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Book: Bonding With Your Dog: A Trainer's Secret For Building A Better Relationship by Victoria Schad
  • I was going through some of the dog-related books I bought shortly after I brought Maluko home (almost 2 years ago). While browsing through them, I found a different understanding of the material now than I did back then.

    This is not really a review of the book, but more of a food for thoughts for other forum members.

    Book: Bonding With Your Dog: A Trainer's Secret For Building A Better Relationship by Victoria Schade

    At the beginning of the book, there is a relationship quiz to test how strong is your bond?
    "1. Does your dog check in with you during walks? Does she occasionally look up at you as you walk, or is she at the very end of her leash the entire time?
    2. Are you afraid that if your dog slipped out the front door unleashed, she'd take off running and not come home?
    3. Do you think your dog is "too stubborn" or "too dumb" to learn basic obedience behaviors?
    4. Does your dog seek you out in new environments (for example, at a crowded dog park)?
    5. Are you frequently frustrated with your dog?"

    The author suggests that If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, you don't really matter to your dog when it counts.

    Then the author gave a more detailed description of what a bonded dog look like -

    "The bonded dog listens to basic obedience cues without thinking-it's natural for her to respond when you ask. Training is a part of her everyday routine, not something you only attempt in special circumstances, so that she'll hold a stay when you ask or come running when you call. The bonded dog wants you in her sightlines, even when she's in intriguing environments. She doesn't head out the door and take off for parts unknown, because there's no better copilot than you-you bring the fun! The bonded dog follows your house rules once you've worked through them with her. Best of all, she thinks that you're the coolest being around-as entertaining as her canine friends, almost as fun as birds and squirrels, and more scrumptious than the three-day-old bagel on the sidewalk. You've seen well-bonded dogs and their people around your neighborhood or at the dog park-they have the relationship you envy."

    What I find interesting is how the author differentiates between "bond" and "love". She argues that bond is not exactly love.
    She believes that love between you and your dog should be a given, otherwise, you wouldn't bring a dog into your life. Our dogs love us and put up with our craziness all the time - that sure is love. Victoria Schade believes that the bond is certainly rooted in love, but it's different from love. She thinks you can't have a bond without love, but you certainly can have love without a bond.

    Direct quote from the book-
    "While love develops naturally (one hopes), building a strong bond needs time and attention. It doesn't happen automatically, like love-the bond develops through every interaction you have with your dog, and what you do, say, and even think all play a role in either strengthening or diminishing the bond you have with your dog. The bond forms the core of your entire relationship; if it's lacking, it's the source of the majority of your frustration with your dog. A strong bond is the reason your dog wants to be close to you, work for you, and listen to you."

    I also found the following quote interesting -
    "On the surface, it might appear that you have a sound relationship with your dog. After all, she follows you around the house, and leaps deliriously when you come home each day. But there's little competing interest in those scenarios-you're the only game in town!"

    Victoria Schade then gave examples of how we unintentionally undermines the bond with our dogs and that it is never too late to build the bond we want with our canine friends. She then went into details discussing how you can build a stronger bond with her 6 building blocks approach.

    I would highly recommend anyone looking to deepen their bond with their dog to read this book. It is a great investment (less than $11 on amazon whether you get the actual book or the Kindle version!)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    OHHHH interesting. Thanks for the recommendation. I actually answered all no though. Does that mean i passed!?!? Lol. Kidding :)
  • 1. Yes, Onyx is always looking for April and I when we go out for walks, whether he is two feet from our side, or out exploring on his long leash.

    2. Yes, I would be afraid of him slipping out the door and taking off. As for returning I KNOW he would want to find his way home, I would just worry about him have taken off too far.

    3. No. Onyx is just under 5 months and already in intermediate training class with adult dogs. He is the center of attention everywhere because of all of the tricks and obedience he knows. We even started to work on loose leash walking this week, and with still a small amount of distractions, he is almost perfect already.

    4. Onyx does a lot of traveling/adventuring (parents house, hiking trails, dog parks) and always has to run by April or I every few seconds to make sure we are there. If he is out in an unfamiliar environment and hasn't seen us for a few minutes he begins to whine a little, but will resume play or sleep relatively shortly afterwards.

    5. Because he is still not 100% potty trained (he averages about one or two pee accidents a week, and never has poop accidents anymore, knock on wood) he is still a little frustrating, but he is way too cute and loyal to be frustrating.

    We have been criticized on this site many times because we hold Onyx's mouth shut when he bites us, or we scold him when he pees inside. The potty training is almost perfect, and he never bites people anymore, and he is still extremely loyal and loving towards us both.

    I feel like as long as you are loving, caring, and truly willing to do anything for your dog, it doesn't matter really how you go about training them (without abusing or harming the dog of course). Every dog is different, just find something that works for you, and don't let people convince you what you are doing is wrong, like we have so many times.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Cool! Thanks for the recommendation. I went ahead and bought the book for my Kindle. :)
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • XabiXabi
    Posts: 432
    While I can answer "no" to these five questions I still think I'll check out this book. Two of my responses were qualified no's. I'm worried if either got out the front door unleashed, they'd get hit by a car (#2), and I'm frequently frustrated with myself when it comes to training (#5). Well, maybe frequently isn't exactly accurate, but I always feel like I could be doing better.

