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Think Dog!: An Owner's Guide to Canine Psychology Paperback – 12 Jun 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell; New edition edition (12 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844031209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844031207
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'... compact chapters explain the canine mind and offer sound educational

strategies to enlighten even accomplished trainers.' - Publishers Weekly.

'John Fisher made an immense and invaluable contribution to the world of

dogs and the people who care about them.' - Pat Miller, renowned dog trainer and author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Fully updated and revised by leading pet behaviour counsellor Sarah Whitehead. John Fisher's lifetime of expertise make this the classic owner's guide to canine psychology. Think Dog was the first of its kind and continues to be trusted by dog owners around the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Paul C Bunker on 27 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been professionally training dogs for over twenty years and am clearly still learning. This book gives an excellent insight into the dogs mind in clear,easy to understand english. Broken down into three main chapters; What is a dog?, Positive approach to problem behaviours and Problem solving A-Z. It gives the new owner as well as the seasoned professional advice which is really second to none. I just wish I had read this book when I started training.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. P. J. A. Wicks VINE VOICE on 26 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a (human) psychologist I was quite intrigued at the notion of "canine psychology", and I received this book as we were searching for a dog. It would seem John Fisher was a legend in the dog training world (before his apparently untimely death) and the various editions of this book have been a classic for many years. This latest edition has been updated to reflect the latest thinking and update some notions that didn't stand the test of time.

As a novice dog owner (we got a 3 year old Beagle who is quite a handful!) the thing I liked most about this book was dispelling myths around negative reinforcement that as a non-dog owner you see all the time, either out in the park or on television. For instance hitting a dog to stop it barking at other dogs is, if anything, going to exacerbate a fight-or-flight stimulus-response loop. I also greatly enjoyed the chapter on picking a puppy and the different "types" of puppy that might make the most suitable pet depending on individual circumstances.

There are a number of good examples here and the book is very readable. Where I'd have some criticism is that, as others have said, Fisher was a pragmatist rather than a theorist, and so the book does feel a little bit disorganized. You can jump around chapters or topics where you've having particular difficulties and perhaps that's the best way to use the book, but it doesn't quite feel like a cover-to-cover read, lying somewhere between personal anecdote, descriptions of some breeds, and some problems behavior management. Without that structure beneath it, one does sometimes worry that the anecdotes reflect the ingenuity of the author in one particular situation rather than something that generalizes. Still, overall I think it was worth reading - we did fairly well with our dog but in the end we found having a 1:1 session with a trainer was the best thing we could have done. As it turns out, it wasn't the dog that needed training, it was us!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Max VINE VOICE on 20 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
.....are probably you. John Fisher's revised and updated book goes a long way in explaining - 1) why we think our dogs understand all we say to them and 2) why our dogs really don't get us most of the time.

He does not heap blame on us with the line of `there is no such thing as a bad dog only a bad owner'. Instead he explains, through various personal examples, how dog owners don't always read their pets correctly and can, inadvertently, encourage bad behaviour or make a nervous dog more so.

Through the use of examples of clients he has had he points out some of the more obvious mistakes we make when we try to work out why our dogs are doing what they should not be doing. He talks about diet, neutering, homeopathy etc. Part III at the end of the book gives an A-Z of common problems and a solution to them. There is also an appendix which is a table of breeds of dogs he has dealt with and the problems they presented, like aggression to other dogs, pulling, jumping up, diet related problems and so on. It is an interesting list of facts to back up his theories (it is a shame the print is miniscule).

He stresses the need for early socialisation not just with other dogs but from an very young stage with humans too.

I think this is a good book written by someone with a real understanding of his subjects and someone who is still well thought of in the animal psychology circles. It is a book to look at before buying a dog and to take on board all his advice and points to look for and it is a book to go back and refer to (certainly in my case) to find out why things go wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A well-written, and simply structured guide to help the concerned dog owner remedy any inherited problems they're experiencing, or they may have inadvertently caused themselves. Reading this, I can hold my hand up and accept what I thought I was telling my dog, was not the message she was receiving. Sigh.

Much of the book deals with 'problem behaviour' in dogs, and Fisher (with Pam Mackinnon's useful updating) analyses the behaviour and its causes (often our well-intentioned but clumsy/ignorant approach), then offers a step-by-step remedy, which gives the dog time to adjust gradually to a new way of doing things. All the major behavioural problems are here, from toileting problems, separation anxiety, biting, destructive behaviour, stress, diet, possessiveness, etc..etc.

The paperback is handily pocket-sized, and although not indexed, the final chapter 'Problem-Solving A-Z' also cross-refers to other relevant sections of the book. There are only 182 pages, but I was already marking sections from p.36 onwards, following background on dog ancestry (thankfully brief) and dog development. 'The Dog in the Human Family'(p.29) is where all Fisher's detailed observations really begin to pay off for the reader, and his advice is easy to grasp, and apply.

Though most of this relates to dogs, there are some very helpful tips on puppies too, though it would probably help the owner of a new pup to use Fisher's book in conjunction with one devoted to puppy training. My only grouse is that I found the print size rather small, but I wouldn't let that put you off this helpful and very readable guide.
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