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The Latchkey Dog: How the Way You Live Shapes the Behavior of the Dog You Love Paperback – February 19, 2002
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Easily one of the best historical novels written in the last twenty years. -- Gore Vidal
About the Author
Jodi Andersen has spent the last twenty years raising and training dogs. With her instinctual understanding and innate knowledge, she has developed a unique style of behavioral training -- teaching dog owners how their own life-styles ultimately shape the behavior of the dogs they love.
Ms. Andersen trains privately in New York City and is actively involved in dog rescue and training through the League of Animal Protection. She lives on the North Shore of Long Island with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.
The Latchkey Dog is her first book.
Top customer reviews
One of the things that this book stresses a lot, is that dogs need some sort of a "job." They are left alone all day with too much energy, and when we get home we expect them to behave perfectly. The book helped me realize that my dog's behavior isn't just annoying... he DOES accept the cat as a pack member, but he wants some sort of purpose so much, that he fixes his attention on her and basically wants to guard and monitor her because he has no other outlet for his energy. I believe that with regular exercise and training that works WITH his guarding instincts instead of against them, he will be a much healthier and happy dog.
Another thing that I thought was particularly important, was the reason basic obedience is so important. It's not about making your dog do tricks just to show off... it's important to have some form of communication that you can both understand. I imagine how hard it would be to live in a foreign country, not knowing their ethics or beliefs, and only understanding one word. That's the life of so many dogs out there. The communication between owner and dog are so blurry that the dog is lost and behaving in his own natural way, not the way that you want.
This book is full of a lot of stories of different dogs, and I was sad to find that there wasn't a single dog in the book that resembled my dog enough for me to use the same feedback, but it was interesting to read. There are a lot of stories about the different dogs the auther had worked with. I was interested enough to read the book almost nonstop.
This is a good book if you want to arm yourself with general knowledge and a better understanding of WHY things need to happen the way they do for a dog to be happy. This is NOT a training guide though. Think of it as more of an insightful novel than a training guide, and you won't be dissappointed.
Rather, this book reorients us to what does see, and how we can help them to understand what we expect from them.
There is just a plethora of great hints and helps in this book, too many to list. And if someone did, who what get and read this book which all dog owners should have and turn to.
Just a couple of snippets then to tempt you. "All dogs need to be taught how they are expected to behave. None of this comes automatically. What does come automatically is the stuff that drives us owners crazy, i.e. chewing, digging, barking, etc."
"Dogs cannot and should not be required to stray from the psychological boundaries that keep them healthy and whole. The complex social structure of a group hierachy that has sustained their species for thousands of years deserves to be respected and upheld. And if they are going to live with us, it is we who must sustain the hiearchy."
This book isn't exactly (although there is some of it) how to do this or that of training. Rather, it trains us how to learn to be trainers, and co-exist with the dogs we love.
The best book on dogs I've read!