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Decoding Your Dog: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones Paperback – January 6, 2015
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"The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is an organization of veterinarians with advanced training and experience in the field of applied animal behavior. More than 90 percent of pet owners feel
that their dog is part of the family so the need for good communication between dog and owner becomes obvious if that familial relationship is to be positive for both species. Behavior problems in pets can erode that relationship, and without successful training or treatment, the result may be the loss of the dog to a shelter or to euthanasia. In 14 chapters, veterinary behaviorists walk dog owners through the stages of dog ownership. A basic chapter on learning to speak “dog” starts us off, followed by essays on choosing a dog, house training, behavior training, and training tools. Chapters on common issues, such as separation anxiety, aggression, sound phobias, and compulsive behaviors, teach how to retrain the dog, and a final chapter on the aging canine rounds out the book. Boxes defining terms used in the chapter or containing in-depth coverage of a behavior fill many sections, and each chapter ends with a “What Did We Say?” summary. Libraries and dog owners may have found the holy grail with this title."--Booklist, STARRED review
From the Back Cover
Although this book has a scientific basis, it was written in a manner that is easily understandable for laypersons. Decoding Your Dog will be a valuable addition to the library of any small-animal practitioner or dog owner. Angela Bockelman, DVM, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups. Dog owners face a plethora of trainers offering a bewildering variety of advice. From rewards to dominance training, from to shock collars to clickers, there are too many theories peddled by too few trained experts. Finally, the board-certified specialists of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists are here to decode how dogs think, how they communicate, and how they learn.
Combining cutting-edge science with accessible and adaptable real-life examples, this is a must-have dog behavior guide showcasing the latest veterinary-approved positive training methods. Decoding Your Dog will resolve the complaints, answer the curiosities, and, ultimately, challenge the way we think about our dogs.
[The] authors nimbly craft a basic primer for grasping dogs demeanor and in the process offer up the best life insurance policy you can buy for Fido. Ranny Green, coauthor of Good Dogs, Bad Habits
Decoding Your Dog is an important addition to the canine canon, one that will go a long way toward increasing your understanding of your best friend. Bark
Drs. DEBRA F. HORWITZ and JOHN CIRIBASSI are experts and leaders in the field of veterinary behavior, with decades of combined experience. Dr. Horwitz is a past president of the ACVB, and Dr. Ciribassi is a past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.
STEVE DALE is a nationally syndicated pet journalist and radio host who has written numerous books.
Top customer reviews
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I also was a little annoyed at the focus on Veterinary Behaviorists. But as I read on, I really started to like this book. I liked the in-depth approach to the whys of dog behavior AND the specific methods of eliciting the behaviors you want and discouraging the behaviors you don't. The authors also displel the 'dominance' myths that some experts use to explain and train dogs.
I especially liked the chapter on solving common problems. For instance, one of the common problems is pulling on the leash when taking a walk. Many behaviorists call an act of dominance, and that you have to show the dog who's boss. But the authors argue that leash pulling is not a dominance problem (they use a case to explain); it's a behavior problem. They then go on to discuss how to solve it--step-by-step. They also talk about the tools you need to solve it (no retractable leash, the right collar, etc.).
Of all the training books I own, I think this is the one that I'll keep at hand. It not only gives clear solutions to problems, but also does so in a positive, humane way. I'm glad that I took a chance on 'another' dog training book. This one was worth reading.
This book is fantastic. There are some chapters I have skipped or glossed over, as my dog is a middle aged rescue, so I don't need the chapters on picking out a puppy or deciding on a breed, house training, etc.
The chapters on general behavior and separation anxiety and compulsive disorder, which my dog has recently started with after a cross country move, has been both fascinating and educational. As an LVT, I have heard a lot of opinions from clients about dogs and cats seeking out revenge and knowing they've been bad, and I knew in my heart that wasn't the case, but this book talks about studies and what we've learned over the last decades, and actually gives me the words I need to explain that to clients. I wish I had had this book years ago.
If you think you know everything about dogs and their behavior, don't let that stop you from getting this book. I have learned so much about both my dog, and about how to work with dogs in the future. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE! Anybody can write a book and make is sound like the proper technique, but the authors of this book are board certified veterinary behaviorist. You can't get a more knowledgeable group of people to educate the world on dog behavior.
Many commonly held misconceptions about dogs are rebuked and explained in a common sense way.
For example, the belief that taking your dog's food away from him/her when they are eating is not promoted. It is explained that a dog who has its food periodically and for no reason taken from him/her is more likely to develop aggression when eating because of the fear someone is going to take the food. It is instead suggested that you periodically add a special treat to their bowl while they are eating to make it a pleasant experience to have some approach them when eating. Makes perfect sense when you think about it logically.
The book endorses positive ways to work with your dog and his/her behavior. A gentler, kinder, approach than some methods that insist aggressive domination of you pet is necessary.
There is quite a bit of time taking explaining dog behavior and how our own interaction with them affects our dogs. I found very helpful. Again with the reasoning explained in a common sense and logical way.