Review: How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong, Captain Haggerty

Dog News Book Review by Captain Haggerty

How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong; A Roadmap for Rehabilitation Aggressive Dogs also had an interesting format. One repeated sub-heading has no sub-heading at all. It is the silhouette of a spaniel sitting. Inside of the dotted lines is a further explanation and clarification of previously mentioned information. I like a good title, BUT I want the title to deliver what it promises. The book is definitely a “roadmap” for the all-positive trainer. Both books do this. This book is extremely well illustrated with different dogs. I find it offensive when a dog-training book has only one dog in it. What? Has the trainer only trained one dog? The Shadow book is, of course, the exception—that proves the rule. All photos in the Shadow book and those on the cover are of Shadow.

“Points to Ponder” closes out the chapters and is phrased in a manner that gets the reader thinking. It is a variation on the aforementioned “Repetition!” Chapter 9, “Designing Your Desensitization Program,” covers 23 pages and is as complete as possible. She stressed logging all sorts of information and while that is not my style I recognize the need. It is particularly good for the person embarking on a new training methods such as positive training or a new area of training such as aggression.

The book brilliantly covers the problems caused by the interaction with the dog’s handler/owner/trainer. If that person is in denial it is a major problem, but it is only one of the problems. Tension/stress on the part of the handler is transmitted up and down the leash. Who discusses overcoming these problems? No one! Pamela Dennison covers these quite well. A book could be written on breathing and visualization but that would be overkill and a different book. A generous 14 pages is devoted to information, additional sources and a glossary at the end of the book.

My primary criticism of purely positive books is that many are so enamored with the technique that they have to spend up to one-third of the book singing the technique (and themselves) praises. Are they doing it to pad the book or are they as Shakespeare said, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks?” Dennison delivers the information. She has a lot to say and says it. Both these books, in my opinion, are the best of the purely positive genre and deserve wise praise and recognition. Both are great primers for the person interested in investigating or doing purely positive training.