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Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones | [American College of Veterinary Behaviorists]

Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones

More than ninety percent of dog owners consider their pets to be members of their family. But often, despite our best intentions, we are letting our dogs down by not giving them the guidance and direction they need. Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.
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Publisher's Summary

More than ninety percent of dog owners consider their pets to be members of their family. But often, despite our best intentions, we are letting our dogs down by not giving them the guidance and direction they need. Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.

The key to training dogs effectively is first to understand why our dogs do what they do. And no one can address this more authoritatively than the diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, whose work, the culmination of years of rigorous training, takes them deep into the minds of dogs in an effort to decode how they think, how they communicate, and how they learn.

In Decoding Your Dog, these experts analyze problem behaviors, decipher the latest studies, and correct common misconceptions and outmoded theories. The audiobook includes: Effective, veterinary-approved positive training methods. Expert advice on socialization, house-training, diet, and exercise. Remedies for behavior problems such as OCD and aggression.

With Decoding Your Dog, the experts' experts deliver a must-have dog behavior guide that ultimately challenges the way we think about our dogs.

©2014 American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A fascinating and detailed exploration of the reasons behind common dog behaviors and of how to interpret dogs' communication signals in order to train them to be happy, healthy, obedient companions." (Library Journal Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (107 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 03-30-14
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "I thought there was an agenda"

    There was a lot of helpful information about dog behavior. However, I felt they over-stated the potential liabilities of adopting an adult mixed-breed dog, say from a shelter. They seemed to suggest that you'd be better off purchasing a pure bred puppy from a breeder. Puppies come with their own set of liabilities, which I felt they understated.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    New Jersey Mom Maplewood, NJ 02-25-14
    New Jersey Mom Maplewood, NJ 02-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good book, but may be better to read than listen"

    This book provides solid scientifically based information to help address specific dog behavior issues. It is also helpful for people who have just adopted a dog or puppy, and provides advice that will help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. This book was recommended to me by my dog trainer. I have worked with her using some of the methods advocated in Decoding Your Dog to help my dog overcome significant anxiety issues, and it has worked miracles on him.

    Each chapter is written by a different author (all members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists) and addresses different concerns, and could work on its own. This is a strength, as people may choose to read only those chapters that pertain to their dog's issues. But this also leads to a certain repetitiveness in the material. For example, every chapter reiterates the book's main premise, which is that the (all too prevalent) type of training based on dominance hierarchy is based on a flawed understanding of dogs' social behavior, and often leads to anxiety and behavior problems.

    The narrator did as good a job as could be expected, but some of the material does not lend itself to reading out loud. For example, there is a list of dog foods with their nearly unpronounceable ingredients - all read out, word for word. Also, from the way certain passages were read, I suspect that they were bulleted lists that do not work well in this format.

    Also some of the material may be useful to return to at another point in time. I found myself wishing that I had bought the Kindle book or the "real" book so that I could more easily flip through it to return to certain sections. I will probably purchase a written copy at some point so that I can do that. I am not sorry that I bought the audio version, however; it was a good way to get the initial read-through.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice CA, United States 10-07-14
    Alice CA, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2007

    Audio books are the only way I survive commuting and nursing school!

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    "snotty"
    Would you try another book from American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and/or Karen White?

    no


    What was most disappointing about American College of Veterinary Behaviorists’s story?

    It is a tie between the long bloated intro trying to prove only "they" are the true behaviorists, and the horrible reader that made it sound so very snotty.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Maybe a calm male reader or one that didn't sound so superior and condescending.


    What character would you cut from Decoding Your Dog?

    The whole "we are on tv" people involved in the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I just can't get past the first half hour, it is so condescending and desperate to prove they are on tv and famous as well as the ones not on TV have a large amount of education which makes them the professionals and only having a vet degree, and large amount of education makes them absolutely correct over other people.

    I understand they need to prove why they should be acknowledged as professionals and have the education to write the book, but the way they went about it was extremely off putting. the fact they talk down about other behaviorist that are not signed up with them, in a snarky way stating they can't change their ways due to pride, is not very professional and does not instill my faith in them as a professional, because there is too much bias.

    I have watched Stillwell's tv show, and I was not very impressed by the way she interacted with the families or the dogs. I did not realize she is associated with the writers of this book until I downloaded it. I am all for positive reinforcement and actually do clicker training with my dogs, thanks to Karen Pryor.

