I recently received a review copy of the book Good Dog! Practical Answers to Behavior Questions from Steve Dale. Mr. Dale is a certified animal behavior consultant and nationally syndicated pet columnist. The book is organized into chapters covering topics such as aggression, housetraining, obedience training, play, and various anxiety or behavior problems that pets can experience.
Each chapter is composed mainly of questions from pet owners and answers given by the author. It’s an engaging and comfortable way to write a book; readers can absorb the information in small chunks. This book is easy to pick up and set back down again without feeling like you have to start over because you’ve gotten lost. The format also is helpful to dog owners who want help with very specific questions. There’s enough variety of experience to apply to a wide range of people who own dogs.
Parents can benefit from reading this book specifically by looking at the chapter on aggression, housetraining, and obedience training.
Overall I found this to be a quality book and do recommend it to individuals who are having any kind of difficulty with their dog. (Mr. Dale has also written a book for cat owners titled Good Cat!).
I do have to say that I disagree with the author a bit with regard to overall philosophy. Mr. Dale seems to call out Cesar Milan on a few occasions and directly objects to the notion of the pet owner dominating the pet. I don’t know exactly how “dominate” is being defined here, so we may not be as far apart on that as it appears. But, I do believe that the dog owner should be the one in charge; the dog should recognize the owner as the boss and submit to commands that are given. Should the owner hurt the dog? Of course not. Dogs, like children, need lots of structure, encouragement, and love.
If you need a good dog training book that addresses specific issues with concrete suggestions for remediation, Good Dog! may be the book for you. Thanks to Steve Dale for giving me the copy to review.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who are also dog owners.
Image courtesy of _dChris via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.
FTC disclosure: I received a free review copy of Good Dog! in order to read and review for you. All opinions about the book are my own.