Puppy Primer, 2nd Edition

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Brenda Scidmore & Patricia McConnell
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Distributed by Dogwise Publishing
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Engaging, humorous and user-friendly, The Puppy Primer describes a six-week program to get you and your puppy off on the right paw. Designed for puppies under five months of age (see Family Friendly Dog Training for older dogs), you’ll learn how to create the foundation your pup needs to become a well-adjusted and well-behaved member of the family.

Here's what you can look forward to learning with your puppy:
How to make training fun for BOTH you and your puppy
How to teach basic cues including Sit, Down, Come, Heel, Stay
Simple steps for house and crate training
How to use positive reinforcement without spoiling your puppy
What to do when adolescence strikes!

Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB is an Ethologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has consulted dog lovers for over twenty years. She is the author of ten books including The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs and For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend. Trisha lives on a farm near Madison, Wisconsin and two dogs, one cat and a flock of sheep.

7 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Helpful, no nonsense advice

    Posted by Dianna Miller on 3rd Jun 2024

    I love this book! It’s a straightforward summary of what to do when you bring home a puppy. Especially helpful for people bringing home their first puppy but also helpful as a reminder to more seasoned dog guardians. Takes the guess work out of training a puppy. Patricia McConnell is the real deal.

  • 5
    Excellent for new puppy owners!

    Posted by BANU QURESHI on 27th Jul 2023

    As a breeder, I am happy to buy this book in bulk and send one home with each new puppy family. In fact, I give them the book when the puppies are about 5 weeks old, so they can actually start to read it ahead of time. McConnell starts her first section with advice about the importance of socializing and positive reinforcement. Only after she covers these REALLY important topic does she address housetraining, which is usually the first thing on the minds of new puppy families. So I have to say, I love this book, and I love giving it out to every new puppy owner.

  • 5
    The Puppy Primer

    Posted by Eleanor McCoy on 12th Oct 2022

    I bought this book because I am getting a puppy in early November. I am only a little into it and I find it great. The authors have been thorough without talking over your head. I do know this stuff but it makes it clear and step by step. Thank you!

  • 5
    A Wonderful Overview for Puppy Families

    Posted by Banu Qureshi on 4th Feb 2021

    I buy this book in bulk and hand one out to every puppy family as soon as I receive a deposit and signed contract. That way they have time to read it before the puppy comes home. It covers a lot of the basic issues families deal with in the first few weeks, and provides a nice intro to training.

  • 4
    Primer - for Puppy Buyers

    Posted by Kate on 16th Dec 2020

    Bought in bulk and sent to each of my buyers after I had the deposit. A well written, good humored way to tell ‘puppy people’ that the first critical weeks with their puppy is more about THEM then it is the dog. Buyers have commented favorably, mostly saying it kick started their thinking so they were ready from day 1 for their pup.

  • 4
    The Puppy Primer

    Posted by Skye Anderson - DogEvals on 14th Sep 2020

    At first reading, a simple book, but don’t let that fool you. The Puppy Primer is a new classic and one that should be in your training toolbox if it isn’t already! With six chapters, the authors have provided both puppy people and puppy trainers with a week-by-week bible of training and behavior, a recipe for turning a puppy into a wonderful best friend for life. Perfect for those experienced trainers who may not have taught puppies for a while (or ever), The Puppy Primer provides a 6-week curriculum with enough explanation for the students to read before class (if they wish) and to review during the following week to solidify the exercises (games), explanations, and words of wisdom provided. Each chapter begins with a sort-of lecture topic starting with the all-important socialization, positive reinforcement and housetraining. After that, we get down to the basics of training but nearly every skill taught is covered bit by bit over more than one week, so both dog and person can practice and succeed in small increments. Each week covers new exercises plus sections titled Practice Makes Perfect which build on previous exercises and make them just a wee bit harder, yet still do-able for both human and canine. Oh, and the chapters end with a bulleted summary that is oh, so helpful. Sort of like ‘the least you need to remember.’ Writing Style McConnell and Scidmore have an unusually lovely and human writing style for a how-to book: essentially more story-style than dry academic recipes and with a sense of humor that is priceless! You will keep reading just to find more conversational gems. Plus the Recommended Reading List at the back is the most complete list I have seen in two pages – and I agree with the authors’ recommendations! Skye Anderson - DogEvals

  • 5
    Puppy Primer

    Posted by Gwen Tomlinson on 4th Jan 2019

    I buy this book to include in my puppy going home package. I find it to have the most important info for a new puppy owner. Described in a way that novice folks can understand & fun to read the way it is organized with highlighted key training “ truths “ for each chapter.