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Katz on Dogs: A Commonsense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs

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3.97  ·  Rating details ·  409 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In a nation where our love of dogs keeps growing and dog ownership has reached an all-time high, confusion about dogs and their behavioral problems is skyrocketing. Many dogs are out of control, untrained, chewing up furniture, taking medication for anxiety, and biting millions of people a year.

Now, in this groundbreaking new guide, Jon Katz, a leading authority on the hum
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Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published (first published October 4th 2005)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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stephanie suh
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs
What I like about this book is its simplicity in defining a human-canine relationship devoid of complex training regime and overtly enforced ethical overtones on animal rights and so forth. Also, I can't agree more to the following perspectives of the author as a kindred spirit: (1) Rather than relying heavily on professional training advice from books and the media, being a trainer of my own by observing and understanding my dog works the best; (2) being a "rational" dog-lover, who does not mak ...more
Kirsten
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good little book. It's not exactly a training manual as such -- it's more about Katz's observations of dogs and training, what's worked for him, and what hasn't. I feel like it's a good book to read after you've slogged through a bunch of training manuals, because Katz's basic thesis is "do what works, and it's not going to work the same way for every dog." He sort of gives the reader permission to synthesize all the information they've read into whatever works for them, and tha ...more
Linda Munroe
I loved this book although I have a limited experience with dogs that is to say DOG. I only have one dog and it is my first one. She is dog aggressive though and sometimes she defines children as other dogs. Or is she sees a strange looking something coming at us she will growl and menace the object, person, skateboard, bike, whatever. I have had to pay a lot more attention than I expected and I have had to maintain a watchful eye - ever on the look out for the teachable moment!

Katz describes th
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Margaret
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more personal and anecdotal than the other end of the leash, but Katz is also very honest about how life can make dog training imperfect and inconsistent. After reading this I'm more inspired to keep trying, more patient with my lapses and more daydreamy about a farm future. ...more
Debby
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy all katz books.personal life stories
Inder
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dog owners
Shelves: dogs
This is the first book I ever read on dog training, and, in retrospect, it was a great place to start. It is not the best written manual I've ever seen, nor is it illustrated. So I waffled between giving it four and a five stars. But because this book has some really original and proven ideas for training, I went with five stars.

My takeaway points - (1) handfeed your dog, while saying their name; (2) if your dog jumps on people, throw cookies over their shoulder, to divert their attention; (3)
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Caralyn
Thank you, Mr. Katz, for putting words around what it means to love a dog responsibly and compassionately. Your book, and the descriptions of your rapport with your dogs helped me better understand why I am so very fond of my own sweet creature. There were sections of the book that were awful to read, but I feel like it was important for me to remember that the time I have with my dog, Malcolm, is sweet, and finite.

There were many dear stories and moving quotes in this book; here is one that hi
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C.
Jul 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps I liked this book so much because by the end I just plain liked the author -- he seemed like a good guy to hang out with, someone good for a long walk on his farm with his dogs. I also agree with his approach to dogs, which is loving, compassionate, sometimes almost obsessive, and yet rational: dogs are dogs, not people or children, and it doesn't do you or the dogs any favors to treat them otherwise. To treat a dog well and give him and yourself good lives, you have to understand your d ...more
Emily
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs
I think I am drawn to Jon Katz's writing on dogs (and his life at bedlamfarm.com) because he is open-minded about himself, readily admits mistakes, and he takes a step back to also become an observer of his life. He shares information that open himself to criticism, he is honest and reflective. Katz continues this introspection in Katz on Dogs. He chronicles how his training and life with dogs has changed over time and gives his opinion based on experience and lessons learned about how he operat ...more
Diane
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog owners
I like Jon Katz and his writings about life on Bedlam Farm in upstate New York.

If you are starting to read dog training books or are becoming exasperated at the conflicting advice in the many dog training books you've read you ahould give this book a try.

Katz admits he isn't an expert and doesn't know everything but he sure has a lot of common sense. I don't agree with everything he says (I do think that dogs have some sense of time passing) but I agree with most of it.

Each book or show you see
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Mary
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of the book does not have step by step instructions on how to train your dog. There are numerous other books on the market for that. What the author does do is discuss how best to treat your dog. He mentions various training methods in the book and discusses the pros and cons of them.

He has numerous anecdotal stories from readers that has sought his advice and what he did for them. It really helps get an idea on how to deal with your dog's problems.

