Decoding Your Dog Helps Explain & Change Dog Behaviors #DogDecoding

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Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy and was compensated in exchange for my post thanks to BlogPaws. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own!

Decoding Your Dog Helps Explain & Change Dog Behaviors

Do you have a dog? Are you sometimes perplexed by your dog’s weird behaviors… why do they have to lick there?! Why do they not go potty outside, even if they are housetrained. There’s so many questions about a dog’s behavior. And everyone has their own “answers” to these questions. I’ve been introduced to a great book written by some people that truly understand dog’s behaviors, and I am so glad I have this book now!

Decoding Your Dog is all about explaining common dog behaviors and helping you to prevent or change the unwanted ones. Written by two people that are associated with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Debra Horwitz and John Cirisbassi) as well as a nationally syndicated pet journalist and radio host who has written books, you can guarantee that they know what they’re talking about. This book gives you effective, veterinary-approved positive training methods, remedies for behavior problems such as OCD and aggression and expert advice on socialization, diet, housetraining and exercise. This book is definitely worth the money if you have dogs!

I definitely needed to read this book. I want to share with you a story of how this book has helped me in such a short time.


See that sweet girl above? That would be our girl, Annie. She’s about 3 years old. We adopted her after her previous owners said they could no longer take care of her because she wanted a lot of attention and to play and they were gone a lot. Perfectly fine, I’m a stay-at-home mom and Annie was too sweet looking to pass up. She has become a great asset to our family, and we love her very much. But she does come with a couple of bad behaviors, one of which is really bad – she likes to go potty on the carpet. My husband will take her and Frankie, our other dog out, and he’ll stay out for almost half an hour and she’ll still come inside and go potty on the carpet! It’s really been frustrating us.

In chapter 4 of Decoding Your Dog, Leslia Larson Cooper, DVM, DACVB tackles Housetraining 101. I love how she gives you tips for not only a puppy but an adult dog as well. I know one of the problems we have is a schedule, which Leslie talks about. I never knew that we needed to take Annie out after play time or after waking up from a nap.

My dad told us to make sure we rub Annie’s nose in the the carpet where she went. I learned that there are several reasons not to do this, one of them being because the dog will learn to avoid the area where the accident took place and may go in a more less-conspicuous place next time. I am starting to do some of the tips that Leslie reccomends. Hopefully it will help us!

Decoding Your Dog Helps Explain & Change Dog Behaviors #DogDecoding | Optimistic Mommy

There’s so many tips and tricks in Decoding Your Dog. I can’t wait to read the whole thing! Even if the behaviors don’t pertain to our two doggies, I’m very interested in how a dog behaves and how to deal with the behavior itself. If you have any questions about your dog or are just curious about how they act, I definitely recommend this book! It’s a must read for any dog owner! You can pick up your copy here!

What behavior would you like to change in your dog?

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  1. I definitley should read this. All of the sudden my dog started biting out of the blue and we are baffled why. We actually may end up getting rid of him if we can’t get him to stop.

  2. Good book for anyone who has a dog. It would be so useful to know how to decode your dog. Thanks for sharing it

  3. I used to raise dogs and miss having them around… but the way my Hubs and I travel, it isn’t fair to have a dog and have to leave it all the time. I go to my Daughters and visit her dog when I feel the need to be around one.

  4. This sounds like an excellent read for my parents. They have three doggies!

  5. One of the biggest problems that our dog, a great dane, has is SEVERE separation anxiety. My husband went into the hospital for two weeks last month and we had to have my mother-in-law come stay with her while we were there and she absolutely REFUSED to eat for the time that we were at the hospital. I actually had to come the two hour drive back home several times during that two weeks so should eat just a little bit.

  6. tobey’s actually a really really sweet dog. he’s also 12 1/2 though. i’m not sure we could EVER get a dog as awesome as he is

  7. Our dog has gotten more bizarre as she’s gotten older. She constantly licks there and she does this weird plowing into The Hubs every morning on the bed when she gets up….

