Zeva Fun and Games -- Part 4

Smarter Than You Think: A Revolutionary Approach to Teaching and Understanding Your Dog in Just a Few Hours - Paul Loeb, Suzanne Hlavacek

The Zeva Project is my quest to find an activity that Zeva and I can participate in together to relieve her current state of boredom. I am reading nine books, some of which are on the psychology and training of dogs and some which describe specific dog activities.


"This book will make teaching and understanding your dog plain and simple, so you will be able to succeed very quickly . . . Remember, if you can't understand your dog then you can't teach him,  . . ."


It explains that your dog is responding to you. Before he can respond in the way you want him to, you must be relaxed and confident.  If you are nervous, your dog will pick up on that and become distracted, thereby negating the effectiveness of the training session.  What's more, it will carry over to the downtime shared by you and your dog. Soon, you will be experiencing the vicious circle effect.


Most trainers I've had experience with teach Sit and Stay first, then Come.  This author makes a good argument that Come should be the first skill taught since it is the one having the most effect on the safety of the dog.


There is some good stuff in here, but some of it is somewhat dated, and also depends  on anecdotal teaching to a great extent.


A Dog and Owner Story:


"Charley was exhausted.  His one-sided relationship with Ginger, his cocker spaniel, had been going on for months, and he was pretty damn tired of getting nowhere fast.  'She thinks she owns me, the damn house and everything in it!" Charley cried.  'But I own this house, I pay the rent, I pay for her food, and for her health insurance and medical bills.  Now I'm paying for those damn lessons every week, and she's failing! Damn!'  Stamping his foot, Charley continued, 'She had better listen to me or else I'll just get rid of her.'"


Unfortunately, this book is full of stories of stupid owners.  It's very angry-making.


a fine book, and interesting, but not my favorite of the nine books I selected for this project.