'This is a wolf you are dealing with here!' barked the training instructor.
–Sarah Whitehead - Clever Dog - c. 2012
illus. by Jo van Kampen.
I’ll admit that I’ve watched a fair amount of Cesar Milan and his dog whispering, but while the television show entertains me, and he certainly seems to get results, I can’t say I’m that enamoured of the whole dominance basis of dog training. And his argument that dogs are wolves doesn’t work with me. It doesn’t work for Sarah Whitehead either. She argues that people aren’t apes and aren’t treated as such so why should we think that dogs are wolves. And anyway, wolves don’t fight for dominance in the wild, all that early research was on captive wolves in artificially created packs, not a naturally occurring gathering of animals.Whitehead uses case studies to showcase different examples of dog behaviour and the troubles that can happen when people don’t make allowances for the fact that a dog is a dog. From dogs reacting to “alpha rolls” to under-socialised puppies, and everything in between.
She writes in a clear, easy to read and easy to understand manner. Plus there are some lovely illustrations. If you are interested in dogs and dog behaviour this is a book you should enjoy.
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