from THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK by Jan Irving (2015)

review by: Jan Irving 2007-01-05
I only pick up this title because there was a need for another book review, and Carol Lea Benjamin I have found writes a good story. This book, Mother Knows Best, the Natural Way to Train your Dog, is of course, about dog training, and a good solid book on the topic at that. First published in 1985, Benjamin must be one of the early writers to consider how the modern wolf’s life relates to the dog – certainly the concept is well represented among more recent dog training titles.
While not every one can see wolves in their domain, or even find decent material on the subject, Benjamin shows the reader how they can learn from the suckling mother. “We can learn from her, too. We can find out how puppies learn. We can find out what works and what doesn’t. We can find how to be brief, yet eloquent, effective yet kindly, civilized as well as natural. With all the assurance, serenity and natural wisdom of her species, a mother dog teaches her young with a dazzling economy of effort. She almost never has to repeat her action a second time in order to be effective. She never loses patience, gets frustrated, gives up. Yet, neither does she harm her puppies with an inappropriate use of force or an unnatural withdrawal of her affection. She knows just what to correct and precisely what to ignore. Her timing is sheer perfection. Her priorities are admirably fitting. Each mother keeps her puppies safe and, in a few short weeks, teaches them much of what they have to know in order that their survival be ensured. It is easily evident that mother knows best. She is a sterling example of teaching and loving at its finest.”
From this basis, and with a review of dog body language, Benjamin gives detailed, beautifully supported by clear photos, instructions on training a dog so it is fit and easy to live with. From the regular ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘heel free’ to an ‘emergency down’, this is an easy to read book with sound advice and discussion on how far to take a correction, should a correction be required.
The title certainly goes on my recommended reading list=