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My Smart Puppy: Fun, Effective, and Easy Puppy Training (Book & 60min DVD) Hardcover – October 16, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sarah Wilson is the author of many books on living with and educating dogs, including My Smart Puppy, Childproofing your Dog and Tails from the Barkside. She lives in Connecticut with her dogs, Pip and PJ.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Har/DVD edition (October 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044657886X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446578868
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hi! I got the My Smart Puppy book on Friday and read the whole thing by Saturday! Hudson and I have already played all the Level I games. He is perfect at some already (since we've already been training), but we will continue to improve at others.

What I want to say is that it is, hands down, the most wonderful book on training I have read since I decided to get a dog pal. I read Good Owners, Great Dogs and Metrodog too, and I loved them both, but there is something about the tone of MSP that beats all.

The whole thought of looking at training as a series of "games" is awesome. And, you know what? The best thing was the included DVD. I had read about half the book, and then watched the DVD. I realized that while I consider myself an effusive person (especially with Hudson), I really could stand to be a lot more joyful and playful with Hudson during training. I was being very businesslike about it. I really needed to see Sarah and Brian's attitude with the dogs to understand what they mean about showing enthusiasm. My relationship with Hudson improved THAT DAY! I have been trying to mimic the tone in the DVD, and we are both enjoying our time together so much more. Hudson is suddenly so much more responsive, and now I realize that treats aren't even necessary anymore for the behaviors he already knows.

Hudson and I are having a GREAT time. I'm amazed at how responsive he is when I step into his space or block him with my body. I couldn't believe it would work, but it does. We are already close to having him sit every time I stand in front of him!

Oh, and the words "Smart Puppy" really help too. When you say "What a Smart Puppy!!!" to your dog, you can't help sounding happy and believing it!
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Format: Hardcover
My Smart Puppy is one of those books you want to tell everyone about. The training exercises are short and simple (and fun!), and the training is done in stages (levels). Each exercise is prefaced with a Goal, then how to get there in beautifully explained detail. The details of each exercise are not long and drawn out, because they don't have to be. There are 2 to 4 steps in each exercise. The concept of dog training in this book is a common sense approach and works toward the overall desired results, which is a puppy who learns to behave well and a bond that is formed between you and your puppy. It comes with a DVD that shows exactly how to do some of the exercises (very cute to see puppies learning new things for the first time). A puppy loves to learn and these exercises give it that opportunity, and the mental stimulation all puppies and dogs need, as well as learning that you are his gentle and fair leader.

These exercises are for foundational training beyond just the sit and down and walk. There's the "Leave it", "Mine", "Space", and many many more. There's also a chapter on Understanding Training. The book gives you an understanding of how puppies think and learn.

The book also deals with behaviorial problems (that we all encounter with our pups) and not only references the exercise that needs to be done for a certain behavior, but the page number as well. I can't say enough about the well written style of this great book and the effectiveness of the exercises. If people would do these simple training exercises with their puppies, there would be a lot less dogs with behavior problems in the shelters. I don't see any reason why these exercises can't be done with adult dogs also, who are in need of basic foundational training that they never got as puppies.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read several books by the authors, so was excited to see this new book out just as I was contemplating getting a puppy. It is filled with great advice that just makes sense. A super addition is the training DVD. This allowed everyone in my family to be exposed to the training principles (over and over) without my having to read the book out loud. This is a great combo for families considering or getting a puppy.
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Format: Hardcover
My Smart Puppy is a puppy-training guide with techniques based on understanding the natural behavior dog behavior. The first part focuses on puppy behavior and development and the authors' approach to training. The second section is the actual step-by-step training. The final section is all about 'troubleshooting' common behavior problems. Throughout, the authors also discuss how to overcome specific training problems, and what situations need professional help. The writing style is light, fun and chatty--like having a one-on-one session with your personal dog trainer.

As a veterinarian and an owner of a very active Labrador Retriever, discussions on dog behavior and training advice are very informative, sound and practical. The authors are obviously know the topics and can provide very useful advice for owners especially about how to read the puppies' body language as well as what to do and not do during training. I may disagree with some of their views on certain training tools/methods as those are methods or tools have worked well for me. Having said that, they mentioned that different

methods work for different people and dogs--and never claimed their method were the be-all-and-end-all method.

As a practicing veterinarian, one specific aspect disappointed me. They should have done more research on medical facts: they provided erroneous information about why white dogs are more likely to be deaf. They stated that "myelin, a compound that colors skin, is necessary for the auditory nerves to work," when in fact, the pigment in the skin is melanin, not myelin (myelin is the phospholipids that surrounds axons in certain neurons).
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