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How Many Dogs?! Using Positive Reinforcement Training to Manage a Multiple Dog Household Paperback – April 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Tanacacia Press; First edition (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976641429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976641421
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

As a trainer who lives with a relatively large pack of dogs, I appreciate the down-to-earth, positive approach to pack management in Debby's book. Debby has succeeded in providing both a moral support system and a user-friendly plan for people struggling with the multiple dog lifestyle, as well as giving helpful tips for integrating foster dogs or the new puppy. If you are feeling a little out of control in your multiple dog household, this book provides support from somebody who has not only "been there" herself but made a career out of it. --Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CPDT, CDBC, author Control Unleashed

Boy do I wish I had this book before I brought home my second dog! It's packed with vital information on how to create household harmony out of canine chaos. How Many Dogs?! allows you to add to your family in a positive, orderly manner, rather than suffering through it. Tips abound, and range from housetraining and loose leash walking to mealtime and behavior problems. --Ali Brown, M.Ed., CPDT, CDBC, author Scaredy Dog!

About the Author

Debby McMullen began training dogs and their owners in 1998 at the Animal Friends shelter in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2002 she started her dog training and behavior consulting business, Pawsitive Reactions, LLC. She is a founding member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), and a long time professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). A member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, she is also the founder and president of Damon s Den Doberman Rescue of Western PA. She lives with four personal dogs as well as a rotating crew of rescues and would have it no other way.

More About the Author

My love affair with dogs started later than most dog lovers. I got my first dog at the age of twenty. I had shared my life with sweet Samantha for eleven wonderful years. Next came Layla, who graced me with five loving years. After that loss, I was determined to have more than one dog in my life at a time. That decision brought me first Merlin and he chose Kera. Kera chose Siri and circumstances brought us Trent. In between was Damon and a host of foster dogs.

So, when I found myself with more dogs than I had ever intended, I searched for information to help me manage my multiple dog household better than I seemed to be doing at the time. Although most of the information that I found was helpful, nothing addressed every question that I had. And I had many! It seemed that a new situation cropped up daily. Having more than one or two dogs in your household makes for a busier life! The questions that I had on this subject are the reason that I wrote this book. I lived this situation for many years in order to effectively find the best answers to my questions.

My training background helped me formulate the best options. This saves you the trouble of trial and error. I started my training interest when Layla was alive. I volunteered at a local shelter and walked the more unruly dogs every weekend. The trainers there noticed that I was able to handle the dogs that many other volunteers shied away from walking. They invited me to apprentice with their training program. I jumped at the chance. At that time, most trainers used a more old fashioned training style which was force based. I am what is now known as a cross over trainer. I went from force based training to the scientifically based positive training world. I never looked back. Knowing that it hurt a dog to jerk and pull them on a choke chain or hearing a scream from a dog when the pinch/prong collar did its job was too hard on me. I knew there had to be a better way so I found one.

Debby McMullen began training dogs and their owners in 1998 at the Animal Friends shelter in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2002 she started her dog training and behavior consulting business, Pawsitive Reactions, LLC. She is a founding member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), and a long time professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). A member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, she is also the founder and president of Damon's Den Doberman Rescue of Western PA. She lives with four personal dogs as well as a rotating crew of rescues and would have it no other way.

Customer Reviews

Debby appears extreme and judgmental throughout the book.
Chelsey Thorton
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with more than one dog or someone thinking about adding another dog to their one dog family.
michael
This book has helped tremendously to make life a little easier.
S Kruk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jerrie Poulosophos on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am so grateful for this book. A friend recommended it to me. I have a four-dog, two-cat household and have had every problem imaginable trying to manage it. I have received advise on how to deal with a multiple dog household from professionals that only made matters worse! I have always been determined to train and treat my pets humanely. This book covers all the problems I have had and more or more than I knew I had. It has taught me what I needed to know to do what is right for may beloved pets and for maintaining a happy household with them in it. The book is concise, plain spoken and clear. My pets and my household are already improving after three weeks and I am sure that I am finally on the right track thanks to this book. I recommend it to anyone who has several dogs as I do. It has been a God-send. I'm sure my dogs would tell you the same thing if they could talk!
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57 of 71 people found the following review helpful By M. MACLEAN on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am really struggling to decide exactly how many stars to give this book. I think there's some really solidly good advice in here and some easy to understand techniques one can apply to their multiple dog household but there is a fair bit of woo woo to slog through as well. A few examples:

