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Katz on Dogs

A Commonsense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs

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Paperback published by Random House Trade Paperbacks (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In a nation where our love of dogs keeps growing and dog ownership has reached an all-time high, confusion about dogs and their behavioral problems is skyrocketing. Many dogs are out of control, untrained, chewing up furniture, taking medication for anxiety, and biting millions of people a year.

Now, in this groundbreaking new guide, Jon Katz, a leading authority on the human-canine bond, offers a powerful and practical philosophy for living with a dog, from the moment we decide to get one to the sad day when one dies. Conventional training methods often fail dog owners, but Katz argues that we know our dogs better than anyone else possibly could, and therefore we are well suited to train them. It is imperative, he says, that we think rationally and responsibly about how we choose, train, and live with the dogs we love, and the more we learn about ourselves, the better we can recognize their wonderful animal natures. Misinterpreting dogs is a profound obstacle to understanding them.

Katz believes that both people and dogs are unique–a chow differs from a Lab just as a city dweller differs from a farmer–and he describes how such individuality isn’t addressed by even the best and most popular training methods. Not every training theory is for everyone, notes Katz, but almost anyone can train a dog and live with him comfortably. Katz on Dogs is filled with no-nonsense advice and answers to such key questions as:

• What kind of dog should I have? Is there is a specific breed or kind of dog for my personality, family, or living situation?
• What is the best way to train a dog?
• Can I trust my vet?
• How often (and for how long) can a dog be left alone?
• Is it preferable to have only one dog, or are more better?
• What are the secrets to successful housebreaking?
• What are my dogs thinking, if anything?
• How can I walk my dog instead of having her walk me?
• Is it ever okay to give away a dog you love?
• When is it time to put my dog down?

Katz draws from his own experience, his interactions with thousands of dog owners, vets, breeders, dog rescue workers, trainers, and behaviorists, and he has tested his approach with volunteer dog owners around the country. Their helpful and often inspiring stories illustrate how all of us can live well with our dogs. You can do it, Katz contends. You can live a loving and harmonious life with your dog.


From the Hardcover edition.
Show less
In a nation where our love of dogs keeps growing and dog ownership has reached an all-time high, confusion about dogs and their behavioral problems is skyrocketing. Many dogs are out of control, untrained, chewing up furniture, taking medication for anxiety, and biting millions of people a year.

Now, in this groundbreaking new guide, Jon Katz, a leading authority on the human-canine bond, offers a powerful and practical philosophy for living with a dog, from the moment we decide to get one to the sad day when one dies. Conventional training methods often fail dog owners, but Katz argues that we know our dogs better than anyone else possibly could, and therefore we are well suited to train them. It is imperative, he says, that we think rationally and responsibly about how we choose, train, and live with the dogs we love, and the more we learn about ourselves, the better we can recognize their wonderful animal natures. Misinterpreting dogs is a profound obstacle to understanding them.

Katz believes that both people and dogs are unique–a chow differs from a Lab just as a city dweller differs from a farmer–and he describes how such individuality isn’t addressed by even the best and most popular training methods. Not every training theory is for everyone, notes Katz, but almost anyone can train a dog and live with him comfortably. Katz on Dogs is filled with no-nonsense advice and answers to such key questions as:

• What kind of dog should I have? Is there is a specific breed or kind of dog for my personality, family, or living situation?
• What is the best way to train a dog?
• Can I trust my vet?
• How often (and for how long) can a dog be left alone?
• Is it preferable to have only one dog, or are more better?
• What are the secrets to successful housebreaking?
• What are my dogs thinking, if anything?
• How can I walk my dog instead of having her walk me?
• Is it ever okay to give away a dog you love?
• When is it time to put my dog down?

