Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

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Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:23 am

I just read "Katz on Dogs" and holy cow, is he a self-righteous little twit about food and medical care for dogs! Bleagh! He has a little tirade about how dog owners who go on the internet -- and worse, go on internet boards -- to find information about their dogs' medical conditions are the bane of all vets everywhere.

He has a good page or more about how Eukanuba, which he feeds, is "all my dog needs" and how low fat content is one of the most important things in a dog food.

He sneers that people actually believe that vets "are compromised, bribed, or influenced in some way by pet-food companies who lobby veterinarians or otherwise influence their recommendations."

I don't care, at all, that he has "elect[ed] to stay more or less within what I consider the mainstream dog community" and that "if I run out of Eukanuba, I stop at the supermarket and happily fill in with Pedigree or Alpo." Whatever he wants to do for his dogs affects me not at all.

I do care that he actively belittles dog owners who happen to know that Eukanuba, Pedigree, and Alpo are all bad foods.

I do care that he disparages dog owners who seek to learn about canine health and how to improve it, even if that search entails some discomfort for some veterinarians.

He's doing more harm than good, Katz is, and it's all so he can pat himself on his portly back and feel smug and sanctimonious about his own stupid choices.

Bleagh. I won't even pass this book along to a friend; it's going right into the trash.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby MaisyPancakes » Mon Dec 25, 2006 11:35 am

Oh that sucks. I'd always given him the benefit of the doubt for some reason, but f*ck him, then. Thanks for the headsup!!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Sabine » Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:10 pm

Okay, he's definitely off my list then. I had considered reading some of what he wrote because it sounded interesting, but I'm definitely not going to give any money to someone who is so obviously ignorant.
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby spiritdogs » Mon Dec 25, 2006 2:33 pm

He isn't particularly cool on dog behavior either, for what it's worth. I've read a couple of his books that I got as gifts, but I wouldn't go out and buy one.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:06 pm

[quote=spiritdogs]He isn't particularly cool on dog behavior either, for what it's worth. I've read a couple of his books that I got as gifts, but I wouldn't go out and buy one. [/quote]

His training techniques leave a bit to be desired, too. He's "helping" a woman who has a young Labrador; the Lab initially received not training at all and was not crated, and the owner is finally getting around to doing something about it. Katz writes:

[color:blue]"I suggested that she attach a leash and then step on it, perhaps a foot from his collar, while saying 'Lie down' and then 'stay.' Seamus [the Lab] struggled for a bit at first, but couldn't get up, so he had no choice but to lie down and stay."[/color]

Good lord. I trained my very first Sheltie to down that way, on the instructions of the instructor at our obedience class, and poor Briar not only wouldn't down for more than a year after that, but if she heard the word she'd go behind the plant in the corner of the living room. That was in 1989. That's a horribly stupid way to "teach" a down to a dog. I eventually got Briar to down by shoveling treats by the handful at her and lying down myself with her. She didn't have a good down until she was 2 1/2. Totally my fault.

My youngest Sheltie, Shiri, came to me at 10 weeks old from her breeder and already had a reliable down, which she's never lost. If I were to step on her leash, I think she'd bite the leash in half, leave the room, and refuse to come near me for a week. And I wouldn't blame her.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:14 pm

[quote=Mordanna]Okay, he's definitely off my list then. I had considered reading some of what he wrote because it sounded interesting, but I'm definitely not going to give any money to someone who is so obviously ignorant. [/quote]

Oh, he would so disapprove of ODO, Mordanna! rofl

I was so riled by his ignorance that I wanted to fire off an e-mail to him saying 'well, nutrition is a vitally important part of keeping a dog healthy into old age, but since you either re-home or kill YOUR dogs before they get old, I don't suppose you much care about that.'

But in the spirit of Christmas, I refrained.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Sabine » Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:53 pm

Haha, wise choice, Connie. :grin:

I wouldn't want to deal with him (or any of his followers) here on ODO!
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby sammy » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:07 pm

He's pissed me off in many ways on many topics - behavior, nutrition, putting down "dog people". Rehoming and euthaninising dogs when they had pretty workable issues. I gave him the benefit of the doubt at first but I've had the bun with that guy.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Bari » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:20 pm

I posted this back in October:

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?

He put Orson down for behavior problems which might have been resolved with some training.

