Anyone who has ever owned a dog has often become frustrated when Fido just doesn’t seem to get the concept of “sit” or even “fetch.” However, unlike Cesar Milan’s outdated methods, famed animal behaviorist Karen Pryor, who revolutionized the training world by introducing the idea of a clicker, offers a simpler way to live in harmony with your pooch in Don’t Shoot the Dog.
Unlike other dog training books, Pryor doesn’t toss difficult-to-understand psychological concepts at the average dog owner. While she does have a good list of academic references, Pryor makes sure to break down tricky concepts so that even the novice dog owner reads the book and goes, “Ahhh, everything makes sense now!”
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, February 10th, 2015||No Comments »|
World-famous animal behaviorist and veterinarian Dr. Ian Dunbar appeared at the 2007 TED Talks Conference in California where he explained the benefits of training your dog using positive reinforcement. Unlike publicity hound trainers such as Cesar Milan who rely on the “dominance” method, a type of training that has been since been debunked by scientists, Dr. Dunbar’s training method always takes into account the dog’s point of view.
Dr. Dunbar says there’s four training stages when teaching your pooch: one, to get him to use food as a lure to teach the dog a command—for example, to sit or lie down. Next, you slowly phase the food out and then you start building on the commands so that your furry friend understands the command within a sentence such as “Go fetch the mail.” Finally, you use distractions such as squirrels or other dogs in training so that chasing a squirrel in a park or getting the opportunity to play with their canine buddy becomes a reward.
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Although dominance theory in dog training has become more popular thanks to Cesar Milan’s endless Alpha rolling, “calm submissive energy” shtick, and constant tsking, but there’s a much better way to train your dog into becoming a well-behaved, well-adjusted member of your family.
While Patricia McConnell’s book the Other End of the Leash is written primarily for her fellow dog trainers, your average Joe and Jane can definitely pick up this book and gain a better insight into how they can become better pet owners. Instead of using dominance theory, which is based on the now outdated idea that dogs are exactly like their cousins the wolves and owners must show them that they are “pack leader,” McConnell introduces the idea of positive reinforcement to get your furry friend to behave.
Long considered a classic for dog trainers who also believe in positive reinforcement, McConnell illustrates the similarities between how dogs and humans communicate, but also how our differences can cause much confusion between the two species as well. However, with easy-to-understand terminology and funny anecdotes, McConnell helps trainers and owners alike see the world through a dog’s eyes so that they can put their newfound knowledge to good use.
Aside from giving insight into both dog and human behavior, she also gives both training tips and ideas on how to safely play with your pooch. For example, McConnell says that instead of wrestling with your furry friend, why not try a rousing game of fetch? She also recommends breaking off visual contact (i.e., turning your head away) when your dog is being a pain in the butt and is constantly demanding attention.
All and all, the Other End of the Leash is a valuable resource whether you’re a professional dog trainer with many years of experience or simply a dog owner who wants to get to know their four-legged friend a little bit better.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, November 26th, 2013||No Comments »|