Boot Camp: Basic Training for Your Dog


141 pages
ISBN 1-55059-085-5
DDC 636.7'0887




Illustrations by Patti Miller
Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is associate editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual.


“Boot camp” pretty much sums up the author’s tough-love
philosophy. While Sutton rightly emphasizes the need for dog owners to
establish themselves as pack leader (and not to confuse affection with
obedience), his book ventures into alarming territory when he
offhandedly advocates the use of electric collars as training devices
and condones the practice of keeping dogs on a short chain attached to a
doghouse. Besides confinement and training equipment, Chapter 1
addresses such topics as the causes of disobedience (ignorance, fear,
and defiance), pressure and release, reinforcement, and differences in
the handling of “hard” as opposed to “soft” dogs. The remaining
three chapters cover the bare essentials of basic training: heel; lie
down, stay, and come; and off leash. Included in each chapter are
checklists and tests. Dog owners who want their training steps served
straight up will be dismayed by the clutter of anecdotes and folksy


Sutton, Edward Ian., “Boot Camp: Basic Training for Your Dog,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,