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Good Owners, Great Dogs

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  507 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
One of the world's foremost experts on dog training and animal behavior offers a comprehensive, practical, and innovative guide to dog ownership, care, and training. Kilcommons teaches dog owners how to master the effective training skills that will result in obedient, well-behavedpets who can accompany their owners anywhere.
Hardcover
Published August 28th 1992 by Grand Central Publishing
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Community Reviews

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Lauren
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not a dog trainer, so I’m no expert… but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was extremely helpful. I wish I had my dog near so I could put to use what I learned from this book immediately! The book is entertaining, full of advice and photos, and is inspiring for a dog owner. I never had any trouble understanding the author or doubted his methods (except once, which I detail below). Gotta love dogs! All potential dog owners or even experienced dog owners like myself should take a ...more
Ingrid
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of this book on a pet parenting site and figured I'd give it a try. I thought, "The book is old, it probably has a lot of training tips I don't agree with" but was curious to see what the hype was about from this particular website. Upon reading it, I was really quite pleasantly surprised that the Brian Kilcommons had the same philosophy with regards to dog training that I had. In Latin America, dogs are seen as animals and pet ownership isn't exactly a romanticized notion like it ...more
Lynne Curry
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best of the dog training books. It could have better, more clear instructions, however, it's better than any of the others. And I credit it with my first great walk with Zeke, a high energy collie pup today. (Along with Deuce, 12 years old and blind.) Both love their training. I bought this book after reading it in the library and realizing what a "find" it was. If you have a dog, you'll love it.
Mike
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Owners, Great Dogs, by Brian Kilcommons claims to teach four things: 1. how to think from your dog’s point of view, 2. how to be patient and kind with your dog, 3. how not to be abusive to your dog, and 4. how to speak the way a dog understands. All of those can be summarized by saying, “learn to understand your dog better, and you will train your dog better.” Or “Be a good owner, and you'll have a great dog.” I see what he did there--apropos title.

Who could object to that? A better questio
...more
Deirdre Keating
Maybe I need to check it out of library again...so many positive reviews, when it seemed to me the same old---lots of advice and then when you look closer, you see that the crux of training comes down to using a corrective leash. I forget the name for the very specific, British one he recommends but it is similar to a choke collar. The side correction he uses seems so specific to that collar, and when I first read this, I was disillusioned that I couldn't only use positive reinforcement.

At the s
...more
Kelly L.
Nov 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of all the dog books my brother sent me, this is my favorite. This guy employs the Woodhouse method, but his book is more complete than hers. She talked mostly of dog psychology and correction collars, but this guy goes through step-by-step dog training, care, and temperment considerations. I only hope to master the basic commands that will keep our dog safe and make her an enjoyable pet. No cone weaving tricks for Lily. At the moment, a housebroken puppy and a full night's sleep will be cause f ...more
Liz Ross Jones
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs
Some parts of this book are obviously dated in the training methods, as they conflict with more current books and training theories. I also don't agree with the author's rule of only 10 minutes per hour of giving your dog attention. Why even get a dog if you're just going to ignore it?

