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Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog: A 3-Step Positive Dog-Training Program

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  251 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
A comprehensive dog training and puppy training program that offers the added benefit of one-on-one online advice from the author

Do you consider your dog part of the family? Most dog guardians do. But just like children, dogs need structure. Structure to show him that he shouldn't jump on every person who enters your house, or urinate indoors, or drag you down the road whe
Paperback, 256 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 5th 2010)
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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsThe Call of the Wild by Jack London
Great "Dog" Books
335th out of 797 books — 1,559 voters
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth SteinDog-Ma, the Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell BrunnerA Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce CameronMarley and Me by John GroganScent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson
Dog Lovers List
82nd out of 236 books — 205 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 694)
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Apr 08, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: I am the editor of this book. So, of course, I think it's great. This is the perfect book for any dog lover--old dog or puppy, new to you or had him/her for ages. It teaches you how to use basic obedience and how to tackle a variety of behavior issues that are keeping you from enjoying each other to the fullest. And you can contact the author for personalized support. What could be better?
Ashley Chen
Aug 05, 2011 Ashley Chen rated it it was amazing
If you are thinking about getting a dog/puppy...GET THIS BOOK!
If you are having trobles with your dog/puppy...GET THIS BOOK!
If you want to learn more about a positive way to train your puppy...GET THIS BOOK!
If you just want a good book to read...GET THIS BOOK!

This book have simple, easy to follow rules to get you the perfect trained dog/puppy! It have many frequently asked questions answered!
If you are in the market to invest in a good book, you are in luck because this book is PERFECT!
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Mar 12, 2011 Stella ☢FAYZ☢ Chen rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic read! Curl up on the couch on a rainy day sort of read.

What's not to like about learning more about owning a dog? I learned so much from thus book than I would have ever found on the Internet. I always had to doubt the source where I was getting it from, but this book had everything I was looking for.

Now, let's go adopt a dog, shall we? :)
Dec 20, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Overall this is a really solid dog training book. It comes from a place of rewarding good dog behavior rather than correction correction correction of unwanted behavior. Within days of reading this we were able to finally stop our dog's perversion of the "shake" command. Sit and shake seemed to be the only things his original owners taught him, and his shake had turned into a pawing attempt to get attention. 6 years and no one has ever gotten him to stop pawing: children, elderly, anyone who sat ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Sophie rated it did not like it
Shelves: the-book-shelf
Imagine Life With a Well - Behaved Dog Was the perfect book for me at the perfect time. Written by Julie B. Bjelland this book was put together in an interesting yet fun way. I am getting a new puppy for the first time, and reading this book is making my first experience that much better.

The book is written in the narration of Julie who is a dog trainer. The book is a 3 - step positive dog training program. It is really helpful that while she is talking about the techniques she also brings in
Julie Bjelland
Jul 01, 2010 Julie Bjelland rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Editorial Reviews

"...I can say with certainty that this is NOT just another dog-training book...Julie Bjelland's book is one of the best, right up there with the Monks of New Skete, The Culture Clash and How Dogs Think".---PGAA (more of this review below)..

"Life will be better for readers who heed Bjelland's advice. The strength of this book is the practical, user-friendly motivation it provides for owners, to shape both human and dog behaviors."--Library Journal

"Explicit, positive advice on tac
Dec 28, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
Short review: More helpful to me than Cesar Millan's puppy book.
Longer Review: Helpfully divides training between "basics" and "advancing", showing that you first establish a foundation of several commands. Only later do you take each command to the next level, meaning to perform the command even when distractions are available or when he doesn't want to. Great ideas for games to play with your dog.
Apr 28, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it
This is a very practical guide to training your dog. The theme carrying throughout the book is lots of exercise, redirect attention, stay calm, and be a consistent leader. It's especially nice knowing you have the safety net of six months worth of follow up questions through the author's web site. I haven't tried the website just yet, but I have already taught my puppy sit, down and come (well, mostly, especially of there are treats) in a matter of two weeks. She also is pretty much house traine ...more
Jun 07, 2011 Andra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-home-library
Wonderful with helping stop nipping and mouthing, barking and separation anxiety. A must read for all new dog parents!
Apr 07, 2011 Pamela rated it it was amazing
A positive training program for dogs. Easy to follow, great ideas. Definitely recommend.
Oct 04, 2011 Holly rated it liked it
I liked Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog, but I was hoping for it to be like everything I would need to know to train my puppy, Comet, but it just wasn't. I think I would give it 3.5 stars. Some of the sections had very little information. I think she knows her stuff, but didn't do the best at explaining it. This is the only dog training book I have purchased so far (based on its amazon reviews), but I checked a huge stack of dog books from the library and I've been reading bits of pieces of ...more
There's some good stuff in here. The problem is that the actual training section doesn't begin until page 94.

So what's in the first 93 pages, you ask? Well, let's look at some of the things the author chooses to include...

