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Smarter Than You Think: A Revolutionary Approach to Teaching and Understanding Your Dog in Just a Few Hours Paperback – August 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671023284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671023287
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

As the subtitle states, animal behaviorist and dog trainer Loeb (The Complete Book of Dog Training, Pocket, 1991) claims to offer "a revolutionary approach to teaching and understanding your dog in just a few hours." Although he does present excellent training techniques, these are intermingled with numerous anecdotes of improperly trained dogs, his oft-repeated puffery about training 25,000 dogs over 40 years, and frequent criticisms of veterinarians, other trainers, and "experts." Loeb's criticisms of dry dog food and dog food manufacturers are unwarranted, and his recommendation of "people food" for dogs could be harmful if the pet companion does not balance the nutrients properly. If everyone with a dog read only the training advice and ignored the incorrect nutritional and medical comments, Loeb's work could be a useful, but that is not likely. As such, this is not recommended.?A. Louis Shor, DVM, Veterinary Consultant, Mt. Laurel, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

This anecdotal book provides a new system for educating dogs and teaches readers how to train their dogs by understanding the psychology behind why the author's methods work. Stressing common sense and rejecting the use of one-word commands are two of the major approaches of this system. The third technique involves the "Magic Touch," the ability to always reach a dog by tossing something at her (to which she should respond by coming to the thrower). Loeb discusses these tactics and demonstrates how to apply them to basic lessons, such as housebreaking dogs and teaching them to sit, as well as to behavior problems and bad habits. The chapter on canine diet and nutrition is well thought out, but the reader may want to check the information with a veterinarian before changing a pet's rations. Despite occasional cutesy language ("boy dog"), the author's valuable training ideas will round out the library's dog-training collection. Nancy Bent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Paul Loeb

