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How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition)
How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition)
by Monks of New Skete
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.55
277 used & new from $2.09

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a classic made better ..., November 22, 2004
The original "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" is by any measure, a very complete and substantial dog book ...

This new revised edition is more than set to continue as a "classic" in its own right ... The revision is quite substantial - incorporating new understanding & the changes that have taken place in dog training over the past decade ... and the book continues to mirror the love & devotion that Skete Monks have always had for dogs.

Your Dog's Best Friend is by concept and intent is not just a "mere" dog training manual and offers much much more to the reader ...

The book covers a whole spectrum of topics from ... how to find/select a puppy ... cooking for your dog ... basic grooming ... basic training ... training for obedience competition ... including a section comprising of 9 chapters on how to deal with common problems related to living with dogs (with a chapter how to cope, when a dog passes on) ...

Not so commonly found in other dog books ... Your Dog's Best Friend also has a section titled "Sensitivity Exercises" ... dealing with issues of dog behaviour & dog behavioural patterns, and explains dog loneliness, dog silence and dog dreams ... This section also suggests various exercises (massage) and training (round robin recall of life), designed to enhance and make precious the people/dog relationship ... GREAT! ...

Another great section covers the spectrum of "Environments" where the Monks of New Skete explore city/urban life, suburban/country life and the great outdoors.

Written in conversation-like style, the book comes alive through the use of well chosen anecdotes, humour and the Monks' own distinctive approach & philosophy to life & living ...

The book makes for very easy reading, and in its clarity - makes for easy appreciation & understanding ...

But most of all - I have come to really like this book because - it touches me ...

"Myths, Mutts, and Monks" ... "What is a Dog?" ... bring warmth to the printed page, and the book urges the reader to begin a wonderful journey towards deeper & greater understanding of our canine friends ...

The Monks write " ... Because dogs are guileless and utterly themselves, they lack the capacity to deceive. if we take seriously the words they speak to us about ourselves, we stand face-to-face with our own truth."

A very good book ...

Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior
Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior
by Roger Abrantes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.40
65 used & new from $5.64

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... A good reference source ..., November 16, 2004
Please place emphasis on the word "Encyclopaedia" as it appears in the title ...

Apart for the first 30 odd pages of introduction, where the author explains aggression & fear as perceived by dogs ... the rest of the book is arranged in alphabetical manner ...

The book covers a wide range of dog behaviours ranging from Abnormal Behaviour, Body Control, Classical Conditioning to Visual Communication and Xenophobia ... making the book a good reference source.

For example, under the title "Dominance & Submission" ... the author explains the role that dominance plays within a dog hierarchy, and how the "dominance - submission" relationship between dogs, is more of a learned behaviour based on experience, rather than just based on the physical appearance/size of the dogs.

The drawback with the format is that it makes for rather disjointed reading and is not quite a book to read from cover to cover ... and requires the reader to jump from topic to topic ...

Content-wise, the book provides reasonable information, very sufficient for the new or first time dog owner. The more experienced dog owner will probably want to look at books by Patricia McConnell, Clarence Pfaffenberger and/or Stanley Coren.

That said ... it remains a useful book to have in the library ...

4stars ...

Dogs are from Neptune (Dogs Behaving Badly!)
Dogs are from Neptune (Dogs Behaving Badly!)
by Jean Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.95
74 used & new from $0.01

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book on how to teach/train difficult dogs, November 16, 2004
If you liked Ms Jean Donaldson's first book "Culture Clash" - you will like "Dogs are From Neptune" ... In fact, I would suggest that this book is a necessary follow-up.

"Dogs are From Neptune" is written in Ms Donaldson's distinct and forthright style ... The author is clear in her views and sure of her methods ... The reader can either agree or disagree but there is little grey where the author is concerned ...

That said - Ms Donaldson writes in an incisive way, expressing her thoughts in a manner that makes for easy reading ...

