Are you connected with your dog?
Getting connected with your dog is the key to building a relationship in which learning can flourish and the needs of both the dog and the owner are met. Relationships are built on communication, so having a common language that both sides can understand is of paramount importance. Luckily, dogs are masters of body language and you can learn to utilize movement and other kinds of body language to help build an effective communications loop with your dog.
Once you know how to communicate with your dog, that knowledge combined with positive training techniques can make you a much more effective trainer. And your dog will become a willing partner, one who trusts you and is willing to work with you to learn behaviors. Over time, your dog will flip the Magic Switch and begin to use the thinking part of his brain (the Frontbrain) more often than just the reactive part of his brain (the Hindbrain). And you will have achieved a huge step forward in your ability to train and interact with your canine companions!
Learn how to
Use subtle body language your dog can understand to direct or redirect your dog s movements.
Be consistent and coherent in your interactions with your dogs.
Mark and reinforce behaviors you want to encourage.
Use exercises shown in the accompanying DVD to build you skill and confidence as a trainer.
Author Brenda Aloff is a professional dog trainer specializing in problem behavior. Brenda teaches puppy socialization, fundamentals of com¬petition obedience, conformation, tracking, musical freestyle, and agility classes at Heaven On Arf Behavior and Training center in Midland, Michigan where she lives. She is a member of The Asso¬ciation of Pet Dog Trainers, The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, and The International Association of Dog Behavior Counselors. Brenda travels all over the United States giving talks on canine aggression and learning theory. She is the author of Aggression in Dogs; Practical Management, Prevention & Behavior Modification, Canine Body Language; A Photographic Guide, and Positive Reinforcement; Training Dogs in the Real World.
Use exercises shown in the accompanying DVD to build your skill and confidence as a trainer.
NOTE: The DVD is located inside the back cover of the book.
Click here to view an excerpt.
What reviewers are saying...
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
5.0 out of 5 stars *A comprehensive, detailed, practical, experienced based, and thoroughly 'user friendly' manual from beginning to end*
For the past 12,000 years of human history, domesticated dogs have been man's constant companion, helper, and occasional food source. Dogs come in an immensely diverse profusion of breeds, sizes, and dispositions. A professional dog trainer specializing in canine problem behavior, Brenda Aloff has produced "Get Connected With Your Dog: Emphasizing The Relationship While Training Your Dog" a book/dvd combination training manual that will teach dog owners how to use the subtle language of the body to direct (or redirect) their dog's movements; how to be both consistent and coherent in their interactions with their dogs; and how to identify, mark, reinforce those behaviors to be encouraged from those behaviors to be extinguished. The accompanying 90-minute DVD provides exercises and illustrative examples for building skill and confidence as a trainer. Enhanced with 286 black-and-white photos and an extensive \index, "Get Connected With Your Dog" is an ideal, step-by-step training manual for first-time dog owners as well as aspiring and aspiring dog trainers. A comprehensive, detailed, practical, experienced based, and thoroughly 'user friendly' manual from beginning to end, "Get Connected With Your Dog" is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, veterinary school, and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists. James A. Cox
DOGS: NEW SOUTH WALES
Brenda Aloff brings you new ways to train your dog and to improve you understanding of how your dog perceives the communications you give to him. This is done by providing you with a series of exercises based on positive reinforcement training and a new set of protocols based on developing any relationship. This method of training has already helped numerous dogs and owners to have fun together and live in harmony. Once you know how to communicate with your dog, you can become a much more effective trainer. And you dog will become a more willing partner, one who trusts you and is willing to work with you to learn behaviors. Over time, your dog will learn to flip the magic-switch and use the thinking part of his brain (the front brain) more often than the reactive part of his brain (the hindbrain). And you will have achieved a huge step forward in your ability to train and interact with your canine companion. This book includes a DVD with exercises to help build your confidence as a trainer. Editor
NORTH SHORE NEWS