The Wall Street Journal compared Paul Loeb's work with animals to the work of B.F.Skinner:
"Loeb illustrates practical approaches to physical needs as a means to psychological (read "behavioral") cures, he is to the canine world what B.F. Skinner, the noted Harvard psychologist who devoted himself to the techniques of shaping behavior, was to the study of man."
The Chicago Tribune noted that Loeb has been identified as an animal psychiatrist, animal psychic, or animal trainer. Whatever you call him, he's a success in a wide range of activities involving animals.
"His credits include more than 600 TV commercials, ranging from pet foods to men's underwear."
Loeb was for several years the Director of Education of animal behavior for the ASPCA in NYC, and held a behavioral clinic at NYC's Animal Medical Center, the largest small animal hospital in the world. His most popular classes were group therapy sessions with radical confrontation for aggressive dogs. Never before or since has anyone taken groups of aggressive dogs with their owners and successfully solved these problems, and solved them quickly.
Dr. Wm. Kay DVM, former Director of The Animal Medical Center, and Dr. Martin De Angelis DVM, Director of Village Animal Clinic and a leading authority on orthopedic surgery, have acknowledged Loeb's work, calling him a "pioneer in the field" and one of the "premier animal trainers in the world today." Dr. Kay and Dr. De Angelis endorsed Smarter Than You Think and The Heart Of The Matter referring to them as the "champions of training books" and Loeb as an "internationally acclaimed expert" in this area.
When National Geographic produced an Educational Series on animal behavior they featured Loeb as the expert on dogs and cats. This was a special honor since he was in the company of such renowned names as Konrad Lorenz and Jane Goodall. Loeb's, You Can Train Your Cat, was translated into many languages and is still widely referenced today by cat owners and experts, as was his next book, Cathletics.
Early on he realized the need for a holistic approach when working with animals including diet and nutrition. The wrong diet can be detrimental not only to a dog's health but also to his behavior and learning ability. Gaines, a division of General Foods, used Loeb as a consultant in the early development of their Cycle dog food. In addition to Nutrition And Your Dog, his work regarding diet, nutrition and proper exercise, has been written up in the Wall Street Journal, Esquire Magazine, Glamour, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
His easygoing style and ability to make the complex simple with humor and understanding made his column for Parent's magazine, during the early eighties, an outstanding success. The series, which ran for three years, dealt with such topics as: When a Child Fears Animals; Communicating With Your Pet; Can My Pet Perform Like Those Animals on TV; Teaching Your Pet to Accept Your New Baby; How to Pet Train Your Child; Traveling With Your Pet and other subjects, in a direct, common sense approach.
Loeb made frequent appearances on national and local radio and television shows from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show in the early seventies, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, CBS Early Show, among others, including a recent challenge on NBC's Dateline.
Although the seeds of Loeb's new techniques are evident in his large body of work, he has refined and simplified this technology. What has taken him over fifty years to develop is now available to you, the reader. Your dog, or cat, can learn all that's necessary for success in a few hours. Loeb's philosophy is quite simple. Animals have the ability to learn more and learn faster, if what they really need to know is delivered in a way they can fully understand. They are smarter than you think.
Loeb's latest books, (with co-author Suzanne Hlavacek) Smarter Than You Think and Heart of The Matter have set a new standard in the understanding and the shaping of behavior in both dogs and cats.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend reading this book before you buy any other dog traing book.
How do you teach your dog to come when called? "Whenever you want your dog, call him. If he doesn't come to you, go find him and throw something." (page 49).
Slim Portly
If you have a dog and you want to quickly help him learn to behave then I recommend this book for its training techniques.
A. Snipes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joan Ross on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Being a brand new dog owner I tried to read and research as much as I could about puppies and small dogs ( my dog is a Papillion ). I also enrolled her in obedience school when she was 3 months old. Most instuctors I found out use food as a reward and later praise to teach dogs.
My puppy would never come 100%.
When I first got her I tried the magic touch and threw a soft slipper at her. She looked at me quite hurt and hubby and I thought we may "damage" her cheerful, energetic nature papillions
are known for.
As obedience lessons continued she still didn't come 100%. So one day before lessons I got so frustrated I decided to try the magic touch again.
I called her, she didn't come and continued playing with her stuffed dog toy. I threw a 3 inch roll of bandage tape at her which smacked her in the side. From that moment she was a changed dog. She looked at me in disbelief ( I didn't physically hurt her- just her pride ) and came immediately. Since that moment she looks at me in a different light. She respects me, always comes now and still is the same cheerful energic dog.
Another topic I was interested in is diet since small dogs have skin problems.. I tried the supermarket brands and Vet recommended dry foods plus natural expensive dry food and yet my dog seemed to scratch despite no fleas.
So I decided to use a natural brand of "canned food" which worked out well. The book adviced canned over dry plus people food supplements at times. My dog hardly scrathes now.
So I recommend the book and despite many negative reviews I read about Mr Loeb's knowledge, writing abilities and character
the information in the book helped me and my dog.!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book two years ago when I was anticipating getting a new puppy. Since then I've read most all of the dog training books currently on the market -- from Bill Koehler to the New Skete monks to Karen Pryor, and everything in between. But I keep coming back to the principles and techniques Paul Loeb explains in this book. I have two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, which are big headstrong dogs and known to be difficult to train. This book has helped me more than any other I've read, and it also has the most palatable approaches for me. I want my dogs to be my buddies without being spoiled brats -- and this book really shows how to achieve that goal! Sure, I use some other techniques as well (for example, I do crate my young female; she doesn't mind and she's too strong to be tethered and left alone.) I have also used a paper match on a puppy to stimulate its "I-gotta-poop NOW" reflex when I have to train it to go on a tiny piece of ground in the city. That's an old show ring handler trick and doesn't hurt the dog at all -- just makes sure the dog eliminates before going into the ring so something like what happened on TV at Westminster last year doesn't occur! Loeb's advice on feeding is also excellent, simple, and follows the most recent alternative veterinary writings on the best diet for a dog. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is not comfortable with strict, military-like training techniques and yet wants a responsive and well-behaved companion.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "deyounglin9" on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I sneered when I opened my 50th birthday present this summer and saw the book, "Smarter Than You Think." How could Brit, a horse and dog person herself, and who always praised my relationships with animals, insult me by giving me this basic "so you have a new puppy" type book? Me, who studied so many dog training books and practiced them; who attended obedience classes; who retrained a killer German Shepherd not to kill farm animals; who trained the same dog to perform a half-hundred actions with either voice or hand signal; whose dogs always wait untethered for me outside of any building? Out of courtesy, I perused the book at bedtime. Next morning I was calling Brit to apologize, for sneering, and to thank her for what may be the best book I've read on dogs. Mr. Loeb's sensible (humorously written) ideas on training and diet work for me, and my 11-year-old Shepherd/Spaniel adoptee and I have an even better relationship now, not to mention how her coat is even sleeker and shinier than ever. She enjoys her meals so much now with the diet change, and is grateful; no more skin problems and allergic reactions. You can teach an old dog new tricks. I gave this book to several friends/family for Christmas, and recommend it to everyone I meet who praises my dog, and complains about their own. While I achieved good results with my old methods, I can get better results much more easily with Mr. Loeb's. Sincerely, Linda D.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book finally puts into words the thoughts I have always had about dog training. Having recently raised a Standard Poodle puppy for a seeing eye dog organization, I can relate to the different puppy raising issues Mr. Loeb addresses. Although I was limited to training the dog according to the organization's rules, I can look back and see where the dog "outsmarted" me or learned an undesired behavior simply because he was confused. On the positive side, the puppy was able to learn many complex commands, such as finding a specific toy in a different room, simply because I spoke to him like he understood, which is something Loeb encourages. I think that many people underestimate a dog's intelligence and have behavior problems because they don't learn to think like a dog does. I incorporated many "think like a dog" solutions when working with the puppy, just as Loeb suggests. Or, maybe even more importantly, when training a puppy, think like the puppy's mother would.
The one idea from the book that I think is very important is that if you don't teach your dog, he will fill up the void with his own thoughts and behaviors. It is not cruel to teach your dog what he can and cannot do, it simply gives him a sense of security and freedom within his environment. I suggest that everyone who has a dog take a look at Loeb's ideas. As far as the nutritional part of the book, I think everyone should think for himself. In Europe, dogs and cats live longer because they get real food, not diseased parts of other animals that end up in commercial dog food. My mantra is that if you wouldn't feed it to your child, don't feed it to your dog. I don't know that a dog should have human sweets, but I can't see anything wrong with treating a dog with "real" food, such as fruit, vegetable, grains, and protein.
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