on May 17, 2013 :
I thoroughly enjoyed Avril's book - it was a good easy read with lots of information not just about dog (and people) training but also about Avril's own personal experiences and the dogs she has known. Many of the stories she relates bring a tear to the eye and are easy for any dog owner to relate to.
I have had personal experience of working with Avril and can honestly say that her understanding of the training needs of Standard Poodles is second to none. So much so that having had her support with our first Standard almost 25 years ago we sought her out 4 years ago for help with our 4th Standard Poodle as other trainers just didn't understand the special needs of the breed.
I would highly recommend Avril's book to all dog lovers and anyone with a genuine interest in training dogs as it contains many practical tips.
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on March 1, 2013 :
The book is relatively short and an easy read giving so much valuable information on getting the best possible relationship with your dog. Although the author has studied dogs, she gives an insight into her life with dogs and how the problems she has encountered could have been avoided. The advice given is not purely academic it is based on real experience. The author describes her progression to becoming a dog trainer but what also comes through is her real love of dogs and an understanding that everyone should develop their own relationship with their dog based on their own desires.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on Feb. 11, 2013 :
Have been waiting a number of years to read Following the Lead and once I finally got my hands on it I couldn't put it down! What an honest account of Avril's career as a dog trainer and also of her life as a dog owner. Along with of course lots of advice and training exercises on dealing with behaviour and training issues.
Bosting especially touched a sad note with me as I had to give up on my rescue Border Collie Robbie last May after several severe attacks on me, my partner and our other dogs. Rob was really my first experience of a truly dominant dog with real aggression issues and I can tell you it's a tough one.
It was lovely reading all about Ted. Teddy has a special place in my heart as he is the dad of my Colliedoodle Winnie, who just like he did, has a passion for life and a unique charm that has everyone wrapped firmly around her paws and instantly playing ball.
As well as being a fantastic read, it also made me realise that although Robbie was a disaster, when I look back at the achievements and highlights of all my own dogs, I haven't done such a bad job with them after all. I believe they all have a reason for sharing our lives and they all have something to teach us and I especially loved Avril's 'lessons learnt' from each of hers.
The one thing this book doesn't quite spell out to you is how many people Avril has helped and what a superb dog trainer she is. Over everything else the ones that teach you the most are the dogs themselves, all the difficulties and highlights you'll read about are experiences and lessons that Avril passes on to those she works with. I can tell you from experience its all good stuff!
It was well worth the wait, read and enjoy.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)