Friday, January 11, 2013

Brooks' Books- Of Wolves and Westies

Brooks here. I'm so far behind on my book reviews, I'm going to bring you TWO books today. One is The Truth about Wolves and Dogs by Toni Shelbourne. Should I exercise my inner wolf? Aroooo!

The other book is You Tell Your Dog First by Alison Pace. Well, naturally you tell your dog first. Who else would you tell?

Here's mom with the reviews:




The Truth about Wolves and Dog by Toni Shelborne
Veloce Publishing ltd
ISBN 978-1-845844-27-1
$24.95

You've probably heard talk about diet, and how dogs are descended from wolves so they should eat raw meat like wolves. Or about training, and how wolves are pack animals, and you should be the alpha dog to your dog's pack. And then someone may counter, saying that dogs are no longer the same as wolves, they've been domesticated, and thus their needs are quite different.

Well which is true?

This beautiful, coffee-table book takes on the task of explaining the physical and behavioral differences between dogs and wolves, and further, explains that we shouldn't expect our dogs to have the same needs as wolves.
             "(Dogs) have given up a lot to live with modern man and are now so closely linked with us that they have sacrificed the ability to survive long-term in the wild without us."

The subtitle "Dispelling the myths of Dog Training" refers to Shelborne's preference for positive training methods. She encourages the reader to challenge old traditions and misconceptions, and question the advice given by "out-of-touch and out-of-date dog trainers." She dispels the dominance theory of training and explains how to achieve a partnership based on mutual trust, love and respect.

First, you're going to learn a lot about wolves, and packs, and the physical differences between wolves and dogs (wolves have larger brains!), body language, and family life.
 Next are chapters about how to understand your dog. I think that is key to any good dog training, and relationship. I especially enjoyed the numerous photographs of dogs and wolves, with explanation of the body posture and facial expressions and what it meant.
Why is your dog licking his nose?
Is your dog dominant, or in pain?
Are they playing or fighting?
Why does my dog avert her gaze?

This is not a training manual but an excellent reference and myth buster! I think it's a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand their dog.



You Tell Your Dog First
by Alison Pace
Berkley Books
$15.00

I'm a big fan of Alison Pace's fiction books including Pug Hill, City Dog, and A Pug's Tale, so I was excited to read her newest book of personal essays.

Instead of a pug, the cover is graced by a sweet Westie moseying along a city sidewalk.

Pace lived life surrounded by dogs: Joey the St. Bernard, Morgan the poodle, Mischief the English Bulldog, Boswell the Mastiff, Maxwell the Wolfhound/Sheepdog, Sasha the Shar-Pei, Jake the Corgi, and more. So naturally her essays revolve around dogs. Finding an apartment that allowed dogs. How dogs helped her make friends. How dogs affected relationships. Dog-related jobs.

According to Pace, "you tell your dog first about the date you just had...about the questionable results of a medical test...about the good and the bad...about everything."

You will enjoy reading about experiences with many different dogs, or as it states on the back cover, "...the tales of a dog person who found her dog."

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