In honor of National Train Your Dog Month, we’re highlighting Diane Rose-Solomon’s book, JJ Goes to Puppy Class, the second in a planned five-book series. This delightful children’s book focuses on the importance of training puppies as part of being a responsible dog owner.
Diane’s first book, JJ the American Street Dog, tells the story of a stray dog found on a soccer field by a man who brings it to his niece who has been asking for a dog. It covers the things that a responsible family should do before adopting a found dog, including checking for its owners and being certain that they can take care of a dog.
In this new book, published in December, JJ and his new family are addressing some of the challenges of living with a puppy: potty training, chewing things, digging in the yard, straining at the leash when walking, nipping and jumping on guests.
With charming illustrations by Lisette Rotman and easy-to-read text by Diane, the book covers what JJ learns in puppy class, from making friends with other dogs to basic commands like sit, wait, stay and watch me. The story follows JJ, his family and trainer Lyssa through life at home and in the neigbhorhood as JJ learns what is expected of him and how to deal with the world he lives in.
This book is not a training manual. It does an excellent job of pointing out ways to solve the problems a puppy can cause, fostering patience and positive approaches to shaping better behavior. Throughout the story, the mother is reminding her daughter of the things that she had to learn when she was a baby and how like they are to the lessons JJ is learning.
The book also has lessons for children who like but don’t have dogs. One section talks about the issue of children charging up to a dog they don’t know to pet it. Trainer Lyssa talks about the importance of asking before touching a dog you don’t know and how to be less threatening to the dog.
Diane, a Certified Humane Education Specialist, wrote this book with San Diego-based trainer Lyssa Noble Dennis. In additional notes, they suggest ways to avoid problems with a new puppy and various training options from private lessons to classes, noting that behavioral issues are the most frequent reason that dogs are returned to breeders or shelters.
The JJ series is based on a real dog named JJ that Diane’s family rescued 19 years ago and cared for until its death. She, her husband and two children live with two rescued dogs, Gonzo and Ninja, in Los Angeles.
Disclaimer: FidoUniverse received an electronic version of this book to review. No other compensation or consideration was given. All opinions express are my own.