There are few people who understand dogs better than Jennifer Arnold. Twenty-five years after she founded Canine Assistants, a nationally recognized nonprofit that raises and provides service dogs for people with disabilities, Arnold had an epiphany. She’d always approached the education of dogs with kindness and compassion—eschewing the faux science of fear and domination-based training methods. And she’d always understood dogs to be uniquely, uncannily attuned to their human companions; in fact she depended on it—she knew that the bond that developed between a person and their service dog was the single greatest predictor of that partnership’s success and, conversely, failure to bond brought about anxiety and distress in dogs. But it wasn’t until recent scientific findings confirmed her hands-on experience with dogs’ intuitive social skills that she was willing to put this bold idea to the test: Dogs who bond with us completely and unconditionally will seek to please us and, with minimal cues, can learn to make remarkably sophisticated decisions about their own behavior. Sure, dogs can be taught commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “heel,” but even the kindest reward and punishment models were merely manipulating dogs’ behavior, rather than unleashing their unique social genius and innate ability to navigate the world.
In this groundbreaking, persuasive, and heartfelt book, Arnold shows us how every dog—no matter their age—can thrive through Bond-Based Choice Teaching. Her proprietary method has been hailed by leading canine behavioral scientists and is being adopted by notable dog trainers, advocates, humane societies, and puppies behind bars programs across the country. For this liberating, revolutionary method to succeed, Arnold says, love really is all you need.
Advance praise for Love Is All You Need
“Jennifer Arnold, who has trained service dogs for the past twenty years for people with physical disabilities, offers a window into the world of ‘man’s best friend.’ Arnold, who believes that dogs are attuned to their owner’s needs and emotions, shares tips she thinks every dog owner should know.”—ABC News
“[Arnold] takes pride in facilitating the powerful relationship between every service dog and its owner—a bond that is as much about companionship and comfort as it is about health and safety.”—Everyday Health
“Within the world of dogs and canine behavior there are only a handful of people who truly ‘move the needle’ when it comes to innovation, novel approaches, and intuitive thinking—Jennifer Arnold is one of those rare few. Constantly pushing boundaries of traditional thought, she not only provides fresh perspectives about how we interact with and learn from man’s best friend, she fearlessly forges new paths that stimulate and engage dog lovers as well as behavior experts and explores possibilities which previously may have seemed out of reach.”—Victoria Stilwell, star of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog and CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training