Eric Letendre strongly believes that in order to own a good dog, you need to learn to become a good dog owner.

The trainer adds that once this important objective is accomplished, living with Man’s Best Friend will be easier and both an owner and the dog will reap many positive rewards and enjoy many happy years together and a positive bond that can’t be broken.

Letendre’s latest book, entitled “101 Ways to Improve Your Dog’s Behavior,” was recently self-published. The booklet is included as part of a customized training package for all new puppy owners and folks who need to effectively manage their dog’s behavior who need some training.

The booklet is also distributed to local animal shelters and to rescue groups throughout the region. Letendre currently works with more than 25 puppies and their owners, and more than 75 adult dogs whose owners come to the Westport training center from as far away as Pawtucket, Rhode Island and Plymouth.

“No one come here and just jumps into a class,” Letendre said.

During an initial half-hour session, Letendre will meet the dog and its owner and determine if the canine is dominant or submissive, is aggressive or fearful and perhaps has some negative behaviors — biting, digging, counter surfing or consistent barking — that are creating problems.

Letendre, who has trained dogs for more than 30 years, emphasizes that he’s experienced only a handful of dogs that he couldn’t successfully train.

“For a few dogs, a board-and-train program is a better option,” he said, adding that if a dog is “highly aggressive,” this option, in which the dog is housed at a boarding kennel and works one-on-one with a trainer for several weeks is very expensive but often is the only choice.

The trainer says that with many families purchasing spring and summer puppies, it’s important that the young dogs be properly trained and learn good behavior. He recommends that puppies start training at 10 weeks of age and notes that he receives calls daily from dogs as old as age 10 who need assistance to address an assortment of behavioral issues.

Letendre says that a basic training package costs $345, which includes a private training session and four weeks of group classes. He adds that many owners enroll in additional classes to further develop their canine’s skills.

“Most people can’t believe we solve their dog’s problems,” he says, adding that once an owner and his canine companion complete a training session, the team must continue to work together to achieve continued success.

According to Letendre, the training manual took about two years to complete and includes chapters on management and behavior, exercise (physical and mental), structure and leadership, health and nutrition and important information about dealing with behavioral problems.

“Take your dog for a daily walk,” the author writes. “Dogs need to get off their property and explore their surroundings using their senses – sight, sound and smell.”

Letendre suggests that another beneficial activity that most dogs and their owners enjoy is hiking.

“This is a great way for you and your dog to get close to nature, enjoy fresh air and exercise,” he shares.

“Teach your dog to find some treats around the house,” Letendre continues. “Hide them behind and underneath the furniture and have some fun.”

One of Letendre’s newest clients, Katie Kendall of Dartmouth, recently enrolled her young dog, a 14-week-old yellow Labrador retriever named Beau in the puppy training class.

“I’ve never had a dog before,” Kendall said, adding that she discovered Letendre through the Internet and from friends.

“I expect to learn some communication skills, how to interact with my dog, and to get some basic training,” she says.

“Beau is such a sweet natured dog,” the dog owner continues. “He is just a family dog. My kids love him.”