Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards

Non-Fiction - Animals
208 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dianna M. Young, Award-Winning author, began her dog-training career in Germany, where she served three years of apprenticeship under skilled master trainers, studying and participating in dog training for police-service work, security, scent detection, personal protection, tracking and search-and-rescue.
Dianna returned to the United States and enrolled in a nationally accredited school for professional dog trainers, where she continued her studies in canine behavior, all facets of professional dog training and animal husbandry. Upon completing her schooling, she worked and studied for several years in animal-related fields in New York state.
Dianna also served as an Animal Control Officer, enforcing animal-related laws and ordinances in New York state, and managed a 103-animal-capacity shelter and holding facility for a New York township.
Dianna then apprenticed under world-renowned Certified Master Trainer John M. Henkel of New Milford, Connecticut. While employed at the Henkel teaching and training facility, Dianna assisted John with classes for the personnel of many law-enforcement and security agencies in New York and New England, and also with providing trained dogs world-wide to celebrities and dignitaries for personal and estate protection.
After returning to her native Pacific Northwest, Dianna began her own consulting and training services, and spent two years as canine-behavior consultant and in-store dog trainer for outlets of a national pet-supply store chain in two Washington cities.
In 1997 Dianna opened her own training and boarding facility, Camano Island Kennels, where she trains dogs successfully for a wide range of clients. People come to her with needs that range from simple obedience training to the finding and implementing of solutions for complex behavioral problems. She is a first-choice for some veterinarians who seek training for themselves and their own dogs, and teaches classes and seminars in dog-handling for the staff s of veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and rescue organizations.
Since moving to Camano Island, Dianna also has competed successfully at the international level with her own personal service dogs. Some have ranked very high for training in national and international Sieger shows, in which dogs demonstrate proficiency with skills similar to those used by police-service dogs. This has included attaining the position of number-one dog in the United States and number-one dog in Canada in their respective classes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

If you have a dog to train, consider picking up a copy of Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards by Dianna Young and Robert Mottram. The premise of the book is that dogs are distinctly different from humans in their genetic make-up and if you understand that critical difference, you can effectively train almost any dog. Young explains that all dogs are naturally either followers or leaders and that they have a keen sense of rank, whether in a dog pack or in the family environment. To effectively train your dog, you must give early and prominent clues to your dog that you are in charge. Various psychological approaches which are recognized in psychological research offer diverse ways of dog training. But the ideology of positive reinforcement has proven most effective to author Young who is also a certified and award-winning trainer.

It is difficult to argue with the success of Young and readers would be smart to heed her advise. A well-trained family dog is a happy dog and the owner also derives pleasure in knowing there are limits and boundaries in the expectations and privileges of pet ownership. Terms such as reinforcement, desensitization, and social learning are all critical training components. Young believes that owners who recognize their inability to stick with a regimented training schedule would do well to enroll their dog and themselves in a training program. For those willing to undergo a rigorous training schedule, skills such as heeling, sitting, laying down, staying, and coming on command are explained in detail. Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards is an easy to comprehend manual that should be on the shelf of every new dog owner.

Don Messerschmidt for Por

"The guidance provided in this book will enable a dog owner to 'read' (understand and think like) their dog almost as well as their dog 'read' can read its owner. An important primer on training for both you and your dog."

Ray Edel for Jersey Dog

"This book tackles a breadth of topics, from how to pick your pooch to the importance of socialization. Young and Mottram explain to the reader how to perceive the world from a dog's perspective, aiming to help readers understand how their furry friend thinks."

The Anacortes American

"The book Dianna M. Young wrote and published with her father unlocks secrets that dog owners can use to establish and improve their ideal relationship with man s best friend."

Keep the Tail Wagging

If you're looking for a valuable book to add to your library, I highly recommend this one. Every dog owner should read this book (a couple times at least) and then see what a difference it makes in their relationship with their canine."


"Do you know what happens to books that I wish I'd written? I cut off their spines and punch holes in them.

That's makes ring-binding them possible. And that has become my new shortcut to knowing which books I use as constant reference material or just find enjoyable to read. Once ring bound, books can be kept open while studying them.

Think Like Your Dog, and Enjoy The Rewards by Dianna M. Young and her co-author Robert H. Mottram is truly one of those books. And I know you'll find it just as valuable."

