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How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves Paperback – July 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: TFH Publications, Inc.; 2 edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793806445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793806447
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


...I find this book so uniquely valuable, it will be front and center in my bookcase. -- Dr. Marty Becker, Veterinary contributor to ABC TV's Good Morning America, Knight Ridder Tribune Pet Columnist, Coauthor Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul, 2002 Veterinarian of the Year

Dr. Yin knows how---and why---to train, and how to convey the finer points to the average dog owner... -- Leslie Larson Cooper, DVM, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Dr. Yin's book includes just about all you need to know to get the most enjoyment from your pet... -- Edward Price, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, author of Animal Domestication and Behavior

Sophia Yin's approach to dog training is a perfect meshing of the scientific theory and practical application. -- Raymond Coppinger, PhD, Professor of Biology, Hampshire College --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Although you may not be aware of it, every interaction you have with your dog is a training session--with each pat on the head, cluck of disapproval, or offer of a treat, your dog is learning something. Whether he is learning something you want him to learn is another matter. If you want a well-behaved dog, you're going to have to modify your own behavior in order to modify his. The best way to achieve this is to understand how dogs think and learn.

Dr. Sophia Yin, a respected animal behaviorist, provides an in-depth approach to not only understanding dogs, but also understanding how to effectively communicate with them. As you read about the practical aspects of learning theory, you will realize what motivates your dog, then apply Dr. Yin's scientifically-based training methods to get the results you want. Exercises for training and problem solving are broken down into short, easy-to-read sections, and friendly, instructional illustrations enhance the techniques.

The positive approach to correcting and training your dog's behaviors will help you see the world from your dog's perspective and provide the necessary training tools to effect amazing behavioral changes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dr. Sophia Yin knows what it's like to have a problem pet and nowhere to turn for professional help. And she has witnessed countless fractured relationships between misunderstood pets and their frustrated humans companions.

As a result, her mission in life is to improve our understanding of animals and their behavior so that we can care for, appreciate and enjoy our time with them better.

Sophia learned that every pet needs a human who can lead. Not like a boss, but like a partner in a dance--someone who gives clear signals, rewards desirable behavior as it occurs, removes rewards for inappropriate behavior immediately, and sticks to the plan consistently until the new, good behavior is a habit.

Sophia's dedication to helping people communicate with pets in a positive, scientifically sound way has led her to create a variety of exceptional books and products for pet owners and pet-care professionals who also aspire to bond with their pets on a whole new level.

Dr. Sophia Yin currently sees behavior house calls, works at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (, writes for several veterinary and popular magazines and has consulted for several zoos. She also lectures and teaches workshops internationally on animal behavior and low stress handling and has served as a behavior expert for shows such as Dogs 101 on Animal Planet. She is also on the executive board for the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Handling Guidelines Committee, and the American Humane Association (AHA) Animal Behavior and Training Advisory Committee.

Customer Reviews

This book is easy to read and understand.
Sherry Garrett
This is a great book if you want to increase your understanding of dogs and grow your relationship.
Dog Repair
I highly recommend this book for new dog owners.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 78 people found the following review helpful By E. Kathryn Meyer on July 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves--A practical and intelligent guide for dog owners

by E. Kathryn Meyer, VMD
President, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

The first thing that engaged me in Sophia Yin's How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves was its title. As a veterinarian who treats behavioral problems in dogs and cats exclusively, I strive to teach my clients that we can't use a magic wand to eradicate unwanted behavior in dogs. We have to first understand the behavior and then devise methods of changing the behavior in a positive way--usually by giving the dog a good reason to engage in an acceptable alternative behavior. If we read our dogs correctly, we can teach them what is desired and then use motivators specific to our individual dog and situation to reinforce the right stuff. Dr. Yin's book is aptly titled and provides a wealth of science-based information translated into witty and easily understood language, accompanied by helpful and charming illustrations.

To build a foundation of basic dog knowledge, Dr. Yin first educates the reader about the origin of dogs, their social behavior, and body language. Then, she introduces and explains the science of learning, its potential and its limitations. But the real gold mine for dog owners lies in the Five-Minute Guides covered in the last two sections of the book on Basic Good Dog Behavior and Solving Common Canine Problems. The first section gives the reader explicit instructions on how to teach very specific behaviors that are incredibly important to having a well-behaved, well-adjusted dog.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Jay on November 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"How to Behave" is packed with useful information on everything from how dogs learn to reading a dog's expression to what you can do if your dog barks too much. The material is presented in a style that is easy to understand and use to successfully train your dog. The exercises were very effective and easy to follow. Illustrations in the book are often funny and aid in conveying the large amount of information. I found the secton on reading and understanding a dog's posture and body signals especially valuable not only for my own dog but also when I meet unfamiliar ones. My only criticism is that if this book had been written a few years ago, my favorite dress shoes may not have become doggie chew toys.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ami on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is great. If you've ever read a training book that bored you to death, you need this book. Dr. Yin's writing is easy to read. I never got lost in technical talk; whenever she talks about science she makes sure to define the terms or give the background so that anyone can understand it. If she wrote fiction books, she'd have best sellers, she's so funny. I never felt like reading this book was a chore. The illustrations will make you laugh, and you'll never forget what they're trying to teach you. The content of this book is right-on. You learn the basics of animal behavior, how to train, why it isn't working for you and how to fix it. I've read other books on dog behavior, and this one answered the questions those left me with. She lists resources when you need them so you don't have to flip back and forth searching for them (though flipping the pages is fun and worth another laugh). And if the book isn't enough, you can download exercises and videos from her website. Get this book, and a second one too, to loan to all your friends.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dr. MJ Mulholland on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a veterinarian whose practice is limited to behavior. I also do quite a bit of speaking about behavioral issues. I think I've read virtually every comprehensive companion animal behavior book currently in print. This book is the one I recommend for everyone's library--particularly those who want to start with only one book. It not only gives advice on basic behavioral techniques, it also lets the reader understand the theory behind how they work. It's written in a way the rankest beginner can understand--but even those of us with lots of experience can find a few new things to learn or good reminders of what we already know. Everyone with a critter (or who's thinking about one) needs this book.

MJ Mulholland, DVM, JD, MS, MA, CPDT, CTC
Legal Beagle Veterinary Behavior
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Shipley on November 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I could not disagree with the previous review more. Dr. Yin has written a clear, accessible and useful "manual" for dog owners that is grounded in proven science and backed by experience. It is wonderfully well-organized, informative and entertaining without being cloyingly cute. How to Behave has become my preferred gift to new puppy-owner friends, and I think it is among the best introductions into dog training and behavior that I have read. If you have a new puppy or dog, and are uncertain what to do next, this book will give you just about all the information you will ever need to have a happy, well-adapted pet/companion who is a joy to have around. I think the sections on how dogs learn are worth the price of the book alone, and her suggestions for dealing with problem behaviors could save your sanity. (Not to mention Dr. Yin has a wonderful website with training "movies" that clearly demonstrate much of what she has written in How to Behave - a great resource for those of us who need to "see" how things are done to understand.) I highly recommend How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves. It won't gather dust on your shelf.
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