How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend

A Training Manual for Dog Owners
Narrated by: Michael Wager
Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (239 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Monks of New Skete are known for their unique approach to raising and training dogs. Their philosophy is that "understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion" with your dog.

In How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, the monks build upon the basic puppy training covered in their book The Art of Raising a Puppy to tell you everything you need to know to care for your dog. From how to select a dog to fit your lifestyle, how to read a pedigree, how and when to train, how to properly use praise and discipline, and how to feed and care for dogs, the monks offer clear guidelines to improving communication with your canine.

Filled with the wisdom, compassion, and caring that the brothers are known for, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend helps you better understand your dog, which can lead to a deepened bond with your pet.

©1978 The Monks of New Skete. Used by permission of Little, Brown & Company (P)1999 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

"Without devolving into New Age psychobabble, the monks make philosophical and spiritual observations that no dog lover could resist, and which just might make a convert of the uninitiated." ( Publishers Weekly)

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What listeners say about How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend

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    4 out of 5 stars

Buy it, but in book format

The material is good, narration is well done, but I should have gotten this as a book (printed copy). I am in the process of buying a puppy, and I wanted to be prepared in every aspect, so I found this book very helpful in giving me advice on how to avoid typical owner's mistakes. But since I got the audiobook format I will not be able to flip the book open in case I have a specific question during dog training.
It is still fine to listen to this in the car with my son, to do the mental preparations before the puppy arrives.

5 people found this helpful

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Catholic School For Dogs

Corporal punishment (violating the commandment against, as the monks write, "stealing" gets a dog smacked). A bizarre obsession with hierarchy. Lots of platitudes. An astounding obliviousness to canine behavioral science. Even the revised edition is outdated and bound by debunked dogma (sorry, no pun intended). The narrator's voice is extremely soothing, however.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Outdated, outmoded

Friends recommended this, so I gave it a listen. I was taken aback by the advice about how to hit a dog properly. I gave up in disgust when I heard the section about "roadwork": exercising overweight or energetic dogs by having them run on a leash beside the car while you drive merrily along empty streets. Awful. Get Cesar Millan or Patricia McConnnell instead, I say.

44 people found this helpful

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Some useful insights

Would you be willing to try another book from The Monks of New Skete? Why or why not?

The monks had some useful insights but a few suggestions and methods of dog training that I found less than efficient or wise--like running your pup next to a car. Do you want to get your dog run over?

5 people found this helpful

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Outdated and borderline abusive advice

I have read a number of dog/puppy training resources over the past year and this one is so far out in left field I can't recommend it to anyone. I'm not even opposed to the occasional physical correction when warranted, but this is just nuts. For example, the recommendation to deter your dog from barking in the car is: 1. slam on the brakes to throw him into the floor 2. pull over and get him out of the car 3. force him to sit then smack him under the chin 4. grab him by the scruff and shake him! 5. put him back in the car in the "alfa wolf" position, on his back with you dominant overtop of him. 6. proceed to drive again but do this each time he barks so he knows if he barks you're going to stop and terrorize him. What the actual F***? If you don't manage to get rear ended during step one, you will be lucky not to have police or animal services called. At the very least, you will be the next viral video.

1 person found this helpful

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Good basic knowledge

I have had dogs for years but I am considering a new one and thought it would be fun to hear what's going on in the land of dog training. The book was very comprehensive and has many different tips about how to get a dog and make it a good dog citizen. There are not many new things for those who already know a lot about dog training but it's an excellent book for someone who is a bit unsure on what to do. The reason why I didn't give better rating is mainly the idea that human is an alpha dog. I am not a big fan of being "an alpha dog", I think that kind of thinking is very much out dated and plain wrong. In the book they describe "alpha roll" which made me not like the book as much. Also, the part where they teach how to make your dog bark and growl at people just isn't my cup of tea. Made wrong way with a wrong dog and it's a recipe for disaster. But many helpful things too. It's filled with "how to this" and "how to that". Nice.

4 people found this helpful

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Excelent

Simple, articulate, pratical, makes so much sense, and I was able to start applying the principals imediatly and it worked for our family and our pack. Thank you

2 people found this helpful

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Archaic and Outdated

I had high hopes on this and there is some really good info in there, but too much of it was outdated and too aggressive. As a professional trainer, I can say, there are better and more humane ways. My defenses came up right away when they said "How hard do you hit the dog?"

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Consistency!!

The key to success in any rearing ... facts and no digressions from topics with filler stories.. I will re listen and maybe a third time... because repetitive listening will help when applying the techniques of training.. I will probably act out the techniques on my last time I listen to the book... Great purchase for its topic!

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Good info

I’ve trained a number of dogs and this was a good perspective and informative. A “should” read for any dog owner.