Author: Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT
Format: Paperback, Full color
Length: 296 pages
Release Date: 2012
Control Unleashed®: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog was written as a problem-solving book to help handlers with mature dogs that were having behavior problems during canine-sport training or competition. This book is different. Control Unleashed®: The Puppy Program is meant as “preventive medicine” for puppy raisers. Many common behavior problems can be either prevented or minimized by starting a puppy with good foundation training from the beginning. In addition, this book provides a program that will help you create a puppy that is ready for sport-specific training at the appropriate age—a puppy with the ability to focus on whatever you want, for as long as you want, whenever you want.
“Paying attention” is its own skill set and teaching it should be separate from teaching your puppy more complex behaviors. Without attention, you won’t get as far as you want with all those other behaviors you’re going to teach because it’s likely they will fall apart in the face of distraction. So it is wise to teach the attention skill set as the “base of operations” for your puppy training. The attention skill set includes: Discrimination skills, self-control skills, and arousal regulation skills.
The concepts and suggestions in this book can also be used for rescue dogs that, like puppies, are starting out as “blank slates” as far as your training is concerned.
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About the Author
Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. In 1998, Leslie rescued Gordie, an American Pit Bull/GSD cross that had been badly abused, and in trying desperately to help him through his crushing anxieties and fears, met her inspiration and mentor, world-renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall. Through Gordie, Leslie found her calling and devoted herself completely to becoming a dog trainer, and later, a behavior consultant. Leslie was volunteering at urban shelters and studying behavior and clicker training when she caught the dog sports bug and started agility and flyball training with her terrier mix Maggie. Her work with anxious, reactive, impulsive, and aggressive dogs gave her a unique perspective when she became a student of dog sports training.
Control Unleashed®: The Puppy Program contains the following chapters:
Section I: Overview
- Chapter 1: What Is Puppy Control Unleashed®?
- Chapter 2: Getting to Know Your Puppy
- Chapter 3: A Different Way to Think About Focus
Section II: Pre-requisites
- Chapter 4: An Ounce of Prevention: Reactivity
- Chapter 5: Before You Begin
- Chapter 6: Premack Principle
- Chapter 7: The Power of the Release Word
- Chapter 8: Give Your Puppy a Break
- Chapter 9: Leslie's Protocol for Food Arousal
- Chapter 10: Using Reinforcement Wisely: Pressure and Premack
- Chapter 11: Control vs. Cooperation
- Chapter 12: Attention is Just Another Behavior
- Chapter 13: Reassurance-seeking Behavior
- Chapter 14: Targeting
Section III: Key Concepts
- Chapter 15: Default Behaviors
- Chapter 16: Availability
- Chapter 17: Biofeedback
- Chapter 18: Shaping
- Chapter 19: Integrative Training
- Chapter 20: Economy of Energy
- Chapter 21: Bite Threshold Model
- Chapter 22: Transitioning
Section IV: Games and Exercises
- Chapter 23: Reorienting
- Chapter 24: Leave It
- Chapter 25: Whiplash Turn
- Chapter 26: Look at That!
- Chapter 27: Mat Work
- Chapter 28: Off-Switch Game
- Chapter 29: Give Me a Break Game
- Chapter 30: Parallel Games
- Chapter 31: Box Work
- Chapter 32: Puppy Ping-Pong
- Chapter 33: Watch the Distracted Handler
Section V: Conclusion
- Chapter 34: Managing Your Puppy in Classes and at Trials
- Chapter 35: Arousal Is Not Drive
- Chapter 36: Finding the Right Teacher When You're Ready for Agility Puppy Classes
- Chapter 37: Your Puppy Deserves a Custom Fit
- Chapter 38: Wrapping Up
- Recommended Resources
"Leslie McDevitt's book entitled, Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program, is a "must read" for every new puppy owner, especially for those who wish to compete in canine sports. This book not only highlights all of Leslie's original CU exercises, but it also focuses on managing the new puppy so that he can be successful in new and challenging environments. Reactivity is currently one of the most serious behavioral issues that dog owners and competitors face. Leslie's book is a complete motivational program geared toward creating an emotionally stable and versatile puppy, and therefore, eradicating reactivity." —Emma Parsons, author of Click to Calm
"Leslie McDevitt has hit it out of the park with the CU Puppy Program book. The only thing I would change is the title, because ANY dog could benefit from going through this program from start to finish. This book would be especially great for people with puppies or newly adopted dogs who want to create a solid foundation of focus. I love the systematic approach and the exercises in this book and recommend it all the time in my seminars!" —Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA, KPACTP, Author of Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Aggression, Frustration, and Fear
"Leslie McDevitt has another winner! Her Puppy Unleashed program is a great recipe for raising a behaviorally solid pup, and a must-have for sports-minded puppy owners." —Pat Miller, Peaceable Paws LLC