Troubador A Dog Behaviourist’s Diary

Released: 28/09/2016

ISBN: 9781785898679

eISBN: 9781785897573

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Author Website

A Dog Behaviourist’s Diary


This book will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think in a way you have never done before. It explores both the canine “condition” and the human “condition” too, as many ‘dog problems’ are in fact ‘people problems’ but with more legs. 

Based on real life personal experiences of dogs that have come through our behaviour clinics or classes, it is a brutally honest and completely open expulsion of experience and knowledge expressed with great humour, insight and raw emotion. With tales of hilarity, happiness and success through to depression, grief, suicide and death, it brings to the reader a sense of perspective and compassion for others. Born of experience based on a lifetime of work with animals and close involvement with over 10.000 puppies and dogs, around 15,000 people, the breadth of experience is plain to see. 

The primary purpose of the book is entertainment that educates. Written in plain English, with easy to understand analogies, it is simple and enjoyable to follow. No technical knowledge of dogs or humans is required. As a public speaker I have learnt over the years, how people learn and what makes them laugh. Covering some of the most dangerous and worrying of behaviours, like dogs that bite people, dogs that aggress towards others, dogs that chase and kill things, puppy farms and many more. 

The range of this book provides something for everybody. It also covers the most common behaviour problems of all. One of the chapters about long coated breeds not being able to see properly and the range of behaviours that occur as a result, will help millions of dogs and owners, instantly. The blindingly obvious is obvious, only once the blindness is lifted. 

What could be better, puppies, dogs, people, laughter, success, heartache, real life quandaries, passion and finally, true love that conquers all. Literally.

Sunday Telegraph – 30 October 2016 – Letters Page (21)

SIR – You report (October 23) that the Kennel Club wants dog owner to stop tying their animals hair up in bows.

In ‘A Dog Behaviourist’s Diary’, Denise McLeod, describes what she calls ”The biggest dog behaviour problem in the UK, but with the simplest of solutions”.

She lists a range of symptoms which include snapping at hands, bumping into furniture and cowering at loud noises. Dogs that display these symptoms may also struggle to connect with their owners.

The cause may be that these dogs’ eyes are covered by fur, and they cannot see the world around them. Cutting their fringes and eyebrows could make them happier animals. Sarah Smith, West Hill, Devon.

Book from k9 magazine.

AMAZON reviews..
5.0 out of 5 stars
I could not put this book down!
ByAmazon Customeron 3 October 2016

A Dog Behaviourists Diary gives an understanding of dog behaviour using real cases experienced by the author Denise. It made me laugh, cry and even cringe in places when reading of mistakes made. Denise's passion for happy positive relationships between dogs and their owners is clear as is the depth of her knowledge and experience. This book is not a technical 'how to' book but more of a James Herriot type description of life as a dog trainer/behaviourist which can be enjoyed by all. I certainly recommend this book and hope that there is more to come from Denise.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Byjohn warneron 28 September 2016

I don't normally read books but my wife left it on the table and I picked it up and started to read it after a few pages found I couldn't put it down. The authors writing was brilliant and well written about her life as a dog trainer all the ups and downs but all written with a depth of feeling. It is obviously a book that is easy to read and a must for everybody. john warner

5.0 out of 5 stars
Not just for dog owners
ByL. Thomason 28 September 2016

thank you to who ever left this book outside the door to the library where I work. I wasn't sure if they left it for us to sell or to add to our stock so I had a little read. The first case study brought tears to my eyes, it was so moving and profound. If all the stories are as good as that then I am definitely adding it to our stock. These are real case studies of owners and dogs with behavioural problems. I am not a dog owner but I was many years ago but I do have a friend who is going through a very tough time dealing with a tragic loss of her husband and that first case study brought something in perspective.

How do you review a book that is such a fabulous read.This author has managed to capture every emotion possible in her book based on her life as a dog trainer. Her depth of feeling and care for her work shines through in every chapter. You will laugh with her, cry with her but above all you will really love the book dog owner or not.

by Chris Warner

An extraordinary book, funny, sad, very well written. A great read, highly recommended to not just dog owners but everyone

by Nigel Hardy

Absolutely loved this book. I rarely get through the first chapter of most books without putting them down, this one I couldn't tear myself away from, and have read it twice now! It gives a unique and wonderful insight into the lives of dogs and their people. Superbly well written and easy to read. Each chapter draws you in so deeply you find yourself smiling, laughing, and yes, at times, crying! Denise has a natural skill for storytelling so this book is a great read even if you are not into dog behaviour, but coupled with her years of canine experience, well..... it's just an awesome book! Highly recommend it!

by Linda Shearman

Absolutely fantastic book, compulsive read! Really emotive and made me laugh and cry in equal parts. Also a tale of determination and fighting against the odds in respect of Denise herself. Meant to take it into work to read at dinnertime but couldn't put it down and read it all in a weekend. Definitely a book for anyone with a reactive dog.

by Allie Cullen

I loved this book! All of us who have been fascinated by dogs since childhood have realized that out of many strange experiences with dogs and owners, patterns start to emerge that can explain a lifetime of seemingly irrelevant mysteries.

Denise Cadelac McLeod is one of us, and tells her stories of detective work and problem solving are described with vivid writing.
This is not just another fun book of dog behavior and stories. Denise shares some discoveries she has made, that I believe will help so many dogs with "reactivity" based problems.

