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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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How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, an informal, friendly guide by The Monks of New Skete, is really two books in one: a step-by-step training manual and a philosophical discussion of the spiritual benefits of owning a dog. The Monks, who support their community in upstate New York by breeding and training German shepherds, reveal a profound devotion to all breeds in this detailed guide to every imaginable aspect of dog ownership. They cover it all: naming the puppy, training with eye contact and jingling keys, establishing the best sleeping arrangements, even dealing with pet loneliness. Owners are advised to think of themselves as the dog's alpha figure, to train with praise instead of punishment, and to beware of becoming the dog's maid or doorman. Throughout, the authors reflect on the deep spiritual connection possible between humans and dogs. Generations of dogs have been trained with the bestselling 1978 edition of this book. With this update, the Monks are bound to gain many new fans--happy humans and obedient canines alike. With modesty and generosity, the Monks offer an extensive list of other helpful books about dogs, as well as a useful appendix of American Kennel Club titles and terms. --Judy Fireman
From Publishers Weekly
The Monks of New Skete have been raising and training dogs for over 30 years at their Cambridge, New York, monastery, and this volume-updated from the 1978 version-offers solid insights on dog training, behavior, grooming, feeding and a host of other topics. Whether discussing country, city or suburban dogs, the monks dispense good advice on humane care, such as admonishing owners to avoid "canine incarceration," i.e., leaving a dog confined alone for long periods of time. While the book does contain many useful, tried-and-true techniques for obedience-stay, heel, down-stay, recall and the like-its unique value lies in the monks' insights and thoughts about the human-canine bond. Concepts such as discipline and praise are more than merely a means to an end, the monks maintain: they are extensions of a caring attitude and real communication with a canine companion. Without devolving into New Age psychobabble, the monks make philosophical and spiritual observations that no dog lover could resist, and which just might make a convert of the uninitiated. 87 b&w photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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With this evocative image in mind of the gentle saint and the tamed wolf I had once seen on a prayer card, I selected to read this book by Monks of Skete of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In this regard, I was piqued by the facts that (1) these monks were reputable German Shepherd breeders and acclaimed canine-human relationship teachers; and that (2) the monks lived with the dogs in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel manifested in their healthy relationship with the dogs. However, the monks of Skete carefully avoid religious jargon in the book lest the book should be interpreted as a promotion of their faith. Instead, their faith is carefully incorporated into the belief of fostering their ideas about dogs with a philosophical and spiritual foundation for personal change because dogs mirror who we are by responding to the way we treat them without deception.
The gem of this book is the monks' views on salubrious human-canine relationship as appreciation of truths of the two worlds: one world of our own human prowess as a caretaker and one world of their own pristine nature as a guide to the wondrous natural world from which we have gradually distanced. While we provide them with food, shelter, and veterinarian care, dogs enable us to appreciate the beauty, the warmth, and the compassion that are deeply rooted in our humanity we often overlook or even try to suppress in the face of existential dilemma. In consideration of the aforesaid, I believe that the story of St. Francis of Assisi and the Wolf of Gubbio is not a myth but a truth.
It’s definitely a worthwhile read. I like how the authors acknowledge tougher topics in training and recommend that the readers seek other advice before making up your mind on what is best for you.