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One Hundred Ways For a Dog to Train its Human is a paperback book written by Simon Whaley. I recently bought this book from awesomebooks.com website for the low price of just £2.49 with free postage.
The book appealed to me because I was feeling a bit low and needed cheering up. I love dogs and anything really to do with them and combined with the innocent looking dog on the cover of the book I knew there was a good chance this book would make me smile. The title also had me intrigued as usually books which involve the words 'train' and 'dog' are for humans wanting to train their beloved pets. I didn't really read anything about the book before I bought it as it was very much an impulse purchase.
My expectation of this book was that it would be a story about a mischievous and naughty dog and the life of the human who accompanies this dog through his life. My expectations were wrong as the book is actually a selection of quotes and humorous passages written more like a training manual for the dogs to train their humans, but I am still really pleased with my purchase and here is why...
The opening paragraph of One Hundred Ways For a Dog to Train its Human reads as follows...
"Master or Servant? Humans like to think that we are pack animals, looking for a leader. How wrong they are. Little do they realise that it is the family who are the pack, as it is they who will end up running their lives around us."
I have chosen to include the direct quote from the start of the book because as a dog owner I feel it is very true and at the same time this paragraph is a great opening to what is actually a selection of situations most dog owners will experience during their time with their furry companions, the difference being that the book is written from the point of view of a dog and in the style of teaching the reader of the book how indeed to train its owner.
Written over 96 pages this small yet entertaining book is split into 9 chapters with each chapter giving training tips from one dog to another as to the best ways to train their humans, after all if you're going to have a human for life then you need to train it properly and I am more than convinced that my dog has indeed read this book as she certainly has me well trained! One of my personal favourites is in the meal time chapter where the advice about Sunday roast being the best meal as it takes longest to prepare, so therefore you (the dog) should lie on the floor in the most inconvenient spot in the centre of the kitchen. This made me smile as it is my dog all over. Another quote which I'm sure my dog could have easily written is about when a stick or ball is thrown and should you really chase it or is your human stupid enough to go and fetch it themselves before repeating the action again and again, if this is the case then the dog advises that you simply sit back and watch your human wear themselves out. Shamefully for me, my dog has done this on many an occasion.
Simon Whaley has really captured the sense of humour which most dogs I have met seem to have. The book is based on the life of his dog Bella who trained him and his family for 17 years. You can see that within this book that not only did Simon Whaley love his dog unconditionally but there was also a great understanding and bond between Bella and her human as well as some very funny moments too. Obviously I think this must have made Bella's' job of training her human much easier!
This book is short, and therefore so is my review, but even with the small size and low number of pages this book has really brought a much needed smile to my face after a few weeks of feeling quite low. I have found the book to be really heart warming and quite comical with cute illustrations throughout of 'naughty dogs'. As a dog lover this book has made me smile with almost every 'training tip' especially as I can relate to a lot of them with my Spaniel Izzie.
I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, especially the dog owners out there... its rather interesting to realise that you have not trained your dog but it has indeed trained you to perfection!
One Hundred Ways For a Dog to Train its Human was first published in 2003 and is printed by Hodder & Stoughton. I bought my copy of One Hundred Ways For a Dog to Train its Human from awesomebooks.com for £2.49 and they still have copies of it on there at the moment for this price, which in my mind is a bargain when you consider how much it has made me smile.
A highly recommended and enjoyable read.
Thanks for reading! :)
If you have ever owned a dog, then this is a book you need to read. Most dog books will tell you that, in order train your dog, you need to assert yourself and become the pack leader. This, of course, is a load of rubbish. Every dog owner has always secretly suspected that they are actually being manipulated by their dog and forced to act in exactly the way the animal wants them to. This book simply proves it!
100 Ways to Train your Human is one of those funny titles that is a completely undemanding read but very funny and very enjoyable. It's exactly the sort of thing that makes an ideal little stocking filler for the dog lover in your life. Written from the perspective of a dog dispensing advice to other dogs, it contains nuggets of wisdom on how to ensure that your owner's life is organised around you, rather than the other way round.
The book is not exactly going to take you long to read. It's split into different entries which range in length from a single sentence to just a few lines. From cover to cover, there's probably less than an hour's reading all told, which might not seem great value for money. That's not the best way to read it, though. After a while, some of the entries start to become a little bit samey, and the fun element can get a little lost.
Instead, this is a book which is better read as a pick up and put down title and each entry is deliberately kept very short to aid this approach. Read just a few entries at a time and you will fully appreciate it much more and get more enjoyment from its slightly madcap and bizarre style of humour. Even people who don't particularly like reading will find this book easy to digest and fun to read.
Some of the entries are extremely funny, to the extent where you really should be careful reading this book in public. I first chanced across it in a bookshop, glanced at a couple of the entries and almost burst out laughing loudly. After that, I knew I just had to buy a copy as so many of the entries were just like our own dog.
Putting aside the accessible nature, that's the key reason the book works: the humour within it is so well-observed. Dog owners will instantly recognise the behaviour being referred to and identify with it. Each entry is also well-written so that you can almost hear the snooty or enthusiastic tones of the canine "author" as he imparts his words of wisdom. One of the real strengths of 100 Ways (aside from the fact that it is so damn funny!) is that it has a real "voice" and (barking mad though this might seem to non-dog owners) you will "hear" your dog speaking to you through its pages.
Of course, although the book is very funny as a whole, the standard is not necessarily maintained throughout every single entry and the quality is slightly variable across the book. Some are laugh-out-loud hilarious; some will make you smile and a few will simply invoke no reaction at all. Towards the end, a few also sound a little too like earlier entries, as though the author is starting to run out of ideas and is resorting to recycling earlier ones. Fortunately, these latter two categories account for only a small percentage of the overall total and majority will at least make you smile and nod in agreement as you think of the behaviour of your own four-legged friend.
One aspect that did disappoint me was the drawings which accompany some of the entries. These are very rough pencil sketches and (if I'm perfectly honest) rather low on artistic quality. I'm not the greatest artist in the world (I even draw broken stick men!), but I honestly believe that I could have illustrated this book better. It's almost as if the drawings were an afterthought, something shoved in at the last minute to break up the text a little bit or to fill some blank spaces. The content of the rest of the book is so good that these poor pictures rather detract from the overall quality.
Obviously, if you don't like dogs, then this is not a book for you, as it will simply confirm you in your belief that dogs are smelly, noisy, unpleasant creatures that do nothing but cause mess and inconvenience. If you do, though, this title makes an ideal little stocking filler. It can be picked up new for less than £4, so it's not going to break the bank and some of the entries will leave you with a great big smile on your face.
A fun, undemanding little title that does exactly what it says on the tin and will simply reaffirm what most of us have suspected all along: dogs are the real masters of the house.
100 Ways for a Dog to Train its Human
Hodder & Stoughton, 2003
© Copyright SWSt 2011