A stirring, inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs.
Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills. Her training method is based on teaching dogs to make choices—as opposed to following commands—through kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary. To Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor babies in need of coddling; rather, they are extremely trusting beings attuned to their owners' needs and they aim to please. Relationships between dogs and humans go awry when we fail to understand our dogs and when we send them confusing, mixed signals. Arnold's firsthand experience—from what moved her to start her exemplary nonprofit and how she developed her methodology—guides this book and gives it a powerful emotional heft. Stories drawn from Arnold's life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers are convincing, unforgettable, and compelling testimony and make this book a heart-warming, captivating read that will forever change the way you see your dog by showing you the way your dog sees the world.
Changed My Life
Five years ago I became disabled and was no longer able to make a living at my career. I was depressed, angry, embarrassed, resentful; I didn't know what to do with my life. Then I saw the PBS show on Jennifer and her struggles in life and how she overcame them with the help and love of dogs. It was a story that hit home with me. To make a long story short, I am now enrolled at The Bergin Institute of Canine Studies ( berginu.edu ) in Santa Rosa, CA to learn to train dogs to become canine assistants. Now I can give back.