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DOGGY BE GOOD

Looking for some interesting books, I stumbled into a click, buy and download e-book on dog training. The author, Jason Montag, shows you how to teach yourself to be a good dog or puppy trainer within the space of 64-pages.

Given the length of the book, turn on your printer. Sure you can read it on your monitor, but I found the book more enjoyable after printing it out. I really did like the fact that I could click and get it -- no driving to a bookstore, no waiting for Amazon or someone else to ship the book. Instantaneous is nice. Consequently, I didn't mind waiting a few minutes for the printer to deliver the book page-by-page.

Another nice benefit? When I spilled tea on the second page, I didn't screech. I smiled, knowing I could just print the page again. If you are one of those "I don't like ebooks" people, consider the positives. There are many, if you think about it a tad.

When it comes to this type of book, I've found over the years that the question often asked by dog owners is: Does the trainer use humane techniques? The answer is a difficult one. Jason says, "Yes." Some of you will say "Yes." But I know there are dog owners who believe crating is inhumane and others who believe choke chains are no-no's. Jason does recommend having a choke chain on hand for dogs over four months old. He counsels against pull and choke.

I asked him about this and he said, "Choke chain is a figure of speech in my opinion. If used properly (snap and release), a choke chain will harmlessly catch the attention of the puppy by way of touch and jingling sound."

In the book, Jason carefully describes how to put a choke chain on and how to make sure it will snap not choke. He also teaches how to move away from use of choke chains to voice commands.

His style of writing is conversational, easy-going. It flows well. He starts at the beginning of the training process: Getting the correct mindset. He then tells you the supplies you need. He's quite precise. Next come details on the importance of socialization. I found helpful his list of people and objects to which puppies should be introduced and older dogs should be comfortable around. Vacuums and lawn mowers might be obvious but sometimes we forget them.

Given that this is a practical book, I enjoyed his section on teaching puppies what is OK to chew: toys, of course. What I didn't know is that it is good to hide toys in your dirty laundry. Why? Jason says the toys will pick up your scent. That encourages the dog to play with the toys. Clever. I guess, however, you better be mindful of when the basket contains the dirty clothes of somebody you or the dog dislikes.

He also provides tips on housebreaking and how to protect your furniture using balloons. The balloon idea is great, in my opinion. I'm not going to give you the particulars. I don't want to give away the entire book!

I was pleased to see that Jason includes many photographs when explaining how to teach sit, sit-stay, down, immediate sit, come front, base and other simple through advanced commands. It's helpful to be able to have a visual for guidance. Words don't always translate well.

The end of his book focuses on the different breeds of dogs, their care and personality traits. It's helpful but honestly, I've seen so many of these dog breed sections online that it's hard to impress us. It's handy to be able to reference within your own computer, though.

I did wish that the book had a Table of Contents, with hyperlinks. I'd like to look at that content list and click to go wherever I want in the book. You can use search but it's still not as handy.

Ebooks are done by people without the aid of an editor or publishing house. You'll encounter a few misspellings. There are sentence structure technical errors and paragraphs that sometimes are a bit too long.

It's not as distracting, though, as you might think. Jason did a good job writing a very decent, helpful book for the family dog owner.

I asked him about his credentials, the name of his dog training business, his bio. He wrote me, "I have been training my dogs and other people's dogs for 10 years. I am an average person that hired a home trainer long ago and then spent many hours and a lot of trial and error to develop my own techniques. As for a fancy certificate, I have none. I am just a dog lover that has always enjoyed working with and teaching dogs and people."

Actually, I liked his writing much better than the writings of some people with the certificates. That surprised me. I hope you'll enjoy it, too. If you're already adept in dog training, then consider sharing the book with the friend next door who has a dog. I'm fairly confident they'll appreciate it.

One postscript: If you visit his site to buy the book, be sure to bookmark it. Jason is interested in feedback and his email address/url isn't in the book itself. His email address is on the web site.

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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 03-Jul-2003 15:42:21 EDT