16/06/2024

The Critters

For Nice Critters

My Dog is a Genius by David Taylor

My Dog is a Genius by David Taylor

“My Dog is a Genius” is a very informative book. It is written by David Taylor who is a highly respected veterinary surgeon. He founded the International Zoo Veterinary Group in 1969 and now travels widely across the globe, treating any animals he come across which need help. He is the author of over 40 pet-care books including the bestsellers ‘The Ultimate Dog’, ‘You and Your Dog’, and ‘Think Cat’.

It starts off with the author explaining about dogs and their history and how humans started to domesticate them. As you read on, David Taylor went on to talk about the scientific evidence of dog’s intelligence. Times are different now and many behaviorists are studying animals and their way of communication.

David Taylor also goes on to discuss about dog’s intelligence, such as different breeds belong to a certain category and so do their cleverness, their emotions, scent of smell, hearing and even how to communicate with your dog. What surprised me most was his proof that dogs indeed have memory! And they have 5 different memories. I have always thought that dogs forget events and incidents easily. Now I understand why my dog always barks at the same people. That is because he has social memory!

When I started reading this book, I thought it consists of all words and theoretical analysis. However, as I venture deeper into the book, I came upon this chapter. It is called “How intelligent is your dog”. David Taylor actually provided many games and tricks for the dog owners to play with their pets. Most of the games and tricks (tests) are meant to determine your dog’s intelligence. I couldn’t help bookmarking the interesting games and I could not wait to try it out on my dog! We had a blast! My dog enjoyed his treats and in turn, I got to know that he is indeed clever! There are so many games and tricks which I have yet to finish testing on my dog.

After the fun and games, it’s time to mellow down a little. The next few chapters cover basic obedience and behaviors. What about the training method David uses?

“No kind of corporal punishment must ever be used on a dog. Hitting, beating, kicking, pressing the lips down hard on the teeth – all of these are utterly taboo. Acceptable punishments are to interrupt whatever the dog is doing in a strong, sharp, even startling way, perhaps by the use of an air horn, the rattle of a can, a puff from a citronella aerosol, a squirt of water or just a firm, scolding ‘No!’.” (D. Taylor, p. 100)

David Taylor uses reward method in his dog training. Commands such as watch, sit, down, come and give are some of the training commands covered in step-by-step picture guides. Advance tricks and commands are covered later in the chapters. Tips on agility training are also shared.

This book contains a lot of information on dogs as well as practical work. To date, I find that this is the most interesting and informative book I have ever come across. In fact, I even thought I can rely on this book without having to research on others! This book will definitely help in keeping your dog’s brain sharp and both of you entertained and bonded.