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Teaching the Dog to Think: My Year of Dog Agility Training with My Collie, Willow Paperback – December 20, 2011
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From Kirkus Reviews
A skilled writer, Davis tells her tale with intimacy as she casually converses with her reader…In her kind, cheerful treatment, she expresses honest thoughts about her own perceived shortcomings as a pet owner, as highlighted by the training experience. Through the detailed examination of Davis’ experience, readers will not only comprehend her expanded knowledge of spirit and soul, but also her feelings of failure and, most significantly, her reinforced attachment to her pet…In the end, Davis’s memoir is as much about the human spirit as it is about dog training [and is] an enjoyable look at the connection between people and their dogs.
A spirited, lighthearted foray into agility training . . . A skilled writer, Davis tells her tale with intimacy . . . a worthy read.--Kirkus
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Top customer reviews
There's nothing like the feeling of such an agreement between you and your dog when it happens - and she shows you how. It's also an easy read
Though I read this book several months ago, I frequently hear Kimberly's (written) voice in my mind when I hear, "Give the dog a treat? For what? He didn't earn it!" (paraphrased) This approach works, and it goes against nearly everything our mainstream culture believes (for dogs *and* kids). Read this. Open your mind to the possibility that respect is earned through being respectful, love is given freely and returned when kindness is shown. Drop the fear-based approach and embrace a heartfelt, loving, grace-based way to achieve relationship success (with your dog and others).
Kim discusses the reward method in detail as Willow becomes a more responsive and obedient dog. She comes to understand how and why the technique works and she applies its principles to her own life. She gives her son time for a favorite hobby when he finishes homework as opposed to demanding it be done now, as many of us parents do. She applies the technique to her creative writing students by singling out good writing and having them "do more of this", in order to coax new levels of accomplishment.
The story is funny, heartwarming, and thought provoking. It winds along many surprising and pleasurable paths. It offers information we can use in our own lives to become more thoughtful people. Read the book and take a walk with Kim along the road of self-discovery, through the woods of south coastal Massachusetts, the scent of the sea in the air, with Willow running ahead but looking back for guidance on which way to turn.