Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation” as Want to Read:
The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  791 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
In The Dog Listener Jan Fennell shares her revolutionary insight into the canine world and its instinctive language that has enabled her to bring even the most delinquent of dogs to heel. This easy-to-follow guide draws on Jan's countless case histories of problem dogs—from biters and barkers to bicycle chasers—to show how you can bridge the language barrier that separates ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 20th 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dog Listener, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dog Listener

Maggie's Kitchen Tails Dog Treat Recipes and Puppy Tales to Love by Rosemary "Mamie" AdkinsThe Other End of the Leash by Patricia B. McConnellMy First Dog by Teddy O'MalleyThe Perfect Companion - Understanding, Training and Bonding w... by Karen DavisonThe Dog Listener by Jan Fennell
Dog Care and Training Books
5th out of 63 books — 50 voters
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinDog-Ma, the Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell BrunnerMarley and Me by John GroganA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronScent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson
Dog Lovers List
222nd out of 240 books — 211 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,422)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 11, 2011 Lo rated it it was ok
Shelves: dogs
Things I like about this book: Use of positive and dog friendly methods instead of intimidation or physically hurting the dog. The things described in the book are basic polite dog behaviour things.

Things I don't like about this book: Fennel concentrates way too much on dominance. Dominance theory has been disproven with later studies of wolves and feral groups of dogs. There is no strict or unchanging social hierarchy between them. The things Fennel describes in amichien bonding do work, but fo
Last year I adopted a little sheepdog from a shelter, and he's one of the most caring and clever creatures I've ever met. He's given me hope and unconditional love when I've needed it the most. However, he came with considerable baggage from his puppyhood: the early months spent neglected and possibly abused, followed by being shunted between different shelters, didn't make for a very optimistic or trusting outlook on life. Things that I had taken for granted with dogs that I'd had previously - ...more
I recommend this book to dog owners all the time. If you want to simply and effectively understand how your dog thinks and how to fit that knowledge into your expectations of dog as pet, then read this book. It will show you how to help your dog 'be good' and unburden your dog from having to be what your signals would otherwise likely make him/her - top dog... a role a dog in a human environment simply can't handle, and one we humans simply don't want!
Apr 27, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs
I first read this book back in 2001, when the original came out. (Such was my infatuation with dogs, that I would read a dog training books when I didn't have any of my own.) I loved it, and recommended it to everyone I knew who'd gotten dogs. (There is a chance that I earned a "pushy" label during that time.)

Ten years later (two months ago), I adopted two dogs from our local shelter and immediately requested this book from the library. It is as insightful as ever. Jan's ideas work. One of the t
Mar 11, 2009 Steve rated it liked it
I loaned this book to a friend with dog troubles. She gave it back to me explaining that she couldn't finish it. The book was just too large. She was just too busy to process it all.

This is ironic as Fennel's methods easily blend into ordinary daily person <-> dog interactions and are very simple.

