Thursday, 13 May 2010

Short review: Bringing Light to Shadow by Pam Dennison

Pamela Dennison “Bringing Light to Shadow: Diary of a dog trainer”

This relatively slim book is well written, comprehensive and quite honestly helped to change my entire relationship with Finn – my troubled rescue collie – at a time when I felt we were totally out of options. Part confessional, part narrative and part educational resource, this book talks the reader through the journey to rehabilitate a people-reactive border collie named Shadow. By documenting daily training, progress, mistakes and observations Pam gives fantastic examples of how to read Shadow’s body language, the thought involved in setting up productive training sessions, and helps the reader to appreciate the work involved in rehabilitation.
As a cross-over trainer herself, Pam explains her choices of positive training methods and includes terminology boxes. This was inspiring both to read as an example of what is possible, and also because it encouraged me to start journaling and reflecting on my work with my own dog. Between this and some contact via email with Pam, I was able to move from a confrontational relationship with Finn towards one of cooperation and understanding.

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