Won't read him again.
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby EllaBella » Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:53 pm

Ick....I nearly bought 'A Dog Year' the other day--now I'm glad I didn't

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Calypso » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:23 am

I've never been a big Katz fan. My first experience with him was on slate.com and an article he wrote on how people who do animal rescue need a life and to stop compensating for their lacks by lavishing attention on rescue dogs. I wrote him an email explaining where he and I had a differing opinion. I felt that it was fairly diplomatic - similar to my writing style when I'm posting on a message board in a sensitive situation. He responded by telling me I was exactly like the people he was chastizing and that I clearly didn't read his whole article, or wasn't capable of undestanding what he wrote, or else I'd see that we weren't as completely different as I'd thought - basically that I wasn't all wrong, for all that I needed an emotional crutch. I was so offended - in fact I don't think I've ever been more offended by an Internet conversation, and think about the places I used to post!

I was getting ready to give him the benefit of the doubt since several of you have enjoyed some of his books, but now I'm not going to make the effort to change my mind. My small, emotionally crippled mind, if you believe what Katz thinks of me.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby sammy » Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:36 am

[quote=Calypso]I've never been a big Katz fan. My first experience with him was on slate.com and an article he wrote on how people who do animal rescue need a life and to stop compensating for their lacks by lavishing attention on rescue dogs. I wrote him an email explaining where he and I had a differing opinion. I felt that it was fairly diplomatic - similar to my writing style when I'm posting on a message board in a sensitive situation. He responded by telling me I was exactly like the people he was chastizing and that I clearly didn't read his whole article, or wasn't capable of undestanding what he wrote, or else I'd see that we weren't as completely different as I'd thought - basically that I wasn't all wrong, for all that I needed an emotional crutch. I was so offended - in fact I don't think I've ever been more offended by an Internet conversation, and think about the places I used to post!

I was getting ready to give him the benefit of the doubt since several of you have enjoyed some of his books, but now I'm not going to make the effort to change my mind. My small, emotionally crippled mind, if you believe what Katz thinks of me. [/quote]

No WAY!!!?!! :jawdrop: What an A$$. Why didn't anyone tell me this stuff when I suggested we read 'the dogs of bedlam farm'? I would've returned it to the store!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby CrazyCasey » Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:11 am

I had that in my Amazon cart (now deleted). You should post a review there too.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:57 am

[quote=CrazyCasey]I had that in my Amazon cart (now deleted). You should post a review there too. [/quote]

That's a very good idea. I will do that, thanks! :thumbup: I'll let you all know when it's up.

Calypso, I am not even surprised that you got that response from him. That is exactly the same thing that I disliked about his book: not his opinions per se, but his insistence that they're RIGHT and everyone who disagrees is WRONG.

We've all been around the internet for a long time. We've probably all had our share of verbal sparring matches, flame wars, and arguments -- over any number of topics. I post on dog boards, on political blogs, and on White Sox boards, and on all three, emotions can run very high.

But there comes a point in our evolution as human beings when we stop the bickering. We let it go. We know that we won't convince every single other person of the validity of our beliefs, and we are okay with that! When someone spits vitriol at us and says that THEIR dogs are GLOWING with health on XYZ Crap-In-A-Bag food, we say politely "That's great! Have a nice day!" And we put the person on 'ignore' or we block the e-mail address. We might laugh about it later with our friends, but we don't rise to the bait every time someone calls us out. We have more meaningful ways to use our time, and our self-respect doesn't demand that we scream the loudest, longest, and last.

Jon Katz has never gotten to that point. If I were to write him today and explain politely that his beliefs don't apply to me, I am absolutely certain that I would get back a response and that it would be very much like the one that you got, Calypso.

He's really tiresome.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby luvarescue » Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:28 pm

My first and only experience with Katz was the article that Calypso mentioned (and I'm so glad she did- I couldn't remember where I had read it). Right then I thought no way am I going to waste my time or money reading anything else he writes.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Sabine » Tue Dec 26, 2006 12:28 pm

Connie, if you do write that review, would you let me put it up on ODO as well please? I think that's definitely something that needs to be heard.
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:12 pm

Sure! This is a slower-than-slow week at work for me, so I actually welcome the opportunity to do something like this. Since I haven't actually put the book into the trash bin yet, I'll go through it tonight for things that I want to address in the review.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Sabine » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:46 pm

Great! :)
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Carson_Crazies » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:22 am

I have a lot of negative feelings about the guy, AND his works. It's absolutely terrifying what he writes about Border Collies (as if he were an expert), and behavior... I don't even have enough patience this morning to run a list of grievances, but it is long. And to think they're going to make a MOVIE out of his drivel??? Even his general dog info is questionable at best, and the scariest part is that the *general* public, and even some of the media are beginning to regard him as an expert in the field of dogs. *shudders*
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby luvarescue » Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:03 am

Yup, him and CM- they get all the publicity. I feel so bad for dogs owned by John Q. Public!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby PaulaS » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:23 am

Before I knew better, I enjoyed "A Dog Year" and "Bedlam Farm". Now that I know better, I made sure DH didn't buy me his latest book for Christmas!
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:45 pm

Okay, I did a review on Amazon. It hasn't been posted yet -- it takes a day or so? Anyway, I have the text of it if anyone wants to read it. Sorry, it's rather long. :grin:

I gave it one star, and titled the review "Not worth your time or money."

