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The Canine Good Citizen: Every Dog Can Be One, Second Edition Paperback – July 1, 1997


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The Canine Good Citizen: Every Dog Can Be One, Second Edition + Therapy Dogs: Training Your Dog to Reach Others + Citizen Canine
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Product Details

  • Series: Howell reference books
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; Second Edition edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876054521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876054529
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Canine Good Citizen test, introduced by the American Kennel Club in recent years, hardly requires a special course of training-designed to certify that a dog has basic obedience skills, the CGC consists of 10 simple exercises for the dog, from sitting "politely" for petting to walking on a loose leash to a down-stay with the owner 20 feet away. But passing the CGC is as good a goal as any in dog training, and the Volhards (he is coauthor, with Bartlett, of What All Good Dogs Should Know; she has made award-winning training films) do a wonderful job of arming the reader with skills, techniques and philosophies. Their discussions are succinct and sober: a remarkably cogent section about teaching specific postures (sit, heel, etc.) and practices is preceded by a concise discussion of managing stress while training; a "Pack Leader's Bill of Rights" simplifies the often-clouded concept of pack theory; a schedule suggests the expected rate of progress. However, a "personality profile" aiming to help tell the reader which "drive" (prey, pack or defense) most motivates a given dog has pop appeal, but offers little beyond the obvious; you don't need to be Konrad Lorenz to know what motivates your own dog. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"...purebred or mixed, with this book any dog can become a Canine Good Citizen.... The Volhards'...approach to training, which they call the Motivational Method,...is designed to do just that?motivate the owner and the dog. The Motivational Method is grounded on a thorough knowledge of how people learn and dog behavior. Since 1983 they have authored or co-authored four major books on dog training and teaching dog Obedience classes, and have produced four video tapes. I am...pleased that they have written this book on the Canine Good Citizen. I cannot think of anyone else who could have done a better job. This book contains everything the reader needs to know about training any dog to become a Canine Good Citizen. Still, there is much more?the book shares a wealth of insights for the beginner, as well as the experienced dog person. The book's best feature is that it gives each person the means to tailor the training to the individual dog's character and temperament. It thoroughly explains what makes dogs different and how these differences dictate the approach to training that needs to be taken." ?James E. Dearinger, AKC Vice President, Obedience

The American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program was developed to promote responsible dog ownership in a manner that would be easy for both dog and owner. Any book that promotes and encourages dog owners to participate is doing a public service, and this book does it well.

"This book is aptly named. Yes, every dog, both pure-bred dogs and mixed breeds, can be a good citizen if their owners care enough to make it happen. The key is to encourage dog owners everywhere to be responsible enough to make their dogs a pleasure to be around and able to handle most situations that they might be expected to encounter in everyday life." ?Robert H. McKowen AKC Vice President, Performance Events
A Howell Dog Book of Distinction


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Customer Reviews

Very informative, well written book with awesome illustrations.
Beth C.
She already has the book and hopefully reading it and getting some badly needed help.
Joyce Heyman
This is a wonderful guide to training your dog for the Canine Good Citizen test.
Kathi Hall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a must have for every dog owner. If you own a dog then you need to teach your dog some manners. Every dog has the potential of being a well behaved canine citzen and the Volhards teach you how to motivate your canine to become one. They break down the steps into an 8 week course and thoroughly explain each step. This has become my bible of dog training. The book is centered around taking the Canine Good Citizen Exam, however even if you do not attempt the exam you and your dog will highly benefit from its instruction. It will become an enjoyable time between you and your dog as they promote motivational training. You will be happy with your purchase of this well written book.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Duif Calvin on August 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The things I like best about this book aren't in most other books. I found the personality test for the dog both interesting and helpful, and the distinction between dogs who react to fear with flight and those who react with aggression is important.

The discussion of the test itself is detailed, and the training programs, particularly the ones that last several weeks, are helpful and practical. This test requires your dog to perform consistently, and that means practice! Learning how to structure a "Stay" program that will take 4 weeks to complete is critical if you really want a dog that can pass the test.

