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The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  285 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Explore the Inner World of Dogs. Recent studies into the minds of canines show that they h....
Paperback, 151 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Ten Speed Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don't know if any of you ever watched Victoria Stilwell on Animal Planet's "It's Me Or The Dog" but I did and I loved it.


This book is not about training but about a how a dog works. There are different chapters with sections in them. I have to say my favorite one was the Zoomies! =) This happens when your dog is full of energy and needs to burn it off, or my favorite is the after bath "thank God it's over" zoomies.


Unfortunately, my Lucy doesn't get zoom after her bath because the front yard
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, animals-dogs
4.5 Stars

“…the best way to understand your dog is by learning how she thinks and experiences the world and what her body language means—which is what this book is about.”

I’ve had dogs all my life – I grew up on a dog, not that we didn’t have a crib when I was a baby, but around that time my parents acquired a 9 month old Irish Setter who had spent all but his initial 8 weeks at some “dog camp” being trained to be the perfect dog. I wish I knew more about where he went before he ever laid eyes on
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs, netgalley

For the last few years, the dog-training world has been rife with conflict. One contingent, following the teachings of the likes of celebrity "dog-whisperer" Cesar Millan, believe that dogs and humans are in a constant struggle for dominance and that an integral part of training is teaching your dog that you're the alpha. Others, given voice by renowned animal behaviourists like Alexandra Horowitz and celebrity trainers like Victoria Stillwell, argue that positive reinforcement is the only
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Having a dog as a member of the family I felt I needed to know more about his secret codes and language. I really enjoyed reading about the different ways of interacting with your dog. Different options on training and proving that not one way is the best way. So much detail about the rationale of the dog, it really improved my insight. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

I loved the pictures and the easy to follow language. Each page had illustrations or dogs in various
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Any experienced dog owner would know most of what is contained in the pages of this book. But it's an ideal book for families bringing their first dog into the family. A lot of information laid out in a way that is easy to consume.
Carolyn F.
I have this rescue dog who is just full of nervous ticks which we've been trying to figure out. So I've been reading this author's book hoping for some insight. The problem is some of the stuff that she says that mean fear also mean excitement. My little guy does lick his nose constantly when two people are sitting together. He sometimes lunges at my husband whom he loves. He coughs constantly when he's in distress. He's a tiny little thing but this is a loud "old man" cough. He was terribly ...more
Jessica White
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review and more can be found at A Reader's Diary!

Being a dog mom is one of the best feelings in the world. You get to do life with your best friend, hang out and get to know all their little quirks. But why are they doing these things? The silly little things we see our dogs do are things that come natural to them.
In The Secret Language of Dogs, Victoria Stilwell explains the inner workings of dogs and their brains. Dogs and humans have coexisted for an incredibly long time now, so we must
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Really 3.5 stars. Thank you to Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
I was so pleased to see this offered here on Blogging for Books. My daughter and I have long been fans of Victoria Stillwell and her TV show, It's Me of the Dog. My daughter adotped a dog, a little over a year ago, and we found ourselves reaching back into our memories of Victoria's advice on the show, as we got accustomed to Diesel the malti-poo and he to us. He had a bit of training and is smart
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review is based on an ARC I received from NetGalley. It is an honest review and the advanced receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

As a dog owner and lover, I of course had to get my hands on a copy of this book. My dogs are the best dogs but they are naughty at times and do some crazy behaviors so I though that this book sounded helpful. I was not disappointed.

This book focuses on understanding your dog by learning how they think and experience the world. You will also learn
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, netgalley
Victoria Stilwell is the host of well known show 'It's Me Or The Dog'. If your looking for a book based on her popular show, then 'The Secret Language of Dogs' is NOT that book.

But if your looking for an informative book to try and understand dogs or more importantly your dog, then this may be for you.

With beautiful full colour pictures and some line drawings for explanation, this book provides an insight to dogs and gives some training tips at the end of each chapter. I got the most out of
Maureen Timerman
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This is the perfect book for me, I am a dog person, and yes I have a cat, but dogs are my guys. From first look the cover of the darling pooch drew me in.
This should be mandatory for everyone who owns a dog, almost like an appliance manual, only more for love. We all have those days that our pet is trying to tell me something, only now we have a handbook to turn to. This book is packed with information, and full of enlightenment, and a place to turn for your questions.
Once you start perusing
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everyone who owns a pet should read this book! While there was a lot of information I already knew, I learned some new things as well. I laughed when I saw the section on "ESP" for pets. I've always said that our beagle can sense ghosts and must have ESP. Now I know why she is always doing the crazy things she jumping up alongside a wall and barking like a wild thing (when there is absolutely nothing there). This title includes a multitude of great information and I loved the ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
An enjoyable read but the content was quite basic, especially if you've read other books by Victoria.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canine-science
The Secret Language of Dogs is another book by Victoria Stilwell being a compilation both of basic and complete information about canine behavior, supported by exemplary tips and competent sources.
The book is composed of a pair of thematic sections related to canine cognition and canine communication, narrating about social behavior - canine body language and signals, like lateral language of left/right biases in wagging a tail or head turning, as examples. "This underscores why using food to
Drae Box
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear and to the point

Going into this book, I knew some areas would be familiar to me but that there would also be some nuggets and/or different ways of thinking to discover.

