Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes

Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes

by Kari Neumeyer

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Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes by Kari Neumeyer

How do you make sure the dog you love never bites anyone (again)?

Kari and Rob are as devoted to their German shepherd puppy, Isis, as two dog parents can be. Kari’s the disciplinarian, struggling to follow every instruction to the letter. Rob’s the laid-back dad, more of a littermate, happy as long as he can practice jiu-jitsu with the dog.

As she grows, Isis’s behavior escalates from frustrating to dangerous when she bites someone. Kari and Rob learn that some of the old-fashioned advice they followed may have contributed to Isis’s aggression. Eventually, they’re shown a better way to calm an anxious and fearful dog.

"Prospective puppy/dog owners can save themselves a lot of heartbreak by reading Bark and Lunge, which tells the story of what can go wrong when a puppy is not properly socialized and when unsuspecting owners are bullied into using aversive training techniques." – Dr. Ian Dunbar, founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers

"Kari and Rob’s love for their German shepherd Isis shines through every page of this moving saga. Their journey through various training techniques and treatments is a testament to their relentless dedication to help Isis to live a normal life. Many dog owners will relate to their story, and even those who can’t will empathize and find it a fascinating read." – Nicole Wilde, author of Hit by a Flying Wolf: True Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Real Life with Dogs and Wolves

Product Details

BN ID: 2940149654338
Publisher: Kari Neumeyer
Publication date: 07/28/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Kari Neumeyer thinks Groucho Marx was onto something when he said, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Kari's name rhymes with safari. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School and has worked for news outlets in Washington state and the Czech Republic.

She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. Now she lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her beau, Rob, and their dog family.

In her spare time, she volunteers teaching an adaptive martial arts class to adults with developmental disabilities at the Max Higbee Center, fostering a love of creative writing to Whatcom Young Writers, and walking shelter dogs at the Humane Society of Skagit Valley.

She blogs about dogs at

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Bark and Lunge: Saving My Dog from Training Mistakes 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Epic_Book_Quest More than 1 year ago
review via For Kari Neumeyer, it was love at first sight when she first laid eyes on the German Shepherd puppy she would come to call Isis… With dreams of a loving and loyal best friend, Kari and Rob take the plunge into the exciting world of new dog owners, spending every spare moment doting on their beloved new family member. They do everything they know to make sure they raise their puppy right, from reading books to taking little Isis to obedience classes. It seems as though they couldn’t be happier, until the unthinkable happens, and Isis starts displaying signs of aggression. Kari struggles to make sense of what is driving Isis’s aggression and turns to her trainer for help. But through the use of traditional punishment-based methods, it seems like her dog’s aggression is only getting worse. Out of frustration, she turns to other trainers and finds that the methods she was taught to use may have been exacerbating the problem all along. After making the change to positive dog training, Kari spends countless hours working with Isis to help her overcome her reactivity, and learns a lot of valuable lessons along the way. Bark and Lunge is a detailed memoir of one woman’s experiences in raising and rehabilitating a reactive and aggressive dog. Full of humorous and heartwarming stories, this book also tackles some very difficult subjects as well. How far would you be willing to go to save your dog if it became aggressive? As someone who owns a reactive dog myself, I loved Kari’s steely determination to help Isis- at any cost. The emotional roller-coaster she details in this memoir is quite familiar to me, and I think to anyone who owns a reactive dog. Just reading about her struggles and successes was a cathartic experience for me, and while there is a load of great information layered through the pages of this book on the various aspects of dog behavior and training, you certainly don’t have to own a reactive dog (or any dog at all for that matter) to truly enjoy this story. And of course, with a recommendation from the legendary Dr. Ian Dunbar, (founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers) this book is a no-brainer for any animal lover- I can’t recommend it highly enough! Rating: 5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
amyshan More than 1 year ago
Emotional memoir with a deep connection Dogs are more than just pets. They are part of the family. This is an incredibly emotional memoir about a member of the family. In this case, Isis, a member of the family, bit someone. Then, it starts from the moment Isis entered her life, her family. Anyone who has ever had a deep connection or bond with an animal, will relate heavily to this story. I found the dedication of introducing and creating a bond between Isis and a new dog to be quite profound. It took a lot of training and effort to get Isis to accept a new dog in her family.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Isis is a female German Shepherd. Often bred as guard dogs, these dogs can also be great pets, if consistently trained and well cared-for. German Shepherds have boundless energy, but given the right environment, they can demonstrate boundless love. Isis was full of love. It is evident in her story. However, she was a difficult dog to train, one that was labeled by countless trainers who crossed her path as aggressive. But was she aggressive? Or was there something genetically wrong with her that caused her to react unpredictably and uncontrollably when least expected?  Kari Neumeyer is a writer and a journalist. When Isis entered her family, she opened her heart to this wonderful dog. She tried everything, every possible trainer in her geographic area, to alleviate the trauma that Isis was causing, although perhaps it wasn't really Isis's fault. No one will ever know. What we do know is the love that formed a bond between Kari and Isis is so profound. This once-in-a-lifetime dog, who was all heart and died too young from an enlarged heart, captured her owner's heart, but also captures the hearts of the readers who follow this story. Leo, who came home to Kari's house before Isis departed, is just as loving, but in a different, more subtle way.  Isis is the story. Her story demonstrates love and dedication to a purpose, the purpose of being a family and, in Kari's case, a dog family. While Isis struggles from one training debacle to another, so too does her trainer and owner, Kari. Isis is a survivor, though, and when she's behaved her worst, she can still put on a pretty face with a big smile (hence her nickname, Smilely Bird) as if to ask her owner, "Are you coming out with me or not?" This was a heart-warming read. Well done!