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Steve Dale knows what he is about and his common sense approach to dog 'training' makes for a very enjoyable read as well as a fine handbook to keep around for wither your own pet or when dog-sitting for friends. It is obvious from the way that Dale writes that he thoroughly understands how dogs connect their synapses and how rewiring your dog's brain with tried and true methods of behavior modification, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement instead of punishment.

The chapters in this book ill give the potential reader some expectations about what will be gained form investing i this little bible: Dog on Dog Aggression, Pet on People Aggression, Housetraining 101, To Crate or Not to Crate?, Chew on this, Obedience Training, Jump to It, Play, Excessive Barking, Separation Distress, Noise Anxiety, Compulsive Disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, and a Grab Bag of Off-Beat Questions. Dale offers his wise advice in the form of interaction with people's questions he has answered from his syndicated radio show. He peppers his text with enough photographs to give that much needed 'Aw[...] effect and keeps the information tight but light.

This book is essential for every current and would-be dog owner - and it might just be a terrific gift for that lady down the street in your neighborhood whose dogs yap all day.....Subtle but firm suggestions that Steve Dale can calm dogs and a neighbor where the ill-advised dogs dwell. Grady Harp, January 12
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on January 12, 2012
With the current focus that one TV "trainer" is getting, it is wonderful to see a book that was written by someone who is a recognized expert in the field of animal behavior, and more importantly dog behavior.

I've taught obedience for 30+ years. Steve gives practical solutions to many common behavior problems. These are problems that he has encountered due to his many years writing columns and his radio program. They are the types of problems that both novice and not so novice people encounter day to day. Things from chewing to allowing your dog to stay in the backyard for extended periods of time.

Getting a new puppy? Get the book FIRST!! It will help you get off to the right start.
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on April 27, 2013
This was a great little synopsis of different issues that people may have with their dogs. I mostly find it is the people with the problems, and not their dogs. I got a few great websites from this book that I did not have before. I recommend this to everyone!
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2012
Certified animal behavior consultant and television host, Steve Dale, applies the latest research to dog training. His methods are science-based and move us well beyond previously established dominance/punitive dog instruction.

One of the gems in this book is the technique for training dogs to "go on command." I know it works because I trained two dogs using this method - it really works. This is a useful everyday command for when you want to make sure your dog has been able to "go" at the last possible opportunity before being confined in the house alone for a long time.

The author wants to get to know a dog before recommending adjustments in its training routines. There are lots of variables to consider. In other words, dog training designed appropriately for specific dogs is a big subject. It's not practical for most of us to become experts in it or keep up with the growing body of literature.

I recommend this book because it's an easy, accessible and direct path to getting the answers to specific questions on dog care and training.
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on January 9, 2014
I didn't find this to be the most informative book ever. I think i was expecting dog whisperer quality. Not the worst book either.
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on March 14, 2013
Steve offers some very good advice for taking good care of your dog. It helps to know how to control your dog's behavior!
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on October 11, 2012
I found this book to be very simplistic,repetitious,and far too fond of touting the author's products.Virtually every behavioral issue seems to end with "check with your vet for medical problems" and "try my product to solve your problems".A waste of money and time.
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on March 5, 2012
Good Dog! has a wealth of information for dog owners. Each chapter is composed of problems or annoyances dog owners my have. First the reader is introduced to the problem and some advice is given. Then in a question and answer format dog owners share their concerns and answers are then given to each individual questions. Each answer is followed up with additional resources, which included online links, information and training techniques by animal behaviorist and their training techniques which provides the dog owner with a wide variety of different ideas as dogs are unique. Other solutions are management tools including clicker training, and when it comes to separation or noise anxiety and separation distress the reader is also provided with information on other natural options like desensitization Cd's, anxiety wrap, a pheromone called Adaptil and a few others.

The most important advice I found in this book has to do with taking your dog to a vet, especially if the problems you are having started out of the blue. By having your dogs health checked first, you can narrow down the problem. Because it could turn out that the very reason that the problem or situation exists could be due to any wide variety of things, from something as mild as a vitamin deficiency or allergies to a more serious health issue like a bladder infection or even kidney disease. Of course you dog cannot speak and you are their best advocate, so the best thing for a pet owner to do is write these symptoms down before going to the vet, so they are prepared.

