The Everything Dog Training And Tricks Book
Author: Gerilyn Bielakiewicz
After our two rescue dogs both passed away earlier this year of old age, my wife and I have recently decided to get another dog. Now that we have two very small children, we decided a puppy would be a good way to reintroduce a canine to our home and our boys. Now, the hard part is getting this new, young dog to be anywhere near as good of a pet as our recently departed. I had this book sitting in our home library and figured it would be a good refresher on training a puppy (the last time I was around one was probably 20 years ago at this point).
The basis of Bielakiewicz’s training theories is positive reinforcement and conditioning training. Instead of ever punishing a dog or using devices or force to train a dog, it’s about rewarding positive behaviors and eliminating the causes of bad behaviors. I agreed with a lot of what I read here, and really enjoyed the step by step training methods for anything you could want to teach your dog to do. I’m anxious to try the clicker techniques with our new puppy, but I’m not sure how well they would have worked with our stubborn old hound dog who was single minded when she got a scent of something.
Towards the end of the book there are also several chapters on breaking bad habits (leash pulling, excessive barking, digging, etc.) and basic training (leash walking, potty training, socializing) for puppies. The order of the chapters is a bit out of whack, with you learning how to train a dog to retrieve water bottles from the fridge or have multiple dogs execute cookie passing before teaching “heel” or potty training. I imagine the new age beliefs of the author may turn some Cesar Milan fans off, as the author recommends things like dog acupuncture, massage, and holding off on vaccinations if possible and never using a choker collar.