Tamar Geller The Loved Dog

ISBN 13: 9781416593980

The Loved Dog

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9781416593980: The Loved Dog
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Oprah’s dog trainer, Tamar Geller, offers a revolutionary system for teaching your pet to be happy, joyful, and well behaved.

Every dog owner must make a choice: Do you want a fearful and submissive pet, or do you want a happy, joyful, and well-mannered member of the family?

Tamar Geller's mission in life is to teach her cruelty-free method of “life coaching” for dogs and their people. Her revolutionary play-training uses mutual understanding and respect—and puts an end to outdated methods that rely on physical exhaustion, choke chains, prong collars, dominance rollovers, or stressful aggression of any kind.

A former Israeli intelligence officer who witnessed the horrors of military dog training methods, Tamar went on to observe wolves in the wild. She discovered that wolves educate and socialize their cubs with games, bonding, and body language, not dominance or punishment. As a result, she developed teaching systems that address a dog's authentic nature, part wolflike and part toddlerlike. Learning can be a positive experience that dogs enjoy and look forward to, and we can actually make it fun for our dogs to listen to us and behave as we want them to.

Tamar's insights have brought dog training into the twenty-first century, and her groundbreaking techniques have won the approval of the Humane Society of the United States, for which she is a longtime advisor. Her celebrity clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Owen Wilson, and the Osbournes, and she has appeared as an expert on the Today show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Animal Planet, and more.

In The Loved Dog, Tamar gives you all the instruction, insights, and tips you need to teach your dog good manners, as well as to troubleshoot specific problems and unwanted behaviors. She helps you and your dog learn a common language, resulting in a loving, respectful relationship that will bring you years of joy and companionship. Tamar's play-training approach is so gentle, even children can get involved.

Whether you use Tamar's methods to raise a puppy or teach an old dog new tricks, you'll love The Loved Dog.

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About the Author:

Tamar Geller created, owns, and operates The Loved Dog™, Southern California's first cage-free doggy boarding and day care center. An advisor to The Humane Society of the United States, Tamar also works with many rescue organizations, and is the founder of the non-profit program Operation Heroes & Hounds™, which champions homeless dogs and wounded military personnel. She lectures on dog behavior at Pepperdine University and speaks at engagements around the country. When she’s not taping QVC on the East Coast, Tamar lives in L.A. with her own loved dog, Clyde. Visit her website at www.tamargeller.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

CHAPTER TEN

THE POWER OF SIT

I consider "sit" the foundation of my work. It's the trunk of the tree, and all other behaviors are like branches growing outward from there. Many trainers think the first training step is to put a leash or choke chain around your dog's neck, take him outside, and teach him to heel. But if he doesn't even know how to sit, how will you get his attention in the midst of a million smells, sounds, and motions all distracting him, making you the least interesting influence in his environment? You must establish a connection with your dog, and the first step is teaching him how to sit. When your dog feels secure with you as his leader, he'll be happy to stay close and follow your lead as you introduce new challenges. Teaching your dog to sit without force or a leash is easy since it is something that he does naturally.

I recently worked with a two-month-old white Doberman puppy named Flash. I guess his owner, Eddie, was expecting a burly male trainer with a bag of torture devices and a rough demeanor. What he got instead was a petite woman with a bag of treats and a penchant for "making a party" every time his dog did something right.

"Does he know how to sit?" I asked, ignoring Eddie's obvious disappointment in meeting me.

Eddie sniffed. "Of course. There's no need to start there. Flash sits in every corner of the house all day long. I need him to learn to heel! When I take him for a walk, he pulls me down the street. How can I stop him?"

Since Eddie and his wife had three children, I crouched on the floor at the height of the youngest child and asked the dog to sit. He looked at me like he'd never heard the word before, since he thought that "sit" only happened when someone stood to face him. It took him twenty minutes, but when he finally got it, I went to town "making a party," feeding him a luscious jackpot and using my voice as if it were confetti.

"Flash didn't really know how to sit, did he?" asked Eddie sheepishly.

"No, he didn't," I said. "Do you see why I didn't want to take him outside to heel first? He needs the foundation of 'sit.' Then we can teach him anything."

I'm sure you can appreciate how amusing and satisfying it was to see Eddie, a grown man in a suit and tie, lying on the kitchen floor beside me, "making a party" for Flash!

I remember when I first picked up Duke from the vet and took him to Covenant House. Although he was excited to perform a variety of exercises, when we asked him to sit, he ignored us. I realized that his previously broken legs made sitting on request uncomfortable, so I showed the teens in the program how to do what I call "passive training." It requires no effort -- only awareness and treats.

