The Dog Listener - Jan Fennell

Discuss dog books! Anything from training to holistic remedies, or even just dog-related fiction.
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The Dog Listener - Jan Fennell

Postby Morgan » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:02 pm

I am wondering if anyone has read this book. I finished it in 2 days so now I am going back to actually absorb her concepts. Has anyone tried her methods? Any feedback would be appreciated. I am new so I hope that this book has not already been discussed!

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Re: The Dog Listener - Jan Fennell

Postby bunni » Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:04 am

This post is a little old. Am I too late to talk about this book?

I'd very much like to hear what people think about it. I thought it was well worth reading, a very good book. It's been a while since I read it and my memory lapses for exact details but I did have mixed feelings about her base theory and instructions.

In many parts of the book where she sites specific examples of behavior (dogs barking at the fence, for example) her perceptions and solutions are great. However, the base of the plan, the importance placed on such things as eating before my dogs (or in front of them) and being sure that I walk through the door first...those things just don't impress me and I can't quite believe that they impress my dogs.

I actually have no problem walking through doors first, if I tell the paque to "wait" but they don't necessarily take me seriously in other areas. I do think it's a leadership issue (and the fact that I'll do stupid things like yelling "stop" from my computer three times without ever turning around and actually making anyone stop).

I need to read this book again. I'd be really interested to hear what anyone else thinks about it.

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Re: The Dog Listener - Jan Fennell

Postby Sabine » Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:16 pm

it's never too late, any and all comments are welcome. i just noticed i haven't even commented on it myself yet!

and i agree with you, overall her advice is good and especially useful for someone who has never trained a dog before, but some of her ideas are overrated.

my dog knows who is boss, even if he generally is the first to walk through a door, i prefer it that way due to living with 5 cats and having to make sure none of them escape outside. they try getting out every chance they get, so i have to make sure i can react in time and can't pay that much attention to the dog. but even if i didn't have the cats, things like "who walks through the door first" aren't something i put a lot of importance on.

i also find the whole "gesture eating" thing over the top. as long as you control the food source that's enough in my eyes, even if you apply a "nothing in life is free" (NILIF) approach of training for one reason or another.

one other thing that stands out that i do not recommend is ignoring the dog for extensive periods of time. ten minutes, fifteen minytes, half an hour if it's about something major, is enough. dogs are very social animals and withdrawing attention is a strong punishment for them, but ignoring a dog for hours or days can (in my opinion at least) do more damage than good. it's wasted time in which you could be rewarding many diferent desirable behaviors and make a much more lasting impression on your dog.

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