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The Puppy Test

Jonathan L. Zimmerman, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(12):1313-1314. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170370091019.
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During my 3rd-year pediatrics rotation, I spent a good deal of the time in the clinic, performing routine examinations and providing anticipatory guidance to parents who were often barely out of childhood themselves. After one particularly busy afternoon, when much of my and my colleagues' time had gone toward educating parents about feeding practices, cleanliness, and the basics of infant and child care, one of the old professors asked if we had ever heard of the Puppy Test. We had not, so he proceeded to explain.

To combat the ignorance and incompetence of premature parenthood and to ensure the health and safety of our children, he would propose that no one be permitted to have children until he or she had raised a puppy perfectly through the first year of its life. The person would be fully responsible for all aspects of its care: nutritional, medical, and social and would


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