- First year costs of owning a dog

- Choosing dog toys and dog food

- How to lower the stress in your life (yes, there's a whole section devoted to it, including a 1.5 page part called "My Favorite Relaxation Technique")

Then there are the things in the book that I flat-out disagr
Sep 05, 2011 Craig rated it really liked it
Imagine Life with a Well-Behaved Dog is a wonderful training manual for anyone who has a dog or is thinking of getting one. It is well organized covering a variety of topics ranging from considerations before adopting, obedience training and caring for dogs with special needs. The layout allows the reader to either read from start to finish or quickly flip to specific topics by consulting the index. I liked the addition of a “fun things to do with your dog” section detailing lesser known dog spo ...more
Gisselle Rangel
Oct 04, 2015 Gisselle Rangel rated it it was amazing
I'm a dog lover. I love to read books about dogs. This author shares about her dog in some parts but it's mostly about training. I like that because you can see how the training worked on her dog. It also shows reviews on how it worked on other people. If you like books that have something you can use in your life then this book is for you. You should also read it if you have a bad dog that needs to learn some manners.
Apr 18, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book was very helpful. It's well laid out; the chapters make sense and guide you through the logical steps of training your dog to do different tasks. For instance, the sit command is a part of teaching the down command, so sit is before down in the book.

My own dogs are somewhat trained already. Both know sit, come and a few other commands, but they don't always obey. This book was a great way to start perfecting/enforcing those commands and to add on a few as well. My chihuahua now sits wh
Sep 20, 2012 Crushi rated it really liked it
Great book if you have any interest in adopting and/or training your puppy. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do SOME research and reading before adopting a pup. We as a culture are horrifically uneducated in the basics of positive dog behavior/training methods. We do a lot wrong and a lot of pups end up euthanized or at the pound... millions of them actually.

Do yourself a favor and spend the money or pick it up at the library and take a couple of evenings to go through the basics
Jun 01, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So great! I don't even have a dog to train but I love dogs and really liked reading books on training r dogs when I had a dog, wish I had this then. I will recommend this to everyone I know with dogs. I also love how passionate The author is about making the world a better place for dogs and helping dogs make the world a better place. Love!
Dec 20, 2012 Arlian rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book enough. I have a rescue dog, which I picked up off the streets. In the month I've had her, I've taught her to sit, lay down, stay, high five, low five, beg, "give hugs", "honk it" (jump up and stick her nose in your palm so you can squeeze it), Waltz (jump up and stick her palms in your hands so you can dance together), she also walks on leash without pulling, off leash well enough that I can stop her from chasing cats, and we are working on her separation anxiety tog ...more
Fraser Sherman
Dec 25, 2014 Fraser Sherman rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
3.5. A lot of this (choosing a dog, dogproofing your house) wasn't any use to me, but the discussion of basic commands will, i think, be really helpful (I started training today).
Gracie Jolene
Jan 31, 2016 Gracie Jolene rated it really liked it
Great book with great tips! I have a husky puppy who is very high energy and found the book to cover most the topics I was seeking information on!!
May 10, 2014 Kateri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy read, but I don't know how well the instructions are working for us... I admit fully there is probably some user error.
Joelle Ferrell
Jun 18, 2014 Joelle Ferrell rated it really liked it
Did not read this book in its entirety, mostly just skimmed through. Some really good, basic information. I was hoping for something a bit more advanced, but for someone who is inexperienced in dog training I'd definitely recommend.
Faith Gudal
Jan 24, 2012 Faith Gudal rated it it was amazing
If you have a dog, you should have this book in your collection. First, Julie explains how to train your dog, VERY specifically. It's so easy to just look up the page and follow the steps. The really great part though is that she explains WHY to do things that way. This forever changed the way I will handle dogs and only using positive obedience training. Lastly, if you own her book, you can email her with questions about your dog. I did this and got a response that day from her that was very he ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Shannon rated it liked it
More of a resource type of book than a read from start to finish. It has a lot of good ideas and advice. My only qualm is that the author states throughout the book that she is available to answer questions on her website as a perk to having bought the book. While that might have been her intent at the time, now she charges for it. Kind of disappointing. But overall a good book.
Sep 17, 2013 Kristen rated it really liked it
In truth I have only read the first half of this book, since that is what pertains to us and our stage with our dog. But I really like her approach to training, and it felt like solid, well-thought out advice on behavioral training. Also it was laid out in an easy to read style that makes it easy to refer back to time and again.
Nov 05, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok
Eh. In prep for the new addition, I wanted to do a little reading to make sure that things will go as smoothly as possible. I think if you're not used to being around dogs, then perhaps this book would be helpful. But honestly, there was very little in here that I didn't already know.
Aug 20, 2012 Cheri rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Basic book for dog training. There's nothing particularly great about this book, but it is well informed, and informative, just very basic - which is not a bad thing. Did I learn anything I didn't know? Not really, but it's a good 3 step program to follow for those just starting out.
Jan 30, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
This book was informative but not the best I've ever read. If you already have a dog the first chapter is useless, otherwise it's very helpful. If you have an adult dog the second chapter only has a tiny bit of info for you. The rest of the book was pretty good
Feb 20, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it
THis book was highly reviewed on amazon, and so I checked it out from the library initially. There is a lot of good information, and it will serve as a good reference book so I decided to go ahead and buy this book. There are a lot of good pictures in it as well.
Dec 07, 2011 Alisa rated it liked it
Recommended to Alisa by:
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
This was a good book, had a lot of good ideas that I am sure would work on pupies and even younger dogs.. my older dogs looked at me like I was on Good Book none the less. I have suggested it to others and they loved it.
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JULIE A. BJELLAND has 15 years of experience as a dog trainer and trained at the world renowned Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization known for producing some of the best-trained dogs in the world. Her lifelong love of animals began in her childhood on a Minnesota farm. She is the owner of She has two sons, Oliver and Eliot, and is the guardian of four adopted pets: Fax, Tis ...more
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