★★★★★ 5 Stars (3 reviews)The Other End of the Leash shares a revolutionary, new perspective on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior in comparison with that of dogs. An applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell looks at humans as just another interesting species, and muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in our four-legged friends. After all, although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, each shaped by our individual evolutionary heritage. Quite simply, humans are primates and dogs are canids (like wolves, coyotes, and foxes). Since we each speak a different native tongue, a lot gets lost in the translation.The Other End of the Leash demonstrates how even the slightest changes in your voice and the way you stand can help your dog understand what you want. Once you start to think about your own behavior from the perspective of your dog, you’ll understand why much of what appears to be doggy-disobedience is simply a case of miscommunication. Inside you will learn• How to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask.• Why “getting dominance” over your dog is a bad idea.• Why “rough and tumble primate play” can lead to trouble–and how to play with your dog in ways that are fun and keep him out of trouble.• How dogs and humans share personality types–and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than “alphawannabees!”In her own insightful, compelling style, Patricia McConnell combines wonderful true stories about people and dogs with a new, accessible scientific perspective on how they should behave around each other. This is a book that strives to help you make the most of life with your dog, and to prevent problems that might arise in that most rewarding of relationships.From the Hardcover edition.
★★★★★ Five StarsFormat: Paperback
I picked up this book in preparation of getting a new puppy. It's been 15+ years since I've had a dog and since I'm now part of busy family and have an active 6yo, I thought I'd need more forethought than last time, (when I picked up a dog in college with nothing more than: "Aww, cute puppy! I'll get him!"). While our last dog was a very kind house companion, she was also riddled with anxiety, not particularly warm to strangers or new contexts and never managed to learn how to walk properly on leash. Fearful and shy, it was difficult to enjoy her outside our home. We want to make sure our next dog (with thoughtful attention to puppy choosing and realistic training) can be more of a "go anywhere" dog that we can enjoy running with and taking to social activities.After reading McConnell's book (then checking out her website and youtube videos), I can see what of our behaviors exasperated the challenges and temperament of our previous dog. I consider myself a "dog person" (grew up with golden retrievers) and non-archaic in terms of my knowledge of pets, training and K-9 behavior. Nevertheless, I was astounded at how much this book taught me. Full of digestible research made accessible through real-life stories and examples (think Malcolm Gladwell meets dog behavior enthusiast), this book gave me both practical knowledge and poignant insight into the way we consider human-dog (and human-animal) relationships. I feel so much more prepared to choose a dog, socialize it well and exercise its brain and body through clear communication in the household. I also feel more empowered to ready our daughter by talking about the nonverbal cues of dogs and how she can be a loving owner without smothering a new puppy.I recommend picking up McConnell's The Puppy Primer, which we purchased at the same time as more of a "how to" guide to the first days at home, but DO NOT SKIP THIS BOOK. It gave so much more of the "why" behind the recommendations of the author in training and its an enjoyable read for experienced and novice dog owners alike!
★★★★★ Five StarsFormat: Paperback
I just started reading this book last night. I made it about 1/4th of the way through before I went to bed. As soon as I woke up this morning, I started using some of the "techniques" Patricia describes in communicating with my newly adopted adult dog of 2 weeks. My new dog is a gentle, sensitive, yet confident and stubborn young dog. I was previously in the "dominance/alpha dog" theory camp and have used those techniques successfully (or so I thought) in the past. Our new dog was having none of it. She simply ignored what I asked of her 80% of the time, and looked incredibly annoyed with me the other 20%. I knew it was time to research other techniques. The main technique I've used so far is to shut my mouth and start paying very close attention to not only my DOG'S body language, but MY OWN body language and how our dog responds to it. I've never been accused of being too quiet LOL and I am 100% guilty of the "primate" tendency to increase my volume and repeat my words at an alarming frequency to get my message across (except, in the moment, I don't ever seem to notice that I'm NOT getting my message across, just my frustration, and I am usually completely ignored, by my dog and by my child). Using Patricia's technique, it's like I've tapped into some secret code that only dogs speak. I am BLOWN AWAY at how well our dog is responding. She seems to suddenly understand what I've been asking and complies happily. She no longer seems annoyed by my presence and genuinely seems more at ease and relaxed... and I've only just changed my approach in the last 4 - 5 hours. I'm eager to finish the book and then re-read it to pick up what I missed the first time. I've also been using the "ask only once and wait for a response, no matter how long it takes" method and I can't believe how well that is working. As an added bonus, I've started using this method with my 3 year old daughter, and she's responding well too! I never realized a dog training book would help me in my approach with my stubborn preschooler LOL. THANK YOU PATRICIA!
★★★★★ Five StarsFormat: Paperback
I have been training and showing dogs for over ten years, and currently manage a dog grooming shop. I LOVE this book.The author approaches everything from a science based perspective, but her writing style is pleasant and relatable. This is not a training book in the traditional sense - she's not telling you how to get your dog to do a specific exercise or task. This book compares and contrasts canine behavior and human behavior. Humans and canines naturally react in very different ways to the world, and this book helps to bridge that gap. For instance, humans meet strangers face to face and shake hands and consider it a friendly greeting, whereas dogs see face to face interaction with direct eye contact as challenging, aggressive behavior. The book is full of this type of information that will help you understand and interact with dogs. Whether you work in a dog centered field, or you just want a better relationship with your pet, this is the book for you.I own four copies of this book so I can lend it out to my staff and clients and still have a copy for myself.