Do you have a new pup you’d like to train to sit on command, come when called, play with her toys and not your shoes?  Do you have a rescue dog with issues?  He’s destructive, doesn’t come, pulls on the leash?  Do you have a pretty good dog you’d like to teach some games or tricks and aren’t sure how to go about it?  Are you wondering, can I get help from a training book?

Like any good course, a good dog training book should be organized so that if you start at the beginning and do all the suggested exercises, you will end up with a trained dog.  It should start with some basics, how to get your dog’s attention, how to understand your dog’s natural language, how to communicate in a way your dog will understand, how to begin training in a way that is kind yet effective, sort of the way a mother dog teaches her pups.

Along the way, as your dog learns to pay attention to your words and your body language, as the two of you come to a closer understanding and form a tighter bond, you will be able to teach more complex things and your dog will be able to understand and deliver what you want.  Little by little, your dog should go from understanding separate words to being able to work, to seam together a series of behaviors and to execute them accurately and with pride.  He should know when you are pleased not only because you say so, but because his attention is on you and understanding how you feel is an inate skill, passed down to his kind for all of their history.  And in the end, you might add to the commands you use for safety’s sake.  You might teach some games and use them not only to exercise your dog’s mind and body, but for mutual fun.  You might even teach some tricks, because, well, why not?  Your dog will love amazing people and making them laugh.  And you will love being part of that.

But suppose you only want the tricks?  Or you only want your dog to come when called when he is off leash?  Or you only want to teach your dog not to nip and so you skip to this part or that?  A training course is built on a foundation.  The step by step instructions build more than a command, they build a relationship.  They build the ability to think, to work, to have self control and patience, to listen and understand.  So if you only want the tricks or the come off leash or the not nipping, you must still start at the beginning and do the work that will make those things doable, that will make you a successful trainer and your dog a successful student.

Yes, if you use a training book the way it was meant to be used, you will be able to use it to train your dog.  If you are very experienced, you may go quickly through the initial chapters.  Perhaps your dog already knows all those things.  Perhaps he is already very attentive.  But if not, if you don’t have the foundation you need, it would be like skipping a few steps in a recipe, expecting beautiful cupcakes to come out of the oven anyway.

Readers are commenting:

“Simple, straight-forward instructions for making your life and your dog’s life more enjoyable.”  Richard

“Quick and crystal clear!”  Cassi

“Year in and year out, Carol’s are the books that break it down in a way that’s sure to better the lives of you and your dog.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  And I doubt it ever will.”  Gina

“Carol Benjamin has managed to regale the reader with a feast of delicious drawings brimming with humor, intelligence and wisdom.  Who would NOT want to join in the fun of becoming ‘dog smart’?  Maxine

More reviews at Amazon and iBooks.  Thanks for stopping by.