I only know a little bit about dog training. My scant knowledge comes from my first dog, Lady. My sister received her as a Christmas present from our Aunt, back when I was 12. I remember accompanying my dad to weekly training sessions with Lady, where we taught her basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come.”
Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz’ Love That Dog Training Program uses positive reinforcement, which, I’ve since learned, is the same method we used for Lady. Rather than punishing the dog for misbehaving, positive reinforcement rewards the dog for doing something right. For example, you command the dog to sit. She sits, and gets a treat. Now she knows that every time you say, “Sit,” she’s going to get something tasty.
This well-written book goes into great detail on every aspect of dog training – from basic commands to how to stop bad behaviors like biting and barking. There’s even a section on how to teach your dog to clean up its own toys! (Now if only my cats can learn to do that.)
Information on types of collars, needed equipment, dog-proofing your home, and how to recognize a good dog breeder start off the book, which then jumps into the beginnings of the training program.
Sylvia-Stasiewicz, who has worked with Bo Obama and the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs, recommends to first set up training goals, then develop a weekly plan, followed by a training log to record your dogs’ progress.
Later sections of the book cover dog grooming, vet visits, water safety and more specialized training for AKC obedience trials and hunting and tracking. However, the meat of this book has detailed instructions for the training that your dog will need on a daily basis, making it a must-have for any dog owner.