The problem is that the book is 4 times larger than it needs to be. Her methods could have been explained in about 50 - 100 pages with plenty of room left over for some illustrative anecdotal acco
Jan 25, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animali, manuali
Volendo accogliere in casa un nuovo amico peloso, stavolta canino, è necessario prima documentarsi a fondo e farsi un'idea globale di ciò che ci si deve aspettare. Soprattutto se si è alla prima esperienza. Dopo aver letto "Un cane in famiglia" di Maria Luisa Cocozza, che fa venire un entusiasmo enorme e ti focalizza unicamente sugli aspetti più affettuosi e ameni dell'avere un quattrozampe circolante per casa, la Fennel ti riporta pesantemente con i piedi per terra e parte in quarta raccontando ...more
Helena Almeida
Jan 10, 2013 Helena Almeida rated it liked it
Apesar de questionar a justificação simplista da liderança como razão para todos os problemas de comportamento dos cães, considero este um excelente método para garantir que estes tenham sempre um comportamento ajustado.
Comecei recentemente a aplicar estes princípios com a minha cadela, que tinha vindo a piorar o seu comportamento gradualmente, e os resultados já são bem visíveis. Só por isso, um grande bem haja, Jan Fennell!
Aug 14, 2008 Dixie rated it it was amazing
In my opinion this is the best book on dog "training" currently available. Jan Fennell talks about what is really important to dogs and how to be a non-confrontational leader in those situations. When my business partner and I tried her techniques with our clients, we saw amazing results in very little time. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to all dogs owners and everyone who works with dogs.
Tami Roof
Jan 29, 2008 Tami Roof rated it it was amazing
I know it's pathetic, but at one point I cried reading this book. I was reading a part in the book explaining the behavior of a dog and it just hit a soft spot. Very good training book for any dog owner.
Lynn Pribus
Apr 05, 2015 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very similar approach to Cesar Milan's. An older book from the UK with few reviews. Her gimmick is to be the alpha wolf in the pack, which pretty much translates to Milan's pack leader.
Ami Kismet
Jun 06, 2014 Ami Kismet rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book is very good for beginning dog trainers or non-professional dog owners. It lays the groundwork for paying attention to a dog's body language and being aware of the signals you are sending out to the dog. The advice was very good because it focused on positive reinforcement instead of punishment, and it is a really easy read. As I said, it lays the groundwork for a very successful relationship with dogs. However, I do recommend further reading and research. My main issue is that she mad ...more
Natasha Acres
Apr 01, 2008 Natasha Acres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really interesting book for those that have dogs that don't fit in with your idea of the perfect pet!

We have a 'spirited' (at best) or 'hyperactive' (at worst) border collie that has given us plenty of fun but also plenty of concern. He fits in well at home but anything out of the norm (like visiting other people) makes him pretty manic.

I read this book in the hope to see if I understood what makes him tick and it's given me a really good insight into dog behaviour. Its simply written
Oct 18, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Categorically unsurpassed, this revolutionary method is simple but effective. A must read for all dog owners!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough to all dog lovers and owners, who want to gain an understanding of how their canine friend communicates and acts in the way that he/she does. With a foreword by legendary and highly renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts, one knows instantly that Jan Fennell’s advice and study of canine behavior is going to be spot on. Learning the language of you
Dec 16, 2007 Athena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a big dog
When we decided that we would take on the responsibility of a dog, my mother in law sent us this book from England. It sat on the shelf until we eventually rescued a four month old Chocolate Labrador who was already weighing in at 47 lbs. Charlie started out fine, but it became quite obvious that he was going to need some pretty serious training. I picked up Jan's book and started practicing her preach right away. The theory behind her book is the wolf pack mentality and how a dog must know it's ...more
Dana Clinton
Jun 13, 2015 Dana Clinton rated it really liked it
Jan Fennell, an English woman, and Cesar Millan have a lot in common, and both are naturals with dogs. Read this in bits and pieces and have such a clear picture of how I do not in fact relate to my dog as pack leader (but our problems are small....)... should I bring home a new dog in the future, I am ready to try out these genius insights. I do wish everybody who loves dogs would read and reflect on what is in these pages. It is all so logical, and she clearly has had so much success.
Jun 21, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Since we are getting a puppy in July, I'm trying to do a little reading beforehand. I thought this book was very straightforward, seems easy to implement and makes sense when trying to understand how your dog sees you according to their communications. It was very readable and I enjoyed Fennell's personal story along with her dog history. Her story helped to bring the information to life and reiterate her ideas. I guess we will see if it works in a few months.
Sirius Scientist
Nov 03, 2010 Sirius Scientist rated it did not like it
I'm an avid dog lover and had decided to start dog sports with my Border Collie and German Shepherd, so I devoured every "dog" book I could get my hands on. This book, to me, was a horribly written rip-off of many of the better known authors in this genre. If you want a good book on interacting with your dog, or better understanding your relationship with your canine companion, check out Dr Patricia McConnoll's For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend or her first ...more
Paula Bothwell
Feb 22, 2016 Paula Bothwell rated it really liked it
The book is full of information I have never even considered. It made me review all of the mistakes I have made with dogs and gave me an alternative way of dealing with them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone considering having a dog join their family. I am a snob now in that I can see where people are making mistakes with their dogs - I just hope I can integrate appropriate behavior with dogs into my habits.
Apr 21, 2016 Aqwart rated it liked it
While some concepts presented are obviously outdated and not really consistent with current scientific knowledge, it is still a worthwhile position to read. I wouldn't recommend acting on all tips presented, some are quite silly, other shall be probably used only when working with troubled dogs, but there is still a lot of useful knowledge inside.
Jan 04, 2010 Carole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: instructional
What a simple and effective dog training system! If you're adding a puppy to your household, read this before you get your dog. I think if you implement this training system from the very first with a young dog, you -- and your dog -- will have great success.

