over and over.


All in all, with the above caveats, a pretty good buy for the new dog family if you don’t mind being called a ‘master.’

(This review first appeared in GRREAT News, March-April 2010.)

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