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Considerations for the City Dog Paperback – May 31, 2015
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"McCue McGrath's personal stories and the stories of her clients add an emotional layer to this book that take it beyond being a dry or boring textbook affair. The writing is inviting and touched with humor, even as it is packed with information. It is not only informed by personal experience, as the author has researched the topic thoroughly and included citations to the work of numerous other trainers, veterinarians, and scientists.
Considerations for the City Dog is an enjoyable and informative read that belongs on the bookshelf of any dog owner, urban or otherwise."
-Brian McGrath, Editor
"Considerations for the City Dog is not an owner's manual. It is not Rocco's story, nor McCue-McGrath's. It is a book full of insight useful to dog owners, potential dog owners, dog lovers, and any curious body in between."
-Amy Swain, The Somerville Times
Somerville Author Considers The City Dog (10/9/2015)
"But as she began learning the tricks of the trade, McCue-McGrath also started noticing that the problems faced by urban dog owners differed from those experienced by owners raising their pets in suburban or rural communities. For example: "The conventional advice for, say, a dog that's barking and demanding and, like, 'Pay attention to me!' is to ignore it," she explains. "But you can't do that if you have a landlord that lives upstairs. Or neighbors."
-Emily Cassel, Scout Somerville
Considerations for the City Dog Author Talks Raising Dogs in the 'Ville(9/10/15)
About the Author
Melissa McCue-McGrath, CPDT-KA is a certified professional dog trainer in greater Boston with over 10 years and 800 cases under her belt. She grew up in a dog-sledding family in rural Maine and now sits as the co-Training Director of New England Dog Training Club, the oldest AKC obedience club in the country. She advocates for urban canine sports and science-based training techniques to help dogs cope in the "new normal". Additionally, Melissa writes alongside one of her best friends, Dr. Sip Siperstein, for NPR's Car Talk FIDO Blog. She rather infrequently updates her MuttStuff blog and Muttstuff Facebook Page. As a result of this book, Melissa started #HandsOnFirst, a movement that encourages rescue groups and breeders to stop shipping dogs directly to potential dog owners sight-unseen. #HandsOnFirst explains what responsible rescues, shelters, fosters and reputable breeders actually look like, and educates people how to find a dog that will be best suited to their lifestyle and environment. She and her husband have a daughter named Aislyn. They currently live outside of Boston with their 2 cats, a fish and a snail. The McGraths are actively looking for their next family dog.
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This book is a wonderful resource for owners of city dogs, but is also great for people who are trying to juggle a demanding job with a family and a dog who also need your attention. Melissa's book can help you deal with "reactivity" (aka, "my dog freaks out at stuff"); people with opinions ("welcome to Boston"), other pets in the house, too much energy from your dog or too little, or lots of other practical things. Because of Melissa's advice, I can now walk my dog without her fierce leash-pulling wreaking havoc on my back. I'd read many books on "polite leash walking" and tried every walking device out there. Melissa's explanation of the how and why of a "head collar" has meant that I can walk easily with my dog without her pulling and without resulting pain for me. My dog and I are both much happier! This book is full of wise and helpful advice even for the non-city dog--e.g., "ditch the dish" (so your dog can take longer than twenty seconds to eat), "socialization and body language," and finally, "goodbye."
But this book is not just "how to fix this" and "how to deal with that." It's a sweet, funny (VERY funny) poignant story of a young woman learning about raising dogs, loving dogs, learning to train dogs, and learning how to let them go when their time comes. It is one of the sweetest "dog tales" I've ever read. Reading Melissa's book you'll feel that you've made a friend who will stand by you and your dog when things get weird out there in the world.
This is not just a book for and about the city dog. It is a book for any person who loves dogs. Buy it for yourself. Give it to a friend. Do both.
Melissa McCue McGrath covers a variety of topics in Considerations For The City Dog. I wish that I had this book when I was searching for a puppy. This book helps you to be logical and well informed as you consider what breed may be a good match for you, gives you practical guidance on what to look for when you go to a breeder or rescue, suggests approaches for helping your pup to be well adjusted and well behaved, helps you to understand your dog’s cues, (a wagging tail doesn’t always mean your dog is happy) and gives guidance in what to consider when it’s time to time to say goodbye. Melissa’s anecdotes about personal experiences with her own dogs and with those she has trained are both informative and touching. Melissa has a very deep understanding of the bond you have with your dog. Her exceptional qualities make her an outstanding trainer. Harvey and I were fortunate enough to experience those qualities in person. Reading Melissa’s book is the next best thing!!
Melissa McCue-McGrath tells a similar story about one of her own dogs in her book "Considerations for the City Dog," and it was a truly meaningful experience for me to read it. McCue-McGrath is a trainer, and when I was trying to help my dog, I felt so desperate because I had to go to so many trainers before I found one who knew more than just how to teach the basics, one who could work with me and my dog's specifically challenging issues.
In that one story that McCue-McGrath shares in her book, and then throughout the rest of the book, I realized that she is the type of trainer all of us should seek out---because she understands that different dogs sometimes need different things. Her book offers a wealth of information and tips, and I'm sure that people with all kinds of dogs will find at least a half-dozen things they can apply in their own lives.
If you've been frustrated by other books by dog trainers, give this one a try. This trainer knows what she's doing. (And she's a good writer, too.)