Are you puppy savvy? (Book review)

This holiday season, I’ve decided to share twelve books with you.
At the bottom of this post, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of this book.
You can also visit this page to find the entire list of books and giveaways.

A few years ago on one of the dog training discussion groups, someone asked for recommendations for great books about puppy training. Several people suggested Barbara Shumannfang’s book, Puppy Savvy. I had never heard of the book. So, I bought a copy and read it.

Golden retriever puppy

Since then, I’ve added this book to the list of ones I recommend to friends and clients. It’s a great introduction to the basics of raising a puppy. The book is written in a straight forward, easy to understand style with lots of practical tips and advice.

The book covers normal puppy issues, including potty training, puppy biting, and crate training. It also covers basic training, including leash walking, come, appropriate play, and lots more.

In addition, there’s a lot in the book about good management practices. That is, how dog owners can arrange their home and their life so that it is easy for the puppy to engage in good behavior and hard or impossible for the puppy to engage in unwanted behavior.

One thing that I like about this book is that it includes lots of tidbits of information that other puppy books often forget to include. For example, there is a whole chapter on body handling exercises, a short chapter on kids and puppies, and even a chapter on introducing your puppy to your existing dogs and cats. There’s also information on how to teach your puppy to sleep through the night, what to do if your puppy gets car sick, when to call in a professional trainer, and much more!

The book is full of fun games and activities that owners can play with their puppies. One of my favorite games in the book is in the section on teaching puppies to greet people politely. It’s what Barbara Shumannfang calls “the animal game.” This game teaches puppies to be calm while people are moving around, even if the person is doing something pretty strange! You can play this game with your kids and your puppy. Or, if you don’t have kids, you can just play it with your puppy.

The game starts by having the child and parent pick an animal. The child then gets to act out the animal, while an adult rewards the puppy for sitting quietly and watching. The child starts some distance from the puppy and starts with slow, sleepy animals.

Barbara gives lots of recommendations for how to make this game a success. For example, children should always play the game with an adult’s supervision, the puppy should wear a leash (so the adult can control the puppy if he does get too excited), the puppy should already know how to sit on cue, and you should only play the game for five minutes at a time. Barbara even recommends rehearsing first with just the child, before adding the puppy.

In short, Puppy Savvy has lots of great practical advice for puppy owners who are looking for more information about puppy behavior and training. It teaches owners how to be proactive with positive reinforcement training techniques and management so that they and their puppy will both be happy. If you’re interested in learning more about puppy behavior and training or if you have a client or friend who could use a practical book on the subject, I recommend Puppy Savvy.

Enter to win a copy of this book

To enter the giveaway:
1) Leave a comment on this post to earn one entry.
2) Fill out the Raffelcopter box below.
3) You can also earn entries by being a member of the StaleCheerios email list and/or by telling a friend about this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions
One lucky reader will win a new copy of this book.
Winner will be chosen at random.
This giveaway ends on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time.
Winner will be notified via email on December 15.
If the winner does not respond by Dec 17, he/she will forfeit the prize.
Void where prohibited.
Entering the giveaway form means you agree to the terms listed above.

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