Review: The Other End of the Leash

The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell.

If you keep up with any dog training blogs or if you read dog training books, you’re bound to hear positive buzz around the name Patricia McConnell. Having read The Other End of the Leash, I can attest that this buzz is well deserved.

This book is a beautiful journey through the mind of your canine and it’s a much-needed reminder that our behavior around our dogs may be sending the entirely wrong signals. McConnell has a degree in animal behavioral science and her solid academic background often breaks through in the text. Yet she presents her findings with grace and ease, making her research and the behavioral principles displayed applicable to those of us who don’t have a Ph.D. in science.

McConnell also shares lots of insightful anecdotes about her experience with troubled dogs and their troublesome owners. These stories illuminate many of the positive training principles that she recommends. I also deeply enjoyed her heart-warming stories about her own dogs, a pack of border collies and a Great Pyrenees, who help her run her sheep farm in rural Wisconsin.

I was especially impressed with McConnell’s skill as a writer. There are not many books about dogs can boast such excellent, clear, and enjoyable prose. As an English major and a self-described literary snob, I found a lot of joy in this aspect of the book, too. It’s rare to find a great dog trainer who is also a skillful writer. McConnell, gratefully, is both.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants an inspiring and informational introduction into the world of canine behavior. After just a few chapters, McConnell will have you quickly evaluating your own postures and tones with your dog. It’s a beautiful book; I would certainly read it again.

If you can’t tell, I now count myself a loyal McConnell fan. I am eager to read the rest of her books, but in the meantime, I am gratified to that McConnell keeps a fairly regular blog by the same title as her book: The Other End of the Leash. The blog, like this book, come highly recommended by me.

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