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The Power of Positive Dog Training Paperback – April 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Updated with the latest tools and techniques—including the clicker method

Renowned dog trainer Pat Miller gives you the positive training tools you need to ensure that you and your dog share a lifetime of fun, companionship, and respect. Following her step-by-step, six-week basic training program, you'll learn how to develop a relationship with your dog based on friendship and positive reinforcement, not fear and punishment. Plus, you'll get:

  • Information on the importance of observing, understanding, and reacting appropriately to your dog's body language

  • Instructions on how to phase out the use of a clicker and treats to introduce more advanced training concepts

  • A helpful diary to track progress, suggestions for delicious treats your dog will respond to, and a glossary of training terms

Whether you've never trained a dog or are just switching over to positive training, with Pat's proven method you'll discover that training your four-legged friend is easy, fun, and effective. Now that's The Power of Positive Dog Training.

About the Author

Pat Miller has been a dog trainer for over thirty years. She is the founder of Peaceable Paws Dog & Puppy Training Center and is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She is a leading proponent of positive dog training techniques, and her columns on training are read by thousands in publications such as Whole Dog Journal.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; Second Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470241845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470241844
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By KnitOT on July 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No more choke chains, no more yelling.

The last time we had puppies was almost 30 years ago. The puppies were taught with choke chains, correction jerks, and loud, assertive commands. I hated it and was never very good at the training methods we were taught, but these methods were considered the only way to show a dog who is boss and get obedient behavior back then. The puppies eventually learned and behaved fairly well. They lived into their teens, and then we got our first adult shelter dog, an already well-trained dog with beautiful manners whom we loved dearly until she died too early from malignant melanoma.

When we brought Jazmine home from the shelter, it was another experience altogether. She had been a stray and in the shelter system for a while. She came to one of our local shelters on a lab rescue program--she is part lab and part ???

She was around two years old, and very active, but a challenge. Fearful at first, she eventually relaxed into a bit of a wild child--very sweet but a handful. Fortunately, the shelter gives a one hour home visit from their trainer who uses positive training methods.

She taught us the very basics, and we attended her classes. Jazmine has too poor an attention span to do well around other dogs, but we wanted to continue the training at home, so she recommended this book. I was so happy not to have to deal with choke chains, yelling and jerking the dog. I was amazed to see Jazmine learn things immediately, with soft, calm commands and a gentle, positive approach.

The book is great. It explains the theory behind the approach so well, that I was later able to apply the principles to some of the behavioral challenges Jazmine presented.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Crysania on April 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I think this really is one of the best books out there for learning about positive training and how to implement it with your dog. I've never beaten around the bush with indicating that I'm very pro-positive training and I think Pat Miller is one of the best.

The book begins with a little bit about Pat Miller's history of training, namely that she was a "traditional" trainer at one point, which many were. Traditional trainers focus more on aversives and punishments: leash pops, choke chains, and the like. It tells briefly of her discovery and switch to positive methods. I think this is important: it says that anyone can do it, no matter how they trained beforehand.

From there, the book is divided into three main sections.

The first outlines the ins and outs of positive training: how it works, why it works, why it builds a better bond with your dog. It explains a little bit about how dogs think and learn and outlines some basic training tools you'll need with your dog.

The second gives instructions on how to get your dog to do some basic obedience: sit, down, stay, come, etc. She breaks each of them down into easy steps to achieve them and gives suggestions on common problems people might encounter when trying to teach their dog the particular command. At the end of each section, she gives "bonus games" which are basic tricks you can teach your dog. She stresses, time and time again, that this should be fun: both for the human and the dog.

The third addresses common behavioral problems, such as housetraining, separation anxiety, aggression, socialization, and what to do when there's a baby on the way. Each of these sections can (and are) books on their own, so in the context of a fairly short book they're somewhat glossed over.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Wings42 on January 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rusty is a rescue from Mississippi shipped to a local shelter here in San Diego. He is now a very powerful and athletic 60 lb two year old. When we adopted Rusty at 7 months old he wasn't house trained, was fearful and aggressive to most people, and had no idea how to play with other dogs. He was terrified of doors, hoses, and vacuums. When frightened, he would dart in, bite, and then dart away which made him dangerous.

I immediately enrolled in a traditional "positive" training class, which used force training. The "positive" aspect was praise after the dog complied. If the dog didn't comply, he was forced using the leash and a pinch collar. Rusty freaked out at my attempts, and even more so at the trainers attempts to get him to lie down. The trainer's solution was to apply more force, putting Rusty into a mindless panic. Not wanting Rusty or the trainer to get hurt, I withdrew from the class and looked for a more effective approach.

I discovered Pat Miller in the bibliography and recommended reading sections of several dog training books by animal behaviorists, especially Patricia McConnell and Jean Donnalson (I highly recommend both). Pat Miller's approach is clear, scientific, sensible, and highly effective for ALL types, sizes, and ages of dogs.

One of her points, that I agree with, is that there are no vicious or "difficult breeds" of dogs. All dogs (and people) live to please themselves, to maximize reward and minimize punishment.
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