The field of dog training has become fragmented, with owners choosing between training methods and teachers, each of whom often has a particular ‘brand’ and training systems that they sell and promote. This division of the market has meant that books focused on training have an ever-decreasing audience as owners turn to one big name or system. By steering clear of promoting any single trainer and covering all aspects of living with dogs, not just training, this book hopes to be of interest to owners across chosen training approaches.
The authors of this book approach training and behaviour modification with methods confidently supported by robust science as changing behaviour and teaching in ethical ways which dogs and owners alike will find enjoyable and engaging, and which therefore enhance the owner–dog bond. Techniques that use force, fear or intimidation can be incredibly damaging for the dog–owner relationship, and might result in dogs who are frightened or worried about what might happen to them in response to their behaviour. The authors of this book only promote evidence-based methods which enrich the lives of all involved, and help dogs to thrive, living their best lives, as happily and healthily as possible.
The purpose of the book is to encourage you to consider how the way we care for dogs, train them, and the activities we do with them affect our canine companions, and how, if we understand canine behaviour, we can make changes that improve the lives of the animals we love. Where suggestions for alternative methods or changes are made, the aim is to motivate the reader to make positive changes for their dog or dogs they work with. Care has been taken to avoid the book seeming judgemental and overly critical – however, it is likely that the content will highlight for some readers that the way dogs are trained and cared for often impacts their behaviour and well-being in a negative way.
Suzanne Rogers is an Independent Animal Welfare Consultant based in Surrey, UK.