The Dog Listener: Learning the Language of Your Best Friend

The Dog Listener: Learning the Language of Your Best Friend

Paperback

By (author) Jan Fennell, Foreword by Monty Roberts

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  • Publisher: Harper
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 22mm | 240g
  • Publication date: 7 October 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0006532365
  • ISBN 13: 9780006532361
  • Edition: Special edition
  • Edition statement: 10th Anniversary ed
  • Illustrations note: 50 b/w illus, With index
  • Sales rank: 9,111

Product description

You've heard of the Horse Whisperer - now meet the woman who uses similar methods to train dogs. Jan Fennell's remarkable gifts have earned her the nickname "the dog listener". Her unique understanding of the canine world and its instinctive language has enabled her to bring even the most desperate and delinquent of dogs to heel. This easy-to-follow guide to understanding Jan's simple techniques draws on her countless case histories of problem dogs - from biters and barkers to bicycle chasers - to show how we can bridge the language barrier that separates man from his best friend. In The Dog Listener Jan shares her secrets, telling us how she grew determined to find a more compassionate alternative to standard "obedience" training techniques and ultimately how to communicate with canines.

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Author information

Jan will be appearing in the New Year on Channel 5 having finished her latest Yorkshire TV series (her previous series was called Problem Pooches). This is her first book.

Review quote

"The Dog Listener tells how to make dogs listen."--Parade

Editorial reviews

Jan Fennell is a dog owner who had always subscribed to the 'obedience' school of training. But two things happened to make her reassess her methods. First Purdey, her Border collie-whippet cross, pushed Fennell's small son through a glass door, then bit her daughter and had to be put down. Then she met the famed Monty Roberts, author of The Man Who Listens to Horses. Fennell's attitude to dogs and her life changed entirely on that afternoon in 1990. Enthused by what Monty could achieve with horses, she decided to try to apply his principles to canines. Watching videos of wolves, dingoes and wild dogs, she saw exactly the same behaviour replicated in her own home by her pack of five dogs. The light dawned when she realized that obedience training meant trying to impose a human framework on the dogs. Instead, it was necessary to look at things from the dog's point of view as it operated within a pack mentality. The dog, unless convinced otherwise, believes it is the leader of a pack in which its human partner is a subordinate. Once the author had learned to understand the dog's way of thinking everything else fell into place. A dog jumping up at a visitor was attempting to establish hierarchy, a dog barging in front while walking to the door was protecting the den. Gradually she developed a technique called Amichien Bonding. This consists of four separate elements that need to be repeated constantly day in, day out. Following the success of her technique with her own dogs, Fennell was increasingly called on by friends to help with their dogs. The second half of the book is devoted entirely to sorting out dog problems: fussy eaters, car chaos, fear of noises, difficult puppies and soiling in the home. The author's ideas are not entirely new. The same philosophy can be found in John Fisher's Think Dog, and Amir Avnit also bases a similar training programme on years of researching wild canines. But Fennell wins hands down for the simplicity of her technique and the easy-to-follow instructions. In a number of case histories, she sets out exactly what has to be done if certain negative types of behaviour occur. The book is extremely well written, recording setbacks and triumphs along with details of her family life. The techniques are still so revolutionary to most of us that even non-dog owners will find it a fascinating page-turner. (Kirkus UK)