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Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  946 ratings  ·  88 reviews
The celebrity dog trainer and Emmy-winning star of the CBS show Lucky Dog shares his training system to transform any dog—from spoiled purebred puppy to shelter-shocked rescue—into a model companion in just seven days.

Each week on Lucky Dog, Brandon McMillan rescues an untrained, unwanted, "unadoptable" shelter dog. In the days that follow, these dogs undergo a miraculous
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by HarperOne (first published October 2016)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  946 ratings  ·  88 reviews

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Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Can I just have Brandon come out and teach me?? hehe

My mom bought me this book and handed it to me for my puppy Finn. I read it almost immediately. I appreciated the real life stories Brandon introduces you to throughout each section. Everything seems pretty self explanatory and easy. (if only!). I haven't caught his show or his mission before this book, but I'm anxious to check him out now that I've read about his method.

I will continue to reach for this book as time progresses and I continue
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been checking out several training books for my pup. I really like Brandon's style and found the explanations very clear and easy to follow. I'm on board - now I just need to get my pup on board too. ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
I do not like McMillan’s style of teaching dogs. As a teacher of human children, I’m a big proponent of positive reinforcement. However, this author frequently advises you to use leashes to restrain and tug at your dog while she learns. This doesn’t seem like a positive association for learning for any dog.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clear and concise. Using a clicker my high energy rescue boy has learned sit and down in a couple of days, and as an added bonus now that he associates the clicker with a treat it's working like a charm to get him to come in the house without having to chase after him. I have my doubts about Mr. Business learning to stay in one place for more than a half second but I'll give it a shot. :)
Caitlin M
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved hearing the short stories of the various dogs he’s rescued and re-homed. The approaches were well organized and easy to follow. Some of the strategies seem very different than what our other trainers have suggested so I’ll see how my dog responds.
Mitch Karunaratne
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Just discovered this series on TV - and we've become hypnotised by the Brandon magic! This book feels like you've got Brandon at home with you giving you encouragement, warmth and wisdom! I just might need to buy a second copy and leave it in the crate for puppy to read! ...more
Mary Elizabeth O'Connor
Helpful. Best lesson I’ve taken from this book- the face you show the world is the face you dog will show you or something like that! In other words, be confident and consistent with you pup!
Margaret F. Stretton
I very much enjoyed this book. I am a fan of Brandon's approach to training a dog - or any animal for that matter. I took away some good tips and still go back and refer to his book ...more
Marie Peebles
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the start, McMillan establishes himself as a trustworthy author and dog trainer. He shares his successful and challenging experiences in training thousands of shelter dogs not egotistically but humbly--his evident goal in writing this book is to impart his knowledge onto the typical dog owner looking to teach her dog to be well-mannered, and to do this for the good of the dog and all dogs who currently reside or have resided in shelters. It is clear that he truly cares for not only dogs but ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked Brandon McMillan's common-sense approach to dog training. He offers practical suggestions, accompanied by photographs, which not only help the reader to teach dogs common commands, but also address issues such as housebreaking, barking, running away, and digging. He includes interesting anecdotes about the many shelter dogs he’s trained, including some that became service dogs for veterans. Lucky Dog Lessons is unquestionably one of the best training guides I've read. ...more
It was ok, had some helpful pointers, but wasn’t super interesting to read. I also wish he’d give more alternative suggestion for things. He relies a lot on the “shake and break” or penny bottle. I remember trying that with my last dog and it didn’t help at all. So I am reluctant to think that will help with problem behaviors for every dog. I don’t doubt that he’s a good trainer, but maybe just not super great at explaining things.
Sonia Crites
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you have a pup that needs some training you will find some solid easy to follow advice in this book. Lucky Dog is all about rescuing, training and placing shelter dogs. Me and my two lucky dogs definitely approve of this book.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
At least one reviewer complained that it had "too much anecdote; too little instruction." I did not agree at all! It is true that I had to flip ahead and read his description of the seven basic commands, then go back to the stories that gave it life. But I was happy to do so.

In addition to the seven basic commands that he teaches all dogs, he addresses a handful of problem behaviors and the ways to untrain them. But all the way through, he addresses the "feel how" and the "feel why" of dog train
Helle Lang
Jul 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Understandable approach to dog training, but a lot of the problem behaviour was solved using negative reinforcement. Things as physical restraints while training and loud noises, meant to be uncomfortable are not just hard for the dog to understand, but it has great potential to condition the wrong behaviour. If you want a dog that cowards in a corner each time you bring out the “Shake and break” due to being uncomfortable with the noise, you should really reassess why you have a dog in the firs ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Brandon McMillan's Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days is chock full of helpful guidance for teaching any dog manners. McMillan is truly a compassionate expert in the field, and he brings a lifetime of experience and insight to the average owner who may be struggling with anything from basic commands to problem behavior. His step-by-step instructions make this book a lifesaver for the dog and a confidence booster to the owner. Not one to employ expensive gear or complicated language, McM ...more
Keely Ann
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We just rescued a 2 year old dog, who seems to have never heard the word sit. We're starting from scratch. I researched training books and this is one of two I purchased. I read it start to finish while teaching what I already knew how to teach. We've already gotten "sit," usually "down" & "leave it" (Brandon's "no"). There are many helpful instructions & photos to teach someone to train their dog. It's great the book includes behavioral problems, but the one we have (chasing our cats) wasn't co ...more
Out of the several dog training books I've read recently this one spent the most time breaking down techniques into step by step explanations which I appreciated. These training how-tos were interspersed with stories of rescue dogs he rehabbed for families as well as anecdotes of times he suffered temporary training failures and made mistakes (which can be refreshing to see).

