Synopses & Reviews
In a nation where our love of dogs keeps growing and dog ownership has reached an all-time high, confusion about dogs and their behavioral problems is skyrocketing. Many dogs are out of control, untrained, chewing up furniture, taking medication for anxiety, and biting millions of people a year.
Now, in this groundbreaking new guide, Jon Katz, a leading authority on the human-canine bond, offers a powerful and practical philosophy for living with a dog, from the moment we decide to get one to the sad day when one dies. Conventional training methods often fail dog owners, but Katz argues that we know our dogs better than anyone else possibly could, and therefore we are well suited to train them. It is imperative, he says, that we think rationally and responsibly about how we choose, train, and live with the dogs we love, and the more we learn about ourselves, the better we can recognize their wonderful animal natures. Misinterpreting dogs is a profound obstacle to understanding them.
Katz believes that both people and dogs are unique a chow differs from a Lab just as a city dweller differs from a farmer and he describes how such individuality isn't addressed by even the best and most popular training methods. Not every training theory is for everyone, notes Katz, but almost anyone can train a dog and live with him comfortably. Katz on Dogs is filled with no-nonsense advice and answers to such key questions as:
- What kind of dog should I have? Is there is a specific breed or kind of dog for my personality, family, or living situation?
- What is the best way to train a dog?
- Can I trust my vet?
- How often (and for how long) can a dog be left alone?
- Is itpreferable to have only one dog, or are more better?
- What are the secrets to successful housebreaking?
- What are my dogs thinking, if anything?
- How can I walk my dog instead of having her walk me?
- Is it ever okay to give away a dog you love?
- When is it time to put my dog down?
Katz draws from his own experience, his interactions with thousands of dog owners, vets, breeders, dog rescue workers, trainers, and behaviorists, and he has tested his approach with volunteer dog owners around the country. Their helpful and often inspiring stories illustrate how all of us can live well with our dogs. You can do it, Katz contends. You can live a loving and harmonious life with your dog.
"As a journalist and columnist on the topic of dogs, and as a lifetime dog owner, Katz manages to breathe new life into the pet-care genre. Though occasionally preachy and redundant, the manual has an empathetic tone; Katz makes clear that he hasn't always been an expert: it was after living with many dogs and only after adopting 'a demented border collie' that he was forced to 'either learn how to train this hooligan or get rid of him.' What Katz stresses above all is that every dog is different-due to breeding, environment and temperament, to name just a few factors-and therefore, every human-dog relationship varies. As a result, Katz's book says there can never be one universal, inflexible methodology for training-unlike most training manuals, which usually argue one practice is superior to others. Says Katz, 'training methods fail... if they don't take into account the owner's psyche as well as the dog's.' Despite these beliefs, Katz leans on positive reinforcement and offers numerous practical solutions to common behavioral problems. He reiterates that dogs are 'comparatively simple animals' that we all too often personify-much to the detriment of the human-dog bond. Photos. Agent, Richard Abate. " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Katz writes in a calm, measured tone (seeming to follow his own advice about calming a dog before training it) and fills the text with examples, both positive and negative." Booklist
"[A]n appealing, informative book." Library Journal
Detailing dog expert Jon Katz's plan for living well with dogs, this book includes information on choosing a dog--the purebred-versus-the-shelter-or-rescue debate--understanding the importance of real training, and knowing when it's time to end a dog's life. Illustrations throughout.
About the Author
Jon Katz has written fourteen books six novels and eight works of nonfiction including A Dog Year, The New Work of Dogs, The Dogs of Bedlam Farm, and Katz on Dogs. A two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award, he has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, and the AKC Gazette. A member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, he writes a column about dogs for the online magazine Slate and is co-host of Dog Talk, a monthly show on Northeast Public Radio. Katz lives on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York and in northern New Jersey with his wife, Paula Span, who is a Washington Post contributing writer and a teacher at Columbia University, and their dogs.