Each time Duke sat on his own accord, we praised him with a treat and enthusiastically sang out the word "sit!" as if he had just climbed Mt. Everest. Kids are wonderfully open about using their voices melodically, and so after a few "singing lessons" with these talented young adults, with no force or pressure, Duke learned to sit when he was asked. What's more, sitting became his favorite thing to do, because he loved the big fuss they made.

Many years ago I went to observe a class that was held at a local pet store. One of the dogs, a German shepherd, refused to sit. While each owner was practicing with his own dog in the class area, the trainer decided to help the shepherd get over his "stubbornness." But no amount of choking, jerking his neck, or verbally commanding and shaming would convince the dog to sit. The trainer did every abusive thing she could think of, including poking and pushing with all her weight on the dog's rump. He still refused to sit, and after a stressful and violent session, he ended up biting the trainer on her hand. Fearing for the dog's life, I got his owner's number and called a few days later.

"How is your dog doing?" I asked.

"He's with the vet," said the owner.

"Why? Are you going to give him up?" I asked.

"No," the owner informed me. "He had an abscess on his rear end and he's getting treatment for it." The poor dog was suffering with a painful abscess, but he had no way to tell anyone. When he just couldn't take it anymore, he finally reverted to biting as self-preservation.

I've seen so many people turn the other way when their dog is giving them a clear message that something is wrong. I once watched a terribly disturbing segment on CNN that profiled a woman who sat by while a so-called dog trainer beat her seven-month-old German shepherd puppy to death because he was too rambunctious to obey. The owner said that the trainer gave her the following heads-up: "Your puppy may cry, try to escape, or pee when I'm training him, but that's all normal."

Give me a break! There is nothing normal about those behaviors. If you are doing everything right and your dog refuses to do something, don't beat him up. If he refuses to do something and there is no apparent reason why, I recommend taking your dog to the vet for a checkup. If he gets a clean bill of health, then take him home and start the training all over again. But you should never revert to pushing, shoving, or pressing on your dog to get him to sit. When you force your dog into a position, the stress involved will inhibit his ability to learn and figure it out for himself, not to mention the mental and physical abuse you are inflicting upon him.

THE MAGNET

The easiest way to teach a dog to sit is a method I call "the magnet." Hold a treat in your hand, covering it with your fingers. Make sure that nothing sticks out, so the dog can't steal it, and move it back over the dog's head, toward his tail. The dog will follow it with his head back as if your hand is a magnet. Because of the way a dog is built, lifting the treat from his nose up slightly toward the top of his head will get him to sit. In this kind and gentle way, I can instantly move 99.9 percent of dogs into the sit position without a word or a touch.

Holding the treat too high is a common mistake. One pointer's owner kept holding his hand so high above his dog's head that the dog had to jump to get to the treat. I found out pretty quickly that he was afraid that his dog would nip at him. As a result, every time the dog reached for the treat with his mouth, the owner jerked his hand back. The dog must have been thinking, This jumping business is fun! It's so easy to snatch that treat from you. As you can imagine, his jumping skills improved while his sitting skills all but disappeared. I needed to stop the work and focus on helping the owner get rid of his fears of being nipped. Then we had to change the hand signal for sit, since the dog thought that meant to jump on his owner. It took only one day to resolve this issue, and the pointer was well on his way to becoming a well-mannered dog. Remember that if you're doing the magnet and your dog is jumping to get the treat, you're probably holding your hand too high. If he's backing away instead of sitting, practice the sit against a wall, so he has nowhere to go.

Be encouraging, patient, and sweet throughout the learning process, and remember to keep your fingers securely wrapped around the treat. If even a corner is showing and available to your dog, he will try reaching up and grabbing it from underneath. Never underestimate his intelligence to figure out how to get what he wants. As soon as your dog sits, give him the treat and introduce him to the word "sit" in a happy singsong voice, repeating the word over and over: "Sit, sit, sit."

Like the example above, first I teach the pattern, and only afterward do I give it a name. Let your voice show your dog that you approve and are impressed with his genius behavior. Soon you'll see your dog thinking, Boy, am I a good people trainer! Each time I sit, I get a goody, so I'll do it as much as I can! Now your dog is asking you to train him! Kids as young as two or three can practice this. It will teach them to be calm around the dog, and it can help kids who are afraid of dogs to overcome their fears.

THE THREE LEVELS OF SIT

The lesson is not over once your dog has learned that "sit" means "putting his tush on the ground." As Eddie discovered with his Doberman, Flash, many dogs only respond to "sit" when their owner is standing up. Years ago, at a seminar for dog trainers, the instructor asked the participants to stand up and ask their dog to sit. The trainers scoffed at how ridiculous and elementary that request was. The feeling around the room was "Come on, we're professional dog trainers!"

