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Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog Hardcover – March 1, 1985


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Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog + Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence: A Positive Training Program (Howell reference books) + How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With
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Product Details

  • Series: Howell reference books
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; 1st edition (March 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876056664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876056660
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Mother Knows Best the natural way to train your dog

The Dog is a Social Animal, and in nature the mother is a dog's most successful teacher. This simple fact translates into a highly effective, dynamic approach to dog training based on the natural way dogs learn. Using this natural way of learning as a base, renowned author and trainer Carol Lea Benjamin presents a sensible, easy, humane training program designed to shape your dog into the best companion it can be, at home and in public. From the basics of puppy training and good house manners, on through all the levels of structured obedience exercises, Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog helps your dog learn as it was intended to. Here's the secret of how to enjoy your dog, have your dog enjoy you and enhance the human-animal bond?all at the same time! It's training you can rely on. After all, Mother Knows Best.

From the Back Cover

"Carol Benjamin makes dog training sound like more fun than a barrel of puppies.... Mother Knows Best is a thoroughly enjoyable book whose pages may become a bit worn from constant re-reading. But it's too good to read just once." —Dogs in Canada

"[The] author is someone who really loves and understands dogs, and that comes through on every page.... Every aspect of training is covered, from the basics of puppy training to structured obedience exercises, in sufficient detail and sufficient examples to show you how you can apply the advice to your own situation." —Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Health Newsletter

"Carol Benjamin has written a breakthrough book that exposes the fallacy of humanizing dogs and calls for an intelligent, reasoned, and painstaking re-evaluation of just how dogs are originally educated." —Job Michael Evans, Dog Fancy

"This book is full of excellent information and innovative ideas for turning that cute puppy into a true companion...an excellent book to give or recommend." —AKC Gazette
A Howell Dog Book of Distinction


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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written and easy to read.
C. ONEAL
I have read many dog training books in my day, and recently, as we are bringing a new puppy home shortly.
J. Miller
She makes it easy to see things the way your dog sees them.
Susan B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I own a full library of dog books and of all the training methods I've studied, Carol's is definitly the best. Mother Knows Best gives a logical approach to raising a canine companion. Scattered throughout the book are humerous quips and cartoons in addition to the easy to read format. Benjamin's training methods are humane and appropriate for any dog. She provides many solutions to common problems and gives suggestions on correct ways to discipline and reward according to your dog's temperment. Her book contains a house training schedule for puppies as well as puppy manners and obedience. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone. I only wish I could give it MORE than 5 stars!
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've had dogs all my life and I've read many books on dog training and this one is my favorite. I used Benjamins' method to train my last two dogs, and I can honestly say the results were wonderful. Written with humor and insight, this book is easy to read and very educational. Whether you are a fisrt time puppy owner or have an older dog, this book has something for you. Benjamin gives plenty of information that helps you understand your dogs' perspective and makes training fun for both you and your dog. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in raising their dog to be a loving, life-long companion.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've read many dog training books but never anything like this one. This boog goes far beyond simply training your dog for obedience. It's about REALLY communicating with your dog.
I've had dogs before and enjoyed them, but I never thought they can actually communicate - in the broader sense of the word.
'Mother knows best' changed my whole perspective on dogs, and taught me that a dog can, and should have, a vocabulary that can grow with time.
I have a wonderful little pup that I picked up from the street.
He's seven months old now and he already knows so many words.
Whenever I go to the park with him I'm the envy of all other dog owners. He comes immediately when called, knows how to sit and stay, and so much more. There's no bigger pleasure than being able to let him run free, without a leash, knowing that he won't run away, run to the road, or fight with other dogs.
A wonderful wonderful book!!
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By John A. Lefcourte VINE VOICE on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When this book was published in 1985 the concept of natural training was revolutionary. The Monks of New Skete followed in 1991 with a book advocating the same concept of training. However, the principles of a more natural training method have been greatly refined over the years and some of the advice that is contained in this book is wrong (or wrong in most situations).

The author is adament that food should not be given as a reward, reward should be positive attention only. The Monks also believed this but weren't so adament. More recent books have recognized that different breeds respond differently. Breeds bred for close human interaction, primarily the herding breeds, are more closely focused on humans, breeds bred to act independently such as Beagles, and other hounds, and terriers, are not closely attuned to humans and respond better to food rewards. Hey, it's animal behavior 101 that lab rats are rewarded by food and learn from those rewards. Interestingly both Benjamin and the Monks work primarily with German Shepards.

Benjamin also maintains that you can bring a dog back to the scene of its crime, i.e. where it destroyed a pillow, show it the destroyed pillow and correct the dog's behavior. All the recent books acknowledge that you can only correct a dog's behavior if you catch the dog while it is in the act.

Potentially dangerous advice that she gives is to grab a dog by both sides of the neck and get in its face to stare it down. That is threatening and confrontational and may work with puppies but other books warn against that approach with agressive dogs as it will incite them to attack and bite.

There are better books out there pass on this.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By "kparr96417" on June 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I raised two dogs using techniques from this book (including one that came to me at two years old ! ). I have never had to raise a hand to them and people constantly comment on how they obey my voice. This is the one book I recommed to all new owners of dogs. A great investment !
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Moore on November 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I'm amazed that nobody has commented on this wonderful book yet. Carol Lea Benjamin has crafted a delightful read that not only informs, but entertains at the same time. And her wisdom, which is mostly common sense -- something often severely lacking when it comes to pet ownership -- is apparent in every word she's chosen.
As Benjamin says well into the book, "We were all brought up to feel we could raise our children and dogs without the help of anyone. But often, to our surprise and dismay, we cannot ... Modern man does not automatically take on the role of alpha dog and do everything properly." Her philosophy of assuming the role of the dog's parent, rather than the dog's owner as most people do, rings especially true in this modern age of political correctness, but that's not why I applaud "Mother Knows Best." Raising a dog and raising a child are two very different things, and most pet owners either feel that they are the same thing or that raising a dog isn't worth the same effort it takes to raise a child. And how unfortunate is such a lack of insight! Carol Benjamin has taken the time and initiative to clearly put that into words and to observe the interaction between a puppy and his natural mother to translate it for us mere humans so that we can give our puppies the type of attention they naturally need, and deserve.
It's brilliant to suggest that the flat-out easiest way to train your animal is to do it in the same manner that it's natural mother would. And it's proven an especially successful method in creating an irrepressible bond between us and our pup. Marley Sage is only 5 months old now, but with Carol's naturally humane techniques and reassuring guidance, she's not only our best friend, but she's also the best, most well-behaved and considerate house guest we've ever had. I urge anyone even considering pet ownership to read and treasure this book. And if you know dog owners, get a copy for them also!
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