NOW AVAILABLE… Think Dog Think – James Offord
“All dogs have the potential to be amazing. It’s only us that hold them back.” – James Offord
“Great book, beautiful. Totally different book about dogs and life.” – Wet Dog
Think Dog Think expresses the thoughts that the author has built up over many years of working and being around dogs, and the insights gained whilst being in the company of some of his best friends.
This is not a training manual and has no definitive answers. What it does have is a tried and tested way to relate to dogs and understand them better.
James Offord brings his thoughts together with analogies to make them easy to understand. They are aimed at the relationships we have with each other, and how this is intimately entwined with that of our canine friends.
As a believer in nurturing potential by giving our pets the freedom and choice to build their confidence, James runs through many of his experiences and beliefs in this book, in order to provide an insight into those beliefs, as well as into the amazing animals he has been privileged to work and interact with. Those that taught him much more than he could ever teach them.
Those that taught him to Think Dog think.
Dogs have basic needs as we do, but we have many wants too, it’s these wants and desires that lead us to do things that are counter productive to the greater good.
This is also why I love being around them, I don’t want this book to turn into a mutual appreciation society of our dogs but an understanding of them. When I began to understand them over time I realised that in understanding them I also understood people.
Training and behaviour is easier with a dog, there is no grey area, it’s black or white. Dogs like you or they don’t. If they don’t, there is a reason. “If my dog doesn’t like you, I probably shouldn’t” is one of my favourite sayings. I am not a crazy dog person but I believe in them because they don’t lie. Not about the big stuff anyway. Trust me, if I forget I fed him and feed him again he will act like he hasn’t eaten in a week.
The main thing I want to get across is that dogs can teach us so much, they are showing us things we never thought possible, sniffing out cancer, telling us when seizures are coming on, I watched an amazing program where two trainers took two dogs from a rescue home with a view to teaching them to become service dogs. The plan was to show to the world that with so many dogs in rescue centres the rescue dogs are an untapped resource and this would not only ease the the stress on rescue centres but would also give these dogs a chance of a great life with their minds and bodies stimulated and in a loving enviroment. So the trainers chose the two dogs and taught one to protect a woman with narcolepsy when she had a seizure so she would feel safer when out and give her confidence to leave the house knowing she was safe if she had a seizure. The other dog took the socks of a severely disabled girl and open doors for her to allow her a greater sense of independence and also to be her companion. The upshot of the programme was they managed to get these two lovely dogs to do these jobs for the people and allowing them confidence, freedom and companionship. What more could we want. They truly are our guardians helpers and more or less anything we want them to be.
This is why I would like you all to understand if you will allow me to show you what dogs mean, what they are capable of, and how we can learn to become better people, managers, business owners with the understanding of them.
The relationship between people and dogs has evolved but always at the heart of it is a mutual admiration and respect for what the other does best. Treated right we can be there best friends and vice versa. Also we can learn a lot from each other. The “dogged determination.” To be in the moment and worry less about all of the material things us humans do. Dogs see everything as they see it, no agendas, no attachments, it’s instinct and routine.
It’s why humans continually explain their dogs emotions in human terms, because dogs have manipulated us, invaded our personal space by using their usefulness, cuteness, willingness to please.
They have had to do this to continually reaffirm their place in the human pack.
What I find really interesting is after working with dogs for several years, how many analogies can be drawn from dogs behaviour, how similar in fact we are.
“A beautiful book, couldn’t put it down.” – Angie Q
As a child and throughout his life, he has had an affinity with animals and nature. His favourite places to be are ones of natural beauty where there is a freedom to be had, and he experiences a feeling of humility in the beauty of the surroundings.
James left school at 16 with GCSE’s and pursued varied careers in banking, retail management and security before the birth of his first daughter when he was 22. He subsequently had another daughter and a son.
His career continued with roles as diverse as a van sales rep and then into the private sector of the Prison Service. Having worked in management and finally becoming self employed as a Security Dog Handler, James set up a company working and training dogs. This became his real passion.
James stopped working with dogs in 2013, however he has continued a keen and active interest.
Nowadays he has a career in sales and lives on the south coast of the UK, enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds such places.