Undeterred the instructor then asked everybody to lie down on the floor and tell their dog to sit. Can I tell you how many confused dogs were running around, trying to figure out what their owner was asking of them? The dogs thought that "sit" meant that when the person in front of them stood, they would drop their tushes to the ground. But if the owners didn't give them the usual physical cue, the dogs were confused. Even the most savvy of professional trainers can fall into the trap of thinking that he is teaching the dog one thing when in fact he is teaching him something else. This is why I advise you to generalize each exercise as much as possible. Your dog will learn to recognize the signal that you are giving him rather than just the context in which you usually give it.

If you wonder why on Earth you should teach your dog to sit while you're lying down, think about different scenarios in which you might be on the floor -- playing with your children, practicing your yoga routine, or hanging out on the lawn with friends. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy what you're doing and know that you still have control as the leader? You'll never have to worry that your dog will climb all over you.

TEACH SIT FROM A STANDING POSITION

Since we need to train the dog to sit from all levels, let's start with the easiest -- the standing position. I always start with the easiest first, so the dog's success will bolster his confidence f...

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Book Description SIMON & SCHUSTER, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Oprah's dog trainer, Tamar Geller, offers a revolutionary system for teaching your pet to be happy, joyful, and well behaved. Every dog owner must make a choice: Do you want a fearful and submissive pet, or do you want a happy, joyful, and well-mannered member of the family? Tamar Geller's mission in life is to teach her cruelty-free method of "life coaching" for dogs and their people. Her revolutionary play-training uses mutual understanding and respect--and puts an end to outdated methods that rely on physical exhaustion, choke chains, prong collars, dominance rollovers, or stressful aggression of any kind. A former Israeli intelligence officer who witnessed the horrors of military dog training methods, Tamar went on to observe wolves in the wild. She discovered that wolves educate and socialize their cubs with games, bonding, and body language, not dominance or punishment. As a result, she developed teaching systems that address a dog's authentic nature, part wolflike and part toddlerlike. Learning can be a positive experience that dogs enjoy and look forward to, and we can actually make it fun for our dogs to listen to us and behave as we want them to. Tamar's insights have brought dog training into the twenty-first century, and her groundbreaking techniques have won the approval of the Humane Society of the United States, for which she is a longtime advisor. Her celebrity clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Owen Wilson, and the Osbournes, and she has appeared as an expert on the Today show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Animal Planet, and more. In The Loved Dog, Tamar gives you all the instruction, insights, and tips you need to teach your dog good manners, as well as to troubleshoot specific problems and unwanted behaviors. She helps you and your dog learn a common language, resulting in a loving, respectful relationship that will bring you years of joy and companionship. Tamar's play-training approach is so gentle, even children can get involved. Whether you use Tamar's methods to raise a puppy or teach an old dog new tricks, you'll love The Loved Dog. Seller Inventory # BZV9781416593980

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Book Description SIMON & SCHUSTER, United States, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Oprah's dog trainer, Tamar Geller, offers a revolutionary system for teaching your pet to be happy, joyful, and well behaved. Every dog owner must make a choice: Do you want a fearful and submissive pet, or do you want a happy, joyful, and well-mannered member of the family? Tamar Geller's mission in life is to teach her cruelty-free method of "life coaching" for dogs and their people. Her revolutionary play-training uses mutual understanding and respect--and puts an end to outdated methods that rely on physical exhaustion, choke chains, prong collars, dominance rollovers, or stressful aggression of any kind. A former Israeli intelligence officer who witnessed the horrors of military dog training methods, Tamar went on to observe wolves in the wild. She discovered that wolves educate and socialize their cubs with games, bonding, and body language, not dominance or punishment. As a result, she developed teaching systems that address a dog's authentic nature, part wolflike and part toddlerlike. Learning can be a positive experience that dogs enjoy and look forward to, and we can actually make it fun for our dogs to listen to us and behave as we want them to. Tamar's insights have brought dog training into the twenty-first century, and her groundbreaking techniques have won the approval of the Humane Society of the United States, for which she is a longtime advisor. Her celebrity clients include Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Courteney Cox-Arquette, Owen Wilson, and the Osbournes, and she has appeared as an expert on the Today show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Animal Planet, and more. In The Loved Dog, Tamar gives you all the instruction, insights, and tips you need to teach your dog good manners, as well as to troubleshoot specific problems and unwanted behaviors. She helps you and your dog learn a common language, resulting in a loving, respectful relationship that will bring you years of joy and companionship. Tamar's play-training approach is so gentle, even children can get involved. Whether you use Tamar's methods to raise a puppy or teach an old dog new tricks, you'll love The Loved Dog. Seller Inventory # BZV9781416593980

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