EXPERT DOG TRAINER AND BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF LUCKY DOG LESSONS, BRANDON MCMILLAN REVEALS THE SURPRISING CONNECTION BETWEEN DOG BREED, BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION, and GENETICS TO COMMUNICATE BETTER, TRAIN EASIER and BUILD A LASTING BOND WITH ANY DOG
After weeks of perpetual “nos” and “offs” don’t work, dog owners typically get frustrated, give up, and take the dog back to the shelter—a story repeated thousands of times each year. The sad truth is, dogs have been bred to have a deeply ingrained sense of purpose - like herding sheep, protecting livestock, tracking animals, killing vermin, and even accompanying royalty - but that purpose doesn't necessarily translate to a modern household. This makes training difficult, communication fraught, but most important, it impacts your ability to form a meaningful connection with your new dog.
Expert trainer Brandon McMillan begins every training session with a new dog and owner by offering a deep dive into the specific breed and evolutionary forces at work in that unique dog's DNA. Every mutt, mixed breed, rescue, and even "purebred" dog has a complicated set of instincts at play, and those instincts are at the root of behavior problems. In The Story of Your Dog: A Straightforward Guide to a Complicated Animal, he gives pet parents these surprising and necessary insights and tools to bond with their dog in remarkable ways. The key is figuring out what your dog wants and needs by recognizing the biological instincts that drive him to nip, bark, lick, guard, chase, or pull, and then finding a healthy outlet for those instincts.
Step 1 is accepting the link between prehistoric wolves and dogs, and the five wolf characteristics that govern dog behavior
Step 2 is leaning into your unique dog's group and breed - from the Adorable Hunters (terriers) to the Benevolent Leaders (retrievers) and everywhere in-between - when you know the job your dog was bred for centuries to perform, you have a new lens on their sometimes confusing, alarming, or curious behaviors and how to redirect them
The Story of Your Dog is an invitation to know more about the complicated dog at the other end of your leash. As Brandon McMillan shares in these pages, "When owners do the work to uncover the 15,000 years of purpose-driven breeding that motivates their dog, they quickly learn how to correct unwanted behaviors and provide their dog with a joyful existence that leads to a lasting bond."