Brandon would be classed among the group of 'Balanced' trainers- he does not advocate for dominance or forceful technique
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I have never seen Brandon’s Show, but I found his book to be very helpful when my husband and I realized our little dog was getting a bit out of control. That’s our fault. We’ve spoiled her. She’s very wily and with a look is able to melt our hearts. The only command she knew when I got this book was sit. She’s very smart and a good dog, but we know she has the potential to be a great dog. In this book, Brandon shares his techniques to teach your dog the seven basic commands: SIT, DOWN, STAY, NO ...more
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-my-books
The best book on dog training I've ever read (and I've read plenty over the years). Brandon provides a slew of practical step-by-step instructions covering all the basics of training (sit, stay etc.) as well as tips on dealing with common problems. The absolutely best, and most refreshing thing however, is that he's honest. Other training books will make you feel like a failure if your dog can't master something like a come, but he will be frank and tell you certain types of dogs (like my beagle ...more
This book is super easy to read and has interesting anecdotes from the dogs he's trained over the years. What I really like is that he does a great job breaking the training down into simple steps and techniques that are not complicated or overwhelming at all. I also appreciate that he teaches empathy in a way that ultimately helps you better understand and better train your dog. He also stresses that there are distinct differences in breeds, personalities, and natural abilities of dogs and that ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanya Roberts
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy watching the Lucky Dog television series so when my family adopted a new puppy, I decided to get this book. In addition to actually having a trainer work with us I read this book and there are some very sound training suggestions and advice that coincides with what the trainer is telling us. Since our dog is a young puppy it is taking a lot of patience and longer than 7 days but I am seeing progress. I enjoyed the added stories of dogs that Brandon has actually worked with.

Although, my p
Margaret Blankenship
Stella and her "parents" thank you!

I chose this book in the beginning because we have a six month old Yellow Lab named Stella. We are older and she is a bundle of energy. We were beginning to think that we were in over our heads and then we found Brandon McMillan and he taught us how to really enjoy her by training her to be a well-mannered puppy. It's been a lot of work , both on Stella's part and ours but Brandon made it so down to earth and easy to understand. His love for dogs is apparent on
Kathleen Chaves
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best Dog Training Book Ever

I have always struggled with knowing how to correctly raise dogs and have never identified with the dominance style of dog training that I often saw. I even had contact with a dog trainer who was trying to educate people on dominance dog training, and it felt all wrong to me. This book teaches in the loving teacher/student style I have always been looking for, and I could not be happier having read this entire book. I feel like I have a great dog guide that will last m
Mar 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the first book I’ve read about how to train our crazy pandemic puppy, but so far it’s my favorite. I just wish I’d read it when we first brought Finn home. Finny already knows the 7 core tricks recommended in this training method, but I still found it useful for some of the barking, begging, chewing kind of behaviours we’re hoping to rid him of.

I loved hearing the personal stories about the authors rescue dogs, and I really loved all of the Outtakes sections. It’s well organized, so
May 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One would think Reading a dog training book would be a challenge & maybe not offer much help. Versus seeing training techniques in action. Not so with this book. It was really well written, felt like the trainer was right there talking to me. Really enjoyed the book and learned a lot. Out of the 7 main commands I used his technique on a few , still working but definitely working. I look forward to watching some of his episodes. This is the first time I’ve heard othe author. Really liked his trai ...more
Christine D
Nov 08, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is helpful for first time owners as well as people who have had a dog. I like how he broke things down step by step. Also, not only basic training tips, but the "if your dog is really stubborn..." tips, which was helpful.
I didn't agree with all of his techniques but I think this book is a helpful training manual.
The 'outtakes' at the end of each chapter were amusing.
p.s. the author is a fine looking man, that helped :)
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!!! If you have watched the show you will actually "hear" while you read - I love that Mr. McMillan wrote the way he talks on the show! It actually helped. I have three rescue dogs - my latest one has some serious unsocialization issues so I was hoping it would help with that. I still have a lot of work to do with her, but this book helped me know I was doing a lot of the right things! Hoping he will write more books about other issues! ...more
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I hadn’t heard of the author before & I was kind of skeptical of reading a book by a celebrity dog trainer. But then when I read that he trains lions and bears and swims with sharks I figured there’s no way to fake that. Did I train my dog in 7 days? No. She still has several issues. But the things I have tried from the book have worked. It was really helpful to have a resource that focuses on untrained adult/rescue dogs rather than puppies, although the book would probably work for both.
Cheryl S
I recently adopted a little Jack Russell terrier mix, ...named Jack....of course. So I chose this book cause Brandon has a half hour program on tv and he makes it look easy to train a dog. Well the book makes it sound easy also, but in reality it ain't. So yes, he gives very clear instructions and interesting life stories but it may not be as easy as is sounds unless you have a golden retriever that is always ready to please. Jack is not. So off to training school we go. ...more
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Brandon McMillan is a world-renowned animal trainer, Emmy® Award-winning host of the CBS television show Lucky Dog, and the host of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Born into a family of trainers and entertainers, Brandon has been working with wild and domestic animals all his life. He has trained animals for over 300 Hollywood productions and privately worked with the pets of A-list celebrities. B ...more

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