Melissa McCue-McGrath CPDT-KA, wrote this book in response to a dog nearly killing a 6'4" man and his German shepherd in her city. After that terrible incident and a decade of working with frustrated dogs in urban centers, she spoke with professionals in related dog industries. She consulted with veterinarians, rescue volunteers, behavior specialists, certified dog trainers, dog daycare providers, groomers and more to identify why urban dogs are failing, and what we need to do to help these dogs succeed.
The same issues -- and solutions -- came up again and again across the board.
This book explains how to find the right dog for a city environment; identifies how to find a good caretaker for your pet; defines "behaviorist"; explains how to get exercise for an athletic dog in a city of leash-laws; and pontificates on how to responsibly advocate for an your dog.
Most importantly, this book lays out how exactly to find reputable help for any possible issue, and holds your hand if things are not working as hoped.
This is not a dog training book - there are thousands on the market already. Instead, this book will supplement any science-based training regimen. It gives insight as to why dogs do what they do, but perhaps more importantly, it explains why people do what they do and why we must do better for the sake of our urban dogs.
We all need to do better – our urban dogs are in the balance.
Melissa McCue-McGrath, CPDT-KA is a certified professional dog trainer in greater Boston with over 10 years and 800 cases under her belt. She grew up in a dog-sledding family in rural Maine and now sits as the co-Training Director of New England Dog Training Club, the oldest AKC obedience club in the country. She advocates for urban canine sports and science-based training techniques to help dogs cope in the "new normal". Additionally, Melissa writes alongside one of her best friends, Dr. Sip Siperstein, for NPR's Car Talk FIDO Blog. She rather infrequently updates her MuttStuff blog and Muttstuff Facebook Page. As a result of this book, Melissa started #HandsOnFirst, a movement that encourages rescue groups and breeders to stop shipping dogs directly to potential dog owners sight-unseen. #HandsOnFirst explains what responsible rescues, shelters, fosters and reputable breeders actually look like, and educates people how to find a dog that will be best suited to their lifestyle and environment. She and her husband have a daughter named Aislyn. They currently live outside of Boston with their 2 cats, a fish and a snail. The McGraths are actively looking for their next family dog.