Katz draws from his own experience, his interactions with thousands of dog owners, vets, breeders, dog rescue workers, trainers, and behaviorists, and he has tested his approach with volunteer dog owners around the country. Their helpful and often inspiring stories illustrate how all of us can live well with our dogs. You can do it, Katz contends. You can live a loving and harmonious life with your dog.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (272 pages)
Published: September 26, 2006
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Trade Paperbacks
ISBN: 9780812974348
Other books byJon Katz
  • Dog Days

    Dog Days
    Dispatches from Bedlam Farm
    In Dog Days, Jon Katz, the squire of Bedlam Farm, allows us to live our dreams of leaving the city for the country, and shares the unpredictable adventure of farm life. The border collies, the sheep, the chickens, the cat, the ram, and one surprisingly sociable steer named Elvis all contribute to the hum (and occasional roar) of Bedlam. On timeless summer days and in punishing winter storms, Katz continues his meditation on what animals can selflessly teach us–and what we in turn owe to them. With good neighbors, a beautiful landscape, and tales of true love thrown in, Dog Days gives us not only marvelous animal stories but a rich portrait of the harmonious world that is Bedlam Farm. Praise for Dog Days: “Anyone who has ever loved an animal, who owns a farm or even dreams of it, will read Dog Days with appreciation and a cathartic lump in his or her throat.” –The Washington Post “Katz proves himself a Thoreau for modern times as he ponders the relationships between man and animals, humanity and nature, and the particularly smelly qualities of manure.” –Fort Worth Star-Telegram “Katz constructs the perfect blend between self-revelation and his subtle brand of humor.” –The Star-Ledger “City-dweller-turned-farmer Katz . . . returns with further adventures from his animal-filled upstate New York sheep farm. Charming.” –People “The perfect summer book . . . You will not be disappointed.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer “A new twist on the American dream.” –The Christian Science Monitor “Thoroughly enchanting.” –The Dallas Morning News

    A Good Dog

    A Good Dog
    The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life
    “People who love dogs often talk about a ‘lifetime’ dog. I’d heard the phrase a dozen times before I came to recognize its significance. Lifetime dogs are dogs we love in especially powerful, sometimes inexplicable ways.”–Jon Katz In this gripping and deeply touching book, bestselling author Jon Katz tells the story of his lifetime dog, Orson: a beautiful border collie–intense, smart, crazy, and unforgettable. From the moment Katz and Orson meet, when the dog springs from his traveling crate at Newark airport and panics the baggage claim area, their relationship is deep, stormy, and loving. At two years old, Katz’s new companion is a great herder of school buses, a scholar of refrigerators, but a dud at herding sheep. Everything Katz attempts– obedience training, herding instruction, a new name, acupuncture, herb and alternative therapies–helps a little but not enough, and not for long. “Like all border collies and many dogs,” Katz writes, “he needed work. I didn’t realize for some time I was the work Orson would find.” While Katz is trying to help his dog, Orson is helping him, shepherding him toward a new life on a two-hundred-year-old hillside farm in upstate New York. There, aided by good neighbors and a tolerant wife, hip-deep in sheep, chickens, donkeys, and more dogs, the man and his canine companion explore meadows, woods, and even stars, wade through snow, bask by a roaring wood stove, and struggle to keep faith with each other. There, with deep love, each embraces his unfolding destiny. A Good Dog is a book to savor. Just as Orson was the author’s lifetime dog, his story is a lifetime treasure–poignant, timeless, and powerful. From the Hardcover edition.

    Soul of a Dog

    Soul of a Dog
    Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of...
    Do animals have souls? Some of our greatest thinkers—Aristotle, Plato, Thomas Aquinas—and countless animal lovers have been obsessed with this question for thousands of years. Now New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz looks for an answer. With his signature wisdom, humor, and clarity, Katz relates the stories of the animals he lives with on Bedlam Farm and finds remarkable kinships at every turn. Whether it is beloved sheepdog Rose’s brilliant and methodical herding ability, Mother the cat’s keen mousing instincts, or Izzy’s canine compassion toward hospice patients, Katz is mesmerized to see in them individual personas and sparks of self-awareness. Soul of a Dog will resonate with anyone who loves dogs, cats, or other animals—and who wonders about the spirits that animate them and the deepening hold they have on our lives.  

    Rose in a Storm

    Rose in a Storm
    A Novel
    Rose is determined and focused, keeping the sheep out of danger and protecting the other creatures on the farm she calls home. But of all those she’s looked after since coming to the farm as a puppy, it is Sam, the farmer, whom she watches most carefully. Awoken one cold midwinter night during lambing season, Rose and Sam struggle into the snowy dark to do their work. The ever observant Rose has seen a change in her master of late, ever since Sam’s wife disappeared one day. She senses something else in the air as well: A storm is coming, but not like any of the ones she’s seen over the years. And when an epic blizzard hits the region, it will take all of Rose’s resolve, resourcefulness, and courage to help Sam save the farm and the creatures who live there.

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