Sarah’s Book Review – “The Other End of the Leash”

Book Review


The Other End of the Leash


Canine Behavior

Brief Summary

This is great book on canine behavior that  begins by interpreting  human behavior through the eyes of our dogs.  From body language to the concept of leadership, Patricia McConnell gives us a new perspective on both human and canine behavior and our relationships with each other.


Patricia obviously has a deep understanding and connection with all of her dogs.  As someone who has studied both primate and canine behavior, she discusses and describes the similarities and differences between humans and canines in regard to our expectations about canine behaviors.  With clear descriptions of how we can communicate more effectively with our dogs by paying attention to these differences, Patricia illustrates how we can expect more cooperation and deepen our canine/human


Much of her work with dogs and people is in regard to aggression, which is, admittedly, a difficult area to address. Her impatience with people comes through quite clearly in a few areas, where she strongly implies that people just can’t change.  I think it would be more productive to emphasize the success stories as opposed to where people sometimes fail.


In regard to the “Come” command:
“Use a sound that inherently encourages your dog rather than discourages him, and training will be more effective and, as important, more fun.”
In regard to the acute sense of smell our canines have:

“Dogs can detect some odors that humans can’t notice until the scent is fifty times more concentrated.  Other odors can be perceived by dogs at concentrations that need to be hundreds of times more intense for humans to perceive.”

Concerning rough play between human and canine:

“…If you want the odds in your favor or your dog is already in trouble with his mouth, then think carefully about how you play with him.”

On who makes decisions:

“Dogs who live independently from humans have no trouble learning to cope with not getting what they want: the difficulties of life take care of it for them.  But for some of us, our love or our dogs results in their being so coddled that they never learn to tolerate frustration.  …most dogs need to learn how to cope with frustration.”

Rating (out of 5
paws like the site?)