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In her latest book, Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell turns to the subject of managing and training what she labels “Power Dogs.” This grouping includes dozens of breeds who were originally bred to hunt game or to protect people and their property, many of whom were also employed as fighting dogs. These are physically strong dogs relative to their size, usually with a mix of ancient Mastiff and Bulldog ancestry, and some have more recently been bred to Terriers as well. These dogs tend to be protective, tenacious, and often exhibit aggression toward other dogs, but at the same time are playful, energetic and smart.
So what are the secrets to successful Power Dog ownership? First you need to know your individual dog’s traits and drives and then adopt a proactive management program to avoid situations where problems may arise. Second is to adopt training techniques which allow your dog to be rewarded consistently for behavior you want to reinforce and remove rewards from behaviors you want to discourage. These two strategies will help you empower your dog to make the right decisions and make him a well trained companion dog!
Praise for Power Dogs:
As the owner of a Bullmastiff rescue, I love how this book offers a fun but sensible approach to adopting, training and living with formidable canines. The author’s detailed research clearly supports “instinct-centric training” that acknowledges each breed’s heritage while offering great information to support the owners of these magnificent but often misunderstood animals. Amy Shojai, author of ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems in Your Multi-Dog Household
Having worked with pit bull type dogs that had been purposefully and effectively bred for fighting, I can attest that it is NOT all in how you raise them. This resource is a refreshing, realistic, and much needed look at important considerations for anyone thinking of sharing their life with a power breed. Katenna Jones, author of Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer
A fresh look at a type of dog that is misunderstood and sometimes demonized. Dawn helps the reader understand that nurture influences nature, and we cannot separate them just because we want to. She also has some very practical advice for the owners and handlers of some pretty tough dogs. A well-written, well organized book. Trish King, author of Parenting Your Dog
This book is chock-full of the collective wisdom of those considered the best of the best in the field of animal training and behavior today. Not just for owners of power dog breeds and those who train them, this book is perfect for any owner or professional who wants a comprehensive guide to selecting and training a dog of any breed. I’m not easily impressed, but this book has impressed me from start to finish. Sarah Kalnajs, author of the DVD series Language of Dogs and Am I Safe?
Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell is a lawyer-turned-professional-dog-trainer with a passion for helping dog owners see the world from a more canine point of view. She helps her clients understand and appreciate their dogs as amazing members of a species that started sharing their lives with humans thousands of years ago. The physical traits and instincts that make every dog breed unique influence how those dogs behave and often present training challenges. In her first book, Dawn addresses the joys and frustrations of living with and training terriers. "Terrier-Centric Dog Training" discusses instinctive terrier behaviors and explains how to work with those instincts to train a terrier to cope with modern urban life. She has also contributed to The Association of Professional Dog Trainer's compilation book "Top Tips from Top Trainers" and her training articles have been published in local and national magazines.