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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training, 2E Paperback – February 7, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 2 edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592574831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592574834
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pamela Dennison, owner of Positive Motivation Dog Training, has been training dogs since 1992. After switching methods from traditional punishment-based training methods to positive training, Pam has become an expert on working with dogs with various behavioral issues. She has written a monthly column, “The Barking Lot,” and authored Bringing Light to Shadow: A Story of Recovering an Aggressive Dog.

More About the Author

NEW!!!! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training now has an ONLINE class! So no matter where you live, you can now train with me! www.idiotsguidepositivedogtraining.com


I started out my writing career by accident. I adopted Shadow and for some unknown reason, decided to keep a diary on his acclimation into my household. After working with Ted Turner (not Jane Fonda's ex), he mentioned that I should turn that diary into a series of articles. And voila! Bringing Light to Shadow was born! It took me over a year to find a publisher for it though, but in the meantime, my agent found me another opportunity to write a book for the Complete Idiot's Guide series - and then came The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training. And the rest as they say, is history. Five books, four DVDs and 35+ articles later, I am still writing and in fact, would really love to delve into fiction, except I have no clue how to go about it.

Of course, I am still training dogs and helping people to help their dogs and create positive relationships. I speak across the country and across the ocean as well on many different topics - from positive training in general, to working with aggressive dogs, to free shaping, to Rally obedience and competition obedience. I went to Australia last year and spoke at the APDT conference - once I got over my fear of flying, I was thrilled to be there. I have some seminars coming up soon - in Chicago, IL, Richmond, VA and of course here at home.

I have a 7,000 sf facility in the wilds of New Jersey - yes there really are wilds in New Jersey and keep busy with my business and my own dogs. Shadow is still here - he is now 10 years old and doing great! He continues to surprise me with how "normal" he is. It used to take him months to warm up to new people and now, it only takes seconds. After earning his CGC (Canine Good Citizen certificate ) back in 2001, he has gone on to earn his CD (Companion Dog title), NA and NAJ, has a few legs of Open (agility), his ARCHEX and Level 3 titles in Rally obedience, (and he has been in the Top 20 for National Ranking for 3 years) his TSW (Team Swim certificate for Canine Water Sports) and is now working toward his certification for tracking. He could get it now if I were a better handler.

My other dogs at present are Emma and Beau - both rescued Border collies. I compete with them in most sports and are very successful. They have also been on stage and screen - Emma was in an Olympic Paint commercial, Beau was in a Mack Truck print ad and Beau and I were both in the movie "I am Legend!" Don't hurry out to buy it on my account - we are only in for 6 seconds (I counted) in the very last scene.

My complete listing of books:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training, 2nd edition, Alpha Pearson
Bringing Light to Shadow; A Dog Trainer's Diary, Dogwise
How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong; A Roadmap for Rehabilitating Aggressive Dogs, Alpine Publications
Civilizing the City Dog (a supplement to the above title), Alpine Publications
Click Your Way to Rally Obedience, Alpine Publications

My DVDs:
Positve Solutions for Standard Behavior Problems, Barkleigh Productions
Camp R.E.W.A.R.D. for aggressive and reactive dogs, Barkleigh Productions
The 2 above were seminars that were taped
The Magic of Shaping; Explore the Possibilities, Tawzer Dog Videos
Training the Whistle Recall, Positive Motivation Dog Training
The Magic of Shaping; Explore the Possibilities

Customer Reviews

I'm getting a dog in a few days, and so picked up a few books to read.
April Walker
Of all the books I have read on puppy/dog training this book would be the ONE book I'd want to own, if I could only have one!
Doxie lover
I received the 3rd edition of this book, not the 2nd, which is what is represented to be.
Jan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By citywulf on June 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pam Dennison is perhaps one of the best authors in terms of presenting positive training in an understandable way, that shows clearly why it works and how it fits naturally into a dog's "culture." I also love that she included not just one, but two chapters on body language - sorely lacking in many books. This one has knocked a couple other recommended reads a bit lower on my list. More approachable than Pat Miller (an excellent trainer but too much train-of-thought in her books) and less technical than Pamela Reid (excellent read if you want more depth, tho), anyone can use this tool to create a wonderful relationship with a willing, eager-to-learn companion.

This book is not for the more challenging issues. It is mostly manners and prevention - the basics. Pair it with Outwitting Dogs, however, and you have all you need to tackle most* issues (*barring aggression, which should be handled with the help of a behaviorist who uses counter-conditioning and desensitization).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eliza G. on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Wonderful, clearly written positive training book full of PRACTICAL and USEFUL training exercises that work. Good overview of how dogs learn, how to read their body language to understand what they're communicating, how to use reinforcement schedules properly, how to introduce a new dog into your household -- in short how to set your dog up for success.

For those looking for specific help with a particular issue (such as teaching "Come") each chapter starts off with a brief outline, making it easy for you to see at a glance what each chapter covers.

The writing is broken up into bite-sized paragraphs making it easy for you to work with your dog with the book open to help coach you through each step.

Each chapter also contains interesting tidbits of dog information, simple and clear definitions, and easy pointers to help get you going.

Whether you're on your first dog, or perhaps have switched breeds and what worked for your old breed isn't working for your new breed, or it's been awhile since your last dog, or you just want a refresher -- this book is will help you and your dog achieve great things together!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. vanSaders on November 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
My dogs responded awesomely to this book! Finally my confirmed puller is walking WITH me!!! And my puppy is happily glued to my side! No more prong collars, no more being dragged around! thank you Pamela!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phil on April 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm rating the book 3 stars because it does have a lot of good information, but also had several things I didn't like about it. I would buy a different book if I were to start over.

The author spends far too long stating and re-stating that only positive reinforcement works and any form of punishment is bad. I already believe that positive reinforcement is a good method, that's why I bought "Positive Dog Training". In addition, she makes several bold claims about psychology that sound nice without any citation or ways to verify the claims.

There is some contradictory examples in the text. She states that there are 3 fundamental rules of dog training: 1) Positively reinforced behavior gets repeated, 2) Ignored behavior goes away (the 3rd is not relevant to my example here). Later in the book, she relates the story of a dog that began chewing her shoes. Her solution? She gave the dog a reward the next time it took a shoe from the closet. According to her own rules, she should have ignored the dog, and certainly not given a reward.

Another omission in this book that I found from other sources was utilizing a dog's natural sense of hierarchy in the training.

There are a lot of pages to go through before the useful content really begins, but the useful content is there. I don't want to sound overly negative in this review, but there were certainly parts of this book that I found lacking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Forero on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helpful information for people completely new to dogs. The author is very contradictory with treating dogs as human or not. And the examples/side stories given provide no scientific/professional background as supporting evidence to this manner of teaching. I am not saying positive reinforcement is wrong. Just this author's delivery makes it seem like nonsense.

This book in no way replaces actual formal training that every dog needs. I think this book is a quick and easy read to get you an idea of how to treat dogs. But if you need actual help in training, I suggest something else.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author discusses positive training adnosium and yet she glosses over important points and techniques. Potty training is covered in a page and a half, which seems a bit scant to me in a book about dog training. This is not so much a book on how to train your dog but book on the philosophy of positive dog training.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michele R. Mendyk on January 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a LOT to learn for me...having a video to go with it would be REALLY great...easier to learn methods by sight then just reading...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Phelps on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best part of this book was explanation of dog 'language' and understanding what they are telling you by their body language. Love the idea of positive training....now to try it!!!
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