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Hell on 4 Paws: How Britain's Leading Pet Behaviourist Met Her Match [Paperback]

Gwen Bailey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Aug 2010
As a bestselling author and owner of the Puppy School franchise, Gwen Bailey is one of the UK's most respected dog behaviour experts and has helped millions to transform their troublesome pets into obedient and happy hounds. So what happened when one of her students - Chesil, the most dysfunctional pooch in Britain - refused to lay down, and he just so happened to be her own dog?! "Hell On 4 Paws" is the witty and wonderful story of how Gwen's life was turned on its head when she took on a new man in her life, his family, and the unruly Chesil, her greatest challenge yet. As if adjusting to a new relationship, new home and new responsibilities wasn't tough enough, Gwen also has to deal with Chesil's bizarre and antisocial behaviour, a constant distraction in her crazy new life. Follow Chesil's amusing exploits as his outrageous personality clashes with Gwen's time-tested techniques, and see him slowly change from an aggressive, possessive nightmare to a proud winner of the Gold Award for good citizenship. A feel-good and inspirational tale for anyone who's ever had trouble raising a rowdy hound, "Hell On 4 Paws" shows that sometimes even the best trainers can encounter problems, and that, with a little persistence, even the worst pets can become compassionate creatures.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hamlyn (2 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0600621766
  • ISBN-13: 978-0600621768
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gwen worked for a leading UK national animal welfare charity from 1988-2002 and pioneered the use of dog behaviour knowledge in the rehoming of unwanted animals.
She was the first person to be appointed by a national animal welfare charity as a full time Animal Behaviourist, eventually heading a team of behaviourists.
Gwen has successfully solved behaviour problems in thousands of rehomed dogs, helping to prevent dogs with behavioural problems being passed from home to home and improving the rehoming success rate.
Gwen lectures at national and international conferences, runs training courses for staff at animal charities around the world and has written many books & education leaflets. She is a Trustee for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Product Description

About the Author

Gwen Bailey is a leading Animal Behaviourist and former Chairperson of The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. She is also a Trustee for Battersea Cat and Dogs Home. As well as lecturing at national and international conferences, Gwen also runs Puppy School, a UK network of puppy trainers offering successful training and socialization classes for young puppies (www.puppyschool.co.uk). She is the author of several pet-care titles including the bestselling The Perfect Puppy, Puppy School and Choosing the Right Dog for You. Location: Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story 4 Oct 2010
This is a lovely story and just goes to show that with love, understanding and patience even seemingly naughty dogs can be trained. A really heartwarming read and would def recommend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 11 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not bad, I have read better, and really pleased the dog had a good life in the end.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 5 April 2014
By Deegirl
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I tried this but didn't enjoy the writing style and didn't actually finish it.
The cute puppy story was more like a list of dog training exercises.
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By Walker
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book really interesting. Normally we get someone reviewing the situation and telling us what the owners are doing wrong . This book puts the trainer in the middle of the situation. It shows how with the best intentions due to marriage break down etc things can go very badly wrong particularly with a big powerful dog. This time the trainer is on the inside, dealing with a new relationship,family commitments and other problems. Incredibly the author worked hard even with other problems going on to sort out her partners dog, rather than take what many would think the sensible option a one way trip to the vet.
One of the reviews I read before buying ,commented that the way the author wrote about her partners daughter was not very nice. I think she says nothing that many wouldnt say about a teenager and again the relationship developed and improved throughout the book.
I enjoyed the book and learned from it and I will probably read parts again. I have already recommended it to a friend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 28 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a very light-hearted read. So good to know that even the experts sometimes have difficultly, this proves without a doubt that Gwen Bailey is human, very enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating book 5 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's the story of the slow and erratic rehabilitation of a troubled dog, and it is fascinating. I have previously read Gwen Bailey's puppy book, which I much preferred. That was clearly a training aid. This was a story with training advice contained within it - but there is a lot more included, and it was this content that I enjoyed the least.

It must be really difficult writing autobiographical material! How do you get across your own inner questions and doubts without appearing to be a self indulgent worrit? How do you mention the less attractive character traits of relatives and loved ones without appearing overly critical? How do you draw on your career experience as a dog trainer without appearing a know-it-all? How do you mention the experiences which motivated your career choice without focussing/self pitying on difficult childhood experiences?

It must be incredibly difficult, but I have to say, if I was the author's partner or step daughter I would have been upset by my portrayal in this book. I also felt that there were numerous occasions where it wasn't necessary for the author to point out that she had been right all along.

I have no idea if 'needing to be right all the time' is a character trait of the author. Nor do i know if she carries a difficult childhood around like a status symbol, but this book gives that impression.

Was the book interesting? Yes.
Did I empathise with the people or the dogs? Frankly, I found them all (except Spider the dog) irritatingly unattractive, which is a great pity, because I think that a more generous, less critical portrayal of people and animals would have resulted in a book that was easier to read and learn from.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read 28 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I read the cover of this book I thought it sounded like a good lighthearted read. Sad to say, it hasn't turned out that way. It feels more like a reference book on how to train a dog. I looked forward to reading about Chesil's antics, but I am about one third of the way through the book and have lost interest. Some pages are about her training other dogs, and don't even mention Chesil. I will pick up the book again, when I have nothing else to read, but unless it changes, I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend it
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dog Lover.
Book in excellent condition. Arrived quickly. Just started reading it, cant wait to read the rest as I have a problem dog, and I hope it will help me.
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. M. E. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell on 4 Paws
Not quite sure what to expect at the start, but great admiration for the author's determination to rehabilitate what seemed to be an impossible animal and relieved at a happy... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Navatina
4.0 out of 5 stars A Daunting Task
"Chesil" the subject of this true story really was hell on four paws!

Author Gwen Bailey is a well known and respected dog behaviour expert and "Chesil" was a huge... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mrs C
5.0 out of 5 stars Hell on 4 paws
What a fabulous read! A dog with character and a mind of its own. Highly recommendedHell on 4 Paws: How Britain's Leading Pet Behaviourist Met Her Match
Published on 21 Jun 2012 by jules
4.0 out of 5 stars Kate
Having got a Chesapeake myself I have come across similarities. I am glad that I bought this book ...it has definitely made me giggle.
Published on 4 April 2012 by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars Pet lovers will love this
I bought this for my wife who laughs out loud when reading it. She recommends it to many friends but cannot be persuaded to part with her copy.
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by Retiree
2.0 out of 5 stars could be better
I thought the book would be good..I was sad to say I found it a bit dull and repetitive..if you want a story this isnt for you if you want to learn about dog training this ones for... Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2010 by Cam
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