Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your New Best Friend

Puppy Steps: Practical Training for Your New Best Friend - Libby Rockaway This was a practical, informative book, especially for first time novice dog owners who recently introduced a new puppy into their family. My own "puppies", my two Chihuahuas named Kobe and Lilly, are one and a half and three years old so a lot of the teachings suggested in this book have already been implemented into their daily lives such as sit, lay, speak, roll over and basic manners and going to the bathroom outside, however, there is always room for improvement so I read this book in order to find tips on how to improve their overall well being, manners (especially around new dogs) and to focus on a few basic commands that they don't know or need to improve.

In general I found this book to be very informative and helpful and I agree wholeheartedly with the positive reinforcement approach which encourages teaching your dog by focusing on, and rewarding, positive behaviors while ignoring the negative. There's nothing I find more upsetting or disagreeable than to be at the dog park and see someone yelling at, or physically reprimanding, their dog. I know my little Chihuahuas are the sweetest little things and they would do anything to please me so if they aren't understanding a command then the fault is in my delivery and the last thing I would ever do is raise my voice and get angry or upset with them and I was happy to read that the author shared that view, as would any professional who works with k9's. This book referred to it as "positive-only training, opposed to negative training which can create a dog with lower confidence. All of the basic commands and desired behaviors were covered in this book, anything I could think of that would apply to my dog and they were organized by chapters and paragraphs that included clear, detailed, step by step instructions and real life examples and scenarios of when and how to implement the teachings. It also includes a lot of cartoon illustrations which I wasn't really a big fan of. It was nice to have a picture to reference but I wish they had been actual photographs of real dogs.
As a whole this little book contained A LOT of information and I've only begun working on a few basic things with my dogs, specifically my younger dog who really needs improvement with "stay", "heel" and "come" and with the help of this book I've noticed he's progressing nicely. This is a book that I will keep and reference throughout my dogs lives and although the title is specific to puppies I think it's a handy tool for the owner of dogs of all ages to have.

I received a copy of this publication from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.