Monday, June 15, 2015

DVD Review: Puppy Culture (all about puppies and simply one of Dog Evals' Ten Best!)

Puppy Culture: An Expert and Comprehensive Video Guide – The Powerful First 12 Weeks that can Shape your Puppy’s Future, by Jane Killion (et al) (produced by When Pigs Fly Dog Training, 2014, 5 hours 17 minutes, [311 minutes], 4 discs – DVD/Blu-Ray/video on demand, $69.95/$99.95/$59.95)

Who: Anyone getting a puppy plus breeders; trainers, too!
What: Puppy Culture DVDs
When: Now (all you need to know about puppies from before birth to 12 weeks old)
Why: Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Learn how puppies develop and what they learn before they come home with us. Learn how we can help or hinder the process of who they are and become, as breeders in the early days and weeks, and as puppy-people once we start to share our home with a puppy. Learn from the experts.

“Expert and Comprehensive”- Absolutely!

This reviewer has reviewed books, movies, CDs and DVDs, primarily on canine topics, for more than 10 years: Puppy Culture is the most difficult assignment I have had, simply because it is so incredible! I want to tell you all about its wonders - everything contentwise, everything visual, everything style-wise, simply everything. I want to write the longest book review ever! (which is what this is) But, instead, I will write several so you may read them in different blogs, in different publications, to help spread the word that Puppy Culture is amazing.

I could write a book telling you how wonderfully life-changing Puppy Culture can be for you and your puppy (and breeder, of course, and trainer), but author Jane Killion has done a better job in creating this very informative yet entertaining video than I ever could – informative in that it covers the entire subject of best practices for raising puppies from prenatal to the powerful first 12 weeks, entertaining in that the stars – bull terrier puppies are, in a word, adorable.

“Rearing, Socialization, Training”

Watching even the first few minutes will convince you never to get a puppy mill (puppy factory) puppy.

You will take notes on this DVD series. You cannot watch it all at once – simply too much brilliant information to assimilate all at once, so, thank goodness, when your mind tends to slow down after incorporating enough super-material in one setting, you will be rejuvenated by watching the scores of delightful puppies as they grow up before your eyes. (As a matter of fact, I would not be surprised if a few people besides myself watch the DVD at times just for entertainment and to get their puppy-fix!) Bull terriers are so stuffie-looking (stuffed animals, like teddy bears), they are simply adorable. You just want to squeeze them! Or watch them sleep.

Learn from the Experts

Dogs live in two worlds: ours and theirs. Let Killion take you on a tour through the puppy world. Experts featured in Puppy Culture, besides Killion, include veterinarian Kenneth Leal, puppy evaluator Diane Zdrodwski, the highly respected dog trainer Jean Donaldson, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Terri Bright, veterinary neurologist Dr. Noemie Bernier, AKC judge Carmen Battaglia, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Meghan Herron, and fellow breeders June and Irv Krukenkamp – virtually a Who’s Who in the Dog World.


Topics covered include socialization, early neural stimulation, problem prevention, developmental stages, and puppy training. Yes, training puppies – they soak it all up so you can’t NOT train a puppy.

Answer These Questions

What about goat’s milk? What is the Communication Trilogy? Did you know that if you treat the mother dog with affection prenatally, that her pups are more flexible and accepting when encountering stress? What is the startle reflex and how should the perfect puppy react? What about feeding raw? What is so special about weeks 3-12?  What’s a puppy pile-up (especially with sleeping puppies)? When is socialization complete? Why do puppies twitch when asleep?

Ah, everything now makes so much more sense – after Puppy Culture.

So, You Just Got a Puppy! Now What?

Congratulations! You have a new 8-week old member of the family. You’ve had a puppy before, but a long time ago and you are out of practice. You are wondering if there is anything new. Yes!

Killion has found a niche and filled it with information that you need and puppy videos you want. There is still so much you can do from weeks 8 – 12 to ensure your puppy has a great, nearly problem-free life.  How can you select the best Puppy Kindergarten class? Why train in two-minute sessions? Killion answers these questions and even questions you haven’t thought of before.

Who is Jane Killion?

Killion is the author of the vastly underrated 2007 book When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs. Killion is a bull terrier breeder with years of experience. Killion is a dog trainer extraordinaire. Killion is an expert in dog agility circles as well as conformation, rally and obedience. Killion is a gem. Killion is not to be missed! As a matter of fact, I am considering driving four hours just to meet her.

She knows puppies, heat-seeking milk missiles, and has observed them and their growth and behavior for years. She notices everything and passes that knowledge on, never giving too much information to absorb, like the best explanation of colostrum I have heard and I am a biologist. She even demonstrates an excellent grasp of genetics and biochemistry.

Fads Aren’t Always Bad

Just as in the teen world of ‘fashion,’ the dog training world goes through fads. A few years ago, everyone jumped on the Aggression Bandwagon, then it was Dog Play, followed by Canine Body Language, SA (separation anxiety), and now, Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! (I guess we needed a break from the ‘exhausting stuff.’)