However, the book was written more than 10 years ago, and the specific techniques rely heavily on physically moving the dog into place. There are some master trainers who can do that, but these days most humane societies and group trainers don't advise amateurs to use those methods unsupervised.

For example, the book says that with some dogs, when teaching "Sit," "You may have to physically place them. With your left hand, stroke down the entire length of the back, over the tail all the way to the stifles, and with equal pressure of the right and left hands, fold the dog into a sit with the command 'Sit.'"

I don't know of any book written in the last 5 years that would recommend this method for home training. Instead, the preferred method is shaping and patience--reward the dog for each effort towards the desired behaviour. Almost all dogs will eventually get there, and the shaping method is usually safer and more reliable for amateurs.

This book uses similar physical manipulation techniques throughout. That's really the only reason I can't give it a higher rating.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Treebyleaf McCurdy on December 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I am a dog nut, a diehard fan of Job Michael Evans and Mryna Milani, owner of more dog books than I can lift at one time.
This is *the* dog book I recommend most often.
I've been a champion of the Canine Good Citizen program since I first heard about it. I expected to read this book and enjoy learning more about the program. I did not expect to be blown away by the practical and compassionate approach of the authors. There are many other dog books out there that I consider useful, helpful, even brilliant... but this is the one book I believe *every* responsible dog owner should make the time to read.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Excellent book, easy to read and understand. This should be a manual given out to everyone planning on getting a new puppy, as well as anyone wanting to have a well mannered companion dog of any age. One of the best books I've ever read, well worth the money.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a step by step, week by week training book. It's not a "Train your dog in 2 hours" book. Any dog owner know that it take time, patience and more time to train a dog. There is an exercise at the beginning to teach your dog who is in control. It takes 30 minutes to do and you need to do it 5 days a week for 4 weeks. If you don't have that kind of commitment this book isn't for you. If you do, then you're in luck. I could see a change in my dogs after the first week. During the 4 weeks that you are doing the control exercises, you will also learn a new command each week for 8 weeks. If you have the time and commitment, BUY THIS BOOK. You and your dog will be good citizen!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book centers around the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test, outlining the purpose and content of the test, and providing training information to prepare your dog for the test.
It also provides a useful way to determine the best methods to train your dog, based on your dog's individual drives (a test is provided to determine the level of prey/pack/fight/flight drives in your dog). I found it very helpful in preparing for the CGC test, as well as providing insight into understanding my dog, and ideas to work with her in a productive manner - it includes a very helpful section on stress & training. It does not go into much detail regarding more severe problem behaviors, but covers the basics in a clear & easy-to-understand manner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Rice on June 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This little volume is pure gold. Some may criticize this book as not being advanced enough, or not containing new information - they are missing the point. Ultimately this is a book about educating people about how to help their dogs learn good people manners.

While the context is preparing for the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test, really this book is for any dog owner. If you have a family dog that needs a little help in learning good people manners, this is the book for you. If you are already involved in competitive dog sports, such as obedience trials or have experience in dog training, this book has not really been written for you.

The Canine Good Citizen test involves 10 individual tests, all of which allow the dog to show that she well mannered in everyday situations. For example two of the tests include the dog must sit politely while being petted by a stranger, and walk politely on leash through a crowd.

Whether you ever test your dog or not, teaching these skills to your dog will result in a dog that is well behaved, a joy to be around. Isn't that what everyone really wants for their family dog?

For me, the best parts of the book are those that coach you on how to work with your dog, how to understand the dog's psychology - how dogs learn. This has been invaluable to me. Early in the book, the authors introduce the idea that dogs are, of course, pack animals. Our human family becomes their pack, and someone has to be the leader of the pack. For everyone's sake, the leader of the pack must be one of the people - not the dog. The Volhards help you understand how to be the pack leader. This is not hard to do and certainly does not require you to be unkind to your dog.
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