Three Dimensional Dog

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I enjoy working with and training my dogs.  I’ve read a ton of books on dog training and attended several different training schools with my dogs.  However, the book “Three Dimensional Dog” by Aaron McDonald is different from anything I have encountered up to this point.

It was eye opening and changed my entire approach to dog training.  While I was reading the book, I was wondering why didn’t I think about these issues.  It seems so obvious now.

The first part of the book explains the differences between trick training and cognitive behavior training.

Most dogs are trained to perform an action for a treat.  The training is focused only on the outer behavior of the dog.  This is known as trick training.

Cognitive behavior training looks at the whole dog.  It addresses the inner mind and emotions of the dog and uses that information to teach the dog how to live peacefully within the family unit.  The three dimensional approach to dog training is based on cognitive behaviorism.

The first dimension that needs to be addressed is the dog’s emotional needs.  Does the dog feel safe and have appropriate boundaries?  Are the dog’s physical needs being addressed?

The second dimension is concerned with what the dog is thinking.  Before a dog does anything they will develop an intellectual plan.  Paying attention to the dog’s body language will tell you how the dog is feeling and give you insight into what the dog is thinking.

The third dimension involves action.  It is everything the dog does with their body.  This is where traditional training methods actually start.

Addressing the dogs physical, emotional, and intellectual needs will allow the dog to reach a state of actualization.  Also, focusing on the three dimensions help the dog achieve a balanced emotional state.  This allows the dog to reach their fullest potential and be a functioning member of the family unit.

Everyday Survival – Book Review

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Why do smart people do stupid things?  That is the question Laurence Gonzales answers in his book Everyday Survival.

The book explains how our brains develop scripts and how those scripts allow us to function at a higher level.  However, those scripts can also lead to disaster.  Our brains can go into autopilot mode at the wrong time.

The example that really stuck with me, involves a police officer that trained other officers on how to disarm an assailant.  The trainer would disarm the student and then hand the gun back to the student as he explained his method to the class.  This event was repeated over and over again.

The trainer was in the field one night and was facing an armed criminal.  The trainer disarmed the criminal, but without thinking he handed the gun back to the man.  The criminal grabbed for his gun and attempted to kill the trainer.  The trainer’s partner shot the criminal and saved his life.

I understand how something like that could happen to anyone.

The author doesn’t just explain how our brains develop internal scripts.  The book also discusses ways to prevent internal scripts form automatically taking over and how to maintain alertness at all times.

I enjoyed the book and thought is was really interesting.  I give it an A-