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Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones Hardcover – January 7, 2014


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Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones + How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547738919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547738918
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is an organization of veterinarians with advanced training and experience in the field of applied animal behavior. More than 90 percent of pet owners feel that their dog is part of the family so the need for good communication between dog and owner becomes obvious if that familial relationship is to be positive for both species. Behavior problems in pets can erode that relationship, and without successful training or treatment, the result may be the loss of the dog to a shelter or to euthanasia. In 14 chapters, veterinary behaviorists walk dog owners through the stages of dog ownership. A basic chapter on learning to speak “dog” starts us off, followed by essays on choosing a dog, house training, behavior training, and training tools. Chapters on common issues, such as separation anxiety, aggression, sound phobias, and compulsive behaviors, teach how to retrain the dog, and a final chapter on the aging canine rounds out the book. Boxes defining terms used in the chapter or containing in-depth coverage of a behavior fill many sections, and each chapter ends with a “What Did We Say?” summary. Libraries and dog owners may have found the holy grail with this title. --Nancy Bent

Review

"Kudos to the Veterinary Behaviorists! Decoding Your Dog is a welcome addition to the voices supporting science-based and benevolent dog training. Read this book and your dog will thank you for it!" -- Patricia B McConnell, PhD, CAAB, author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

"Behavioral problems often risk damaging the canine-human bond. Veterinary behaviorists are uniquely qualified to consider potential medical explanations while also understanding how to appropriately treat a wide array of behavior problems. This wonderful, practical book can help dog owners to insure that their relationship lasts a lifetime. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a dog." -- Dr. Doug Aspros, 2013 president of the American Veterinary Medical Association

"The very best information to help your best friend from top veterinary behavioral experts. A must buy for the caring dog owner. Two paws up!" -- Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and author of The Well-Adjusted Dog

"What makes your dog tick? Do you wish he could talk? You don’t have to! "Decoding Your Dog" is all you need speak the language, thanks to a Dream Team of top veterinary behaviorists. This is one book every dog-lover needs to have, for better-behaved companion who’s as tuned in to you as you can be to him." -- Dr. Marty Becker, veterinary contributor for Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show and author of Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual and Your Cat: The Owner’s Manual "Well edited...Decoding Your Dog is an important addition to the canine canon, one that will go a long way toward increasing your understanding of your best friend."--The Bark

"The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is an organization of veterinarians with advanced training and experience in the field of applied animal behavior. More than 90 percent of pet owners feel
that their dog is part of the family so the need for good communication between dog and owner becomes obvious if that familial relationship is to be positive for both species. Behavior problems in pets can erode that relationship, and without successful training or treatment, the result may be the loss of the dog to a shelter or to euthanasia. In 14 chapters, veterinary behaviorists walk dog owners through the stages of dog ownership. A basic chapter on learning to speak “dog” starts us off, followed by essays on choosing a dog, house training, behavior training, and training tools. Chapters on common issues, such as separation anxiety, aggression, sound phobias, and compulsive behaviors, teach how to retrain the dog, and a final chapter on the aging canine rounds out the book. Boxes defining terms used in the chapter or containing in-depth coverage of a behavior fill many sections, and each chapter ends with a “What Did We Say?” summary. Libraries and dog owners may have found the holy grail with this title."--Booklist, STARRED review

Customer Reviews

Well written; an easy and informative read.
Pen Name
This is definitely a positive dog training approach, and that's great.
Just Me
I highly recommend this book to all dog owners.
gpat65

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 95 people found the following review helpful By M. Donnelly VINE VOICE on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read the first few chapters of this book, I thought, "I've heard all this before." How to pick a dog...well, I choose shelter or rescue animals, and you don't have the luxury of visiting the breeder, evaluating the parents, etc.

I also was a little annoyed at the focus on Veterinary Behaviorists. But as I read on, I really started to like this book. I liked the in-depth approach to the whys of dog behavior AND the specific methods of eliciting the behaviors you want and discouraging the behaviors you don't. The authors also displel the 'dominance' myths that some experts use to explain and train dogs.

