“Second Hand Dog” Book Review

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Title: Second Hand Dog: How to Turn Yours Into a First-Rate Pet (See It Here)
Author: Carol Lea Benjamin
Publisher: Howell Book House; New York, NY; 1988
Category: TRAINING

I thought I should start my websites book reviews with this book since LRR and other rescues and shelters often highly recommend it to newly adoptive canine parents. Being only 100 pages (with lots of photos and drawings), it was a quick and easy read. But, I was amazed at the amount of dog behavior and training information that was packed inside the covers. It was scary how well she knows our canine friends and her insight into how dogs learn and why they adopt certain problem behaviors was uncanny. It is obvious that this woman has studied dogs well and does a great job of explaining life from a dogs perspective… I’m sure my dog would feel that it was rather disconcerting that she was identifying many of his behavioral secrets and then offering suggestions to you humans like how to be Alpha (top dog). She lays out what dogs need from their owners in the way of socialization, house manners, diet/health, grooming, obedience training, and companionship so that they can thrive. And, while much of this information can be applied to raising dogs in general, she also focuses on the special problems and issues often confronted when taking on a dog of unknown or unfortunate background. She speaks from experience having a number of “second-hand” dogs herself and illustrates much of her advice with real-life examples of rescued dogs. A first-rate, common sense book for any dog owner, but especially for those adopting from shelters and rescues.