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Sit, Patsy, Read, Patsy, Woof
May 26, 2006 (Updated May 26, 2006)
by Patsy Side
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Organization of book
Easy to follow directions
The Bottom Line: This book is not written in broad terms for the lowest common denominator, it is written for Lab owners and is full of experienced-based advice designed to strengthen dog/human relationships.
for Dummies How-to Series appears to be an incredibly successful line of resource books with hundreds of topics. Until recently I thought it was for people inexperienced with the
part of the title. I now say foolish me and understand the popularity.
Recommend this product?
Imagine surviving a combined 16 years with Labrador Retrievers and being considered a dummy. I picked up this copy of Labrador Retrievers for Dummies and hid it. I read it hiding in a secluded room so that neither my spouse nor my dogs would see the book. I didnt want him to laugh at me nor did I want my dogs to take advantage of me. As it turned out, this book was an excellent reference book.
Author Joel Walton raises and train Labradors. He embraces positive dog training and provides classes for aspiring dog trainers. Like many dog owners, he learned from his dogs what is accepted and unaccepted. Mr. Walton and Eve Adamson wrote this book together in cooperation with pet experts at Howell Book House. Howell Book House (a division of Wiley Publishing) has an international reputation as the premier pet book publisher and this is supported by the distinction of having won more awards from the Dog Writers Association of America.
Part I: Just the Facts, Maam
Part II: Finding and Living with a Labrador
Part III: Training Your Lab with the MRE System
Part IV: Your Lab: A Member of the Family!
Part V: Showing Off and Having Fun
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Woof says, Mom, Read This
The bumper sticker, My Lab is Smarter Than Your Honor Student is proudly displayed in my office along with ten pictures. My dogs know sit, stay, down, ride, left, right, and 100 other words, even when spelled. They know my husbands mood before he gets home from work. They know more than I ever thought possible. I taught my oldest one as if he were a kindergarten student when he was about one year. Theyve always had a large yard, plenty of exercise, and lots of attention. They always work for their treats, but now my woof is saying I could have learned more
My oldest Lab is approaching old age. Hes close to 11 ½, but while I tell him he will live another 11 years the signs are clear thats not reality. He wanted to learn more than the basics in chapters eight through ten, he wanted the good stuff in Part V, the agility trials and competitive sports. He is an incredible show off, loves receiving and giving attention, and states he wanted the dog show scene. He also says I need to be a better mom from the start and not discover what the dogs needs are when its one or two years.
The Next Time Around
Labrador Retrievers for Dummies helps veteran and new Lab owners. This comprehensive book covers all aspects of raising a Lab. Near the middle is the obligatory collection of Lab pictures. Its a serious awwww moment. A caption states, A yellow Lab puppy is, quite possibly, the cutest dog in the world. Every dog owner says that, but being cute is a defense mechanism Lab owners understand. They can destroy a treasure faster than anything. This book prepares potential owners with this knowledge (Just the Facts, Maam) and helps you select that puppy.
Labrador Retrievers for Dummies sets the stage for all aspects of training -- learning house rules, being social with two-legged and four-legged acquaintances, and competing. They fully describe behavior problems (and causes) associated with Labs along with solutions that includes positive training.
Positive attitude training If your Lab is doing something you dont like, take a close look at what hes doing and what happens right after he does it. If he jumps up on you and you yell at him and he continues to jump up on you, you are somehow rewarding his jumping up. Probably just the fact that he gets your attention is reward enough, even if the attention isnt necessarily positive. Besides training him to sit in front of you instead of jumping up for attention, make sure that you dont react to his jumping up in any manner. Most problem behaviors, that persist, are somehow being rewarded by the owner, unless the behavior is self-rewarding!
Use rewards like food, attention, markers, or play. Learn what your dog likes. Stay positive. I discovered a long time ago my Lab does not respond to anger. He hides and looks pathetic; he never understands anger.
The authors advocate doggy dens, which is another expression for crates. Im not fond of this practice, however, many trainers use crates successfully. Doggy dens provide safe, quiet retreats for puppies. (Mine found a space under a laundry hamper that was on wheels. Its hard to believe this 90-pound dog was ever that small.) They recommend placing your puppy in the den when you cant watch him 100% of the time. If you only keep your eyes on the puppy 95% of the time youll discover the darling can create chaos in the remaining 5%.
They provide traveling tips (woof says, pant, pant, when can we go?), as well as selecting boarding kennels, purchasing road trip vehicles, and practicing vehicle safety. The ideal vehicle might be an RV, but minivans are perfect options.
The competition sections might not appeal to everyone, but I found this section increased my awareness of my dogs potential. (I wonder if my old dog can learn new tricks? Probably.)
Some of the best advice is in The Part of Tens section. They offer training tips for your Lab to be a great pet (and you a great companion to your pet). These dogs ARE demanding; they want as much from you as you want from them. When you realize their favorite times are spent learning together you will become the others best friend. They will return twice what you give them in love if you two achieve friendship.
About the Book
Labrador Retrievers for Dummies is an excellent book that recognizes and addresses every issue from puppyhood to health to training and socializing. This 258-page book is full of valuable information and guidance from people I trust. When my dog was young we had a battle of wills and out of frustration I agreed to use a technique some trainers recommended for willful Labs. This was a choke collar with prongs. I didnt want to use this, but everyone said it was best otherwise he would never enjoy our walks. So we headed out, I placed it around his neck and we started walking. Intriguing scents caught his attention and he enthusiastically bolted. Ouch! He whimpered, stopped, turned, sat, and simply stared at me refusing to budge until I removed it. You can see who was really trained. The Taurus in me attempted to win the standoff against Lab Will but he won. Off it came and yes, we walk twice a day.
The authors stated that in selecting trainers, asking what kind of equipment and tools you will need may give you the information you need to decide whether a trainer is humane or not-so-humane. If youre told that a training collar (choke collar), pinch collar, electric training collar, or devices of this type are necessary, you can reach a valid conclusion that this trainer may be not-so-humane. If the trainer states that you will not have to use food, youre getting a big clue that the trainer wont be using the most powerful reward for most puppies and dogs. I know many debate these techniques from various perspective. These authors believe in positive rewards, as do I.
Youll appreciate the humor and cartoons as well as the Lab Tips and illustrations. The books format is easy to use and follows a natural progression. A more detailed table of contents follows the Contents at a Glance. Instructions are direct, simple, and concise.
I recommend Labrador Retrievers for Dummies for every human owned by a Labrador Retriever or about to be owned by a Lab. Unlike most of the
for Dummies series, this book is not written in broad terms for the lowest common denominator, it is written for the Lab owner and it is full of the facts, maam. From now on I will give this book and Marley and Me, Life and Love with the Worlds Worst Dog to any friend or family member considering their first Labrador as a pet. My two canine friends agree, woof, woof!
With this book I celebrate my 100th Epinions review. It has been fun!
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Seller's Item Description: Title: Labrador Retrievers For Dummies Author: Joel Walton,Eve Adamson ISBN: 9780764552816 Format: Paperback Condition: Bra...