I especially liked the chapter on solving common problems. For instance, one of the common problems is pulling on the leash when taking a walk. Many behaviorists call an act of dominance, and that you have to show the dog who's boss. But the authors argue that leash pulling is not a dominance problem (they use a case to explain); it's a behavior problem. They then go on to discuss how to solve it--step-by-step. They also talk about the tools you need to solve it (no retractable leash, the right collar, etc.).

Of all the training books I own, I think this is the one that I'll keep at hand. It not only gives clear solutions to problems, but also does so in a positive, humane way. I'm glad that I took a chance on 'another' dog training book. This one was worth reading.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Brad4d VINE VOICE on December 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As the owner/manager of an older dog and a new rescue, I was amazed how much I learned in a short time with this book. I can't say I now understand what's going on in their heads, but I learned how to improve our relationship -- and that' s even better! The authors follow two critical themes: establishing a mutually trusting environment with your dogs, and developing realistic expectations, reliable training, and ongoing enrichment. They note canine mental processes and behaviors are NOT the same as those of humans, despite our tendency to anthropomorphize dogs and think we can understand them. You can find other dog behavior books, but perhaps none have the qualifications of the authors. They are all Board certified Veterinary Behaviorists (a specialty recognized by the authoritative America Board of Veterinary Specialties), and their articles were then vetted (pun semi-intended) by two authors who are also Board certified specialists. Post-Doctorate Board Certification is no easy feat and represents, at the least, high levels of dedication and training, not to mention surviving a stressful process of testing and frequent evaluation by experienced professors. The book reflects advances in measuring and interpreting behavior that you can't always find in canine "self-help" books or even from dog handlers and breeders. Our vet and a breeder we know were impressed with the authors' credentials and credibility, and I noticed our vet copied the title when we showed them the book. This book may have the potential to be a classic and you can learn (or reinforce) much from it. Its caring advice may save the lives of many dogs and will doubtlessly enrich the lives of others.

The fourteen remarkably well-coordinated chapters were written and overseen by twenty-two veterinary specialists.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Stone VINE VOICE on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have had dogs my whole life. And yet, I still learned quite a bit from this book. The biggest mind shift you are likely to make is the realization that we all anthropomorphize the mind of a dog. Dogs act and react inside of the canine mind, and we really need to stop assigning our values to their thought processes. The more successful you are at doing that, the more rewarding the relationship will be for both of you.

In these pages you will find the most recent advances in the study of canine behavior.
This is a combination of collated clinical observation and specific examples of these concepts in practice.
If you really want to climb into the noggin of your dog and foster a mutually beneficial relationship than I can't recommend this book highly enough.

You get the input of multiple veterinarians in a skillfully woven cloth, rather than a patchwork of differing views. The overall message here is both unified and accessible. I find myself going back for specific sections constantly.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Born to Read VINE VOICE on December 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You can't go wrong with this book if you have or want a dog. An excellent book to get before you bring a dog into your family. It should be required reading before anyone gets a dog. I asked Vine to send me this book for the reasons most will be drawn to it: I have a dog that has behaviors I don't understand and I need some help. I did not find the solution, but no book is perfect. What I did find was solid information about the overall training of and living with dogs and some insightful, credible, science-based information about why dogs do what they do.

I did not know the book was written by veterinarians, which may have turned me off. HOWEVER, author Steve Dale has done a great job of making the book readable or the vets were good writers because the book is engaging and clever. Information is presented with examples of specifically named dogs, which brings the information to life; pictures are included; and each chapter has a wrap up "What Did we Say?" Since each chapter was written by a different person as is common in books by academicians, there is no index*, which I would have liked, but each chapter is a jewel. The chapter "I Know They're Normal Behaviors, but How do you Fix Them? Common Problems That Can Drive any Dog Owner to Howl," should be required, like a marriage license. "Can't we Just Talk?" and "Creating a Mensa Dog?" are also standouts. As I have an older dog in my family and have ushered two other dogs through their older years, I really appreciated the chapter on "Dogs with an AARF Card." The chapter on phobias, "I know it's going to rain, and I hate the Fourth of July," is another that can save lives because as the book points out, "unwanted behaviors is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished.
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