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Be The Pack Leader will please those who want more a, b, c application along with their theory. He has however, explored further into the realms of psychology and behavioral science, both human and canine, in an effort to better understand the role of dogs and Man and how they interrelate.
Be warned however, if you are looking for a book that deals with dog training, I. It will certainly help you understand your dog better, but it is not a training manual. In this section Cesar deals with the issues of rewards and punishment and talks about various tools one may use when working with a dog: collars, leds, etc.. Cesar also offers practical suggestions for fulfilling the special needs of a specific breed and how answering those needs leads a dog into a more happily balanced calm-submissive state.
Be warned however, Cesar does not let any owner off the hook concerning Exercise, Discipline and Affection. His idea of at least 45 minutes to an hour of active walking twice a day as a primal activity that brings dog and pack leader closer together is paramount. It is amazing how many folks balk at this requirement and can own a dog they have never taken for a walk. A large back yard is nothing but a larger kennel; dogs need to migrate with the pack leader.
They need to get out. The pack leader leads, the dog follows. I personally have been employing this technique and my walks with Callista are becoming more and more a joy. The Balancing Ourselves section is a bit more hard hitting and some may find it a bit threatening. The dogs sensed this imbalance in their master and acted accordingly in aggression toward each other.
It needs to be noted that Cesar makes it clear he is not a human psychologist, but he does indicate that he sees what is obvious and calls it like he sees it.
If I can see it from the distance of television, a dog with hyper-senses surely can. I liked this section of the book the most for a lot of reasons. One in particular was the chapter on how to create positive energy that dogs can read and respond to. Dogs watch us closely seeking clues as to our attitudes, our emotional state. They can pick it up as easily as we can identify the letters in this sentence. Our self-perception is translated into energy: the way we look, carry ourselves and think.
Dogs sense this and act accordingly. They want balance and if we are out of balance with low energy, self-esteem, sad, angry, depressed, impatient, etc. They are our mirrors. To restore balance, the owner needs to address their own negative energy and, in most cases, the dogs remarkably follow suit, not necessarily automatically or without therapy, and eventually return to balance.
There are some seriously amusing observations and anecdotes in this section too. Who the pack leader is seems clear. The Appendix is very helpful and will again please those who need clear direction. As a matter of fact, my wife claims she has also seen a positive change in yours truly as well :-T, my attitudes and energy.
Is Callista perfect? I agree.
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