A gripping psychological read with characters
that reach out and grab you. A real page turner.
bestselling author of The Wedding Party
and other novels
touches our primary emotions: jealousy, love, fear, hatred,
and grief... Kingsley has written an intriguing mystery/psychological
thriller with interesting, believable and well-developed characters.
There are twists, turns, red herrings, and a healthy dose
of hair-raising fear and suspense to keep even the most fickle
reader captivated. The dialogue is authentic, and, along with
the scene-painting narrative, you’ll feel like you’re
on the beach witnessing the unfolding action.
recommended to readers who enjoy a great mystery!
Reader’s Choice Book Reviews
(5 Star Rating)
Understand and communicate with your dog
If you love your dog, wouldn't it be great to understand
his doggy mind better? Most owners get to know their dogs pretty well
in character, yet very often what seems to be the obvious action during
training is actually the worst thing you can do. Take an example. You
go out and return to find your dog has, uncharacteristically, pooped on
the carpet, or has chewed your favourite shoes. What is your immediate
reaction? Do you shout at him and show him the offending item? If you
do, you reinforce the fact that going out leads to unpleasant experiences,
and your dog will be more unwilling to be left home alone: because it
all ends in 'doggy tears'.
be associations, and if we consider, for a moment, how their brain differs
from ours, this becomes easier to understand. The human brain evolved
from a simple and primitive brain into the three-element brain we have
today. First there is the primitive cerebellum, used to control
movement, then there is the mid-brain, used for associations,
and finally there is the sophisticated fore-brain, which gives
us the power of reasoning and logical thinking. A cerebellum allows simple
movement and was satisfactory for primitive creatures; the evolution of
a mid-brain allowed associations such as predator and likely death; a
fore-brain allows us to figure out how not to put ourselves into the position
where a predator might have the chance to kill us. Now a dog only has
a cerebellum and mid-brain, so associations are as far as doggy-thinking
If you seem
mean to your dog when you get back home after time away, he associates
that with you going out, not with the chewed shoe in his basket. Associations,
you see, happen in the 'now'; for a dog, and that 'now' only lasts
a second or so. If you catch him chewing your shoe and indicate via
body language and voice you are very displeased, he will get the hint,
but not so even five minutes later: unless you arrest an item from his
clutches or teeth.
physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, realised a dog's mind worked by association
when he observed them salivating at just the approach of the technician
who fed them, well prior to any food being dispensed. He carried out the
famous 'drooling dog' experiment whereby ringing a bell prior to feeding
led the dogs to salivate just at the sound of the bell. Good proof of
good at expanding on a series of associations until they become 'clusters'.
Firstly he might learn that fetching his lead quickly results in him going
for a walk; so he gets excited when you fetch the lead. Later he may associate
the fact you put on your walking shoes before collecting the lead, and
that, alone, will excite him with the prospect of a walk. More subtle,
he later learns the bang of windows closing and other security measures
leads to... shoes on... lead on... walk. Hence a cluster of linked association
give increasing confirmation he is interpreting the situation correctly.
If you understand
these doggy associations, you have a good chance of modifying your dog's
behaviour. If you don't want him to get excited every time you put on
your walking shoes, for example, let him frequently see you walk around
for a bit and then take them off again, without a following walk, or go
into the garden and then come back in and take them off. This would be
the way to break an association.
want to train your dog into a specific behaviour, however—like walking
to heel—then make an association, and use your associations
knowledge to link correct behaviour to lavish praise, linked to a treat.
(If you get into click training, as explained in my article on stopping
dogs pulling, then use a click immediately prior to the treat to get
an even stronger association and quicker response.) This way desired behaviour
becomes a pleasurable experience. Gradually decrease the treats until
you achieve the desired behaviour just by praise.
So the key
thing when communicating with dogs is to realise the don't do logic: they
do associations. Because they only understand associations, link pleasurable
rewards to good behaviour in order to achieve its repetition. But be prepared
for a lot of repetition during the training—then you will get your
own reward: a pleasurable dog!
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