* The author constantly references herbal calming products for dogs. Many of the tips begin with a suggestion to spray an area with one of several she prefers. I know of absolutely no double-blind, controlled scientific study that supports aromatherapy at all and certainly none that support the idea that certain products, sprayed around dogs, will calm them. Save your money and either exercise your dogs more or use that money to hire someone to walk your dog. [...]

* The author is a huge proponent of raw diets and to her credit, she is clear that there are other acceptable alternatives though she allows her strong bias for raw diets to shine through. The raw diet is based on the theory that wolves eat raw food and thus dogs should as well. However, dogs are not wolves and haven't been for a very long time. They have evolved to eat far different diets and, if that weren't argument enough, it has been found repeatedly that wolves in captivity actually do worse eating a raw diet than they do kibble. I am all for people feeding their dogs what they like, but the author's unscientific claims will afford their dogs no additional health benefits and will most likely cost them significantly more and may expose both dogs and humans to greater risk of food poisoning and/or cross contamination. [...]

* Lastly, probably my biggest beef with this book, is the author's insistence that astrology and the phases of the moon be considered in their dog training.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Bowen on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was thrilled to see this book in a prepublication notice. I ordered it directly from Dogwise at full price rather than waiting to buy it on Amazon. I was not disappointed. The author shares my perspective that it is possible to live in a household of more than one dog and manage the interactions of the animals and humans without resorting to punitive methods or prong collars. She is a progressive trainer who uses a clicker and common sense. There's good advice on feeding, walking, and training multiples singly or as a group while avoiding conflict. I especially liked her chapter on observing a dog's body language and being aware of stress factors when multiples don't get along and what to do. Also included is an excellent resource section of other books, DVDs, and websites. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering fostering dogs or simply adding another dog to the household as a family member.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By STAR Rescuer on June 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Having six to nine dogs in our home at any point in time, my husband and I have had a crash course in living with multiple dogs. It has been nearly six years that I have been operating a foster-based animal rescue, primarily out of my own home, and we've run the gamut of inter-dog hardships. Oh, how I wish I'd had this book available to me in the beginning; it may have helped us avoid some of the more trying times.

Though the book is written to benefit the multiple dog owner in general, I think that rescue volunteers with foster dogs will really enjoy this book as I did. There are parts of the book dedicated to the special dynamic that foster homes have to deal with, especially during feeding and bedtime. Concerns that potential fosterers have, such as how to exercise or train multiple dogs, seem less impossible with McMullen's instructions. I think that our multi-dog foster homes will all receive a copy!

Crystal Collins
Founder, Starfish To the sea Animal Rescue
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Donna Launt on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After having just moved, my 7 dogs were scared and had dissolved into utter chaos. After reading "How Many Dogs?" I started to regain control. Debby makes it very plain in her book that you must insist on manners in your dogs, no matter how many you have. She also stresses that dogs like routine. I than realized I was no longer insisting on my dogs having manners and I had not maintained their routine in our new home. With the use of a clicker, and refusing to feed during chaos, I regained calmness during feeding time. I also made sure to reinstate all the daily routines we had had in the old house. It wasn't long before I saw the very positive results.

Debby doesn't tell you what to do to gain a calm and happy home with your multiple dogs. She tells you what she has done with her own dogs and what other people have done as suggestions as to how you can proceed. Her theme throughout the book is that whatever you do is acceptable as long as it works and is a positive reinforcement method. With positive reinforcement methods you gain the willing cooperation of the dogs and wanted behaviors that become strong automatic behaviors. Negative reinforcement (punishment) results in dogs behaving only when you are looking and sneaking behind your back to do whatever they want to do.
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