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Publisher's Summary

Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past 20 years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills. Her training method is based on teaching dogs to make choices—as opposed to following commands—through kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary.
To Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor babies in need of coddling; rather, they are extremely trusting beings attuned to their owners' needs and they aim to please. Relationships between dogs and humans go awry when we fail to understand our dogs and when we send them confusing, mixed signals. Arnold's firsthand experience—from what moved her to start her exemplary nonprofit and how she developed her methodology—guides this book and gives it a powerful emotional heft.
Stories drawn from Arnold's life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers are convincing, unforgettable, and compelling testimony and make this book a heart-warming, captivating listen that will forever change the way you see your dog by showing you the way your dog sees the world.
©2010 Jennifer Arnold (P)2010 Random House
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Critic Reviews

“Transformative...[Arnold] shares her methodology and stories of canine intelligence, sensitivity, language comprehension, and prescience bordering on telepathy....Along the way, she emphasizes choice-based, positive-reinforcement-only teaching methods and shares valuable insights that every dog owner should know. Engagingly written with a perfect balance of science and observation, this book...is a worthy tribute to our canine friends.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Through vivid, memorable, moving stories, Jennifer Arnold provides a scientific argument for what dog lovers everywhere already know: Dogs love, dogs trust, dogs sense, dogs feel. And they deserve to be treated accordingly. This book’s message is simply the truth." (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)
"Arnold’s voice is assertive with experience—her insights into working with dogs are hard-won after years of close interaction....The author’s storehouse of anecdotal evidence is telling and entertaining, and her demolition of various alpha-model and negative-reinforcement teaching techniques is thorough and lofty.” (Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Brent Williams on 08-21-10

Great book provides insight and instruction

Great, inspiring stories that will also teach you a ton about how to train your dog. Jennifer has done so much to help so many - dogs and people. I'm glad she decided to write a book.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Amanda Thompson Lawhon on 08-22-10

A Must For Every Dog Owner

I absolutely loved this! I'm in the process of training my first puppy, and couldn't have come across this book at a better time. Jennifer Arnold does a wonderful job of presenting the history of the dog/human relationship and modern research about the canine mind. She explains both the impressive capabilities of dogs and their limitations. Though her opinion is very clear throughout, she does a good job of backing it up not only with anecdotes, but also with scientific research.

It is important to be aware that this is not a training book that spells out specific steps for training your dog. There is a very useful, but brief, appendix that covers specifics of the author's training technique ("choice training"). The main purpose of the book seems to be teaching the reader to understand dogs and how dogs understand things, essential information that seems to be missing from all of the training books that I've read so far.

I am so glad that Jennifer Arnold chose to narrate this book herself. She does an excellent job, and it just felt right to hear her personal experiences and philosophies from her own lips.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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