- Audio CD
- Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged edition (October 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400103002
- ISBN-13: 978-1400103003
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #571,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
Animal behaviorist, dog trainer, syndicated radio talk show host and prolific author on all things canine, McConnell (The Other End of the Leash) presents a compelling combination of stories, science and practical advice to show how understanding emotions in both people and dogs can improve owners' relationships with their pets. This is more than a simple dog-training book: much of what McConnell discusses concerns how dog owners can learn "the language" of dog by recognizing important signals and reading them correctly. She provides numerous helpful examples of how owners can observe dog behavior, especially differences in posture and facial expressions, in order to help dogs be better behaved and help dog owners to be better handlers; her discussion of the meaning of a dog's "tongue flicks" is alone worth the price of the book. Her overall goal is to help owners provide their pets with "a sense of calm, peaceful benevolence," and she skewers current dog-training fads that emphasize "dominance" over a dog. "Don't fool yourself: if you yell at your dog for something he did twenty seconds ago, you're not training him; you're merely expressing your own anger." (On sale Aug. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Understanding what drives the behavior of our pet dogs is McConnell's goal. She teaches readers to understand the emotional environment of their dogs' actions and helps them to reprogram undesirable behaviors. This is not a book on how to train dogs, but McConnell's examination of cases from her veterinary practice, backed up by her scientific study of animal behavior, will help readers better understand their closest companions. Whether discussing separation anxiety, fear biting, or simple canine happiness, McConnell explains the emotional state of each dog and how this drives the observed behavior. One gentle Labrador was traumatized by an aggressive boy and had begun to growl and snap at all human males--he was cured by simple therapy involving habituation to nice behavior and treats from men and boys. A dog that was terrified of thunder was trained to go to his safe place--a heavily insulated, very quiet doghouse. McConnell's main message is for readers to observe their own dogs and to understand the emotions behind their actions, both good and bad. Nancy Bent
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
And here's why:
This book is an uncommon combination of 3 things that usually don't go together.
1) Entertaining and moving (yet educational) stories of dogs and their humans (many from McConnell's long career as an animal behaviorist),
2) Immediately useful knowlege about dog behavior and the "clues" dogs give about what is going on with them, and
3) Relentless scientific backup for what she says, while NOT being hard to read or "science-y."
For instance, do you know what it means when a dogs mouth is closed?
Do you know what it means if a dog is pointing her muzzle away from you, but looking in your direction?
Do you know what it means if a dog is pulling the corners of his mouth forward?
You should, because these are all critical clues about what the dog is going to do next -- it may even prevent you from being bitten by the next dog you reach out to pet!
Do you know the government-tested 30-second puppy-exercise regime that helps them grow into dogs that are gentle, flexible, and tolerant?
You should, it might make a huge difference in the next dog you get!
Along the way McConnell provides TONS of useful and entertaining knowledge about dog and human brains, how we learn, developmental phases (and how to impact them!), the nature of happiness (and how to be more happy!) and a whole lot more.
. . .even how to tell if a dog might be laughing at your hairstyle.
And it's so well written it's hard to put down.
I'm sorry if this sounds like an ad for the book . . . I'm not selling the book, just reviewing it, and I really liked it.
I think that if you like dogs and spend time with them, your relationships with them will be noticibly enriched by your reading this book.
Especially pleasing to see is that in her discussion of counterconditioning and other techniques the author diverges from the decades-old approach of addressing "behavior problems" (a term that should be killed off and unceremoniously buried - it's not the animal's problem any more than if your husband had a habit of talking too loudly to your liking would you tell your friends that he had a behavior problem) by focusing on simply eliminating the behavior. This mechanistic behaviorism approach may be effective in eliminating the behavior but frequently does nothing to relieve the dog's underlying emotional distress that is causing the behavior. For example, if a dog is suffering from loneliness because he is tied up alone in a backyard and barks endlessly for human attention and companionship there are plenty of ways to eliminate the barking. But there is only one correct one: alleviate the emotional pain of loneliness. McConnell understands this and focuses on this underlying emotional distress when working with the dogs to change unwanted behavior. In light of the advances in neuroscience, comparative psychology, and brain imaging, this places McConnell on the leading edge of the changes underway in how unwanted behavior in dogs should be addressed. The primary focus in treating behavior "problems" is to help the dog rather than the owner. McConnell gets this. Most dog behaviorists and trainers don't.
I strongly recommend this book for all dog owners who want their dogs to get the best emotional care and support in all behavior-related matters.
(Note: some of her conclusions may have to be taken with a grain of salt... but they will get you thinking.) All in all, this is one book that never gets boring... and is definitely puppy chow for the medula oblongada (if you don't know what that is she'll explain.)
Think of it as EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE for doglovers!