Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Power of Positive Dog Training (Howell reference books)” as Want to Read:
The Power of Positive Dog Training (Howell reference books)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Power of Positive Dog Training (Howell reference books)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,210 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
The Power of Positive Dog Training is the best book yet on explaining how and why purely positive training works. Inside, you'll find easy to read discussion of the philosophy of positive training followed by training tips and exercises. This book is geared toward the dog owner who wants to develop a relationship with their dog based on friendship and positive reinforcemen ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published August 29th 2001 by *Howell Book House (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Tim The Enchanter
Dec 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 4-stars
If anything, this book has convinced me that Positive Dog Training is the method to employ. It provides a very detailed look at the reasoning and effectiveness of positive reinforcement training. This is helpful for someone who wants to know more than the method of training but wants to know why they are doing what they are doing. It also give some very detailed information on teaching specific commands and a suggested order.

In my case, I was reading this on my Kindle. While I love my ereader, I
May 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
I think this really is the go-to book for learning about positive training and how to implement it with your dog. I've never beat around the bush with indicating that I'm very pro-positive training and I think Pat Miller is one of the best.

The book begins with a little bit about Pat's history of training, namely that she was a "traditional" trainer at one point, which many were. Traditional trainers focus more on aversives and punishments: leash pops, choke chains, and the like. It tells briefly
Justin Podur
Aug 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
I thought this book was quite good. I have always been opposed to (and appalled by) the use of punishment in teaching and training; so, I am a natural sympathizer of the 'positive' school of thought. The training methods and ideas in this book are specific, and solid, and seem to be proven in the field too. My only question about the behaviourist framework, which I am going back and forth about, is, to what extent does behaviourist training, even the positive kind, waste the innate potentials of ...more
Benji Young
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me many years ago when I asked for advice on a dog forum for training my corgi mix myself (without a dog trainer). I was told that Pat Miller really is one of the best in the field, and when I purchased the book I was not disappointed. I found it at a used bookstore for a dollar or so, and was told I was really lucky to find it there and so cheaply, too. Upon reading it, I understood why. This book guided me through my early years with my corgi mix, and because of it ...more
Barb S.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, audible
A lot of this was familiar to me because my dogs had the benefit of a “positive” trainer. This book not only told you how to train your dogs without punishment but why you should. It was a lot of “preaching to the choir” for me, but I did learn some new things and discovered some things I’m doing wrong. The narration was good but this is a book I wish I had a paper or kindle copy of so I could refer back to it more easily.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference-often
This book has excellent insight into how dog brains work and how they process things, which I have found extremely useful in training my second dog, who was far more difficult than my first. It has a premise, that positive training is more effective than other methods, which exploit fear and pain avoidance behavior to achieve the same result. This premise makes sense to me, since pleasure seeking is complex and involves more of the brain than pain avoidance. But some of the suggested methods are ...more
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every (potential or current) dog owner in the world
I think every dog owner in the world needs to read this book.

My family has had dogs for pretty much all my life. None of the dogs have been well trained, and as a result, we've had many problematic behaviors in our dogs. We've had:

1) A big mutt who lived in the yard and never listened to anybody
2) A dachshund who would pee a little whenever he got attention and was afraid to go on walks
3) A medium sized mutt who would pull really hard on walks and occasionally get aggressive towards strangers
Nov 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and am sure I will refer back to it many times. I think the way she discusses both shaping and luring with the clicker as a marker is very useful because it both gives the distinction between the two clearly and gives you options for which one you'd like to use.

I liked how the exercises were laid out and made into games, I think that would make things more accessible to people who may be less experienced with training. I will probably recommend it to people for that reas
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I am 100% convinced that positive dog training is not only effective, but fun for you and your dog!
This is a great book for people who are not familiar with positive training, as well as for people who have some experience with it but need/want more guidance.
I can't wait for the second edition to come out!
Sean Howard
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs
If I had to recommend a book to someone on how to better train their dog, and I could only recommend one, this is it. In fact, I give this book to my clients. Clear, concise, easy-to-follow and the most powerful methods for truly-dog-friend, positive reinforcement training.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very informative and really helped me with my dog. There is a new edition published 2008
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource. Not certain one is ever really "finished" with it.
Kit A
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dog-training
Wonderful practical advice and sanity-saving encouragement--I would recommend this book to anyone with a dog in their life.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it liked it
As a veterinarian, it continues to alarm me how many trainers feel qualified in their books to give nutrition advice as if they were veterinarians or had advanced degrees in animal nutrition. In this case it was recommending raw bones and meat without any allusion to the possible significant health risks to people in the house from secondary exposure which is echoed by the CDC. This kind of advice is probably the #1 that disqualifies me from being about to recommend good training books without r ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog owners
Shelves: how-to
This was a really great book on dog training using behavioral conditioning (I think that's what it's called. I read this a while ago.)

