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Divine Canine: The Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog Paperback – September 18, 2007

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Divine Canine: The Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog + How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition) + The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Monks of New Skete have been breeding, raising, and training dogs for more than thirty-five years on their monastery in Cambridge, New York. They have become the pre-eminent authorities on the most productive ways to achieve that which every dog owner desires--a companion who can enrich one's life.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309259
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309251
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Monks of New Skete have lived as a community in Cambridge, New York, for more than thirty years. Their two previous books, The Art of Raising a Puppy and How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, have sold almost three-quarters of a million copies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Dog Lady on December 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
When we first got Bridget the Scottish Terrier 16 months ago, the advice on how to train her began flowing within minutes of her arrival. And as advice that relates to the rearing of the young almost always is, the counsel we received was highly questionable and contradictory.

"We're using the RCMP method," advised an old friend with a puppy the same age and a copy of an aged dog-training manual used by the Mounties. "Grab the muzzle and hold it shut if they bite."

"Have you heard of 'How to be your Dog's Best Friend' by these famous monks in New York state?' asked a brand new dog walking acquaintance. "They are really against paper training."

From monks to Mounties, the choices were mind-boggling. And even if the Mounties were looking all around less credible, thanks to their problematic handling of humans, the monks' line about being your dog's best friend didn't really appeal to me either. As a parent, I've never wanted to be a human child's best friend let alone a dog's. It all sounded just a little too new agey for me.

In the end I threw my hat in with the adorable Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan and his holy trilogy of exercise, discipline, affection.

Alas, Cesar, who has apparently since remedied the problem with his latest book, didn't provide much in the way of concrete advice to go along with all the inspiration, which is how I came to find myself just over a year later with a dog who still won't come when I call and who retains her penchant for biting people's feet in an effort to get them to play.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Hanna Davis on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the zillions of dog training books available, none convey more that decipline alone doesn't do it, you have to respect as well as love the animal. ' How to raise a puppy' and 'how to be your dogs best friend' by the monks are great training books, 'Divine Canine' focuses on the problems we (the owners) have created (with the best intentions, no doubt) and helps us to focus again on the basics. Like sit, stay..... I am sure that everyone has a few friends and neighbors that could use this book.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By P. Padgett on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Understand that this book is a collection of stories about behavior problem dogs that were brought to the monks for assistance.
It is good reading, but should not be purchased as a training manual. It has nuggets of great information in dealing with particular problems.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By kristin k. on January 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have four dogs and have had multiple dogs all my life. This is has been the most helpful book for me in training my dogs ranging from Weimareiner to Bull Terriers. It was recommended to me by two professional dog trainers and now I see why.

Case Studies Provided by Breed & Temperament: This book is well designed in that the authors provide case studies of different breeds and temperaments of dogs. All the dogs in the case studies are older and most have behavioral problems. Some of the breed outlined are: Bull Terrier, English Bull Dog, King Charles Spaniel, and Labrador Mix. If you have a bull dog or terrier, this book provides extensive examples how to deal with these independent and more stubborn breeds such as using more treats to motivate and giving them more play time before training to keep their interest.

Details Photographs Show the Commands: The training programs show detailed step-by-step photographs of how to perform the commands. Each case study is broken down in sections that make the process easy to follow. The photos show in detail how to teach a dog to "Stay" and "Heel" which are two commands that I did not thoroughly understand how to train until I read this book.

Specific Behavior Issues Addressed: There is also a section to address specific behavior problems as well. What I love best about this book is it discusses how the basic training program can be tailored to dogs depending on their behavior and temperament. The authors give thorough and specific examples of how to deal with temperaments such as dominant, apathetic, stubborn and high energy to behaviors such as unresponsiveness to commands, jumping up on guests and aggression to name a few.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Stephen J. Polesovsky on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
divine canine is the third of 3 books written by the monks of new skete and should be read first if at all. if you follow the fantastic advise given in their first two books you should have a very well behaved and happy companion. when this is the case reading divine canine can get a little frustrating. all you read is stories of people who have let their dog run the house and thats just not a dogs place. PLEASE READ THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY AND HOW TO BE YOUR DOGS BEST FRIEND. the art of raising a puppy will also give you great insight on how to choose a puppy.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lynda Lippin VINE VOICE on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was having sushi with a good friend and we were discussing pets and the difference between dogs and cats. Being a cat lover from the time I can remember I was not too interested in hearing about dogs, who I perceived as basically big dirty dumb animals. My friend had a different take; she said, "cats are nature's serial killers, but dogs were put here to teach us how to love."

When my husband and I moved to the Caribbean I brought three cats over with me. One night a local stray dog, a "potcake" as we say, came to visit. "Don't feed it!", I yelled, "or it will keep coming back!" Well, he did feed her and she did come back and now we have no cats but are the proud owner of a 65 pound potcake named Smiley (the best dog in the world). Hmmm....

She came housebroken and relatively social, but liked to run off, was overprotective, and did not play well with other dogs. Luckily I found a great dog trainer and groomer, and Smiley entered doggie day care with training and socialization. Our trainer, as it turned out, used the principles taught by The Monks of New Skete. An Eastern Orthodox order based in Cambridge, New York, the monks train dogs as part of their "monastic witness. For example, since we live on land that is steep and rocky, it is totally unsuitable for farming. This reality led us to begin breeding German Shepherd Dogs early on, and boarding and training dogs of all breeds." The Monks also train dogs and their owners to lead happier, more productive lives together.

Their latest book, Divine Canine: The Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog, is a clear and easy-to-understand guide to training "difficult" dogs using the examples of actual clients. This is a beautiful book with color photos of the dogs, owners, and Brother Christopher.
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