30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog
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30 Days To A Well-mannered Dog

Editor's Pick | 
Rating: 5

(5 out of 5)

Tags: behavior & training, products, books

Long known as a dog coach to the stars—her clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Owen Wilson, Natalie Portman, and Larry King—Tamar Geller changed the way Americans relate to their dogs with her bestselling book The Loved Dog. Her approach is simple and down-to-earth. Instead of utilizing the negative and often painful feedback of physical dominance, choke chains, and prong collars, Tamar recommends love, play, and mutual respect as the keys to a happy home for dog and human alike. Now, Tamar makes her Loved Dog Method accessible for everyone with this day-by-day guide that will lead you through the first thirty days with your new dog—or help you make a fresh start with your current dog. Drawing on her studies of wolves in the wild and basing her method on the principles of child development, Tamar uses an "instincts versus choice" approach that satisfies a dog’s Seven Basic Needs and will result in a pet with good manners. 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog covers every question commonly asked by people embarking on the momentous journey of dog ownership: why it’s important to choose the appropriate dog for you and your lifestyle, what you can expect from a puppy versus an adult dog, how to introduce your new dog to your home, and how to respond when things don’t go according to plan. Tamar guides you every step of the way, from addressing undesired behaviors in your dog to crate and paper training him to introducing him to other dogs and helping him become relaxed with strangers. Included are important but often overlooked tips about the use of words and body language to communicate, the power of play, and the amazing value of teaching your dog some lighthearted pet tricks. Along the way, Tamar debunks myths in need of debunking: that dogs are frequently "alpha" by nature and need to be dominated; that discipline is the key to dog training, and that "success" only means getting your dog to do what you want. Instead, she shows how to align your dog's wishes with your own to create a rich and enduring relationship that works wonderfully for you both. Gentle, firm, and effective, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog will build your relationship with your dog to make every new day together a day of love, joy, and discovery.
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Editor's Review

30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog gives owners basic information and new training tips with a canine-centered approach.

July 7, 2011 5:13 pm | By Zootoo Editor Flinn D.

30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog is a thought-provoking follow-up guide to author Tamar Geller’s popular book The Loved Dog. Emphasizing a dog-centric approach to training, Geller stresses the need for long-term relationship building and understanding the overall needs of dogs over getting canines just to respond to quick commands.

Geller’s thoughts about empathizing with a dog’s point of view will come instinctively to owners who already think of themselves as pet parents and their pets as part of the family – and the book underscores using the canine desire for companionship, security, and love as motivators for good behavior, instead of fear or aversion.

As the title implies, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog is organized into chapters, one for each day, which owners can follow throughout the course of one month. But the book is a valuable resource even if you aren’t on a schedule. Geller covers all of the basic behavioral problem areas – socialization, housebreaking, and leash training – with step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand. And Geller’s canine-centered approach comes through clearly when the book addresses topics such as incorporating natural doggy instincts for chewing, nipping and playing into good behavior, instead of trying to banish them completely.

Geller also incorporates training tips and methods that may be new to some veteran dog owners, such as the “Las Vegas method” of using random treats to keep dogs engaged, or organizing training treats into gold, silver, and bronze-level status. One especially inspired section points out examples of non-command words and phrases that dogs can learn to be happier, calmer, and more in touch with their humans – such as “chillax,” “friend,” and “I love you.”

30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog does include small sections on subjects that may seem off-topic for a training book, such as diet, microchipping, and general safety tips. But as with her behavioral advice, Geller provides such thoughtful, sound tips on these topics that many readers may not mind.

Bottom line: Whether you’re trying out training for the first time, or just want some new ideas, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog’s canine-centered, compassionate approach is a great way to start.

Pros: Many pet parents will find the canine-centered approach instinctive; book provides new training tips.

Cons: Small sections of the book are off-topic for a training book.

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