Head of the Pack: Chester Gigolo’s Advanced Dog Training Secrets


Head of the Pack

By: Christina Potter

Publisher: Aperture Press

Publication Date: August 2017

ISSBN: 978-0997302097

Reviewed by: Ellen Feld

Review Date: March 19, 2018

Dog trainer and writer Christina Potter, in her third book within the “Chester Gigolo” series, delivers a book that’s numerous fun to read while, more importantly, giving readers numerous very useful information on dog training.

Head of the Pack is split into sixteen chapters that examine various facets of the dog world that can assist you train your dog. The book opens with an introduction that shares how much dogs enjoy human companionship and the way it really works best when each dog and human understand one another. So, how do you improve your ability to speak along with your dog? That is what the book is all about.

Immediately in the primary chapter, the writer offered advice that drew me in and made me wish to read the remaining of the book. “Blur the lines between playing and training, and you’ll have a dog that’s delighted to work with you any time.” From there, she goes on to elucidate that you need to be firm but not too firm. How? She uses an analogy of a spaghetti noodle that works perfectly to get her point across. The chapters are fairly short – most are three or 4 pages – and every thing may be very easy to know.

Head of the Pack is “written” by Chester Gigolo, a Berger Picard, and he’s one smart dog. Chester shares his training expertise on a broad range of topics from knowing what each breed has been bred for (and using that knowledge to pick the right dog in addition to using their innate instincts to advantage when training) to how often to offer treats and even what form of treats work best. And in contrast to many dog training manuals that provide suggestions in a dry, dull manner, Chester is sort of funny and entertaining. He livens up each chapter with commentary – for instance, when talking about getting treats, “march into the kitchen, load up on yummy treats – in your hands, not in your tummy – and let’s start.”

There may be numerous useful information on this book that each first-time dog owners and more advanced canine fans will learn from. What I particularly appreciated is that the writer didn’t just share her views and say “it really works for me, it’ll be just right for you.” Moderately, she backs up her statements with research from around the globe, noting the researchers/institutions/journals, how the tests were conducted, and the outcomes. While I’ve had dogs all my life and wish to think I do know what I’m doing when training, I definitely learned lots from this book. Did you understand that tail wagging doesn’t at all times mean a dog is completely satisfied? What about growling? For tricks, the writer advises using your dog’s breed to assist determine what tricks can be easiest in your dog to learn after which follows up with several real life examples that show how different breeds react to the identical situation. And speaking of tricks, chapter ten (smack dab in the midst of the book) is devoted to trick training. There are 25 tricks dissected in such a way that again, it is simple to see how one can teach each trick. Most are also accompanied by an image of a dog performing the trick. I “dog-tested” several of the tricks on my dog Rocco (a dachshund/yorkie mix who’s lovable but not the brightest light bulb within the pack), and he was in a position to follow my lead and do the tricks. That’s itself is definitely worth the price of this book!


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