This book deals with prevalent problems around off-leash control that most dog manuals ether omit completely, or fail to provide effective training methods for. Whilst many of the suggestions in training manuals (including good clicker training books) probably work with many dogs, those who have the less obedient breeds are left with the frustrating and worrying situation of having incomplete control of their dogs whilst they're off-leash.
I bought this book to help my shy greyhound be more confident around other dogs. Whilst this book is geared towards those who do agility with their dogs, the exercises (games) would help any dog remain calm and focused on his owner whilst on or off-leash in everyday situations (walking in busy shopping centres, in parks, fields, woodland, etc). It really does give practical solutions for keeping your dog under your control whilst s/he is off-leash.. and they work!
It is full of clever games to play with your dog that are kind, positive and enjoyable for both of you. In essence you are allowing your dog to do what s/he wants to do - and then using this as the basis to keep your dog under control - this way your dog's needs and your needs are never in conflict with each other.
This book is useful for:
Those people who are already au fait with clicker training as it does not give you a grounding in this - she assumes you already know how to clicker train.
Agility dogs who tend to get overexcited when they're let off the lead to practice on any equipment and therefore run around the training field.
Owners of sighthounds: The 'Look At That' game is genius. The instant my greyhound spots a rabbit, I click her. This means that she turns to me for the treat, so she reorientates away from the rabbit and onto me. In essence, I am letting her do what she naturally wants to do (look for rabbits), but by doing so, I am using it as a way to get her to focus off the rabbit and on to me. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works!
Downside of this book:
It's not particularly clear in its layout. It's written as though you are attending her 7-day training class; she therefore talks about games in the earlier chapters that she does not explain until later chapters. She does list the new games you will learn at the start of each new chapter though, so they are easy to locate.
It is written with agility dogs in mind. This won't be a problem if you're happy to think about where the exercise could apply to your dog. The games (exercises), however, do not require any agility equipment in order to perform them. But many of the games associated with keeping your dog's attention on you whilst around other dogs, do require the assistance of other dogs you know (but this is common sense - your dog can't get used to being calm around dogs, if you don't practice around other dogs).
It is possibly the best dog training book I have read, because it gives real solutions to common problems which most dog training manuals don't provide effective strategies for.