ETA: okay, Amazon posted my review, so I put a link to it in the General Discussions section of the board. :thumbup:

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby sammy » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:19 pm

GO CONNIE!!!
I can't believe the things he said about food and vaccination. What a doofus. I'd say there's going to be a backlash. And is it me or does he not come across as a hypocrite seeing as wrote in a Skat article about how he took Orson to a holistic vetr for treatmnet including accupuncture and then talked about what a huge change he saw in the dog (not enough change of course, since Orson did end up euthanised)

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby luvarescue » Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:36 am

Nice review, Connie.

I made the mistake of reading the reviews for "A Good Dog..." while I was on the Amazon site. It was very upsetting (I once had an Eskie that nipped at visitor's butts- after the first nip, she wore a basket muzzle when I had company- problem solved!). I was amazed at the reviews- half were saddened and disgusted (as I was) and half actually loved the book! I can't understand that!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Bari » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:05 am

Connie, I just went to Amazon to see your review and it's not there! The last one posted was from October, (a glowing review). Could they have deleted it? The book shows 95 reviews. Which book did you review.

This is from Bedlam Farms
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

DO NOT GIVE THIS MAN YOUR MONEY, December 19, 2006
Reviewer: Peter A. Gits "P. Gits" (Minnesota) - See all my reviews

The only thing worse than a dog owner like Jon Katz is someone who would profit from the suffering he imparts on the animals he supposedly loves so much. Katz is not a dog expert, he is an emotionally troubled, male drama queen who takes out his problems on his animals. I read this book expecting to learn about how to train and live with dogs. In this book, I learned Katz Method #1: Give the dog away if you don't quite "connect" with it. In his next book, you learn Katz Method #2: Kill the dog if you are too stupid to train it properly. The reader will also learn Katz Method #3: Keep telling yourself that you are doing all this because you love the dog soooooo much. Don't forget Katz Method #4: Set your dogs up for failure to provide fodder for your next exploitive, melodramatic book.

This is from A Dogs year (hardback)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Awful, December 27, 2006
Reviewer: Murphys Mom (Clinton Twp, MI) - See all my reviews
This was an awful attempted to sell a book to readers as a loving man-dog relationship! Orson needed to be rescued from Mr. Katz instead a healthy dog was euthanized. His chapter about Orson watching over him and being happy is a sad attempt to relieve some guilt. Mr. Katz should not be allowed to adopt any more dogs and I have to wonder about Pam giving him Pearl.
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:12 am

[quote=Bari]Connie, I just went to Amazon to see your review and it's not there! The last one posted was from October, (a glowing review). Could they have deleted it? The book shows 95 reviews - what's up with that? [/quote]

It's still there -- you have to scroll about halfway down the page to get to it. Here's the link: http://tinyurl.com/ydbzst

I am wondering if I will receive any communications from Mr. Katz, since he took the time to respond so snippily to Calypso's e-mail to him. rofl He probably reads his reviews on Amazon!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Bari » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:19 am

Wow Connie, you rock! I love the line: "tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory" lol
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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby connie » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:40 am

[quote=Bari]Wow Connie, you rock! I love the line: "tinfoil-hat conspiracy theory" lol
[/quote]

I have to say, I pick up some good turns of phrase hanging out on my baseball boards. Dog boards tend to be more polite as a rule, probably because 90% of the posters are women. But sports boards, which are mostly men, feature some pretty cutting comments.

It's interesting to see that a couple of Katz's other books got bad reviews on Amazon. Good. I agree with the reader who called Katz a "male drama queen" -- that occurred to me quite a few times as I struggled with "Katz On Dogs." He can't get over himself, and he projects it all onto his dogs.

And then the part where he says that of course dogs don't have souls made me want to just drive to his house and smack him in his silly face. He wouldn't know a soul if he tripped over it.

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby luvarescue » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:42 am

He DOES read his reviews! - and he responded to the negitive ones about "A Good Dog...". He gave himself four out of five stars!!! Oh, the ego!

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Re: Not gonna read any more Jon Katz. Ever.

Postby Bari » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:47 am

Bull Durham?
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