The American Dog Trainers Network

BOOK REVIEWS

Canine Adventures
Author: Cynthia D. Miller
Publisher: Animilia


"Canine Adventures -- Fun Things To Do With Your Dog", by Cynthia Miller, is a comprehensive guide to the many sports and activities one can enjoy with their dog. Both educational and upbeat, it shows us how we can provide our dogs with fun, constructive outlets and exercise, without overlooking the importance of teamwork, mutual respect, and the loving bond between dog and owner.

Miller's book offers readers lots of useful information, and covers an extensive array of topics including: puppy socialization, obedience training, canine good citizen, animal-assisted therapy, safety tips, agility, flyball, back packing, hiking, canine freestyle, flying disc, search and rescue, tracking, schutzhund, traveling with your pet, and much more!

I highly recommend "Canine Adventures". My only complaint about this book is that I didn't write it!

--Robin Kovary



The Complete Idiot's Guide To A Well-Trained Dog
Authours: Jack and Wendy Volhard

Jack and Wendy Volhard's book "The Complete Idiot's Guide To A
Well-Trained Dog" is truly excellent, one of the best dog training books on the market.  It's comprehensive, full of excellent tips, and is both very reader- and dog-friendly.

It covers basic and advanced obedience training, general pet care requirements,  how to solve many common dog behavior problems (including info on how to manage several types of aggression), and much more.  The methodology is gentle, effective and humane... a must-read for any dog or puppy owner!



Toolbox for Remodeling Your Problem Dog
Author: Terry Ryan
Publisher: Howell Books


The Toolbox for Remodeling Your Problem Dog is fun, reader-friendly, and is packed full of great information! Author/trainer Terry Ryan offers many innovative and non-punitive training tips that are great for both puppies and mature dogs.

The book is an excellent and informative dog training and problem solving guide, and despite the book's title, your dog doesn't have to be a problem to benefit greatly from the training suggestions in this book. It also contains a wealth of behaviorial info and creative solutions rarely found in most other dog training books. Highly recommended!



101 Training Tips for Your Dog
Author: Kate Delano-Condax Decker / Kate DeLano Condax


Although this book contains a small handful of decent tips, this book is one of the most disappointing books on dogs I've ever read. 

101 Training Tips for Your Dog uses exceedingly rough (often abusive) training and disciplinary "methods".  And much of the author's reasoning -- as demonstrated throughout the book in a variety of ways -- underscores her surprising lack of knowledge concerning the basic principles of behavior modification.

Author Kate DeLano-Condax recommends disciplining puppies and dogs by hitting them with riding bats and books, hanging them until they gag or even vomit, throwing hot water in their faces, and suggests that owners use after-the-fact discipline to punish their dogs.

While I wouldn't wish these excessively punitive techniques be used on any dog, some of the techniques recommended in the book could be truly dangerous if used on delicate dogs.  I hutter for instance to think of all the Toy Poodles, Malteses and Yorkies that end up with collapsed tracheas as a result of being subjected to being hung when they bark at other
dogs.

I especially feel sorry for all of the puppies and sensitive dogs that have been "trained" using such a rough approach.  Some of the techniques used could easily be traumatic to a puppy (as was the case with a young Boxer puppy I know).

Another concern is that dogs with any aggressive and/or defensive propensities could easily be compelled to bite their owners as a result of some of  the techniques suggested in this book.  What a shame that the beautiful Pit Bulls that were photographed for the book, had to endure DeLano-Condax's almost adversarial "training methods".

Copyright 1995 - 1999,  Robin Kovary

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Robin Kovary is the American Dog Trainers Network helpline director
 and canine behavioral consultant.


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