For the love of dog

Discuss dog books! Anything from training to holistic remedies, or even just dog-related fiction.
sammy
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For the love of dog

Postby sammy » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:00 pm

I think that's the name of Patricia McConnell's new book. Has anyone read it?
I was having a blue day so I figured I'd treat myself to a book order from amazon.ca.
Anybody have any favorites?

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby Bari » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:30 pm

I'm halfway through "A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me" by Jon Katz. It's a small paperback and a very pleasant read so far. Has anyone else read it?
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sammy
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby sammy » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:16 am

I have only read one Jon Katz book and it was a pleasant read. I was recently horrified to find out he euthanised Orson he supposed 'soul dog'. He rehomed Homer, euthanised Orson for some bc behavioral issue. I dunno if it's fair to judge without knowing ALL the details but I won't be reading anymore Jon Katz.

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby PaulaS » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:50 am

I have read "A Dog Year" and "The Dogs of Bedlam Farm". I did enjoy them, but after hearing and reading more of Katz (a la what Sammy mentioned), I also won't be reading any more of his books.
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby Bari » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:56 am

Where did you hear that from...I don't want to waste my time finishing it if he is unworthy of my time.
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sammy
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby sammy » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:19 am

The fact that he euthanised Orson was written in one of his columns. From what I have read I think Orson's probalems could have been managed esp since he lives on a farm. He rehomed Homer in "the dogs of bedlam farm"-- I sort of understood that but now I see a scary pattern forming and I'm not sure I believe he does these things in the dog's best interest. I'm waiting to see what happens to Rose.

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby PaulaS » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:57 am

Bari, here's part of the story. What he doesn't reveal is that he opted to euthanize him. Without even consulting a behaviorist.

http://www.slate.com/id/2148138/

I learned a lot about this jackass from the Border Collie Board. If you want to sift through a lot, I can point you to some links over there.
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby Bari » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:09 pm

That is so horrendous, I can't comprehend it. Thank you for the heads-up.
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby connie » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:01 am

I think that was an awful decision to face. I'm not going to rip him, though, since I just a few weeks ago euthanized a rescue Sheltie who had less pronounced aggressive tendencies than Orson.

I don't know what I would have done if I were Katz and Orson were my dog. I like to think I would have considered other options, but I just don't know.

The whole question of 'what is permissible in terms of aggression in dogs' is one that will probably be debated for as long as humans own dogs. No easy answers.

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby sammy » Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:57 am

The thing for me about Orson was that he was just fine with his family and *I think* people he knew? Someone correct me if I am wrong on that.
The guy lives on a farm quite a ways form his nearest neighbor- so couldn't that situation have been managed? I mean come on this is the dog you describe as you soul dog; the dog whose story has made you buckets of money? Build a kennel run for him, learn to crate him when company is over, put up a warning sign for people who come to the farm. Friends of mine have a sign that says "Guard dog on duty. Blow horn" so that they can grab the dog before people get out of their cars.
I dunno. I can't decide and if it was just ONE dog I'd be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt or as Paula says If he said he had consulted a behaviorist.

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby connie » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:16 pm

The thing for me about Orson was that he was just fine with his family and *I think* people he knew? Someone correct me if I am wrong on that.
The guy lives on a farm quite a ways form his nearest neighbor- so couldn't that situation have been managed? I mean come on this is the dog you describe as you soul dog; the dog whose story has made you buckets of money? Build a kennel run for him, learn to crate him when company is over, put up a warning sign for people who come to the farm. Friends of mine have a sign that says "Guard dog on duty. Blow horn" so that they can grab the dog before people get out of their cars.
I dunno. I can't decide and if it was just ONE dog I'd be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt or as Paula says If he said he had consulted a behaviorist.
The article in that link doesn't have much information about some of those points, and I haven't read anything else about it, so I have no idea.

He says [color:"blue"]I'd tried every tactic from sheepherding to acupuncture to calm him, and I'd had considerable success�I thought.[/color] but he doesn't mention what else had been tried, so there's no indication that he did -- or didn't -- consult a behaviorist.

He also says [color:"blue"]for reasons that weren't clear, he suddenly became aggressive and bit three people.[/color] Definitely, it matters whom he bit. If he bit people in the household, that's -- to me -- a huge problem and not likely to have a solution. If he bit the mailman and the meter reader, that's a bit different and maybe can be dealt with.

I also don't know that Katz has made a great deal of money from his books about his BC's. Writing books, unless you're Nora Roberts or Stephen King, tends not to generate an income that impresses.

In his defense, I do see what he means about the moral component of this. Whether or not I would have euthanized Orson, had he been my dog, I think that people owe it to the dog to consider the dog's quality of life. Simply remaining alive is not always the best way.

That's one point that Cesar Millan makes in his book that I vehemently disagree with: he wants no dogs euthanized, ever. He wants them to live out their lives in safe, no-kill shelters -- even if they can't be around humans or animals. I think that's a terrible fate for a dog. I believe that a dog often does better, in the karmic and cosmic scheme of things, with a humane death than it does living with whatever demons or deficiencies plague it and cause its aberrant behavior.

Here's a strange thing: a local woman I know, who is a communicator, told a mutual friend a few weeks ago to tell me that the dog who'd had such problems and was now dead, wanted me to know that he thanked me and that he was happier out of this life than he'd been in it. She meant Danny, the foster I euthanized when the rescue couldn't find a place for him and his fear-aggression.

The funny thing is, I believe this woman. I feel, and felt, that Danny was not necessarily ready to go, but he was less prepared to stay, and that all his life, pretty much, he'd felt backed into a corner. When any being feels that way, it's no way to live.

So there is a lot about the Katz/Orson situation that I don't know. Maybe if I knew it, I'd loathe Katz. I don't know.

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby jones » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:22 am

For the Love of a Dog was great! I finished it recently and here's what I just posted on another forum about it -

...I just wanted to give you all the heads up that it is excellent - highly recommended. Particularly for those of you who have read nearly every training book on earth but never get tired of reading about dogs, this one is a little different... the central questions of the book are 'do dogs have emotions, and do they think?' McConnell convincingly argues that they do both (which, as she points out, most dog owners would already agree with - but the scientific community so far mostly does not accept) by analyzing their behavior and drawing biological comparisons between humans and dogs.

One of the points she makes that I really enjoyed - because it's plain common sense and I like that - is that all too often people (by "people" she typically means scientists and some formal trainers) anthropomorphize dogs in negative ways - they're angry and aggressive, they're fearful - but never in positive ways - like that they can feel and express happiness or love, for example. She describes specific cases in her practice in which so-called anthropomorphization would have actually helped solve or even prevent a dog's behavior problems.

Only McConnell could make the particulars of the limbic system or human cerebral cortex into a page-turner... she truly stands out among "dog book" writers and I encourage people to pick this one up so I can babble on about it with someone else!

(On the Jon Katz topic... I've never been a big fan. I first read 'The New Work of Dogs' and I felt it was misogynistic and condescending, and when I read 'A Dog Year' I couldn't help but feel he was very hypocritical and selfish with his own dogs, particularly Homer. But maybe I should go to a Katz thread :). )

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Re: For the love of dog

Postby Bari » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:18 am

I just ordered this book and The Other End of The Leash". I lent mine to I forgot who and I want to read it again.

BTW: How is your puppy-boy?
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Re: For the love of dog

Postby jones » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:44 pm

[quote=Bari]BTW: How is your puppy-boy? [/quote]

He's great! I'll post an update in the general section... :)


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