However, most of this book is useful information for dog training. I've started teaching my dog 'leave it' with these methods and have seen great results so far. The author's suggestion of redirecting unwanted beh
...more
Katherine
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband and I are preparing to become dog owners. It will be my first time having a dog, and we are planning on starting with a new puppy. This book, so far, is great about giving you ideas on what to expect from bringing a new puppy into your home. While I haven't had the opportunity to put his suggestions for training into action, Kilcommons seems to give clear cut instructions and reasons why techniques fail or are successful based on the dog's interpretations of human interaction.
Ashley
Jul 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to believe that the same authors who wrote My Smart Puppy penned this book as well. While I found that book to be scattered and gimmicky, this book had a clear organization and practical information (for the most part). Though it is an older book, the information seems to be on par with the other books I've checked out. There's also some good information on what to do before getting a dog or puppy.
Lynn
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
After reading Karen Pryor's clicker training books, this early edition of Good Owners, Great Dogs seems almost antiquated: all correction, no positive reinforcement. As a general guide for people unfamiliar with having dogs in the house, it's one-stop shopping for expert advice. Otherwise, there's better, newer stuff out there.
Jessica Bender
May 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dog owners, potential dog owners
The local Humane Society recommended that we read this book before we adopted our dog, Harley, and it was SOOOO informative. Harleyis only 7 months old, but she's very well trained for her age (thanks to this book!) and any time we have a new issue come up, we use the book to help us figure out why and how to fix the problem! Definitely a great read for NEW dog/puppy owners!
Abby
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brian Kilcommons has a multitude of ideas to help an owner shape their dog into a model citizen. He has many common sense pointers that really helped me realize many of the things I have done to make my dog the way he is. I'm not 100% satisfied with All of his training methods, but I would highly recommend his book as a fantastic starting place to dog training.
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)
This is a good straightforward dog training and behavior book. I would have like to see more information on dear aggression and barking but I learned a lot reading this and identified many errors I have been making ever since our first dog in1997. Now to put all this information to work.
Megan
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun book to read, but the strong emphasis on correction is very different from what we've learned with our trainers (mostly positive reinforcement and ignoring). We have incorporated some elements of his advice, though.
Leigh
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative and down to earth guide about how to train and understand your dog from thee first day you bring them home. Lots of step-by-step tips on how to teach different commands and how to solve the most common behavioral problems. Would recommend to anyone about to get a new dog!
Kiri
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Brian Kilcommons, you are so chock full of commonsense, down to earth advice for puppy owners! You make it seem, if not easy, then at least possible to deal with everything that might arise. I wish you lived next door to me!
Martin
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was really useful to me; there's a lot of sound advice. I didn't apply all the techniques mentioned, but the ones that I did apply worked really well.

Recommended for first-time dog owners especially.
Melissa Blanchard
Read again after getting Trixie, our new puppy. Kilcommons is totally practical and his advice works. I've read a ton of animal behavior/training books and magazines, taken classes, etc. This was recommended by a friend and it's my favorite.
Jennifer
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's all about the owner. People with dog problems have to look at their own behavior first. I have now trained three dogs using the methods in this book and continually get comments like, "What a well-behaved dog you have."
Amy
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book for dog owners. Like My Smart Puppy, this book focuses on training the owner and being in charge with the dog. And like MSP, I haven't finished reading this book, but will now use it as a reference document. Basically, there's just too much information to absorb at once.
Perri
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Kilcommons' approach to dog training. He's much less rigid than other training programs, but still very clear and definitive in method. Includes lots of tips, pictures and exercises. Also recommend My Smart Puppy
Kristin
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ths book is a must for any dog owner - preferably before you even think about getting a dog. But truly, if you follow these guidelines and are diligent YOU can raise a well behaved and obedient dog that will become a loved family member. It's one of my favorite and most used books ever.
Shelly
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
So I just got a puppy. While I don't like all of this guys methods (Shake cans have never, ever worked for me). His lessons about being confident and the final section on dealing with dog problems are very helpful.
econklin
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am getting a puppy and have not yet experienced having a puppy. Good Owners, Great Dogs has taught me so much which will help with my new puppy and possibly a future puppy. I would recommend this book
Ken Bosma
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's all about the owner. People with dog problems have to look at their own behavior first. I have now trained three dogs using the methods in this book and continually get comments like, "What a well-behaved dog you have."
Cordell
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on how to train your dog, how to understand them and what to expect. I made my son read this book before he was allowed to get a dog and it made him an excellent dog owner and Im sure it made the dog a happier and better adjusted creature.
Daniel
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-collection
Essential book. Looks like it took the express train from 1970, but you know what they say about judging a book by the cover and being an asshole.
Barbara
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book to read over and over again as I train my dog. Can't give up training or the dog trains you.
Elaykins
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-training
Good little introduction to all the things you need to think about and do when you get your first dog. A little dated, but a lot of it still rings true.
Katy
Aug 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend Kathy gifted this to me when we told her we were going to take the plunge and look for a dog. I like the emphasis on positive reinforcement and reading your dog.
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