- Paperback: 78 pages
- Publisher: Direct Book Service; 2nd edition (December 14, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1929242360
- ISBN-13: 978-1929242368
- Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (630 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On Talking Terms With Dogs Calming Signals Paperback – December 14, 2005
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This new revised edition is a must have! Even if you own the previous edition the photos and examples along with the writing are worth it. Turid has a wonderful gift of making everything so easy to understand and relate to...(she has made) an enormous contribution to mankind in our ever-increasing knowledge of man s best friend our dogs. --Pamela Dennison, author of Complete Idiots Guide to Positive Dog Training and Bringing Light to Shadow. A Dog Trainer's Diary
Invaluable! The insightful observations of Turid Rugaas can help all of us have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our dogs. This beautifully illustrated book belongs in the home of dog lovers everywhere. --Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. author, The Other End of the Leash, Cautious Canine, Feeling Outnumbered and more
I personally owe Turid a great debt because her work validated my observations that dogs are trying very hard to talk to us. This book was my guide and added amazing volume to my knowledge base. Her book provided the confidence to continue watching and interpreting. What a lovely gift! --Brenda Aloff author of Aggression In Dogs and Canine Body Language, A Photographic Guide
About the Author
Turid Rugaas has been involved with dogs as long as she can remember. From her own classes held at Hagan Hundeskole, her beautiful farm in the fjords of Norway, to her world-wide seminars, Turid is helping dogs by helping their owners see and understand the signals they give us.
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Top Customer Reviews
I attended a weekend seminar with Turid Rugaas last year which opened my eyes and I know that this works. Since then, and also since looking at video recordings from dog meetings, I now understand that dogs "talk" all the time. When meeting us or another dog, every single move or glance can carry a meaning. The other dog understands, if he has been allowed to "practice" dog language in lots of meetings with other dogs, but we, the humans, the supposed alphas, don't understand. Instead we try to teach the dog OUR verbal language. How frustrating for the dog! Shouldn't we first learn the dog's language?
This is a book that makes you understand that dog language is so much more than where the tail or the ears are. It's about signals that our own pets send to us daily. With this book we can start looking at our own dog and see much, much more than we saw before. We will actually start to understand what our dog tells us. And, even more thrilling, we can use the dog's language ourselves and be understood by the dog! We can use the same calming signals to help the dog for example in a stressful situation.
There is a cultural diffence between the European look on dog training and the American look. In America there is much focus on teaching a dog through reinforcing behaviors, like operant conditioning. Clicker training is very good, and I'm all for it. But when "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson came, it was considered to be a revolution, because some Americans had actually forgotten that dogs are dogs, with dogs' needs and drives and motivations!
In Europe, we've always been interested in dog behavior. Konrad Lorenz is a good example. Swedish "dog psychologist" Anders Hallgren wrote about a dog's calming signals more than ten years ago, inspired by Ms Rugaas. Unfortunately his books are not spred in the US. Turid is Norwegian and also represents the European way: to look at the dog as a dog and try to understand how it thinks and feels and acts in a pack. So therefore I think that this is a very good book for every single dog owner, but especially (no offense) for American clicker-trainers. This book will make them even better trainers, because it will probably give them an important missing piece in the training puzzle.
I think I can make a promise: If you read this book and use it, you'll never be able to look at a dog again the way you did before. It's a simple little book, but, at best, it's breath-taking!
In contrast, OTTWD produced an immediate "Ah ha!" reaction, and I reread it occasionally as much to renew the sense of inspiration as to glean more information from its scant pages. (As other reviewers have pointed out, there are other, far more exhaustive treatments of the vocabulary of dogs -- such as those by Roger Abrantes and Stanley Coren.)
I had barely finished reading the author's first, rather sketchy, case-study (which describes the role of her dog, Vesla, in communicating with the client's dog -- a recurring theme throughout) when I started to think about a pair of Border Collie mixes, Amelia and Cinder, at our shelter.
They are as close to feral as any dogs I've ever been around. We suspect they grew up from puppies as junkyard dogs. Among the dozens of our all-volunteer staff who have tried to befriend them, only three of the most empathetic, female volunteers have progressed to the point where they can leash them for a walk. Amelia and Cinder always responded to me by barking and retreating, even though I already knew to avoid assertive body posture, eye contact, use of my deep, male voice, etc. I eventually quit trying to connect with them.
The possibility that Ms. Rugaas opened for me was to use another dog as an intermediary. I decided to enlist the services of Mercedes, a young, high-strung, female Pit Bull that I was already teaching basic obedience. She will do anything she can understand to earn a quarter-inch cube of doggie salami.
After Mercedes had learned the "down" command, both by hand signal and verbally, we began practicing it closer and closer to Amelia and Cinder's run. At first they barked constantly whenever Mercedes and I were within sight. However, after daily repetitions over a few weeks, "the girls", as I call them, would stop barking and posturing within a second after Mercedes would lie down. After a few minutes of calm, sometimes the girls too would lie down -- often at a closer distance to me than they had ever approached when I was alone. I rewarded their calm by flipping tiny treats into their run.
Within a few weeks I was able to approach the girls without Mercedes, enter their run and feed them by hand. Although they still approach me with great caution, I am now able to touch each of them around the muzzle.
I don't know where my efforts will lead. I do know that what little progress I have made would not have been possible, were it not for the breakthrough I achieved with help from Mercedes -- and Turid Rugaas.