Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past 20 years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills. Her training method is based on teaching dogs to make choices—as opposed to following commands—through kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary.
To Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor babies in need of coddling; rather, they are extremely trusting beings attuned to their owners' needs and they aim to please. Relationships between dogs and humans go awry when we fail to understand our dogs and when we send them confusing, mixed signals. Arnold's firsthand experience—from what moved her to start her exemplary nonprofit and how she developed her methodology—guides this book and gives it a powerful emotional heft.
Stories drawn from Arnold's life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers are convincing, unforgettable, and compelling testimony and make this book a heart-warming, captivating listen that will forever change the way you see your dog by showing you the way your dog sees the world.
©2010 Jennifer Arnold (P)2010 Random House
“Transformative...[Arnold] shares her methodology and stories of canine intelligence, sensitivity, language comprehension, and prescience bordering on telepathy....Along the way, she emphasizes choice-based, positive-reinforcement-only teaching methods and shares valuable insights that every dog owner should know. Engagingly written with a perfect balance of science and observation, this book...is a worthy tribute to our canine friends.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Through vivid, memorable, moving stories, Jennifer Arnold provides a scientific argument for what dog lovers everywhere already know: Dogs love, dogs trust, dogs sense, dogs feel. And they deserve to be treated accordingly. This book’s message is simply the truth." (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)
"Arnold’s voice is assertive with experience—her insights into working with dogs are hard-won after years of close interaction....The author’s storehouse of anecdotal evidence is telling and entertaining, and her demolition of various alpha-model and negative-reinforcement teaching techniques is thorough and lofty.” (Kirkus)
Great, inspiring stories that will also teach you a ton about how to train your dog. Jennifer has done so much to help so many - dogs and people. I'm glad she decided to write a book.
While some of the studies she refers to throughout the book are somewhat tedious, other parts of the book moved me to tears. When she describes the work done by her hospital dogs, or the joy her dogs bring to those in need of canine assistance, well, get your kleenex. What a touching book.
I absolutely loved this! I'm in the process of training my first puppy, and couldn't have come across this book at a better time. Jennifer Arnold does a wonderful job of presenting the history of the dog/human relationship and modern research about the canine mind. She explains both the impressive capabilities of dogs and their limitations. Though her opinion is very clear throughout, she does a good job of backing it up not only with anecdotes, but also with scientific research.
It is important to be aware that this is not a training book that spells out specific steps for training your dog. There is a very useful, but brief, appendix that covers specifics of the author's training technique ("choice training"). The main purpose of the book seems to be teaching the reader to understand dogs and how dogs understand things, essential information that seems to be missing from all of the training books that I've read so far.
I am so glad that Jennifer Arnold chose to narrate this book herself. She does an excellent job, and it just felt right to hear her personal experiences and philosophies from her own lips.
As an auditory learner I prefer listening to certain types of books first rather than read it. Then I purchase the book if I need to do further research and want to deepen my experience.
The examples that were told of dogs and their persons were incredible and carefully paired with the research findings that needed to be demonstrated.
Obviously her voice. She reads her words just as insightful and let's her personal experience shine through but never over take her. That leads to quite intense moments.
When she described a hospital experience with
The genuine shared richness of experiences with dogs shared by Jennifer Arnold touched me deeply. I am grateful that somebody can find the words to describe dogs as they are and what they are capable of. I am also glad to have learned how to treat a dog respectfully BEFORE getting my own.
I enjoyed the book, but would recommend "For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend" by Patricia McConnell instead.
This is not the book to choose if you are looking for some tips or advice on dog training.
I had expected to get some useful information about my lovely pets and how to treat them when they misbehave but I was kind of disappointed and I haven't been able to finish listening to the book yet.
At first I was interested in her views about dogs but as the story went on she seemed to be talking about her experiences with the dogs she owns, owned and trained. (All of her dogs sounded extremely clever)
However, I must admit that she briefly gave out a tip on dealing with dogs when they are barking too much, which was helpful. And I found the narration quite sweet.
This book will make you love dogs even more, that is for sure.
There are some interesting parts to this book, but overall it's eh -- a little boring, the narration a bit sanctimonious, and the reasoning inconsistent. Here's an example of inconsistency - in the first chapter, we're told that a dog can't learn that he shouldn't eat food that is left out on the counter or table (rather the dog will only become afraid of the particular place where he has been punished for eating). This inability to generalize would be a limitation indeed. Later we're told very fantastic things that dogs have learned to do (e.g., go through a sequence of events during and after an owner's seizure) that require much more sophisticated cognitive abilities than generalizing from table to counter.
Jennifer Arnold's narration is fantastic her voice has a bit of a southern accent, and is very pleasant to listen to.
The information and anecdotal stories were very interesting and really showed me how much dogs are capable of.
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