Book Review - The Puppy Primer

We assigned Arielle, our newest employee, the task of reviewing one of our new books. She read The Puppy Primer (by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D and Brenda Scidmore) and luckily she really enjoyed it! We have the book (along with many others by Patricia McConnell) for sale on our webstore and in our shop.

What could be more exciting than a new puppy? Probably nothing, until it starts peeing the carpet, eating your shoes, barking incessantly and biting the furniture. That's where a bit of training can really come in handy for fostering a good relationship with your dog. This book is essentially a very valuable short crash course on what to do when you have a new puppy to ensure that they're happy, healthy, and well-behaved down the road. McConnell is really big on prevention, and shows how you can take simple steps early on in your dog's life that will eliminate serious problems later on. She breaks everything down into simple parts that anyone can follow, and highlights common mistakes that novice pet owners make. There's also a review section at the end of every chapter, which is great because it's a lot of information to take in at once. In this short book she manages to cover everything a puppy owner needs to know-- how to get the puppy to interact with other dogs, how to stop it from barking, how to get the puppy to chew a toy instead of your hand (or shoes), and how to housetrain a puppy. She also prepares you for the next steps once your dog moves on to adolescence.

My favorite thing about this book was her philosophy towards training which she sums up in this quote, "'Dominance,' just like 'social status' in human society, is only relevant a small percentage of the time...Besides, who wants a relationship based on a power differential instead of love and mutual cooperation?" That made a lot of sense to me, the idea of a dog obeying because it feels dominated and fears you always seemed wrong. McConnell shows you how to use love and respect, mainly through positive reinforcement to create a long-lasting healthy relationship with your dog. If you or someone you know has a new puppy and isn't sure where to start, I'd highly recommend this book.

Review by Arielle

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