This is a great book even if you don’t have a dog. But if you have a dog it is fabulous! Camilla Gray-Nelson knows dogs and how to teach them to have good manners! Yes, she really does. And it works. If you follow what she teaches you will find that it works with humans as well. No we don’t actually put a leash on our husband or friends but by using our posture, voice and requests in the right way we can get what we want much easier. From dogs and humans.
I didn’t get a puppy because I wanted to see if what she says in her book works. (I’m committed to doing a good job but not THAT committed). I got a puppy because, after losing my dear and very old cat, I wanted another pet and about that time I received a copy of Lipstick and the Leash. I had thought that a puppy was too much work but Camilla convinced me otherwise. One day while in PetSmart to get crickets for the frogs (don’t ask) I took a tour of their adoption kennel. They rarely have puppies but on this day there were three feisty two-month old brothers – it was the proverbial “love at first sight” and now Smarty is a very important part of the family. The picture is the puppy I chose. – my grandson named him Smarty.
I had read the book long before I got the puppy and thought I knew what I was doing. I quickly discovered that the puppy was in charge and I needed help. I grabbed the book and re-read it and I return to it every now and then for a refresher. I was doing a lot of things right, but Camilla’s teachings made all the difference. She explains clearly how to stand so the dog knows I’m in charge, how to use my voice so he pays attention and responds appropriately, how to correct him and set boundaries without dampening his spirit. He has never had to hear me screech “bad dog” because Camilla gave me tips on what to do when he does something I don’t allow – like jump up on me or anyone else or pull all the paper out of the office trash can (his favorite). Everyday is a new challenge but I have the tools now to meet the challenge head on.
I have read other books and watched a number of videos on how to work with a puppy – Lipstick and the Leash is by far the one that has helped me the most.
One of my favorite lines from her book (and there are many) is “She who sets the boundaries is the one with the status. She who yells is the imposter.” This is one of those teachings that applies to people as much as to pets and I think of it every time I am tempted to raise my voice. I don’t want to give my power away to the puppy nor to the grouchy neighbor , the car repairman, or anyone who gets my “angry juices” flowing.
I highly recommend this book to any woman who is left to train the puppy that her husband or children brought home (Oh, how I wish I had know these things with that series of puppies). And if you’re a woman – with or without a dog – who needs to step into her power, this book can help you with that, too. In Camilla’s words, “Dogs will follow and obey only a calm and proven superior. Humans are no different.”