Dog Phsychology: Does Reading a book help.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dog Phsychology: Does Reading a book help.

We've tried to do everything we could to be prepared for the responsibilities of dog ownership. I've done more research on vaccinations, socialization , training techniques and general dog psychology then I did for most of my college courses. It seems that some of this work has started to pay off, or we are just very lucky, Finn is very well behaved.

The "research" of course consists of a number of mediums. I devored everything given to us by the breeder, which got us through the first week. Then I plowed through a number of online articles about raising a dog, health issues, and quick tips. After that I moved onto the massive packet of instructions provided by our dog trainer. Once I got through all of that I reorganized my RSS reader with about 45 dog blogs (and counting... let me know if you have one I should add).

Now I've taken to reading dog related books for all of my pleasure reading. There are a few guidebooks for dogs in Los Angeles, a pretty solid book of tricks (it helped teach Finn fetch and roll-over) and most recently I finished my first novel length reading; The Other End of The Leash, by Patricia B McConnell. TOEOTL (because I like acronymns) contained a broad scope of information with a chapter on translating primate to canine to how to deal with the loss of a pet. Although there were no earth shattering secrets, like a certain frequency of wistle that causes a dog to immediatly drop what it has in it's mouth and come sit by its master, the underlying message of the book helped me to better understand what Finn really thinks about me. I always knew dogs were preceptive but I didn't even think about all the extra "cues" I am giving him when I say commands; the angle of my head, what I'm wearing, or the fact that even saying a command may be confusing ,because dogs are such visual creatures.

Overall mcConnell does a great job of showing that she really is knowledagble about pets. The Ph.D is for her studies in applied animal behavior. Her own dogs are sheep dogs and help her take care of a flock as well as protect her farm. In my eyes a person who can train a dog to care for and protect a bunch of animals instead of trying to play with them (ie Finn) must know what they are doing. I have a stack of other books I will be getting to at some point, but if you are looking for one that will help you better relate to your own pet you may want to check out TOEOTL.

Hopefully I'll be able to suggest a bunch of other books next week. We are going on a cruise tomorrow. Finn is going back to Cage Free K9's, where he'll be get as dirty as he did during LosAngeles huge rainstorm the other day, but at least he'll meet some friends.

If anyone knows some good material (blogs, novels, magazines) let me know in the comments.


Simba said...

My human mom LOVES reading anything and everything on dog related subject! She has a growing library as we speak!

She suggests you read Merle's Door by Ted Kerasote. Very interesting book on giving your dog freedom to choose....mind you he lived in the country in Montana. We all don't get that luxury! He did a lot of comparative research of wild dogs to domesticated dogs...very interesting stuff!

Stanley Coren is another great author..she's read his published articles..and he used to have a show on Canadian TV called Good Dog. He's a psychologist/behaviourist also.

I've blogged about some book reviews if you want to check them out too: Just click the Dog Eared Book Club link in my Tags section.

Happy reading!

Dean-O! said...

Just pawed it forward...

Hello Finnegan!

I am a wire fox terrier from Montreal, where we have LOTS of snow.

Not like that sunny spot where you're napping ':¬}

Francis said...

Cute and nice Iam Dog lover too thanks for visiting and your comment

Julia said...

i want more posts! and pics!

Johann The Dog said...

That's is a pawsome book! Hope you have fun on your cruise and thanks for mentioning my GreenDog Blog and site!

Woofs, Johann