The Human Half of Dog Training

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The Human Half of Dog Training
Collaborating with Clients to Get Results

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

© 2012, Risë VanFleet
Cover illustration: Stuart Adelman
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-61781-103-6

Most dog trainers and other canine professionals have a strong desire to help dogs learn appropriate behaviors and solve many dog-related problems. It is why they get into the profession in the first place, and it is what they usually feel most competent to do. What is challenging for many trainers is that their success in working with dogs ultimately depends on the cooperation, understanding, and follow-through of the people who bring their dogs for help. Failure to work with people often leads to failure with the dogs. In The Human Half of Dog Training, author Risë VanFleet draws upon her years of experience working with people as a child and family psychologist to teach dog trainers how to take a collaborative approach with clients to insure the best possible outcomes for their dogs.

The book covers specific skills needed to work effectively with humans. Included are ample examples of the skills in action in dog training and consulting situations. This practical book offers many tools that have been shown to create collaborative client relationships that yield positive results.

Chapters: 1. The Human Client; 2. Some Thoughts on Human Resistance; 3. A Look at Cognitive Distortions; 4. Initial Engagement and Relationship Building; 5. Understanding Clients: Empathic Listening; 6. Client Follow-Through; 7. Adapting Training Skills You Already Have to Human Clients; 8. Skills for Working with Children; 9. Handling Common Problems with Human Clients; 10. Final Thoughts

Acclaim by canine professionals:

Veronica Boutelle:
Bravo! This book should be required reading for every professional dog trainer. These skills for working with clients are every bit as important to doing our jobs well as the skills we have with dogs, and nowhere have I seen them so effectively laid out. This is a game-changing book and will no doubt increase the efficacy of any trainer who reads and takes it to heart.

Dr. Lynn Honeckman:
As veterinarians, we study for many years to learn how to best care for pets, forgetting at times that every beloved pet comes with a human client. This book is exactly what every veterinarian and veterinary hospital employee needs to help communicate more effectively with the people who care enough to trust us with their pets. "The Human Half of Dog Training..." is filled with case examples and situations that are recognizable to our profession. Rise Van Fleet offers recommendations for creating the best plan and achieving the greatest treatment results through better communication, empathy, and understanding. As a veterinarian with a special interest in behavior cases, this book will be a valuable addition to my professional library.

Michael Shikashio:
A must read for all canine professionals. Rise VanFleet has created a seminal masterpiece that details how to approach the many variables of the often forgotten human component in animal behavior consulting.

Jean Donaldson:
The most gaping hole in the pet dog training literature has finally been filled, and filled with radiant savoire-faire. Rise Van Fleet has hit it out of the park.

Casey Lomonaco:
Dog trainers and behavior consultants need a number of core skills to be successful as professionals - they must be good dog trainers, business people, and yes, human trainers! Rise VanFleet's new book is the best book on the human component of the training team since Terry Ryan's "Coaching People to Train Their Dogs," and is chock-full of practical tips for dealing with client challenges using techniques based in sound behavioral science that many dog trainers will already be familiar with.

Grisha Stewart:
The Human Half of Dog Training" is a practical and theoretical book that fills a much-needed hole in the dog training literature. Rise's background in working with humans, combined with her skills as a dog trainer, give her a unique perspective on how to get our clients on board. If you've ever been frustrated by your clients' resistance or lack of follow-through, this book is for you!

Pam Dennison:
The Human Half of Dog Training is a godsend to teachers everywhere! Finally, the missing link between trainer and client is here! Rise has a wonderful knack for explaining the subtle issues we all encounter in a non-judgmental, insightful and caring manner. A must have for all trainers' libraries!

Maggie Blutreich:
All trainers can benefit from Dr. Van Fleet's approach to The Human Half of Dog Training -- developing a knack for empathic listening, setting limits on class disruptive clients, avoiding those pitfalls of noncompliance and unrealistic expectations. Rise Van Fleet sparkles with her inclusive writing style and extensive background in family counseling. If we canine professionals can agree that training is a lot like landing an airplane whereby the end result depends on the approach, we can thank Rise for further illuminating that runway!

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