Do Over Dogs


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What exactly is a Do-Over Dog?

It might be a rescue dog you’re working with to help become easier to re – home. Perhaps it’s the dog you’ve adopted, rescued, or even found running stray who is now yours to live with and love…forever. Or it could be the dog you’ve lived with for years but still has “issues” that make him a challenging canine companion. A Do-Over Dog is any dog that you think needs or deserves a second chance in life. In this book, Pat shares the wisdom of her years in the field of force-free, positive dog training to help give people and pets a first class life—together

Pat Miller is internationally known as an author and lecturer in the field of force-free, positive dog training. She operates her own training facility – Peaceable Paws Dog and Puppy Training, and has spent her life working with both people and rescue dogs, family dogs, and dogs with behaviour problems.


“People get second chances all the time, why not dogs? “Do Over Dogs: Give Your Dog a Second Chance for a First Class Life” is a guide to taking in dogs that have had previous owners, or has been taken off of the street. These dogs may not be accustomed to better owners, and Pat Miller seeks to give these new owners how to train their dog for better habits that they may not have previously known. With plenty of training advice and techniques for teaching oneself and their dog, “Do Over Dogs” is a useful guide for those who believe in second chances for man’s best friend.” James A. Cox

“Dogs With Baggage? No, I don’t mean a wardrobe full of clothes. I mean dogs who have lived elsewhere before coming into your life. They usually arrive with baggage. Sometimes new owners create that “baggage” all by themselves. That shouldn’t mean giving up on the dog. On the contrary, it should mean giving him every opportunity to learn how to live compatibly in your household and have a new leash on life.

Recently, respected dog trainer and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAABC), Pat Miller’s newest book, Do Over Dogs was released by Dogwise. It’s nearly 200 pages chock full of good advice for dog owners and potential owners. This book should be read by everyone who plans to adopt a shelter dog and by every shelter volunteer. Shelters are scary places for dogs. They’ve been abandoned by their family and placed in a noisy, cold environment with precious little comfort. They don’t know why they lost their home.

The simple explanation is that their owners didn’t properly prepare themselves to own a dog and the cute little puppy was never trained, thereby turning into a dog who overwhelmed them. In fact, this book would be a good addition to any dog owner’s library. So often people turn to friends or neighbors for advice when they really need to turn to someone who knows what they’re doing and is using scientific methods to resolve problems.

They may well need the in person assistance of a veterinary behaviorist, or another qualified professional such a a certified behavior consultant. Having a copy of this book handy is a good start and may help you before you have to “call in the troops,” depending up the issue(s) and how deeply ingrained the problem has become. Adopting a new family member is always an adventure and a wonderful undertaking. With help for any problems and the right (positive) training methods, the story of your newcomer will end in Happily Ever After….” Darlene Arden

“This book is a must read for all dog owners! It is now on the top of my “recommended books” list. As a behaviorist, I am often asked, “Is my dog too old to train?” or, “Since my dog is a rescue, will she be harder to train?” This book addresses just that, teaching that it’s never too late to begin anew. Whether adopting a new pet or working with a current family pet, this book provides great advice for providing a “second chance in life.” Miller begins by thoroughly listing the “types” of do-over dogs that exist and discussing the adoption of such dogs. She then gives a great protocol for behaviorally assessing a dog you may be thinking about adopting from a shelter. The assessment is simple and produces easy-to-evaluate results. After the assessment, although it may not uncover every impending behavior problem, the potential adopters are better equipped to make an educated decision regarding the adoption of a dog with potential behavior problems.

After successfully adopting a dog, but BEFORE bringing him home, there are many preparations that must be made. This makes the transitions easier for both adopter and adoptee. These include supplies to purchase, responsibility designations among family members and planning well-arranged positive introductions to other family members, pets and the new environment. After the dog is brought home and successful introductions are made, it is immediately time to begin training.

Miller makes a wonderful point stating that do-over dogs often seem behaviorally different from “normal” dogs, however, they are NOT. They’re still subject to the basic laws of learning, including that of Pavlov and Skinner, just as all dogs are. She then gives a very thorough and much needed discussion of training methods and concepts, including a great example of the use of the Premack principle to teach a recall and a powerful piece on “poisoning the cue.” This section also includes a much-needed reminder that relationships are established based upon deference, not dominance.

This is so very valuable to teach owners. In her “Do Over Repair Manual,” Miller gives a great outline for beginning behavioral modification that may be necessary with a do-over dog, including the basics of house training, chewing, digging, destruction, barking, escaping, and problems with cats. She then moves into the modification of high risk behaviors including fear, sensitivity to touch and restraint, resource guarding, separation distress, OCD and aggression. Her methods are gentle, effective and easy to follow. Offering further encouragement, Miller wraps up the book by presenting a few happy tales of successful do-overs. A fantastic end to a fantastic book!” Bonnie DiCocco, CDBC, CPDT-KA


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