Book Review: Puppy Training

Photo Credit: With permission of Alexandra Santos

Recently I read a Kindle book on the subject of house training a dog, written by Alexandra Santos. I recognized her from a Pet Professional Guild webinar I attended on August 6, 2019 titled Fear Learning and How to Work With Fearful Dogs.

Santos is a professional canine behavior consultant who graduated from the Animal Care College in the U.K. with a Diploma of Advanced Canine Psychology. She has previously written Puppy Problems and Puppy and Dog Care books, among other things. During her fearful dogs webinar I was impressed with her force-free philosophy, compassion for dogs, and her deep understanding of psychology.

“Where is the toilet?”
Photo: Happy Buddha Dog Training

Naturally, I felt compelled to read her new book, Puppy Training: How to housetrain your puppy effectively. With my iPad in hand I settled into an easy chair, my dogs resting at my feet, and opened the Kindle app.

The software ran flawlessly, allowing me to easily flip page by page through the book. It was my first experience reading a Kindle version book and I was impressed, in spite of my preference for the tactile experience of turning pages.

Call me old fashioned.

The ebook is only 38 pages long so it was easy to digest in a short time, even while I took notes. It was organized in logical order, as follows:

About the author
Introduction
Chapter 1 – Physical causes of house soiling
Chapter 2 – Behavioral causes of house soiling
Chapter 3 – Times when your puppy likely needs to urinate or defecate
Chapter 4 – Elimination is intrinsically reinforcing
Chapter 5 – Management at home
Chapter 6 – Training program at home
Chapter 7 – Training program outdoors
Chapter 8 – How and when to stop rewarding
Troubleshooting

It was quickly apparent that this book was well suited not only to puppies, but to newly adopted dogs or those who suddenly began having house soiling problems. The writer’s prose was clear and simple, appealing both to the typical pet steward and the training professional.

As a certified professional (force-free) dog trainer and behavior consultant, I read this book with a pretty solid understanding of house training a dog…and yet I learned more.

As an example of the comprehensive nature of this book, I had never considered how hormonal imbalance, obesity or physical deformities could affect house training or the onset of soiling problems inside the home. Nor have I read this previously in books or articles regarding house training.

Now I am better able to help my clients.

All other house training topics are also covered systematically, with important points in bold face so they jump off the page and catch the reader’s attention. I think that would be especially helpful to pet guardians who just want some help, without feeling information overload.

They do not want to become training professionals. They just want their puppy to not ruin their carpet.

“I am still learning”
Photo: Happy Buddha Dog Training

Santos devoted considerable attention to the use of indoor puppy pads, and how to make the gradual transition to eliminating the pads and teaching a dog how to only go potty outdoors. Her advice was clear, simple, progressive and detailed enough to keep pet owners on track.

People and their pets are thus set up to succeed, force-free.

In my practice I enjoy helping people with their new puppies or adopted older dogs and provide a comprehensive portfolio full of training materials, including advice on house training.

Today I updated my resource material so each new client has a hotlink to this book, as I believe it provides invaluable solutions to a common source of frustration for dog owners, at the cost of about one U.S. dollar.

How many puppy owners would pay one dollar to protect their expensive rugs from soiling?

If you have brought a new dog into your home, whether a puppy or an adopted older dog, this book will help you make the transition much easier for all concerned. If you are a professional, you may find referring clients to this resource will help them avoid the common frustrations of house soiling issues which occur when things are not done in an optimal manner.

Let’s all work together to set dogs and their families up for success!

Full disclosure:  I have no financial relationship with Alexandra Santos, or Amazon.  I wrote this blog in the interest of helping pet owners and pet professionals, without any expectation of financial benefit to me.

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