Monday, September 29, 2008

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training by Pamela Dennison

My dog George is a huge handful, and I have looked through several dog training books in trying to figure out how to work with him. He is an Australian Cattle Dog, which is a breed that needs a lot to do if they are not going to be a nuisance around the house. He has also recently become really territorial about the apartment, which is an issue we are working through.
Positive dog training is training based on the idea that punishment does not work in dog training. The only punishment that is allowed as part of this type of training is ignoring the dog. Positive dog training works great for George on a lot of levels. First of all, food is very motivating for him, and although food is not the only reward available, it is an excellent way to get him excited about training. Positive dog training also uses a "clicker" which is just a tool to let the dog know when he's done something right. The other part of this type of training that works so well with a dog like George is the ignoring-him-as-punishment part. He hates being ignored. He loves attention! Being ignored is the worst thing possible! He learns very quickly what not to do when he is being ignored for a behavior.
This training book is very well laid out, and Dennison breaks each part of the training into little steps that are easy for dogs, and trainers, to follow. I have been doing this training, with suggestions from the book, for two weeks or so, but it takes a while to build up the basics if you've been letting your dog get away with running the house. But I have hope! This book is great for anyone who wants to take back control of their relationship with their dog, and to have a dog that is a good citizen.

No comments: