This book is written in Jean's very readable style but those hoping it holds a quick fix for dog aggression will be disappointed. It contains very detailed explanations of how to rehabilitate different aggressive dogs, and does not pretend it will be an easy process. A must for anyone hoping to work with these cases.
From the acclaimed doggy author Jean Donaldson, who also wrote Culture Clash (understanding the relationship between humans and dogs) and MINE! (a practical guide to resource guarding). Donaldson has an incredible knack for facilitating understanding, producing detailed step-by-step protocols, summing up all the pitfalls and setting realistic expectations for the treatment of behaviour problems in dogs. In FIGHT! she has excelled herself. This book will give almost anyone the knowledge and confidence to work with pet dogs on conquering dog-to-dog aggression. The author's background in psychology makes her an astute author. She writes clearly, without room for misinterpretation and allows for the readership levels ranging from beginner owner with problem rescue dogs to experienced pet behaviour counsellors who are looking for proven up-to-date behaviour modification methods. The clarity and detail of her writing ensures you are never out of your depth with this book, and it is still a page turner - particularly hard to achieve with such a distressing problem. This book is packed with punch - Donaldson covers the whole spectrum: putting problems with aggression into perspective, identifying common types of aggression, prognosis assessment, remedial socialization, on-leash manners training, proximity sensitivity, play style and play skills, dog-dog resource guarding, severe presentations and prevention. This is another Jean Donaldson classic! Only someone who has had significant dog-dog aggression cases passing through their hands could write such a brilliant book.
Liked that the types of aggression were based on observed behaviour, rather than trying to have handler/trainer trying to read the dogs mind, but the methods used are, as many have observed, not practicable in a UK context. I was also concerned about the idea of taking a history for the dog in terms number of fights the dog has gotten into, and how much damage they have inflicted! My rescue bit once, before I knew exactly how reactive she was (she had been assessed as ok with dogs by the shelter) and has not been given the opportunity to repeat this with any other dog since, for her well-being as well other dogs. I would be very concerned if someone had a dog that had been permitted to bite someone else's dog on several occasions without taking steps to prevent it. I would not want to turn her loose with another dog, even with a muzzle, since a fight would stress both her and the stooge dog even if no damage was done, and Donaldson emphasises this method and offers very little alternative. I am now purchasing Grisha Stewart's BAT 2.0, which I hope will be more suitable.
I recommend this book to all dog trainers. It is a highly readable, informative little book. If you have a dog which wants to fight, Donaldson recommends that this book is used in conjunction with working with an experienced dog trainer.
A well-written book easy to understand even if you haven't studied behaviour theory before however it does help to have some basic knowledge of the main theories. Full of helpful suggestions and scenarios to set up to help you with controlling your dog's agression if you are willing to put in the time and effort!