Dec 8, 2007

Divine Canine

the Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog
by the Monks of New Skete

If I owned a dog, I would definitely want this book. It is an excellent volume on how to train your dog using the methods of the Monks of New Skete, who breed, train and sell german shepherds. They also have a program where an owner can drop off their dog for four weeks of obedience training. Here are the stories of nine dogs with different needs and problems who come to the monastery. There are dogs who ignore commands, lunge at cars, act amorous to people's legs, nip children, mouth arms and leashes, jump up on people, and are aggressive to other dogs.Each chapter shows how the monks understand and address the dog's problem; always it is resolved via the five basic obedience skills: heel, sit, stay, down and come. They profess that most behavior problems come from the dog holding (or wanting to hold) a dominant position in the "family pack." Obedience training teaches the dog his place, asserts human leadership, and gives the dog correction when he misbehaves, replaced by a command he can follow. It appears to be extremely effective. At the end of the book is an in-depth explanation of how to methodically teach your dog the five basic skills. Interspersed between the chapters on obedience are small Q&A pages addressing such questions as how much exercise your dog needs, how to choose a vet, types of training collars to use, introducing a new puppy to an older dog, etc. Divine Canine is very practical, informative and user-friendly. It is illustrated with many beautiful color photographs.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 256 pages, 2007

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