From Publishers Weekly
Standard dog training has long advocated the use of force choke collars, sharp smacks, harsh language. Fennell, a dog trainer in England for 30 years, wants to change all that. Expanding upon the theories of horse trainer Monty Roberts (the basis for The Horse Whisperer), Fennell believes one can best train dogs by emulating natural behaviors, that is, by treating them as they would treat each other in the wild. Her intelligent, straightforward and humane method has engendered controversy and increasing enthusiasm. After Fennel's dog Purdey went manic, injured Fennell's young children and had to be euthanized, she was fearful of owning a dog again. Lured back into it by the pleasure of showing spaniels, she adopted a high-strung young shepherd, Sasha, and investigated alternative training methods. Fennell's simple and succinct method posits that domesticated dogs are confused, believing themselves to be the pack leaders, and humans their subordinates. Fennell retrains dogs to accept a human as their alpha leader. She spurns the use of force, even in training language, employing instead a system of Pavlovian rewards. Those wanting true canine companionship will find Fennell's commonsense approach attractive and easy to apply with puppies as well as with older dogs. She addresses common problems, from separation anxiety to barking at guests to the mistrust of strangers that rescued dogs often harbor. Her knowledge and love of dogs is expansive and her concern for their well-being balances kindness and appropriate discipline. (Aug.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fennell, a longtime dog owner, trainer, and champion show-dog manager, provides a comprehensive guide for creating peaceful coexistence between dogs and their owners. An advocate of nonviolent pet training, Fennell shows readers how to successfully train their canine companions using gentle, respectful techniques and also shares anecdotes and advice from her years of experiences (both good and bad). Fennell's techniques appear to deal efficiently with canine problem behaviors by teaching owners to establish leadership while eliminating separation anxiety, nervous aggression, and destructive behaviors, such as biting. She also notes ways to reassure overprotective dogs and much, much more. Fennel emphasizes that there is no quick fix for most of these behavior issues; her methods require time and a lot of patience. Although every training technique she outlines might not work with every dog, her book contains quite a lot of useful information. Most current or prospective dog owners would benefit from taking a look at it. Kathleen HughesCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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