Although he's nearly three, my dog still has a couple of troubling behavioral issues. Enough bad boy stuff, that if this was the 80s, he'd be asked to join Motley Crue. Happy jumps on everyone, eats mouthfuls of grass and howls at the weirdest moments. Meaning 6-to-8 AM. Since these are the key hours of my 'beauty sleep,' this is why I don't look like a movie star. Unless, you count Mickey Rourke.
So, I thought I'd check out some recent dog training titles, to see if they can help me (or you) get our canines in line.
Purely Positive Training: This book starts with the basic manners your dog needs to learn, like sitting and staying. But progresses rapidly until your dog is pulling out your chair for you and using a napkin when he eats. Soon, he's able to tell you which one is the salad fork. And corrects your grammar. The book is expensive, but basically pays for itself. Because, not only will your pup learn manners? Soon, he will be able to go out and teach others.
Don't Shoot The Dog!: The Art of Teaching and Training: Author Karen Pryor teaches you how train your dog, without using "force, punishment or threats." Since those are my strong suits, I thought I'd look into this book. Pryor stresses "affection training," a positive reinforcement that works on both animals and humans. However, if you find both your son and your dog on the floor, eating bowls of Beneful? You may have skipped a few chapters. Please go back and re-read.
The Other End Of The Leash: This unique read by Patricia B. McConnell, focuses on human behavior "in comparison with that of dogs." And why Kiss leader, Gene Simmons, is now officially a member of both groups. McConnell's book tries to explain not just dogs to us, but our behavior to dogs, as well. Apparently, a group of them got together to figure out why so many of us go see Adam Sandler movies. No, the dogs don't have a clue either.
The Culture Clash: Here writer Jean Donaldson depicts dogs as they really are, not as they're idealized in movies. Except for "Cujo," of course, which is pretty accurate. Especially if you're late feeding them. Donaldson loves these creatures, but insists their whole philosophy is, 'Can I eat it? Can I chew it? Can I urinate on it? What's in it for me?' Which, of course, pretty much sums up Congress, too. So, this book will answer lots of your questions.
Second Hand Dog: In this helpful book, Carol Lea Benjamin, teaches you how to make your adopted dog feel at home. Should the dog wear hand-me-downs? Should you watch "Annie" with him and imply how lucky he is that he's not in an orphanage? And, especially, that he doesn't have to sing "Tomorrow"? All this and more is covered in this amazing little book.