Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Review: Dogs are from Neptune by Jean Dobbs

Dogs are from Neptune by Jean Donaldson is what I call an oldie but a goody on my shelf of dog books published in 1998. This book offers answers to common situations around aggression and other common behaviors in dogs as posed to the author in letters from readers. The book splits the letters into six categories: Aggression towards strangers, resource guarding, dog-dog aggression, behavior problems, Obedience problems, and fear & anxiety. Jean answers reader in detail providing additional information about dogs with these problems, posing questions for the reader to consider, and clear step-by-step options to addressing the problem at hand. The reader is can read just the letters and solutions that address their particular problem, a section at a time or the whole book cover to cover and come away with an array of knowledge and useful approaches. She even included a letter from a person partnered with a service dog, whose dog had begun breaking stays while she was presenting. I know many people whose service dog's stays break down when they have their back turned or are out of the room. Jean's advice was positive and addressed the fact that something in the environment was mostly likely working against this handler's work to strengthen he dog's stay providing a high value reward to the dog for breaking its stay.
Other problems the book discusses which are often dealt with by service dog teams and dogs in training include: counter surfing, separation anxiety, off leash control, heeling on the street, and pulling on the leash.
I highly recommend this book for is ease of reading and practical approach to common problems. Happy reading!

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