  8. i want a dog, If i had one I’d get this book the dog on the cover is so cute.

  9. I have learned something new today! i never knew it was possible to decode your dog.

  10. Our dog started going potty indoors and we are perplexed why. We think it might be because he lived with my dad who could not hear him barking to go out. This book would help.

  11. I don’t have a pet, but that’s so interesting about the not putting their nose in it. That’s what I’ve always heard. This is so interesting!

  12. This sounds like a fantastic book! I would love to get a copy and see if we can improve some of the behaviors of our Odin, a 1 year old dog. He doesn’t wet inside the house, but he also doesn’t go where I want him to outside. I would love to train him to go in a certain spot each time. I wonder if this would help us teach him to do that.

  13. My hubs would love to read this he is the dog lover. We had a boxer a few years ago but could not afford to keep him and my hubs is determined to get another dog soon.

  14. We have two dogs so this would definitely be helpful to us. Sometimes I just do not understand why they act and do the things they do.

  15. Thank you, Courtney. My snautzer is inexplicably jealous of our older cat and he has started to act really agressively towards the cat. I’m really worried that he will hurt him one day.

  16. We don’t have any pets yet. The book sounds really interesting, I have to show this post to some of my friends who have dogs.

  17. My dog was going on my new carpet for 3 months! We bought her a crate, and that totally helped to train her!

  18. I unfortunately do not own a dog but if I know someone who does, this book sounds like a great one.

  19. We have a cat, but growing up we had a dog (and when I went to college, we rescued another dog.) My mom still has that second dog (Oliver passed away a few years ago) and Sophie is such a great dog. The habit we worked hard to change was her barking at men. She eventually came around and trusted them a little more, but for the longest time it was the WORST habit!

  20. I could really use a book like this. My dog is so confusing! She is fully house trained but when she gets mad or jealous she decides to do her business on the carpet in the same place every time. Sometimes I think it would be easier if she could just speak and tell me what she wants!

  21. What a great sounding book – I always think there is a lot of behaviour I would love to change in Sal but most them would also stop her being her – I would however make a her a little more obedient and perhaps a little less bouncy at ‘W’ time.

  22. We dont have a dog right now, but this is so interesting to find out!

  23. This looks like a great resource! We are looking for a dog right now!

  24. aww! She is sweet! I’m so glad you guys are able to give her a nice home. She deserves it! This book would probably come in handy for my 2 dogs.. they are both about 7 yrs old and have a few bad behaviors like every night when we go to bed, my smaller dog will seek out any kind of napkin, diaper, food wrapper.. anything that has a scent pretty much and eat it. Needless to say, our home is picked up because I dont want this dog to get sick!

  25. Our dog has this bad habit of getting into the trash cans – but he only does it when my husband leaves the house. Like the second Hubby shuts the door, the dog is in one of the bathrooms. I don’t get it!

  26. Oh wow, you must have the patience of a saint to deal with a dog that keeps peeing on the carpet. No way could I handle that! I hope the book helps out!

  27. I definitely should read this! I wish we could decode our dog daily lol

  28. My weimaraner, Gus, passed away a few months ago! Miss him to pieces. One thing I would have changed about him was the fact that he was always on my heels when I was moving around. Sometimes I thought it was really sweet though.

  29. I no longer have dogs but I certainly could have used this book when I did! As a matter of fact I may go and pick up a copy anyway just because I am kind of interested in what it has to say.

  30. Teresa McCluskey says

    Sounds like a perfect book for dog owners. I am gonna read more and maybe I can fit this book in for my Roxy!

  31. I wish I knew of this one when our dog was still alive. 🙁

  32. I could really use this, I have one that we are having issues with training and one that when she gets mad at you makes sure you know she is mad. I would love to be able to figure them both out.

