Training the Best Dog Ever is a one-of-a-kind training book based exclusively on kindness and love. It presents a program that renowned trainer, Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, used to train the former White House dog, Bo Obama, among many others. This paw-some dog training program is based on trust, treats, and overall bonding—with no negative reinforcement or choke collars allowed! And it covers those interesting topics like crate training, hand-feeding, basic commands and a lot more. Best of all, it’s designed for busy pet parents, only asking you to bond and train with your furbaby for at least 10 to 20 minutes a day.
Plus, it’s illustrated! Learn more easily using step-by-step photographs, and help your dog feel comfortable when out and about. As soon as you cover the basics, this training book will walk you through more complex things, like avoiding jumping, pulling, and barking. With this guide, you can help your dog behave well around strangers, in the vet’s office, at work, and more! Soon, you will have the best dog ever.
This is a great book on basic dog training. It was very helpful with learning some of the basic foundational stuff around training, shaping, reinforcement, and particularly how to make sure your puppy doesn’t develop bad habits.
by Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz
Features a program of positive reinforcement and no-fail techniques that author Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz used to train the White House dog, Bo Obama, and each of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs, among countless others.
Step-by-step, Training the Best Dog Ever takes you through the basics of what a dog new to the family needs to know to:
- Feel comfortable and safe in the crate
- Be potty-trained, with the least amount of accidents after just several weeks
- Develop a “soft mouth” through the right hand-feeding protocol
- Walk obediently—teaching you the “Be a Tree” habit
- Learn verbal prompts, cues, and basic commands, like stay and sit.
This award-winning, 5-week dog training program is an insightful, positive system. It will be a surprise to anyone who has heard that dogs respond only to physical intimidation and other forms of aggressive alpha-dog behavior. Yes, you still need to be the master, and your dog needs to know that. But this contemporary positive dog training system gets you there in a much more effective and humane way.
Create a wonderful relationship with your dog through basic training with the program’s more advanced goals. Solve common behavioral problems, including chewing, digging, jumping, house-soiling, and ankle-biting. Help your dog become more comfortable in the world, from curing noise phobias to learning dog park etiquette and dealing with strangers. Train your puppy to perform tricks—catch a Frisbee, rollover, High Five. You are well on your way to a lifetime of loving, loyal, and joyful companionship.
Some Notable Topics Covered
On Punishment and Reward
For dogs, denying a reward is punishment enough and is, in fact, more effective than physical punishment, as long as it reduces the immediately preceding behavior so that it is less likely to happen in the future.
It is recommended that you log your dog’s schedule, as well as his progress in meeting your training goals, in a notebook. Log everything, including waking up in the middle of the night, peeing and pooping, potty accidents, sleeping, and napping, walking, playing, eating treats as well as meals, and even drinking water. If you are aware of what time your dog ate or drank water, it becomes fairly easy to predict when he will need to go potty again. Write down your mistakes and your successes.
On Building a Relationship with Your Dog
Hand-feeding will be used each time you teach your dog skills and new tricks. It is advised to return to hand-feeding to keep your dog fine-tuned, or if he seems to get stuck on learning a particular skill or prompt.
Begin bite inhibition training by sitting down with your dog and putting a finger or hand in her mouth. If he mouths on you, say “ouch!” Say it loud enough so that your pup gets the message, but not so loud that it frightens him. Let your hand get limp; do not pull it out of your puppy’s mouth. When his bite slackens, say, “good dog.”
Don’t punish him for biting you, don’t clamp her mouth shut or force your fingers down his throat; you would want your dog to figure it out.
On Leash Training
You want to train your puppy to walk on a loose leash, quite close to your side. The point of this training exercise—which should last no longer than five minutes—is to get your puppy used to walk on the leash the way you want him to.
- Before you take your first steps, make sure that your dog is focused on you. Then have a treat in your left hand and attract your dog in the direction you want to walk. If you have a small dog, you might bend down a lot. Begin walking forward, allowing a lot of slack in the leash.
- “Be a Tree”: When your puppy starts to pull, stop walking, hold the leash tight to your chest, and stand still, like a tree.
- The moment your dog looks at you, say “good” and entice him toward you with the treat as you move two steps backward. Praise him and reward him with the treat. Your timing needs to be exact, so watch for that moment when he looks at you, even if for only an instant at first because that is when his attention is returning to you.
If he continues to move forward against the leash without taking a step, wait for the moment when he slackens his leash and praise him for that.
Training the Best Dog Ever is fantastic if you are just looking to learn the basics, and you want to learn them quickly. The courses are designed that way and will deliver that way. If you are looking for a more in-depth program, this may not be the one for you. It just depends on what you are searching for. Nevertheless, it is excellent for covering the basics. We would recommend this training book for any new dog owner.