- Paperback: 63 pages
- Publisher: McConnell Publishing; 2nd ( 2009 ) edition (June 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1891767070
- ISBN-13: 978-1891767074
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 169 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog Paperback – June 1, 2003
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"Thanks to the advice in this booklet, my (formerly) reactive dog walked calmly and politely past five barking dogs today. I was delighted! " --Carrie Moskowitz and Chauncey
About the Author
Patricia B. McConnell, PhD. and Karen B. London, PhD. are Certified Animal Behaviorists and professional dog trainers who specialize in evaluating and treating serious behavioral problems in domestic dogs. They are both nationally and internationally respected ethologists who combine the best of science and practical experience to help their two favorite species, people and dogs.
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Patricia's instructions were clear about how to tame my dog's behavior. She said it would take six months or so, but I could redirect his attention away from reacting to other dogs to looking at me and getting a treat.
It took six months, but one day we were on a walk. I saw a dog and owner coming toward us from three blocks away, so I got a treat out of my pocket and began to watch my dog. At two blocks away, I saw my dog fixate on the other dog, so I held the treat in front of my nose and prepared to say "WATCH." But before I could say anything my dog turned around, looked at my face, sat down, and ignored the other dog. Just what I had been training him to do. Just what Patricia's book said he would eventually do.
Three years later, he has forgotten how to be reactive when he is on a leash. My neighbors compliment his behavior - they said they used to think that he wanted to kill every dog saw. Thanks, Patricia. You book, and my patience, have made my dog into a pet that pleases both me and my neighbors.
As other reviewers have said, this is a very short read, but that's because it gets straight to the point and gives you exactly the information you need to help a leash reactive dog. Highly recommended if your dog suffers from leash reactivity.
If you want volume for your book-spending money, you may be a little unhappy with how short the book was, but I was relieved by it -- I wanted to finish the book and start applying the training ASAP, so the shorter the better.
The "watch" technique is working for my dog. He's not "cured", but we are having positive events -- I got him to watch me while we were in my truck instead of lunging and barking at a dog that was walking by. He also let a cow (we hike, and ranchers let their cows out in the high country to graze) walk within ten feet of us and did not even bark. He actually stayed calm and kept looking back to me for treats. Maybe he doesn't mind cows (!), but staying that calm near another strange animal is new behavior.
I still expect it to take several months before he lets a dog go by us on the trail without trying to tear it apart, but I am seeing very small results just one week into using the watch command. Like the author suggests, we are working with easy to moderate situations, and just getting those down before we move on to high stress situations.
I have worked with 2 different $80 an hour dog trainers on this problem with my dog, and while they did teach me helpful things, I think I've gotten more useful information out of this book. If you can't afford a trainer, and you feel like you can't go another day with your dog acting like a maniac, definitely give this book a try.