The book and DVD combos touch on every aspect of pooch parenting

When we were preparing to bring our family dog home, my dad would stay up reading the stacks of books he’d acquired about Shetland sheep dogs. If only he’d had the DogLifeseries – a comprehensive book and DVD set – maybe those late-night reading sessions wouldn’t have been so long. (Although locating a DVD player in 1993 would’ve been quite a challenge …)

DogLife (TFH, $19.95) is a guide that covers everything you need to know about your pooch from puppyhood through the senior years. Written for the most popular dog breeds – pit bulls, Boston terriers, boxers, bulldogs, Chihuahuas, German shepherds, golden retrievers and Labs – the books are penned by pet experts, and cover topics like feeding, grooming, health, training and more.

The introduction kicks off with interesting tidbits about your breed – early development, significance in the United States, memorable pups – then rolls into the heavier stuff, like if that type of dog is right for you, or if you’re ready to have a pet at all.

Step-by-step instructions on every aspect of your pet’s life, accompanied by colorful photos, make DogLife a go-to resource when you have questions about your dog’s behavior. And the 60-minute DVD offers advice for you and your pup on topics like housebreaking, behavioral issues and more, led by trainer Pia Silvani. About $20 in pet product coupons are included, as well.

While it doesn’t replace a trip to the vet – or an actual puppy training class – the series is well worth having on hand, especially for first-time owners, and will help you lead your pet through a happy and, hopefully, lengthy life.