I'm experimenting with her "Turn and Face" method by following the book. If I was in the UK I'd be going to her working seminars to see the changes I have only seen in her clients via videos.

by Martha Hoffman

I received a copy of this book from a friend, as I work in a Canine Profession and work with different Dog Trainers, Behaviourists and Veterinary Behaviourists.  I am doing research on various Dog Trainers/Behaviourists on the area and she thought I might like it.

I must admit the stories were interesting and it is very apparent that this lady loves her dogs and she has had a very interesting/ challenging life.   However she really doesn't understand Canine Theory and on investigation can't seem to identify any academic studies of Canines she has done and therefore it appears she had no formal qualifications. The question has been asked of the author but no evidence given. It's all experience!

Unfortunately years of experience is not a qualification and if all the experience you have had is the wrong type of experience, then this can be damaging for a dog.  We don't know what we don't know. As the Dog Training business is unregulated, we are seeing this a lot.  Seminars and the odd Workshop is not a Qualification, it only refreshes your existing academic knowledge. But there are a lot of bad or unqualified trainers providing Seminars.

The authors own website and book states she uses positive reinforcement and rewards to train dogs and she hates cruelty.  But she does use aversive techniques.

By chance my neighbour used CaDeLac Dog Training to try to stop her dog barking and they told her to use two pan lids and bang them together to frighten him when he barked.  The result was it frightened my dog really badly and we were lucky it didn't do permanent harm.  A Veterinary Behaviourist has told me this is really bad and this called "Noise Aversion" and it is psychologically damaging for dogs.

In the chapter called "The Commonest Dog Behaviour Problem in the UK" the author talks about behaviours found in Poodle Crosses (none which colleagues have come across specific to those breeds).  Some behaviours you could attribute to most dogs, eg. not liking being held by strangers! Few dogs want to be held by a stranger because you don't know if you can trust them, dogs are dogs, they don't want to be held generally, especially by people they don't know. Jumping up at people as if desperate to be held!  This is called "height seeking behaviour" and this is a fear response that any dog can display. Freezing, that's the fight, freeze or flight response controlled by the hind brain, the dog is not in control of that, it's not the thinking part of the brain in control.  There is a definite lack of understanding of Canine Psychology, the brain and fear response.  Dogs don't choose to act aggressively when they are afraid, it is a lot of chemical responses happening to a stimulus/trigger in a split second.   The Amygdala becomes conditioned to respond the same way again and again if it gets a jump start on the Thalamus. 

Interesting stories, but a distinct lack of knowledge around proven Canine Science. Especially as Canine Science is advancing at such a pace, especially in the last decade. We know more about dogs than we have ever done before.

This is misleading for people. It worries me about this "Face and Turn" technique and the harm it may be doing to dogs, due to the lack of understanding of Canine Psychology.

by Bea Stewart

Denise  Mcleod

I was born in a small village in Staffordshire in 1967. It seems I had an innate love of and desire to be with animals, right from the start.

Unable to have a dog of my own as a child because of a family illness, I spent all of my formative years borrowing other people’s dogs to walk and train, riding my pony or other horses deemed ‘unsafe’ or ‘troubled’ or dangerous, talking to my chickens, hamster and rabbit, or working on sheep and cattle farms.

When I wasn’t walking, riding or working, I sat down, as I was very tired. And when I sat, I sat in fields, woods, or by streams or rivers, where I would watch and sometimes interact with, both domestic and wild animals. I was utterly fascinated by them all. People completely baffled me at that time, whereas animals seemed to me much more sensible, logical and kinder to one another. Apart from when they were eating one another.

I wasn’t always great with animals though, the first dog I walked pulled me over and broke my collar bone at just 5 years old. The first horse I rode, broke my arm, twice. I had many other subsequent falls, breaks and mishaps but my love for animals never waned.

After leaving school I began a successful career working in a large corporate business and ultimately attained a middle management position, during which time I began to start to like and better understand, people. As well as studying animal training and behaviour, I now began to study people and people behaviour and studied psychology, psychiatry, counselling, spirituality as well as my growing love of quantum mechanics and physics.

Then I had another riding accident, resulting in a severe head injury and a transformative and life changing, near death experience, which completely altered my life view. It also left me with permanent damage to my eyes and some minor brain damage, which I have learned to live with.

My life priorities shifted dramatically after that experience and I started to ponder the rest of my life and what to do with it. In January 2001 I quit my career in IT and started CaDeLac dog training and behaviour and that has been my sole income and preoccupation ever since.

Since that time I have been involved with over 10,000 puppies and dogs and over 15,000 dog people, which gives me a unique insight into the lives of people who own dogs, and dogs who own people.

My first book A Dog Behaviourist’s Diary, is the stories of some of those people and dogs, as well as some of the most traumatic, brilliant, terrifying, or hilarious moments of my own dog owning history.

Though the book is in James Herriot story telling style, devoid of jargon, full of humour, it is loaded with crucial learning points that dance their way through the emotional lives of dogs and their owners.

This is entertainment, that educates!

I hope that you enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it!

My best friend Connor.

My first Book. Another dream fulfilled.
  • Buy as a printed
  • £12.99

  • 6 customer reviews
    Currently out of stock
  • Buy as an ebook
  • £6.99
  • Find this ebook at your favourite retailer
Also by Denise Mcleod / Related Books