The Secret Language of Dogs

The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier PetTitle: The Secret Language of Dogs
Author: Victoria Stilwell
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
ISBN: 978-1-60774-952-3

“Building a secure bond, communicating effectively, and understanding how your dog perceives the world will help you teach your dog successfully,” Victoria Stilwell writes in the introduction of her book, The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-sixty pages, this paperback targets dog owners who want to get to know their dogs better, so they have a better quality of life and lifestyle. After an introduction, the book is divided into two parts, ending with end notes, photo credits, acknowledgments, author’s biography, and index. Almost every page has at least one full-color photograph or illustration of a dog or dogs.

With the writer against punitive techniques to train dogs, she is a strong believer of positive training. The first part discusses communication of the loving, thinking, emotional, and sensing dog while the more in-depth second section focuses on languages of dogs such as socialization, fear, aggression, vocalization, pain, and aging as well as explaining strange behavior and how to speak to dogs.

~Why ~
Dogs make wonderful companions. Having had several dogs in our family, we are in the process of getting a puppy soon, so this book helps reiterate positive ways to understand dogs’ behavior and their actions. I like that the author concentrates on building a bond with the canine while teaching cues without pressure. By setting boundaries, a dog can be trained by vocal cues, removing from volatile situations, withholding reward, or ignoring improper behavior. The book also covers topics of canine compulsive disorder, coprophagia, oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, and left and right brain dominance.

~ Why Not ~
Those who use more disciplined ways to train their dog will not appreciate this book that promotes positive training. Since we have had several beagles and are getting a puppy soon, I gleaned little new information from this book that concentrates more on communicating and behavior patterns and less on training techniques.

~ Who ~
A recognized and respected dog trainer, Stilwell has written several books on dog training and has been on television promoting positive ways to connect with canines. Committed to animal rescue and rehabilitation worldwide, she lives in Georgia with her family.

~ Wish ~
Since the book mainly focuses on dog behavior and how to interact with your furry friend, it would be helpful if more step-by-step tips, instructions, or training tasks were given.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a guide on how to read your dog better to keep him or her happy and more engaged with you, this short read gives positive feedback on communicating with man’s best friend.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this sample. I am offering my opinion freely.

This review will be posted on Blogging for Books, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.


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Filed under Animals / Pets, Book Review, Non-Fiction

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