"Dogs are From Neptune" is a collection of case studies ... dealing with "difficult" and "problem" dogs - dogs with whom the more traditional training methods may not work so well ...

Together with Patricia B. McConnell's books, "Dogs are From Neptune" make essential reading for any owner/trainer interested in or needing to learning how to use positive training methods to "re-condition" a dog with difficult temperament or bad habits, ranging from counter surfing, food & object possession to the more serious issue of dogs that bully, dogs who are difficult to handle and dogs exhibiting nervous or defensive aggression ... The Editorial Review above provides a good summary of the areas covered in the book.

I found the use of case studies particularly the details provided - most useful ... by providing background to the "difficulty" faced by the respective dog and its owner/trainer ... the book allowed me to appreciate & understand with greater clarity the intention & purpose behind the methods used and suggested by Ms Jean Donaldson ...

Essentially, the book format adopted by the author, brings meat to the bones of training ...

And it doesn't take long for the reader to realise, that while the case studies are by their very nature specific to each case ... Ms Donaldson's methodology, rational and style of training & teaching a dog - can easily be adapted/modified to meet the range of difficulties and issues an individual owner/trainer may face with his/her own dogs.

The book emphasises and teaches why it is so important for every owner/trainer to first understand basic dog behaviour, instinct & psychology and how using such knowledge & understanding in the teaching/training of our dogs reduces frustration, stress & trauma to both owner/trainer & dog, and increases our chances of success.

Most important, the author teaches us how to maintain through all difficult times, the essential bond of trust between our dogs & us.

All in all ... the book is detailed and very sufficient ... A very good read and a worthwhile buy ...

Culture Clash: A New Way Of Understanding The Relationship Between Humans And Domestic Dogs
Culture Clash: A New Way Of Understanding The Relationship Between Humans And Domestic Dogs
by Jean Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
215 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... sharp, incisive & informative ..., November 16, 2004
Together with Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" ... Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash" encouraged me to re-examine my relationship, my methods of training and attempts at communication with our dogs ...

Jean Donaldson has a no nonsense writing style ... she says it like she believes and thinks - no excuses, no grey ... take it or leave it ... and there is no where to hide ... the reader can either agree or disagree but there is little doubt in Ms Donaldson's own mind ... And she tells it from the dog's perspective ...

Unlike many training books that just set out the procedures & techniques for training a dog ... Culture Clash takes us one step further along the road ... and helps the owner/trainer understand why certain training methods work better than others ... Why positive & operant training methods coupled with an understanding of dog behaviour, instincts & psychology is the way towards a less frustrating, less stressful and more successful method of teaching/training our dogs.

Culture Clash is a training manual, in that it teaches us how to teach/train our dogs - it is more than a training manual because Ms Donaldson also explains how dogs think and perceive our methods & style of training ... she explains why & what makes dogs nervous ... why & when dogs bite ... what makes our dogs tick and do what they do - or not do ... she tells us what may or may not work ... she tells us of the various psychological thresholds that exist within all our dogs ... and she does all this with clarity & in detail.

No Lassies and no Rin Tin Tins - the author describes our dogs as they are ... and offers us an insight and understanding into their true nature ... and she writes of what is really required to build and maintain a meaningful & responsible relationship with our dogs.

The book offers the reader a deeper appreciation of what is going on in the dog's mind as training progresses ... making for more effective training, and perhaps most important - improving our relationship with our dogs ...

But the least the book will do - is make us re-think the aspects and elements of our relationship with our dog ... and that cannot be bad ...

Culture Clash is a wonderful balance between a dog behavioural book and a training manual ...

A good reference book ... a worthwhile buy & read ...

