Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Books of the Month

My first pick for Book of the Month for August is Susan Garrett's "Shaping Success!" First I will give two thumbs up to having Greg Louganis do the forward! In case you're wondering, Greg has had harlequin great danes. I actually have a picture of him with Heffner's dad, CH Manatasquot's Jame Taylor. Very cool!:0)

I’ve heard mention of this book here and there and I obviously know who Susan Garrett is, so I finally decided to just buy the book and see what it was all about. I’m really glad that I did because I think it’s a fabulous book! Susan Garrett wrote an ongoing monthly article in Clean Run magazine about training her then newest border collie puppy, Buzz. Buzz proved to be quite the training challenge for her and she learned a whole lot more about dog training in general and different ways to think about training and/or retraining various agility related maneuvers.

Sprinkled throughout the book are a variety of training “games” to play with your dog from puppy up through adulthood. I especially love this feature of the book! These games have given me new ideas for fun things to do with all three of my dogs that will help us in our agility career! Everything from foundation work to help build a strong understanding of the obstacles, to how to adapt your training to fit an older dog who may not be able to run quite like he/she used to.

Mostly, I have to admit, that it is reassuring to hear of the struggles that someone so well known went through with her dog and how she over came and worked with what she had to become a very successful team. The important theme in this book is that Susan never gave up on Buzz. Things may have taken her longer with him and he continued to present challenges throughout his life that she had to really think through, but she never gave up. I can personally relate to some of the challenges that she has gone through, and it was great for me to read about how she tackled them and worked through them with Buzz. I feel that after reading this book, along with many other things that I continue to learn about as time goes on, I will have a clearer picture of how I want to start training our next puppy and just how I will go about building that strong foundation that is so necessary.

I highly recommend that anyone interested in agility or just dog training in general read this book. It’s enjoyable to read and I think there’s something in there for anyone, regardless of your chosen discipline.
My great dane related pick for the month is "The Basic Guide to the Great Dane," by Breeders who know the breed for those who are interested in learning more about the Great Dane. The phrasing of who the authors are cracks me up (the actual listing of who contributed is located inside)! However, it is a very good hint to the information within this book. I think the book is absolutely a great resource for those who are interested in learning more about the breed. Every topic is covered in a very informative way. At the same time, it's all phrased in such a way that I could literally see breeders I know saying what was written. For that alone, I love it! If you're interested in learning more about the breed, I highly recommend this book! It's informative, but also very enjoyable to read.

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