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The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs Paperback – Apr 29 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
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  • The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
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  • On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 29 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034544678X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345446787
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,317 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

The Other End of the Leash begins with an eloquently simple premise: "All dogs are brilliant at perceiving the slightest movement that we make, and they assume each tiny movement has meaning." With that in mind, all of Dr. Patricia McConnell's recommendations for communicating with your canine make immediate sense. Don't we all automatically bend forward when coaxing a dog to come and play? Break eye contact when we wish to avoid a confrontation? While these instinctive behaviors are right on target, a number of other habits aren't so positive, and McConnell helps us break them with both humor and common sense.

Chapters are categorized by senses such as sound, sight, and smell; specific pack behaviors such as dominance and play also merit their own sections. McConnell uses the same humor and patience she recommends with dogs on her readers. Whether she's referring to maggots as "a value-added commodity in canine economics" or ruminating on attempts to verbally cue her dogs to exit the house one at a time, her wise and gently self-deprecating book brings training--of both dogs and humans--to new levels. Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

It matters greatly that people who love dogs understand enough about them to provide a good environment, writes McConnell (Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage Your Multi-dog Household) in her thoughtful exposition on improving human-canine communication. An animal behaviorist and adjunct professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, McConnell offers sound advice for dog owners: Pay attention to your own behavior. Believe me, your dog is. Drawing on anecdotes from her professional practice (she specializes in canine behavior problems), research into the work of other dog trainers and personal experiences with her beloved Border collies, the author explains how a dog might be misinterpreting signals from its owner. For example, although humans express affection through hugs, a dog may feel threatened by them. McConnell also provides tips on how to play safely with dogs (she recommends games of fetch rather than rough-and-tumble wrestling) and how to get them to do what you want (the best way to get a dog to stop demanding attention is simply to break off visual contact). She has harsh words for trainers who tell owners to establish dominance over dogs by behaving aggressively to them when they are young, and also for owners of puppy mills. These dog factories, she says, create damaged animals and unsuitable pets. This is a helpful guide for pet owners by a specialist who clearly loves her work. B&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Owning an embarrassing number of dog training/behavior books and having kept Border Collies for a long time, I feel qualified to say that if you only bought one book on canine behavior, this would be it. Dr. McConnell provides a clear and lucid explanation of why dogs behave and respond as they do -- all the while being careful to make note of the ambiguities and idiosyncratic nature of both canine and human behavior. There are no 'magic formulas' here. But there are many guidelines and explanations of why some things tend to work, while others tend not to. The strength of this book is that it provides an understanding of why dogs respond, allowing the reader to refine his/her behaviors to better communicate with dogs. This focus on human behavior and how dogs interpret it provides unusual insight into effective interaction and training. Extensive experience and academic preparation in animal behavior and communication have provided McConnell with an exceptional understanding of how much of what we do in interacting with dogs is actually counter-productive because dogs see the world quite differently than primates do. Changing some of my behaviors after reading this book, I could almost see my three Border Collies thinking, "Well, about time you figured that out."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best book in regards to learning more about your dogs and yourself. I haven't read the whole book yet, but am a fair way into it and by the start of chapter two I was all ready realizing how much info I had learned from the first chapter alone. Very well written, very informative, and I would say this is a book that any dog owner should at least read once, I will be recommending it to family, friends, and anyone I know with a dog. I'm thinking of purchasing another copy just to be able to lend out to family and friends.
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Format: Hardcover
A very good read ...
The book starts with the premise that people who love dogs have desire to understand dogs ... And McConnell's book guides us down this very special journey without cloying sentimentality but always with heart and kindness ...
A dog behaviour book that goes beyond just reciting basic concepts of dominance, leadership within a pack ... and beyond basic operant, praise & treat methods ... McConnell explores and explains the subtleties of dog nature and human nature ... how our 2 species interract and react one with the other ... the building blocks for better understanding between man and dog ...
The author explains why dogs do what they do, and just as important, she explains why we behave the way we do ... and how our very differences, both enrich and causes conflict in our relationships with our canine friends ...
The chapter titles are descriptive of the author's beliefs ... 'Translating Primate to Canine' ... 'Pack Mates' ... 'The Truth About Dominance' ... 'Patient Dogs and Wise Humans' ...
The author's thoughts are clear and easy to follow ... her words a pleasure to read ...
While this book is not a training manual, it will compliment any training manual ... filling the bare bones of training with an appreciation & understanding of how and why training methods work (or don't work) and teaches when and how to modify training methods to suit both dog & owner ...
Definitely worth a read ...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been struggling with the idea of "training " my golden retriever puppy. I had been reading everything in sight because I wanted to do the "right" thing and in the process have a well behaved dog. It came as a surprise to me that , as educated as I thought I was becoming , problems still snuck in. Ms. McConnel's book completely changed my way of thinking . I now relish the challenge of trying to communicate in a very loving but firm way with my dog. ....just like I would with my children . The difference is that dogs have their own language. Not only do they have to learn to deal with us but it is our duty to learn what they say, as well. I feel much more relieved and patient and I can honestly say that my 6 month old puppy is responding beautifully. This book is a life saver or should I say dog saver!
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Format: Paperback
Patricia McConnell has done a WONDERFUL thing for all pet owners... this book is not specifically about dog-training, but about how OUR behavior influences the behavior of our PETS.(That's US onthe "other end of the leash"). This is must have book, whether you live with dogs, cats, other pets or even interact with other humans!!!
What can I say but WOW! Fantastic! You have to read this book- you will laugh, cry, giggle and get that wonderful "AHA!!! Now I know why..."moment.
Buy this book!!!
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By A Customer on May 26 2004
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Patricia McConnell's writing style and humour. Her willingness to make you aware that she too isn't perfect and has to stop and re-group sometimes when attempting to communicate with her dogs. The book is full of incredibly useful information relating to dogs and how they view us and the world. If you truly take the time to read and absorb the riches of this book, you'll never look at any dog the same way.
I love learning why things are the way they are and because of this found this to be a very rewarding read. It all made so much sense.
Sometimes I did find myself getting a bit restless when things got all scientific, but even that was necessary a lot of the time and I pushed myself through them anyway because I knew something of worth was going to come of it. I wonder if part of my restlessness was because I was anxious to find out what else I was going to learn. It's worth the effort if you find yourself feeling like I did. Patricia's skill at story telling and obvious love for dogs makes you feel so good and had me reading every page top to bottom (even the tiny notes on the bottom thatIwould normally ignore or not notice) I wanted to learn everything I could from her. I learned as much about our species as I did about dogs.
Once you see how dogs viewthings you'll be able to communicate much better and it can't help but benefit your relationship. Please do your dog a favor and read this book!
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