Dog Training Book Reviews
Groom Your Dog at Home (and Be a Proud Dog Parent) Rating: [Rating:4.5/5] Author: Amy West Editor: Amy West Year: 2008 Category: Dog Grooming Price: $19.95 Who said grooming a dog should be a hassle? Now you can take pride that YOU yourself can groom your dog on your own – right from the comfort […]
Author: Dan Stevens
Editor: Dan Stevens
Category: Dog Training
What Is It?
SitStayFetch presents a very detailed and thorough look at how to both prevent and deal with the more common problem dog behaviors. As the owner of three(!) moderately troublesome mutts myself, I’ve spent a fair amount of time searching the ‘Net for reliable resources on this topic, and I have to say that the level of knowledge and detail contained within the pages of this collection is quite impressive for an online book.
Not only that, but – again, unusual for this medium – the information at hand is actually (gasp!) reliable. Yep, that’s right – this one’s a whole new kettle of fish. Written by a seasoned dog trainer, you can relax in the knowledge that all the tips and advice included are tried and true, and come from Stevens’ real-life experiences as a professional dog trainer.
There’s a pretty impressive range of information packed into this guide. It’s not just the problem behaviors that are covered: the book starts off with new-owner advice (how to choose a puppy/dog, the best places to get one from, breed information, puppy/dog-proofing your home, the first vet visit, housetraining, etc) and then moves on to the more advanced stuff: behavioral problems (such as aggression, dominance, chewing, digging, excessive barking, separation anxiety, to name a few), intermediate-level obedience commands, health-related dog problems (allergies, cat/dog coexistence, fleas, heatstroke, and so on), and advanced commands and tricks.
Particularly Good Parts
In addition to the contents listed above, there’s also a pretty impressive section on dog whispering, which – in case you haven’t heard of it already – is a method of dog training based on a philosophy of clear communication and mutual respect. It’s been popularized in recent years by Cesar Millan (“The Dog Whisperer”), and is becoming increasingly well-known as an alternative and humane method for disciplining and training your dog. SitStayFetch has dedicated an entire section to dog whispering: Daniel Stevens explains the background of the technique, how to utilize voice and body language to your best advantage, and how to use the technique to calmly, assertively, and effectively correct and train your dog. Step-by-set instructions are included for the common commands (sit, down, come, stay, quiet, etc).
It makes for some pretty interesting reading – and, after trying out the basics on my own recalcitrant pooch, I was amazed at how effective the techniques suggested are. Highly recommended!
I Love Freebies (Who Doesn’t?)
There’s just something about getting something for nothing. And, although my magpie-like acquisitiveness may have led me into less-than-productive purchases in the past, in this particular case I’m happy to report that SitStayFetch hasn’t let me down: the freebies included with this book are not only numerous, they’re actually useful(wow!)
The book itself costs $37. For this price, you get a complete and detailed manual on training your dog, preventing and handling behavioral problems, and a whole bunch of general-knowledge tips and advice.
You also get a handful of practical freebies: four bonus books, dealing respectively with advanced housetraining how-to’s and troubleshooting (including both the crate- and paper-training methods); a detailed study on resolving canine aggression; how to effectively groom your dog (including information on coat care for specific breeds, dental care, and nail-clipping how-to’s); and finally, how to begin training your dog for security work.
Another particularly useful freebie: a personalized consultation with a member of the Kingdom of Pets team. If you’ve got an issue with your dog that you’d like some individual attention on, you can flick them a quick email and receive a personalized, thorough reply packed with expert advice and practical tips.
SitStayFetch: A Thumbnail Sketch
Altogether, I’m pretty impressed with this package. I’ve owned dogs on and off my whole life, starting from when I was ten – I would have thought that I was better-prepared than most to handle the quirks and caprices of my canine friends.
But since reading this book, I think my pre-SitStayFetch self was (embarrassingly) perhaps a trifle more complacent than knowledgeable – I’ve learned more since reading this manual than I’ve picked up in a near-lifetime’s worth of contact with dogs (do you know how to stop your dog from tugging on the leash, without using a check-chain? Well, I do – but until I got my hands on a copy of this book, I certainly didn’t!)
Several of the training techniques present a refreshingly common-sense, down-to-earth approach to dog training; others require a little more effort (take dog whispering as an example) but yield some pretty dramatic results. I liked the way that more than one training technique is detailed, to allow the reader to pick and choose the techniques that best suit themselves and their individual dogs.
– Easy, fun reading
– Thorough, comprehensive, and accurate
– Lots of examples
– More expensive than other similar (though less comprehensive) books
I feel comfortable in recommending this package to anyone who owns, or is thinking about owning, a dog. You don’t need to have a “problem pet” for the manual to be of assistance: there’s information included that’ll be useful to any and all dog owners.
In a nutshell: highly recommended.