What I like best about the book is h
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Lisa
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I love Katz's conservative, prudent approach to dogs and their behavior. I love that he puts people before dogs and I love his explanation. He lets dogs be dogs. I love his concentration on training, investing time, and good boundaries. That is the basis for all good relationships. I hope I have learned a few things from this book and look forward to reading more of his books (and a few of his recommended training books). Do I agree with everything he says? No. But in most cases, if you're looki ...more
Gayle
Mar 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers and dog owners
This is third book I have read by Katz. I heard an NPR interview with him about this book. I received a copy for Christmas and as a new dog owner found his ideas about training useful, common sense and interesting. Some of his ideas have worked well with Jackson, our Shih Tzu mix.

The downside of the book is that the author repeats himself in every chapter. It sounds like he took his radio programs and transcribed them. The dog owner stories are fun to read. I recommend this book--just skip over
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Cwalsen
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
Jon Katz once again entertains us with stories about his less than perfect dogs and his less than perfect handling of them. This time he includes a number of stories from readers who have contacted him about their dogs with problem behaviors. Dog owners will appreciate Katz's flexible approach to training techniques in the face of today's over-emotional conflicts among professional dog trainers about which training method is the best. And I especially appreciate his calm explanations about how s ...more
Carmen
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals
Very through but also very opinionated description of having dogs as pets. Katz uses personal experiences and others' experiences to illustrate his points. I happen to agree with many of his points, but it doesn't take away from the fact that he is not impartial. He explores the relationships between people and their dogs to some extent. I found this interesting, as I commonly only know about my own relationships. ...more
Sarah
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I'm a small animal vet and it would be so great if I could place this into each of my clients' hands to read before they pick up a new puppy or dog. It would save some of them the heartbreak of choosing a dog which is all wrong for their life, and give all of them some really great tools for helping their pet fit into their family. ...more
Laurie
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am almost done with this book and wish my 6 yr old Golden/Berner was a puppy again so I could train him better from the start. But I've already started implementing some of Katz's techniques and they are working great (soft voice, watch me, dog gets nothing for free, daily training exercises). Katz's prose is very readable, literary almost, and his case studies useful. Highly recommended ...more
Stephanie
Apr 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books
Jon Katz writes in a manner that the common dog owner can relate to. This book isn't so much about problem solving but synthesizing various bits of information (whether scientific, training techniques or anecdotal stories) that one needs to learn in order to become a responsible dog owner. He isn't condescending in his advice, but pragmatic. I love that! ...more
Ann Xiang
This book is a nice read about life with dogs in general, but does not offer too many specific training advice. Jon Katz speaks as a fellow dog owner and author instead of a dog specialist, I like his relaxed attitude towards pets and life, but was somewhat disappointed to read that he has given up on many former pets.
Jessica
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All dog owners
Disregard all those other "dog gurus." Jon Katz has the answers, in other words, that there ARE no answers. But he'll help you feel better about listening to your instincts instead of the arbitrary dictates of the world's dog whisperers, listeners and talkers. ...more
Necole Jadick
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Jon, and his ideas are practical and reflect a thorough understanding about how dogs think and act. ...more
Anneliese
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog training enthusiasts
as far as training books go, i thought that this was a pretty good one. it does go off on tangents a lot and in some places is pretty vague... sort of a do-what-works-for-you-this-is-what works-for-me approach, but after all that is the approach that always works best for me.
Karen Klein
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read and gave me some good tips on what to do with our 5 month old puppy, Patton. Our house is now littered with bones and chew toys but he's stopped chewing on me! Just really good, practical information. ...more
Lucy
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent book; written with great discernment! This is for anyone who is interested in understanding and relating to canines, and in comprehending how our interaction with them transforms our lives.
Whitney
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! It surprised me. I really identified with the author and his view on dogs and training. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is frustrated with their dog and is looking for a good perspective. :)
Heather Finch
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books about dog training. It's certainly not an instruction book, but more of an attitude about our relationship with dogs. As someone who has had both border collies and Labradors, this book ears a special spot on my shelf. ...more
Lou
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as much of a "how-to" as the Monks of New Skete books, but a wonderful complement to them, this is more of an overall philosophical approach to owning a dog from a great writer. ...more
Mary
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dog lovers will enjoy any of Katz's books. ...more
Margaret
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog owners
Shelves: gone-to-the-dogs
I learned that it is not a bad thing to have your dogs associate you with treats.
susan
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
READ THIS BEFORE YOU GET A DOG. It will help you make many decisions. And email Katz-he will email you back!
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Jon Katz is an author, photographer, and children's book writer. He lives on Bedlam Farm with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, his four dogs, Rose, Izzy, Lenore and Frieda, two donkeys, Lulu and Fanny, and two barn cats. His next book, "Rose In A Storm" will be published by Random House on October 5.
He is working on a collection of short stories and a book on animal grieving.
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