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

Edited by Debra Horwitz and John Ciribassi, with Steve Dale. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-547-73891-8
To help dog owners better understand their pets’ behavior, Horwitz and Ciribassi, with colleagues from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, address common canine conundrums and offer suggestions on how to prevent or treat them. Chapters focus on various subjects ranging from aggression, interacting with children, and separation anxiety to house-training. The authors examine the causes of various types of dog behavior, and how owners can address potential problems. There is some reiteration of common dog-training knowledge, but the real insights come from the group’s behavioral perspective, which allows them to explain owners’ common misinterpretations of their pets’ behavior. Unfortunately, the behavioral insights are few and far between, as the book leans more heavily on dog-training 101 and advice for new dog owners. Tips on how to pick a dog, housetraining, and early socialization of puppies are fine, but they dilute the book’s strength. The team does an admirable job of separating fact from fiction, but readers hoping to correct a particular bad behavior may find this guide a little thin on concrete advice. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-544-33460-1
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