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The Puppy Primer

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  324 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Dr. McConnell added new information about the benefits of positive reinforcement AND the importance of realistic expectations. For instance, "sit" while waiting for the food bowl is NOT equivalent to "sit" when company comes to the door While it's almost twice the size of the original, the book is still easy to read, user-friendly and priced right for trainers and dog owne ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published February 23rd 2010 by McConnell Publishing, Ltd. (first published January 1st 1996)
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Jes Jones
Mar 01, 2015 Jes Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Puppy Primer is the ultimate beginning training manual for people who are considering getting a puppy, or currently have one that needs some work.

The book touches on key behavioral commands that all dog owners use such as sit, lay down, come and stay while also including some unique commands as well as games that can help stimulate your dog mentally and physically. The author did an amazing job of not only explaining how to train these commands into your dog, but how to maintain a positive
Jun 15, 2014 Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As we prepare to welcome a new canine addition to our household, it was suggested by two different breeders that we read this Puppy Primer. I have lived with many canines in my life both as indoor pets and combination outdoor/indoor residents. I am surprised by how many things I noted in this book that I have been doing wrong all these years!! The evidence being the very behaviors about my former buddies (and my dogs are my children and treated as such) that often drove me to distraction and has ...more
Karen L
Sep 24, 2012 Karen L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book to read before bringing home your new puppy. I am glad I read it before we brought Gipper into our home in June. It gives good tips on training and dog behavior.
Gwen Kaplan
Oct 31, 2015 Gwen Kaplan rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a pretty helpful explanation of how to break down desired dog behavior (ex: heeling) into the various behaviors to learn first (paying attention, learning to come, learning not to tug on the leash, etc), with some very practical tips about how to teach those behaviors. I suspect I will not perfectly train my puppy to do all of these things within "6 weeks" but I suspect that taking one chapter every few weeks (more realistic, given that we spend only a little time each day reinforcing b ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Murph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. There are a lot of practical steps in here on how to train your puppy. I've read a number of books and watched a lot of videos so there wasn't a lot of new stuff. However, I think the philosophy that Patricia brings to training is extremely helpful. There were lots of tips in here that I think will help in understanding puppies and dogs better and should apply to a variety of training scenarios.
Oct 28, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
Excellent resource for me as we've been adjusting to life with a dog. The front clip harness idea saved me from going crazy with the leash jerking, tugging, tangling mess we started out with. Great, simple book that is short and meant to be used as a six-week jump start program to get yourself acquainted with the basics of canine behavior and how to train a dog properly.
Mar 12, 2016 Darlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been reading quite a few puppy training books this past week, and this one's the pick of the litter. Easy to digest, simple techniques and information. While most dog training is actually training the human members of the pack, The Puppy Primer doesn't leave the humans feeling dumb and inadequate.
Laurie DeVecca
Jan 01, 2016 Laurie DeVecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simple, effective training exercises. McConnell help dog owner understand their dogs so they can more effectively communicate with them.
Aug 13, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Read this to prepare for our puppy who will soon be coming to live with us. Will be returning to this book many times in the coming months.
This is a good intro to having and training a puppy. The method is 100% positive and reward-based and I think the advice is good. But it's riddled with copywriting errors and typos- honestly, I spotted one every couple of pages. There are no pictures, and I would have liked more specificity about puppy ages and time frames. Maybe the authors were being purposely vague to avoid building up owners' expectations, but it would be nice to know an approximate age when I can expect to let my puppy play ...more
Sara Caruso
Jan 13, 2015 Sara Caruso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book that new puppy owners should read before bringing home their puppy. Excellent suggestions for common puppy behavior issues with all positive training techniques.
Feb 25, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to use, clear and positive -- I'll be recommending this!
Aug 21, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs
One of the better books on what to teach your puppy. Don't look for info on nutrition, finding a breeder/source, or choosing a pup here. This is McConnell's take on what you need to teach your puppy early on and as an adolescent. Includes ideas on how to make things more challenging for your puppy as he progresses. I've read many puppy books and this is by far my favorite general source on working with puppy behaviors early on.

I do wish they would have used a different font for the body text...
Tracy Huang
Oct 02, 2015 Tracy Huang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Training guides are detailed and not overwhelming for first time puppy owners like me. Step-by-step and phase-by-phase guides clear and very helpful. I was able to teach most of the tricks and obedience commands out of this book. Well, there are still a couple of games my dog cannot get to at this point like "fetch" or "catch". You can see the passion and love from people who wrote the book too!

However, could be better if there is more on obedience training!
Feb 21, 2016 Cyndie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After I read this, it immediately became one of the two puppy training books I recommend to new pet owners. As a veterinarian it's important to me to have a book that 1) gives good advice that won't cause more harm than good, 2) isn't overwhelming, and 3) is easy for people to understand and makes common sense.

A short book that takes you week by week through what you should be working on with your new pet. One of the greats from some of the best minds in dog behavior out there today.
Oct 12, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, pets
Seems strong and practical. Proof will be in the training, though, and that is yet to begin, in my case.
Another great book by Patricia McConnell. It didn't necessarily provide everything I needed to know to take care of my 5 rambunctious puppies, but it would be perfect if you were just adopting one.

Definitely a good reference book.
Sep 22, 2013 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog-info
Really helpful. Aligned with the advice in Dr. Sophia Yin's "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days" book. Would have liked more general puppy care info and pictures; for what it is though--book on training puppies--it's clear and detailed.
Jan 17, 2015 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of information, and feel it would be better served as a series of videos than a book. Some of the moves/tricks are hard to explain. Also goes overboard on the number of times, "small, tasty treat" is used!
Nov 19, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definately a great resource for puppies or dogs of nearly any age. I read it on my Kindle, but am also going to buy it hard copy to have on hand for easy reference.
Feb 19, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Helpful and easy to understand. Makes me want to adopt a puppy so I can train it well--which I realize is hard work, but sounds so rewarding and fun!
Sep 02, 2015 Lucy rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book to read before you get your puppy. Lots of information and good tips!
Aug 18, 2014 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
lots of good tips and a fairly detailed schedule for training
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Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, (CAAB) has made a lifelong commitment to improving the relationship between people and animals. She is known worldwide as an expert on canine and feline behavior and dog training, and for her engaging and knowledgeable dog training books, DVDs and seminars. Patricia has seen clients for serious behavioral problems since 1988, and i ...more
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