I like this book in the main but it isn't geared to beginner dog trainers imo. I also wish it would get going faster, there's lots of talk about the author's ideas being great and working well but you keep thinking yes, where are the ideas. They are buried quite deep inside the book. It is worth the effort though and I would recommend but only to people who know already a bit about positive training methods.
This book contains a lot of agility related problems, but also some very useful techniques for very reactive dogs, which are slightly different from 'standard' techniques. Some the ideas were very useful with my fearful reactive GSD, such as rewarding the dog for looking at the stimulus calmly, rather than focussing on avoidance with the 'watch' command. Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in canine behaviour modification I think.
This book deals with prevalent problems around off-leash control that most dog manuals ether omit completely, or fail to provide effective training methods for. Whilst many of the suggestions in training manuals (including good clicker training books) probably work with many dogs, those who have the less obedient breeds are left with the frustrating and worrying situation of having incomplete control of their dogs whilst they're off-leash.
I bought this book to help my shy greyhound be more confident around other dogs. Whilst this book is geared towards those who do agility with their dogs, the exercises (games) would help any dog remain calm and focused on his owner whilst on or off-leash in everyday situations (walking in busy shopping centres, in parks, fields, woodland, etc). It really does give practical solutions for keeping your dog under your control whilst s/he is off-leash.. and they work!
It is full of clever games to play with your dog that are kind, positive and enjoyable for both of you. In essence you are allowing your dog to do what s/he wants to do - and then using this as the basis to keep your dog under control - this way your dog's needs and your needs are never in conflict with each other.
This book is useful for:
Those people who are already au fait with clicker training as it does not give you a grounding in this - she assumes you already know how to clicker train.
Agility dogs who tend to get overexcited when they're let off the lead to practice on any equipment and therefore run around the training field.
Owners of sighthounds: The 'Look At That' game is genius. The instant my greyhound spots a rabbit, I click her. This means that she turns to me for the treat, so she reorientates away from the rabbit and onto me. In essence, I am letting her do what she naturally wants to do (look for rabbits), but by doing so, I am using it as a way to get her to focus off the rabbit and on to me. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it works!
Downside of this book:
It's not particularly clear in its layout. It's written as though you are attending her 7-day training class; she therefore talks about games in the earlier chapters that she does not explain until later chapters. She does list the new games you will learn at the start of each new chapter though, so they are easy to locate.
It is written with agility dogs in mind. This won't be a problem if you're happy to think about where the exercise could apply to your dog. The games (exercises), however, do not require any agility equipment in order to perform them. But many of the games associated with keeping your dog's attention on you whilst around other dogs, do require the assistance of other dogs you know (but this is common sense - your dog can't get used to being calm around dogs, if you don't practice around other dogs).
It is possibly the best dog training book I have read, because it gives real solutions to common problems which most dog training manuals don't provide effective strategies for.
Excellent service from Positive Animal Solutions in getting this book out very quickly !
This is a really good book which outlines various methods to enable your dog to be relaxed enough to focus on you as you train the dog how to behave off the lead. Lesley McDevitt has made the book entertaining as well as being very helpful.
This book was recommended by a friend who thought it could help overcome problems I have with one of my dogs. I haven't yet reached the end, but the the advice and training exercises so far are having a good effect, and I'm very pleased. It's well worth the money.
I agree with some of the other commentators that the layout of the book could be improved. While the author does state that she is not keen on providing a curriculum as each dog is an individual and requires their own schedule, I do think the actual exercises could be given a little more prominence. I have found many of the anecdotes about how the techniques were applied very helpful as they give real world examples of common training issues, but would really like a companion book of just exercises to go with the more in depth stuff.
I will also agree that the author does assume you know various aspects of dog training/behaviour that a notice may not, such as the Ttouch technique, how to correctly clicker train a dog and so on. She does include recommended reading, and as this was developed for Agility competitors originally it's not an unreasonable assumption that the readers would know the basics of positive training.
Those two niggles aside, this book has worked magic on my dog reactive year old puppy, and we're not even finished with night one. I have to admit that I thought dog massages and teaching a dog to give relaxation behaviours on cue sounded like new age frou frou, but my dog has not barked or shown any "aggressive" behaviour as a result of frustration for two days (and that's about 15 or so dogs she seen) which is a massive improvement on her lunging and barking because she wants to play.
Don't get me wrong. The book is not a quick fix, and it is going to take real effort to work lasting change on my dog (especially as the behaviours I want to fix are genetic rather than learned or due to fear.) I am having to condition my dog with food and treats to even enjoy more extensive massages and I am curious to see how she reacts to dogs she has previously taken a dislike too, but as even night one has started to work that change, I'm feeling confident for the first time in a long time that my dog's reactivity towards other dogs is going to improve.
Control Unleashed is the dog training Bible if I may say. If you are a novice dog trainer, this is the book you should have first! Excellent! Well written and it explains in a simple and clear way every single detail. Highly recommended!
This is a great book if you have a hyper dog. The exercises can be incorporated around your daily life and routine. They've helped my Patterdale terrier with her focus and self control generally and that's beginning to have affect when we do agility. Easy to read, all positive techniques and packed with information and help.