    So based on their presentation, I am not confident in the content that may be in the book past their horn tooting. I feel that they come across too biased, and snotty. I will look for more Pryor like books and stay away from crap that tries to hard to be the new kings of the dog behavior world.

    If you want to give the book a try, do yourself a favor and skip the intro and don't allow it to cloud your view on the book, and maybe you will enjoy it and find it beneficial.

    The book, Science of dogs, is a good substitute if you want an interesting audible dog behavior book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cepwin Northern VA, USA 02-22-14
    Cepwin Northern VA, USA 02-22-14 Member Since 2007

    Cepwin

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    "Highly Recommended"
    Where does Decoding Your Dog rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best books I've listened to in terms of practical advice by experts


    What other book might you compare Decoding Your Dog to and why?

    The Other End of the Leash which I'm currently reading (which also is good.)


    Have you listened to any of Karen White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too long for that but I did want to get though it quickly.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have a dog, especially one that has any behavioral issues get this book. They cover some of the major issues dog owners encounter including aggression, separation anxiety and dementia (older dogs.) If you're getting a dog I'd also recommend it to avoid any pitfalls and have an idea of how to deal with issues *before* you see them in your dog. The authors and top experts and discuss the latest (force free) methods of resolving problems and working with a dog that has behavioral issues. I know it pointed me in the right direction in dealing with my newly adopted Chi-mix who came to me with potty training and fear aggression issues. While there is a ways to go he's slowly starting to trust me in part to following the philosophy discussed in this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fuzzy 05-24-14
    Fuzzy 05-24-14

    Fuzzy Logic

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    "Not what I expected"
    Would you try another book from American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and/or Karen White?

    No


    Has Decoding Your Dog turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I will continue to purchase these types of books. This book is too much for a person that has never owned a dog and in the market for one. The discussions are not a fan of rescue dogs, and the targeted audience appears to be too much towards purebred enthusiasts and looking for a dog with expected personality types.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Her voice inflections contained too much sarcasm and was distracting. I couldn't tell if the book was supposed to be funny or informative.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I expected some information on why dogs behave the way they do. I did expect redundant information from other books, but was hoping for more. Sometimes just one more clue makes it all worth it. This book provided nothing like that.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carpenters helper 05-14-15
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    "Tremendous amount of information"

    This book is a comprehensive source for dog owners or potential owners of canine care. Not exactly a guide for training but a thorough overview of what issues a dog owner may encounter and basic steps to navigate those challenges. I appreciate the explainations of why our dogs behave the way they do and the focus on positive training versus punishment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "must listen if you own a dog"

    Great book, I learned a lot. I will definitely recommend it to all of my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 03-05-15
    Ashley 03-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth the listen for new dog owners."

    Would have been great if the chapters were labeled as some don't apply at all, depending on your situation. Don't hesitate to skip around if a chapter doesn't apply - not worth listening to an hour of inapplicable material.

    Definitely helpful, especially the chapters on positive reinforcement training.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Carter Newark, Ohio United States 02-15-15
    Daniel Carter Newark, Ohio United States 02-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very underwhelming for the hyped credentials"
    What would have made Decoding Your Dog better?

    For one, the book really tried hard to make a big deal out of the title Veterinary Behaviorist, then throughout the entirety of book offered absolutely no new information. Any of the information presented in Decoding Your Dog can be easily found on the internet. Being a trainer myself, I am at this point thoroughly unimpressed with the title Veterinary Behaviorist. Just another degree/title to spend tens of thousands of dollars in our bloated US education system.


    Has Decoding Your Dog turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Karen White’s performances?

    No. The performance was given with a condescending tone. It was a struggle to listen through to the end.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Decoding Your Dog?

    The intro. This TV personality, and a majority of inexperienced "trainers" today have jumped on a bandwagon of "all positive training", while describing scenarios with pressure tools such as ecollars that no real trainer would do. Electronic collars are amazing tools. They should be used by experienced handlers only. They are not and should not be used as punishment devices. In most cases when used properly, the levels are barely perceptible to humans. You do not SHOCK your dog in punishment with an eCollar!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad it's over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana S Jay 02-06-15
    Diana S Jay 02-06-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A must read"

    Finally a timeline and history of the domestication of dogs that puts social behavior into prospective. A must read for anyone who truly loves their dog and wants to understand them better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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