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on 23 August 2005
"The Dog Listener" books have provided many dog owners, myself included, with the opportunity to restructure their relationships with their canine companions. I was therefore very eager to read what Jan had to say about how dogs grew up and the changes (and challenges) we could expect as my young rescue friend grew into a hopefully happy and contented dog.
As the title suggests the book breaks down a dog's life into seven distinct phases. Each 'Age' incorporates a small section describing what would occur in a wolf pack at that age, followed by a brief overview of the development of the dog. The chapter then relates to any particular developmental or behavioural needs asscoiated with that age of dog. At the end of each chapter, there was also a 'health'section, which highlighted various aspects of canine health associated with that particular phase of their development, from the usual vaccinations to how to spot signs of cancer, deafness and blindness.
Key areas that I found beneficial at this point in time included "How long will my dog live?", "Being aware of your dog's limitations in communicating with other dogs" and the First Aid and Health sections.
This book is a good Dog owner's Manual and will probably be very well thumbed by me over the next few years
I rated this book with only four stars as the book did not benefit from Jan's easy reading style of her Dog Listener books, and I felt there was some repetition of content between this book and her previous ones, although this was minor.
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on 20 January 2017
An amazing and informative book, especially if you are intending to get a dog as her description of each dog type, size,, grooming and exercise requirements is very helpful. Her training methods are kind but a little out-dated now, for more up to date training info I recommend India Knight's 'The Goodness of Dogs' and her reading list, especially John Bradshaw's 'In Defence of Dogs'.
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on 24 June 2010
I have always been a huge fan of Jan Fennell. Her books and the advice contained in them have helped me out enormously. Her system of body language works better than all those silly puppy classes. I now have the world's best behaved black Labrador, ALL thanks to Jan Fennell.
I can HIGHLY recommend this book, and all Jan's other ones, to anybody with a dog or thinking about getting one.
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on 14 September 2005
Having already bought 3 previous publications by Jan Fennell, I seriously wondered whether this could add anything to the wisdom already gleaned from this author. However, I have found this book to be a goldmine of information.
It covers the seven ages of a dog, the stage which it goes through, understanding the mind set of the animal, the health and behavioural problems which may accompany it and how to address them. This is done in a clear manner but without the anecdotal style of it's predecessors.
A book which helps you understand your dog - and the only manual you are likely to ever need.
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on 3 October 2005
I now have every publication by Jan and this one is different. It does express some of the same information as in the others, but it is laid out very differently and is not a one-night read!
Full of very interesting and helpful information and insights,and something I found particularily useful was the section on how different dogs read each other. (how bassetts and boxers can be perceived as aggressive by other breeds)
A must-have manual for any dog owner, which will guide you through all seven stages.
In some ways it is easy to navigate-in others its more difficult than others. Depends on what you want from it.
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on 3 May 2011
I wish I had read Jan's book before we started owning dogs. This is a must read for any new dog owners or those who have becom complacent with their dog's bad habits. It will make for an easier household. It is simple, uncomplicated, good advice which makes you realise that it is you not the dog.

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on 17 June 2010
If you want to buy a puppy and hope to care for him its whole life ...This the book to buy!
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on 13 August 2014
Useful but one of these days I will write the definitive book on living with a puppy who just hasn't read any of the puppy books! I've bought lots of books and taken bits from all of them. This one was recommended by my eldest son who has a collie. I don't quite get the dog needing to dominate bit so I've taken off a star. Having had two dogs in the past domination never came into it and I never noticed the so called awful teenage phase but there again I never had it in any of my children. Patience, boundaries and consistency and youtube dog training videos are all that's really needed.
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on 29 June 2012
This book is the doggy equivalent to the human-orientated book, "What to expect in the first year" and beyond. For someone unaccustomed to dogs and how to be a good owner, this book gives you a good basic understanding of what the dog's viewpoint is, what you should consider as an owner, how to respond to common situations etc. I'd say this is a good starting point for a prospective owner. I was certainly interested in the information which would help me to establish good patterns, but found the detail of exactly "how" to do some of the exercises lacking. Very readable, and an interesting read. Some evidence-based support of her opinions would have been nice, but I guess if Jan Fennell is highly regarded in her field, we'll have to place some trust in her wisdom.
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on 5 December 2013
I am enjoying this book having read the two previous ones by Jan Fennell. I do find a lot of information from one book repeated in the next - however together with a lady who trained with Jan Fennell several years ago and now has her own business -From Chaos to Calm- we are addressing any issues with my two 'rehomed' Labradors. I cannot recommend from Chaos to Calm highly enough. Everything about it makes sense, as does the above book.
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