Victoria Stilwell is my favorite of the famous dog trainers because she uses positive training methods. There are several excellent reasons why positive training is best for all animals:
- It is scientifically sound
- It doesn’t cause pain in your dog
- It doesn’t scare your dog into submission
- It works!
The first section of the book describes how dogs and humans evolved together. There is a lot of background on the science behind positive reinforcement and why the dominance theory of dog training is so very wrong. It explains how dogs communicate so we understand them better, which leads how we train dogs.
The training section is geared towards a new puppy or new family dog, but it is useful at any point in a dog’s life. The real benefit of the book is in dealing with common behavior problems. She uses scientifically sound principles of desensitization and counter-conditioning, redirecting, and avoidance to help your dog with problems such as separation anxiety, noise phobias, resource guarding, and more.
I really like this book for people whose dogs are having minor training issues and some mild behavior problems. If you can follow the methods, you can probably help your dog without any further outside assistance. For dogs with severe anxiety or who may be dangerous, I strongly recommend a behavior consultation with a veterinarian as soon as possible. The earlier intervention occurs, the better the results, and the happier both you and your dog will be!
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