  33. We don’t have a dog, but I like the concept behind the book, very cool!

  34. Sounds like a great book but to be honest our dogs are both very well behaved and there is nothing i would change about them,we have only ever had one accident when Belinda was first with us but since then she has her spot in the field where she always goes and she taught Bolt as well lol,i am happy with the way they behave its as though they think they are human most of the time.

  35. That puppy is so cute!! And that looks like a great book!

  36. I had no idea this was possible! I’m recommending this book to my brother. Thanks 🙂

  37. I need this book! I have three dogs and I often wonder what they are thinking. This is a great book for dog people!

  38. we are cat people but this was very inresting

  39. I have a puppy and an older dog. This sounds like a good read to help me understand their behaviors!

  40. I thought I was the only one. My dog Rufus is sweet except when he’s sent to his little area. He’s a chiweenie

  41. What an interesting book! I don’t have a dog but my younger brother does and he’d love this.

  42. Amanda mcMahon says

    I think it is good to know what your pet or any animal is likely thinking.

  43. This information is very interesting because I always wonder what is going on through my dog’s mind, especially when he is misbehaving.

  44. We don’t have a dog, but this information is very helpful. I will pass it along to friends who have dogs.

  45. Nice book to read for dog owners.

  46. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what our pet needs so a book like this is so helpful. A good idea for any dog owner

  47. If we had a dog, I’d want to train him to be self sufficient in the potty area. Good luck with the training. Hopefully, the book will help you soon. I’d hate to have to clean up more of the carpet.

  48. katherine bartlett says

    This is so cute. I bet my mom would love this book!

  49. My hubby and I sound just like the couple you got your sweet dog from. We got pregnant and have been dogless ever since.

  50. This sounds like such a helpful book for those with dogs. I hope the book helps you.

  51. We are so lucky to have an amazing boxer, named Zoey. She is my daughters best buddy and the ultimate protector. It’s important to understand your dogs – especially for big life events like having a baby, moving, changes in your schedule ect.

  52. I need to get this book! We just got a puppy a couple months ago (She’s 4 months now) and it’d help to know what to do when they have an accident in the house. I ignore her, pick it up, and take her straight outside and let her pee the rest of the way. I have a chart I keep at the door so I write down when she last went potty/poo, and highlight it if she peed inside. I started this a week after we got her and she hardly ever pees in the house anymore. The only time she tells me she needs to go is when she has to poop. We’re working on getting her to tell us when she needs to pee so the chart can go away! Good luck and I hope the book helps you! 🙂 I’m going to check it out now!

  53. This is great. I have two small dogs (chihuahuas) that I try to figure out. One is a year old and one is 3 months. They are spoiled!

  54. This sounds like something every dog owner should read! I have 2 dogs who are like family to us and just when I think we are smooth sailing something ALWAYS happens to make me think to myself WHY?!?! I will have to keep an eye out for this! Stopping by from the tribe!

  55. What an amazing-looking book! I no longer have a dog, but I do have cats, and I have to admit to spending a fair amount of time trying to figure out why they act the way that they do. It’s really interesting when you start looking at the thought processes behind animal behaviour!

  56. We don’t have a dog (yet though the kids are keen); we have two cats, I think I probably need the book “Decoding the Cats” as well! Thanks for linking up to the parenting pint it party 😀

  57. There is so much that goes into training dogs, that’s for sure! Thanks for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board.

  58. This sounds like a great book for us. We are so lucky to have found an 8 year old dog to rescue that already loves our lifestyle. She even has good manners. I think this book would help us better know what she needs and maybe we can avoid a few mistakes along the way. Thanks for the review.

  59. What a doll! That book sounds pretty helpful too; I’ve always wondered about rubbing their nose in the spot they go in. Good to know I’m right. Stopping by from SITS

  60. This book sounds like a great resource for dog owners.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

  61. Jacqui Odell says

    This looks like a good book. I should read it. I would love to have you hop over and share with us at Tell Me About It Tuesday! (

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