Dog Whisperer - Paul Owens: Is the Book and/or DVD any good?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Dave Hahn, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    I just went through the ordeal of having to put my cherished pet to sleep. Daisey Mae, my six-year-old calico cat succumbed to sudden illness. I'm now alone in the house and can't stand it. Although I have been miserable these last few days, friends and family have consoled me as they could and suggested that I look at the "silver lining" and start thinking about getting a puppy.

    I've wanted to get a dog for a very long time but couldn't. I either lived in an apartment building that wouldn't allow them, or couldn't because I had Daisey Mae. She would have been very intolerant of any new animal to the house; and I would never have put her through that.

    We had a dog when I was very young, and while I've always been "a cat person" I've always enjoyed dogs as well, albet up to now other peoples' dogs. I have no idea how to raise/train a puppy. Would Paul Owens', aka "The Dog Whisperer" book or dvd give me enough information to raise a happy, safe and social dog?
     
  2. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    Very sorry to hear about Daisey Mae, Dave. It's very difficult...I know. We lost a dog of 15 years just a few weeks ago. Our remaining dog Charlie is getting that much more attention.

    I haven't heard of Paul Owens. When I first saw the thread title I thought you were referring to a man named Cesar Milan who has a show on the National Geographic Channel called The Dog Whisperer. I've almost never been without a dog during my life and I've learned an incredible amount of solid, nuts and bolts information about dogs since I've been watching his show. He has a DVD out as well and a book is on the way. His personal site is http://www.dogpsychologycenter.com/.

    His philosophy centers around using the pack psychology in the dog's nature to encourage calm, submissive behavior and he shows that there is a difference between dog training and dog psychology. Nearly all of the time the training is for the owners, not the dog. It's easy for us to unknowingly reinforce unwanted behavior by comforting them whey they're anxious or upset. Exercise is key as well. A large back yard is just a large kennel and is not a substitute for a long, structured walk.

    He's known for rehabilitating dogs with serious behavior problems...especially aggression. That may not sound like it would apply to getting a puppy, but the simple techniques he uses are universal to the dog's psychology. Dogs don't follow a lovable leader, they follow a strong leader. That doesn't mean we can't lavish them with affection. (Our Charlie is our 96 lb. Shepard/Lab baby 99% of the time) But there are rules, boundaries, and limitations that we adhere to in order to reinforce in his mind that we are the pack leaders...not him. He never gets affection when he's excited or anxious...only when he's completely calm and that reinforces the peaceful behavior. We haven't had any major problems with our dog, but there were a few things like lovingly accosting people at the door that we wanted to work on. So far, he's responded like a champ.

    If you get the National Geographic Channel, his show is the first place I'd point you to develop a foundation in dog behavior. If not, I can wholeheartedly recommend his DVD and I can comfortably predict that his book will be excellent as well.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

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    Thanks very much Paul. It looks like I got my "Dog Whisperers" confused! Not being a dog owner, I had only heard of the "Dog Whisperer" by word of mouth. I looked it up on amazon.com and found what I thought to be the real thing. Thanks for the correct info.

    I've actually put getting a puppy on hold. I'm planning on moving within the next three to six months and I've been told that this would not be good for a dog. Also, as I live alone and take advantage of the fact, (I often take and travel on long-weekends), I'm going to wait until I've moved into my new home and have established a place/person to watch my new puppy when I'm gone.

    I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. It is difficult to lose a pet. You're lucky to still have Charlie. In my case, Daisy Mae was my only pet. She was there in the morning when I got up, "read" the paper with me, watched tv on my lap, often slept on the bed, and was always there to greet me when I came home. She is sorely missed.

    For now, I'm going to get a kitten or young cat. It is "kitten season" and many are becoming available. I was going to rescue one from a shelter. If you've never adopted an animal from a shelter before, let me tell you its kind of daunting. They require a long application, letters of recommendation, proof from your vet that you took care of previous pets correctly, etc, etc, etc. On top of that, many of the organizations post ads online and only accept inquires via email; I sent emails to three or four agencies and have yet to receive a reply. They couldn't make it more difficult if they tried. I know they are mostly volunteers and they have to be sure that the animals in their care get a good home, but it does seem a little overboard. I'll just cruise the local paper for "free kitten ads" and get one the old-fashioned way.

    Thanks again,
    Dave
     

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