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The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training Paperback – 1999

37 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation; 1 edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580622038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580622035
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,449,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Owens, founder of Raise with Praise, Inc. and a certified evaluator for the Delta Society's Animal Assisted Therapy Program, has written a good, basic, reasonably priced introduction to dog training based upon rewarding "successive approximations" of correct behavior. Gone are the leash "pop" and harsher corrections of earlier obedience methods. Nonviolent dog training shapes appropriate behavior with rewards such as food and games. Incorrect behavior is punished by ignoring the dog and by verbal cues such as "oh-oh." There are chapters on clicker training, target stick training, and training gear such as collars and leashes; the nine ingredients of canine optimum health (high-quality diet, play, socialization, quiet time, exercise, employment, rest, training, and healthcare); and human-canine communication. How to teach "sit," "stay," "down," "stand," "come," "heel," "take it," and "drop it" are explained step-by-step and illustrated with photographs. For public libraries.AFlorence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"After working for years to expose trainers' cruelty to animals in the production of movies, I applaud a book that encourages the compassion and nonviolence that dogs so richly deserve." -- Bob Barker, Host, The Price Is Right

"This is an important book. Paul Owens offers a powerful voice of nonviolence and a truly enlightening approach to raising and training your dog. I wholeheartedly recommend his message of compassion and joy." -- Jack Canfield, Co-author, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Within weeks after their birth, dogs know how to put their behinds on the floor (sit), lie down, stand, stay, bark and not bark, run and walk toward us (come), walk by our side (heel), and find things with their noses (track). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yoko on Jan. 16 2004
Format: Paperback
As far as I am concerned, there is no other way to raise and train a dog. Hopefully you don't own a shock, choke, pinch or prong collar, but if you do, throw it away and order this book! This gentle, effective training method concerns the whole dog, not just a behaviour issue! I've trained all my dogs this way and I own two obedience (yes obd trials without aversive training!)and agility champions!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Wilde on Jan. 21 2003
Format: Paperback
"The Dog Whisperer" conveys with clarity and compassion how to train your dog using truly positive methods. Anyone who follows the step by step instructions should not only be able to get great training results, but will benefit from the holistic, relationship-improving aspect of the suggestions throughout. There will always be those who feel dogs must be punished in order to be well behaved. I disagree, and suggest you give the exercises described in this book a chance. They will definitely help to dispel those old myths. As a professional trainer, I am grateful to Paul Owens for this excellent resource. It is on the must-read list I hand out to my clients.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Epictater on Jan. 26 2002
Format: Paperback
Wow. The sample pages didn't let me know what to expect. Less than 1/2 of this book is devoted to dog training. The rest is like this excerpt, which you won't see in the online sample pages:
(p. 22) "There is a perfect moment for carrots to be pulled from the ground and eaten -- the perfect moment of optimum health-giving properties. But what if you can't pick and eat a carrot at the perfect time? According to Eastern thought, humans are unique in that they can actually infuse this positive life energy into food. It's a matter of thinking good, healthy thoughts and willing those healthy thoughts into the food you are preparing.... Whenever you prepare food for yourself or your dog, imagine infusing the food with "life energy.""
Here's another sample:
(p. 58) "Twenty-five years ago I decided to explore alternative therapies to get a grip on my health problems. as a child I missed 25 percent of my grade school classes because of asthma. I had a severe allergy to nuts and thirty-seven other allergies ranging from grass to pollen to dust. I was a mess. The fact that I began smoking cigarettes as a teenager while using an inhaler for my asthma also, of course, spoke of a certain lack of common sense. It must have been the lack of oxygen."
Humane dog training is not a new concept, and there are many informative books on the subject. This book is not one of them. Eastern religions, alternative therapies and ESP aren't new concepts either, and there are many informative books on those subjects. This book is not one of them.
Dave, Jay -- call Paul Owens for a goofy and entertaining interview!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on Feb. 26 2002
Format: Paperback
This book allows for absolutely NO kind of correction in dog training..It teaches that the slightest correction is abuse!! It is very extremist.(Not that that is bad. Its good in the fact that it makes you aware that HURTFUL violence should NOT be a part of any dogs life.)
The methods taught in here would most likely benefit either a dog who has been sorely abused (and therefore cant take any correction) or a person who is extremely sensitive and wants to try a radical new approach in dog training. (Techniques in here take way longer than the normal "leash correction" training.. Do not get this book if you are looking for a way to get your dog trained in a few months!!!)
This book did provide good reading, and it does make good points in the fact that you should spend wonderful, decent, quality, loving time with your dog and prove to him you're there to protect him--BUT it goes in the opposite direction of the basic dog instinct. Anyone who has studied dogs of the wild, has learned of the "Alpha" dog--the one in the pact who "is in charge," giving security to the others in knowing there is someone there to lead them. This book contradicts that and says its NOT true--going against everything people have learned about typical dog pact roles!!! It states that there is no such thing as a "dominant dog" (except in emergency situations) and that in the household, you and your dog are "existing together as family", and you should never try to show dominance over it--undermining any power you have to show your dog that you are a capable leader for him to follow..setting the stage for your dog to start thinking that HE runs the show (and we know how aweful that can be!)!! Now, anyone with a dog knows that dominance and submissiveness ARE a part of a dogs pact life..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Morris on May 7 2001
Format: Paperback
If you would like to read about relaxation exercises, do breathing exercises, hear about holistic medicines, learn to make your own dog food, read of the authors childhood illnesses and how he beat his cigarette addiction, plus dealing with your dogs stress levels, this is the book for you. If you simply want to learn how to train your dog, skip this one. I read to page 139 before the lessons even began and then it really bogged down. It is a catchy title but a lame book. Save your money, I wish I had.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Neder on Oct. 16 2001
Format: Paperback
I am thrilled that someone wrote a book encouraging us to think of our dogs in terms of friend and companion rather than demanding absolute submission. Although my biggest issue was that I felt that too much emphasis was placed on deep breathing exercises (a whole chapter + on that!) .
While the author encourages responsibility in the methods of training, he seems to allow the dog owner to be less resposible than they should in terms of results. He recommends you ignore bad behavior when possible. We all know that doesn't really work. You can't have a bad dog in the average city-- they'll get put to sleep, they'll get hurt, you'll get in trouble with your neighbors, the dog just continues on happily in the behavior. I just felt that there wasn't much emphasis put on really being able to save your dog's life with a command and being ablet o make them welcomed members of society. I wouldn't be asking for good behaviors if the bad ones would be okay to ignore!
I believe there is something good to be said for many of his training philosophies, especially the concept of 10,000 rewards. That's a wonderfully useful tool. I upped my antie a bit and got a way better response from my dog.
I disagree with the use of gentle leaders most of the time. They can cause neck problems and some dogs hate them so much it's constant mental anguish for them and like being reprimanded the whole time. Please do some research on gentle leaders before buying one for your dog.
Overall, this a fine enough book if you don't use it as the only source of information and don't feel too guilty if you need to use another method for some things that your dog is having problems with. While the author is way off into the holistic approach for my tastes, I got several good tidbits from his ideas.
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