Fads aren’t always bad. As a matter of fact, dog training fads bring the dog world together and improve our level of education, to benefit all dogs. When so many trainers and other dog people are learning the same things at the same time, it only bodes good for the culture and the improvement of the species, and especially for our relationship with our best friends.

Yay! Retro is Cool

Take a good look at the cover of Puppy Culture – it will grow on you - peach, grey, turquoise, and tan. Produced by the super-trainer of the fantastic (but sleeper) When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs, Puppy Culture is more than five hours of video expertise on four DVD discs. It has made this reviewer’s list of Top Ten Dog Books of All Time*. Yes, a DVD can be a book, but a book with pictures – moving pictures and a book you listen to AND watch rather than just look at.

Bonus: the always adorable bull terrier puppy demo dogs from the Puppy Culture litter (and that is coming from a reviewer who is partial to labs and goldens).

Visual Fun

Each disc has a different bull terrier graphic: the first one shows the head, the third shows the ‘other’ end with tail, the middle disc has the dog’s back (I guess) and the (fourth) Recap disc gives us a cute face shot.

With unique, creative topics titled Heartbeats, Fur Dumplings (0 – 14 days), Love Hurts (biting), Why Not Just Punish? and Career Choices, I still love Disc 4 best with its review of the three previous DVDs plus additional hints not found in the other DVDs, but I’m glad I viewed each disc first. 

Puppy Culture comprises constantly changing visuals but not so fast as to lose you, like many music videos do. An astonishing number of visual snippets will make you want to listen to the DVDs with ears closed and eyes open for the full effect. And, like one of my professors in graduate school, Killion’s every word has meaning.

And what “visual” paragraph would be complete without mention of the simply adorable puppies. Get your puppy fix here, clothed in a wealth of free and easy education.

Viewing Guide

Included in the set is a viewing guide (detailed table of contents - TOC) with each DVD’s titles and subtitles, presenter, and times, so you can go directly to the disc and topic you need at the time, over and over again. The only improvement I can think of would be a workbook!

What You Get – A Mentor in a Box

Fifty lessons in Dog! Enrichment, puppy parties, socialization, developmental and fear periods, anti-aggression, puzzles and games and problem solving, recalls, housetraining, crate-training, manding (what’s that?), play dates, handling, puppy kindergarten, vaccinations, preventing resource guarding, biting, and jumping.

Puppy Culture is a professionally photographed DVD set of four discs with an extremely well written script that comes across as being natural conversation – not too much information, not too little. Short sentences with plenty of visuals appropriate to the words almost like a slow-paced music video but with the visuals melting in to each other at just the right speed so you can grasp the cuteness of the pups, as well as the information.

Puppy Culture is a week-by-week plan and a timeline of what to do when and what to expect. From age-appropriate emotional resiliency exercises to basic skills training like loose-leash walking to practical instructions for new puppy owners to the science behind the recommendations, it’s all here. Even I learned a lot!

How Killion managed to reach so many of the very best trainers, vets, and presenters in the dog world, I have no idea. Might it be because Killion herself is so talented in dealing with people as well as dogs? She actually traveled the country to interview the best puppy and dog people.

Puppies Galore - Smiles and Giggles and More

Follow Daphne the bull terrier’s puppies through the first 12 weeks of their young lives starting even before they are born with emphasis on the importance of a relaxed, well-fed and comfortable mother dog – their puppies grow into dogs who enjoy being touched and learn more quickly so they are off to a better start. Killion is ‘up’ on the latest scientific studies on dog development and health, training and behavior, and explains it very conversationally. Her lovely low, slow voice seems as if she is reading but it is too natural to be scripted.

With her signature pony tail and baseball cap, NPR-poised Killion is a classic. Add to that her mellifluous, professional commentator-quality voice and genuine caring that comes across so easily, you will agree that Puppy Culture may just be the best educational and entertaining value you have ever come across. Author of When Pigs Fly, a magnificent sleeper, Killion too is a sleeper but, no more! Not after Puppy Culture.

What Next?

I am a lab and golden retriever person but now I believe that bull terrier puppies may be the cutest. After Puppy Culture, you will agree. You will want a puppy and not just any puppy but a Madcap Bull Terrier puppy! (

I was so enamored of Puppy Culture that I just had to contact the producer to suggest a sequel and, guess what? They have already started it! From 12 weeks to 2 years, it will be huge help to rescues, shelters and teenage-dog families. I can’t wait!

Where to Find Puppy Culture

You can purchase Puppy Culture directly from the website,, from or from – just do it! You’ll be glad you did.

*Other authors on my ‘Top Ten’ list include Dr. Ian Dunbar (Before You Get Your Puppy/After You Get Your Puppy), Karen Pryor (Reaching the Animal Mind), Dr. Sophia Yin (Low-Stress Handling), Katenna  Jones (Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer), and Dr. Julie Reck (Facing Farewell).

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a thrilling review! I'm sold even though I don't have, and have no plans for, a puppy, but I will certainly make certain my clients in the puppy stage will hear of this!
    And I have always wondered about When Pigs Fly so now I will order the book!