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When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs Paperback – 22 Jun 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dogwise (22 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929242441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929242443
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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When Pigs Fly


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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Those who have not given up on their "difficult" dog will welcome this book with open arms, for at long last author Jane Killion teaches us that with the right methods even the most obstinate creature can be trained. Written in an engaging style, the book takes us through all the stages of training from the very basics to addressing even the most difficult problems. The book is extremely well illustrated and laid out, providing an excellent source of reference and is essential reading for those who want a more acceptable companion. An essential read!
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Being owned and trained by my own three Bull Terriers I was curious to see what was written in this book, especially with the fabulous photo on the front cover! Was I disappointed? No I was not! Here in black and white was a book I could relate to! Being a Canine Behaviourist myself I found it refreshing to know another dog trainer was out there who loved and owned Bullies as much as I do, she even gets them to win agility and competes at top level! Well, I have to say I heartily recommend this book, its well laid out, well written, easy to learn from and Jane Killion uses many techniques and methods that I use and approve of including clicker training. What a star! Buy this book,I recommend to my clients! I got no need to write my own book now, Jane Killion has done it for me!
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This is THE book for those of us with the less biddable, independent, work-it-out-on-their-own kinds of dogs. Basically anything with a brain that isn't genetically programmed to ask you what you want it to do... I'd still recommend 'Don't Shoot the Dog' and 'The Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training' first as basic grounding in the science - we don't get to variable reinforcement schedules until quite a way into this - but it's so, so very good for actually understanding how to motivate your dog. Anyone who can get a Staffie or an EBT doing agility (and winning) has to be on to something good.

Get it, you won't regret it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I adopted a 3 yr old Miniature Schnauzer and had no idea he would be an independent thinking, unbiddable dog. He's absolutely fantastic, highly intelligent and affectionate and I just adore him, but I naively thought training would take a couple of months. How wrong can you be?! A year of daily training later and I still struggle with recall, territorial barking, dog-dog excitement (thankfully not aggression) and loose lead walking.

Without this book I wouldn't have known where to start to train an "impossible" dog and would have given up trying! It's so refreshing to read a book that tells you the truth about terrier breeds, ie. the fact you might never get a truly reliable recall and that it could take years to get your dog to like playing (mine's not interested unless it involves chasing rabbits down holes). Jane also uses nothing but positive reinforcement, which is my training method of choice (my dog isn't into toys, but is thankfully a food junkie!).

The only downside to the book for me is its reliance on clickers. My dog is terrified of them (I don't know his previous history) so I shape using a verbal command.

My dog and I are learning together and now, after 12 months, I feel we have a truly wonderful bond. And, while nowhere near perfect, he's making painfully slow but steady progress. I'm now even getting odd occasions where he's busy sniffing a rabbit hole or eating sheep poo, I'll recall him and he'll come back to me from across a field as fast as his legs will carry him - my heart nearly bursts with pride. Thank you Jane!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book on the kindle app after I saw it recommended in a thread on training unruly beagles after a frustrated google search. We have had Dexter since he was a 6 month old pup and he's now 13 months. He learned some basic commands and housetrained relatively quickly but his leash walking, recall and general behaviour in a crowded or stimulating environment left a lot to be desired, despite some sessions on socialisation with our local dog trainers and pack walks. He didn't respond to the techniques they taught (if anything it seemed to spur him on in his pigheaded ways). I read this book in 2 days and even with a few days of implementing the shaping behaviour and clicker training, I just felt I had to leave a review to say THANK YOU SO MUCH JANE, I was close to giving up on my beagle this week!

We had already invested in a clicker when we got him, but not conditioned him to it or used it consistently enough. The book makes great sense and really gives you a good insight into your dog's way of thinking. I feel a lot calmer and less frustrated with him now I can see why he does certain things (even if they are still annoying). He is already walking better on the leash and behaving better around the house.

If you can't train, manage! What a great mantra. :) If you are having difficulty with training your dog, this book is HIGHLY recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When my (third) dog trainer said she wasn't sure she could help me as my dog really didn't respond to toys or food but suggested I read this book I could have cried! But we have persevered and there have been MASSIVE improvements in her behaviour and she actually behaves as if she wants to belong to us instead of randomly looking for anything better to do, and we've been trying to train her for 3 years with traditional methods.
This is a totally new way of training for "unbiddable" dogs such as ours (rescued stray at 1 year old). It takes a LOT of hard work and patience and you have to be able to take days (or weeks) with little progress without getting despondent. It is very much "clicker" based. Basically you have to wait for your dog to do something, reward it, then gradually "shape" the behaviour into what YOU want, with your dog still thinking he/she is in charge (sneaky eh?). The focus is away from telling off your dog, rather encouraging them to offer you a new behaviour and think for themselves until the reward is forthcoming. This has improved our dog's attention no end and she now responds to treats and toys in a way she never has before.
In the 3 months we have been using this technique, I rarely have to tell her off, she has turned into (almost) a "Velcro" dog always close by, and responds so much better to commands which she used to ignore completely. She is so much calmer.
I keep thinking it must be a fluke when she comes back as I call her, or doesn't bark at the horses (it hasn't and I don't think we will ever cure her loathing of cats). It seems to good to be true after 3 years of trying with traditional training methods.
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