There was a time when training a dog required forcing them to your will with no regard for the psychological implications on the dog. We ve come a long way and today most trainers are much more in tune with building a relationship with your dog. Brenda Aloff had been working with dogs most of her life. She has published two previous books on training and produced accompanying DVD s. Throughout her long career, Aloff has been fascinated by dog behavior. Her studies of dog body language and their social interaction helped develop her approach to effective communication with dogs and how to modify their behavior. In this incredibly detailed book, Aloff takes you through a step-by-step explanation of how to connect with your dog and guide him to the behavior you would like to see. Showing the same patience she uses with her canine students, she builds upon each lesson to help you understand not just the how the training, but also the why of it. As she explains how to work with your dog, Aloff tells what you should be doing and also what signals you should be seeing from your dog and to respond to those signals. With positive reinforcement and patience, these lessons will become easier for both of you. Throughout this book, black and white photographs illustrate the lessons being discussed and a DVD is also included with the book There is so much information here that it is likely to become a handy reference book to return to again and again. Terry Peters
THE APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
Brenda Aloff s Get Connected protocol is quite different from other books I ve read that focus on enhancing the relationship with a dog, body and social pressures, to communicate, rather than asking the dog to learn the language that is natural to humans. The book is intended for experienced handlers competent trainers. It is definitely not for amateurs. About half of the book is dedicated to the theory behind the protocol, and while I did sometimes wish we could get to the good stuff already, the background information was valuable, and it didn't ever drag or get boring. Aloff also covered some pre-protocol exercises that dogs and handlers should master before getting into the meat of Get Connected. In my practice I generally tell clients that people are terrible at speaking dog. Aloff is attempting to teach us to do just that. This makes me just a bit nervous. It seems that, unlike simple lure/reward or clicker training, doing these exercises incorrectly could do actual damage to the relationship, or at least create the very opposite of what is intended (which is a dog who comfortably yields to body pressure). Aloff is careful to explain that certain exercises are not safe for an already strained dog-owner relationship, and I appreciate those cautions. I generally found Aloff s explanations of the exercises pretty clear and easy to understand, and the DVD certainly helped any time I had questions. However, many of the exercises require incredibly subtle reading of not just the dog s body language, but his intent, and I finished the book and DVD thinking that I would very much like to try these exercises, but I would want Aloff, or someone equally well-versed in their execution, there to help me through it the first few times. Aloff also makes the point that, as handlers, it is our job to tell the dog when something is none of his business. This is the philosophy behind her use of Get Between in dealing with reactivity. This is in direct conflict with some other training philosophies that I subscribe to. Books like Control Unleashed discourage us from telling our dogs that the things they are concerned about are none of their business because, (to paraphrase from one of my favorite movies) dogs have a funny way of deciding for themselves what is and is not their business. I love the idea of a relationship that is so strong that the dog can respect and trust his handler s assertion that things will be fine, but I am not sure whether it s realistic or not. In terms, of the content of this book, I am fascinated and intrigued, and looking forward to trying some of the exercises on my own dog, who Aloff describes as the perfect candidate for this kind of work. If I had unlimited resources I would much prefer to go hang out at Aloff s house for a week and learn directly from her. In terms of the nuts and bolts of the book and DVD I have only minor criticisms. The book does have a number of typos and a propensity for random capitalization. On the plus side, the photos are beautiful and do a great job of illustrating the related points. The DVD is a great asset to the book, but there are times when Aloff s microphone is distractingly loud. The sound quality is much better when she does voice over, rather than speaking while training and being videotaped. There were a couple of occasions when Aloff demonstrated exercises with an admittedly expert dog, and I wished she had shown it with a dog new to the task, so we could see her work through problems. For most exercises she did a great job of showing a range of dogs and talking through various difficulties the handler might encounter in introducing the task. As I said, I am intrigued by the concepts outlined in this book, but I would be wary to recommend it to any but the most experienced handler. It requires a gift for reading canine body language that very few people inherently possess. I hope that I will either get up the courage to attempt some of the exercises myself, or find my way to a Brenda Aloff workshop in the near future, because I can certainly see how, applied correctly, the Get Connected protocol could be a great tool for taking the dog-human relationship to the next level. Adrienne Hovey, managing editor of The APDT Chronicle of the Dog