From the New York Times bestselling author of Through a Dog’s Eyes—the inspiration for the PBS documentary—a paradigm-shifting approach to living with and loving our dogs
There are few people who understand dogs better than Jennifer Arnold. Twenty-five years after she founded Canine Assistants, a nationally recognized nonprofit that raises and provides service dogs for people with disabilities, Arnold had an epiphany. She’d always approached the education of dogs with kindness and compassion—eschewing the faux science of fear and domination-based training methods. And she’d always understood dogs to be uniquely, uncannily attuned to their human companions; in fact she depended on it—she knew that the bond that developed between a person and their service dog was the single greatest predictor of that partnership’s success and, conversely, failure to bond brought about anxiety and distress in dogs. But it wasn’t until recent scientific findings confirmed her hands-on experience with dogs’ intuitive social skills that she was willing to put this bold idea to the test: Dogs who bond with us completely and unconditionally will seek to please us and, with minimal cues, can learn to make remarkably sophisticated decisions about their own behavior. Sure, dogs can be taught commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel,” but even the kindest reward and punishment models were merely manipulating dogs’ behavior, rather than unleashing their unique social genius and innate ability to navigate the world.
In this groundbreaking, persuasive, and heartfelt book, Arnold shows us how every dog—no matter their age—can thrive through Bond-Based Choice Teaching. Her proprietary method has been hailed by leading canine behavioral scientists and is being adopted by notable dog trainers, advocates, humane societies, and puppies behind bars programs across the country. For this liberating, revolutionary method to succeed, Arnold says, love really is all you need.