    I'm making a resolution to become a better trainer/communicator with my shibas in 2013 which includes finding some new classes for us since we haven't been in a class since early spring of 2012. I can't afford it for another month, but I've requested it from my library, since it looks like a very good read.

    @Onyx Unfortunately this forum is like any other where it's full of opinions, some of which you may not agree with or seem unrequested. That's just the nature of this interface for information. You have to decide what's right for you and your dog whether it be at a dog park or on this forum. That said, there are many informed experts available with respect to the shiba in particular, more generally nihon (japanese) breeds and even more widely dogs in general on this forum. There have been developments in the last twenty to thirty years in dog training and behavioral science (as well as diet, vaccination, and other topics) which run counter to a lot of the techniques widely used in the past (e.g. rub a dog's nose in his own waste) and even by some experts today (e.g. Cesear Millan). It's been accepted as a general rule that aversive techniques don't work as well with this independent breed and can inhibit the type of bonding relationship between a shiba and owner as this book recommendation appears to be advocating.

    Since this is a forum specific to the shiba inu breed, you have to expect to suffer a bit of criticism if your practicies and techniques aren't in line with the advocated practices and techniques with the members who have decades of experience with the breed. Since this is a written forum, members aren't always the best at getting their points across as clearly and politely as possible. Though it may come across as harsh, I wouldn't take any criticism personally. It can be difficult. As with any bit of information you always need to do your research, question your sources and make your final decision about what you believe is best for you and how you will go forward after.
    X & I signature smaller
  • The snippets that I quoted from the book really just gave a very narrow view of what is discussed by the author. It's an interesting read and the author uses many clients and personal examples to explain her "bond" concept.

    I don't think "bond"=obedience. It is really a history of positive interactions where each party (both human and canine) understands and respects each other. It is this bond/history that helps both parties to be willing to work out issues TOGETHER.

    @acmccart8 I would suggest you check out this book and other positive-reinforcement based training books highly recommended by others (there are a good list of books and other resources you can find in the link from my signature.)

    You said "I feel like as long as you are loving, caring, and truly willing to do anything for your dog, it doesn't matter really how you go about training them (without abusing or harming the dog of course). Every dog is different, just find something that works for you, and don't let people convince you what you are doing is wrong, like we have so many times. "

    Being a loving and caring owner and the willingness to do anything for your dog should mean that you should keep an open mind to learn as much as possible about canine behaviors and dog training, so you can be your dog advocate. It matters how you go about training a dog - yes, every dog is different, but the learning theory (which includes aversive approach too) applies to all dogs and humans. They (aversive or reward-based training) can all be effective if it is executed well (timing of the delivery, the punishment/rewards used, the value and intensity of the reward/punishment,, the placement of the delivery etc).

    I strongly prefer the reward-based approach because as I am learning to train my dog, my timing, placement, choice of reward etc (all the mechanics) could be off and I really don't want my dogs to suffer the consequences of me not perfecting the mechanics. I also want my dogs to want to do what I ask vs. do it because it does not want to be corrected or punished. There are always more positive ways to teach a dog a behavior you want vs. catching the dog making a mistake after the fact and then correct/punish it. I hope you will find valuable information from reading this book discussed here or any of the other books/resources recommended.
  • @Xabi

    The quiz in this book is just a starting point and passing or failing the said quiz does not mean much in determining the actual bond between you and your dog.

    I can relate to your resolution to be a better trainer/communicator to your dogs. I have that resolution from day 1 of bringing my first dog Maluko home and it is still an ongoing process. There is always something new to learn and we can always be better.

    Hope you enjoy reading this book (when you get it). You can come back to this thread and share your opinions on what the author discusses then! :)
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I just finished reading this book, and honestly--I loved it. It is a style of training that works well with my personality, which means it works well with Coal (I think that dogs are honestly very sensitive to when you try to do stuff that isn't "You").

    I teach English over here in Japan, various ages from elementary school to really old people and there is a lot in common with training a dog (I know that sounds horrible, but it actually isn't!) With students, you need to form a kind of a bond with them so that they trust you to bring them to their goals and navigate whatever material it is they are learning. If you are boring, predictable, and not engaging--you lose them. Same concepts as in this book.

    I loved the squirrel game in this book. I tried it immediately with the first set of pigeons and Coal loved it. Now, Coal has NEVER attempt to chase something outside of leaves yet, so this is a good starting point. I want to do the Find it game as soon as I am able, too. Just so much good in this book ^_^ the anecdotes were extremely helpful, too, because I recognized some things that are going on between Coal and My Husband, and it gave a good visual of comparison for me. it wasn't just hypothetical situations, these things actually happened. I prefer that over fictional situations to illustrate points. Very good book.
  • RoyalitRoyalit
    Posts: 7
    I love this book so far.

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