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92 of 100 found the following review helpful:
A light treatment of familiar material May 13, 2007
The first 50 pages of the book speak more about Tamar than about dogs, which has caused some to question whether this is a training book or an autobiography. However, the rest of the book is training. The bio part is light reading, but it doesn't add much to understanding her training philosophy. She talks about learning from watching wolves in the Israeli desert, but doesn't describe those observations in any detail (and what she does mention later suggests she has only a rudimentary understanding of wolf behavior). She talks about her parents' infidelity, which adds nothing to the book. It is short and harmless, however.
Her training section is also fairly lightweight, with short discussions of familiar positive training techniques. I have read dozens of training books, and this one feels like the author took different parts of many books, distilled them down, and put them in her own. Nothing is new, and nothing is discussed in any depth. The barking chapter, for example, only offers one technique. It simply doesn't add anything new to the positive training literature.
A beginner can glean some basics from this book. The methods are positive (though the author is a bit more balanced in that she does use verbal corrections - however, as in much of the book, she doesn't go into any detail describing them; she also mentions the importance of leadership). There is some silliness in here (she praises a dog by saying the behavior over and over in a happy voice - "sit sit sit sit sit" - how does this help the dog? You want your dog to respond to the word "sit" by sitting. Doesn't saying "sit" several times while the dog is actually sitting just confuse the issue? She also perpetuates the "eat something before you feed your dog" myth - unless you're eating from the same carcass, it really isn't important! You are the one providing the food, that's what really matters). But it is harmless silliness, and may lead newbies to other positive training books that have more detail (I highly recommend Outwitting Dogs: Revolutionary Techniques For Dog Training That Work!; [[ASIN:0793805481 Parenting Your Dog; It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet; and everybody should read The Other End of the Leash).
55 of 65 found the following review helpful:
Easy to read, retain, and understand both "how to" and "why." Apr 26, 2007
By A. P. Nessel
"Quality not Quantity"
The book is a narrative about the author's life experiences that led her to become a dog advocate and trainer, and it is full of little stories and great examples that become an innuendo to how to teach a dog certain behaviors. Because of this unusual format for a training book, you not only remain interested, but also gain good understanding of why dogs behave the way they do. After having read this 200 page book, I was amazed how much I remembered. I was able to implement many tips without having to refer back to the book. Finally, it's worth mentioning that the book is very humorous and makes you laugh heartily.
53 of 65 found the following review helpful:
Good method, but not revolutionary....... Apr 30, 2007
By Seattle Dog Lover
I just wanted to say that I like and endorse using play and positive training methods and techniques for dog training as described in Tamar's book. And I think she is a wonderful person doing good work. However, I don't think there's anything new or revolutionary in this book that hasn't already been written in the last 10 years. Nor do I find it detailed or descriptive enough to really give readers a true understanding of dogs and why they do the things they do. There's brief moments and discussions about it, but it never goes deep enough to give the reader a real answer to why their dogs behave the way they do. Also, I find it disconcerting that she is so critical of other dog trainers, as if they are all abusive. I definitely agree that what she has witnessed in her years from some dog trainers was definitely abusive behavior. However, I believe that she was so affected by these events that it took her to the extreme opposite end of the training spectrum, thereby not providing the most balanced point of view.
I think that following the path of least resistance in dog training, and using as much positive reinforcement as you can are wonderful and things I definitely endorse highly. I just don't think that this book goes in depth enough to provide any information that's really new. So if you are looking for more of an introduction to dog training and would like to know about Tamar's story and how she became who she is today, then this would be a good book for you. But if you are looking for more in depth information that goes beyond a quick overview of basic training ideas, then look elsewhere, as this book really is more of an autobiography than a real dog training book.
23 of 28 found the following review helpful:
Not my cup of tea Jul 04, 2007
By The Pooch Professor
I skimmed this book at Sam's Club and decided not to add it to my extensive dog book library for several reasons.
Number One is the extensive personal information which I thought was superfluous and silly. I suppose the publisher liked that stuff, and thought it would sell more books. Dog training books are all the rage right now, and I suppose publishers, not knowing anything about dogs, think they'll sell more books with all that touchy-feely stuff (including the training information).
Number Two was when I read a sentence in one of the earlier chapters that said something to the effect of "When I opened the Loved Dog Cage-free Daycare...." I wouldn't want anyone who believes "cage-free" daycare is acceptable (or preferable) to have anything to do with my dogs, and I don't want my training clients reading that. Anyone worth their salt in the dog daycare business knows that downtime (time away from the other dogs, in a crate) is not just a luxury during the day for the dogs. It is a vital necessity. It is not healthy or safe for dogs to play all day. Playtime (which must be completely supervised by a competent adult at all times) should be broken up several times a day by crated quiet time, for one. But also, where do dogs in "cage-free" facilities sleep at night? Boarding dogs should be kennelled when not under supervision.
"Cage-free" sounds so positive, and appeals to "furparents" because they think (misguidedly) that crates are mean. Unfortunately, many people who know little about dogs have bought into the doggy daycare boom and opened facilities because it seems like easy money. I'm not saying Tamar is one of these necessarily, but she is definitely wrong about "cage-free." It's like "no-kill": it's a term that means little, but gets people to give money because it sounds so nice.
This whole new crop of dog training books seems to really be playing into the "revolutionary" (not) tactics that use treats and play to train. As others have said, treats and positive reinforcement have been used in training for years. They are the foundation for training any new behaviors.
There are plenty of better books about training out there. Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson have written several, as well as John Ross. As for her Oprah endorsement, I believe Tamar is Oprah's attempt to appease the "positive" trainers who flooded her with complaints about her endorsement of Cesar Millan.
There are certainly some things in the book I agree with, but not enough to endorse it. It is possible to "love dogs," and treat them as dogs, and even have them respect you, by including non-abusive discipline in a training regimen. I don't see the need to villainize other trainers to get your information out there. You can like Cesar or hate him, but he has NEVER said an unkind word about any other trainers or authors, even when they've slammed him. That's class.
I want dogs to get the training they need. I really do. There are many ways to train positively and get results in a quicker time frame than what is suggested here.
29 of 36 found the following review helpful:
The Loved Dog Apr 26, 2007
By H. N. Bergstrom
I strongly recommend this book. It's much more than just a training manual. It's about how to show love to your dog. The author's story about her not knowing how to use the toilet in Bangkok almost broke my heart, for it demonstrated the confusion that all dogs must feel when being house-trained, yet reminded me how severe I used to be with my own dogs' "mistakes". They want to please you, but they don't know what to do! Plus, her observations of wolf behavior clearly demonstrate that you don't have to be aggressive to train your dog.
I guarantee that, after reading this book, you'll be a lot more understanding of your dog's behavior, a lot more patient and, if possible, you'll love your dog even more!
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