Well written, even somebody who has no understanding of dog training or behaviour will be able to use what they learn in this book with ease.

I love that the author covers the tail in particular with pictures - so often when I am taking my in-training ex-stray out, people will approach and (usually) ask to say hi or pet him.
syzygy dualcast
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, non-fiction
I have a Siberian Husky named Chocnut for 2 years now and I'm happy that she is part of us. Definitely worth reading if you are a dog lover. After reading this, I'm so glad I didn't let other people train my dog. I love my dogs just normal as they are coz I just can't stand the fact that dogs should be rigidly taught on how they should act and behave. I don't like my dogs being robotic, following each and every command and gesture I make. I like them to be free to choose and communicate what ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I was shocked to discover this book was published in 2016. Victoria clearly states that dogs develop a social hierarchy. There have been countless studies that this is not true. The most evident study to this is that wolves only develop a social hierarchy when placed in captivity. Dogs never develop a social hierarchy, even when in captivity. Displaying dominating/submitting behaviour and actually wanting to establish a social hierarchy are two completely different things. It irritates me to no ...more
Kasey Cocoa
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
The language in this book is simple and easy to understand. While not in any great depth, it does contain valuable information that can help families that include our canine friends. I found the majority to be basic information with several relevant pictures or images to help reinforce the topic or position of the dog. I liked that a wide variety of breeds were represented. This would be a good start for a new owner, especially a younger one. There is a wide selection of books on the same topic ...more
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Stillwell does an excellent job explaining how dogs, like people, learn in different ways from dog to dog. It makes complete sense that some dogs are so distracted by scents (our bloodhound, Jack, for example) that he is unable to pay attention to our voices. This is a wonderful, short handbook for dog owners that truly want to communicate with their dogs...not just be "alpha" (and she explains why this is an unacceptable concept, too). And the photos are fantastic!!

I obtained my free copy
Terry Quirk
Nice concepts but pretty lightweight

As the author is considered to be a dog training expert, I was expecting a little more meat on the bone. She touches briefly on a number of interesting concepts but then just spends a few pages and flits on to something else. I was left feeling like I had seen a bunch of beautiful photos and some well intentioned thoughts on dog behavior and training, but overall came away disappointed considering the price of the book.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was a useful primer on understanding dogs, their language, and why they do what they do.

I thoroughly enjoyed the glossy pictures of all of the different breeds of dogs (one of them looked just like my dog, despite a different coat color).

While it is not entirely comprehensive, it is a quick and easy way to dip your toes into the world of animal psychology (and to an extent) dog training.
Jessica Johnson
May 11, 2019 rated it liked it
“As long as you are clear, consistent, and kind, ‘speaking dog’ will come easily to you, and your dog will love you for it.”

This is a helpful, illustrated guidebook for understanding dogs and their behavior. Even though I knew a lot of what was covered, I do think that it would be a great addition to any dog lovers’ library.

May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a good book for general overlap understanding of basic dog language .. I much prefer her methods over Cesar Milan. I have a couple other books tho cuz I'm really looking for ways to help my dog w her anxiety because the normal stuff only works if the dog is food driven and she's not. This book should be required reading for all dog owners though
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An interesting read--some reminders and a fair amount of new food for thought. I'm spending a lot of time with dogs while volunteering at a pet shelter and having this info will be super valuable as I observe and interact with the pups.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved the read but it’s not for professionals. It gives simple explanations on dog behaviors. It’s a book best for pet owners which is great! It’s important for all pet owners to understand their dog and better cater to their instincts and feed their curiosity.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For totally new dog owners. It didn’t offer any new insight into dogs if you’ve been hanging out with them for several years. But really good overview for someone thinking about becoming a dog parent for the first time.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-training
I don't know much about dogs, yet I learned nothing new with this book. Half the book was photos of pretty dogs and then endnotes. The author was sometimes condescending. Not my favorite dog book.
Lauren Pierce
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quick read. I like Stilwell's emphasis on positive training. Interesting information (but nothing new or groundbreaking) and good tips for understanding dog behavior. This book will be useful for when I someday have a dog of my own.
Kristin R
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
simple straight-forward look at what you can tell by your dogs actions.
Betsy Murphy
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
what a great read ! and for anyone who has a dog or thinking of getting a dog I would recommend them to read this and her book on positive dog training .
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