A practical guide to adopting, training and living with a rescue dog, from popular dog trainer and animal behaviourist Laura Vissaritis.
Adopting a rescue dog can be daunting. With anxieties and fears from their previous life, they can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But all dogs deserve a second chance – and this book will teach you how to provide it.
Animal behaviourist Laura Vissaritis’s approach to training a rescue dog focuses on one side of the relationship: the human. Because to help your dog change their behaviour, first you must change your own.
By building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, you will help your dog make the most of their new life. Explaining the underlying psychology and offering clear step-by-step guides, Laura covers everything you need to know, including how to:
– bring home and socialise your rescue dog
– establish routines for essentials like toilet training and walking on a leash
– understand your dog’s body language
– discourage unwanted behaviours such as excessive barking or jumping up
ease their stress, phobias or separation anxiety.
Giving a rescue dog a better life is one of the most emotional, uplifting journeys you can go on. The Rescue Dog will guide you on the path to success.A practical guide to adopting, training and living with a rescue dog, from popular dog trainer and animal behaviourist Laura Vissaritis.
The Rescue Dog by Laura Vissaritis is a practical, honest, glorious guide to owning a rescue dog and all the emotional baggage that can come from that. How can you best train them? Love them? Punish them when they’re bad? This is a fantastic book to keep on your bookshelf, even if you don’t own a rescue dog. Any dog owner will find use out of this book.
This book has advice for all sorts of behavioural problems — barking? biting? anxiety? not playing well with other dogs? Laura is open about the struggles she’s had with her own rescue dogs, but also the struggles she’s seen in other dogs.
Laura’s tone of voice is conversational, but also welcoming. You don’t feel stupid reading her advice. You don’t feel like a complete failure because your dog has a tendency to be a menace and you’re working really hard to try and fix it. Just this morning I yelled NAUGHTY at my dog so loud he dropped his ball and ran to his bed, frightened. Owning a dog, and especially a rescue dog who had a bad start in life, is really difficult sometimes. It’s nice to read a training guide without feeling judged.
“Once your dog understands that sitting results in obtaining a treat, you can transfer this to a range of rewards your dog may want. Your dog may want to come inside, go outside, jump on the couch, get out of the car, or play with the dog fifty metres away.”
Do you know how many dog training books I’ve read in the last couple of years? A LOT. So many books that ‘claim’ to be a training guide, that ‘claim’ to be a helpful companion to being a dog owner. And so many of them were rubbish. They gave basic advice about how a dog responded to life events, or perhaps information about their personalities, but there was no actual advice. No tips. No step-by-step instructions. And I was always so furious when I finished the books and I felt like I’d learnt nothing to help me with my dog, who is beautiful but needy and energetic and who is ‘behaved’ but not ‘well behaved’.
My major problem at the moment is my dog barks inside the house, and not for any particular reason. He only ever barks INSIDE the house, AT me. I can tell he’s trying to communicate to me, but I can’t always work out what he’s saying. Most of the time he’s confused or frustrated and so he barks. I went into this book wanting to learn a technique to stop that kind of barking. Not the kind of barking that a dog does outside at passersby, because that’s not the issue. The kind of barking that’s communicative, but because I don’t speak dog, I can’t work out how to fix the situation.
Page 19 had my answer — training tips to get rid of this exact kind of barking. And I’ve been using the technique since.
Ever since page 19, I’ve been a convert for this book. It will now sit on my bookshelf as a reference for any issues we may have in the future. Finally — a real, proper, helpful dog training guide.
“If your dog is not allowed on your leather couch, but sometimes you don’t mind if they jump up, your dog will always try to access the couch….If you punish them sometimes but allow them up at other times, then all they learn is that they can get up on the couch, and sometimes for no reason, they get punished.”
Not all sections of this book will apply to every dog owner. There were some sections, chapters, or paragraphs in the book that I skipped over because my dog doesn’t present those kind of issues (for example, separation anxiety) .This book is meant to act as a long-standing resource, so that you can put it on your bookshelf and one day, if your dog or perhaps a future dog develops any of these issues, you can go back and read and feel like you know how to tackle the situation.
An honest-to-God proper dog training guide, with actual instructions that the everyday dog owner can apply. Laura is also incredibly honest about her own dogs — their faults and their weaknesses — and it makes you feel like you’re not alone.
Recommended for all dog owners, not just those of you who have adopted a rescue dog. You’ll all be able to learn things from this resource. If you own a dog and they’re not perfect (hint: no dog is perfect) and you’re exhausted from trying different things and you’ve been through two rounds of private dog training (like me!) and you still need some advice, then buy this and keep this. You’ll feel so relieved.
Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Rescue Dog
Pan Macmillan Publishers