Bark & Lunge
Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes
By Kari Neumeyer
Copyright 2014 by Kari Neumeyer
“How do you make sure your dog never bites anyone (again)?” You take them to a trainer. Only in this case the author discovers that’s not necessarily the easy answer. Kari and her boyfriend Rob find out the hard way that not every trainer really knows how to help a reactive dog, or a dog, period.
This book tells the story of the journey the author takes trying to help her reactive dog, Isis, overcome her fears. Kari and Rob adopt Isis, a German shepherd, as a puppy, without really knowing what they are getting into. They try to do all the right things, taking her to obedience school as a puppy, training with her at home, and Kari takes Isis with her everywhere she can. Unfortunately, the first trainers they see use choke and prong collars and this turns out to be the worst thing for Isis. They trust that the trainers know what they’re doing….who wouldn’t?
After Isis bites one of Kari’s co-workers, there are many trainers on the road to helping Isis. The book tells the story of the love Kari and Rob have for Isis and how they don’t give up on her, in spite of many frustrations and setbacks with her training. There is a lot of misinformation out there about dog training, and Kari and Rob had to learn the hard way what not to do.
If you have a reactive dog, you can learn a lot from this book, and even if you don’t, you will enjoy the story of Kari’s dedication to helping Isis. They never give up on Isis, even when they bring another dog into their home and things don’t go at all how they hoped.
You learn as you go along reading an enthralling true story of a couple and the love for their dog. Once into the book, I found myself very involved in the story, and hoping for everything to turn out well in the end.
If you read her story, you could possibly save yourself a lot of heartache by avoiding some of the mistakes they inadvertently made. They always tried to do the best for Isis, but sometimes you just can’t know what is best, and you have to learn from experience. This book is all about those experiences and it is well written and easy to read along the way.
What I loved best about this book was the openness and honesty in it. Kari doesn’t gloss over the mistakes she feels she made, and she learns from them. That is how life is; we all make mistakes with our dogs. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “Certain dogs hold the top spot in one’s heart. I find the expression Heart Dog to be a little cloying, but I relate to the sentiment, preferring to think of Isis as a Once in a Lifetime Dog.” I highly recommend this book, as I am sure you will also enjoy reading about that life.
About the author: Kari Neumeyer grew up in Los Angeles, and earned her master’s degree in journalism in 2001. She lived abroad before returning to the United States, where she now resides in Washington state with her boyfriend and two dogs. You can learn more about Kari by reading her blog Kari Neumeyer – Rhymes with Safari. Bark & Lunge is available at many outlets and you can follow this link for online availability, or purchase it at your local bookstore.
Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book from the author with no expectations other than fair and honest reviews.
We are joining the Thursday Barks and Bytes blog hop. Many thanks to our hosts 2 Brown Dawgs Blog and Heart Like a Dog. Please visit them and others through the links below!
2 brown dawgs says
Thanks so much for joining the hop. I think everyone has made training mistakes. What is important is to learn from them.
You are so right. Luke is our first dog that we’re doing formal training with, so it’s all new to us. I was glad I knew a little bit about it going in, from this book and of course from other blogs as well.
Alix Mitchell says
Great review! I have been really loving reading every kind of book I can get my hands on about reactive dogs lately. I will definitely have to read this one. I just feel so bad that they had to go through so much trial and error with a horrible trainer at first. I really wish it was more well known how horrific those methods are.
Thank you! I agree, I also felt so bad for them, and I wish there weren’t so many trainers still out there that believe in those methods.
Sand Spring Chesapeakes says
Great review. It’s hard to know what trainers are the good ones.
It sure is, and a hard thing to have to learn by trial and error.
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
SOunds like a very interesting book! I’ll have to check it out!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
I think you would enjoy it!
Edie Chase says
Sounds like a good book. Unfortunately this is not an unusual problem, anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. A fearful dog requires a gentle hand.
You’re so right, Edie. It definitely pays to do your research before hiring a trainer. We recently got one for Luke, and we really got lucky that he’s a great guy and positive reinforcement only (we trusted the business we hired him through but didn’t know him personally at the time).
It's Dog or Nothing says
I wish I had known about this when we had a reactive dog. I’ll probably read it regardless to see what ideas she has. Thanks for the find.
You’re welcome, and I hope you will read it. If you’ve had a reactive dog, I think you will find it very informative and enjoyable as well.
It sounds like a great book. When do you have time to read? LOL
Thanks for joining the blog hop!
That’s actually a very good question!! I used to read a book per weekend, or the most it might take me is a week. Now it takes me WEEKS to read just one book!
It sounds like a good book for all who have a reactive dog or for all who think their dog could be reactive. I think it’s written with a lot of love for the “once in a lifetime dog” Isis. Thanks for a great review.
Thank you for saying it was a great review, Easy! It is a book that is definitely written with a lot of love, and could save many people with reactive or potentially reactive dogs a lot of heartache.