Battletech: The Classic Era: The Legend of the Jade Phoenix Trilogy
Battletech: The Classic Era: The Legend of the Jade Phoenix Trilogy
by Robert Thurston
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
28 used & new from $4.73

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... Good way to start reading the Battletech series, October 28, 2004
Having played the computer games based on BattleTech ... I was intrigued enough to want to read some of the books, but with a series as extensive as BattleTech - I had great difficulty finding a good place to start ... Until I found The Legend of Jade Phoenix Trilogy ("TLJP").

TLJP traces the life of Aidan Pryde ... from his early days in training, to his finest hour, when he leads a band of "unwanted" warriors into battle ... and in so doing Aidan redeems honour, heritage ... for himself and those who follow him ...

All in all a wonderful trilogy, filled with Mech battles & strategy ... a well constructed storyline (without the sometimes glaring gaps found in series of this nature) ... satisfying characters sufficiently developed to hold and pull the reader's interest ... I was particularly & pleasantly surprised at how the author developed the character of Aidan's daughter ...

But more than just 3 ripping good yarns ... for anyone wishing to get into the BattleTech world ... this is a good book to start with!!! ...

Without breaking storyline, or getting too pedantic, the reader is gently but surely given a wonderful introduction to a basic but sufficient history ... of MechWarriors trueborn & freeborn, of the importance of Bloodnames, of the Clans (how they came into existence & what they represent) ... of the history & conflicts between the Inner & Outer Sphere ... Descriptions of the BattleMechs & weaponry are nicely done too ...

All in all a price worthy trilogy ... and a great introduction into the world of fighting Clans and their giant war machines ... Good Read!

The Cautious Canine-How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
The Cautious Canine-How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
by Patricia B. McConnell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $4.03
89 used & new from $0.95

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written & easy to understand ..., February 24, 2004
Fortunately, there are very few overtly aggressive dogs, most dogs act aggressively because they are fearful ...
Unfortunately though, the bite from an aggressive dog and one from a nervous dog are equally painful, and often attract the same dire consequences ...
This is a great booklet that teaches us how to manage a nervous or cautious canine ...
First, the author shows us how to identify our dog's fear ... and then the author teaches us (step-by-step) how classical re-conditioning can help to reduce such fear ... in a gentle and effective manner.
Often the biggest barrier to effective training, is our own lack of clarity as to what is required of us as trainers ...
But the short chapters and the step-by-step format used by the author makes everything so very clear and easy to understand ... And just as helpful, the author also provides suggesttions, when a particular step does not achieve that intended ...
All in all, a useful booklet ...

The Other End of the Leash
The Other End of the Leash
by Patricia B. McConnell
Edition: Hardcover
80 used & new from $1.13

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... A very good book ..., February 23, 2004
A very good read ...
The book starts with the premise that people who love dogs have desire to understand dogs ... And McConnell's book guides us down this very special journey without cloying sentimentality but always with heart and kindness ...
A dog behaviour book that goes beyond just reciting basic concepts of dominance, leadership within a pack ... and beyond basic operant, praise & treat methods ... McConnell explores and explains the subtleties of dog nature and human nature ... how our 2 species interract and react one with the other ... the building blocks for better understanding between man and dog ...
The author explains why dogs do what they do, and just as important, she explains why we behave the way we do ... and how our very differences, both enrich and causes conflict in our relationships with our canine friends ...
The chapter titles are descriptive of the author's beliefs ... 'Translating Primate to Canine' ... 'Pack Mates' ... 'The Truth About Dominance' ... 'Patient Dogs and Wise Humans' ...
The author's thoughts are clear and easy to follow ... her words a pleasure to read ...
While this book is not a training manual, it will compliment any training manual ... filling the bare bones of training with an appreciation & understanding of how and why training methods work (or don't work) and teaches when and how to modify training methods to suit both dog & owner ...
Definitely worth a read ...

