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When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs Paperback – June 22, 2007
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Pigs is smart, well organized, has terrific exercises and catchy sound bites galore - verrrrry important in my opinion. --Jean Donaldson - Director, San Francisco SPCA and author of Culture Clash, Fight!, and Mine!
For those who believe that Bull Terriers are uncontrollable, strong-willed clowns, Jane Killion's When Pigs Fly will open your eyes. Highly readable! Read. Enjoy. Benefit. --Hon. David C. Merriam, Vice Chairman, American Kennel Club
A fresh, exciting, and thought-provoking way to look at your dog with new eyes and understanding. While there is some basic training in the book, seasoned trainers should take this book seriously. If you have tried other training books and been unsuccessful in seeing progress with your supposedly difficult dog, When Pigs Fly is the book for you. --Pam Dennison, Author of The Bringing Light to Shadow
About the Author
Author Jane Killion lives in New Jersey with a houseful of Bull Terriers and a very wise cat. She breeds and shows Bull Terriers, has successfully competed with five different Bull Terriers and a Cattle Dog in agility and obedience. She has contributed several dog training articles to various publications and magazines. Her house is the frequent site of Bullypalooza days, which involve lots of people getting together with their dogs to train all day and then staying into the evening for dinner and lively discussions about dogs and dog training.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some people want a "quick fix" for everything. They should probably not get a dog. All animals, regardless of breed, are individuals and like us, prone to mistakes, differences in abilities to understand our views/desires for their behavior and do not succeed in many cases, due to the handler/owner/guardian failing to communicate clearly, consistently, compassionately (not use fear or compulsion to create desired behavior, which is scientifically proven LESS effective for teaching animals, children, etc.), with patience, love and tolerance.
We are quick to ignore our own faults, flaws, foibles and worse, yet even as we take so many past freedoms away form our pets and work longer hours; we want and demand their perfection. An animal is not a product, any more than a child is. They are their own being, that we can guide, teach manners and behaviors to and if, as is the case with my dog, they are mentally damaged, we need to support their needs in any way we can.
The author took dogs like mine, who were absolutely the sort most would say to, or have, "put down". She made them successful in ways I am still astounded by and thus, this book is one of the best I have ever read (countless, trust me!) on dog training/behavior and relationships. I am generally too busy/lazy/forgetful to post about the brilliant books I've read during my journey to better understand my mutt and dogs in general: I feel I need to remedy this, so here's my first on Amazon.
I am writing, in part because I glimpsed some reviews that were not as favourable as mine, and you don't know me from Adam, so I understand if you take this with a grain of salt. I'm on FB and the Twit, have been working with dogs for only six or seven years, but have trained Working Detection Dogs, rehabbed rescue dogs and am the grateful owner of a very challenging dog, who has taught me more about relationship based training, myself and how we each mirror the other than words and our often less-than-perfect behavior will ever show.
If you are beyond the drama of "Do not try this at home" videos, are looking for a greater insight to the journey that owning a dog (and this comes with even those with fantastic pedigreed lines) and would like to improve your understanding of canines, then I seriously suggest you read this. Any dog training book, regardless of the writer, is written with their best intentions and experience. I read books by trainers that I would never use as a role model, due to various reasons, but all have something we can learn from. So, if knowledge is something you desire, as well as inspiration, then
this is definitely one for you.
I'd write more specifically about what makes this a great read, but until I re-read it, that'll have to wait. TBI has destroyed my photographic memory, so for now, just know I'm getting another copy, as I miss and want to read this book again.
Even though I bought and studied those other books, eventually I just plain gave up. My dogs weren't motivated by food, praise, or toys and greyhounds care even less than your average cat about what you want. I figured I was lucky they had natural manners and were very easy to walk.
Then we added our first rescue bull terrier. Walking her was like trying to play soccer with a bowling ball so I cracked open the books only to once again be frustrated and unsuccessful. We simply stopped walking her with any of the other dogs, but when we added two more rescues, a bully-pit mix pup and later a pit bull, solo walks were just no longer possible. But we HAD to walk them, so when I saw this book with a picture of what could be my own LucyLiu soaring across the cover, I was elated.
Turns out there was nothing wrong with the other books except that they were written for collies, shepherds, retrievers...dogs bred to look to people all day, every day, just dying to be told what to do next and thrilled to repeat things endlessly. "Pigs Fly" dogs have been bred to think and act independently, as anyone who has one knows very well. No wonder we were so frustrated!
Now I can walk all four (over 250lbs of muscle) at once! This book broke everything down very thoroughly and explained the "why" and "when" of each step. It's suitable for beginners and offers plenty of information for standard necessities (sit, heel, lie down, etc) as well as some agility movements. Most importantly she teaches you HOW to adapt the techniques to whatever YOU want to do using what motivates YOUR dog, always using positive reinforcement methods. Aggressive, harsh techniques aren't appropriate for physically powerful yet emotionally sensitive breeds and it's wonderful to find an effective manual that understands that. It's also great to see photos of your type of dog doing things you never imagined possible.
My dogs and I loved the beginner box exercise and I really like how targeting was presented, neither of which ever explained in a practical way before. My greyhound is very large and enthusiastic greeter but won't sit for long because he misses out getting to say "hi". But allowing him to jump and aim his nose at an outstretched hand is a creative solution that's very satisfying for him and keeps guests safe.
Great book, whether or not you have a "Pigs Fly" dog. If you want to clicker train, the way it's presented here makes it very, very simple and clear.
Not just for Bull Terriers, this book is an excellent resource for training any dog because it is based on positive reinforcement and healthy interaction between you and your pup.
I believe your dog will thank you for reading this book, regardless of what breed you have.
I'm writing this review specifically because I would not recommend the digital version. The first half of the book is full of typos and grammatical errors- I actually put the book down for a month or two because it was so distracting. I'm shocked and disappointed that no on proof-read the digital version. I buy kindle books all the time and although there are some errors, it's never been this bad. It reads like someone rushed through it... lame.