Calm your canine wild child
Does your dog go bonkers when the doorbell rings or when you grab the leash to take him for a walk? If you find your dog is often difficult to control, you are not alone! Getting your dog to calm down and relax is one of the most common challenges pet parents face. This two-part book will help you first identify the factors that cause this kind of behavior in dogs, then it provides you with eleven key training exercises to teach your dog how to calm down, pay attention to you, relax, and respond to every day situations with confidence and composure. Chill Out will show you how to help your dog become the great dog you always knew he could be.
Get results by learning about
• The interrelated factors that can cause your dog’s over-active behaviors.
• The impact that diet can have on your dog’s inability to relax.
• The basics of modern positive dog training that are the key to solving these common problems.
• How to reward your dog for relaxed behaviors—and avoid inadvertently reinforcing your dog’s wildness.
• Step-by-step training exercises that deal with the most common situations where dogs tend to have trouble staying calm.
BONUS! Trouble-shooting human training errors.
What experts are saying about Nan Arthur’s Chill Out Fido!
The book applies to all areas of training, from family life (e.g., polite leash walking, being handled by veterinarian) to dog sports. The basic premise is that excessive stress interferes with learning and performance, and any dog can become excessively stressed at times. The training exercises are well chosen, appropriately ordered, and build on each other. Even a beginning dog owner should be able to teach the dog the basic essentials. Professional trainers will find the book useful as a template for teaching a beginning dog training course.
Dani Weinberg, Ph.D., CDBC, author of Teaching People, Teaching Dogs
Nan Arthur addresses the real life needs of regular people and the dogs they love. Whether your dog jumps all over, barks like a maniac, or pulls on the leash like a freight train, Chill Out Fido! is here to confidently say it doesn’t have to be that way. Whatever you’ve tried in the past, you haven’t tried this. Chill Out Fido! provides a step-by-step guide to uncovering what makes your dog act wild and crazy and, most importantly, sets out the tools you need to rebuild a foundation of calm, attentive behavior. Both you and your dog will breathe a sigh of relief!
Madeline Gabriel, CPDT, Former Manager of Behavior and Training, San Diego Humane Society and SPCA
Nan Arthur, CDBC, CPDT, KPACTP has been involved in the behavior and training field for more than fifteen years with dogs and over twenty with cats. Nan started her own business, Whole Dog Training, after 4 years with the San Diego Humane Society. Nan lives in El Cajon, California with her husband Mike and their two children Sashie and Tiffanie. They are also pet parents to Pepper, Goldie, and Austin (dogs) and Billy Jean, and Kelby, (cats).
Click here to view an excerpt.
What reviewers are saying...
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Dogs are not typically sedentary creatures, but they don't have to be hyperactive either. "Chill Out Fido! How to Calm Your Dog" is a guide for the dog owner who grows tired of their dog freaking out over daily things such as guests or the smell of meat. Advocating that these behaviors can be trained out of the dog, and offering tips to counteract or troubleshoot bad training, "Chill Out Fido!" is a practical dog training guide for any owner who wants to make their dog a more calm and lovable canine friend.”
James A. Cox
THE APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“Do you know a dog who is unfocused, "hyper," wild and crazy, stressed, unruly, out of control-- a dog who never listens? Do you personally have such a dog or have some of them as clients? Nan Arthur, CPDT-KA and CDBC, has the requisite training and behavior knowledge reflected in Chill Out Fido! The following quote says it all: "... never a need for anything other than positive methods of training and behavior modification" (p. vii). Arthur may be the big sister everyone wishes they had: patient, encouraging, wise -- a trainer who uses gentle, dog-friendly, science-based methods. The science is here, mostly in side-bars but also in the references and resources sections. Her lovely writing style explains the points a frustrated dog owner might bring up: Arthur fully counters everything in easy prose -- her experience shows. Chill Out Fido! is a Dogwise book, recognizable at a distance by the distinctive cover. In addition to the meat of the book there are 30 quick ideas to help you and your dog relax when you don't have time to manage or train, a stress test for your dog, resources and references, 10 tips for going through the exercises (e.g., be realistic, be consistent, set your dog up for success), as well as a handy list of other Dogwise titles. This is that rare book that was written for the self-starter as well as for the dog professional (day-trainers and new professionals especially) since each procedure is spelled out in clear, easy steps from start to finish. At first glance, Chill Out Fido! may appear rather simple, with four short chapters and eleven exercises, but I quickly became a fan. The chapter on diet alone was worth the price of the book (fully palatable for the non-scientist). Part one covers 14 reasons a dog may not be able to relax, how diet affects behavior, the road to relaxation (what is a calm dog, how they play, canine calming behaviors), and training concepts (markers, rewards [and fading them], reinforcement schedules, the voice as a tool, and body language). Part two consists of 11 exercises (problem behaviors), best tackled in order. Especially helpful for clients may be the sections on calm greetings, when the doorbell rings, getting out the leash, and paw desensitization. Each exercise has the same format: goals, benefits, equipment, prerequisites (like solid sit), training time (so people don't rush through, but instead build a solid foundation), getting the behavior started (in precise steps), building it and raising the bar (additional steps), and finally, problem solving if the steps need modification. Arthur teaches "relax" without a verbal cue and explains why: she will convince you to train a release cue if you don't already , and Chill Out Fido! has converted me from "Click, treat" to "Mark, treat" -- better for clients. And don't forget to smile! Chill Out Fido! will become a must-have book on every trainer's shelf. I would have preferred a detailed table of contents (with subheadings), more references to the stress test, and tighter copy editing but these mere blemishes do not detract one iota from the profound change Arthur's book will make in the lives of dogs. It is a new classic about "Dogs Gone Wild!”
Skye Anderson, writes for Yankee Dog and other publications.