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
by Suzanne Clothier
Edition: Hardcover
109 used & new from $0.01

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... A warm & wonderful book ..., September 16, 2003
Beyond training sit, stay & heel ... beyond the slip chain or clicker ... beyond praise and treats, Suzanne Clothier encouraged me to explore with fresh eyes and a clear heart - the relationship (or the lack) between my dogs and I ...
A warm & wonderful book ... windows into the author's life, her love for dogs, her enduring compassion for animals and her heartfelt search for an understanding of the soul both human & canine ... Ms. Clothier uses episodes from her own life to help us appreciate what the relationship with our dog can and should be ...
Almost autobiographical, the book tells of one person's quite extraordinary journey, a sharing of mistakes and lessons learnt not just of the mind - but the heart and soul.

Although Ms. Clothier addresses issues of training, dealing with seemingly problematic dogs, issues of aggression and the sadness that comes with the passing of a loved dog, she does not do so in any conventional manner. She offers no methodology or training style save that of daring to listen to our own hearts and learning to hear the heartspeak of our dogs. More than just explaining dog psychology she dares us explore and extend the boundaries of communication between our dogs and us.
She writes of how, if we extend grace to our dogs, we also receive profound and nurturing grace in return, one that enhances not just the relationship with our dogs, but enriches our friends, family ... our lives in a quite magical way.
More than just a book about dogs, it is a book about living with dogs, and with ourselves.
She writes "... Coursing through our veins as surely as our own blood are the lessons we have mastered through effort, and through no small measure of grace gifted us by the animals who serve as our teachers."

The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World
The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World
by Bonnie Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from $11.90

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Breed Book, December 18, 2002
We collect books on Dog Breeds and this is by far the most complete and comprehensive book we have found.

There are over 900 pages of dogs and more dogs, with reference to over 400 different breeds from all over the world ... Middle Asian Owtcharka? ... Hygenhund? ... the Majestic Tree Hound? ... and even reference to the rare tree climbing Telomian from the tropical jungles of Malaya ... wonderful!
It's a very substantial and heavy book. Paper quality is reasonable but the binding (for such a heavy book) could have been better. A few rare breeds (possibly extinct) are depicted with drawings, but all other breeds are represented by at least one photograph (often more). Photograph reproduction is unfortunately only of average quality.
Chapters describing each major dog group (Gun Dogs, Herding Dogs etc) preface the book, providing the reader with useful introduction to canine diversity and function
Each breed is described by country of origin, weight, height, coat, registry and group. The authors also provide reasonable summary of each breed's function, temperament, historical background and current development. Subtle humour permeates the book ... "Like a Dr. Suess creation, the Basset has the head & bone of a Bloodhound, the colouring of a Foxhound and the legs of a Dachshund ...".
The authors' stated aim was to produce a survey on the breeds of dog known to man. While some reviews say the book is not complete, this reader believes the authors have (for the most part) succeeded admirably with a volume that's well researched, as interesting to read as it is informative.
All in all, a very good read and an excellent reference source.

The Well Behaved Dog
The Well Behaved Dog
by Gwen Bailey
Edition: Hardcover
26 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable book for beginners ..., March 27, 2002
This review is from: The Well Behaved Dog (Hardcover)
A well bound book, quality paper, and reasonable fonts ... all contributing to a solid feel ... with quite good picture illustrations ...

It's written very much with the new doggie owner in mind.
The author takes the reader through all the basic issues commonly faced new owners: how to start basic training (sit, heel, stay), how to cope with jumping & barking dogs, dogs who pulling on the leash, or are slightly nervous or overactive, issues of separation anxiety etc.
The author's training methods are operant based (using treats and positive encouragement), no physical punishment, and generally follow the training trend that is increasingly prevalent today.
The book also offers some insight on why dogs behave the way they do, making mention of pack behaviour and basic forms of doggie communication ... But all explanations are fairly basic and general ...

A good book to get with your first dog, but not quite suitable for the experienced dog owner, who would probably already have acquired most of the information provided in the book ...

An average book, reasonably informative, without being outstanding ... closer to 3 1/2 stars rather than 4.

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