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How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners (Revised & Updated Edition) Hardcover – September, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Unlike many training manuals, the Monks of New Skete strike a nice balance between "dominance" based training methods and formal training. The Monks stress the importance of earning your dog's trust and respect and the importance of being a strong pack leader for your dog; they also recognise the need for formal training, and spend several chapters explaining how this is best accomplished. Most training books are heavily biased towards one or other method, so it is nice to read a book which realises that both are ingredients in successful dog training.
The training methods discussed are fairly traditional, with the Monks either luring or gently moulding the dog into shape, then praising. However they also advocate classically conditioning a positive reinforcer (keys jingling), which can then be used at strategic times to help a dog relax; and they do discuss and recommend clicker methods for "sensitive" dogs.
Contrary to some reviews posted below, the Monks of New Skete do in fact advocate using plenty of positive reinforcement in their training. Confusion on this issue probably stems from the fact that the Monks do not advocate constantly using food treats while training. However, food treats are not the only positive reinforcement method available to a trainer. As the Monks point out "Food treats are an extremely effective motivator to help dogs learn...Read more ›
I think one of the most important services the Monks offer to future dog owners is their attitude that the dog represents a major, major commitment on your part, in terms of time, money and emotional involvement. If you are not willing to invest in the dog, you will shortchange the relationship on all levels. The relationship will suffer. We feel this is particularly true in the case of a dog that is expected to spend most of his time outdoors. The monks are right: if you want an animal to live outdoors in a pen, get a cow or sheep or chicken that has not been bred to be social with human beings.
From the very beginning, before we brought Cadfael home as an 8-week-old, 18-pound puppy, we incorporated the lessons in this book. We followed the monks' advice as far as finding the right breed for us and the right breeder. We bought our supplies well in advance, including the enormous crate (which we used for the first year). We both took vacations so that we could be with him constantly for the first three weeks or so, to focus on housetraining and socialization. From how to keep a dog from jumping up on you (who wants a dog who's taller than you and outweighs you by 60 pounds jumping on you?Read more ›
Having said that, they also try to emphasize (in a very helpful way) that a dog is not a person! All too often, people anthropomorphize their dogs. They are DOGS! The monks understand the animal that is a dog, and try to have this understanding be as independent as possible from humanity, aside from the human-dog relationship. Therefore, dogs expect a certain degree of physical discipline that is entirely appropriate (look at how a mother disciplines her pups) which MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR HUMANS! Do not mistake dogs for people... the monks are not suggesting that you use physical discipline on your children!
You may well find an effective approach that does not involve physical discipline... which is fine. According to the monks, however, this only serves to alleviate your own HUMAN feelings of guilt.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
raising a german sheppard puppy in the city and found great suggestions that I know use everyday.Published 2 days ago by Cheryl L. Hanly
A sensible, balanced, kind, and effective approach to raising and training a companion/family dog. It is ridiculous to even suggest that this book advocates the use of force, and... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Lovetoread
I love this book and have purchased a few copies. I am a dog breeder and I also run a local rescue so this is a great resource for my customers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by 1ofaKindBulldogs
I was so excited to find the book however I tried to reach the monks for a training camp left multiple messages and never received a response. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Second edition - updated - As a professional dog trainer, I was a big fan of the first edition. This updated version addresses some of the same changes to training that I've made... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Howard J Day
some great information but we have chosen not to go the route of leash corrections but clicker training. I still refer to the book though. It came highly recommended by a friend.Published 1 month ago by Shannon Breda
I started reading an older edition from the 70s. My dad had provided it for me as a guide for my German Shepherd puppy. I ended up buying the updated and latest addition. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. T.