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A DOG WHO'S ALWAYS WELCOME by Lorie Long

review by: Gail C Parker 2008-10-19


It is my pleasure to be able to share a wonderful new book with you: A Dog Who's Always Welcome by Lorie Long. "Assistance and therapy dog trainers teach you how to socialize and train your companion dog".
Did you ever wonder how those assistance dogs could ignore another dog, yet play with dogs when not working?



Why don't those dogs bark at other dogs, cats, squirrels (insert whatever your dog does to embarrass you!) and how may I train my dog like that? This book is very helpful and gives many ideas and tips. There are graphs comparing actions and reactions. One such is "Human and Canine Communication". It lists the activity or feeling, then how the human would react and how the dog would react to the same stimulus. After reading some of the reactions, I think we would do well to emulate our dogs. For instance: a human reacts to becoming overly excited or stressed by speaking louder, gesturing etc. whereas a dog becomes quiet and "tries to defuse the situation".
Generously illustrated, the book shows the different experiences dogs and their partners may encounter. This is so helpful, did you ever try to follow directions when there were no pictures to guide you? These are photographs so you can actually see what the author is describing.
I like the way it is written too, very easy to read and I would enjoy it even if I didn't have a dog. There are anecdotes about people and their assistance dogs the author shares with her readers. So much of the training would be helpful for those doing pet therapy, I highly recommend this book. Pet therapy volunteers deal with people in wheelchairs, who are blind, hearing impaired and many other problems. It is nice to have a book that tells their side of the story too and how to train your dog to interact with them.
One of my favorite parts of the book (actually I loved the whole book but this one struck home) was SOAPS. Soaps are the situations assistance dogs may find themselves in. First, there is a chart detailing settings from "easy", "difficult" and "hard" for assistance dogs then, there is a second chart aimed at companion dogs with the same settings and their degree of difficulty for the dog and trainer. I found so many places in this book where I'd think "Wow! My Katie does that! And she's really good at it too!" or " oops! I need to work on that, but now I know how!" " I've been looking for a way to train that!" (Or stop that!).
The write-up on the back cover states that the book will help you in "evaluating your dog and recognizing traits that will affect her needs" and that is so true! The training is reward based. You will learn how to help you and your dog become confident in many settings.
The book is from Howell Book House. Howellbookhouse.com $19.99 USA is the price and well-worth every penny! Bonus for me was the pretty Irish Setter pictured as one of the breeds on the cover!

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