I haven't finished it yet, but am halfway through the part on training specific behaviours.
I love this book. The first part, which talks about symptoms and causes of stress and the basics of positive reinforcement training is a really good read. None of it was particularly new to me, but it was presented in a way that got me thinking and it had some interesting tidbits that I didn't know. The advice and information is based on facts (backed up by scientific research) and written in a style that is easy to read and never patronising or lecturing. It's not based on the experiences of one dog trainer (like some other books I know), but much broader.
The second part is 10 training exercises to teach specific behaviours. All around getting a calm dog. It's basically about teaching a dog good manners, I suppose. There's relaxing on a mat, spontaneous eye contact, sit/stay, targeting, calm greetings, loose leash walking and being calm when handled and a few more.
The method for training is described in minute detail. It describes the goal and benefits, recommends how often to do the exercises, how long it would take on average to proof the behaviour and then lists the steps involved. In each step you will be told exactly what to do, complete with suggestions on how much time there should be in between rewards for continuous behaviours, etc. It ends with troubleshooting suggestions for issues like "My dog keeps lunging at the treat in my hand".
So I haven't actually done any of these exercises yet, but they look totally idiot proof to me. I intend to do a sit/stay refresher (there's some good exercises in there for proofing which we may need), then continue with touch and then have a really good crack at the 'say hi calmly to strangers'. The latter does require helpers though, so I'll have to find willing victims who can do a few sessions a week.
Even though this book is not a comprehensive training guide - though when I think about it, recall is the only important behaviour that is not covered - I would totally recommend it to anyone whose dog requires some first or further training. It is written with owners of out of control (boisterous, reactive, manic) dogs in mind, but I think its value is broader than that. I would never describe Banjo as out of control and her only problem behaviour is jumping up and it is still improving and not a major issue anymore. But I am glad I got this book and the method used for dealing with boisterous greeting behaviour is different enough from others I've read to make me interested. And described in more detail than any youtube video could offer me.
So highly recommended book! Would recommend it to new dog owners especially. And if they are committed to actually taking in the information and following the exercises exactly, they will not need another book after this one, I'd say.