Dogs Are From Neptune, 2nd Edition

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Jean Donaldson
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Dogwise Publishing
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But people are on another planet!
Dogdom's most influential dog trainer and behaviorist, Jean Donaldson, is back with a newly revised and expanded edition of her popular Dogs Are From Neptune. In 41 essays, Jean highlights the common and frequently wrong-headed notions people have about why dogs behave the way they do, and explains what really motivates your pooch and how to change behavior. Jean's innovative ideas are delivered via quirky and witty but always scientifically based essays that will help create Aha! moments for every dog lover on earth. If you loved Jean's best selling The Culture Clash, you will enjoy learning more about the dogs who inhabit planet Neptune and the people who don't!

Your dog is from Neptune narrow the gap by learning more about:
The truth and power of consequences and how you can use them to train your dog.
The best ways to deal with common problem behaviors including resource guarding, separation anxiety and fear.
Why you should be skeptical of anyone whose training techniques and philosophies sound appealing but cannot be backed up with scientific evidence.
Dispelling common myths associated with using food in training, dominance and whether playing tug with your dog really encourages aggression.
While we may be on different planets, learn how the fundamentals of behavior often apply equally to dogs and people.
Why it seems that owners become more attentive trainers when they dress their dogs in costumes!

What experts are saying about Dogs Are From Neptune
Jean Donaldson shows how using positive training methods instead of force can solve the most frequently encountered behavioral and emotional problems in dogs. Written with flair and examples from many case studies it is also a delight to read.
Stanley Coren, author of The Modern Dog and Why Does My Dog Act That Way?

Jean has done it again! Her astute grasp of behavior, combined with her wry sense of humor and engaging story-telling style, has given us a new edition of Neptune that is sure to offer fresh insights to even the most seasoned dog behavior specialists.
Pamela Reid, PhD, CAAB, author of Excel-Erated Learning

What reviewers are saying...

I was thrilled to finally have an excuse to sit down and enjoy the work of Jean Donaldson, and this book did not disappoint. I suspect I am one of the last trainers around who didn't read the first edition, but atleast I can say that I came to this one with fresh eyes, albeit high expectations.
The book contains numerous short essays that follow something similar to an advice column format. Someone presents a specific scenario, and Donaldson provides advice about how to remedy the problem. These are grouped into larger chapters that share a common theme. The book is meticulously edited, aside from the occasional questionable punctuation choice, and Donaldson's writing is clear, accessible, entertaining, and emphasizing the benefits of rewards-based training. One of my favorite sections outlines ten common myths about dog training. Of course, I was already on board with the need to debunk these, but having bad numerous frustrating conversations with people who hold on to these myths, I loved Donaldson's pithy and compelling argument in the favor of the truth.
While I believe this book is a great read for any dog owner, I think trainers and other professionals will find it a particularly valuable resource. Even if the ideas are well within these readers' grasps, the way they are presented will almost certainly help trainers find effective ways to make their case with clients who need to be won over before they will buy in to the methods being presented.
Donaldson does occasionally slip into trainer-ease, but I suspect that the lay reader will still understand what Donaldson says, either from context or by giving these few trickier passages a second or third read.
I do have a few small criticisms of the book. The first is the occasional use of cutesy language like walkies for walks and snackies for snacks/treats. While this does contribute to the overall tone of fun and joviality in the book, it is not particularly my cup of tea.
Second, while I never disagreed with Donaldson's advice, there were one of two occasions where it felt a bit incomplete, including one case where I would have recommended a muzzle for an aggression issues, and one (with a dirt-eating puppy) where I thought exploring a possible underlying medical issue would be advisable.
Finally, there were a number of cases where handlers were having problems with their dogs in a dog park setting. While the advice in each case was sound, and I have no doubt that the protocols outlined would be effective at reducing or eliminating the problem behaviors, I felt that Donaldson might have placed too much emphasis on the importance of these dogs continuing to have opportunities to visit the dog park. In particular, there was a Boxer described (starting on page 114) as being frequently snarked due to his exuberant manner. The owner reported that the dog had now begun retaliating, rather than backing off. In my mind, this dog is not necessarily a great candidate for a dog park. I wish there had been at least a mention of finding him a few playmates who enjoy his shenanigans and opting for one-on-one play dates with those dogs.
These issues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I tore through it in two sittings because I honestly could not wait to see what was next. The short essays offer a great variety of cases to examine, with the option to apply the lessons in other challenging situations. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in dog behavior. It is a joy to read, and fount of incredibly valuable insight from a training great.
Adrienne Hovey, Editor-in-chief of The APDT Chronicle of the Dog and editor of The Dog Trainer's Resource 3.

Author Jean Donaldson has over 30 years experience in dog behavior and training and is the Founder and Director of the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. Jean's award winning books include The Culture Clash and Oh Behave! She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her Chow, Buffy. Visit to keep up to date with Jean and her work.

Click here to view an excerpt.