The first viable alternative to the choke-chain techniques and other methods based on classical conditioning for the average pet owners.  The first to show how to incorporate clicker conditioning into a complete, reliable training system.  Its unique, easy-to-follow concepts and methods engage the dog’s will in harmony with the owner’s and enable the dog to become a partner in its own training. 

This training system...

• ...Accepts the dog’s independent will, insatiable curiosity, and strong instinctual drives, not as problems that training must seek to control, but as fortunate natural attributes that can be recruited on behalf of effective learning.

• ...Introduces the concept of building benevolent eye contact with the dog, and explains how to do it even with a fearfully aggressive or withdrawn dog. If you take nothing else from this book, building benevolent eye contact alone will transform your relationship with a dog in profoundly positive ways.

• ...Achieves unprecedented reliability in the dog’s behavior by training on a small bench.

• ...Teaches the dog to escape from compulsion into compliance, and never asks the dog to do anything without first providing that escape.

• ...Limits use of the leash – the worst enemy of good training – with the innovative use of long lines attached to a flat collar, making it possible for the first time to combine painless covert control of the dog with overt positive reinforcement, thereby freeing the dog’s mind to drive its own learning.

• ...Produces a dog whose cooperative obedience is self-directed, and both leash-and-handler independent.

• ...Does not advise the use of choke chains, avoiding the problems inherent in their use. Introduces innovative techniques for using the Halti as a safe, nonviolent alternative.

  1. ...Limits stress on both you and your dog with an easy-to-follow program of informal handling, quiet time and three formal five-minute training sessions a day.

I evolved this system over years of study and work with dogs. That work includes training countless championship winning dogs of many breeds in every kind of dog competition from AKC and CKC shows to obedience trials and other dog sports; training service dogs for tracking, search and rescue work, explosives, cadaver detection, and other complex tasks; and helping pet dog owners to solve the varied problems that they encounter. But my journey to the heart of dogness, a journey not from light to darkness but from fear and confusion to understanding, really began when I was five years old.

Let the Dog Decide

In this book you will find facts about dogs and dog training that you have never heard from any other dog trainer or read in any other dog training book. In addition to explaining what you must know about all dogs, different breeds, breeders, and animal shelters in order to get the right dog for you and your family, I am going to share a unique system of concepts, principles and methods for training dogs.