When I get feedback here at the NaturalDogBlog, it tends to be either of the "hey I'm so glad I found this site" variety or the "hey I'm so glad I found this site AND I have a question for you" variety. Occasionally I do get what you might term "criticism" - rarely anything hostile - and I'm going to tell you right upfront that I don't spend more than a few minutes thinking about the negative stuff. I'm not here to prove anything to you - or to make any other trainers out there look bad - I'm here to tell you about Natural Dog Training, why it works, and how to do it. Sure, I do talk a bit about changing your perspective - but if you're here, that's probably because whatever perspective you've had isn't quite working - or there's something missing. Maybe you leave the NaturalDogBlog thinking differently, or maybe you feel even more resolutely that you're "right" and I'm "wrong", and either is fine with me as long as I've given you a reason to THINK about the situation. So when I get something negative, I take a moment, breathe, and try to see whether or not there's a learning opportunity for me in it (sounding familiar?).
A recent e-mail accused me of being a bit, er, long-winded, and wishing that the info here were more concise. Well, ok mr-or-mrs-anonymous commenter - you caught me! There's a lot of information to impart, especially when we're talking about a completely different way of thinking about how your dog interacts with the world. I've tried to make it a little bit easier, with the "Learn the Basics of Natural Dog Training" section (and some category breakdowns that make more sense than my original everything-lumped-into-the-dog-training-category approach). I do err on the side of thoroughness, though, because I want everyone to understand what the heck I'm talking about. I've been hesitant to do shorter blog posts before establishing a really solid foundation for Natural Dog Training. That being said, at a certain point I think that I will have said enough on that level, and I'll be able to mostly just take (and answer) questions from all of you.
The Dawn of a New Idea
Now something else that my commenter said actually DID make a lot of sense to me - that I "should write and sell this as a book". I recognize that there is a lot of reading to be done on the NaturalDogBlog, and I also recognize that there is a certain degree of redundancy across my posts (though I try to keep it to a minimum by cross-linking articles). I try to make each article reasonably self-sufficient. On the other hand, I have been told on many occasions that people print out my articles to read later - so they don't have to sit in front of their computer any more than necessary. So I recognize that the level of information here is certainly bookworthy, and, with some editing and a few more pictures, I suddenly realized (duh!) that I really SHOULD turn all of this into a book. At least that makes sense to me. Thanks mr-or-mrs-anonymous-inspirer!
How about you all? Would you be interested in a Natural Dog Training eBook? If so, what topics would you like to see covered? My goal would be (as with this site) to create a streamlined guide to Natural Dog Training that will allow any of you to get out there with your dog(s) and quickly implement Natural Dog Training techniques. Perhaps most importantly, it'd be in a format that would be quite easy to print out (rather than having to click on all the articles and compile them yourself) - and I could eliminate any redundancies that were "necessary" in blog format. I'd also like to make it affordable (this site is FREE for all of you, after all) - so I'll probably keep it in the 10-15 dollar range. I could even create an affiliate program for it, so those of you who dig the book could promote it and earn a share of the revenue that it generates.
If any of you out there work in the publishing industry and would like to talk about a formal proposal for a book book, let me know. In the meantime, I will be (gradually) be revisiting my articles and reworking them into a Natural Dog Training eBook format, that will be available for purchase on this site. I also intend to provide video (I know, I've mentioned it a bunch) - but with the wintertime upon us here in Maine let's just say that it isn't the best filming weather. But it's perfect for getting an eBook into shape.
OK, now about the length thing
One last word on length. Look, there are plenty of sites out there with quick little tips on dog training. That was never the intention for this site - at least not until you all knew enough about Natural Dog Training so that we could HAVE the quick little conversations about this or that - and understand each other's vocabulary. That day is approaching, I think! Even then, I will be sticking to my purpose: to help all of you with your canine relationships, eliciting obedience from your dogs and solving behavior problems by being the best online Natural Dog Training resource that there is.
This site's popularity is slowly but steadily growing, and I take that as a sign that the thousands of you out there that keep coming back are finding the information here to be helpful. Thank you so much for helping me make this site more useful, and for encouraging me to keep writing. And, of course, thank you for getting the word out about NaturalDogBlog.com - because each and every new moose out there makes a difference in my being able to continue in my mission. And trust me, your dogs appreciate it too! 🙂
Neil, you might also want to consider submitting your book to Lyons Press. They do a lot of dog books and dog training books. The advantage of going with a publisher is mass distribution.
Here's the link:
Thanks for the link Karen! I'll definitely check it out.
Neil, I love the idea of an ebook. I've put all your articles in a Google Notebook for easy printing, but if people pay a reasonable price for the compilation, well, you know, things you pay for you tend to value more.
I don't think you're terribly long-winded, I've got a shelf full of dog training books and would rather have the complaint that there is too much info instead of feeling like I'm filling in the blanks.
It's great to hear you're getting a lot of visitors!
It is true that there is too much quick fix information available on the web but often this only addresses the immediate problem and does nothing to correct deeper behavioural issues.
Yes, your book would be a great idea. I just finished reading Kevin Behan's book and your style of writing would complement it very well. Even before I finished reading Behan's book, I was incorporating hide and seek,fetch, fetch tug, and push into my dog training and have seen incredible results. In comparison, Behan's description of "push" (your term, not his) is difficult to follow!!!!
Again, thanks everyone for the encouragement.
That's great that you read Kevin's book. My whole aim is to take his concepts and make them accessible to the best of my ability, so I'm pleased to hear that's working. Also, when he wrote his book I'm not sure that he actually had developed the "push" game - if I remember correctly he describes it as "Hup" - developing contact with your dog. So it's actually a further development (his, not mine) of his method.
Thanks also for the link from your blog. Let me know if you have any other questions - but from the sounds of things, everything is going well.
Just came across your blog, and might I say, it definitely opened a brand new path for me in the never-ending road of canine training! Can't wait for that book of yours! Keep it going, man!