Life skills for puppies

Laying the foundation for a loving, lasting relationship

This book approaches puppy education from the puppy’s perspective. Presenting the key skills that a dog needs to cope with life, it aims to help owners develop a fulfilling relationship with their puppy, helping it to behave in an appropriate manner and develop resilience, whilst maintaining good welfare. The skills taught are incorporated into everyday life so that training time is reduced, and practising good manners and appropriate behaviour become a way of life.
Every year millions of puppies enter homes, carrying their new family’s expectation of a wonderful relationship. Sadly, many are re-homed or lose their lives as the result of behaviours which their owners find difficult to live with. Helping a puppy to grow into a resilient dog, capable of coping with the challenges of daily living, whilst retaining a good quality of life and exhibiting behaviours acceptable within society, is not an easy task. This book aims to simplify puppy education by presenting the skills that are required to achieve these goals within the context of everyday life. By enabling owners to incorporate teaching into each interaction they enjoy with their puppy, it not only becomes easier for them, but also enables the puppy to practice appropriate behaviour choices within day-to-day situations. By teaching skills such as self-control, respect for rules, and clear communication, owners can spend less time directing their dog, and more time enjoying their relationship with him, as he takes more control for his own good behaviour. Beautiful, specially-taken photographs illustrate the points made, and each chapter includes a worksheet to help owners chart their puppy's progress.


  • Written from the puppy’s perspective
  • Clear explanations of the importance of each of the skills
  • Practical tips for implementing the skills in daily life
  • Introducing the concepts of self-control and frustration tolerance
  • Helping puppies to be naturally well behaved, not simply obedient
  • Teaching puppies to make the right choices
  • Clear explanation of what a puppy needs for its wellbeing
  • Detailed description of teaching controlled leash walking
  • Descriptive, specially-taken photographs support the text
  • Worksheet for every chapter to help owners apply the principles

About the author

Helen Zulch is a veterinarian who qualified in South Africa, and has since worked in a number of areas of veterinary science. She developed an interest in animal behaviour and has consulted and lectured in the field for over ten years, moving to the University of Lincoln, England, to continue her career. Helen’s main interests and areas of research include the prevention of behaviour problems through appropriate early life experiences. She has owned and trained dogs for over 21 years. Helen is involved in the development of the Life Skills training and research programme – which includes training classes – which this book is based on.

Daniel Mills is an internationally recognised veterinary behaviour specialist and Professor in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln, England. After completing his PhD, Daniel became the first individual to be recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine, and subsequently was recognised by the European College and Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. His main areas of research focus around the biological basis of problem behaviour, and the recognition of emotional states in animals, which has led to the development and promotion of a number of novel approaches to managing problem behaviour.

Peter Baumber is a multi-skilled photographer with specific expertise and experience in the fields of classic motorcycles, portraiture, dogs and cats.

Exclusive video

Life skills for puppies - Laying the foundation for a loving, lasting relationship by Helen Zulch & Daniel Mills. Photography by Peter Baumber.

eBook details

eISBN: 978-1-845845-45-2 • eV number: eHH4545 • Published: October 2012 • Language: English • Digital edition: First Digital Edition. Base eBook price: £8.99 / $9.99 / €11.99 (vendors may set their own prices, so actual prices may vary).
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Original book info

HH4446 • Paperback • 20.5x20.5cm • £12.99 • 96 pages • 121 colour pictures • ISBN: 978-1-845844-46-2 • UPC: 6-36847-04446-6. Price subject to change, P&P extra.

Life skills for puppies

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