Some problems and situation I have found the solutions and advice in this book to be helpful with in our family with our dogs includes "Jumping at the Door," "Too Much Fun," Excessive Barking," "Separation Distress and Noise Anxiety." Separation distress and anxiety was a minor problem that has become a major problem in our household ever since we adopted a second rescue dog. Our older dog has either taught some of this behavior to our new dog and my husband is to blame or both. My husband has a problem with not giving independence to our new dog (Frankie) due to feelings of empathy. Before I read this book my husband allowed the dog to constantly lay or attach itself to him when he is relaxing. So when I read the chapter with information on hyper-attachment I was thrilled that I could no present my husband with information on what he has been doing and not have him turn a deaf ear. I was so glad they had a name for this and immediately spoke to my husband about it. My husband is now working on this bad habit.

Another problem that seems to bother me and not my husband is the dogs acting overly stimulated and super excited when he arrives at the door, hopping at him like rabbits. I don't have that problem as I am greeted by them happily, but not in that manner. It has been so annoying that as we are speaking about his day when he arrives home, they continue to do this in his face as he is speaking, which is very distracting. He was not seeing a problem with this, yet he has to continuously stop speaking to me, as I grow irritated because he allows this behavior. So there is a constant battle between me and my husband as the dogs act totally inappropriate when he is around. I am so glad this problem was addressed in this book as I now have given my husband guidance as to what he needs to change. To begin with it would be to let them calm down before he pets them or gives them any attention. Instead of what he was doing which was petting them while they act this way as he spoke to me. So I can honestly say this book has helped our marriage in a sense.

The only downside of this book of course is, you may not find that particular dog problem you are experiencing in this book. This however can happen with any dog behavioral book, so one should not assume this book may cover every situation. Because each dog is unique in his own way this book provides a wide variety of resources and links the reader can research on their own. I would recommend this book to any dog owner whatever their problems or situation may be.
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on December 11, 2011
There are those of us who simply want our dogs to behave. And then there are those of us who want to have a deeper understanding of the 'whys' of dog behavior. While understanding the 'whys' has not yet been pinpointed by science other than the speculation that many behaviors occur in the limbic system, many books are written to help us understand the human-dog connection. Steve Dale's book, "Good Dog!" is one of them.

For those of us who want to understand the 'whats' and 'hows' of dog behavior, this book is a treasure of information whether the focus is on dogs themselves or their relationship with us. Steve Dale covers most topics that typical dog owners struggle with, such as aggression, whether or not to crate your dog, destructive behaviors, and training, among others. You can use his book as either a reference for suggested solutions to specific problems with your dog or you can read it from cover to cover, as I did, because it spoke to me of most of the aspects of raising a happy, healthy, confident dog. My favorite chapters included management of excessive barking and cognitive dysfunction in dogs, which I knew little about. I actually laughed out loud when reading his chapter "A Grab Bag of Offbeat Questions" that addresses issues I would have never even thought people might ask.

While Steve Dale is credentialed as a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and could easily speak independently from his own training and expertise of over 17 years duration, he opens each chapter with a specific issue, and offers suggestions drawn from well-known canine behavioral specialists in the field after encouraging readers to check with their veterinarian to rule out any medical reasons for behavioral change or behavioral problems. As a clinical (health-focused) psychologist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy, I was particularly pleased to hear that he endorses the cautious use of medications to help the quality of life for those animals whose behaviors cannot be managed with training, counter-conditioning, or other behavioral management methods. When all is considered, I'd rather have my dogs on "Doggy-Prozac" rather than face the idea of abandoning, giving up, or euthanizing a dog.

Steve also ascribes to positive reinforcement as his primary means of training, a practice I likewise heartily endorse, along with Victoria Stilwell, Nicholas Dodson, Ian Dunbar, and Andrea Arden. His links and sources are impressive ... top of the field. Finally, you can't beat the price for the quality of information. And no matter how much you think you know about dogs, you can always learn more. I now anxiously await his "Good Cat" book, as I lived in a multiple cat household for over 25 years before my home became a dog home.
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VINE VOICEon February 1, 2012
And we all know what happens to most of the dogs with behavior problems that end up in shelters.

Being a pet-owner carries with it a substantial responsibility on the part of the pet owner -- if only everyone who was considering adopting a dog from a shelter or a rescue group would read this before AND after acquiring their new pet(s). Knowledge in this area is a GREAT help -- to both the dog AND the owner.

This book is a straight-forward presentation in clear easy to read format, with no confusing jargon -- and it covers the basics (basic commands), to the more egregious problems that would send most uninformed pet owners, dog in hand, to the sheler to relinquish their pet -- separation anxiety, constant barking, food aggression, fear.

With a short but great table of contents up front, plus bibliographies and relevant Web pages to peruse, in the back of this book - I would even suggest that this be a required handout for all those who adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue (hopefully there will be some grant money or patron donations to cover the cost to the shelter/rescue).
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