The Other End of the Leash

The Other End of the Leash

Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

Book - 2003
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A new perspective on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior in comparison with that of dogs. Applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer Dr. Patricia McConnell muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in them. Although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, and a lot gets lost in the translation--this is why much of what appears to be disobedience is simply miscommunication. Dr. McConnell teaches how to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask; why "getting dominance" over your dog is a bad idea; how dogs and humans share personality types--and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than "alphas."--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2003
ISBN: 9780345446787
Branch Call Number: 636.7 MCCONNELL
Characteristics: xxvi, 246 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm


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Mar 02, 2018

Certainly this a book that, were more dog owners to read it, would help the owners communicate better with their dogs. (See the review by vickiz, below.) My complaint is that the book is TOO SLOW and there is TOO MUCH IRRELEVANT INFO, mostly the author talking about herself. In the parts where she writes about how dogs interpret our movements so very differently from how we mean them, she is spot on. Even non dog-owners can benefit since most of us encounter other people's dogs every day.
But she is exasperating in how much stuff she includes, and how she repeats it all at least twice. Finally, I have to say I don't appreciate how she frequently writes about how hard it is for professional dog trainers to deal with the dog owners, how impatient she and apparently every other dog trainer get with the rest of us. Fairly condescending, that. I'm not even half-way through, and this last point may be what keeps me from finishing the book. Too bad, for she certainly has a lot to share that is useful.

Jan 30, 2018

A good book about dogs and human behaviour. I wish the owners of the "but my dog is just friendly" would also read it.

Jul 27, 2016

This book is an admirable mixture of animal behavior science, zoology, and humor. McConnell tells us about how we behave around our dogs directly affects how they behave. We use primate behavior and dogs are working on canid behavior; no wonder we have trouble communicating. Who knew a pat on the head was an aggressive and dominating action? Not me, but now I pay much closer attention to how dogs are behaving and adjust mine.

May 24, 2016

I really liked this book. It is the perfect mix of science and art and emotion. I am a veterinarian and I found a lot of useful information regarding interacting and training dogs. I highly recommend this book if you want to understand your dog better and have a more understanding relationship.
I found the end chapter of the book so poignant.... I kept rereading some of the passages. The author has a very inviting writing style and kept me interested the whole time.

Sep 15, 2015

This book gave me far more real life examples and understanding of why some of my communication with my dogs have failed. Can't wait to start working with methods to see if I can change a few behaviours.

May 05, 2014

Found this very helpful in training and understanding our Husky!

Jun 17, 2011

An excellent book for dog-lovers!

Jan 10, 2011

Do your dog and yourself a favour. Forget the tv star dog trainers.
Read this book.

You'll think twice before giving your pup a hug.... because you will learn the right way to praise your dog.

Interesting read on animal behaviour.

Oct 18, 2010

This book is full of helpful information about how to communicate more effectively with your dog, especially by being more aware of your own body language. There are also many interesting stories about the author and her dogs, and her experiences as an applied animal behaviorist.

Dec 27, 2008

Patricia McConnell is an applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with over 20 years' experience who is also besotted with her own dogs, who include border collies and a Great Pyrenees. She posits an approach to dog training and human-dog relations that is both refreshing and remarkably common sense. She contends that many of the miscommunications between humans (primates) and dogs (canids) stem from the fact that primates vocalize and employ physical cues that often convey to canids the opposite message of what is intended. For example, primates use ventral-ventral (face-to-face, chest-to-chest and eye-to-eye) physical approaches such as hugging and kissing to show affection ... and canids typical find such approaches rude and aggressive.

When primates can understand how to use body language that is more appealing to a canid, such as side and perpendicular approaches and avoiding eye contact, they will achieve the obedience and cooperation, not to mention affection, that they are seeking with their canine friends.

McConnell's style is down-to-earth and appealing, with memorable stories and examples.

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Oct 18, 2010

We are often oblivious to how we're moving around our dogs. It seems to be very human not to know what we're doing with our body, unconscious of where our hands are or that we just tilted our head. We radiate random signals like some crazed semaphore flag, while our dogs watch in confusion, their eyes rolling around in circles like cartoon dogs.

Feb 20, 2009

... just as I can't discuss world peace with [my dog] Tulip, there's something that I get from my connection to her that I can't get from my other, human friends. I'm no even sure what it is, but it's deep and primal and good. It has something to do with staying connected to the earth and to sharing the planet with other living things. We humans are in such a strange position - we are still animals whose behavior reflects that of our ancestors, yet we are unique - unlike any other animal on earth. Our distinctiveness separates us and makes it easy to forget where we came from. Perhaps dogs help us remember the depth of our roots, reminding us - the animals at the other end of the leash - that we may be special, but we are not alone. No wonder we call them our best friends.

Dec 27, 2008

Every year several students come to see me at the university and ask how they can become an Applied Animal Behaviorist. Some of them tell me they are interested primarily because they love animals so much and work themselves up to confessing that they don't really like people much at all. But we humans are an integral part of the lives of domestic dogs, and we can't fully relate to a domestic dog without taking our own species into account. The more you love your dog, the more you need to understand human behavior. The good news, speaking as a biologist, is that our species is as fascinating as any other. I find myself just as enamored of Homo sapiens as I am of Canis lupus familiaris, because even when we humans are idiots, we're interesting ones. So I invite all of you to show our own species the same patience and compassion that we show dogs. After all, dogs seem to like us a lot, and I have the utmost respect for their opinion.


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