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Pax Canadiana (Toronto)

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Natural Dog Training
Natural Dog Training
by Kevin Behan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.74
20 used & new from CDN$ 21.73

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I only reget that I can't give it ZERO stars., Dec 10 2010
This review is from: Natural Dog Training (Paperback)
This book is the worst piece of trash I've ever read. There are so many problems with this book, one hardly knows where to start. - it is lacking in style and content.

Behan's writing is virtually indecipherable, the tortured prose struggles for meaning. It is the cognitive equivalent of chicken scratch. The author shows contempt for the rules of spelling and syntax with just as much gusto as he does for the rules of logic and reason. In a single run-on sentence Behan will violate the rules of English and the Laws of Physics.

Behan must fancy himself a multi-disciplinary scientific genius because he demands that we re-write the past 300 years of science all to fit his strange ideas. Apparently we must discard with all we've learned about physics, biology, chemistry and psychology because according to him all are wrong.

The author does not present evidence in support of his views. He proclaims his 'facts' into existence and declares falsehoods to be 'true.' He then uses these 'facts' to support his argument. In the process of laying down his views, Mr. Behan commits every logical fallacy in the book, he ignores all the scientific evidence and fabricates an impossible model of the universe to prop up his views. And he does so with the absolute certainty that only the truly ignorant can muster.

When decipherable, his favorite arguments rest upon straw-man fallacies, circular logic loops, false dichotomies, argumentum ad ignorantiam and begging the question.

All in all a waste of time. Filled with errors, devoid of facts, littered with logical fallacies, spelling mistakes and a labyrinthian prose that renders this book unreadable.

To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, this is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

For well written and factually accurate look at dogs see

Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

Excel-Erated Learning: Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them

Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog

Dog Behavior: Why Dogs Do What They Do

Brad Pattison Unleashed: A Dog's-Eye View of Life with Humans
Brad Pattison Unleashed: A Dog's-Eye View of Life with Humans
by Brad Pattison
Edition: Hardcover
23 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money and time., July 27 2010
It is unfortunate that despite all the great advances in our understanding of ethology, learning theory and pyschology there are still some people like Pattison taht ignore all the advances and insist on pushing and promoting methods based on old-school techniques. Methods so outdated and dangerous that in a position statement the IPDTA called Pattison's approach as one based on fear, pain and intimidation.

While Pattison cites the work of Miklosi, including "Comparative Social Cognition: From Wolf and dog to humans". Despite all this Pattison ignores Miklosi who writes "Their dominance relationships are context-dependent; kinship relations, alliances and friendships complicate the picture." This paints a far more complex picture than the naive and simplistic "alpha" model presented by Pattison.

Pattison insists on touting 'pack theory', again his own sources refute those claims. Miklosi (49 citations in the book; 9 are from Miklosi et al) writes on the same paper:"It seems that the domestication process disrupted the ancient social organisation. In feral dogs, paternal and alloparental care are reduced; they do not hunt cooperatively, but prefer scavenging or hunting small prey alone." It would seem that he didn't even bother to read his own source material.

In a profound display of ignorance Pattison goes on a 2 page rant criticizing postive reinforcement techniques and foolishly links it with something he invented; "treat training." He even fabricates the history of how PR came about, and his description of it doesn't even come close to the reality. Naturally it is meant to frighten the reader into accepting his archaic methods. PR is used by guide dog, service dog, police, military, detection and other working dog trainers because it works.

The way Pattison presents his case closely parallels they way he approaches dog training; it is heavily based on fear. Again and again he mentions how the dog will get hit by a car, get euthanized, attack babies, kill other dogs or people. Pattison works very hard to instill fear if the reader doesn't follow his methods.

If you believe a dog is really trying to "take over" and "dominance" (aka force) is the only way to communicate; then why get a dog at all?

You are far better off reading any of the following:

Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog

Train Your Dog Like a Pro

by Brad Pattison
Edition: Paperback
8 used & new from CDN$ 14.95

15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of 260 pages, Sept. 18 2009
This review is from: Synergy (Paperback)
I am wary of one of Pattison's people writing a review when they are directly profiting from teaching his methods. Diane Holmes has invested thousands of dollars into Pattison via seminars and the so-called certification and thus it is in her financial interest to promote his ideas and techniques.


