Book Review – The Dog Behavior Answers Book

Book Cover Dog Behavior Answers BookI definitely recommend this excellent dog behavior book.

One caveat though.

Our current understanding of dog social dynamics is moving farther away from “alpha” or “dominance” based ideas as we come to understand that wild wolf packs work differently than we thought and that dogs differ significantly from wolves in important ways.

Having seen some owners use even slight suggestions of “alpha” or “dominance” as excuses for destructive training methods, I am cautious in recommending books that references these ideas.

There *are* sections of this book that rely on that way of thinking. Fortunately, references are sparing and Arden tries to be clear that the intent is not to be a tyrant but rather to be a consistent and patient leader for your dogs.

If you would like a balanced explanation of dog “pack” dynamics and how they do or do not relate to training your pet, I highly recommend “The Other End of the Leash” by Patricia McConnell.

That being said, this book is fantastic. There was not a single question asked that I don’t hear all the time in practice. I can’t imagine a pet owner or veterinarian who couldn’t relate to concerns addressed in this book.

The question format makes the book much more interesting and relevant because you can really imagine what it’s like to be the owners of Dolly the Great Dane who greets people by sticking her nose in inappropriate places. Plus, the answers are straightforward and helpful.

As I said, definitely recommend the book, and I’m look forward to reading The Cat Behavior Answers Book too.

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