From Library Journal
Stressing positive reinforcement instead of punishment, these three new titles are very different from pet-training books of the past that emphasized domination training methods. Diller's Dogs and Their People is perhaps the most readable, with the most logical presentation. Diller, president of the Society of North American Dog Trainers, believes that dogs are as individual as people and that training comprises two aspectsAthe teaching of specific behaviors and the prevention of problems. His approach is a blend of positive motivation and properly applied corrections. Diller presents the basics of learning theory, discusses common behavioral problems, and clarifies the pluses and minuses of the wide variety of collars, leashes, and training tools available. He gives specific recommendations for teaching doggy "etiquette" as well as practical obedience exercises. One of the most valuable chapters is on building relationships, particularly when there are other pets or children in the household. Marlo's training method is similar to Diller's, blending love and understanding with discipline. The "dog trainer to the stars" (her clients include Jamie Lee Curtis and Bridget Fonda) believes that "training is more than just sit and stay. It's also learning about dog behavior and the canine-human relationship." Her book covers myths and realities about dogs, choosing a breed, building a leadership relationship, socialization, and puppy-proofing your home. She includes extensive but comprehensible discussions of housebreaking (including the importance of feeding and watering schedules) and common behavior problems. Olympic gold medalist Louganis's For the Life of Your Dog is not so much a training manual as a book about caring for your dog from puppyhood to old age. The four main sections take the reader from the commitment required to own a dog, through puppyhood, into the prime adult years, and finally to old age. Throughout, there is never any doubt that the author is celebrating the human-animal bond. Like Diller and Marlo, Louganis, who now breeds and trains dogs, covers responsible ownership, socialization, housebreaking, basic training, and problem solving/prevention. However, the use of stories and vignettes to deliver his message sometimes makes his book seem disorganized and rambling. All three books are highly recommended for public libraries where pet books are popular. Diller has the edge for his understandable presentation on learning theory and organization, and Marlo gets extra points for her focus on building relationships and taking training beyond "sit and stay." Louganis is recommended for the intensity of his feelings and his celebration of the canine's place in the human world. [Louganis's book was previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/98.]AEdell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Milwauke.-AEdell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Milwaukee
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
His advice about caring for four-legged family members, from birth to old age, is as carefully balanced as his spectacular dives.Bloodlines
(United Kennel Club, Inc.) This book is excellent....Well-founded and well-researched.Seattle Times
Delightfully refreshing....Give Louganis a 10 for his compassionate realism and infectious energy in this unvarnished portrait of man's best friend.The Knoxville News-Sentinel
If you are thinking about getting a dog, please check this book out first. It may affirm your decision or stop you. Either way, the dog wins.
--This text refers to the