Top positive review
66 people found this helpful
It's not the training manual ... but it's GREAT!
on 9 January 2008
Firstly, this book isn't a Training manual; it explains Cesar's psychology of dogs and introduces you to his principles - the detailed 'How to' part is in other books.
This is a fantastic book to enable you to understand the principles behind the method and this, combined with the other books+watching the Dog Whisperer series, has had an amazing impact on our two Bichon Frise. I'm new to dogs and dog training: our Bichon Frise had several homes before coming to us and were hyper, unruly and destructive - a handful all round! It was obvious this came from never having rules/boundaries, and they had the typical 'dogs-treated-as-kids' syndrome (see the chapter 'How we screw up our dogs'!). Cesar's methods have worked wonders, and I have found it the gentlest of methods. If we think of discipline for children and look at options of "DON'T DO THAT!!! STOP IT NOW OR I'LL HIT YOU!" (aggressive management), "LOOK at this! I'll give you this chocolate if you stop doing that" (incentive management), "Can-we-please-sit-down-and-discuss-the-behaviour-you-have-just exhibited,-because-it-would-be-great-if-we-could-discuss-you-behaving-differently,-but-only-when-you-feel-ready" ('passive' management), or a calm "Please stop what you are doing now, because that behaviour is unacceptable" (assertive/leadership management), Cesar's training is the latter. It is calm, quiet, assertive and clear. What he means by being Pack-Leader is the equivalent of calmly saying to a child 'I'm the parent; you don't have to worry ...' with the reassurance and security that gives; it's not about enforcing an 'I'm the BOSS!!' attitude. My dogs go from hysterical balls of white fluff lunging on the ends of leads to sitting on a loose-lead in a perfect 'Wait' on the kerbside; they are starting to walk calmly at my side on a loose lead instead of one pulling ahead at route-march pace. Walks are becoming calm and pleasurable for all of us. The 'Energy' thing ABSOLUTELY works. We've used the 'Power of the Pack' to influence behaviour, and the section on Fixation enabled me to recognise and resolve early something I would otherwise have thought cute.
This book is a wonderful insight into explaining the principles of his methods - eg understanding what is going on when dogs sniff each other, the massive problems we create when we humanise dogs, what a 'red zone' dog is and how humans create these problem dogs. I've found this a fascinating easy-read background book and would highly recommend it to anyone.
And finally, as I know author's sometimes read these reviews, thank you Cesar for enabling my dogs to become calm, happy and well behaved without having to resort to fear/punishment, or making Bertie any fatter than he is through giving treats! :o)