Topics include on-leash encounters, understanding healthy and unhealthy play, and a guide to assessing your dog and his behavior with other dogs.
This is one of those books that I think ALL dog owners and potential dog training instructors should read!
Sue is a very pragmatic canine professional with a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experience from which we can all benefit.
Having been lucky enough to attend one of her seminars when she was in the UK I was struck by her profound empathy with both dogs and people which is reflected in this publication.
The author is at pains to emphasise the importance of management for the benefit of all dogs, not just the ones at the end of our leads, and all people, not just fellow dog owners.
If nothing else I wish all dog owners would read the following!
“The absolute hardest….. way for dogs to greet and meet is on leash. And there are really only two potential outcomes for the greeting, and neither is particularly useful or desirable:
1. After the initial investigative sniffing and greeting ritual, the dogs play.
2. After the initial investigative sniffing and greeting ritual, the dogs fight.
You basically get the same problematic dog either outcome. Whether fighting or playing, on leash encounters usually produce a dog that pulls and strains and often lunges to get to other dogs.”
In today’s world where many dog owners are obsessed with “socialisation” to the detriment of the behaviour of their own dog and those of others, her advice to teach our dogs to ignore others is well placed. Sue goes on to elaborate on how following this suggestion can make all parties feel comfortable and relaxed whether in town or the countryside.
Part 2 focuses on inter dog play and how to identify healthy/unhealthy play as well as the cast of characters one may encounter in group situations so that owners can recognise which may be compatible or risky playmates for their own pet.
Having witnessed many unhappy confrontations over the decades due to lack of owner intervention I would recommend this book to all new (and old) owners alike in order, so they are better equipped to avoid potential problems in the future.