- Hardcover: 190 pages
- Publisher: Howell Book House; Subsequent edition (July 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0876055773
- ISBN-13: 978-0876055779
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (420 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Koehler Method of Dog Training Hardcover – July, 1996
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Top customer reviews
People who call the Koehler method cruel do not understand it. Done correctly, it is kind, gentle, and builds a dog that *wants* to behave. Take a walk around your neighborhood: note how many people are walking badly behaved dogs. The people are paying attention to the dogs and the dogs are ignoring their people. The Koehler method teaches the opposite: get the dog to pay attention to YOU. Once you are the focus of its attention, obedience is easy. Do not scold your dog for bad behavior. Corrections should be impersonal--they should seem to come from the universe, not you. An e-collar is an ideal tool for this, but with self-discipline it can be done with a lead and choke chain.
The goal with this method is a happy, confident dog who loves you and knows he is loved and is a good citizen that you can take with you anywhere. That is the essence of good training.
Look, this book clearly spells out that you should follow it religiously, and it is my opinion that you probably should. There are some things towards the end that deal with some problem behaviors like barking and digging that I probably wouldn't do, as they aren't really dangerous behaviors and there are other ways to remedy them. But as far as the program and its principles go, this is a great guide, especially for people with larger, more aggressive breeds. Koehler's method is step by step and each step is in a specific order for a reason. This isn't just watching a YouTube video to correct a specific behavior, it is an intensive program. There are things in the program that the average person is going to have a problem doing, there just aren't 2 ways about it. Early on, you essentially create a situation in which you are running in opposite directions with the dog and ultimately flipping the dog over backwards by his neck, with a choke chain. I'm not what you'd call an overly sensitive, or soft guy. I've hunted and cleaned many an animal. I've always been the guy that wasn't afraid to get physical, but this one was tough for me. I admittadly pussyfooted this step the 1st time, and the results were obvious, as outlined in the book.
But as the author points out, it is inhumane to allow a dog to not be controlled properly. If you are easy on them when you should be firm, it could be the difference between the end of a needle and a long life. Or lets say the dog never does get aggressive inappropriately. What is more humane? 1 hard and swift correction, or a lifetime of small nagging corrections that never fix the behavior?
The bottom line is this. There are a lot of new ways to train dogs that are totally effective and work for a lot of dogs. If you have a Yorkie or even a medium sized, but docile breed dog that is content, then by all means, take the nice and sweet route. But if you have a large, potentially aggressive breed dog and you can stomach a little bit of harsh training, this really can manufacture a super alert, super controlled dog. I have a German Shepherd mix, that was horribly abused and starved as a puppy. I started this with him when he was 3. He was always a good dog, but he didn't listen well and there were a few incidents where he flashed an aggressive side. He is now still the same fun and loving dog at home that he always was. But now, when I'm in command, he is on point at all times. To be honest, I think his intelligence has boosted my ego past its rightful place. But the fact remains that this system works. It worked in the 60's and it works now, as it still produces police, military and champion obedience dogs to this day.
The first section deals with explaining the goals, purpose and differences between the different levels of "guard dog". From simple "Alarm" dogs that give warning, "Threat" dogs that will stand their ground and protect and "Attack" dogs who will go all the way like Police and Military K9s. Each Class of guard dog receives detailed and guided "agitation" and control training. A huge amount of time is spent on teaching you how to select a dog with specific physical and natural emotional traits and protective attributes so that you start out with a dog that will be mentally and emotionally stable after completing the training. The author warns AGAINST using this training with just ANY dog!!! That would lead to a dangerous and unstable animal.
The second Section is the same as the Traditional Obedience training book by Koehler and is excellent. Again, each skill is presented in a "Step-by-step" manner with tips and aids for problem students, both human and animal. It covers everything from feeding and shelter, to housebreaking, to iron clad heeling, sitting , down, present for inspection and "Come" recall.... OFF LEASH!!!
Off leash is truly the best test for any training system. Mr. Koehler's system trains the Owner as much as the Dog and is focused on allowing the Dog to make good decisions and CHOOSE to obey. This is how dogs work in their normal psychology. They NEED a leader. They NEED to have clear expectations and direction. That is why they are PACK animals and have a Pack mentality. That is how they stay mentally and emotionally stable.
If you are of the "This is Smoochie. He's my widdle baby. Yes you are. Do it for mommy 'cause I wuv you" crowd, then is is DEFINITELY not the training system for you. You don't need a better trained dog. The Dog needs a better trained human.