Non Fiction Book Review: Beyond Flight or Fight: A Compassionate Guide for Working with Fearful Dogs by Sunny Weber

It is no secret that the crew here at A Mama's Corner of the World is made up of a bunch of animal lovers! We have an ever-rotating group of rescued cats, dogs, lizards and more moving through our lives as they find their forever homes. Today, I have a nonfiction, dog themed book and a guest post from Sunny Weber in our book review spotlight today! Check out Beyond Flight or Fight: A Compassionate Guide for Working with Fearful Dogs, read my thoughts on the book, read Sunny's guest post & be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.  ...And stop back tomorrow when I will be sharing my review of City Dog Walking Safety & Etiquette too!


​Book Title:  Beyond Flight or Fight: A Compassionate Guide for Working with Fearful Dogs by Sunny Weber
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  186 pages
Publisher:  Pups & Purrs Press 
Release date:  September 2016
Content Rating: This non-fiction book is rated G.
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About the Book

Is your dog afraid of noises, objects, or you? Whether you have taken a fearful dog into your home, or you work professionally to save lives, Beyond Flight or Fight is an indispensable tool. Discover how to help dogs that have been neglected, abused, or are genetically timid.

Fearful, timid, and/or reactive dogs are the most commonly rejected and euthanized dog personality type. Shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries often do not have the financial resources, time, or qualified staff to help these dogs adapt to life with humans. By providing a concise, easy-to-understand guide for anyone who has chosen a fearful dog to adopt, foster, or rehabilitate for other potential owners, Beyond Flight or Fight will help many people save many innocent, confused, and overwhelmed dogs’ lives.

Unique points covered include:
  • How fear works: primary vs. secondary responses.

  • Why rescue programs may not work

  • Safe places, escape, and helping dogs think

  • Flooding, aggression, learned helplessness: what happens/fixing it

  • Importance of: a familiar handler, time, and leadership

  • Specialized training techniques

  • Developing dog self-confidence

  • How to use: voice, hands, body, correction cues, and dog psychology

  • Why some dogs do not respond

  • Maintenance, proofing, accepting optimal levels Learn to teach “special needs” pets how to fit into the human world.

Conquer brain-flooding stress hormones and help your dog move from knee-jerk, Amygdala-based fear responses to reasoned, calm, rational evaluation based in the prefrontal cortex of the dog mind. Fearful dogs can be saved and have quality lives free of anxiety.
My Review


Beyond Flight or Fight is Very Informative and Realistic. This book holds a lot of information and insights for readers. From understanding some of the social/psychological aspects of fear in dogs to learning valuable techniques for humans to use in interactions with fearful dogs to being realistic in accepting when the human/dog relationship is not beneficial, or the dog's fear-driven behavior cannot be corrected. The author writes this book in a very informative tone--but is also very realistic in setting readers' expectations toward successes and potential failures with fearful dogs.


Beyond Flight or Fight is Not a Training Guide. The author shares a variety of options and possibilities along with many stories and situations encountered by shelters, rescues, and trainers. I think the most significant takeaways and reminders for me were the need for patience, compassion, and acceptance. Life with a fearful dog is not an easy one. Interactions can be time-consuming and exhausting--and even those with the best intentions may not find success in certain situations. The author gives various resources, tips, ideas, and experiences--but keeps it realistic in that there is no one-method-works-for-all-dogs training guide.  


Would I Recommend Beyond Flight or Fight by Sunny Weber? I currently have an elderly dog who has lived with me since he was a tiny puppy. He has gone blind and deaf in the past year, and learning to help him trust me and overcome fears is a daily challenge in so many ways. Much of the book is written for those adopting or fostering from rescue groups and shelters. This book offers a lot of helpful information--and a lot of tips to help you adjust both human and animal behaviors (and expectations). I am not a fan of punishment-type training methods--so there were segments of the book that I didn't feel applied to my or my situation with my dog--but the author does give readers a variety of options and ideas for consideration. 


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Guest Post from Sunny Weber

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Saving More Dog Lives by Educating the People Who Care for Them

Guest Post for A Mamas Corner of the World

My Favorite Children’s Book:

Beautiful Joe by Marshal Saunders. Joe was an abused, real Canadian dog and there is a park and bronze statue in his memory in Meaford, Ontario. The author could not publish under her real name—Margaret Marshal Saunders—because women were not usually published before the turn of the last century. It was the first dog book written from the eyes and mind of a dog. It followed Black Beauty, the first horse story written from the POV of the horse. Its author, Anna Sewell, was able to publish under her own name because her mother was already a famous suffragette author. Always sickly, Anna only wrote one book and then died. Margaret went on to write several sequels to Joe’s story. Both their books became and remained best sellers into the 20th Century.


Check Out Sunny Weber's Other Dog Training Book:

​Book Title:  City Dog Walking Safety & Etiquette by Sunny Weber
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  110 pages
Publisher:  Pups & Purrs Press 
Release date:  September 2018
Content Rating: This non-fiction book is rated G.

About the Book

Think you need just a leash & a dog? So you think dog walking is a no-brainer, right?

Just snap on the old leash and head out the door, until. . .
• Your dog pulls you off your feet or jerks your arm out of its socket
• An off-leash dog races straight at you and your dog, in attack or play
• A speeding bicyclist barely misses hitting you
• Your dog jumps on a passer-by while you are distracted
• A panting, passing runner causes your dog to go ballistic from the aggressive, fast invasion of her space
• You encounter a coyote or snake

City Dog Walking Safety & Etiquette will cover all scenarios you and your dog can expect in urban and suburban environments. You will learn simple commands to help you understand each other, find the best fit of equipment, be aware of local hazards, and appreciate basic manners so you and your pup are welcome wherever you go. Sunny Weber will help you enjoy the outdoors with your furry friend—safely!
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Meet the Author

Sunny Weber has over 30 years in animal welfare advocacy. She has experience in rescue, fostering, medical care, service and therapy dog evaluation and training, shelter and sanctuary work and specializes in the rehabilitation of fearful animals. Sunny has rehabilitated then re-homed hundreds of dogs, cats and horses.

connect with the author: website facebook ~ linkedIn ~ goodreads ~ bookbub

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