Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup....Oops! Instead of a round up today, I'm going to tell you about a book, 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog, The Loved Dog Method, by Tamar Geller.
I won this book through a random drawing on That Mutt blog. Thanks Linday and Ace!
The Loved Dog Method is a method of fun and positive reinforcement, "using pleasure instead of pain, domination and fear to obtain good manners." While this may be common sense to many of you, there are also chapters on specific problem behaviors. If you and your dog are experiencing any of these, it is nice to have Geller's insight and experience to help you out.
I was particularly interested in growling. Kelly is always friendly with people, but she has been known to growl at other dogs. Geller suggests first determining what your dog's growling means. It may be aggression or anger, but she also might be afraid, nervous or excited. Kelly growls when loose dogs approach her on our walks (this happens a lot!) I suspect Kelly is afraid of the loose dog. In this instance, Geller says to calmly remove your dog from the situation. This is not always easy on a walk, because the dogs tend to follow.
Geller advises that when we encounter a loose dog, I should try to remove Kelly from the situation. Then I should reward her with a desirable treat. Kelly should soon perceive encountering other dogs as pleasurable and not fearsome. I only hope the other dogs don't follow, vying for liver treats too!
All in all, I think there are many things Kelly and I can learn from this book. I like the positive tone of the book, and the encouragement to understand your dog. After all, we all want to be understood.