An obedient dog is an owner's pride and joy. All those many months of
clickers, choke chains, stern commands, and an occasional rap on the nose
with a rolled up newspaper have paid off. Perhaps you've taught Fido to sit
or roll over on command. Congratulations! You now have a disciplined, and,
according to Jan Fennell, stressed out dog. In The Dog Listener,
Fennell shows readers that instead of bending a dog's will to get him to do
what the owner wants him to do as traditional dog training incorporates, an
owner should learn how to communicate with his dog.
The British-born author spends much of the early part of her book describing
her personal story and her relationships with the various dogs in her life.
One particular dog caused her much heartache. Purdey had become too much for
her to control, and once the dog bit Fennell's young child, Fennell felt she
had no choice but to take the dog to the vet and have it destroyed. Years
later Fennell realized Purdey's problem and has since helped other dog
owners in a variety of situations.
Fennell developed her techniques based on two things. First, she watched
Monty Roberts (The Horse Whisperer) work with a friend's horse and felt
that similar methods could be applied to dogs. Next, surmising that dogs are
instinctively pack animals, she started watching videos of wolves and noted
how they interacted with each other. She found that each pack was led by an
alpha male and an alpha female. At the time, Fennell owned several dogs and
soon noticed the similarities in how her dogs interacted and discovered that
one behaved much like an alpha towards not only the other dogs but with her
as well. She developed Amichien Bonding as a way to convince the dogs that
she was the alpha of the pack. By doing so, she found a way to coexist with
her dogs in a way that they understood.
Word soon got out about Fennell's method and she has since helped many dogs
and dog owners. Her book not only describes in detail Amichien Bonding, but
also shows readers the various situations in which it has proven beneficial.
Most dog owners are resistant to Amichien Bonding, primarily because it
sounds too easy to work. About the only thing it has in common with
traditional training methods is consistency. The owner must continue to
reinforce that he is the alpha of the pack. Fennell demonstrates how easy it
is without choke chains, rolled up newspapers or any means of distressing
The Dog Listener is a wonderful book, not only for the dog owner who is
truly at wits end, but also for anyone who wishes to better understand manšs