Elizabeth Kerstetter

"A must-read for any dog owner! Dianna Young s training style is right on the money. Loving your dog is a given, but learning to be its leader will make the bond much stronger and more fulfilling. - --Elizabeth Kerstetter, veterinary hospital manager, Selinsgrove, PA

Colleen Mondor

They have a fresh perspective on dogs and people and life that is missing from everyone else. What s interesting is they re talking about how to deal with dogs, but this is not just about dogs it s dating and business and Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family. It s life in the guise of dog training, and it s HUGE. ---Colleen Mondor, dog-training client, Seattle

NW Graphic Design

I love this book! It has answered several of my dog behavioral questions and has given me solutions to help create peace and harmony within our home. This book addresses all aspects of dog ownership from choosing your first puppy to introducing an additional K-9 member into your family and much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone with dogs or anyone thinking of getting a dog. After reading this book you will be able to “Think like your Dog”!

Lawrence Romel

"Dianna Young lays out solid advice on dog selection and training. I wish I had this book years ago, it would have helped in so many situations. Easy to understand with real-life examples to illustrate key points. A must have book for any dog owner.

William McCann

There are so many things I enjoyed about Dianna’s book. The most important lesson was establishing clear leadership with my dog. Dianna helped me understand it is really a kindness to my dog. Leadership makes him feel safe and secure to know I am in control. Dianna also had some simple training tips that were new to me and are very effective with Maverick. Dianna’s training and extensive experience are very impressive. Her love of dogs comes through so clearly. This is a book I know I will keep close and refer to often.


Amazing. Simply the best dog behavior book I’ve ever read. The author has stunning experience in this field My high energy German Shepherd has never been more settled and focused as she is after I applied my new knowledge. A must read for all dog owners. This lady is a female Ceasar Millan!


By the “Alaska reader”

"Sensible and easy to follow advice. Loved the overall approach to dog training. The lesson that either you or your dog will be the leader in the relationship echos thoughout. And that If you don’t step up, your unhappy dog will be compelled to try to fill the void.So many other trainers stress reward without correction. Dianna believes in both. She compares her method of using reward and gentle correction for dogs with instructions that might be given to a child who is trying to locate an object and is given the clues “you’re getting warmer” and “you’re getting colder”. That was an aha moment for me.Very sensible advice. Great stories from her canine career help illustrate her points.


By Doglover

"It actually makes sense! I wanted a book that would inform me the best ways to understand dog behavior and subsequently how to train that natural behavior. Found it! Although I have not read this book cover to cover yet, what I have read has been sooo helpful in my quest to teach my dog and not force him in to submission with simple training. It really does help me think like my dog, making it easier for both of us to live compatibly together and have some fun getting the kinks of our relationship honed. Really good reference!


"I now Think Like My Dog!!! First things first….this book is user-friendly! Easy to understand, relatable anecdotes, and a clear methodology. After I read the book, I started observing people with their dogs and started to realize that often (nearly 100%) the problem is with the handler/owner..NOT the dog! At 42 years of age, I’m learning new things! I would observe a person giving a command, only to give up after a few tries! This experience IS a learned behavior! What have you taught your dog? You have a taught him that he DOESN’T need to do what you’ve asked!Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards set clear expectations and helped me to better see what I (emphasis added) need to change and correct. The book is concise and direct and the author has a sense of humor, which always helps! She offers numerous examples to help set the tone and drive the point home, which I enjoyed. Her knowledge of the canine species and various breeds is vast. Her tone is no-nonsense and matter-of-fact, while remaining thorough and educational. I actually plan on re-reading the book regularly, to make sure I’m putting the new skills into practice. I told my husband that the book is my dog’s user’s manual.Dianna Young has impressive credentials as well! If you are looking for fluff and warm fuzzies…this is not your book. What this book WILL do is assist you in establishing a healthy relationship with your dog, setting boundaries, providing much-needed structure, and will encourage proper role-definition. I look forward to putting my new skills to work!!

T. Schilling

"As owner of two German Shepherd, I have found Dianna Young’s new book: “Think Like Your Dog” to be an invaluable training tool and learning tool for me. It is also helpful for my dogs, since I approach training differently now with the wealth of knowledge and experience she has shared in this book. Thank You for writing this book!