Pattison waxes authoritatively on dog social dynamics, hierarchies, their mental and emotional motivations. However at no point does he really offer any evidence to support his assertions.

In many cases, he completely ignores basic science and makes assertions that are simply ludicrous. His views are refuted by modern science. His use of violent means to address behavior are outdated and in many cases dangerous; and his approach has been rebuked by IPDTA, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior as well as many others.

In short, there is nothing here for the modern dog owner. Much better reads are authors like Jean Donaldson, Karen Pryor, Pam J Reid, Ian Dunbar, Patricia B. McConnell; authors that have real achievements as well as the academic backgrounds to understand the true nature of dogs and dog training.

This product is so bad, I won't even re-sell it in a garage sale for fear of what it would mean to the next dog.

I would sell it next summer in a garage sale but I have no intention of being the source of a dog

Better options:

The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs

Brenda Aloff's Fundamentals: Foundation Training for Every Dog

Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

Here are the facts:

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has position statements against the use of punishment and dominance. They write "AVSAB is concerned with the recent re-emergence of dominance theory and forcing dogs and other animals into submission as a means of preventing and correcting behavior problems"

The IPDTA has specifically mentioned Pattison, making it clear they do not endorse his practices and his use "of physical force, physical, verbal or psychological punishment, intimidation, fear or pain"

Dr. Stanley Coren, author of 'The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions and 'How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do'' criticizes his use of "harsh techniques that harken back to methods that were popular in the 1930's and 1940's."

Dr. Andrew Luescher director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Purdue University has also spoken out against the methods employed by dominance centered trainers calling them CRUEL and INEFFECTIVE.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Section Head and Program Director, Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences Tufts' Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine North Grafton, has called this approach OUTMODED, MISGUIDED and INHUMANE.

A study published in Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research concludes that the application of dominance theory - which Pattison relies on - is outdated and misguided and is often the CAUSE the very behaviors we want to avoid.

Another study published in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science concluded that these confrontational, punishment based approaches often results in aggressive dogs.

As Bill Maher likes to say, you are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. That's the reason the "Patties" like to argue personalities and not facts.

Those familiar with the SCIENCE of behavior modification realize that Pattison is a charlatan with little knowledge or skills. What Morgan Spector (Clicker Training for Obedience: Shaping Top Performance-Positively ) calls a "jerk and puke" dog trainer.

Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life
Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life
by Cesar Millan
Edition: Hardcover
87 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

26 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More shouting than Whispering, Nov. 25 2007
One can only assume the term Dog Whisperer was chosen in irony. If we compare the gentle methods of Horse Whisperer to that of Millan, we see that Cesar shouts and rarely
'whispers' Comparing the Millan's method to what is promoted by Paul Owens in his book "Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Training method of Dog Whisperer" we come to understand what 'whispering' is all about.

Millan's singular belief that almost all issues are somehow related to dominance have been thoroughly discredited by trainers and behaviourists alike. Those with historical perspectives will find that reading Millan is like a voyage 50 years into the past when jerking and force were the essential tools of a trainer. Millan bases his bully approach on his misunderstanding of wolf packs and his erroneous belief that dogs are wolves. Using this line of thinking Millan promotes the 'alpha roll' to 'dominate' and punish the dog; we now know that the Alpha roll is a myth. In short this book is long on intimidation and domination tactics that are not effective, they are inhumane and are based on gross ignorance of wolf and dog biology.

Far better books are those by Sheila Booth, Karen Pryor, Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell and the aforementioned Paul Owens.

Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
by Cesar Millan
Edition: Hardcover
104 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

15 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Old Debunked Ideas - Little practical advice, Nov. 25 2007
In this book Cesar Millan waxes authoritatively about all he learned in a farm about wolf social hierarchies and dog packs. Unfortunately nearly all of it is wrong, and we've known it was wrong for at least 30 years. There is little practical advice in this book, instead we get some name dropping and Millan's philosophy about how dog's behave.

For far better explanations on dog social hierarchies Behavioral Biology of Dogs by P Jensen, On Talking Terms with Dogs by Turid Rugaas, and Evolution of Canine Social Behavior by Roger Abrantes. For training advice the work of Karen Pryor, Sheila Booth, and Ian Dunbar.

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