Teachable Moments + Giveaway: JJ Goes to Puppy Class

By Published On: 15 September 2015Last Updated: 17 January 2017

JJ Goes to Puppy Class teaches children about the complex world of dog training, through their own perspective.

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By KD Angle-Traegner, Founder & Editor

When I was young my mother had several odd jobs to help make ends meet. The extra money she earned helped buy groceries and clothes for our family of four. Back then we didn’t have extra money for a babysitter, so my mother took my brother and I with her wherever she went. When I was two years old she took a job cleaning the house of an older woman with a dog. Being so young, I don’t remember the house or the woman who owned, it but I do remember her dog. In fact, I’ll never forget the dog and the important lesson I learned the last day my mother ever cleaned her house.

This particular day my mother and I went to clean the house without my brother, I’m not sure why. Being two at the time, I don’t remember much from that day. What I do remember is being impossibly bored while I waited for my mother to finish her work. I have mentioned this before but my love of animals started at a young age, so having a dog in the house to keep me company made me happy. The dog, a large mixed breed, was friendly enough and was more than willing to play with someone half his size. Finding a squeaky toy on the floor, I jumped up on the couch to play “keep away.” I held the toy as high as I could above my head and enticed the dog to jump up to take it from me.

What happened next is unsurprising: the dog jumped up and tried to bite the toy out of my hands and missed. Instead, the dog bit my face. Specifically, the dog bit my cheek. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them that I can remember this incident with utter clarity, but it’s true. I remember the ride to the hospital, being tied to a board, and having shots injected into my face before I finally blacked out. The end result was some stitches and a giant bandage that my glasses had a hard time fitting over.

This is the only surviving photo from 1977 that shows the residual dog bite bruising and cuts once the bandages were removed.

This is the only surviving photo that shows the residual bruising and cuts once the bandages were removed.

I was lucky. Although the bite was close to my eye, it didn’t get injured in the accident. And even though the experience was fairly traumatic for a two year old, in time I recovered with just a few faint scars. The dog, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky. His owner decided to “get rid” of the dog after the incident. What happened to the dog I’ll never know, but I can guess. It’s what happens to any dog that ends up at a shelter with a history of biting children- they are euthanized.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), millions of people – most of them children – are bitten by dogs every year in the United States. The majority of these bites, if not all, are preventable. More than 359,000 children were bit by dogs in 2010 – 2012 and 66% of these children were four years and younger. Teaching children how to interact with dogs is as important as teaching dogs how to interact with children, if not more so. It is dogs who pay the heaviest price for not understanding our human world. Many end up homeless or worse- stuck in animal shelters where the threat of euthanization is constant and real.

We can do better.

JJ Goes To Puppy Class is a great new book by Diane Rose-Solomon that teaches children about the complex world of dog training, through their own perspective, and in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Co-written by Lyssa Noble Dennis, a qualified obedience trainer who uses reward-based training techniques, JJ Goes to Puppy Class shows children how to correct typical puppy behaviors such as jumping on the furniture, chewing on toys, and having the occasional accident in the house by using analogies familiar to them. These incredibly important, real-world lessons are alongside cheery and colorful illustrations that will keep the visual interest of children.

Books like this are so important to share with children and can help prevent injuries like the one I sustained. In addition, behavior problems are one of the most common reasons that dogs are dumped at shelters. JJ Goes to Puppy Class will make training puppies a fun family affair and help to keep more companions with their families and out of shelters. Children will gain confidence around dogs and understand how to interact with them safely. These are valuable lessons that they will take with them throughout their lives.


This book is Rose-Solomon’s second book in the incredible “JJ” series and is a natural follow-up to her first book, JJ The American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House. I love these books. At the heart of these sweet stories are real messages that are so important to learn. Not only could they teach a child, but they could teach adults as well. Even those who are not living with a dog can learn from these stories. From dogs, to cats, to rabbits, to any and all domesticated animals, any animal anywhere will benefit from children who understand how to treat them with kindness.

JJ Goes to Puppy Class is a wonderful book and would make an excellent addition to any child’s bookshelf. I loved this book so much that I partnered up with Diane to give away a signed copy to one lucky YDV reader. All you have to do is enter below. One winner will be selected at random. Giveaway ends September 22, 2015 so enter today!

Apologies to my international friends, this giveaway is open to US residents only.

For those who would like to purchase this book, JJ Goes To Puppy Class is available on Amazon in both digital and hardback copies. For more from Diane Rose-Solomon including puppy training tips, dog bite prevention, and other resources, be sure to visit her website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gratitude and thanks to Diana Rose-Solomon for graciously sending us a copy of her book to review.

Disclaimer:  Views and opinions expressed here are those of Your Daily Vegan and derived from personal experience.  These opinions are not influenced in any way by the receipt of goods or services.  We will always notify you when a product has been given to us to review, test, use, or talk about.


  1. Erin Ellis September 21, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

    I would share it with my two daughters! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.


  2. Kira September 16, 2015 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I would share this with my niece who was bitten by my dog when she took her bone away with her mouth. Of course she didn’t understand why that happened and is now afraid of my dog. I would also share this with my first grade class (I am a teacher).

  3. Erin Lauckner September 16, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    This would be a wonderful book for my young nephew. I was also bitten by a dog at a young age and have two very small scars by my mouth as a reminder. Thanks for sharing this story!

  4. Sydney Anderson September 15, 2015 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story

  5. Diane September 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    KD Thank you for sharing your story. An experience like that often turns away people in fear but you chose to love animals instead. So much of what is being taught now is supervision coupled with teaching kids especially to read body language. Your story reinforces that need for vigilance when you have dogs and kids together.

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HELLO! I'm KD Angle-Traegner.

Writer, activist, and founder of Four Urban Paws Sanctuary. I’m on a mission to help people live a vegan life. Read more about KD…