I grew up in a non dog (or even pet) owning household but loved dogs that came into my life through various means and our 110lb Doberman/Lab mix was so awesome. He was very easy to understand – feed me, pet me, “Hey – I was sleeping there” and “Welcome home Dad – here’s your giraffe” were all phrases that were very obvious to us. Our new dog, Lola, or “Princess Fluffy Pants”, is not so clear as to what she wants so I hoped that this book would give me some insight into her brain.
At (allegedly) 2 years old, she is still very much a puppy and as a rescue dog has some very strange reactions to us. Most of this is due to her separation anxiety – when we come home, she runs around the house like a lunatic for several minutes, she barks at people who come into the house and is very protective but when we are out and about she has no problems with strangers.
Getting the opportunity to read and review the Secret Language of Dogs was great timing.
The book is full of really cute pictures of dogs so it feels like you are reading a Pinterest or Instragram feed with a small bit of dog behavioural knowledge thrown in. There was a fair amount of information as to why the dogs do the strangest things, but not a lot of guidance on how to counteract that kind of behaviour. I would imagine that most people (including me) who read this book are looking for advice on how to change the dogs reactions to certain things – coming home, the postman or why does she still continue to pee in that corner after I’ve just taken her outside?
Unfortunately the book seems to be pretty light on actionable tips and I am still wondering why she is doing that and how to overcome those strange reactions. Our biggest challenge with Lola is her separation anxiety and the book didn’t really give many practical tips on dealing with this. We know we should try to slowly increase the time we spend apart from her, but as we have full time jobs it’s not like we can go from 1 hour apart to 2, to 3 to 4 etc. Strangely enough she is ok a lot of the time, but occasionally lapses into bouts of severe anxiety which results in “accidents” in the house
All in all, a quick, beautiful read and good for leaving out on the coffee table or in a veterinary waiting room, but more detailed information needs to be provided to make the book really useful.
*I received a complimentary copy of The Secret Language of Dogs from Blogging For Books for my honest review.