Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones

Decoding Your Dog is a wonderful resource for owners of any size, breed or age of dog from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, veterinarians with board certification in canine behavior who work with pet owners and animal professionals to help manage behavior and well-being. Drawing upon the stories of various dog owners and their pets, it covers subjects such as interpreting canine body language (with illustrative photographs), choosing a dog to match the needs and limitations of a household and using the correct tools for training, as well as offering tips for resolving house training, aggression and separation anxiety issues.

Throughout, the guide debunks many misconceptions. "A wagging tail indicates a willingness to interact," the experts tell us, but not always in a friendly manner. Sometimes the wag "can be in a defensive or aggressive way. The speed of the wag, how high the dog holds the tail, and how stiff the tail is all convey subtle differences in meaning." Readers should look at the whole dog--not just one body part or one vocalization--then proceed based on overall body language. The section on teaching children how to interact with dogs--and on preparing a dog to accept a new baby--is especially helpful for new parents.

Despite its multiple authors, the book has a common emphasis on positive reinforcement. Its wisdom would be valuable for even the most experienced dog lover. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

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