Don't Shoot the Dog is a better book (if we're going to compare the two) but this one is specifically geared towards dog training, and is quite valuable. You should read (and own) both.

The first third (if I recall correctly) describes the concepts involved. It was useful, but man, this lady is SO into positive training that it is a little crazy. Like, she beats
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dog owners
Shelves: dog-behavior
If I could only recommend one dog training book, this would be it. The first part of the book is organized into a 6-week training program (appropriate for any age dog), with each chapter representing one week of training. Pat Miller suggests "Core Exercises" and "Bonus Games" for each week, and she explains how to avoid or deal with common problems. The rest of the book is divided into common "problem" scenarios, such as Housebreaking, Aggression, Socialization, etc. If you want a fuller explana ...more
Michelle Greene
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book if you want to get results and get them quickly. I use all of the methods in this book and I have 4 great dogs. There is some negative reviews on Amazon regarding giving treats and not giving negative reprimands. I feel like these are from people that are still using the old ways of training they grew up on that only result in fear.
This book not only talks about positive methods but explains why negative methods don't work or work poorly. She also demonstrates all the ba
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to learn about positive reinforcement training.
Shelves: ebooks
Excellent book explaining the concept behind positive reinforcement based training. It is written clearly and simply without any unnecessary information that makes you want to nod off. The author also explains a bit about other training styles and how they differ, and includes a 6 week program that just about anyone can follow to teach their dogs several useful things via positive reinforcement. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn this method of training, and it's even good ...more
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Prior to it I did use traditional training methods; I hit my dog when she would go on the floor. I really hated doing it but everyone said it was the only way. It didn't really work, she went on the floor when I wasn't around her and she was afraid to go on walks or if I was in the yard. I started positive dog training and she no longer goes on the floor, she will go on walks, and she doesn't eat my books anymore so I don't have to hide them!!
This book had a lot of good information about training with rewards and treats. It also gave some good psychological profiling of what dogs think/want. It was a little heavy handed at times(about every 3rd page the author noted, "After all, humans are suppose to be more intelligent then dogs.") Overall I liked it, agenda-setting put aside.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
I have only scanned through this book, but my husband has read it completely. He says it is an excellent book with great techniques. I have to agree because he has taught the techniques to me and I have been using them. When I have time I plan to read the book for myself (other than the parts I really, really needed).
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dow Lovers
Shelves: non-fiction
This covers a whole bunch of territory regarding dog behaviors. What is especially valuable is learning about the "clicker" method of training, and also understanding what human gestures/behaviors mean to an animal (and how they can negatively influence training). Pat Miller seems very capable and knowledgeable and I would think many dog owners would find this valuable.
Celine Lind
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good! I love the book, and it really gets the owner started on training the dog (or other pets). Its doing a great job, but is very repetitive for the first 6 chapters to prove the point. Great if you are convincing the reader, but as one who is already using the methods and want to learn more, well, it gets repetitive.
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The best step-by-step guide to positive dog training; I'd recommend it as a manual for every dog owner. My full review here:
Sep 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007books, nonfiction
This is pretty much how I have taught things to my dog for the past year. It's worked pretty well, but she still has a long way to go. There were a lot of new games & teaching tips in here that I will try. This was a little dry but still very readable.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pets
Good book, easy to understand and fun for the dog!
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very, very useful positive training book with a curriculum to work with your canine pal.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
The positive reinforcement dog techniques were discovered to be highly effective in training animals for motion pictures.
This is an important must read for pet owners.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I highly recommend it! It is helping me a lot with Envy and offers great advice for both puppies and adult dogs!
Paula Lancaster
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Simply Excellent!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Culture Clash
  • Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
  • On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals
  • Control Unleashed:  Creating a Focused and Confident Dog
  • Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
  • Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
  • The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
  • Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog
  • Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs
  • Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior  Evolution
  • Feeling Outnumbered?: How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household
  • How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves
  • The Modern Dog: How Dogs Fit into Our Society, Culture, and Our Personal and Emotional Lives
  • Excel-Erated Learning: Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them
  • Dog Whisperer
  • Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration, and Aggression in Dogs

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99
  • Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
    $10.49 $1.99
“I would rather have cookies in my jacket pockets than a chain around my dog's neck.” 7 likes
More quotes…