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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 November 2012
The idea that a dog needs to be dominated has not actually been proven at the time of writing this review. The idea of dominating, although Fennell gives it a fancy name is as old fashioned as Cesar Millan's notion of alpha rolling which cruel and hardly managing a dog so much as making it terrified.

Grab yourself a clicker, buy a book by Karen Pryor or better than that Pig Dog Fly by Jane Killion. You'll have a happier dog with a balance relationship and better still you won't have to eat from your dog's bowl to prove it Fennell style.
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on 26 January 2001
I read the book in one day, finding I could not put it down,within hours of putting the advice into practice my two large dogs were calmer and less noisy,days down the road we no longer get "mugged" when we come home,still putting the advice into practice its so simple,and have purchased 2 more copies for fellow dog lovers,one of whom has a 10 week old German Shepherd, the other who has 3 hooligans,one in particular was "taking over",both friends are delighted with the change in their Dogs if I was rich I would buy dozens for all my dog loving pals,well done to Jan,the book did make me cry more than once however! Denise Coulbeck,Grimsby,Lincs.
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on 12 May 2006
First impressions? I was really impressed. Someone had actually looked at the mind of a dog and communicating with them in their language rather than forcing them to try ours. Then I would have given five stars - or more!

On reflection there is a good foundation but the story is a little overblown. I applaud her for bringing this form of training to the masses but there are limits.

To start with, there is a very heavy reliance on just a few methods of bonding. There isn't much flexibility in dealing with individual behaviour. The case studies are a bit monotonous - all sorted with recourse to the same methods.

I was also concerned about how much of the book is about the writer. Is this an ego trip or a help-you-dog book? And does she notr realise that many canine problems are caused by the overpopulation and homelessness of dogs that is related to the breeding of dogs she seems to support? I'm confused and wonder what the motivation is.

I've just had a dog expert visit my 2 boys and although she employs a similar approach, she went a lot further and I wonder why she doesn't write a book - there was more information, flexibility and practical information that Jan Fennell put into her book.

In summary, there are some good principles and I think this could help people and their dogs. But it is not the solve-all or final revelation it may seem to be.
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on 30 August 2015
First of all, I have to say that I only read the first part of the book (I will explain in a bit).
I bought this book after we had hired a dog trainer who had learned from Jan Fennnel - our Weimaraner was a bit boisterous and displayed typical "teenage" behavior.
There are some things in this book which make sense, for example that you should ignore your dog until he calms down when you get home, or that you should just change direction if your dog pulls on the lead.
The science behind Jan Fennell's ideas is not only outdated but also flawed. She claims to have watched documentaries (!) about wolf packs and observed her own pack of (rescue) dogs and that apparently all kinds of canine misbehavior are due to the dog trying to be the alpha. John Bradshaw explains in his book why those ideas are simply not true at best and dangerous at worst. Wolf packs in documentaries are not natural packs and as such their behavior is different. Dogs know that you are not a canine and as such there is no competition around being the alpha. And dogs do not lurk around just waiting to take over. Oh, and apparently Ms Fennell took all references to her pack ideas off her homepage.

Now to the second (unread) part of the book. This seems to be a memoir/ego trip of the author as it is just about stories about miraculous recoveries of misbehaving dogs, starring Ms Fennell. They do not add any value to the book and while I am happy for Jan Fennell that she enjoys her job it just appears that those stories are nothing but ego-boosting and self praise.
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on 9 April 2001
i found this book very dissapointing as it is based on the out dated pack rule theory and did not take in to account any of the new modern views and theories that have been around for some time but now unfortunatly they will proberly be set back about 10 years from this book. if anybody really wants to learn and understand how their dog thinks and how to train them i suggest they try 2 excellent books Dont shoot the dog by Karen Pryor The Culture Clash by jean donaldson i feel these book will help to give you an insight into a dogs world.
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on 24 June 2002
This book will change the way you look at dogs and their owners forever and is a must for anyone that comes into contact with the canine species.
Jan Fennell has researched her methods well and is able to justify every aspect of her training, relating back to their wolf ancestors on all occasions.
The book is full of clear advise on basic training to specific problem areas and has numerous case histories that illustrate the methods she recommends and the results to expect.
To an individual with dogs with behavioural problems it will show there is light at the end of the tunnel and that that end is within grasping distance. Through simple changes to your life your dog will want to please you, you will not be forcing it to do your bidding.
Certainly the best book I have ever read. She is an inspiration!
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on 14 May 2016
There are much much better, more well researched books out there. Please avoid. Having read this book I would encourage people to look at other options as its possible using the techniques in this book could lead to a very down trodden, miserable dog and could exacerbate behavioural issues. Definitely not appropriate for a reactive dog. Turid Rugaas' books on calming signals and barking are brilliant, as are books by Jean Donaldson and Ali Brown. Bradshaw's In defence of dogs is wonderfully well researched.
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on 11 March 2001
I decided to order this book immediately after seeing a programme on Channel 5 featuring Jan Fennel, called 'The Dog Listener'. As an owner for some three years of two nine year old Jack Russell rescue dogs, I was of the firm belief that inherited habits were par for the course. After reading Jan's book, it became immediately obvious that the problems we were having with one of our dogs were of our own making, as although he is not alpha to his brother, he was certainly 'alpha' to my husband and I. After seeing the television program, we decided to immediately adopt Jan's '5-minute rule' and noticed that the dogs were a lot calmer within a couple of days. Since receiving and finishing Jan's book, we have adopted all principles of her Amichien Bonding Technique, which involves no cruelty whatsoever. Two weeks on, our dogs are a lot more at ease with life, as the burden of responsibility for mine and my husband's welfare has been lifted from them. The case studies in the book were excellent as a means of demonstrating of how best to put Jan's technique into practice, since they covered many of the most common dog problems. In my opinion, 'The Dog Listener' is a brilliant book, and I recommend it to dog lovers everywhere. It is no surprise to me that this book has entered the bestseller's list this week. I am already looking forward to Jan's next volume.
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on 17 July 2005
I must admit, I was very sceptical about buying and reading this book at first.
All about the dog having 'pack' instincts etc, all sounded a little far fetched at first. However, in all honesty after the first chapter of this book i was hooked.
I litrally read this whole book in 2 days. I just could not put it down. Not only that, but what the author said made sense!
To anyone who has a dog, who is planning on getting a dog or who just wants to learn more about dogs and their behaviour, this book is recommended.
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on 18 May 2003
I recieved this book as a Christmas present & love it! I have heard some people complain about its just got case studies and pictures of her with her own dogs. I would beg to differ with that being bad. The case-histories show how the method is applied and how it has been affective. Regarding the pictures, I personally think it's nice to be able to connect with the author, and see where they have come from.
The book its self starts off by explaining what Amichien Bonding is, how it came into existance and how to become leader, etc. It then goes on to having each chapter dealing with a specific behaviour problem and how it can be and has been successfully solved using this amazing method.
The only fault it has, I think, is the lack of pictures, or step-by-step instructions to help us to implement it, this however, is very successfully remedied in her second book.
I would highly recommend this book (and have on several occasions) as the way to go forward to a happy and peaceful co-existance with canines.
Jan Fennells's method is the way forward, and I can never treat a dog how I did before after being enlightened! We, as humans, are now beyond having to bully a dog into submission, we are smarter than that, I hope.
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