- Series: Howell Reference Books
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Howell Book House; Second edition (July 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780876054529
- ISBN-13: 978-0876054529
- ASIN: 0876054521
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Canine Good Citizen: Every Dog Can Be One, Second Edition Paperback – July 1, 1997
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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
About the Author
The VOLHARDS share their home in upstate New York with six dogs and three cats. For the past twenty-five years, they have taught over 20,000 people how to communicate effectively with their pets. They conduct weekend seminars in various parts of the United States, Canada and England, as well as five-day training Camps, which have been attended by individuals from almost every state, Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, the Republic of Singapore, Switzerland and the West Indies. Over the years they have served different dog organizations in a variety of capacities, and they are internationally known as "trainers of trainers." Jack has authored over 100 articles for various dog publications and is the recipient of six awards from the Dog Writers' Association of America (DWAA). He is the senior author of five books?two with Wendy?and four videotapes. He has been an AKC Obedience judge (Novice through Utility) since 1973, and he is a member of the Association of Dog Obedience Clubs and Judges. Wendy is the recipient of four awards from the DWAA and developed the most widely used system for evaluating and selecting puppies. Her film, Puppy Aptitude Testing, was named Best Film on Dogs for 1980 by the DWAA. She also devised a Personality Profile for dogs to help owners gain a better understanding of their pets. Her article "Drives?A New Look at an Old Concept" was named Best Article in a Specialty Magazine for 1991 by the DWAA. She is the co-author?together with Kerry Brown, DVM?of The Holistic Guide to a Healthy Dog (Howell Book House, 1995). Wendy specializes in behavior, nutrition and alternative sources of health care, such as acupuncture and homeopathy, and she formulated a balanced, homemade diet for dogs. She is a member of the Animal Behavior Society, the Advisory Board of the North American Wildlife Foundation and the United Kingdom Registry of Behaviour Consultants, and she has lectured at the prestigious Natural History Museum in London. The Volhards have obtained over fifty Obedience titles, multiple High in Trial awards and Dog World Awards of Canine Distinction with their Landseer Newfoundlands, Yorkshire Terrier, Standard Wirehaired Dachshund, Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd Dog.
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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. Our dog has learned these lessons well enough that she even cheerfully takes commands from our 3 1/2 year old son.
There is plenty of good advice here about preparing for the actual CGC test and what to expect. If passing the CGC test is your goal, the easiest approach is to enroll yourself and your dog in a hands on obedience class and use this book as the companion text book you almost won't get otherwise.
For those without ready access to obedience classes, this book does provide guidance on how to train your dog by yourself. Having been through several obedience classes with our dog, I believe that if you followed the Volhards' advice carefully - and actually practiced the skills as they suggest - you really could train your dog on your own using this book.
I have set myself a challenge - to have our family dog (a 2 year old shelter rescue Australian Shepherd mix) take and pass the CGC test at the local dog show in about a month. As the local dog show is VERY large, this will be an extremely distracting environment and a real challenge for our dog. I am convinced that when our dog takes the test she will pass. This book has helped me understand how to get her ready and how to help her be pretty much the perfect family dog.
In the year-and-a-half since the kids wore me down and convinced me we really "needed" a dog, I have bought several dog books and skimmed many more at bookstores and libraries. This is the one book I would enthusiastically recommend for any dog owner in the early stages of teaching good manners to their dog, even if they never plan on having their dog take the Canine Good Citizen test.
Great stuff, and highly recommended.
Update - our dog has now taken, and passed the Canine Good Citizen test. I am still convinced that the Volhard's book is great stuff. Their advice equipped me to teach our dog to be a well mannered member of the family. Following their advice, she aced the test.
Provides you with clear info on THE TEST-what to expect and training your 4 legged friend to pass.
Its not a tome on dog training nor did I expect it to be.
Clear--simple--many good tips.
Con: Too focused on passing the test. A CGC is much more in my view. However-any obedience training help strengthens the bond between you and your new pup (of any age)
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.
I recommend that you get any other good recent book on training for ways of teaching the individual Sit, Down, Heel and Stay behaviours. Then use this book for working out a training schedule specifically to prepare for the Canine Good Citizenship Test.
Most other books are going to talk as though your dog will have Heel mastered in a session or two. And it's true the dog will learn the basic command that quickly. But to truly MASTER it, you will need something like the 8 week training schedule that the Volhards lay out in this book.
There's a lot to learn from this book, and some very practical tips. But you'll also need a current book specifically for amateur trainers to teach the individual techniques--or take a class from your local humane society or work with a local trainer to get the basics.