Unfortunately my new dog is a 22 month old rescue dog that has had a hard life. We have a lot to overcome, and I think Farley would be crushed by some of the training techniques. He is a very nervous, insecure dog, and I don't want to jeopar
Feb 13, 2015 Kim rated it it was ok
Much of her book is couched in alpha dog behavior techniques that have been discouraged in recent years. But many of her techniques are ones that actually work, and which don't abuse the dog. I like at least some of her techniques, just not the behavioral analysis of why those techniques work.
Jul 27, 2014 Amatos rated it it was amazing
You'll find a million training books out there for sit, stay, heel, but ultimately what we need is for our dogs to be calm and receptive to our requests. If you are training or having problems with your dog, this is a simple guide to having a better relationship with your pet.
Gwen Courbé
Feb 15, 2014 Gwen Courbé rated it it was amazing
Am just about to start a training course to be a cynologist, am reading all sorts of books on "dog whisperers" & this book is definitely the one that has "clicked" with me !!! A MUST read.
Feb 01, 2015 GeorgiAnne rated it liked it
I do not believe in the theory of being a pack leader, but have found many useful behaviors in this book to work with my multi-dog household. I think it's worth the read.
Debra Kadon
Apr 23, 2015 Debra Kadon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Positive training

Excellent read for the inexperienced dog owner and the whatever works training of dogs that does not work. Listen to your dog.
Feb 20, 2016 Jo rated it liked it
I registered a book at!
Dec 14, 2010 Paola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4zampe
Se amate il vostro cane sappiate che lui vorrebbe che voi leggiate questo libro. La vostra vita a due diventerà un paradiso, starete tutti quanti meglio. Un padrone che sa fare il padrone rende un cane felice. La Fannell ha preso spunto dal tizio che sussurrava ai cavalli e ha pensato: ci deve pur essere un sistema per far fare al cane quello che noi vogliamo senza forzature e urla e addestramento da lager. Si é messa a osservare un branco di lupi, come interagiscono, come relazionano, le gerarc ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was extremely helpful! I think a lot of people mistakenly think Jan Fennell is a "dog psychic" or "dog whisperer" when in reality she has just studied wolves(of which dogs have descended) and dogs them self to create a logical, humane way of treating your dog. I only wish I could get my husband to try it, as I think it would be more effective, but am hoping if I can get my children to particpate we will still see results. I have seen some already in our puppy. I would recommend to any ...more
Mar 05, 2016 Mairita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Autorei varētu būt taisnība. Katrā ziņā metodes ir apdomāšanas un izmēģināšanas vērtas.
Plašāk blogā
Jan 08, 2015 Laurie rated it really liked it
Really helped me understand my dogs better, and to build a better relationship with them.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
  • Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
  • No Bad Dogs: The Woodhouse Way
  • Good Owners, Great Dogs
  • The Power of Positive Dog Training
  • Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
  • The Cautious Canine-How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
  • The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior
  • It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet
  • Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats
  • The Social Lives of Dogs: The Grace of Canine Company
  • The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family
  • The Original Dog Bible: The Definitive New Source To All Things Dog
  • The Dog Who Loved Too Much: Tales, Treatments and the Psychology of Dogs
  • Feeling Outnumbered?: How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household
  • Control Unleashed:  Creating a Focused and Confident Dog
  • How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

Share This Book