Book Review: Think Like Your Dog

ThinkLikeYourDogDogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
Roger Caras, as quoted in Think Like Your         Dog: and Enjoy the Rewards

Dianna M. Young (with Robert H. Mottram) has shown with undeniable expertise the value of communicating with your dog in a language canines understand. In Think Like Your Dog: and Enjoy the Rewards, Young gives readers the step by step process necessary to have a canine companion to bond with in a rewarding relationship.

The most important lesson to be learned is that in every human and dog team, there is one leader and one follower. In a dog’s eyes, there is no in-between. Young clearly reiterates this principle throughout the book and gives understandable examples of how it can be achieved.

Think Like Your Dog discusses the important steps to take when your pup is first brought home, which ideally is not before eight weeks of age. Those first eight weeks with the pup’s mother assure that the puppy will get a strong foundation in tems of behavioral characteristics it will possess for the rest of its life. The next eight weeks with the new owner are critical in providing socialization skills, exposing him to people, kids, trains, buses, other dogs, noisy places, crowded places. Further, the pup should go through these experiences on his own four feet, not to be scooped up in the protective arms of his owner.

Each chapter in this valuable book discusses how a dog views the various elements of his life. The reader learns how a dog thinks through our verbal and body language, the senses and how all that relates to his comprehension. She discusses the various breeds and how they may differ when it comes to choosing a family pet. She talks about getting a dog as a puppy, or a mature dog and, in either case, how to proceed with meaningful training.

It’s important to have the proper dog equipment and in the book various types are illustrated and explained. Methods of training are outlined, with emphasis on positive reinforcement. The importance of a structured environment, patience and compassion are directly related to a successful dog and handler relationship.

Our chocolate lab Toby is 10 years old, yet I learned techniques in this book that we can use to enhance our family’s relationship with him. Not only that, I’ve learned the mistakes we’ve made, primarily relating to getting him too young, at five weeks, before he had that essential time with his mother.

Think Like Your Dog: and Enjoy the Rewards makes an ideal all-in-one reference book. It’s an enjoyable read with interesting stories and photos emphasizing the various principles Young teaches. For more information about the author and her training and boarding facility on Camano Island, visit:

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Think Like Your Dog

  1. A marvelous, informative review — giving specific information (unlike so many of the silly blurbs which are etched on books today). This is clearly a book a dog-lover, like me, must read! Thank you Mary.

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