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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Keeping the Peace: A Guide to Solving Dog-Dog Aggression in the Home is a nonfiction animal behavior book written by Nicole Wilde. Wilde is a certified professional dog trainer and the author of a number of books on canine behavior and training. She has also worked with fearful dogs, wolf-dog hybrids and wolves as part of her ongoing work with the Villalobos Rescue Center. Sometimes perfectly nice and loving dogs don’t get on at all well with each other. It could be competition over food, toys or me-time with a favorite human. The fights can seem to spring up over nothing and with no warning. Wilde shows, however, how often those dogs give out signs that something is wrong beforehand, and she helps to translate body language, stern glances and other cues that can help caregivers recognize when trouble is brewing and possibly avert or minimize it. She analyzes key situations that can lead to aggressive behavior and gives training tips on how to reestablish harmony in a multi-dog house.
I’m a firm believer in having two canine companions, and while my two girls are the best of friends, I was pleased to discover Nicole Wilde’s book. As I read through it, I could recognize behaviors both of my dogs indulge in, and was struck, once again, by how patient and kind my older dog has been towards the now nearly adult puppy she mothered and raised from four months. Sophie endures food theft, treat snatching, and then there’s the wriggling body that insinuates itself between Sophie and me during cuddle time. There’s only been one momentary conflict which left the two of them confused and noticeably upset afterwards. They’ve since been best of friends.
Wilde’s book was, therefore, for me, an opportunity to learn more about my own dogs, their behavior and how to make sure that Stevie doesn’t push Sophie too far. Wilde’s analyses of canine behavior are inspired and the accompanying photographs help to hammer home the concepts covered. I particularly value her training tips and recommendations on nutrition. Her use of positive training and insights into canine responses seem uncanny at times -- and that’s a good thing. Anyone who has a dog or dogs in their lives would do well reading this book as Wilde shares so much of her knowledge of canine behavior. And while your dogs may not be fighters, it’s good to know what to do to keep it that way or what to do if there’s ever a scuffle. Keeping the Peace: A Guide to Solving Dog-Dog Aggression in the Home is most highly recommended.