Saturday, September 3, 2011

Listening is more than just using your ears

One of the more remarkable books that I've read recently on training is, The Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell.

The premise of the book is that dogs are happier when are free from being the boss for their household and can just be companions.  Like any book, your mileage may vary on the results and how it works out for you and your dog, but for me I find a lot of what Ms. Fennell says has real practical applications in getting your dog to trust you as the head of your household.  I think the book could have been considerably shorter, because she uses the same 3-4 tips for every single example that she uses.

The first half of the book uses stories from Fennell's experiences to get her points across.  The second half is written more like a how-to book, but in narrative form as opposed to show a bunch of training steps that once accepted are foolproof.  Both parts are entertaining and well worth your time to read.

The overriding message throughout her work is that consistency is the most important factor to reinforcing the behavior that you want.  It works for me, even with a dog with as big of a personality as Rusty has, so I think it's worth a read.

Book: The Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell
Kindle eBook: The Dog Listener (Kindle Edition), by Jan Fennell