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Training the Hard-to-Train Dog Reviews

Review
Pet behaviorist and winner of the 2002 Dog Writers Association award for best training article, Swager has written a manual that debunks the idea that independent-thinking, dominant dogs must be trained using aversive methods. She begins by explaining characteristics that make certain breeds more difficult to train. She then discusses how a dog's pack position influences its desire to comply, and she demonstrates how a person can become the leader of the pack. She covers basic obedience commands and addresses problem behavior, e.g., housebreaking accidents, excessive barking, biting, and guarding. Unlike TV dog-training personality Cesar Millan, who believes in the alpha roll (holding a dog down on its side or back), or Kathy Santo (Kathy Santo's Dog Sense), who recommends the "jerk and pull" correction method, Swager espouses positive reinforcement. Other recent books such as Tamar Geller's The Loved Dog and Dale Stavroff's Let the Dog Decide also explain motivational methods; however, the beautiful and sometimes humorous color illustrations, the easy-to-read style, and the emphasis that all dogs, regardless of temperament, can benefit from reward-based training make this book an outstanding addition to public library collections.--Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY --Library Journal, December 15, 2008



Fantastic review of Training the Hard-to-Train Dog (with cover image included!) from the December 15 issue of Library Journal:

http://wwwlibraryjournal.com/
article/CA6619913.html

 Swager, Peggy O. Training the Hard-To-Train Dog. TFH. 2008. 240p. photogs. index. ISBN 978-0-7938-0667-6. pap. $19.95. PETS

Pet behaviorist and winner of the 2002 Dog Writers Association award for best training article, Swager has written a manual that debunks the idea that independent-thinking, dominant dogs must be trained using aversive methods. She begins by explaining characteristics that make certain breeds more difficult to train. She then discusses how a dog's pack position influences its desire to comply, and she demonstrates how a person can become the leader of the pack. She covers basic obedience commands and addresses problem behavior, e.g., housebreaking accidents, excessive barking, biting, and guarding. Unlike TV dog-training personality Cesar Millan, who believes in the alpha roll (holding a dog down on its side or back), or Kathy Santo (Kathy Santo's Dog Sense), who recommends the "jerk and pull" correction method, Swager espouses positive reinforcement. Other recent books such as Tamar Geller's The Loved Dog and Dale Stavroff's Let the Dog Decide also explain motivational methods; however, the beautiful and sometimes humorous color illustrations, the easy-to-read style, and the emphasis that all dogs, regardless of temperament, can benefit from reward-based training make this book an outstanding addition to public library collections.
Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY



Review - Helped with Training

  • My elderly parents have a little Maltese they call "Puppy". Puppy rules their home with velvet paws; she's so good at manipulation that my folks don't even know she's controlling them. They don't know she is the definition of a stubborn, hard to train dog. They tried to explain to her that she should go outside to potty, but she's too busy to care! Puppy is their baby since we kids moved out. They would no more think about disciplining Puppy than they would think about praising me! Obviously, their bringing up baby methods vary from their dog rearing methods. (I'm NOT BITTER!!!)
  • After they acquired a copy of this book the examples in it made clear to them they had to do a little Puppy training to make a better life for all of them. No spanking or bad will was involved so now Puppy is happy, but better yet there are no more frantic calls from mom about little brown deposits on the carpet. The book is positive and clear with several different ways to accomplish a training task. It is a good book for the average dog owner.

Review - most helpful training book I have found yet

  • This book has helped us a lot. We adopted a super sensitive dog occassionally attacked our older dog. We had trainers come and help a bit, but it was this book that made the biggest difference. Being a super sensitive dog, some of the trainers basic technics were just to harsh even though we never used anything negative. She learned to trust us and look to us for direction. I highly recommend this book for a dog, not just for problem dogs. It is so easy to read and so easy to interpret the lessons into action. Lessons are short and effective.

Review - Two thumbs up

  • I learned a lot reading this book. I'm not a professional dog trainer, but Swager's explanations of what various dogs are looking as far as leadership goes, and how this relates to behavior problems is very helpful. This book made the most sense to me as to how to best approach training, and how to have the best relationship with your dog. Great book!
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