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Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 30, 2010)
"Life will be better for readers who heed Bjelland's advice. The strength of this book is the practical, user-friendly motivation it provides for owners, to shape both human and dog behaviors."--Library Journal
"Explicit, positive advice on tackling any problem you may have with your dog. Bjelland tells you how to change your communication with your dog so that you will have 'stress-free, unconditional love for years to come.' She also has a web site so you can contact her, and donates a portion of her profits to help dogs. This is a must- read book that can help your dog as well as other deserving canines."--TheAmerican Dog Magazine
"This is NOT just another dog-training book. Believe me, I've read them all. Julie Bjelland's book is one of the best, right up there with the Monks of New Skete, The Culture Clash and How Dogs Think. ...Her approach is simple. The steps she lays out make perfect sense. I found myself having several "Ah Ha" moments. Her background as a vet-tech and a trainer for Guide Dogs for the Blind has given her opportunities to observe both ends of the leash. She understands that a successful harmonious relationship between guardian and dog begins with human behavior...This is a great book for every dog owner, whether you're a newbie or you've had dogs for years...it's a guide for achievable and purposeful goals."--Pet Guardians of America
About the Author
JULIE A. BJELLAND has 15 years of experience as a dog trainer and trained at the world renowned Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization known for producing some of the best-trained dogs in the world. Her lifelong love of animals began in her childhood on a Minnesota farm. She is the owner of webDogTrainer.com, a web site on which you can contact her; she donates a portion of her profits to help dogs. She has two sons, Oliver and Eliot, and is the guardian of four adopted pets: Fax, Tisha, Skyress and Sebastian.
This is a well written easy to follow dog training book. I particularly like how the author spends time in the beginning talking about how to match one's personality with their dog's personality. Other dog training books I've tried have talked about being an assertive leader for your dog, but haven't talked about how a passive personality and a dominate dog personality will clash. This author makes it clear that if you are a low energy and passive person you'll be happier with an older dog and one that is also passive or shy, and your dog will be happier too.
She also spends a good amount of time explaining how much exercise is required for a dog and challenging the reader to examine if his/her lifestyle is compatible with having a dog. She also makes several good points about how one's level of activity should match the dog's level of activity. Particularly if you are gone all day and don't have energy for an active dog, you'd do better with an older dog. She makes a great case for adopting older dogs which has really made me rethink the myth that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
The training section is easy to read and the steps are broken down so that they are easy to follow and implement. I particularly like her reminders to remain calm, clear, and consistent. The book has lots of real life cases and how the author has helped people overcome issues with their dogs. I find these extremely helpful in understanding why my dogs behave as they do and how my fears, anxieties and emotions impact their behavior.
Particularly helpful in this book is that the author gives lots of examples of how we inadvertently reinforce negative behavior by giving in to our dogs.Read more ›
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Wow! What a great book! I have a nearly 2-year-old dog, who recently started some annoying behavior, like barking at strange sounds and not stopping (especially at night!). I thought we would have to start another round of expensive dog training courses when I discovered this book. What a gem! It taught us not only how to stop the bad behavior but also how to teach our dog a number of other really useful commands, like how to stop him from chewing my daughter's toys! We really like the author's positive-reinforcement approach to training as well as her step-by-step, clearly outlined directions. It's a very easy to use book! More importantly, it works! It's also very comprehensive (offering everying from how to choose the "right" dog for your family, to training basic and advanced commmands, as well as recommending a bunch of fun stuff to do with your dog!) We recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of getting a dog and to those who want to teach their old dog some new tricks!
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I ordered this book as a companion to My Smart Puppy and read that one first. Maybe it's unfair to compare them but this book really falls short of the two. For one, the other book is very well organized separating each chapter into levels according to how much your dog already knows. They are further separated into sections regarding the types of exercises you do, for example "space" exercises which teach your dog to respect your boundaries whether in regard to your person or the cookies on the kitchen counter.
This book is very loosely organized, one minute you could be covering house breaking and the next you could be covering relaxation techniques (for you, not your dog!) You really need to read this cover to cover to get all the pertinent information regarding one topic or stage of your dog's development, you can't just refer to a chapter or you'll miss something. Sections tend to bleed together and there's quite a bit of redundancy and rambling. For example, the author pushes exercise all throughout the book. Exercise is important, obviously, but it gets mentioned repeatedly in a way that sounds like she has already prejudged you to be a lazy owner who doesn't exercise their dog enough. Since I don't even have a dog yet, and this is not Ms. Cleo from the Psychic Hotline, I found this condescending and annoying to read again and again.
When it comes to the relaxation techniques for people (not your dog) I think it's wholly unnecessary to talk about yoga, diet, or what have you. I get that in order to be a good teacher to my dog, I need to be calm and keep anxiety, anger, tension, etc. out of my verbal and physical commands; that's good advice. I don't need an entire section to tell me how to relax.Read more ›
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I purchased this book for an aunt who was having trouble disciplining an older dog she'd recently adopted. I was frustrated seeing her struggle with her own form of obedience training. I'd sought help in prior years with pets, so I thought I'd seek out a good guide for my aunt. My aunt, an immigrant, had communication issues of her own, and being around her and her pet made me nervous. I said, "enough was enough," and got her Julie Bjelland's book.
To date, gone are the days when my aunt's dog is confused and my aunt frustrated. Julie lays out a very good outline for dog ownership from beginning to end - starting from preparing for life with a dog to whether one's lifestyle would be a better fit for a puppy or older dog. I thought this was great, as I wanted my aunt to realize that there were different types of dogs for different types of lifestyles.
I especially love that Julie also outlined what tools were going to be needed, budgets of ownership, crate training, commands, leadership. Wow, I couldn't have found a more efficient and quick lifesaver for my own sanity and I'm sure my aunt's. Now both dog and human are more sane and happy in knowing their roles. I think that this book is authoritative, calm, and carries with it an air of true help for dogs and their human companions. The author is very qualified and knowledgeable and I think this book was worth the investment many times far and above the price. I also appreciated that the book was practical for the average person to understand. What a great guide from someone who trained guide dogs! Fantastic!!
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JULIE A. BJELLAND (Pronounced: BEE YELL AND) is the author of Imagine Life With A Well-Behaved Dog, A 3-Step Positive Dog Training Program. She has 15 years of experience as a dog trainer and trained at the world renowned Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization known for producing some of the best-trained dogs in the world. Her lifelong love of animals began in her childhood on a Minnesota farm. She is the owner of webDogTrainer.com. She has two sons, Oliver and Eliot, and is the guardian of four adopted pets: Fax, Tisha, Skyress and Sebastian.
Because each dog's situation is unique, Bjelland is offering readers exclusive one-on-one guidance via her website, for up to 60 days. Here dog training, often very expensive, is affordable and accessible to a broad audience. Julie's down-to-earth, uncomplicated advice is a welcome solution for a busy dog owner and aims to change the way people communicate with their dogs forever.