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Bruce Fogle, D.V.M., M.R.C.V.S, is a practicing veterinarian and lectures internationally at veterinary colleges on animal behavior. He has written several books on the behavioral problems of pets, including The Cat's Mind.
This book is an excellent guide to dog behavior and, although not being a training manual, it includes a lot of information on how to train your dog. Apart from discussing how dogs learn (e.g. by observation, classical conditioning, or operant conditioning), it includes a short list of "canine learning" rules and an appendix that teaches you how to teach commands, as well as how to correct behavior problems by counter-conditioning (training him to do something else instead of its undesirable behavior) and desensitization (teaching him to accept the stimuli that cause unacceptable behavior).
The first part of the book covers material on dogs anatomy and physiology, including their genetic background (that of wolves), their brain characteristics and hormonal system, their senses (that might include a sixth sense), and the basics of their communication system. The latest part is essential to understand and properly interpret your dog's gestures and the sounds he emits in different situations.
The second part, on dog psychology, is, in my opinion, the really interesting part of this book. It describes how dogs develop their "personality" traits, how the learn, and how they behave as social animals. Many aspects of dog behavior are clearly explained, from their fears and phobias (and how to treat them) to their innate habits. Breed differences are also discussed, as well as how to deal with behavior problems (e.g. aggressions or house training).
I cannot but recommend this book to anyone who lives with dogs. There are similar books with a less formal style (as Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash"), but they are not as thorough nor as informative as this book is. It should be noted that, despite its undeniable scientific rigor, "The Dog's Mind" is far from boring. It is quite easy to read and even momentarily humorous.
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I have owned this book for over three years now and still think it is the best dog training/understanding book that I have ever seen. As a trainer of shelter animals and owner of 4 dogs I have seen almost every kind of "bad dog". Before getting this book I trained using the "commercially" prescribed techniques without a true understanding of the motivation behind the dog's behavior. After reading this book, I was able to develop my own methods tailored to each dog and have had great success. I would love to see every dog owner in the U.S. have a copy of this book as it would prevent a lot of animal abuse and neglect currently present here.
This is NOT a training manual, this is a dog behavior manual. It teaches you how to read and understand your dogs behavior and why he does the things he does. This is very understandable and enjoyable to read. Bruce Fogle gives lots of in depth information on genetics and how early learning can effect your dog. This is very scientific, and not necessarily an "easy" read. Some of the information can take a while to digest. This isn't a book you can read in two evenings. Bruce Fogle is very articulate and well read, and knows what he is talking about. I recommend this book to anyone who owns a dog, whether or not the plan on professionally training them or not. It has new information for even some of the most knowledgable people.
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Fogle has taken a fairly typical approach to this topic. He starts with a thorough review of literature on canine senses and builds to a discussion of how dogs use these sometimes far inferior senses (like close vision) and sometimes far superior senses (like sense of smell) in communication and learning. He discusses the various ways dogs learn including observation, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and what types of reinforcement and punishment works best. There is an interesting discussion of puppy personality testing, including, something I wasn't aware of, what it may be able to can tell you and, even more importantly, what it can't tell you.
He provides some great material on puppy's early learning from fellow siblings and from Mom with emphasis on its importance and the potential for problems if this critical early learning doesn't happen at all or at the proper time in the short puppy stage of the life. Before he finishes, Fogle wraps up with a discussion of how these senses change as dogs age.
There are many books on the market that cover much of the same material, but Fogle distinguishes himself in two sections. One is a useful discussion of how to deal with the different types of canine aggression which he discusses in some detail. This section is a great place to start if you ever have to face that problem. Second, he gives us an equally thorough treatment of canine social and eating disorders as well as fears, phobias, and anxiety.
The book concludes with a brief appendix (almost a checklist really) summarizing basic skills training Fogle advises to always train these behaviors in the following order: come, sit, stay, down, and down-stay.Read more ›
the book starts with a brief history on the dogs' origin. followed by a pretty good description of the anatomy of the dog's brains and their 5 (or 6, as many think dogs may have the 6th sense) senses.
these are written and brief and easily understood language. not boring scientific stuff.
from the set up of the brain, the book flows into how the brain would produce the hormones that determine the dog's behaviours. from here, the author would branch out to tell in detail the psychology and behaviourial issues, explaining many things based on scientific reserach and analysis.
the author also touches on some common behavioural issues. like humping, agression etc. also incl are tips on how to curb some of these problems. another very interesting topic the author deals with that is not found in many books is the effect of de-sexing dogs. he deals with this issue very comprehensively and it's very interesting to be able to learn.
a very good book to fully understand our best friend. it's a must all all serious dog owners who like to fully understand our best friends.